Wednesday, August 13, 2014

NYC Guide: My Favorite Spots In Brooklyn

(Illustration by Danny Brito)

I'm asked for NYC recommendations more than anything - more than makeup tips and clothing links combined. I don't mind it, at all; I like giving recommendations! But I figured it was about time that I start compiling a list for the blog, because I have a whole lot of favorite places and I'd love to share them with you. I started out by highlighting five of my favorite spots in my borough of Brooklyn. Consider this one of many to come. Warning: this is photo heavy!

Brooklyn Farmacy + Soda FountainCarroll Gardens
Personal Favorites: Chocolate Egg Cream, ice cream and homemade soda floats (Pink Poodle or the Strawberry with Strawberry ice cream), Cherry Lime Rickey

It's no secret that I'm one for nostalgia, so it goes without saying that this old-fashioned soda fountain tops my list of favorite Brooklyn spots. Housed in a restored 1920s pharmacy (the floor still bears the name, "Longo's Pharmacy"), this ice cream and soda shop has a menu full of delicious treats, including the Brooklyn classic, egg creams! I sometimes stop by for a classic chocolate egg cream, but when my little sister (or niece, in this case) comes to visit, we stop in for a variety of indulgences: sundaes that are big enough to share with the whole table, ButterBeer (yes!!), Hibiscus floats, homemade Cherry-Lime Rickeys. 

Red Hook Lobster Pound, 284 Van Brunt St, Red Hook
Personal favorite: Maine Style lobster roll, Bobby likes the shrimp rolls and the lobster BLT. 

I love lobster rolls, and this is my favorite lobster roll in the city. It's super fresh and perfectly simple, which is the way I like it. Not overdressed, nothing too fancy - just big chunks of lobster, lightly tossed in mayo with minimal garnishes, served on toasted bread. It's an order at the counter, seat yourself at the picnic area next door type of place, so no worries about your messy eating habits.

Al Di La, 248 5th Street, Park Slope
Personal Favorites: Funghi e Polenta with a poached egg, Malfatti (Swiss Chard and ricotta gnocchi with brown butter and sage)

Al Di La is my favorite restaurant in my neighborhood; I've never had a bad meal. Their menu is seasonal and ever changing, but my favorite dish - the funghi e polenta with a poached egg - is a staple on their lunch menu. That's a major bonus, because though it gets packed at night,  lunch time is rather calm. The dish (and most others) is majorly decadent, so I make sure to walk there and back to trick myself into thinking I'm working it off (I'm not). So worth it.

(dishes, top to bottom: ricotta cavatelli, funghi e polenta, daily fish)

Buttermilk Channel, 524 Court Street, Carroll Gardens
Personal favorites: does "brunch" count? Pancakes, scrambles, pecan pie french toast.

Buttermilk Channel is open for both dinner and brunch, and both are great. I prefer going here for brunch, but only because breakfast is my favorite and should be served at all times. The atmosphere in this restaurant is great - and that's almost as important as the food. The owner, Doug Crowell, is a wonderful, friendly host who makes you feel so welcome; you can tell he puts his heart and soul into the place. He recently opened another restaurant, French Louie, which I've been meaning to check out. I think I'll do that, this weekend!

Dough, 448 Lafayette Avenue, Bed-Stuy
Personal favorite: plain glazed, because the donut itself is the best part!

Dough is now a household name in NYC, partly because of its presence at the Brooklyn Flea's Smorgasburg and local Whole Foods. Their Bed-Stuy outpost hosts an array of flavors, ranging from classics like glazed and cinnamon sugar, to Hibiscus or Chocolate with Earl Grey. You really can't go wrong with any, but the best part about Dough is exactly that...the fluffy, perfect dough. I usually get the glazed, Tessa gets the Hibiscus (pictured below, with matching hibiscus tattoo). But sometimes, we get an entire box and take a bite out of each. It's called research. Look it up.


  1. The last photo!!!! LOVE it :) now I miss NY :)

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  2. Some great little places I wish I had found before I moved away! I can't wait to give them a try when I come back for a visit someday!

    <3 dani

  3. amazing post thanks for sharing with us!

  4. Keiko, all the places look amazing, i have so much love for Brooklyn Farmacy

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  5. Lovely pics... Being a native New Yorker I love that Brooklyn has been making press over the last couple of years.... I am from Manhattan... but NY as a whole is a great city that stretches beyond the island... lovely post.x

  6. you look so amazing!!

  7. So wonderful! I can't wait to share a Farmacy float with someone special! ^__^
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Oh my goodness what a rich post. The pasta looks SO delicious.

  9. I love Dough, go there all the time, can't get enough donut in my life!! xx

  10. I'm going to New york in October definitely need to check out some of these places!
    The doughnuts looks so lovely!


  11. Keiko! This is such a gorgeous post! The photography, art and how you put it all together. Just love it!

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  12. One day I will get to come visit New York. Your pictures are gorgeous!


  13. SUCH an amazing post and I love that illustration of you by Danny so much! <3

  14. Doughnuts! They look delicious. But anyways. Beautiful post with beautiful pictures. I live in Philadelphia and I've been wanting to start a favorite places posts on my blog so this was great inspiration.

    ||Sincerely Koko

  15. I don't even live in NYC, but I'm in love with this post!!

    xo Taylor

  16. I can't wait to try buttermilk channel! The food looks so good! Dough is always a favorite. Their doughnuts are my favorite in NYC!

  17. amaaaaazinnnnngggg, you just gave me 5 GREAT reasons to go back!
    hopefully in the near future....ill be dreaming of those places now

  18. Wow, such gorgeous photos! Will have to check some of these places out, for sure :)


  19. I love the dress you're wearing at the Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain!! It's adorable, where is it from? :)

  20. Hi Keiko!
    I'm going to be visiting New York in a couple months and I've never ventured outside of Manhattan. I'm excited to check out Brooklyn and try out your recommendations. I will def will be eating at Farmacy..looks delish! Do you have any recommendations as far as shopping in Brooklyn?
    Thanks for sharing your favorite spots!

    1. On the weekends, check out the Brooklyn Flea. I also love Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store, Beacon's Closet, Artists + Fleas, Cloak and Dagger.

  21. oh myyyy - those donuts. AMAZING! and the pictures are absolutely stunning.
    xo, cheyenne

  22. Loved this post and photos, you have a great taste and eye. That pasta looks amazing. Check out fashion blog

  23. Oh how this post makes me wish I was in the city right now!