With the “TOP 5 SPOTS” series, I host on my blog people from all around the world listing their special spots in their hometown or in a city/region they feel it’s like their home. To get to know cool spots from a local perspective.
Amanda Kao is a pretty awesome girl with the best laugh ever. We know each other as we work in the same Gastown office building. She moved here about a year and a half ago away from her beloved Brooklyn and she misses it everyday!
She was born and raised in North Carolina, but a huge part of her formative years as an adult can be credited to the (arguably) coolest borough in New York. She now happily spends her time in beautiful Vancouver with her partner Mike and their two dogs Oscar and Dash. She’s lucky to be a part of the Invoke Media family (her titles include: office mom, dog wrangler, and party planner), and she spends a lot of her time climbing, wandering around the gorgeous landscape of British Columbia in their 1985 Vanagon, eating pizza, and watching movies.
She picked for us her favourite places in Brooklyn. Even though it was really difficult for her trimming it down to only five, she believes this is a solid list “that’ll give you a real sense of this incredibly special place“.
- Pauie Gee’s
Located in one of my favorite neighborhoods, Greenpoint, Pauie Gee’s is a pizza institution surrounded by a vibrant Polish community (perogies!). With pizzas named “Ricotta Be Kiddin’ Me” and “A Whiter Shade of Kale” (my favorite), it feels like home right when you walk inside. In fact, Paulie Gee’s founder, Paulie Giannone is known to visit each table every night to chat and make sure the pizza is meeting your expectations. Trust me… it will.
(Side Note: Mike would want me to mention their famous Mike’s Hot Honey – no relation. It’s the bee’s knees on any of the pizzas and you can buy a bottle to take home! Far out!)
Where: 60 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222, United States
- Nitehawk Cinema
Back in Brooklyn, I was a frequent patron of this amazing theater. Located in hip Williamsburg, The Nighthawk shows some of the best current indie films as well as the classics! But that’s not even the best part. They serve delicious food (and beer) right in your seats (say whaaat) so you can munch on fish tacos while watching classic slasher films or even a Christmas-themed brunch paired with a showing of Elf. They also have a fantastic bar downstairs – what more do you need?
Where: 136 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249, United States
- Clover Club
Hands down the best cocktails I have ever had live here. Right in the heart of the busiest dinner neighborhood in Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, The Clover Club offers up a classy speakeasy atmosphere that’s hard to beat. Their mixologists can whip up anything to your liking – just tell them your poison of choice. They often have live jazz and their brunch is pretty incredible as well. Go in the evening, grab a comfy booth, and soak in the warm feels.
Where: 210 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, United States
Photo from facebook.com/Clover-Club
- Red Hook
Due to a lack of public transportation to this Brooklyn neighborhood, there are some really nice gems that have yet to be overrun by over-eager foodies and tourists here! But probably not for long – Red Hook has one of the most unique communities in Brooklyn. With a very industrial atmosphere, it allows for some really interesting retail businesses and sightseeing. Brooklynites venture out to Red Hook for Ikea and the beloved grocery Fairway Market, but stay for the great food (The Good Fork, Red Hook Lobster Pound, and Baked) and killer liquor selection (Dry Dock Wine + Spirits carries over 75 different types of whiskey).
The best way to get here is via bike – take a walk or ride down Van Brunt Street on a sunny afternoon and save room for lobster rolls and cookies.
Where: Brooklyn, NY
Photo from Google Maps
- Brooklyn Heights Promenade
One of the best views of Manhattan (aside from Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Williamsburg Waterfront – both also lovely places), it’s gorgeous year around (day or night) and so very romantic. On your way there, walk through Brooklyn Heights and grab a famous black and white cookie from Lassen and Hennigs to enjoy with the view.
You can also wander over to my old stomping grounds in DUMBO (short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) – an adorable neighborhood chock-full of techy companies (Etsy, Brooklyn United, and Carrot Creative live here!), cobblestone streets, and some of my favorite book stores.
Where: Pierrepont Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11201, United States
Photo by Joe Mabel via Flickr