By Rachel Hoffmann
Red Hook might not be as famous as some of our other stops, but let me tell you, it’s full of great places and is distinctly New York. So, I decided to hop off here and explore everything it had to offer. It’s stop #6 when riding our All-Day Access Pass or the last stop on the IKEA Express.
When walking down the ramp from the ferry it’s tempting to just keep going into Fairway to grab a quick snack, but with so many places to go that are only in Red Hook, it’s best to keep going.
1. Baked (359 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231)
This shop is better than any Starbucks. When I walked in the smell of coffee and sweets filled the air, so I ran over to the display case. My eyes glazed over as I stared down all the delectable treats, trying to figure out which one to get. Then I saw it – the “Brookster”, it’s a heavenly combo of a chocolate chip cookie in a brownie. Needless to say, it was wonderful.
2. IKEA (1 Beard St, Brooklyn, NY 11231)
It’s huge, it’s convenient, and it’s known for the Swedish meatballs. IKEA has everything people need for their home, and with our free IKEA Shuttle we make it easy for *New Yorkers to make their way over!
*Weekday customers who spend $10.00 or more at the IKEA store will receive an immediate $5.00 credit on their purchase when they present their New York Water Taxi ticket at checkout. Please note, in order to receive a credit, you will need a printed version of your New York Water Taxi ticket. IKEA will not validate an electronic ticket.
3. Hometown Bar-B-Q (454 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231)
This is where the locals come to get some seriously scrumptious BBQ. They opened their doors in September of 2013 and it has become the type of restaurant you go early for. If you’re craving meat and lots of it, make sure to stop by (the crowd’s favorite is the brisket). My personal favorite is between the Texas-Style Queso Mac & Cheese and the cornbread. There is a separate line for drinks so distract yourself with the hard stuff while you wait for the good stuff.
Insider Tip: Have a friend grab a table while you wait online. Seating is first come, first serve.
4. Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie (185 Van Dyke St, Brooklyn, NY 11231)
Sometimes we all just need a delicious slice of pie! For the past 20 years Steve has been making authentic key lime pies with all natural ingredients. He prides himself on these pies, making only small batches by hand, so these pies are worth the stop. When trying to find the store, look for lots of signage pointing in the right direction. It may seem like at a dead end, but the bright funky letters will appear welcoming you into the store.
Insider Tip: Steve’s Key Lime Pie is open at specific times, please make sure to call and check they are open!
5. Cacao Prieto (218 Conover St, Brooklyn, NY 11231)
Walking around Red Hook, this shop caught my eye with its welcoming atmosphere. Walking in I realized not only do they sell organic Dominican Cacao Chocolate bars, but they incorporate it into their liquor. Talk about a delicious treat! I grabbed a bar of their dark chocolate with Sea Salt and Coffee… suddenly there were only crumbs and I swear I have no idea what happened to the rest of it.
6. Fort Defiance (365 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231)
It was sunny, I was hot and I needed something to cool me off. That’s when I stumbled into Fort Defiance. It’s a tiny restaurant with a mom-and-pop feel, packing big flavor. Just watching the bartender whip up my lemonade spritzer I could tell it was going to be delightful. It turned out to be the best lemonade I’ve ever had. (For those of you who don’t know I go out of my way to try lemonade). Fort Defiance is known for killer cocktails and bodacious brunch, it’s worth stopping in!