How to Spend a Perfect Day in NYC's Bushwick

Get your authentic NYC fix at the bustling borough of Bushwick
Get your authentic NYC fix at the bustling borough of Bushwick | © Mark Waugh / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Alex Wexelman
Staff Writer17 July 2020

Bushwick has a reputation for being a trendy neighborhood. There’s Tina’s Place for a coffee, Maria Hernandez Park for a stroll and Birdy’s for a tipple. Here’s how enjoy a perfect day in Bushwick, the way a local would.

If you’re coming from the city, the subway is the easiest way to get to Brooklyn. Once you’re over the bridge, check out Tina’s Place for a hearty breakfast in a comforting diner setting. Its no-frills menu is cheap and if you get there before 11am, the coffee is free. Tina’s wood-paneled walls and countertop seating give it a truly authentic throwback vibe. It even featured on HBO’s The Deuce.

From there it’s an easy walk to Maria Hernandez Park, a 6.9-acre (2.8-hectare) community space. Grab a bench and take in some sun or view the action from the adjoining dog park. There’s plenty of grass should you want to relax, and courts if you fancy shooting some hoops.

Just down the block from the park’s southern entrance is Molasses, a coffee shop/bar that also doubles as a used bookstore. Vacation is about relaxing and what’s more relaxing than getting lost in a good book with a latte in hand?

On the corner of Knickerbocker is Tony’s. Opened for more than 40 years, this pizza joint serves a reliably great slice, with the spinach and artichoke serving as a standout cut. Nearby L Train Vintage has two floors of used clothing at great prices. There’s a wide variety of shirts, jackets, pants and accessories of all varieties that will keep you busy searching for a unique thread.

Bushwick is an antidote to the expensive Lower East Side, so instead of going to a fancy restaurant for dinner, save some money and hit up Regalo De Juquila, the best Mexican joint in the neighborhood, and open until 4am. The burritos are hearty and if you eat in, you get chips and salsa before the meal.

Next door are two Bushwick stalwarts, the bars Happyfun Hideaway and Birdy’s. Choose your own adventure: Happyfun is a neon-lit tiki-themed gay bar with tropical drinks and a sprawling backyard. Birdy’s is a punk rock-themed throwback with pinball machines and Sonic Youth on the PA. Don’t miss the frozen whiskey sour if you go with Birdy’s. There’s no reason you shouldn’t just go to both bars. If you do, you’re guaranteed to have a fun night.