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Photograph: Courtesy Phil Greenberg

Things to do in Dumbo, Brooklyn

Cross the Brooklyn Bridge to find charming cobblestone streets as well as great things to do in Dumbo, Brooklyn

By Jennifer Picht and Time Out contributors

Dumbo, Brooklyn offers sweeping waterfront views of Manhattan (including the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge), and you can enjoy the scenery from many of Dumbo, Brooklyn's best restaurants, bars, NYC parks and hotels. Aside from the haunts and public spaces, the area hosts awesome events. Beneath the Manhattan Bridge, the Dumbo Business Improvement District hosts community gatherings including a rowdy Oktoberfest party and weekend flea markets. Speaking of markets, Time Out Market New York, a marketplace-style dinning experience of its very own, has landed in Dumbo. Gorge on meals from some of the top chefs in the city, order drinks from the venue's various bars and catch some excellent entertainment curated by Time Out New York's editors. 

How to get to Dumbo, Brooklyn

Take the 2/3 train to Clark Street, the A/C to High Street or the F train to York Street.

Things to do in Dumbo, Brooklyn

Courtesy Ad Astra Brooklyn

11. Snag cute threads and jewels

Shopping DUMBO

Suit up for the warmer months at Ad Astra, a bohemian designer boutique with racks of styles similar to those at Anthropologie, but for a fraction of the price. In addition to the frocks, shirts, shorts and other wearables, scoop up fringe earrings, watches and sweet accessories as well as sketchbooks, blanket scarves, water bottles and other giftables. Ad Astra’s copper cuffs and nameplate necklaces can be customized with your star sign, neighborhood, personal mantra—you name it.

Photograph: Daniel Krieger

12. Enjoy a Mediterranean meal

Restaurants Mediterranean DUMBO

Celestine, a self-described “Eastern Mediterranean” spot, has planted itself on John Street in Brooklyn Bridge Park, with views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, the East River and lower Manhattan. Some big names are behind the project: Julian Brizzi (Rucola, Grand Army Bar), Noah Bernamoff (Mile End Deli, Black Seed Bagels) and Joe Campanale (Fausto), with executive chef Garett McMahan (Perilla, Bouley, Baccarat Hotel) running the kitchen. Watch for dishes inspired by coastal locales like Beirut and Sicily, with meze and larger entrées like grilled lamb saddle and wood-roasted chicken. But the star, obviously, is the feast-your-eyes vista.


13. Dine and play

Restaurants Mediterranean Financial District

Superfine's gimmick? The menu changes daily. Past specials range from Australian steak and seared tuna to Rhode Island blackfish and grilled polenta. But the arty-meets–vintage-1950s vibe (every wall is covered in paintings and photographs), friendly atmosphere and inviting pool table are always there for you.

14. Grab a slice that’s worth the hype

Restaurants Pizza Brooklyn Heights

The tourist hordes haven’t ruined Grimaldi’s, whose pedigree–going back to Patsy Grimaldi’s first job at his uncle’s pizzeria in 1941– assures it guidebook coverage. The jukebox still honors Sinatra, and the waitstaff remains surly. But oh, the pizza: a thin crust covered with a mozzarella-to-sauce ratio that achieves the Platonic ideal.

Photograph: Courtesy Amy Elisabeth

15. Drink sangria

Bars Wine bars DUMBO

On Dumbo's somewhat slummo side is a surprisingly mellow bar called 68 Jay Street Bar with soft lighting and a relaxed, country atmosphere. (Sit on the bench outside for a few minutes and you’ll see that the bar’s surroundings are neither relaxed nor country.) The artist-owner is a self-proclaimed oenophile who proudly offers more than a dozen wines by the glass and fruity sangria with a kick. If you expect more of a local meeting place than a colorful pickup scene, then you’ll be satisfied.

Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Andrea Schaffer

16. Walk across an icon

Attractions Historic buildings and sites Manhattan

Sure, the Brooklyn Bridge serves a practical purpose as the means for millions of commuters to travel from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn, but it is also one of the most iconic structures in the city. You can walk and bike over it, but beware, the crowds are serious! Go early in the morning or late at night to avoid the hustle and bustle. 

Time Out Market in Dumbo, Brooklyn

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