Once known as a primarily Polish neighborhood, Greenpoint, Brooklyn has recently become a trendy home for the Williamsburg spillover. This combination is slowly changing the neighborhood’s profile, so now is the time to visit—while it’s flourishing, retaining its small-community feel and Eastern European roots.
193 Meserole Ave. (at Diamond Street)
Greenpoint was the first of this well-loved coffee chain’s locations. Although expensive, this location is also home to the Café Grumpy Roastery, so you can be assured of the freshness of your coffee. A great place to study, exchange books, eat vegan snacks, and drink quality coffee. Fun Fact: Hannah from HBO’s Girls works here in Season 1.
646 Manhattan Ave.
Greenpoint is the place for Polish food, and this small, homey restaurant feels like your grandmother’s kitchen. The borscht is the best in the city, and if you are relatively new to Polish cuisine, try the platter, which includes pierogies, kielbasa, golumpki (stuffed cabbage), and bigos (beef stew).
Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop
727 Manhattan Ave.
This is your mom and dad’s donut shop-with its ’50s decor, cash-only policy, and hole-less donuts, Peter Pan has a sense of history. Grab an egg cream, a milkshake-like milk and soda water combination allegedly invented in Brooklyn, and an old fashioned donut. Try to arrive on the earlier side and don’t be surprised if there is a line for these destination donuts.
772 Manhattan Ave. (between Meserole Avenue & Calyer Street)
This colorful candy shop is a bit like a box of Bertie Bott’s every flavored beans. Since this shop sells Polish candies, you may not know what sweets you are purchasing, but that is part of the fun. If you are not in the mood for Polish roulette, try Sliwki w czekoladzie (chocolate-coated plums) or chocolate wafers by Prince Polo.
126 Franklin St.
This small neighborhood independent bookstore has a well-curated selection and helpful staff. Stop by for book suggestions, signed books by locals, or its stationary. Best of all are its signature events, which range from a midnight Murakami selling to a David Foster Wallace Appreciation Society.