This establishment was built on love: Affable owner Paul Giannone opened it in 2010 to fulfill his dream of bringing his artisanal pizza to the masses. Now the rustic joint churns out more than a dozen types of pie—all with gorgeously blackened crusts, crisp nooks and pillowy bubbles. Get there early to avoid a lengthy wait, and split the Greenpointer pie (fior di latte, baby arugula, olive oil, fresh lemon juice and shaved Parmigiano-Reggian) and the Gates of Eden salad (seasonal greens, Gorgonzola, candied walnuts, red onions, dried cranberries, Bosc pear and red-wine vinaigrette).
A longshoremen’s hangout during the neighborhood’s shipbuilding heyday, this hideaway takes its name from the old industrial space across the street. The exposed-brick watering hole cultivates a relaxed vibe and serves as a haunt for local artists and musicians. You’ll find a solid selection of Scotch and other whiskeys, as well as plenty of reasonably priced beers on tap.
This Greenpoint bar—moodily decorated with all-black walls and dead roses—reinvigorates the grungy rock & roll club tradition. Make the pilgrimage with a fellow music fiend to satisfy a yearning for Marshall amps and screaming guitar riffs; when there’s no show in the back room, the front bar serves as a sleek clubhouse for drinkers who prefer Black Sabbath to Lady Gaga as a boozing soundtrack.
Brothers Ben and Pete Van Leeuwen, along with partner Laura O’Neill, opened this custard shop, which serves 13 flavors made from superlative ingredients. Local, hormone-free milk is in the custard base, and even the most elemental flavors sport a flourish: Chocolate uses Michel Cluizel cocoa, and vanilla is made using Van Leeuwen’s own bourbon-and-Tahitian-bean extract, aged in vodka-filled oak barrels. Get your own scoops so that you and your sweetheart can sample multiple varieties.
Henry Miller grew up not too far from this homey independent bookstore. In addition to classics on par with the author’s Tropic of Cancer, the shop also proffers contemporary titles. Weekly events, from readings to book groups, feature an abundance of local literary types. (And by the way, if you’re looking to get each other in the mood, a Tropic read-aloud session at one of your apartments is a pretty excellent option.)