Ah, Williamsburg. I’ve had it in a bit for Williamsburg since the Post Office (the bar where I took my first pickleback) closed, but what can I say, there are still some awesome spots, old and new, in this hood. It’s a cinch to get to (until the L shuts down, that is), so take advantage of the next few months and get yourself over to the ‘Burg as much as you can. I had a good bit of trouble narrowing down this list, so it’s considerably longer than some of my other neighborhood guides – read on and enjoy every spot!
Xixa – Inspired by a journey to Mexico city, the husband and wife duo behind Traif dreamed up this Mexican-ish restaurant concept. The space is dimly lit and cozy, there’s a great bar up front, and the make-your-own braised duck lettuce wraps are incredible (don’t forget to get the grilled carrots elote too).
Devocion – One of my favorite coffee brands, at their homebase coffee shop in BK. The space is beautiful, and features a living wall and ample seating throughout.
St Anselm – A reasonably priced steak house?? Say it isn’t so! St Anselm has a cool, casual vibe that one does not frequently find at big steakhouses. Post up at the bar and get the fresh sardines and butcher steak and a bottle of red.
Okonomi – One of my all-time favorite NYC spots is a tiny shoebox of a space that serves an authentic Japanese breakfast I cannot get enough of. Trust me, you want to be eating their fish at 10am. Get their early on the weekend, as the small space is limiting and the waitlist gets long.
Lilia – I honestly cannot reinforce enough how good this place is. I would have a standing weekly dinner there if I could afford it. The agnolotti is the stuff of dreams, simply put, and everything else on the menu is simply delicious as well.
Allswell – Posting up at the bar at Allswell with the New York Times on a Sunday is one of life’s small pleasures (they provide the paper). Order brunch, get a refill on your coffee, and sit and read. There are two seats at the end of the bar with banquette seating, and I recommend you try to score those.
Llama Inn – Brooklyn by way of Peru? Sign me up! The beef tenderloin stir fry (which we split between 3 people) is one of the most insanely delicious dishes I’ve ever sampled. You make your own “tacos” with the beef stir fry, chive pancakes, french fries, and it’s stopped off with an incredibly strong condiment game (think pickled chilis and crack sauce).
Sweatshop – Down a few steps on Metropolitan Ave, this little coffee spot gets a lot of weekend visitors but is perfect during a weekday, post-rush hour. There is a communal table that’s most excellent for settling down with a good book.
Emmy Squared – Detroit-style pizza, in its OG Williamsburg location. Their spicy chicken sandwich is out of this world, and the Angel and Roni Supreme square pies never get old. Trust me, you’ll have leftovers.
Maison Premiere – The most charming bar in the Burg, and oysters to boot? Yes, please! Come to MP for oysters and an apertivo before dinner, or just for a snack, or just because. Dinner is great too, but I especially like the ambiance during the light of day.
Misi – If you love Lilia, and you love pasta, Misi is the spot for you. While I think I still love Lilia a smidge more, Misi is still out of this world. Their menu is two sections, veggies and pasta. Get the ricotta crostini with charred peppers (the portion is huge – you could easily share three ways) and the fettuccine with butter, parm, and black pepper. Also, I think that their gelato might be the best in NYC.