The many bridges that stretch from Manhattan make walking tours in NYC to the outer boroughs a breeze. Leave the downtown tourist traps and head across the East River to South Williamsburg, where shops, restaurants, and venues constantly bustle with activity. Use our NYTG Neighborhood Guide: South Williamsburg to spend a day in the area, and download our map for easy walking routes.
NYTG Neighborhood Guide: South Williamsburg
Stroll across the Williamsburg Bridge from the Lower East Side (or hop on the East River Ferry from South Street) and you’ll see fantastic views of Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn as you walk over the water. Once you’ve reached the end, you’ll be surrounded by things to do. Hungry visitors can find some of the city’s finest restaurants in this area. Peter Luger on Driggs may be cash-only, but it’s worth the ATM fee if you want to eat one of the best steaks in NYC. Nearby on Broadway, you can find the double-hit of Diner and Marlow & Sons. Both feature farm-to-table food and eclectic dishes, but Diner delivers a surprise each visit with a no-frills menu that’s changed daily based on the chef’s whim.
If you’re looking for something simple, grab a slice of pizza at Patrizia’s on the corner of Dunham Place. The Bagel Store on Bedford Avenue also has on-the-go food, but given the newfound popularity that their Rainbow Bagel inception has caused, be prepared to wait in line for awhile. On the corner of South 4th Street, Pies N’ Thighs provides the delicious comfort meals that their name suggests. After you have some Chicken and Waffles with a side of Bourbon Pecan Pie, go across the street to Dram for a cocktail to soothe your bellyache. Baby’s All Right on Broadway is another favored local watering hole, and depending on the day you might be able to catch a show there. Also on Broadway, OTB has craft beer, contemporary cocktails, and a late-night dollar oyster special during the week.
Food isn’t the only thing on the menu in South Williamsburg. Laughter’s the best medicine, so get your dose at the Experimental Comedy Gallery on Broadway. The Williamsburg Art and Historical Center is housed in a stunning building whose architecture dates to the French Second Empire, and it features exhibits from both local and international artists. Bottleneck Gallery hosts a variety of print, paint, and photographic works that are all up for sale, so you can take a bit of Brooklyn with you.
Head East and you can find more places to eat on Broadway between the Marcy Avenue and Hewes Street J-M train stops; hit Taco Santana for excellent Mexican dishes or Dotory for Korean cuisine. All this food consumption calls for rejuvenation – you can get a cup of coffee at two South Williamsburg staples, Otha’s on the corner of Marcy Avenue and Moto on the corner of Division Avenue. It will give you the energy for more shopping, which you can do at the South-burg outpost of Brooklyn Industries on Broadway or at the local boutique La Di Da Dee on Havermeyer Street. Go east on Grand Street from there to find Fresthetic, where you can get great women’s clothing designs from independent labels as well as art by local talent. Turn left on Union Avenue from there to check out UnionDocs, another area gallery hosting multimedia works. Finish your day in South Williamsburg with a final round of beers at Barcade, a bar jam-packed with vintage video games like Tetris, Mortal Kombat, and Asteroids. After you’ve gotten your friends a little tipsy, it will be that much easier to crush their top scores on Ms. Pac-Man.
So concludes NYTG Neighborhood Guide: South Williamsburg — check out other NYTG Guides.
Featured image by Lisa Larson-Walker