What to Eat, Drink, and Do in DUMBO, Brooklyn?

TravolinersYou can walk, take the ferry, or take the A, C, or F subway lines to get to DUMBO. It’s one of the nicest areas in New York City. DUMBO, which stands for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass,” is famous for its stunning views of Manhattan, world-class waterfront park, thriving art and food scenes, and the spot where Washington Street and Water Street meet, with the Manhattan Bridge in the background. This spot might be the most Instagrammable place in New York City.

One thing is for sure, this part of Brooklyn wasn’t always so cute. Before the neighborhood turned into the tourist spot it is now, it was an industrial area. During their peak manufacturing years in the 1800s and 1900s, the historic buildings that are now home to loft apartments and art spaces were factories that made everything from Brillo pads to cardboard boxes (both of which were created in DUMBO).

After the Great Depression, manufacturing slowed down in the area. Things didn’t start to pick up again until the 1970s, when a wave of artists came in and made developers take a second look at the neighborhood next to the East River.

The spirit of being a pioneer goes on in different ways today. One of the most ambitious harbor improvements in Brooklyn took place here, and DUMBO has become the place where tech start-ups want to be. For example, Etsy’s headquarters are in the building that used to be the Watertower printing company.

So many other things started to happen at the same time, giving this bustling area its unique mix of old and new. It’s now also home to the movie theater Empire Stores, which has its own food hall called Time Out Market, as well as a SoHo House (also known as DUMBO House).

Here are some places to eat, drink, and stay in DUMBO for your next trip in Brooklyn.

Explore a Flourishing Food Scene

Pizza is a must-try in Brooklyn, and DUMBO is home to two New York landmarks: Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s. Both were opened by the famous pizza maker Pasquale “Patsy” Grimaldi, who is still connected to the Grimaldi family. People know the area for both its pizza competition and its brunch scene.

For casual American food, go to Westville. For classic diner food, go to Clark’s Restaurant. For avocado toast, flat whites, and other Australian favorites, go to Bluestone Lane. With seasonal takes on classics like pancakes and quiche, Vinegar Hill House is another hidden gem in the area. If you’re not hungry for lunch in the afternoon, try Kogane Ramen. The noodles are made from scratch every day.

In the summer, you can relax in Brooklyn Bridge Park with a snack from Bread & Spread or a Middle Eastern or Latin American meal from The Migrant Kitchen, both of which are run by immigrants. Need a boost? Strong, well-made coffee can be found at the sleek and simple Japanese import Arabica or at the Archway Cafe, which uses La Colombe coffee makers.

What to Eat, Drink, and Do in DUMBO, Brooklyn

There are lots of sweets in the area, starting with baked goods, for people who really want something sweet. If you want breakfast sweets, go to the French bakery Almondine or the more eclectic Butler Bakeshop. For cakes and cookies, go to Burrow for treats with Japanese and French influences or Jacques Torres for his famous chocolate chip cookie. Want something cold? You can walk to Ample Hills, Oddfellows, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, and Sugar Hill Creamery, so you can choose from a huge range of tastes.

There is a place for every taste when it’s time for dinner. For regional Mexican food, go to Gran Electrica. For seasonal French food, go to Atrium. And for seafood and small plates with a Saigon twist, go to Em Vietnamese (pro tip: order the garlic butter clams).

For a view while you eat, try Celestine, which serves wood-fired Mediterranean food and has a beautiful location right on the water; Osprey, which is next to the East River and serves farm-to-table New American food; or The River Café, a Brooklyn landmark that is thought to be one of New York City’s most romantic restaurants, with views of the cityscape and a fine-dining menu.

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Explore the Craft Beer and Cocktail Scene

The bar scene in DUMBO might not be as good as in some other neighborhoods, but the bars that are here are very good. The newest Evil Twin Brewing location has 20 rotating taps, which will make beer fans feel right at home.

Explore the Craft Beer and Cocktail Scene

Olympia Wine Bar, on the other hand, has a great selection of reds and whites by the glass or bottle for wine devotees. You can get reasonably priced drinks, like a great Bloody Mary, at Superfine, or you can go to Almar for standard drinks with an Italian twist. Seasonal bar DUMBO Station is in the Archway. During the warmer months, you can drink beer and wine outside.

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Check out Some Nature, Art, and Shopping

You can walk around DUMBO, and even though it’s small, there’s lots to see and do. The beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park is at its center. It runs for 1.3 miles, from Columbia Heights to the Manhattan Bridge, and the whole length is worth seeing.


Since they began more than ten years ago, the renovations have added lush lawns, playgrounds, sports areas, and a carefully restored carousel called Jane’s. The old carousel, which was designed by the renowned builder Jean Nouvel, is fun for people of all ages. A stone’s throw away is Pebble Beach, which has unobstructed views of downtown Manhattan. It’s also only a short walk to Washington Street, which is home to the often-picked-up cobblestone block of the Manhattan Bridge set by two historic red brick buildings.

Some Nature, Art, and Shopping

DUMBO may be more well-known now as a growing tech hub, but it got its name from the artists who lived there in the 1970s. There are still a lot of galleries in the area, and on First Thursdays, many of the workshops stay open late.

These include the women- and non-binary-led A.I.R., the non-profit Smack Mellon, and the fiber arts experts Loop of the Loom. Some galleries do more than just show art. For example, Superfine shows a new artist’s work every month, and Usagi is an exhibition place with a Japanese theme that also serves as a bookstore and micro-roaster all in one.

There are also a lot of other ways to have fun. You can look at new books at the huge Powerhouse Arena at the entrance, or if you want a quieter place to read, go to the independent publisher Melville House Bookshop or the woman-owned Adanne, which focuses on books by Black authors. You can see a live show at either St. Ann’s Warehouse, which is a tobacco warehouse turned theater that puts on modern plays and concerts, or Bargemusic, which is a moving concert hall on the East River that plays chamber music.

Help out a few small shops in the area while you’re here. From April to December, the Brooklyn Flea is open on the weekends and has dozens of sellers selling used clothes, furniture, and other things. Front General Store also sells vintage things that were carefully chosen by the store’s owner, Hideya Sagawa. Legacy is a record store that music lovers should check out.

It was opened by three people of Caribbean descent who wanted to bring attention to styles like reggae and soul that aren’t often heard. You should also check out Aegir Boardworks, which sells surf and skating gear, and Bots Clothing Co., which makes clothes that are influenced by streetwear culture.

Spend a Night in A Boutique Hotel with Incredible Views

Spend a Night in A Boutique Hotel with Incredible Views

After going on an adventure all day, you’ll need a place to rest. The trendy 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge has an amazing view because it is right next to Pier 1. It also has a plunge pool, spa, rooftop bar, and other high-end rooms. The New York Marriott at Brooklyn Bridge is a little farther away, but it has a lot to offer, like an exercise center with Peloton bikes and two restaurants that serve food from the area and wine from Brooklyn Winery.

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