By Jessie Festa. This Bed-Stuy Neighborhood Guide contains affiliate links to trusted partners!
Despite living in Bushwick, Brooklyn for almost three years I’ve never explored the adjacent neighborhood of Bed-Stuy.
To put that into an even clearer perspective, if I walk from my apartment for three minutes and 20 seconds I would reach Bed-Stuy; yet, aside from the rare times when I need to catch the G Train or have randomly biked through in transit, I know nothing about it.
That is, until today.
Join me on an adventure exploring the many fun things to do in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn! Bonus: You’ll find loads of non-touristy things to do in New York in this neighborhood!
Quick tip: One of the best ways to explore is through one of the many top-rated Brooklyn walking tours. This way, you can really immerse yourself in the local history and culture of a place!
1. Breakfast at Stonefruit Espresso + Kitchen
Location: 1058 Bedford Avenue; (718) 230-4147
No Brooklyn tourism guide would be complete without mentioning Stonefruit, a place where menu items are hand-written in journals and chalkboards sing about organic teas and seasonal drinks; where shelves offer used books and counters sell chocolate and candles from local companies.
It’s a place where natural sunlight floods through giant open windows to illuminate wooden tables and planters showcasing home-grown ingredients.
Basically, it’s the perfect spot for a healthy and satisfying breakfast — and it’s one of the most Instagrammable places in New York City!
The menu only holds a few items — each made with wholesome, local and conscious ingredients — which is typically indicative of a place focusing on quality over quantity.
If the other items are anything like my Avocado Smash, served on a thick slice of multigrain She Wolf Bakery sourdough and topped with mashed avocado and pickled shallots, dukkah seasoning a soft boiled farm-fresh egg for a fresh yet salty, crunchy yet creamy explosion, then it’s true.
I’ll definitely be back for this meal, as well as the indoor/outdoor seating, strong Wi-Fi, and adjoining community events/co-working space.
2. Explore The Bed-Stuy Neighborhood Through Street Art
While Bushwick’s street art is very apparent — it’s hard to walk anywhere without finding yourself assaulted, in a good way, with bright murals, colorful references to pop culture and thought-provoking works — Bed-Stuy’s is more spread out.
It exists and there is a lot; however, it’s more like a scavenger hunt, as you’ll wander beautiful brownstone-lined streets and suddenly stumble upon amazing works of al fresco art.
My favorite creative find of the day was undoubtedly the Biggie mural. How did the artists, whom I learned are named Naoufal Alaoui (aka Rocko) and Scott “Zimer” Zimmerman, get up so high and execute this with such precision?
According to DNAinfo, the artists wanted to pay tribute to the rap artist in his old stomping grounds, and make sure that, while the neighborhood is changing, people don’t forget what it was and the people who lived here. Rocco told the publication:
…it’s my responsibility to make sure Brooklyn is still alive, and we have to keep it for what it’s known for, what we’re proud of. Brooklyn is Biggie.
3. Sip Coffee & Craft Beer at Bed-Vyne Brew
Location: 370 Tompkins Avenue; (347) 915-1080
Bed-Vyne Brew is a coffee shop by day (Subaltern Coffee hosts a semi-permanent pop up here), craft beer bar by night.
They also serve pastries from nearby Saraghina, and I absolutely loved their community spirit (which, by the way, seems to be growing in Bed-Stuy).
I opted for a Puerto Rico-sourced pour over coffee, which was made in a Broadway production-style manner in front of a wall strung with growlers and java paraphernalia, two beautiful worlds of booze and beans colliding.
I sipped my hot beverage while enjoying a silent black and white Turner Classic Movie.
4. Go For A Walk in Herbert Von King Park
Location: 670 Lafayette Avenue
Herbert Von King Park a lovely and lively community park with sports courts, playgrounds, and an outdoor amphitheater.
Interestingly, it was one of Brooklyn’s first parks — with a design by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux of Central Park fame!
5. Enjoy Neapolitan-Style Pizza at Saraghina
Location: 435 Halsey Street; (718) 574-0010
Saraghina makes made-to-order Neapolitan-style pizza that is often touted as some of the best pizza in Brooklyn.
Not only is the food delicious, but you’ll be immersed in an adorable space that feels like a country antique store and farm stand right in the city.
The black exterior of the three-space venue is covered in white abstract sketches of peoples’ faces, text and lines, adding to the hipster ambiance.
Bonus: In the warmer months, you can enjoy your za’ in the outdoor patio!
What would you add to this Bed-Stuy Neighborhood Guide?
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