Food treasures in New York City

DIY “NY Culinary Finds” Tour: Williamsburg


Williamsburg is an eclectic Brooklyn neighborhood bordering on Greenpoint to the north and Bed-Stuy to the south. It is both gentrified and industrial, and has a diverse population of Hasidim, Latinos, and hipsters. Not surprisingly, there are many culinary finds in this neighborhood. While you can eat at a wide range of great restaurants, including the newly re-opened Motorino’s Pizza, our tour focuses on other culinary options. The best way to get to Williamsburg is to take the L train to Bedford Avenue, the first stop in Brooklyn.

Inside Handsome Dan's

Inside Handsome Dan’s

When you get out of the subway, you’ll be on Driggs Avenue. Head Northwest towards Bedford Avenue and turn left on Bedford Avenue until you reach218 Bedford Avenue (near North 5th Street). Head inside the mini-mall and find Handsome Dan’s. Like Economy Candy on the lower east side, Handsome Dan’s is a trip down candy memory lane. While Handsome Dan’s doesn’t offer the variety that Economy Candy has, it does sell refreshing snocones with unusual flavors like thyme dream, earl grey cream, orange blossom ginger, rose pomegranate, and chili passion fruit.

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So buy a snocone and continue down Bedford Avenue towards North 4th Street. On the other side of the street, at 229, you’ll find The Bedford Cheese Shop. While not quite the size of Murray’s Cheese in the Village, The 10-year old Bedford Cheese shop “works directly with farms in order to select cheeses at their perfect peak.” They also sell other interesting products that you might like to have along with your cheese, including flavored mayonnaise, fresh made ravioli, and chocolate cubes to melt into hot chocolate.

Chocolate bars from Mast Brothers

Chocolate bars from Mast Brothers

For locally produced chocolate, continue heading North towards North 3rd Street and make a right. Walk down the street to Mast Brothers at 111 North 3rd.  You can watch the chocolate bars being made which start with locally roasted cacao beans. And you can sample some the products before buying them. You can choose from interesting flavored bars, like ones with chili peppers; or you can choose pure bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate.

Sketchbooks at the Brooklyn Art Library

Sketchbooks at the Brooklyn Art Library

If you have time, don’t miss the Brooklyn Art Library just a few doors down from Mast Brothers at 103A North 3rd. The Brooklyn Art Library is home to the Sketchbook Project, a global, crowd-sourced art project. At the library you can look at sketchbooks submitted to the project from amateurs and professionals; young and old; from nearby Brooklyn to China and Russia. It’s a rare opportunity to not only see an eclectic assortment of art but also to hold it in your hands.

From here, you have two options: If you like walking, you can walk to the Williamsburg Bridge (15 min from where you are) and over the bridge into Manhattan’s lower east side. Or you can head back to the subway station. Either way, you want to turn around and go back to Bedford Avenue.

To walk over the Williamsburg Bridge make a right on Bedford Avenue and keep walking until you reach South 6th Street where you’ll see an entrance to the bridge. When you get to the other side you’ll be on Delancy street. If you walk a few blocks on Delancy you’ll reach the F train or continue onto to Allen Street where you’ll find buses.

To return to the L train make a left on Bedford Avenue and head towards North 7th Street.


July 1, 2013 Posted by | culinary tours, Food, stores | | 2 Comments