If you’re craving some gorgeous skyline views, trendy shops and craft eats, get yourself to Brooklyn, where the makers and shakers are leaving their mark on the world and redefining the word cool. Whether you’re craving some super cheesy pizza or wanna go back home with the coolest leather jacket, Brooklyn has it all. In honor of #MakerCrushMonday, we’ve got 18 must-visit maker spots to help you navigate this ultra-hip borough.
Where to stay
1. Wythe Hotel: For authentic Brooklyn, book yourself a few nights at The Wythe. You’ll find an ultra-hip, laid-back attitude rooted in its historic past, much like the surrounding neighborhood of DUMBO. Explore nearby trendy shops and bars or take in the impressive view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline. Your room comes complete with 13-foot ceilings, exposed brick and wooden beams, stylish, locally-designed wallpaper and floor-to-ceiling windows offering a stellar view of a Brooklyn sunset. Sweet dreams.
2. 3B The Downtown Brooklyn Bed and Breakfast: Dubbed as your home-away-from-home, this hotel is where adventurous souls come for a good night’s sleep. Start your morning sampling a home-cooked vegetarian breakfast sourced from a local farm, sip some fresh-roasted coffee and try 3B’s famous granola. 3B is worker-owned and run cooperatively, so your stay supports the owners’ professional and creative activities. It’s makers helping makers!
3. Hotel BPM: Just two express subway stops away from Manhattan, Hotel BPM is bumpin’ with the beat of the city. BPM’s name comes from the musical term “beats per minute” and was developed by the globetrotting DJ BIJAL. He designed the hotel to combine his interests in music and entertainment culture. Defined as “a music and lifestyle hotel,” you’ll find a hip, modern and luxe space upgraded with sleek amenities.
Where to Eat
4. Roberta’s: Hop off the L train at Morgan Avenue and get yourself one of the best pies this side of Naples. Housed in a former garage, Roberta’s adorns their pizzas with ingredients grown from their rooftop garden. Topped with their homemade mozzarella, their pizzas are airy and crispy hot, served right out of their wood-burning oven. While pizza is the name of the game, Roberta’s also offers a full menu that will wow you.
5. Brooklyn Proper: Here, you’ll find an intimate space with proper food and drink. Created by Chef Caite Whitbeck (of Buvette and Chez Panisse), beverage director Ginger Warburton (of Grand Banks, The Dutch and Isa) and Julian Mohamed (of Dear Bushwick), the restaurant and bar provides simple, seasonal food and drinks to the community. Come with friends and enjoy a cocktail, chat and indulge in some tasty treats.
6. Brooklyn Crab: Hop on the Pier 11 water taxi toward Red Hook and get yourself to this crab shack that’s everything it’s cracked up to be. Three floors of patio tables, bars and fresh seafood overlook the New York Harbor. This shack was created to celebrate the passions of fishing, family and seafood. Come here and you’ll find plenty of crab and sustainable seafood, an extensive raw bar and the perfect place to “party your pearls off!”
7. Smorgasburg: Say it like a local and call it “The Flea.” There, you’ll find over 100 vendors with antique and re-purposed furniture, vintage clothing, as well as a phenomenal selection of jewelry, art and crafts by local artisans and designers. Of course, you can’t miss out on the food. Smorgasburg features 75-100 of the city’s finest food vendors, serving everything from out-of-this-world donuts to Oaxacan tacos. Come hungry and feast all day.
8. Nitehawk Cinema: They had us at rosemary, brown butter and lemon-salt popcorn. In addition to serving the best popcorn ever, this booze-friendly, foodie-centric cinema dishes out independent films, local beers, handcrafted cocktails and specialty dishes inspired by their films. Now that’s what enjoying the show is all about.
Where to drink
9. 61 Local: This public house was transformed from an old carriage house into a beer hall that serves as an unofficial clubhouse for Brooklyn’s creative community. Dedicated to all things hyper-local and sustainable, at this spot you can cozy up to a communal table made from salvaged wood and get to know some cool locals.
10. Jack From Brooklyn Distillery: Jackie Summers takes pride in the people of Brooklyn with the belief that, “In Brooklyn, we make things with our hands.” He created his famed, artisanal alcoholic beverages, which are hand-crafted in small batches and combined with exotic botanicals, pure cane sugar and organic grain alcohol. Headquartered in Red Hook, you can’t miss out on his signature liquor, Sorel. While this hibiscus liquor has been around for centuries, Jack From Brooklyn is the only company making it in the world.
11. Gorilla Coffee: If you’re gonna hang in the city that never sleeps, you’re going to need a fair dose of caffeine. Famous for their coffee that packs a punch, this little coffee shop has grown into an important Brooklyn staple. Celebs like Taylor Swift mingle with ordinary folks to get this specialty-roasted goodness. Not one to hog their delicious coffee flavor, they’re also sharing their recipe with Six Points, a local Brooklyn Brewery, to create limited-edition batches of a coffee porter aptly named “Gorilla Warfare.”
12. Cacao Prieto: Small-batch liquor and chocolate… um, yes please! Cacao Prieto is a must-taste experience for any chocolate lover. Coralina Farms, owned by the Prieto family, has been harvesting 100% organic cacao in the Dominican Republic for over 100 years. Those same cacao beans produce Cacao Prieto’s beans-to-bar chocolate, along with their distilled and aged liquors and rums. Sample amazing chocolate like “Spiced Rum” or “Cashew & Cranberry” while you tour the chocolate factory and distillery. Afterwards, grab a refreshing cocktail at Botanica, a Venetian style cocktail bar featuring Cacao Prieto cocktails.
Where to shop
13. Brooklyn Night Bazaar: Fashioned after the great night markets of Asia, here is your excuse to gather with friends for an evening filled with shopping, live music and artisanal food and drinks from local purveyors. Housed in a 24,000 sq. ft. warehouse, you can enjoy this night-time community any time of year.
14. By Brooklyn: Shopping for yourself or someone you love? By Brooklyn is a must-stop shop for the perfect made-in-Brooklyn gift. This unique space is filled with artisanal foods, apothecary items, apparel, must-have accessories, stylish and playful items for the home, books, stationery and original prints.
15. Artists and Fleas: Artists and Fleas was designed to present Brooklyn creatives and their amazing goods to the community. Created by a couple who loves to shop and discover new things, this market is the destination for connecting those who love to explore with those who love to create.
16. The Sketchbook Project: The Sketchbook Project was born as a crowd-sourced library based on sketchbooks. Anyone can sign up to receive a sketchbook. After you’ve filled it with your creations, it must be sent back to be included in the library. This “library” now features over 30,000 artists’ sketchbooks and doubles as a gallery, aka the Brooklyn Art Library. Come get inspired to create your own art, and don’t forget to pick up a sketchpad and pen while you’re there.
17. Brooklyn Craft Company: Brooklynites are notorious for making things with their hands, and now you can too. Brett Bara was inspired to open a fun and approachable space for people to come together to learn crafts. If you’re in town, sign up for a DIY class, but good luck choosing between printmaking, terrarium building, crepe-paper flower construction, and more!
18. Wrecords By Monkey: What can one do with used 33 LP’s? Wrecords by Monkey has all the answers. This Brooklyn-based design and lifestyle brand uses reclaimed vinyl records to create handmade accessories, harmonizing the worlds of fashion, art and music. Check out what they’re dreaming up and score a funky new notebook, lace earrings or even a bow tie for your guy.
Did we miss your favorite Brooklyn maker spot? Tell us about it in the comments below!