All this week, StreetEasy is covering the L train shutdown planned for April 2019, reporting on its impact on the housing market and how those affected plan to respond. Our coverage is running now to help readers make housing decisions well in advance of the shutdown. See all our L train shutdown coverage.

The L train will shut down service between Manhattan and Brooklyn in April 2019, but there are so many things to do in Williamsburg, the neighborhood’s energy isn’t going anywhere. (Hopefully.) Here are our picks for the top 16 things to do in Williamsburg — L train or not.

1. Fuel Up on Hipster-Certified Coffee at Devoción

Williamsburg has no shortage of top-quality places to get coffee. While Blue Bottle and Sweatshop are great options for cortados and cold brew, Devoción, on Metropolitan and Wythe, is in a class of its own. For us, nothing tops its blend of elite brews and a beautiful interior.

2. Deadlift Something Heavy at CrossFit North Williamsburg

There’s something about the Williamsburg waterfront, with its old factories and empty lots, that lends itself to the grit and brute force of CrossFit. Tucked in to a side street off Kent Avenue, Crossfit North Williamsburg is housed in a former industrial garage and is a destination for locals looking to build up their raw strength.

3. Treat Yourself to a Cannoli at Fortunato Brothers

If you prefer old-school doilies and sweets with your cappuccino rather than fair-trade acai granola, head to Fortunato Brothers on Leonard Street. The whiff of sweetness radiates down the block, attracting neighborhood old-timers and low-blood-sugar passersby to this tried-and-true local establishment.

4. Navigate the Crowds Along Bedford

Love it or hate it, there’s no getting around the fact that Williamsburg is packed. This is especially so on the weekends, and around the L stop at Bedford Avenue. It may be hard to navigate the crowds at times, but there’s an undeniable energy to the place.

5. Go Thrifting at Artists and Fleas

With tons of boutiques, high-end retailers, and locally owned stores, Williamsburg is a great place to shop. What really sets the place apart, however, is its abundance of flea markets and thrift stores. Be sure to hit up Artists and Fleas, where you’ll find a perfect blend of carefully curated prizes and bizarrely wonderful junk.

6. Browse the Records at Rough Trade

For DIY music fans, Rough Trade on North 9th is the go-to spot. You can easily spend an afternoon lost among the LPs. If you linger long enough, you may even catch a live performance and settle in for a beer, too.

7. Do the Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn Bowl Two-step

The corner of North 11th and Wythe could easily be the heart of Williamsburg. With the iconic Brooklyn Brewery tap room across from Brooklyn Bowl, one of the neighborhood’s best venues for music, bowling and big groups, you’ve got to make your way to this neighborhood nexus.

8. Bike Down Kent Avenue, or Anywhere

Williamsburg is one of the most fun places to bike in the city. The streets are flat, the bike lanes are plentiful, the views (especially along Kent Avenue and in South Williamsburg) are stunning, and the company of riders is more colorful and eccentric than any you’ll find elsewhere.

9. Stand at the River and Take in the Skyline

The views of the Manhattan skyline from Williamsburg are the stuff of New York City dreams. Come at high noon in the summer or at sunset just about any time of year — the vistas do not disappoint. For a bustling scene, head to East River State Park. If you prefer a quieter vibe, head to Grand Ferry Park, one of the neighborhood’s best-kept secrets.

10. Slurp Oysters at Maison Premiere

There is no classier place to indulge in craft cocktails and oysters than Maison Premiere. The place feels like a 1920s throwback — it’s almost too precious for its own good. That said, the selection of oysters and spirits here is no joke. The place well earns the “premiere” in its name.

11. Eat Like a Local at Marlow & Sons

Williamsburg and the farm-to-table food scene go together like avocado and toast. Marlow & Sons on Broadway, however, was ahead of the trend and sets the bar high for all the locavore spots that have opened up in the neighborhood since Marlow & Sons was established in 1998.

12. Or Eat Like a Tourist at Peter Luger

If you’re more of a carnivore, head up the street to the iconic Peter Luger Steakhouse, where you can dine on incredible steaks. The place has become a mecca for visitors who want the classic New York City steakhouse experience.

13. Catch a Show at Union Pool

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The shows in the back room at Union Pool are an experience not to miss. The space is close and intimate; the crowd is pushed up to the stage; and the talent is usually strong — a mix of small folk acts and thumping blues and funk bands.

14. Get Fancy at a Rooftop Bar

Nightlife options in Williamsburg run the gamut from DIY venues like Union Pool to super-sceney rooftop bars and clubs like Westlight, atop the William Vale Hotel, and the Blue Room, at the Wythe Hotel. It’s hard to say which spot offers the better vibe or view, so why not club-hop? Lucky for you, they are literally around the corner from each other.

15. Then Dance Your Pants Off at TBA

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Prefer a sweaty DJ set to bottle service? Williamsburg has you covered. While Output has gotten major attention in recent years, TBA holds its own. Located in a graffiti-covered warehouse below the Williamsburg Bridge, TBA is one of the best spots to get lost in Brooklyn’s serious underground electronic music scene.

16. Soak Up the Street Art

While Williamsburg has become a major destination for shopping, dining, and nightlife, the neighborhood remains one of the city’s best places to take in street life. With bold styles, bands of skaters streaming down the sidewalk, historic water tanks, and colorful murals, Williamsburg offers an incredible cross-section of New York City.

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