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Some of the renovated old warehouse buildings that make up Industry City in Brooklyn. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Due east of Green-Wood Cemetery, beneath the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, you’ll find a six-million-square-foot complex of commerce and culture growing out of appropriated old warehouses: Industry City in Brooklyn. This massive complex offers a large array of attractions, including food, art and shopping — and developers are hoping to expand it even further in coming years, though the future of those ambitions remains uncertain.

Originally called Bush Terminal after Irving Bush, its industrialist founder, Industry City was, at its genesis, the largest multi-tenant industrial property in the country. Today, it’s a center for New York’s vibrant food, art and design scenes, and even a training facility for the Brooklyn Nets. So what is there to do in the 35 waterfront acres of Industry City? Quite a lot. Here’s a guide to some of the best year-round attractions at Brooklyn’s Industry City.

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industry city brooklyn

A hallway inside the massive complex, hung with bright paper lanterns. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

What to Eat and Drink at Industry City in Brooklyn

Food and drink is where Industry City shines brightest. Central to the space is a 40,000-square-foot food hall, featuring a dozen vendors (don’t worry — this doesn’t include the other dozen restaurants and bars beyond the food hall walls), communal seating, and the vibrant bustle of standalone stalls competing to satisfy any hungry palette.

For carnivores, be sure to check out Ends Meat, a whole-animal salumeria (salumi is Italian for cold cuts) that features gourmet dry-cured meats, alone or in sandwich form, inspired by traditional European fare, sourced from whole animals raised ethically on local farms. But don’t leave Europe in search of a good pastry: Colson Patisserie has what you need in the form of traditional pastry lovingly crafted in the vein of Belgian and French classics.

If you prefer cookies, One Girl Cookies offer those aplenty, as well as whoopie pies and delicious coffee. And for those seeking the ultimate Brooklyn experience, Maglia Rosa is for you: an Italian-sourced café that doubles as a self-service bike shop — for lovers of fixies and fair-trade alike. Also Peak Brooklyn is Avocaderia, which is, according to the proprietors, the world’s first avocado bar — delicious and, in our present culinary moment, highly apropos.

Bangkok Bar and Yaso Tangbao are must-eats, too, for those seeking Asian flavors. Bangkok Bar boasts a menu of well-crafted Thai staples; Yaso is the best fast-casual Shanghai street food around.

Finally, do not miss Japan Village, a small planet of shops and markets and stalls and Japanese culture. In addition to Sunrise Mart, a grocery store featuring all things Japanese culinary, you’ll find Wakuwaku, an izakaya restaurant and bar; Kuraichi, a liquor store specializing in sake and Japanese spirits; and a food market populated by bakeries, juice bars, soba and noodle bars, sushi stalls, and much more. Stay tuned to the Village for expansions: The owners have leased an additional 20,000 square feet that they envision as a Japanese cultural center. 

What to Eat and Drink at Industry City in Brooklyn

A pattern maker for a clothing designer based in the complex. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Shopping at Industry City

Industry City isn’t home to the widest variety of retail, but it does excel in one particular area: design. Owing perhaps to the vast amount of space, among IC’s warehouses you’ll find outposts of many major furniture and home goods purveyors. Design Within Reach, ABC Carpet & Home, Restoration Hardware and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams all have outposts or outlets in Industry City, sure to satisfy your high-end design needs. And Wanted Design, an Industry City store, along with international brands, sells gifts and goods made by the independent designers and artisans working among the studios and warehouses of Industry City itself.

The beloved Brooklyn Flea long held its winter market at Industry City, and while it’s since moved to Williamsburg, the Flea’s vaunted assortment of furniture, clothing and knick-knacks is set to return to Industry City on Sunday, December 24, 2019. 

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Industry City in Brooklyn

A baker at work in one of the complex’s many kitchens. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Art, Cooking and More at Industry City

It would be a shame if Industry City was given over only to the eating and drinking and buying among us. Fortunately, artists love warehouses — and they have arrived in spades.

Industry City is home to ventures such as the Collision Project, which bills itself as a “diverse and flexible testing ground for artists and visionaries” and focuses on performance and visual installation. Don’t forget to check in on the current projects on your next visit. The Guild consists of artist studios that routinely open their doors to the touring public. Take a behind-the-scenes look at jewelry makers, honey artisans, candle-crafters and more.

And Industry City is one of the homes of the Dedalus Foundation, an institution dedicated to furthering the principles of modernism by running programs and overseeing projects in the fields of arts education, research and publication, archives and conservation, and more. Don’t sleep on their offerings.

For those looking to self-improve, check out the Innovation Lab, a 7,700-square-foot space that “supplies the local community with the training and education needed to earn well-paying jobs.” At the lab, you can find career and business advice, free job placement assistance and more.

BHQFU is another treasure: New York’s “freest art school,” the organization offers tuition-free courses during fall and spring semesters, and year-round public programs and exhibitions. Lastly, Brooklyn Kitchen is a go-to for weekly cooking classes on subjects like Thai take-out, knife-sharpening, sauces and pasta creation.

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