Greenpoint is located in North Brooklyn, right next to the crown jewel of commercialized hipsterdom (Williamsburg), benefiting from the frequently dysfunctional G train which keeps the hood a bit more chill and bereft of bros. It's historically a Polish immigrant community so this is the place to find hearty fare that'll put meat on your bones; spacious bars that charge Brooklyn (not Manhattan) prices; and rustic New-American restaurants modeled after Heath Ledger's (#RIP) incessantly popular Five Leaves.
Here are my top Greenpoint spots that aren't just neighborhood joints, but can compete with the big boys in the other boroughs too.
1. Five Leaves: As mentioned in the intro, this restaurant is the epitome of the yuppie Brooklyn scene. Go for the consistently delicious cooking and the prime people watching right next to McCarren Park. My defining Five Leaves memory was dining alfresco next to Josh Hartnett in his beanie.
2. Paulie Gee's: If I could eat pizza from only one place in NYC for the rest of my life, this would be it. The Hellboy is a slice of heaven. Say hi to owner Paulie when he comes by your table.
3. Glasserie: This contemporary Mediterranean restaurant at the most Northern point of GP has the most soothing and on trend color palette, and even more colorful displays of food. Order the Mezze Feast for brunch and feel like a king.
4. Little Dokebi: Who knew you could find legit Korean food in Greenpoint. Tucked away next to McGolrick park, you will get a decent spread of banchan to kick off your meal. I've had one of the best dolsot bibimbap bowls in NYC here.
5. Peter Pan Donut: This establishment has been open for over 60 years. You can find kickass cake donuts, one of the best egg sandwiches on a roll for breakfast, grumpy but cute waitresses in old-school diner getups. Tina Fey has said if she had a penis, she would put it in this donut.
6. Karczma: This is my favorite Polish restaurant in the neighborhood, and also of the many Polish families that swarm this place on the weekends. Portions are huge, so bring a friend or several. The vibe is idyllic Polish village - from the waitresses in traditional Polish costumes to the fake well.
7. Xi'An Famous Foods: There are now many locations of this popular chain, and I am lucky enough to have one of them by my apt. Flavors of cumin, chili, Sichuan peppercorns are strong - they don't hold back on the spices and everything looks drenched in hot red oil.
8. Milk & Roses: Ambience, ambience ambience. Feels like you've stepped inside a house where Brooklyn hipsters and fairies mate. This is a restaurant/bar/cafe that you can take your dates, your friends and your meetings.
9. Ramona: This is a place for libations, not bites. The cocktails are delicious and beautiful - so is the space for that matter.
10. Van Leeuwen Ice cream: They started as a little truck and now they have many brick-and-mortar stores across NYC & LA. This is the real American (ice-cream) dream guys. Ice-creams are made from scratch in Greenpoint. So many classic + seasonal + vegan options.