Future food excursions may be on indefinite hiatus right now, but we're allowed to dream, aren't we? And if there's one tour guide we'd gladly follow with our forks, it's Eden Grinshpan. We chatted with the host of Top Chef Canada to find out the coolest things to do in Brooklyn, New York.
The hilarious presenter on one of our favourite TV shows isn't just a born entertainer – Eden Grinshpan is also a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in London and was the co-founder and executive chef at the now-closed Dez, a Middle Eastern restaurant. More recently, the New Yorker has turned author, with a Middle Eastern cookbook of over 100 fresh recipes scheduled to hit shelves in September 2020.
Based in an apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the mom of one naturally shared plenty of places to eat, shop, and sightsee in her neck of the woods. However, Eden Grinshpan, has also included some top picks for the coolest things to do in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn's best restaurants and bars
Lilia and Misi
I’m a huge fan of Missy Robbins, who has two Williamsburg restaurants. When we go to Misi, we load up on seasonal antipasti. At Lilia, they have a soft-serve ice cream called the Italian Job, with fennel pollen, honey and olive oil. It will change your life.
Sauced Wine Bar
Sauced on Bedford Avenue has a disco ball in the back dance room and no menu. I don’t remember the names of anything I tried here, because, wine. I usually just let the bartender choose, especially because the guys there are extremely knowledgeable.
Broadway Avenue block
Diner has been around for about 20 years and has a seasonal menu that changes every day. The one constant is their backyard burger with local, grass-fed beef. The same owner opened Marlow & Sons and a butcher called Marlow & Daughters on the same block. They sell a great selection of cheese and cured meat, and make their own sausages.
Brooklyn's best outdoor spaces and neighbourhoods
If you walk through McCarren Park, you’ll get to Frankel's Delicatessen & Appetizing. When it’s nice out, we’ll go and get pastrami or smoked salmon, make a sandwich then go and sit in the park. Either we’ll go vintage shopping at Awoke, or perhaps my two-year-old daughter Ayv will run around and play – it’s a whole day.
I love Greenpoint. There’s a restaurant called Bernie’s (owned by Mark McEwan’s daughter, Taylor) that does a great dirty vodka martini. Their ribs and wedge salad are amazing. Over on Kent Ave, Bushwick Inlet Park has a soccer field with an East River view.
Brooklyn's best shopping and attractions
Vintage furniture shopping
Nitehawk Cinema is a cool spot in Williamsburg, with lounge-y chairs where you can drink beer, wine or cocktails, eat and watch movies – it’s a lot of fun. New releases make up the schedule along with classic, vintage movies.
If you want more round-ups from locals, check out Steve Sintra's (Kayak’s country manager for Canada) guide to Porto, Portugal, Vancouver food blogger, Mijune Pak's, guide to Vancouver, or food tour host, Sophie Minchilli's, guide to Rome.
Catch Eden on Top Chef Canada on Food Network Canada.