Blooming flowers and the proliferation of shorts means it’s now safe to head outdoors and embark upon the first of many warm weather adventures. While Brooklyn’s Red Hook presents some challenges during the winter months (a lacking of transportation contributes to both the atmosphere of an untouched enclave as much as it does a resistance to venturing out when the weather doesn’t suit), when the sun is shining across New York City, there is no more charming place to be. With cobblestone streets and old brick buildings, the sleepy seaside neighborhood has attracted pioneers of both store and stove, of which you stand to benefit from should you make the journey.
Foxy & Winston
Spoil the two-feet-and-under set with Foxy & Winston’s choice selection of charming goods. From stuffed “taxidermied” animals, tiny slippers, pillows, throws, and finger puppets, items come in pleasantly tasteful colors and textures that delight the senses. Fear not: There is plenty to delight adults and parents, too.
392 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Pairing the feeling of a shabby chic living room with exceptional food, home/made is the what happens when a passion project begins to burst at the seams. With roots as a homegoods store and a twee wine bar combo, you can shop for your own apartment from your seat at the bar. Oh, and just a note for the breakfast set: you’ll find some of the best granola in all five boroughs here, hands down.
293 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
If the farm-to-table, nose-to-tail culinary ethos sweeping the restaurant world appeals to you, you’ll no doubt appreciate Cacao Prieto’s approach to chocolatiering. Using single origin Dominican beans sourced from the family’s farm, every bar is organic and made locally. In addition to the standard sweet stuff, you’ll find everything from preserves to spirits. So long as there’s chocolate involved, Cacao Prieto gets behind it.
218 Conover St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Wall-to-wall with beautiful things spanning the ages, Erie Basin specializes in antique jewelry that’s been meticulously maintained, from turn-of-the-century turquoise to Victorian chains. And if you’re popping the question to that special someone in your life who worships at the throne of all things vintage, the engagement rings here are exquisite.
388 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Bait & Tackle
With the ratio of patron to taxidermied animal at a sweet spot, local watering hole Bait & Tackle stays close enough to its original incarnation as, well, a bait and tackle shop. The mix-and-match decor (church pews as seats, vintage doors as tables, antlers in great number) give this place an authentic feel.
320 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Red Hook Lobster Pound
For those who can’t be bothered with taking the train to the beach, Red Hook Lobster Pound offers a little slice of seaside heaven, complete with succulent lobster rolls, piping hot bisque, and key lime pie.
284 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg