A throwback to the industrial past of the Brooklyn waterfront, the neighborhood of Red Hook is one of the most unique places to explore in New York City. Not accessible by subway (only bus or ferry), Red Hook offers a plethora of delicious places to eat and drink. On beautiful Saturday, I gathered a group of friends, and we set out on Red Hook Day…a plan to explore as much of the neighborhood as we possibly could. We started the day with baked goods and coffee at the tasty Baked. Not only was this the perfect place to fuel up, but we got treats to have later, too.
Housed in one of Red Hook’s former coastal warehouses is the Red Hook Winery. No, the grapes are not grown in Brooklyn. However, they use all New York State grown grapes in order to produce wine in their winery. Offering tours and tastings with very knowledgeable guides, the winery has wines with both a great taste and interesting stories behind their creation.
Next stop, the Waterfront Barge Museum. This is an actual railroad barge that was built in 1914. This unique museum is dedicate to history and preservation of the New York waterfront along with being an event and performing arts space.
Taking an early lunch, we just managed to beat the crowds at legendary temple of smoked meat. Hometown BBQ. Seriously, even on off hours, their line can be out the door. Pictured here are the brisket tacos and pulled pork tacos. Hometown is a big, open warehouse space with communal wooden picnic tables and cold beer on tap. I would highly recommend getting a variety of things to shares.
After lunch, it was time for more tours. In a two-for-one stop, the Window Jane Distillery and Cacao Prieto chocolate makers are located in the same warehouse. There, you can buy goods from both craft-makers…and also tour the facilities! Hairnets were required since this is a working distillery and chocolate maker. On display were historic machines used in these processes.
The also had chickens! There was plenty of chocolate and whiskey to sample during and after the tour.
In addition to delicious food and drink, Red Hook is home to a thriving arts scene. Pioneer Works is an artist run cultural center that hosts exhibits and events. In their outdoor space, they had plenty of funky art exhibits.
Jared Mogil and I got a picture in front of their beautiful garden wall.
Final stop of the day…Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie’s! Using only freshly squeezed key limes (no fake coloring or concentrate here), Steve’s mini pies are a Brooklyn staple. The Swingle, a mini tart dipped in chocolate, is a must-try.
Although Red Hook is off the beaten path (and probably best know for being the home of the NYC IKEA), I cannot recommend highly enough spending a beautiful spring or summer day exploring the neighborhood.