There’s only one way to wake up in Brooklyn: with a cup of joe and a savory piece of pastry of some sorts. The culinary experts at Lunitas have transformed the morning tastes into an art form. You instantly dig into the fancy coffee shop’s star edible: scrambled eggs with tomatoes and avocado on a cheddar chive biscuit. Still, the sleeper you should savor is the breakfast empanada with fresh chimichurri sauce. Yum!
As you have noticed, everyone travels by bike in Clinton Hill. It’s time to fit in, and for that head on over to Fulton Bikes. The bicycle specialists offer the premiere road masters like Trek Emonda or Cinelli. if you aren’t in the market for buying, Fulton offers affordable rentals – so you could get accustomed to riding through the city. The shop does many other things like tune-ups and apparel sales.
When it comes to local shopping, Clinton Hill isn’t nearly on par with Williamsburg or DUMBO. Still, the boutique shopping game is still on point. That’s clearly obvious after you peruse the goods at Green in BKLYN. The shop specializes in anything and everything eco-friendly, from cleaning supplies, to recycled paper products such as stationery and towels, sheets and bathroom towels, sustainable and reusable kitchen supplies.
Now is a good time to get back to the historical side of your new nabe. A visit to the Lefferts-Laidlaw House is always a solid choice. The villa, located at 136 Clinton Avenue, is a landmark for its incredible architecture and was the former of home of one Brooklyn’s most storied families: The Lefferts. The temple-fronted Greek Revival home was built and owned by Rem Lefferts in 1840. A quick history lesson tells you that the Lefferts family is one of the oldest settlers in Kings County who have helped shape the agriculture of the area.
History abounds in these necks. In fact, your newest neighborhood is a melting pot of landmarks, mansions and pristine brownstones. So, naturally, you decide to give yourself a history lesson. The lesson begins at one very quaint park: Underwood Park. The charming greenery resembles many of the classic playgrounds in Manhattan (Tompkins Square, Union Square), but the park was once the site of the mansion of typewriter manufacturer John Thomas Underwood. A little further down the road there’s the Charles Millard Pratt House, the mansion (located at 241 Clinton Avenue) of the son of legendary Standard Oil mogul Charles Pratt. The younger Pratt was the former director of the LIRR and American Express. But the elder Pratt’s mansion (located next door at 232 Clinton Avenue) is the centerpiece of your tour. The Charles Pratt mansion is now Founders Hall of St. Joseph’s College. The final stop on your short trip down memory lane leads you to a brick building at 275 Park Avenue, a former chocolate factory that once produced and distributed all the Tootsie Rolls in the United States.
The neighborhood is filled with many great lunch options. Yet nothing speaks volumes like a good ole slice of pizza, especially when you have two colleges in the area (Pratt and St. Joseph’s). You CANNOT miss the pies at Luigi’s Pizzeria because many have called their slice “legendary.” There are not fancy specialized pizza slices here. Rather the staple here are the old-school choices like a mushroom or pepperoni slices. At Luigi’s, they pile on the toppings like nobody’s business.
Speaking of living green, there’s one rather cool discovery nearby that has sparked your interest. The Pratt Sculpture Garden, located on the Pratt Institute campus, is a spectacular outdoor excursion. The park hosts many sculptures that have been created by local artists. Interesting finds include unique benches and massive pinwheels made of license plates from around the country. Another standout creation is the subway gate that hangs over a manhole cover with an alligator peaking out. The stroll through this free exhibit is truly a must-do in NYC.
All this information has your head spinning and it’s a good thing that you’re just around the corner on Fulton, because that’s where you have a reservation at Emily. Yes, on the surface, this is a pizza place. And yes, you have already had some great pizza today. But you aren’t here for pizza pie, rather you’re after a salad and a burger, which is possibly the best you will ever have. The tasty creation features Fleisher’s pasture-raised dry aged beef on a pretzel bun, Emmy sauce with Grafton cheddar. Still, you should peep the rest of the pizza portion of the creatively color-coded menu featuring categories such as "The Reds,” “The Pinks,” “The Whites,” and “The Greens.”
A little bit down the road is another craft cocktail gem. The atmosphere at Mekelburg’s is unique, given it being part gourmet grocer and part fancy boozy bar secluded in basement-level digs. The bar, which opened very recently, has gained notice for its high-end cheeses and meat plates, which you can’t help but instantly indulge. As you sip on a local craft beer (one of the 16 on tap), you walk around to find out that there’s even backyard seating. Just perfect.
The night has just begun in Clinton Hill, and the nightlife scene in these parts is quite impressive. In fact, some of the best cocktail bars in the city are here. There are also top-notch live music experiences like that at throwback venue by the name of Mayflower. The cocktail bar, located under the same roof as the Italian trattoria Aita, has a 1920’s decor to complement the tasty alcoholic treats (try the classics like a Manhattan or a Negroni) to go with occasional jazz bands. The place feels like something out of a F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.
Aaahh, an old local favorite like Hot Bird never gets old, no matter the time of year. The popular watering hole with its industrial and rustic setting has gained fame for its gigantic outdoor seating. In the summer, the place is packed. The outdoor space is open even during the winter thanks to its large-sized fire pit and the enveloping, cozy, camp-like atmosphere. The drinks are pretty straightforward, with all your standard beers and drinks to choose from.