Spotlight: Brownstone Brooklyn
The tree-lined neighborhoods of Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Park Slope lure visitors across the Brooklyn Bridge with intimate bistros, cool boutiques, and funky local bars.
187 Atlantic Ave.; 718/624-4550. A Brooklyn fixture since 1948, this Middle Eastern and Mediterranean market has a wide selection of picnic-ready prepared foods, including luscious taramosalata and flaky spanakopita.
One Girl Cookies
68 Dean St.; 212/675-4996. A retro dessert parlor with cookies named after the owner’s relatives, and whoopee pies made of cream cheese and pumpkin cake.
86 Hoyt St.; 718/222-1933. Like a closet out of The Arabian Nights, this boutique is stocked with hand-loomed, Indian-inspired textiles and antique jewelry.
Blue Marble Ice Cream
420 Atlantic Ave.; 718/858-1100. Organic, eco-friendly ice cream and fair-trade coffee help you feel virtuous while you indulge.
227 Fifth Ave.; 718/230-1150. High-concept, often whimsical designs for the home, including Piet Houtenbos’s infamous grenade-shaped oil lamp.
128 Smith St.; 718/923-0918; dinner for two $60. A convivial bistro-cum-watering hole perpetually filled with young French expats, who’ve come to favor this part of Brooklyn.
Robin des Bois
195 Smith St.; 718/596-1609; brunch for two $55. Another francophone haunt, with a forest-like back patio that comes alive in warm weather during cocktail hour and weekend brunch.
220 Smith St.; 718/797-3776. Impeccably curated women’s clothing boutique offering one-stop shopping for Brooklyn hipsters.
457 Court St.; 718/403-0033; dinner for two $70. Rustic-yet-urbane local favorite serving fabulous seasonal Italian food (order the cavatelli with spicy sausage and sage butter).
335 Smith St.; 718/858-7758. Packed to the pressed-tin ceiling on weekend nights, this atmospheric bar, once an Italian social club, is agreeably low-key during the week.
Al Di Là
248 Fifth Ave.; 718/783-4565; dinner for two $60. Unimpeachably authentic Northern Italian food (braised rabbit, stewed tripe), served in your nonna’s homey parlor. You’ll wait an hour for a table and be glad you did.