As the neighborhood swells, flush with deliciousness and boozy evenings, decisions about where to eat and drink have gotten exponentially more challenging. Here, I offer no answers: only a small selection of a few of the treasures that have sprung up in 2013. And what a year it has been! Bushwick finally got recognized for its damn fine food, about a trillion new bars and restaurants and coffee shops opened in the area, and clearly, Bushwick culinary shit is about to start getting really real. From seafood hotdogs to Scotch eggs, Bushwick chefs are venturing beyond the ordinary and into the food-related extraordinary. What will 2014 bring us? Only more crippling indecision about where to eat.
New Coffee Shop: Palates (251 Wilson Ave)
Palates opened this year, offering those who live in the outer reaches of the neighborhood an opportunity to ingest caffeine, sandwiches and pastries. Additionally, one may find caffeine at various other new ‘caffeineries,’ including, but not limited to, Milk and Pull, Fair Weather Bushwick, and Express Yourself Barista Bar.
New Coffee/BBQ/Vodka Palooza: Dillinger’s Café (146 Evergreen Ave)
For those who seek to correct the chemical imbalance of sobriety, Dillinger’s Cafe offers the triple joys of ethanol alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. Although the uninitiated would expect these to be mutually exclusive pleasures, the alertness provided by caffeine can often delightfully counteract the drowsy sensations of alcohol. Tea, coffee, booze, biscuits, barbecue — what more nutrients could a person desire?
New Incarnation of Old Favorite: Bunna Café (1084 Flushing Ave)
Bringing tears to many Bushwick eyes, Mama Joy’s closed its doors for the last time this year. But in its place, a previously temporary beast has sown roots and made a home. Bunna Cafe, purveyor of vegan nutrients, will (hopefully!) be crossing that strange, elusive bridge: from ‘pop up’ to ‘storefront.’
New Source for Savory Delights: Hops and Hocks (2 Morgan Ave)
Ah, to drown one’s one’s unsavory emotions in the ocean of pleasure, a soul need only step into Hops and Hocks, where beer pours freely (in exchange for currency) and where cured sandwich meat lines the shelves. Surrounded by the lost souls of pigs and the doomed children of hops, you can forget your petty troubles and ingest that salty balm: ham.
New Pizza: Union Pizza Works (423 Troutman St)
As the year spins awkwardly to a close, leaving the holidays in its wake and festooning even the most stalwart cousin with white wisps of anger after that one uncle’s racist diatribe, pack your things quick and lumber back to the metropolis for a post-Christmas, hey-I-live-in-a-semi-englightened-urban-paradise feast at Union Pizza Works. There you’ll find classically delectable pizzas in a comfortable concrete tomb, designed to allow you to gorge and drink (BYOB!) and laugh amongst friends as the harsh memories of Christmas morning slip away.
New Cozy Cave with Booths: Three Diamond Door (211 Knickerbocker Ave)
Perfect for tucking yourself away with a frosty glass of prosecco and admiring the bright, churning crowd, the booths at Three Diamond Door will swallow you into the night, and the delightful beer selection will leave you spotty at best. Who was that sweet young thing whose number you failed to ask for? What exactly was the nature of your disagreement with that strange fellow? And why did you telephone your grandmother for forty-five minutes?
New Weird Asian Food: King Noodle (1045 Flushing Ave)
It’s hard to deny the vision of a man who was placed on The L Magazine’s 30 Under 30 List, and it’s even harder to deny the soup of such a man. King Noodle, viciously colorful and charmingly tropical, bestows upon you the nutrients of comfort: Carbonara with a twist and Cheese Fries with pizzazz. Both of which will tide you over emotionally until you can fall asleep with a full stomach and a Mai Tai on the brain.
New Place to Party: Happy Fun Hideaway (1211 Myrtle Ave)
For those seeking to slide narrowly out of one sort of loneliness (the alone kind) and into the welcoming arms of another sort (the loneliness one feels when surrounded by happy people), Happy Fun Hideaway offers a sweet oasis and plenty of opportunity. Indulge in the atmosphere, linger in the coziness, sip neatly on a cocktail and leave feeling like you’ve ingested something good for the soul.
New Place to Eat a Scotch Egg: The Rookery (425 Troutman St)
Bushwick Daily has had a love affair with The Rookery for quite some time. But if you haven’t yet, get in there and try their Scotch Egg. Derived from an ancient Scottish recipe, the egg is hard boiled, wrapped in a layer of pork sausage, coated in breadcrumbs, and then deep fried. Served with a side of arugula, because that makes it healthy, right?
New Place to Put Your Fancy Pants on: 1 Knickerbocker (1 Knickerbocker Ave)
The nautical, dark wood paneling will ensconce you firmly in the past, while the candlelit flicker of your iPhone and the futuristically delightfully Pumpernickel creme desert will teleport you straight back to Bushwick, 2013. A lengthier review will be coming soon. Rest assured, we tried every appetizer, and we have thoughts on all of them.
New Bushwick Outpost of Manhattan Classic: The Johnson’s (369 Troutman St)
After sidling onto Troutman St, looking for all the world like it properly belongs there, this child of a Lower East Side dive bar has managed to live up to the weeks (and months) of hype. Sure, they’ve gussied up a little bit, but the joint is swank and the music’s good. Again, look for a proper review on Bushwick Daily soon.
Next new thing: Sandwich shop where Mazelle’s used to be (247 Starr St)
When will this little treat be dropped neatly into Jefftown, providing yet another source of sustenance a block away from the subway? Who knows, only the mysterious winds of 2014 will tell.