Moving to Brooklyn? Learn what the locals love to do in this borough
Once you decide you’re moving to Brooklyn, New York, your first order of business is to decide which of the Brooklyn neighborhoods will be your home. Whether you decide to live in Williamsburg or opt to make your home in Brooklyn Heights, you’ll be surrounded by plenty of things to do in Brooklyn. However, it can be hard at first to separate a tourist trap from a hidden gem as a new resident of this borough.
If you’re ready to find out how BK residents spend their time, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve created a list of Brooklynites’ favorite restaurants, bars, parks and pastimes. Keep reading to learn about the best things to do in Brooklyn. Find incredible coliving Brooklyn apartment options and begin exploring the area as a resident.
1. Brooklyn is home to countless delicious restaurants and beloved bars
Many people come to Brooklyn to enjoy the enticing culinary creations that the locals get to enjoy every day. These range from award-winning pizza to unique fusion dishes. This trendy borough also offers great spots to snag sweets and get a drink with friends. We’ve collected a list of some of the best restaurants and breweries in the area.
If you love authentic Thai food and are in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood, you’ll want to stop by Ugly Baby. Don’t let the name fool you, there’s nothing ugly about this eatery. You can expect to find great ambiance and even better food. In the grand tradition of Thai cuisine, some of the dishes are quite spicy. Thankfully, you can order cooling cucumbers to ward off the heat.
Fans of good fusion food will love Alta Calidad in the Prospect Heights area. Chef Akhtar Nawab serves up enticing creations that bring together the best of Mexican flavor, blended with some Indian inspiration. Whether you order the Chicken Tinga Tacos or the Pumpkin Blossom Quesadilla, your stomach is sure to be happy.
New York City is famous for its slices, and downtown Brooklyn definitely delivers in the pizza category. The best of which is Juliana’s Pizza in Brooklyn Heights. It was even named the best pizzeria in the United States by TripAdvisor in 2015. You can expect to see a line outside the door with hungry patrons hoping to grab a Margherita pizza or the complex creation known as the No. 1.
If you’re looking for something sweet, you’ll want to stop by the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Located in DUMBO (also known as the iconic Brooklyn Bridge neighborhood), this hidden gem is located on the Fulton Ferry Landing. You can enjoy classic ice cream made in small batches while taking in incredible views of the Manhattan Skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Once you’ve got some food, you’re probably going to be looking for a drink. Luckily, there’s probably a great brewery near you. For example, you can stop by Evil Twin Brewing to grab an imperial stout or a milkshake-style pastry seltzer. Or you can head to The Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg to snag a Brooklyn Pilsner or a Brooklyn Brown Ale. Take a walking tour of the area when you arrive to check out nearby live music and cocktail bars.
2. Enjoying the outdoors and sightseeing are great things to do in Brooklyn
You might not think of the outdoors when NYC and Brooklyn come to mind, but the locals love to enjoy some time outside. Whether you’re visiting one of the city’s many parks or you’re heading to the borough’s botanical garden, you’ll see for yourself how much Brooklyn offers in the great outdoors.
Brooklyn Bridge Park is a great place to go if you’re looking for a spot where you can feel connected to nature and the people around you. Located on 85 acres of sustainable waterfront, this park stretches along 1.3 miles of Brooklyn’s East River shoreline. You can take a free walking tour, check out the iconic Jane’s Carousel and play volleyball at Pier 6. As an added bonus, this park is connected to the famous Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which allows you to visit numerous restaurants, boutiques, and the Brooklyn Historical Society.
Another popular park to visit is Sunset Park, which is located in the southwestern part of the borough, near the Park Slope neighborhood. Known as a hidden gem of Brooklyn, this park offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline as well as views of Staten Island and New Jersey. The park itself contains walkways, a swimming pool, a sand volleyball court, a recreation center, and a living 9/11 memorial.
If you’ve always wanted to take a botanical garden tour, the borough of Brooklyn has got you covered. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden contains 52 acres of beautiful flowers and plants. The number of available gardens is absolutely mind-boggling. One minute you can be exploring the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden and the next to be strolling through the Shakespeare Garden. The cost to walk among the flowers in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is $18 for an adult.
3. You’ll never be bored in Brooklyn if you’re a fan of art and music
After enjoying nature and the outdoors in some Brooklyn parks and the botanical garden, you might be looking to take in some music and art. It’ll be easy for you to find some because countless musicians and artists call this trendy borough home.
Music lovers should make their way to the Brooklyn Bowl for live music from both local musicians and big-name acts. This popular concert venue hosts everything from funk/hip hop/jazz groups to Selena tribute concerts. In addition to being a place to enjoy live music, the Brooklyn Bowl is also a 16-lane bowling alley (with free bowling during happy hour). If you’re looking to have an event, it’s possible to rent some of the 23,000 square foot space. The owners offer a free tour for prospective renters so you can check out the space before you set up your own art gallery night or live music event.
For fans of the visual arts, the Brooklyn Museum is a great place to get an art fix. Located near Prospect Heights, Flatbush, and Park Slope, this 560,000 square foot museum is home to about 1.5 million works of art. Although American art is heavily featured, the collection also contains Egyptian antiquities that span over 3,000 years as well as African, European, Japanese, and Oceanic art.
People who prefer to view art outside of a museum context have plenty of options in this Brooklyn borough. There are countless art galleries to explore as well as plenty of street art murals. One that truly stands out is the Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn, which is a collection of street art and graffiti that stretches across several blocks.
4. Ice skating and visiting an amusement park are other things to do in Brooklyn
The fun in Brooklyn doesn’t stop with restaurants, bars, parks, music, and art. This part of New York also brings us everything from the world-famous Coney Island to an ice skating rink on top of a full-service hotel.
Whether or not you’ve been before, every American has heard about the iconic amusement park of Coney Island. This space is a destination for fun, with rides like roller coasters and go-karts, live entertainment, boardwalk games, and a beach. Coney Island also features great options for food and shopping when you’re done enjoying your time relaxing on the beach or taking in the amusement park rides.
Fans of ice skating were excited to learn that The William Vale hotel transformed its 23rd-floor outdoor rooftop into an ice skating rink with outdoor views of the city. To help the skaters warm up after spending some time on the rink, the hotel offered a lounge with comfy blankets and hot chocolate. It remains to be seen whether the ice rink will be back this winter, but even if it isn’t, there’s still plenty of other skating rinks in the borough.
Finally, if you’re a shopaholic, the Brooklyn Flea is for you. Every Saturday in DUMBO, you can attend this free flea market. As you browse the vendors’ stalls, you’ll find that they offer everything from vintage pieces, antiques, collectibles, crafts, and food. The New York Times calls it “one of the great urban experiences in New York,” and you’re sure to agree that this flea market is one of the best things to do in Brooklyn.
Enjoy all these activities and more when you move to Brooklyn
Clearly, Brooklyn has a lot to offer its residents as well as visitors who want to enjoy life in the way that locals of this borough do. Maybe this list has convinced you to make the move to this area to enjoy the food, beverages, culture, entertainment, and fun of Brooklyn for yourself.
Ready to make your home in Brooklyn? A co-living space in Bushwick may be exactly what you’re looking for. You can enjoy city living for an attainable price by renting a private room in a beautiful shared suite within a friendly home at Common Gates. This co-living space offers a gym, a movie room, a furnished courtyard and rooftop, a workspace, and a community lounge. Explore co-living spaces in Brooklyn today.