Neighborhood Tour

Only in Brooklyn: Get to Know Bed Stuy's Local Gems

by Lindsey White
Bed Photo courtesy of Almanac of Style.

They're at it again. The folks behind  — the travel-inspired online boutique for accessories, ready-to-wear, and souvenirs — has launched a new neighborhood inspiration guide  and product launch (vintage and one-of-a-kind finds, specialty items for home and kids) this season: Brooklyn, baby! One of their featured designers, Lindsey White of , shares a list of her favorite spots in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Brooklyn's historic Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood has a long history as a proud and dynamic place known for its density of brownstones and tight-knit community. As with all of Brooklyn, the landscape has been changing to accommodate more and more New Yorkers pushed out of Manhattan and the densely populated neighborhoods nearby. These days in Bed Stuy, shiny storefront boutiques and coffee shops sit next to old-school mom-and-pop shops. Residents hang out on their stoops, throw block parties, stay late at hair salons, sport tattoos and fresh street style, and go to church and dive bars in equal measure. Here's a small taste of what's happening right now.

Nightlife

486 Halsey St.; +1-718-513-0339
There's a cool ambiance to this musician-owned bar serving Italian small bites and classic cocktails in the backyard. Check out the nightly roster of talented performers — from gypsy jazz to desert blues — while sipping on a delicious Red Needle with Mezcal.


1108 Bedford Ave.; +1-347-406-8241
A new dive joint with an old vibe. Started by the bar owners of Lucky Dog and Skinny Dennis in Williamsburg, this place has their beer/shot bar formula down with cheap drinks, a soft-serve boozy frozen coffee, and the best jukebox in the neighborhood full of '70s rock to keep you jammin’ all night. Oh, don’t forget to bring your pooch to enjoy the backyard hang!

L’Antagoniste
Photo courtesy of L’Antagoniste.

Restaurants


238 Malcolm X Blvd.; +1-917-966-5300
Best dinner and brunch spot around. Perfect for date night or with a group of friends. Red brick-lined walls set the scene for this quaint French restaurant serving the classics paired with the best selection of new and old-world wines.

Nana Ramen
330 Malcolm X Blvd.; +1-929-210-0589
Every neighborhood needs a solid ramen spot. Nana is fairly new, but already a regular stop for many locals. Standouts here are the black tonkatsu and gyoza. It's cash only, so you know it’s good.

Photo courtesy of Harold and Maude.

Shops


592 Lafayette Ave.; no phone
This place is not for the faint of heart. After all, what fun is vintage without dramatic flair? Owners Mimi Nagase and Ryoma Hashimoto curate everything from flamboyant gowns to authentic military apparel. You’ll find vintage gems for all ages, from “cradle to grave,” and their accessories game is especially on-point. Nagase and Hashimoto recently began creating their own line made with Japanese fabrics. Expect smocks and other wares fabricated with some of that highly sought after Japanese indigo.


401-403 Tompkins Ave.; +1-347-663-6100
A great three-in-one find in the neighborhood, the interiors shop also houses Indigo Style Vintage and Mary’s Hands Jewelry. Husband-and-wife owners, Achuziam Maha-Sanchez and Lionel Sanchez, curate a stellar and wide-ranging selection of home goods, from handwoven baskets and beautiful kitchenware to small furniture. Meanwhile, Sheryl Roberts has an eye for bold and glamorous statement pieces of decades past at Indigo Style Vintage, and you’ll find unique and beautifully understated pieces at Mary’s Hands Jewelry.


437 Nostrand Ave.; +1-917-330-2199
Owner Margot Hughes has built up quite the eclectic selection of vintage wares in her charming boutique. Goods range from streetwear and ethnic styles to mid-century home goods and vintage couture — all at price that won’t break the bank.

Kolache!
Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Kolache.

Cafes


525A Throop Ave.; no phone
The perfect way to ease into a weekend. Expect the best coffee and donuts in a friendly atmosphere with outdoor seating. They source their tea from one of the best, (in Greenpoint, BK), and serve a mean matcha latte.


520 Dekalb Ave.; +1-718-398-1111
For those who know Texas kolaches (Texan-Czech pastries made of a yeast dough), this place is a home away from home. The owner hails from Austin, where the updated version of the European fruit- and cheese-filled breakfast food originates, and freshly bakes these sweet and savory puffs on the daily along with cinnamon buns and Danish rolls.

Photo courtesy of Fou Gallery.


Galleries


408 Marcus Garvey Blvd.; +347-663-8195
A cultural gem, this place really takes pride in preserving the arts and culture of the neighborhood. Owner Richard Beavers considers it his duty to ensure that everyone has access to art, and specifically, exposure to black artists. Look forward to events that draw a diverse crowd and a constant rotation of great installments.


410 Jefferson Ave.; +1-917-689-9355
Part apartment gallery, part creative lab housed inside of a historic 1905 brownstone in Brooklyn, Fou Gallery is dedicated to promoting a new kind of organic art community. Focusing on Chinese contemporary works, it is a place for film screenings, private dinners, sound performances, afternoon tea parties, and other events. Be sure to check out Fou Shop for a selection of exclusive and limited-edition works by New York artists.

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A version of this story first appeared on and was republished with permission.