Brooklyn has no shortage of charming neighborhoods, but there’s something special about Greenpoint. The neighborhood clings to an authenticity that makes it attractive to locals. In an effort to take advantage of living in New York City, I strive to spend my weekends outside. Lately, I’ve been gravitating toward Greenpoint with relative ease.
This, in turn, has given me an opportunity to experience beloved local gems alongside newly-opened small shops. I thought it might be helpful to share my personal list of the best things to do in Greenpoint for anyone thinking about paying the area a visit. Let’s dive right in!
Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The 10 Best Neighborhoods & 3 to Avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.
Visiting Greenpoint, Brooklyn (Meet the Author) | Antonina P. loves calling New York City home. She spends most weekends exploring new places in NYC, enthralled by all the city has to offer. She loves sharing her discoveries with visitors and locals alike. (P.S. Antonina helms the newsletter, sign up for her weekly discoveries).
The 10 Best Things to Do in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
(Table of Contents)
Fun Greenpoint Activities (Table of Contents)
- The 10 Best Things to Do in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
- #10. Visit Dashi Okume
- #9. Enjoy a Beer at Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co.
- #8. Order a Square Pepperoni Slice at Paulie Gee’s
- #7. Enjoy Cocktails at Bar Blondeau
- #6. Take in the Panoramic Views at WNYC Transmitter Park
- #5. Take a Quick Break at Bakeri
- #4. Order a Lox Bagel from Frankels
- #3. Enjoy Some of the Best Tacos in NYC
- #2. Get a Sweet Treat at Peter Pan Donuts
- #1. Stroll Through McCarren Park
- More Fun Greenpoint, Brooklyn Activities
- Fun Greenpoint Activities (Post Summary)
- Visiting Greenpoint (FAQs)
- Map of the Best Things to Do in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
#10. Visit Dashi Okume
Dashi Okume is part Japanese grocery store, part restaurant and part ceramic shop. The store wears many hats, but the main draw is the dashi. First things first — what is dashi?
Made of seaweed and dried fish flakes, dashi forms the base of miso soup, broths and simmering liquids (think umami to the max). It’s a staple in Japanese cuisine and if you’re a fan of ramen, chances are high you’ll like this too.
Visiting Dashi Okume is one of the best things to do in Greenpoint for foodies. The reason? You can create your own unique mixture of dashi to take home. Better yet, visit the little restaurant in the back of the shop and treat yourself to a proper meal (fish, rice and broth) centered around dashi.
Lastly, don’t forget to peruse the stunning ceramics curated by Cibone. True works of art, the peices are worth admiring (for the sticker shock alone). Dashi Okume is new to Brooklyn, but it’s been serving Japan since 1871. The Greenpoint location is their first US outpost, so you won’t want to miss it.
#9. Enjoy a Beer at Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co.
Since opening in 2014, this German-styled brewpub has been attracting locals in hordes. It’s not hard to see why, the beers are delicious and the rooftop terrace is the only place to be on a warm summer evening.
The light ales pair perfectly with the German fare on offer, think pretzels (so good) and brats with sauerkraut. If it’s chilly, you’ll find groups of folks huddled around communal tables, pints in hand. The ambience alone warrants it a spot on our list of the best breweries in New York City.
Local’s Tip: Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. hosts a trivia night once a month, which is one of the most fun things to do in Greenpoint with friends.
#8. Order a Square Pepperoni Slice at Paulie Gee’s
Okay, so I’ve been told that Paulie Gee’s top seller is the cheese slice, but — having tried both pepperoni and cheese — I’m here to tell you that the pepperoni is where it’s at. Better yet, get the square pepperoni with sesame seed crust (so good!).
A slice of pizza will set you back about $5, making this a great option for those exploring Greenpoint on a budget. There’s two locations to choose from, but don’t let it confuse you.
- Paulie Gee’s (at 60 Greenpoint Ave.) sells whole pies only.
- Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop (110 Franklin St) sells whole pies & pizza by the slice.
I typically swing by for lunch, so I’m more familiar with the slice shop. Simply place an order, find a table and wait 5 minutes while they heat up your slice in the industrial oven. If you opt for Paulie Gee’s whole pie restaurant, my thoughts are with you. The menu boasts 40+ pizza options (I’ve had college textbooks that were smaller than the menu at Paulie Gee’s).
