Brooklyn, one of New York City’s five boroughs, is our favorite — and not just because it's the home of the NYCRUNS Brooklyn Half Marathon. No matter how long you're in town, or what you came here to do (ahem, run 13.1 miles), you won't have any trouble finding things to do, see, and eat. The only problem you're likely to run into will be finding time to squeeze in everything on your list.
With neighborhoods ranging from Williamsburg - a nightlife hotbed that also has great restaurants, and a serious music scene - to picturesque Brooklyn Heights — packed with historic brownstones and carriage houses - and scenic DUMBO (that's Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass) with views of Manhattan that'll take your breath away, Brooklyn has a tight grip on both old and new. It’s not a cliché to say there’s something for everyone.
Read on for even more specific recommendations of what to do, see, and eat in Brooklyn.
This is New York, so public transit, particularly the subway is your friend. The NYC Ferry is also a great option. Getting a taxi (sometimes these are green instead of yellow in Brooklyn) is also a time-honored choice, and you won't typically have trouble flagging one in the street.
Of course, we have UBER & Lyft, and we've also got ZipCar for short term rentals. Citibike is a popular bike-sharing service you might enjoy checking out.
Where to Stay
If you are looking for a hotel, we have made some arrangements on your behalf, that should deliver a good value.
Holiday Inn® Brooklyn Downtown - Offering 15% discount for participants. Select "Marathon Distribution Group SR*" for Rate Preference.
The Hoxton - Close to the Start. Offering 10% discount for participants. Group code: NYCRUNSBrooklyn
Fairfield Inn & Suites New York Manhattan/ Downtown East - 15-min. drive to the Start. Offering 20% discount for participants. Group code: NYCRUNSBrooklyn2023
Wythe Hotel - Close to the Start and Williamsburg nightlife.
Where to Eat
So many choices... here are a few of our favorites:
NEAR THE EXPO
Carroll Gardens & Gowanus
Buttermilk Channel – The best fried chicken, plus a great brunch
Giardini Pizza - Great place to carbo-load by the slice
Beanmonger Coffee - Grab an expertly crafted coffee on your way to the Expo
Bar Toto – A favorite local spot for salads & pasta
al di la Trattoria- Northern Italian cuisine with an emphasis on local sources
Giuseppina – Wood-fired thin-crust pies
V-Spot – Vegan, kosher & gluten-free eats with Latin accents
NEAR THE START
Peter Luger – THE classic New York steakhouse. Get the porterhouse for two
Mesa Coyoacan – Inventive tacos. Try anything with the mole
Dziupla – Traditional Polish fare with a modern American twist
Diner – Upscale diner in a 1920s Pullman rail car
KARCZMA – Old school Polish restaurant in an awesome farmhouse.
Forma Pasta Factory - Handmade pasta dishes flash-boiled to order
Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop - Old-school bakery donuts & pastries, plus your classic egg creams
NEAR THE FINISH
Prospect Heights & Crown Heights
The Social Brooklyn - House-made ice cream, donuts, milkshakes with race weekend specials for our athletes
Bagel Pub – Bagels with amazing schmear selection with locations in Park Slope & Sunset Park as well
Chavela's - Mexican fare along with a selection of tequilas & specialty cocktails
ALONG THE COURSE
DUMBO & Brooklyn Navy Yards
Vinegar Hill House – Elegant farm-to-table spot in a historic building
Westville Dumbo – American cuisine with locally-sourced ingredients
Gran Electrica – Margaritas (and also some tasty Mexican eats)
Russ and Daughters Brooklyn - Infamous spots serving New York-style specialty nosh since 1914
Dekalb Market Hall - Located in City Point (where there is also a Cheer Zone) this food hall is not to be missed
Doughnut Plant - Unique & vast selection of handcrafted donuts
OUR LOCAL FAVORITES
Japan Village - So many mouth-watering choices in this Asian-themed food hall
Hometown BBQ – Our favorite local spot for pit-smoked brisket and pulled pork
The Astarita - Family-friendly, family-owned local pizza joint with race weekend specials for our athletes
Tacos El Bronco – The best taco truck in Brooklyn with a brick-and-mortar location just a few blocks away
Judy's - Neighborhood fav serving up coffee, wine, beer and good vibes
Zona Sur - Casual bistro for brunch or dinner with outstanding cocktails
Red Hook Lobster Pound – A local seafood favorite
Ft. Defiance – Oysters, also a delicious brunch or dinner spot
Defonte's - Amazing sandwiches as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
Things to Do
This is Brooklyn, so pretty much anything you can imagine, you can do here. Some things we like…
The Brooklyn Museum
Our own world-class art museum, with rotating exhibitions and a stellar permanent collection
New York Transit Museum
Fascinating subway cars and buses from the early days of public transportation. Great for train-loving kids.
Prospect Park Zoo
Small local zoo with a petting area and farm animals. Nearby is a 100-year-old carousel.
Gowanus spot for (you guessed it) throwing axes. Yes, really. That’s a thing.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Interactive exhibits for kids, near the Brooklyn Museum in Crown Heights.
Laundromat by day; NYC’s finest collection of pinball machines by night. Williamsburg
One of the city’s oldest cemeteries, designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted. Weekend tram tours. Greenwood Heights
Kings County Distillery
Moonshine and bourbon in the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard. Tours and tastings: Tuesdays through Sundays.
The Wyckoff House
One of the oldest homes in NYC, dating to 1652, in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood.
Grand Army Plaza Green Market
Saturday morning spot for seasonal produce, fresh fish, baked goods and more.
The most famous wooden roller coaster in the US, and one of the oldest (1927) still in operation. Coney Island
Tours and tastings in their Williamsburg digs if you can’t get enough of it at the Expo Presented By adidas.