Secret guide: Brooklyn

Move over Manhattan; make way for Brooklyn – the isle’s hip, younger sibling.

An influx of artists and creatives in search of more affordable rents turned this into a den of celebrated creativity, where hipster bars sit snug alongside age-old Mom & Pop diners. Galleries, live music, excellent river views and indie businesses make Brooklyn a truly unique neighbourhood where new ideas and artisan flair reigns supreme.

Coney Island

Coney Island is the home of kitsch entertainment. Since the 19th century, the long beaches here have provided respite from the heat of Manhattan. There’s plenty of iconic experiences to enjoy. Stroll down the boardwalk and test your mettle on the 1927 Cyclone roller coaster, before chowing down on one of Nathan’s famous hot dogs. Garish neon, the smell of candyfloss and fired onions, and the cries emanating from the waltzers all add to the jovial energy of this tongue-in-cheek icon.

Brooklyn Flea

Treasure hunters alight! Head over to DUMBO to this eclectic flea market. If you’re into vintage, artwork, jewellery and more you’ll find the lot here. It’s a tailored curation that showcases the finest treasures that Brooklyn can unearth, sat aside plenty of the finest foodie offerings you can sink your teeth into. The market is closed over winter.

Diner

A truly unique space that will have you all giddy with Americana, Diner is, as the name suggests, an all-American diner housed in a big old dining cart. The service is eclectic, with menus written out daily onto your tablecloth. The burger is essential, repeatedly lauded as one of the finest in Brooklyn – which is high praise indeed. Don’t miss this down-to-earth eatery.

Brooklyn Bowl

An eclectic, no-frills night out awaits. It’s a nostalgia-fuelled space packed with kitsch. Head for one of the many bowling lanes, grab a few beers, and then make for the dancefloor where live bands and djs keep the place packed ‘til late. As the beers go to your head, find the courage to try your bars at the Hip Hop Karaoke.

Gallery Hopping in Williamsburg

Williamsburg was the home of the Brooklyn creative scene as artists slowly migrated over the river in search of cheaper rents. It now hosts a famed collection of galleries that nurture the new talent of Brooklyn. Stalwarts of the scene like Pierogi and Front Room Gallery sit alongside hip newcomers like artist-run REVERSE and cavernous Clearing, offering art lovers eclectic tours of a burgeoning art scene.

A Taste of Odessa

Around Brighton Beach you’ll find an old immigrant community, comprised of a vast swathe of Eastern European nationalities. Predominantly Russian but with a host of ex-soviet countries also represented, you’ll find a warming mix of cyrillic and pierogis. Pop into Cafe Glechik for a true taste of Odessa, where secret family recipes have travelled from Ukraine to this adored eatery. The Borscht is famous here.