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Time Out Love New York Awards 2014: Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO & Brooklyn Heights

A local’s guide to Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO & Brooklyn Heights. Here are the area’s top local stores, bars, coffee shops, music venues and restaurants.

By Time Out contributors, edited by Vivienne van Vliet
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Time Out readers have spoken, and below are the venues they named their absolute favorite in Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO & Brooklyn Heights. So the next time you’re in the area and in need of food, drink or retail therapy, make a beeline for these places and you won’t go far wrong.

For more great things to do in Downtown Brooklyn check out our full Downtown Brooklyn guide.

The winners

RESTAURANT: Colonie

Restaurants American Brooklyn Heights

Four veterans of Public are behind this seasonal American restaurant in Brooklyn Heights. Paying heed to the current barnyard-chic aesthetic, the rustic eatery showcases a vertical herb garden, grown on a wall dividing the bar and dining areas. The short menu features simple fare, like charcuterie, cheese and raw-oyster platters, and chef Alex Sorenson dispatches more composed dishes—including rabbit lasagna with Swiss chard and ricotta, and oysters baked with Worcestershire sauce, bacon and parsley—from a white-tiled open kitchen. Locavores will be pleased by the drink offerings, focused on regional beers, seasonal cocktails and five wine taps pouring selections exclusively from New York vintners.

Brooklyn Roasting Company
Brooklyn Roasting Company
Photograph: Courtesy Sam Gannon

COFFEE SHOP: Brooklyn Roasting Company

Restaurants Coffee shops Clinton Hill

The Dumbo coffee company expands with a second Kings County location, taking over the JJ's Navy Yard Cocktail Lounge space. Outfitted with a pair of Loring Kestrel Smart Roasters, the airy café showcases four rotating espresso varieties (like Iris and BQE), as well as hot and iced coffee roasted from Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance beans. For snacks, find croissants and sandwiches from Williamsburg's Margo Patisserie and doughnuts from Dough. The shop honors its nautical predecessor, JJ's, with ship-in-a-bottle models docked at the marble-topped bar, and artifacts from the old dive, including light fixtures and columns reclaimed from strippers' dressing rooms.

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STORE: Journey

Shopping Design and interiors DUMBO

This quirky home decor shop features items collected by owner Pam Shelala's travels to India mixed with vintage and locally-made furnishings. Look for home goods and gifts and more from labels such as BDI, Jorhn Derian, Gail Garcia Pottery, Votivo Candles and more.

Henry Public, music venues
Henry Public, music venues
Photograph: LIzz Kuel

BAR: Henry Public

Bars Lounges Cobble Hill

The carefully crafted mise en scène (ragtime music, a rickety bar) at this old-timey watering hole comes to us from the owners of nearby Brooklyn Social. Henry Public’s studied collection of drinks sound awfully appealing on paper, but many don’t succeed. While the Ether (Scotch, vermouth, yellow chartreuse and absinthe) was an herbaceous delight, others—like the Eagle’s Dream, a cloying mix of gin, lemon, egg white and violet liqueur—fell short. The bar’s offerings are shaky, but the kitchen is sure-footed. Old-world snacks (plateaus of oysters) and filling sandwiches (milk-braised turkey on rye) are more memorable than the drinks.

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Barclay's Center, music venues
Barclay's Center, music venues
Photograph: Filip Wolak

MUSIC VENUE: Barclays Center

Sports and fitness Stadiums Prospect Heights

The splashy new 19,000-seat Barclays Center opened September 2012, and brought with it the Brooklyn Nets, the borough's first major pro sports team since the Dodgers left in 1957. Besides NBA, the venue hosts concerts by superstars such as Rihanna and (part owner) Jay-Z, sports tourneys including the Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship, family-friendly events like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and more.

The runners-up

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The full list of winners by category

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