9 Williamsburg Spots That Turned Mainstream Activities Into Hipster Havens


Williamsburg, Brooklyn and its surroundings have earned the reputation for a young, hipster and affordable enclave just minutes from Manhattan. But just when you thought the neighborhood couldn't become any more trendy and less mainstream, think again. Williamsburg has been redefining traditional venues by endowing them with unique and trendy twists. If you are one of these hipster-haters, I suggest you stop reading. 

1. Going to the Movies: Nitehawk Cinema

Dinner and a movie will never be the same. Complete with a bar and cafe on the bottom floor, Nitehawk Cinema's three theaters screen new indie films upstairs. The thing that really sets Nitehawk apart, however, is the full-meal service, and it's not your traditional movie theater food. Moviegoers can arrive early or order during the show off a menu designed by acclaimed chef, Saul Bolton.

In addition to your more or less standard "caramel popcorn," or "homemade jerkey," it features sophisticated treats including fish tacos, a croque monsieur, empanadas or a steak sandwich to name a few. The theater also offers a full bar and creative cocktail menu. 

2. Buying Books: Molasses Books

Bushwick Garden's Molasses Books is undoubtedly cooler than your traditional Barnes and Noble. The catch: the owner, Matthew Winn, has implimented a policy of bartering books for a tab at the cafe or bar. “If you come with a great stack of new books and want a $30 coffee tab? Cool,” Winn said. After opening with a cafe, Molasses books applied for a liquor license to stock the bar with wine and beer. 

3. Going Bowling: Brooklyn Bowl

Remember how much you loved to go bowling as a kid? Although it plays on nostalgia, Brooklyn Bowl is an entirely different experience. Attracting huge lines, the venue offers 16 bowling lanes in addition to live music and a bustling bar with a huge selection of beers and spirits. Brooklyn Bowl's live music calendar tends to bring in some acclaimed names. 

4. Eating Bagels: The Bagel Store

Because bagels are sooo mainstream. Clearly the hipsters are tired of plain bagels and cream cheese. They sell the classics, but the Bagel Store also offers a menu of crazy creations including twinkie, jalapeno, french toast, challah and sweet potato bagels. If you're feeling even more devious, try the "buffalo, bacon n' cheddar" or "mapple walnut" cream cheese. They even offer holiday specials, such as "candy corn" bagels around Halloween. The Bagel Store is bound to feed you the trendiest bagel you've ever tasted. 

5. Playing Games: Barcade

For men too content on their couches with video game consoles in hand to leave the house, this could be your seventh heaven. Barcade is the crossroads between a bar and an arcade; it is an loft-like setting with more than 30 video and arcade games to keep visitors busy (albeit anti-social) when they step away from the bar. Barcade even allows guests to bring food or order in from local restaurants so you will feel right at home. 

6. Buying Kitchenware: Brooklyn Kitchen

From the outside, Brooklyn Kitchen might look like your average kitchenware store, but step inside and like most else in Williamsburg, you will discover it is far from mainstream. Brooklyn Kitchen offers classes, but the selections are far from ordinary. Sign up for sausage or pretzel making, learn to craft Thai or Vietnamese street food or even sign up to learn how to make your own fermented pickles and krauts. The most intimidating classes include whole beef butchery and pig butchering. 

7. Going to the Newstand: The Newstand

Underground at the Lorimer L train stop you will find "The Newstand," but don't be fooled, it's not your average subway station snack and news shop ... we are talking about Brooklyn, after all. According to the Gothamist, The hipster twist on the traditional new stand features a wide array of independent magazines curated by 8 Ball Zine Fair. Additionally, you can find "vintage vinyl records, bottles of cold Kombucha, bags of McClure's potato chips, Kings County beef jerky, a selection of caramel corn, and, for $30, a reusable wine bag." 

8. Eating Barbecue: BrisketTown Delaney BBQ

Given the popular association that all hipsters must be vegans by default, the addition of BrisketTown at Delaney BBQ in Williamsburg might surprise you. As its name implies, the restaurant boasts a limited menu of beef brisket. They don't accept reservations, and they don't have a closing time ... they simply serve until they run out of meat. Rest assured: before you make the trek, you can check the website to make sure there's food left for your arrival. 

9. Buying Stuff: Brooklyn Flea/Smorgasburg

Join the thousands of people who flock to Williamsburg on Saturdays to visit the Brooklyn Flea and indulge in the Smorgasburg flea food market. The markets are popular, but you will be sure to find some treats that are off the beaten path. Among the hundreds of tent vendors you can browse through vintage and antique jewelry, clothing, posters collectibles and everything in between. At Smorgasburg near by, snack on anything from Rick's Picks pickled vegetables to Red Hook Lobster Rolls and Solber Pupusas. Just make sure you don't miss Brooklyn Piggies pigs in a blanket!