#7. Enjoy Cocktails at Bar Blondeau
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you’ve heard of the super famous rooftop bar in Williamsburg called Westlight (at the William Vale hotel). Well, same-day reservations are nearly impossible to score, so allow me to offer an equally great second option. Bar Blondeau at the Wythe Hotel.
Located a mere two blocks from the Westlight, Bar Blondeau is much easier to get into last minute and the skyline views are remarkable! The cocktails are strong and the light bites are satisfying. We met a friend for an impromptu catch-up on a Saturday evening and were promptly seated at a table.
We spent an easy hour enjoying each others company before parting for the night. It has since become my go-to rooftop bar in Brooklyn and one of my favorite things to do in Greenpoint with friends. Oh, and if you’re looking for date night ideas in Greepoint, Bar Blondeau should fit the bill.
Plan B: Located a block over, the Westlight is one of the best rooftop bars in Brooklyn. Found on the 22nd floor of The William Vale hotel, brace yourself for spectacular views and price tags (make reservations in advance!).
#6. Take in the Panoramic Views at WNYC Transmitter Park
Transmitter Park is tiny standing at a mere six and a half acres but believe me, the view is priceless. The park gets its name because from 1935 to 1990 it was home to two antennas for WNYC, New York City’s public radio. Present day it’s a simple greenspace where locals gather to get some fresh air.
Stopping by for the striking panoramas is one of the best things to do in Greenpoint, especially if you time your visit for sunset. The park is across the East River from the East Village, so the vistas of Manhattan are stunning. The park also hosts a rotating array of activities including outdoor-survival classes and free outdoor movies.
#5. Take a Quick Break at Bakeri
Bakeri is often billed as the most charming cafe in Brooklyn and it’s hard to disagree. A colorful mural provides a backsplash of vibrant colors that set the tone for this relaxing Greenpoint experience. Opened in 2009, this local bakery attracts locals in hordes most weekend mornings.
The display case is filled with irresistible treats (both savory and sweet options are available) and the smell of fresh-baked bread is nothing short of intoxicating. Between the decor and great bites, I love suggesting Bakeri to folks visiting Greenpoint for the first time. It’s an easy place to love!
#4. Order a Lox Bagel from Frankels
What can I say about Frankel’s Deli that hasn’t been said before? Locals have long declared these some of the best bagels in New York City, and I can’t say I disagree. Offering all the standard fixings of a typical Jewish deli, Frankel’s velvety lox sets them apart from the competition. The family-owned business makes some of the most popular bagel sandwiches in Brooklyn and is always worth the trek. Hand-rolled and soft as a pillow, swinging by for bagels is one of the best things to do in Greenpoint for foodies.
#3. Enjoy Some of the Best Tacos in NYC
Some people argue that the tacos from Taqueria Ramirez are the closest thing we have to real street tacos from Mexico City. Fighting words, I know. But, I can’t say I disagree. These tacos are so damn good, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by missing it.
The simple menu offers 6 types of tacos, but nothing tops the al pastor (calssics are consider classic for a reason). I encourage you to order the tripa (tripe) or the nopales (cactus) alongside your typical order. Live a little! A line is almost guaranteed, but it moves quickly and the tacos are worth it. Heck, there’s a chance you’ll be back for round two, because getting an order of tacos from Taqueria Ramirez is one of the best things to do in Greenpoint.
#2. Get a Sweet Treat at Peter Pan Donuts
When I was first researching things to do in Greenpoint, I came across Peter Pan Donuts. Folks were raving about this place so I made it a point to visit. I got in line and waited (seems like waiting is a part-time job for New Yorkers), and kept thinking to myself, were these donuts worth the wait? Spoiler alert: yep.
The old school sour cream donuts are out of this world, you can’t find donuts like this just anywhere. Oh, speaking of old school, Peter Pan is a cash-only establishment. P.S. If you’re a Marvel fan, Peter Pan Donuts in Greenpoint may look familiar. This is the bakery where Zendaya’s character, MJ, works in Spider Man: No Way Home.
