What does it mean to be a “local” in Brooklyn? It isn’t really about your address. We believe being a local is about appreciating the everyday experiences that connects a community. Whether you live in BK or are just visiting to soak in that authentic culture, there’s more than enough to appreciate. From a world of restaurants to one-of-a-kind art galleries, Brooklyn is unlike any other place in the world.
We asked our local Brooklyn hosts to nominate their favorite local gems—the winners are included in this year’s Local List, a limited-edition guide illustrated by Brooklyn–based artist Josh Cochran. And as we celebrate the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 16th, we figured, “What better way to explore these local gems than with a few walking (running, skipping, cartwheeling, etc.) maps?” You can take a day to explore them all, or do a different route each day. There’s just so much to love in BK, and there’s no better way to appreciate it all than strolling through these rich, diverse neighborhoods.
Start your trek with a little creative making at one of Brooklyn Craft’s DIY classes. (Loom weaving or floral design, anyone?) Stop for some authentic Polish cuisine to fuel the rest of your day then head straight to the Williamsburgh Savings Bank to admire some impressive architecture. From there, it’s onto Trophy Bar for a little adult hydration in the form of a Brooklyn lager or two. Finish this route with a slice at Roberta’s and some Southern-style desserts at Peaches.
1. Brooklyn Craft Company (61 Greenpoint Avenue)
2. Karczma Polish Restaurant (136 Greenpoint Avenue)
3. Williamsburgh Savings Bank (175 Broadway)
4. Trophy Bar (351 Broadway)
5. Roberta’s (261 Moore Street)
6. Peaches (393 Lewis Avenue)
Since 1948, Sahadi’s has been slinging fine foods and gourmet coffee to the Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood. So we recommend you stop here first for a late afternoon cup of hot java to keep you caffeinated for the journey. Then get satiated on some legendary ramen at Ganso before heading to BRIC to be inspired by some of the best local performing arts shows (check out their website for schedules and tickets). On Saturdays, the Fort Green Farmers’ Market is a great place to feel like a true local—stock up on local produce or take in some performing arts or demonstrations from local chefs. If you’re in the mood for some world-renowned music or theatre, take in a show at BAM. And finally, take a tour of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank—it’s a hard one to miss.
1. Sahadi’s (187 Atlantic Avenue)
2. Ganso (25 Bond Street)
3. BRIC (647 Fulton Street)
4. Fort Greene Farmers Market (Washington Park between Dekalb and Willougby)
5. Brooklyn Academy of Music – BAM (30 Lafayette Avenue)
6. Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower (1 Hanson Place)
Start a Saturday bright and early with the Sunset Park Greenmarket then waltz over to the scenic Green-Wood Cemetery. Four & Twenty Blackbirds is a local favorite for its seasonal pies and adorable ambiance. If you’re a fan of textiles and textile design, the Textile Art Center is a great community center supporting all things handmade. Fill up on amazingly authentic Italian provisions like meatballs and and prosciutto balls at G. Esposito & Sons and end the excursion at Brooklyn Inn for a few “cool down” drinks and a turn or two on the jukebox.
1. Sunset Park Greenmarket (4th Ave & 59th Street)
2. Green-Wood Cemetery (500 25th Street)
3. Four & Twenty Blackbirds (439 3rd Avenue)
4. Textile Art Center (505 Carroll Street)
5. G. Esposito & Sons (357 Court Street)
6. Brooklyn Inn (148 Hoyt Street)
AROUND PROSPECT PARK
Start with some farm-fresh bistro-style brunch, lunch or an early dinner at The Farm, then head to Brooklyn ARTery to stock up on creative supplies or unique gifts for loved ones. Union Hall is well-known for a leisurely evening of indoor bocce ball, an afternoon in the outdoor beer garden, and the basement music venue. So get your fill before you head for a scenic pitstop at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Grand Army Plaza. For a taste of the Caribbean, stop into The Islands and continue the beachy vibes with a few beverages at King Tai.
1. The Farm on Adderley (1108 Cortelyou Road)
2. Brooklyn ARTery (1021 Cortelyou Road)
3. Union Hall (702 Union Street)
4. Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch (20 Grand Army Plaza)
5. The Islands (803 Washington Avenue)
6. King Tai (1095 Bergen Street)
Take an art class or just pick up some crafting inspiration at Norma’s to start your day, then head to the local Greenmarket. An obvious next stop would be L&B Spumoni Gardens, where you can fill up on authentic Italian eats before heading to the crown glory of South Brooklyn—Coney Island! Get a fill of coaster rides and corn dogs, and then witness the throwback scene that is the Russian restaurant and nightclub, Tatiana. If you have one more stop in you after this full tour of South BK, try Nargis for some authentic Uzbek cuisine and atmosphere.
1. Norma’s Arts & Crafts Supplies (7813 3rd Avenue)
2. Bay Ridge Greenmarket (3rd Ave. & 95th Street)
3. L&B Spumoni Gardens (2725 86th Street)
4. Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk (W. 37 St., Boardwalk)
5. Tatiana (3152 Brighton 6th Street)
6. Nargis Cafe (2818 Coney Island Avenue)
EAST NEW YORK
To start your tour with a taste of true Brooklyn history, The Wyckoff House will set you back to a day and time when much of the area was farmland. If you work up an appetite touring the grounds, Fish Eye is a great stop for chill Caribbean vibes and a few cocktails. If you’re in for a healthier bite, Gitto has farm fresh produce and Brooklyn Plantology will let you stock up on your own greenery to grow at home. Hungry again? Perfect. Head to Original Napoli’s for a slice and then to Lindenwood for some classic diner food (read: crab legs!) to end your East New York evening.
1. The Wyckoff House Museum (5816 Clarendon Road)
2. Fish Eye Bar & Grill (5913 Foster Avenue)
3. Gitto Health Food Market (38 Center Market Street)
4. Brooklyn Plantology by Lapide (26 Brooklyn Terminal Market)
5. Original Napoli’s Pizza (594 Crescent Street)
6. Lindenwood Diner (2870 Linden Boulevard)