Over the past fifteen-plus years, I’ve traveled to New York about five times per year for business and/or leisure. With more than 80 trips under my belt, I’ve certainly learned my Big Apple travel preferences: where I like to eat, where I prefer to shop and, of course, where I like to stay. While Manhattan has its charms (especially the Upper East Side, Greenwich Village, Soho, Lower East Side, Chelsea, and the Meatpacking District), I’ve started to prefer Brooklyn. There’s such a relaxed vibe, plus it’s an even quicker cab ride to and from LaGuardia! Therefore, I was beyond thrilled when The Williamsburg Hotel Brooklyn reached out to collaborate again and pull together my fave picks for the “Perfect Weekend in Brooklyn Guide.” This is my third time partnering with them, and I’m truly honored! Have you seen my past Travel Charades guide to the hotel and YouTube video? Be sure to stop by for a full look at the hotel.
In the meantime, over Memorial Day weekend, Bob and I spent time pulling together the guide and exploring Brooklyn. We had the best experience, and I’m excited to share some of my favorite hidden gems and neighborhood icons. Here are my recommendations for 72 hours in Brooklyn:
WHERE TO STAY: THE WILLIAMSBURG HOTEL BROOKLYN
If you do one thing, stay at The Williamsburg Hotel Brooklyn. Whether you’re a local looking for a great staycation or a tourist looking to live like a local, The Williamsburg Hotel is the perfect spot for you. In fact, I’ve started to refer to The Williamsburg Hotel Brooklyn as “my second home.” Any time I visit New York, I try to stay there when and where possible. It’s PERFECT for me and my travel style. I like hotels that are comfortable yet luxurious, beautifully designed and also attainably priced. Did I mention it’s also pet friendly? From the food to the decor, they get it right every time.
The hotel is eight stories high and has a total of 150 rooms. Every room is fantastic, but I highly recommend splurging for a Suite if possible. The views are amazing – think floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the East River and New York City skyline, a gorgeous bathtub, and the most beautiful bathroom with teal tiles. I can’t say enough amazing things about this room category! Wi-Fi is also free – a huge bonus since most Big Apple hotels charge you for more than three devices.
I especially love their restaurant, Harvey, which is a New American bistro that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and high tea on the weekend. My favorite dish is their hashbrown sandwich, which comes with a side salad. It’s beyond good, and their spicy ketchup is phenomenal (ask for an extra side of it)! They even have live entertainment with jazz bands and soul sessions. The Roof & Water Tower Bar will also be launching soon. I can’t wait to go back to see it!
Lastly, I need to talk about the hotel’s tuk-tuk. Beyond the beautiful hues (pink and navy), the tuk-tuk is available most days as a complimentary chauffeur to bars, subways, and even shops. Guests simply need to contact the front desk for more info and to schedule a time to use it.
Reserve your stay at The Williamsburg Hotel Brooklyn by clicking here.
WHAT TO DO
Shop at Artists & Fleas Brooklyn: This is a one-stop shop and marketplace for all of your vintage and artisan needs. Stop by their Williamsburg warehouse to shop for everything from vintage clothes to accessories, beauty products to sunglasses and beyond. While there are several locations around the city, the Brooklyn stop is truly fantastic (not to mention the original location)! Best of all? The founders, Amy and Ronen, grew up in Chicago!
Workout at Yoga to the People: Some of my friends in New York recommended this class. The mission is to make yoga accessible for everyone, and class fees are donation only ($10 is the suggested price). I’ve heard it’s amazing for people watching AND a great workout.
WHERE TO EAT
There are plenty of amazing eateries in Brooklyn, but I’ve narrowed down a few of my favorites:
The Bedford: We stumbled upon this restaurant for brunch before heading to the airport. Wow. Just wow. It’s SO good you guys! Beyond the wonderful ambiance and prime location in Williamsburg, this neighborhood spot has a great menu of upscale pub cuisine The egg toast with truffle is one of the best brunch dishes I’ve ever had in New York.
Loosie’s Kitchen & Cafe: This stylish spot offers American soul food with “Brooklyn swagger.” The decor is as good as the food – from the colorful mural on the back wall to bookshelves on the wall and claw foot tub outside. We stopped there for brunch, and I highly recommend making a reservation in advance! Loosie’s gets very crowded on Saturday and Sunday’s, so definitely call ahead! They also offer lunch and dinner seven days a week.
Cafe Colette: Blending a beautiful environment with New American cuisine, Cafe Colette is the perfect spot for meeting friends or for date night. Their tin ceilings and zinc bar are just some of the small design details that keep locals coming back for more. They serve lunch and dinner as well as brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. I recommend their fish tacos!
Egg Shop: Bob and I first tried Egg Shop with Sam and Kyle, and we immediately fell in love with this spot. Think organically sourced egg creations from creative sandwiches to eggs benedict. The minimalist and modern interior also makes this eatery a must-stop Instagram spot.
Maison Premiere: Last but not least, let’s talk about all things oysters, seafood, cocktails and wine. Maison Premiere was the first restaurant Bob and I ate at in Brooklyn many years ago. We didn’t have reservations so they sat us at the bar and we had a blast. Last year, we returned to the restaurant (again, with no reservation) andwere told it was two-hour wait. Lesson learned – MAKE A RESERVATION. You’ll be glad you did!
WHERE TO DRINK
The End: Brooklyn has its fair share of amazing spots for cocktails, beer, wine and beyond, but we decided to switch it up and stop by a very unique spot called The End. They refer to themselves as a “plant alchemy bar,” and offers raw juices, carefully sourced coffee and other plant beverages. Their most popular drink? The Unicorn Latte – a colorful concoction with E3 live blue green algae. It’s supposed to fight inflammation, clear the mind, balances your mood and helps with your intuition. Sounds good to me!
Brooklyn Brewery: This microbrewery really put Brooklyn-based brews on the map. Their beers are available nationwide, and you can stop by their brewery in Williamsburg for free tours, tastings, and more. Their most popular beer is the Brooklyn Lager, and it does not disappoint. Best of all, it’s just one block from The Williamsburg Brooklyn!
WHERE WE WILL GO NEXT TIME
Obviously 72 hours is nowhere near enough time to explore everything, and I’m already compiling a list of other places I want to visit. We will certainly stay at The Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn, of course. But here are some of the spots we’ll stop by on our next trip:
- Brooklyn Steel: I was SO sad we didn’t get to visit this music club. They have live concerts and amazing music performances throughout the week and weekend.
- Chuko Ramen: This Prospect Heights spot has amazing ramen, and I’ve heard phenomenal things about their crispy brussels sprouts. A journalist told me they are life changing!
- Ample Hills Creamery: This has been called Brooklyn’s favorite ice cream. Someone should test the theory, right?! I’ll happily volunteer!
- Pok Pok Thai: This waterfront restaurant features Northern Thai cuisine, and it’s known for its amazing spicy food. Sign. Me. Up!
- Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie: This spot keeps it simple and offers only one thing – key lime pie. They bake the pies using only 100% fresh squeezed lime juice. Yum!
- El Born: Think Barcelona tapas and a gin & tonic bar. Sounds perfect for a night on the town!
Looking for additional ideas? The Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn has a phenomenal Neighborhood Guide, which they update pretty regularly.
Special thanks to The Williamsburg Hotel for hosting us in Brooklyn for the weekend. Partnerships like these make Style Charade possible. Also, be sure to take peek at all of my favorite murals and street art locations in my New York Wall Charades Guide!