Things to See and Do in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Manhattan Avenue is a bustling street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York City
Manhattan Avenue is a bustling street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York City | © David Grossman / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Julia Goicochea
3 August 2021

For real Brooklyn community spirit, head to Greenpoint, an up-and-coming neighborhood, just north of hip Williamsburg. Old-school Polish bakeries sit alongside fine-dining restaurants and independent shops. Discover what to do on this side of the East River in New York.

From authentic pierogies and cozy bookshops to extensive vintage shopping and quirky bars, the Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn offers something for every G-train rider. Despite its hip factor, Greenpoint retains much of its old-school Polish neighborhood feel, which you can still experience at the traditional bakeries and restaurants. Here are our favorite spots in one of the city’s most exciting up-and-coming areas.

Grab a pizza from Paulie Gee's

Ice Cream Parlour, Pizzeria, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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Paulie Gee's slice shop pizza in Greenpoint Brooklyn NYC
© Randy Duchaine / Alamy Stock Photo
Famed slice-slinger Paulie Gee’s is a beloved Brooklyn hotspot for good reason. With inventive pizza toppings, such as dried cherries, hollandaise sauce and vegan meatballs, this neighborhood hangout redefines the iconic New York slice. Great for fans of local flavor, the menu at Paulie Gee’s also features popular local vendors including Mike’s Hot Honey and Boylan’s ginger ale.

Enjoy date night at Milk and Roses

Bar, Diner, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Bar-cum-restaurant Milk and Roses is an ideal destination for both a mid-morning brunch and post-sundown drinks. Enjoy Italian-inspired American fare in the restaurant’s sun-drenched dining room, featuring homey touches such as towering bookshelves and handwritten menus. For date-night dinners, explore the bar’s extensive wine and cocktail selection in the idyllic backyard patio. The vodka-based Branch and Bramble cocktail made with organic raspberries is a winner.

Treat yourself at Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop

Bakery, Pastries
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Expect to find lines down the block at Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop, where the raved-about sweets more than live up to their hype. With well-executed classics like the old-fashioned glazed and bavarian cream to innovative flavors including french toast and the popular red velvet, Peter Pan Donut is a veritable wonderland of New York noshes. Note: the shop only accepts cash, so make sure you’ve got notes on you.

Shop at Dusty Rose Vintage

Shop, Store
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Hunt for fabulous finds at Dusty Rose Vintage, a sprawling warehouse. Open to the public from Thursdays to Sundays, Greenpoint’s best-kept secret stocks everything from grungy denim jackets to vintage neckties. Also hosting a variety of quirky, creative events – such as tarot card readings and illustration workshops – Dusty Rose Vintage strives to make both your wardrobe and social life that much rosier.

Stroll through McCarren Park

Park
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McCarren Park in Greenpoint Brooklyn NY
© Randy Duchaine / Alamy Stock Photo
A foliage-filled haven shared by Greenpoint and Williamsburg, McCarren Park is well-loved by local children and adults alike. Pick-up games, soccer matches and frolicking children contribute to the park’s bustling environment. The 35-acre (15ha) green space plus an enormous outdoor pool make it a summer fun mainstay. Grab a coffee and a pastry from Charlotte Patisserie afterwards.

Find a new paperback at WORD

Bookstore, Store
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WORD, 126 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY. exterior storefront of a bookstore and community space in Greenpoint.. Image shot 07/2019. Exact date unknown.
© Robert K. Chin - Storefronts / Alamy Stock Photo
Part community center and part independent bookshop, WORD is one of the most popular, pocket-sized destinations in Greenpoint. In addition to its carefully curated stock of classic and contemporary fiction, WORD also boasts a jam-packed calendar of author readings, workshops and lit-themed parties. Tell the staff what genre you like, and they’ll point you in the direction of the best novel you’ve never heard of.

Chug a beer at Spritzenhaus 33

Bar, German, $$$
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Spritzenhaus combines a range of beers with snacks and board games
© WitGorski / Shutterstock
Great for group outings, local beer garden Spritzenhaus combines your love of draft beer, German-inspired foods and board games. Sample affordably priced selections from the bar’s extensive beer list as you snack on sausages and soft pretzels before challenging your company to a nail-biting round of Jenga. No need to book ahead – this place is spacious enough for everyone.

Go to a yoga class at New Love City

Yoga Studio
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This bright, intimate yoga studio is tucked away inside a Brooklyn loft, dotted with pot plants. Daily yoga classes are run by a rainbow of instructors and range from fitness-focused vinyasa to beginner-friendly slow flow. The studio also hosts yin and meditation workshops for those who want to deepen their practice – all in a positive, inclusive environment. Bonus: it’s only a two-minute walk from the G train.

Visit the Sunshine Laundromat

Building
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Upright Coffee, Sunshine Laundromat, 860 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. exterior of a coffee shop, and a laundromat with pinball games in Greenpoint.. Image shot 07/2019. Exact date unknown.
© Robert K. Chin - Storefronts / Alamy Stock Photo
It’s not uncommon to stumble into secret speakeasies in New York and certainly not hard to find a bar with old-school video games, but Sunshine Laundromat combines both. Head through a Manhattan Avenue laundromat into a clandestine back room, where you can channel your inner pinball wizard on themed machines, ranging from Ghostbusters to Guardians of the Galaxy. Need a break from all the blinking lights? Set up shop at the high tables with beer or frosé and free board games.

Anne Bauso contributed additional reporting to this article.

These recommendations were updated on August 3, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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