The East River Ferry is a fun and easy way to get to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A more relaxing experience than taking the subway, the boat ride offers scenic views of the NYC skyline, plenty of seating in the inside cabin, and an outside upper deck where you can let your hair flow in the breeze. The trip from Manhattan takes about 15 minutes and has departure points in Midtown (East 34th Street) or Downtown (Pier 11/Wall Street, near the South Street Seaport). More information on the ferry and a route map can be found on our Getting Around page.
Once you step off the ferry in Williamsburg, you don’t have to walk very far to get a taste of what makes this neighborhood so hot. Here are our favorite places to go that are close to the North Williamsburg ferry landing.
Restaurants and Bars
Fabbrica Restaurant and Bar: Sleek Italian restaurant and bar, steps from the Ferry stop. See my review. (40 North 6th St., at Kent Ave.; 718-218-7045; Website: fabbricanyc.com.)
Grand Ferry Tavern: Casual bar with a vintage, speakeasy style specializing in fine cocktails, raw bar, and dressed-up pub food. Great for brunch. (229 Kent Ave.; 718-782-8500; Website: grandferrynyc.com.)
Odd Fellows Ice Cream Co.: Friendly, family-run ice cream parlor with retro appeal and homemade ice cream, sorbet, cotton candy, and old-fashioned sodas. (175 Kent Ave., between N. 3rd and N. 4th Sts., 347-599-0556; Website: oddfellowsnyc.com)
The Camlin: Newly-opened wine bar with an impressive wine list, creative menu of small plates, and upscale, modern decor. (175 Kent Ave..; 718-384-4100; Website: thecamlin-ny.com)
Toby’s Estate: Trendy cafe with delicious coffee, modern, gallery-inspired decor, and a people-watching hot spot. See my review. (125 North 6th St., between Berry Ave. and Bedford Ave.; 347-457-6160; Website: tobysestate.com)
Cafe Mogador: Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine with a french flair and modern updates. Head to the large, covered back patio with a resort-like feel, complete with palm trees. Popular for brunch. Vegetarian friendly. (133 Wythe Ave., between North 7th and North 8th Sts.; 718-486-9222; Website: cafemogador.com.)
Kent Ale House: Lively neighborhood bar with a pub-style menu, good selection of craft beer, and outdoor seating. Close to the ferry and the Kent Avenue outdoor markets, Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea. Good for sports- and people-watching. (51 Kent Ave.; 347-227-8624; Website: kentalehouse.com.)
Outdoor Markets and Special Events
Smorgasburg: (Saturdays Apr 2.–Nov.) Popular street food festival for foodies. Great waterfront setting and fun people-watching. See my review. (90 Kent Ave., East River State Park, next to N. Williamsburg ferry landing, where the waterfront meets North 7th St., Website: smorgasburg.com.)
Northside Music Festival (June 6-12) Performances from over 400 bands and innovative speakers, various venues, northsidefestival.com.
Brooklyn Brewery Tours: Brewery tour and craft beer tasting from the famous local label. (79 North 11th St., between Wythe Ave. and Berry St., 718-486-7422; Website: brooklynbrewery.com.)
Music Venues and Entertainment
Music Hall of Williamsburg: Top-notch concert hall with exceptional sound system and steady stream of the biggest names in indie music. See my review. (66 North 6th St., between Kent Ave. and Wythe Ave.; 718-486-5400; Website: http://www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com.)
Brooklyn Bowl: Unique entertainment space where you can bowl and see live bands. See my review. (61 Wythe Ave, between North 11th and 12th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-963-3369; Website: http://www.brooklynbowl.com.)
Rough Trade NYC: Outpost of London’s indie music superstore pleasing nostaglic audiophiles with racks of vinyl records, CDs, and extras like cd-listening stations, indie mags, and music merch. The complex also houses a cafe and hosts an excellent showcase of hot indie bands. (64 North 9th St., between Kent Ave. and Wythe Ave.; 718-388-4111; concert calendar: roughtradenyc.com)
Jane’s Closet: Welcoming boutique with charming sundresses and other on-trend girly clothes. (60 North 6th St., between Kent Ave. and Wythe Ave.; Website: http://www.janescloset.com.)
Cadet: Small shop with hipster-prep menswear. (46 North 6th St., between Kent Ave. and Wythe Ave.; 718-715-1695; Website: http://www.cadetusa.com.)
|Artists & Fleas|
Artists and Fleas: (weekends only) Large indoor market of flea market treasures and hand-crafted items. See my review. (70 North 7th Street, between Kent Ave. and Wythe Ave; Website: http://www.artistsandfleas.com.)
American Apparel: Hipster outfitter mega-chain with hearty supply of leggings, skinny jeans, and all matter of unisex and unitard fashion. (104 North 6th St., between Wythe Ave. and Berry St.; 718-218-0002; Website: http://www.americanapparel.net.)
The Mini Mall at 240 Kent Ave.: Collection of shops with Brooklyn flair, selling clothing, housewares, beauty and wellness products. Also on hand, refreshments from healthy juices to decadent cupcakes. See my review. (240 Kent Ave., at North 1st St.; Website: https://www.facebook.com/theshopsat240kentave.)
Photos: from top, East River Ferry landing; Toby’s Estate by specialoperations; Fabbrica; Smorgasburg by Matthew Hurst; Waterfront Concert by Brian Pennington; Brooklyn Bowl; A&G Merch; Artists and Fleas.