What To Do In Brooklyn: A Local's Guide

Discover Brooklyn's best spots with our local guide! From cozy coffee shops to farm-to-table dining and Instagram-worthy photo spots, experience the city like a true local with Kindred's home exchange. Start planning your trip now!

New York Skyline
Photo by Magnus Andersson / Unsplash

Welcome to our “Like Local” series! One of the best-kept secrets about home-swapping is the ability to truly travel like a local. It’s like having a close friend no matter where you travel who can let you know the best places.

When you stay at a Kindred home, hosts provide house guides complete with their top recommendations and are always open to providing any additional insight. But if you’re looking for inspiration before you head out, our travel like a local guides are a great resource, and to kick it off we’re sharing all the best spots in Brooklyn — New York City’s most populous borough and an all-time outstanding travel destination.

Fun fact: did you know that Brooklyn is so massive that if it were its own city, it would be the fourth most populated in the U.S.?

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of reasons you need to visit the so-called “King’s County” — from its world-class nightlife and impeccable cuisine to its mix of Dutch, English, and Neoclassical architecture and beautiful views. And let’s not forget that some of the best New York-style pizzas can be found and savored in Brooklyn!

1. Make the Hungry Ghost Your Favorite Haunt

Experience the best of Brooklyn coffee culture during your Kindred home exchange. Take a break from exploring and unwind at the Hungry Ghost cafe, located just minutes away from your temporary home

When it comes to cozy Brooklyn coffee shops, the Hungry Ghost is unrivaled. All their cafes are spacious, crisp, modern, and have a tinge of Asian influence. These great coffee shops are scattered throughout Brooklyn, although the Park Slope location is one of the most stunning.

2. See Why Brooklynites Are Devoted to Devoción

Discover the best coffee shops in New York during your Kindred home exchange. Immerse yourself in the cozy atmosphere of Devocion's Williamsburg location, with exposed brick walls, warm lighting, and rustic furniture. Swap homes with our community and experience the local gems that make New York unique.

Meaning “devotion” in Spanish, we think the name is well-deserved. Have a visit to see their devotion and dedication to serving the finest, freshest coffee in New York. The location we recommend is the one at Williamsburg — its exposed brick walls, warm lighting, and rustic furniture create a mesmerizing, cozy atmosphere.

3. Enjoy a Treat (or Two) at Bakeri

Treat yourself to a mouth-watering cinnamon roll at a top Brooklyn cafe, a must-visit spot during your Kindred home exchange. Check out their Williamsburg or Greenpoint location for a local experience

One of the best cafes in Brooklyn, from their impeccable coffee to their mouth-watering baked goods, you’re guaranteed to love it just like the locals do! There are two locations in Brooklyn — one in Williamsburg and another in Greenpoint.

Pro tip: Try a mouthwatering cinnamon roll if you can get them before they’re gone!

4. Take a Few 'gram Snaps at % Arabica

Visit % Arabica, the most Instagrammable Brooklyn café, during your Kindred home exchange. Marvel at its stunning modern design and gigantic windows framing the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan skyline. Don't forget to capture the perfect travel photo to share with your friends and family.
% Arabica

What's travel without travel pictures? Visit % Arabica, the most Instagrammable Brooklyn café. Its stunning modern design and gigantic windows perfectly frame the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan skyline.

5. Get your Caffeine Fix at Ciao Gloria

Experience the local charm of Brooklyn with a Kindred home swap and start your day right with a delicious breakfast and coffee at "Ciao Gloria". Enjoy the cozy atmosphere and discover the city like a local.

Any local guide would recommend the tasty coffee and delicious food. Topped with a comfy and welcoming atmosphere, you can see why this coffee shop is on our list. And now the real reason you shouldn't skip “Ciao Gloria” — they serve all-day breakfast!

6. Try Everything the Brooklyn Way at Emily

Delicious pizza at Emily
Satisfy your cravings at Emily, a must-visit Brooklyn restaurant during your Kindred home exchange. Indulge in the mouth-watering pizzas, juicy burgers, and crispy chicken wings, all prepared in the authentic Brooklyn way.

A pizza and burger place might seem a bit generic given the uniqueness of your home swapping adventure, but you cannot miss this absolute gem of a Brooklyn restaurant. At Emily, you can experience delicious pizzas, succulent burgers, and crispy chicken wings prepared the Brooklyn way.

7. Enjoy the Best of Farm-to-Table Dining at Olmsted

Indulge in farm-to-table cuisine during your Kindred home exchange at a Brooklyn gem, serving posh dishes in a casual atmosphere at a stunningly affordable price. Don't miss out on trying the grilled scallops and carrot crȇpe for a true taste of Brooklyn. Swap homes like a local and experience the city's culinary scene firsthand.

Posh farm-to-table type food in a casual setting at a stunningly affordable price. We highly recommend trying the grilled scallops and the carrot crȇpe!

8. Try a Famous Food Fusion at Syko

Experience the best of two cultures at this unique Brooklyn spot, where Korean and Syrian cuisine come together to create a delicious fusion menu. Run by two friends, this cozy café is a must-visit for anyone looking for a truly authentic and local dining experience during their Kindred home swap adventure.

Half of the menu is Korean, while the other half is Syrian. This represents the cultures of the two friends who run this spot — very wholesome. A spot every good local guide would recommend!

9. Grab a Late-Night Slice at Paulie Gee's

Discover authentic Brooklyn cuisine during your Kindred home swap adventure with a visit to one of the best pizza spots in town. Indulge in wood-fired, airy, Neapolitan-style pizza with a giant menu of delicious options, including expansive vegan offerings. Experience the city like a local and satisfy your cravings with Kindred's community of members

One of the best pizza spots in Brooklyn, offering wood-fired, airy, Neapolitan-style pizza. They have a giant menu of delicious options, including expansive vegan offerings.

10. Try Something New at Williamsburg Smorgasburg

Experience the vibrant food scene of Brooklyn at the largest open-air food market in the country. With a wide variety of cheap and delicious food options, you can eat like a true local during your Kindred home exchange. From savory to sweet, the possibilities are endless at this lively market.

This open-air food market is the largest in the country. If you want to experience cheap, delicious, and varied food like a true local, this should be on your priority list.

New York Home & Apartment Swaps

After you’re done exploring, enjoy a great night's rest at a Kindred home. You can find available homes for swap in Brooklyn here or reach out to our concierges at hello@livekindred.com to find your perfect stay. Happy swapping!