Local’s Tip: Moe’s Doughs is way less crowded than Peter Pan’s donughts (it’s only six-minute away). The donuts taste similar because the founder of Moe’s worked at Peter Pan’s for 18 years!
#1. Stroll Through McCarren Park
Straddling the border between Williamsburg and Greenpoint, McCarren Park is a wonderful place for a moment of reprieve. The park has plenty of fields and courts that enable you to partake in a variety of sports ( soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball). As expected, strolling through the park is also a great thing to do in Greenpoint with kids.
Address: 776 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY
More Fun Greenpoint, Brooklyn Activities
Try Your Hand at Thrifting at The Thing
If you’re interested in thrifting (I’m not talking about sifting through $80 vintage tees), I mean real thrifting where you need to roll up your sleeves to score a deal, this recommendation is for you.
This second-hand store is more like a rummage sale, you never know what you’ll find. From small kitchen appliances to family photos, clothes and home decor, it’s an experiment in creativity. I love swinging by to see if there’s anything interesting I can bring home. Note: The Thing has sporadic hours, which they update on Instagram.
Address: 1001 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Visit the Brooklyn Record Exchange
Brooklyn is a quirky and eccentric borough, so it makes sense the locals are obsessed with old-school classics like records.
Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just testing the water, consider swinging by the Brooklyn Record Exchange. This bright and airy store has an impressive collection of used records (you never know what you’re going to find).
Address: 599 Johnson Ave 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Watch a movie at the Skyline Drive-In
Okay you might be wondering why I included a drive-in theater as one of the best places to watch outdoor movies in NYC since a lot of New Yorkers don’t own a car.
But fret not, I’m not going to make you borrow your grandmother’s hooptie. The Skyline Drive-In has seats for those who travel by foot, too.
Not only is the Skyline Drive-In one of the most romantic things to do in Greenpoint, it’s also a great place to take in the Macy’s Fourth of July Firework Show. Tickets can be purchased online at Skyline Drive In (tickets must be purchased in advance).
Address: 1 Oak St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Fun Greenpoint Activities (Post Summary)
- Catch the Sunset at WNYC Transmitter Park
- Order a bagel sandwich from Frankel’s
- Watch a movie at the Skyline Drive-In
- Picnic at McCarren Park
- Peruse the Greenpoint Terminal Market
- Pop into Peter Pan Donuts
- Have a sip at Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co
- Enjoy one of the best tacos in NYC
- Find a gem at the Brooklyn Record Exchange
- Have a rooftop drink at Bar Blondeau
- Visit Dashi Okume
- Look for a diamond in the rough at The Thing
- Elevate your heart rate at Ferox Extreme
- Grab a slice of pie at Paulie Gee’s
- Plan a coffee date at Bakeri
Visiting Greenpoint (FAQs)
Is Greenpoint worth visiting?
Absolutely! Greenpoint is definitely worth visiting! This Brooklyn neighborhood offers a unique blend of cultural heritage, artistic flair, laid-back vibes and scenic views. This list of the best things to do in Greenpoint will give you a great starting point for the neighborhood, enjoy!
What is Greenpoint, Brooklyn known for?
Greenpoint is renowned for its rich Polish-American heritage, which deeply influences the neighborhood’s culture and cuisine. Known as “Little Poland,” it boasts an array of authentic Polish restaurants, bakeries, and meat markets, offering a taste of Eastern Europe in NYC. Greenpoint is also famous for its vibrant arts scene and indie boutiques, with historic buildings and a charming old-world feel.
Why do people like Greenpoint?
People are drawn to Greenpoint for the neighborhood’s unique blend of cultural authenticity, artistic charm, and community feel. Greenpoint’s lower profile compared to other Brooklyn neighborhoods means it maintains a relaxed, less crowded atmosphere, offering a respite from the city’s hustle. Its picturesque waterfront, offering stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, is another major draw. Plus, its historic architecture and tree-lined streets add to its quaint, neighborhood charm, making Greenpoint a beloved Brooklyn gem.
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Map of the Best Things to Do in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
And there you have it! Hope you enjoyed my of the best things to do in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Cheers!