Day Trip to Crown Heights! Check Out Brooklyn Winter Flea and Berg’n Beer Hall
Just because grim winter has now officially settled in for the duration–see you in May, pleasantness!–doesn't mean you can't still spend a nice afternoon browsing through an astonishing array of vintage goods, local crafts, unique jewelry, and then grabbing a Ramen Burger (for example), and maybe a scoop of Blue Marble Salty Caramel ice cream. Oh, and would you like a few interesting beers with that? Yes please. All of this can be yours, every Saturday and Sunday from now through March, at the Brooklyn Flea's sprawling all-indoor Winter Flea, now located in Crown Heights, conveniently in the same building as the Berg'n Beer Hall. Go this coming weekend while the annual Holiday Market is in full effect, and you could probably get all of your gift shopping done in one, warm, wonderful place.
Food and Fun at the Brooklyn Winter Flea
If you've ever been to any of the many Brooklyn Flea iterations over the years–in Fort Greene, in Williamsburg, in downtown Brooklyn two winters ago–you kind of know what to expect from the new Winter Flea. Here in one place, spread out over a single, 30,000-square-foot floor, are 125 vendors selling everything from old-timey kitsch, nostalgia-inducing toys and action figures, cool vintage dresses and jackets, and high-quality classic furniture to hand-thrown ceramics, locally-designed t-shirts and children's clothing, beautifully crafted jewelry and all sorts of objets d'art for the home. There's so much going on here at the Winter Market that even veteran Brooklyn Flea-goers are bound to discover something new. And the crowd is always lively, and good for people-watching.
Crown Bites in Crown Heights
Food has always been an important part of the Brooklyn Flea experience, and this year's Winter Market version is no exception. Stroll on over to the "Crown Bites" area and you'll find an impressive line-up of baked goods (my personal favorite: the amazing gooey cakes, in four of five different flavors, at Gooey & Co.), small-batch hot sauce and horseradish and jams and the like, as well as artisanal chocolates, caramels, and even salt water taffy. Go into the NEXT room (this place is a literal warren) and there's your brunch/lunch, freshly prepared by a rotating roster featuring the likes of Milk Truck (for first-rate grilled cheese), Porchetta (for mountainous pork sandwiches), and Solber Pupusas (for fat chicharron-and-cheese stuffed corn tortillas).
Brews at Berg'n Beer Hall
And as appealing as all of that is, it only gets better when you walk up a short flight of stairs to the new-this-year Berg'n Beer Hall and Food Court. This place was jumping when I went a couple of Sundays ago, and no wonder: there are a dozen intriguing beers on tap available every weekend, plus 50 or so more varieties in bottles and cans. The food court by the back wall has an all-star lineup of Mighty Quinn's BBQ, Pizza Moto, Asia Dog, and Ramen Burger. Or you can enjoy a dream sweet-treat of Dough Donuts or (and!) Blue Marble ice cream, washed down with a mug of robust Parlor Coffee. There's even a separate "football room" if you want to catch some of the game while you eat and drink and eat and drink some more.
For More Information on Brooklyn Winter Flea and Berg'n Beer Hall
The Brooklyn Winter Flea is located on Bergen Street between Franklin and Classon Avenues, a few blocks away from either the C train (to Franklin Avenue), or the 2/3 (also to Franklin Avenue). The Winter Flea is open weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Berg'n Beer Hall is open Tuesday through Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and on the weekends for brunch (and beer) from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lots more information can be found here.