Photograph: Archer Lewis

Greenpoint, Brooklyn neighborhood guide

Still dug in its traditional Polish roots while burgeoning a community of creatives, Greenpoint abounds with wacky vintage shops, new-school and old-school restaurants, and grungy nightlife picks


What’s the deal with Greenpoint?

Greenpoint, only accessible via the G train (and ferry), is not as flashy as other nearby Brooklyn nabes—it has a quiet cool. 

A century ago the shoreline was specked with factories that processed lumber and rope that attracted working-class families—many of them from Poland—whose descendants still live off Driggs and Greenpoint Aves. To this day this neighborhood has the second largest population of ethnic Polish-Americans. That culture now mixes with the creatives who have been moving in the past two decades. If one place best represents where the neighborhood is at it is the former Warsaw National Home, now the popular music venue Warsaw “where punk meets pierogies”.

What will you find in Greenpoint? You’ll find highly-praised tattoo shops, booming nightlife options, the best vintage stores in NYC, waterfront views, historic buildings, and incredible Polish food.

If you only do one thing

Fill up on homemade polish staples, starting with a donut at Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop, followed by pierogies and kielbasa at Karczma

Go off the beaten track

Head to Newtown Barge Park to stroll the promenade on the edge of the East River, and see sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline.

On a sunny day

Find a spot at McCarren Park for a picnic, and bring to-go pies from hugely popular pizza joint, Paulie Gee’s. Opt for the Hellboy or Ricotta Da Vegan.

On a rainy day

Spend the afternoon at vintage treasure trove, Dobbin St. Vintage Co-op, to fill your home with stunning (and affordable) home goods from the ’60s and ’70s. For more convincing, scan their eye-candy Instagram page.

Get cultured

Flock to Archestratus, a bookstore that specializes in culinary texts from all over the world, from vintage cookbooks to chef biographies. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, there’s a cafe-meets-wine-bar in the back for house-made cookies and savory snacks.

Chill out

Meet friends at Milk and Roses at the end of Manhattan Avenue, and kick back with a cocktail in their fairytale-like garden. 

Nearest subway stations

From Manhattan or Queens, take the 7 or E train and switch to the G line at Court Square station. Hop off the G at Greenpoint Ave or Nassau Ave for Greenpoint. Alternatively, you can take the L line and switch to the G train. You can also take the ferry over from East 34th Street to Greenpoint.

What else is nearby? 

Long Island City is a culture hub, where MoMA PS1, Obie-winning theater the Chocolate Factory, and new writers’ and artists’ salon the Oracle Club are found.

RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of things to do in Brooklyn