A historically Polish dominated neighborhood sitting just north of Williamsburg, Greenpoint is arguably one of the most underrated neighborhoods in Brooklyn. As rent prices in Williamsburg continue to soar and chain shops & restaurants take advantage of the heavily trafficked Bedford Avenue, independent shops, cafes, and creatives have taken to the surrounding neighborhoods in response.
Make no mistake, Greenpoint has much to offer: sweeping skyline views of Manhattan, small, creative businesses, and pierogies just to name a few. So if you happen to find yourself wandering around Williamsburg one of these days, I dare you to wander up north a bit and see what you might find.
Eat & Drink
Five Leaves is one of the buzziest brunch spots in Brooklyn, but it’s definitely worth the wait. With a French inspired interior and a menu that focuses on local ingredients, sustainable seafood, and free-range meats, Five Leaves has something delicious for all kinds of diners. Their menu includes many light & healthy options like avocado toast and chia pudding, but also has more hearty offerings including burgers (veggie option included) and a tuna bahn-mi.
Jungle Cafe is a plant-based restaurant, serving healthy comfort food like burritos, tacos, macro bowls, and vegan desserts. The Jungle Burrito comes with rice, black beans, seitan, guacamole, vegan cheese, and a side of vegan sour cream, and is one of the best vegan burritos I’ve ever had.You can buy a bottle of their fresh, homemade, unpasteurized almond mylk for $8 and enjoy refills for $6. They also offer a weekday lunch buffet with an assortment of both raw and hot dishes.
They show their commitment to the community by sourcing ingredients from local farmers, offering a volunteer program where you can learn to prepare plant-based foods in return for a delicious meal, and working with teachers and schools to develop a curriculum that teaches kids the importance of health, wellness, and sustainability.
Picnic style tables and a clean interior, with a creative cocktail menu and seasonally-influenced food options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant is part of the creative co-working studio A/D/O.
Dimly lit, with exposed brick and rustic wooden tables, incredible wood-fired pizza, and a dedicated vegan menu. The ‘In Ricotta Da Vegan’ pizza comes topped with cashew ricotta cheese and a house-made vegan sausage. Vegan dessert options include cheesecake, brownies, dessert pizzas, and dairy-free ice creams by Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream.
Sweetleaf is a coffee shop where you’ll want to linger. It’s filled with antique furniture, rustic wooden tables, and garage doors that open up to let in a gentle breeze on a nice summer day.
The white & natural wood interior of this trendy Danish-inspired beer bar makes this a popular hang-out spot for young professionals. With 21 rotating taps and cellar containing over 250 bottles of craft brews, there is truly something for every kind of beer drinker.They also have a menu of light bites and updated bar food (to round out the carb fest, be sure to try the sourdough).
Arguably NYC’s most beloved local artisinal ice creamery, Van Leeuwen concocts a delicious and creative assortment of both classic and vegan ice cream flavors using only natural, whole ingredients. The company started off as an ice cream truck in 2008, and has now expanded with 10 permanent store-front locations in both NYC and Los Angeles. Their selection of vegan flavors are made with housemade cashew milk and just a few other local, plant-based ingredients.
Variety Coffee is your quintessential neighborhood coffee shop. With drinks made from ethically sourced and eco-friendly coffee beans, plus an assortment of locally made pastries, Variety has everything needed to get going in the morning.
Founder Adriana Ayales is an herbalist from Costa Rica who seeks to bridge the gap between ancient herbal botany and our fast-paced modern world. She has studied alternative healing practices ranging from Ayurveda to Chinese medicine and is passionate about educating people about the power of plants. At Anima Mundi, you can sip on a tonic while you browse the wide assortment of bulk herbs, attend a tea ceremony, or participate in a workshop on herbal healing.
Click here for a full list of their upcoming workshops and events.
This funky second-hand store has plenty of things to rifle through, from mid-century furniture to potted plants to woven wall hangings, and so much more. The store has very global feel and is a great place to go hunting for some new unique decor to spruce up your nest.
Part plant nursery, part thrift store, with an eclectic assortment of sage, incense, and funky home decor products.
This little neighborhood tropical oasis sells a variety of indoor plants, handmade ceramics, indie magazines, and other items for the natural home. It’s the perfect place to pick up a gift for a housewarming party (or your own new green friend). They also have an on-site coffee bar so you can sip a java as you peruse.
American-made goods including knitwear, candles, apothecary goods, natural soaps, and more. The front section consists of a coffee bar where you can order a coffee drink, a Kombucha, or a local pastry.
See & Do
A full-service healing center that focuses on alternative healing therapies including reiki, breath-work, crystal healing, and cranio-sacral therapy. Their mission is to “bring health and well-being to you as a manifestation of balance of mind, body, and spirit.” They offer a variety of different types of massage, have daily yoga and Pilates classes and regularly offer wellness-related workshops. Be sure to check out their crystal shop, which has a baffling variety of healing crystals for purchase.
A museum for foodies, MOFAD is the world’s first large-scale food museum with “exhibitions you can eat.” Located in one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities, MOFAD seeks to advance public understanding of the culture, history, science, production, and commerce of food and drink. Their most recent exhibit, CHOW, explores the evolution of Chinese-American cuisine, with plenty of opportunities to tickle your taste buds.
Walking into this studio feels like you’ve just been invited into your girlfriend’s hip new apartment. And the yoga classes feel like you’ve simultaneously just spent the past hour goofing off with your bff’s and been the lucky subject of a deep tissue massage. I love the playful approach to yoga that the teachers here embody, and I always walk out feeling physically and mentally restored. They have eco-friendly Manduka yoga mats for use (free of charge) and mason jars that you can fill up with water (gotta stay hydrated!).