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A New Yorker's Guide to Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Cool places to eat, drink and play in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Greenpoint was originally a wide stretch of farmland in Brooklyn, with many of the farm owners' family names now current street names. The residential core of Greenpoint was built on parcels divided during the 19th century, with rope factories and lumber yards lining the East River to the west, while the northeastern section along the Newtown Creek through East Williamsburg became an industrial maritime area.

Greenpoint has long held a reputation of being a working class and immigrant neighborhood. It initially attracted families and workers with its abundance of factory jobs and dock work, but since the early 2000s, a building boom in the neighborhood, especially of multifamily dwellings, has made the neighborhood increasingly a center of nightlife, attracting more bohemian residents. Now people both live in Greenpoint and visit for its diverse lounges and restaurants, one-of-a-kind shopping and open spaces.

A glass of beer at Tørst
A glass of beer at Tørst (Courtesy Tørst)

Diverse Places to Drink in Greenpoint

No two drink venues are alike in Greenpoint, whether it’s craft beers in a Danish-style pub and wine on a floating bar, or Instagram-worthy concoctions in a sleek cocktail bar and draft beers that are paired with chili dogs and shuffleboard. Tørst is a well-populated bar that offers global and craft beers. Brooklyn Barge is a floating bar and restaurant that is usually jam-packed on summer nights. Ramona offers sleek decor and inventive cocktails, and The Diamond is a great spot for a fine selection of beer, wine and a game of two of shuffleboard.

Play and Be Entertained 

With sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline, it’s easy to keep playtime outdoors. Indoors in this ’hood, enjoy live shows at performance spaces. Warsaw has rock concerts in a Polish Community Center. Transmitter Park is a lovely, open waterfront space with gardens, playgrounds and even fishing. Check out Magick City, an event space that is open to the public for  live music, cinema and karaoke.

Ice-cream-filled doughnut from Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop
Ice-cream-filled doughnut from Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop (Courtesy Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop)

Ethnic Food and Treats in Greenpoint

To taste Greenpoint cuisine is to explore a diversity of foods, from the pierogi and kielbasa of Polish immigrants to seafood from the Atlantic and Mediterranean to inventive sweets from a local bakery.

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop has ice-cream-stuffed red velvet doughnuts; its doughnuts are so good that Tina Fey quipped that, if she were a man, she would do unpublishable things to them. 

Glasserie showcases contemporary Mediterranean and Middle Eastern in an old glass factory. Krolewskie Jadlo offers yummy and authentic Polish cuisine such as red borscht with dumplings and hocks baked in beer. Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. is a fish market, a raw bar and a full-service restaurant offering fine seafood like lobster rolls, smoked mussels, Maine lobster, fish tacos and more.

Shop in Greenpoint: Buying Local

​The shopping in Greenpoint is almost virtually chain-free, so you are bound to find something truly special that you will be hard-pressed to see elsewhere.

At Brooklyn Bazaar you can enjoy a nighttime market with art, food and music. Archestratus is an independent bookstore that offers vintage cookbooks, plus a café that offers Sicilian baked goods, coffee, tea, beer and wine. Stop in at Wolves Within for high-end Brooklyn chic items such as wooden Swedish Hasbeens clogs and shibori-dyed scarves. Alter is the perfect place for super-hip sunglasses, shoes, shirts and dresses—for men and women—you might not be able to find anywhere else.