Insider’s Guide to DUMBO

The Tig Archives 05 / 08 / 2015

New York is a city I have come to know so well in recent years, feeling less like a tourist and more like an avenue hopping, city block bustling local. On The Tig we’ve ventured into exploring various facets of the city, from my favorite eats throughout Manhattan to neighborhood jaunts to the LES and Brooklyn. Today we are exploring DUMBO (that perfect little nook Down.Under.the.Manhattan.Bridge.Overpass), through the guidance of one of our favorites gals about town, Ingrid Nilsen. Known for her lifestyle insights and value as a young role model, her YouTube channel ranks in over 3 million followers, giving this cutiepie some major internet street cred. What struck me most, however, is how Ingrid champions inner beauty, has been a Cover Girl Ambassador since 2014, and hails from So Cal, just as I do. What can I say? I’ve got an extra soft spot for my native Cali crew. Thanks Ingrid, for sharing your time and your local haunts with us. Can’t wait to come see you soon. Cheers to DUMBO!


I fell in love with New York City when I was nine. It’s my earliest memory of pure, unbiased affection. As a girl from Southern California stepping foot in NYC for the first time, the new sounds, constant movement and sheer force of energy had my body on a high. Seventeen years later, I now live in a teeny tiny neighborhood in Brooklyn called DUMBO and still feel all the same tingles. This little pocket of the city is not only freaking awesome, but it’s my home, so welcome.


Brooklyn Roasting Company – Forget Starbucks, seriously. This place makes a solid cup and it’s the real deal. I mean, you can see them roasting their beans! I walk here every morning because I love the act of going to get coffee almost as much as drinking the coffee; it’s exhilaratingly mundane. BRC is tucked away at the end of Jay St. and you’ll probably pass it if you’re not paying attention because there’s no sign. Also, this place is huge. Cozy up in one of the comfy chairs by a window, grab a seat at a community table or take your drink outside. There’s plenty of room to spread out, so take advantage of it.

Almar – I tell my friends that this is the place we can go to for amazing food, but we can also roll up looking like we just got out of bed. Everything here is great. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner – I’ve had it all and it consistently gets high marks in my book. If you’re looking for some novelty, order the egg in a cloud and everyone will be oohing and aahing over your dish. Aside from that, they only accept cash, so remember to bring some. But if you’re like me and you forget, don’t fret – there’s an ATM in the grocery store next door that’ll save you.

One Girl Cookies – Go here after lunch and before dinner. It’s the perfect place to fill the weirdest time of the day when you’re feeling the need for a pickme-up but don’t want a full-blown meal. Aside from an adorable selection of mini cookies, there are also cupcakes and whoopie pies with flavors that change daily. You can’t come here and not get anything, so just accept that beforehand. Honestly, the best thing to do is to go with a friend so you can sample each other’s selections or, even better, go alone and savor everything yourself.

Forager’s Housemade Guacamole – This is so random but I can’t get myself to not include it in this section. The housemade guacamole at Forager’s grocery store deserves its own billboard, commercial and medal of honor. Usually, I’m vehemently against all store-bought guac, but this stuff tastes like it’s made by a really awesome friend who also just happens to be a guac master. It’s always fresh, always tastes the same and has just the right amount of spiciness. I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m the #1 fan of this guacamole. Come join the club.


Front General Store – This place smells like things that have a story to tell. I don’t even know where to start! There are new things, old things, new things that look old, old things that look new and so much more. You’ll find everything from designer vintage clothing to cool kitchenware to soy candles responsibly made in Brooklyn. Front General is one of the few places that I walk into without a plan, and that, right there, is all the reason I need to keep coming back.

P.S. Bookshop – If I could live in a bookstore I totally would, and this shop only heightens that desire. The intimidation and pretentiousness level here is literally a negative five, and yet their floor-to-ceiling shelves are filled with treasure. I’ll take that over a snobby, high-brow façade any day. The people who work here are a joy. The books are a joy. Everything about this place is a joy. If anything, just go to this bookshop to feel the joy.

Blanc & Rouge – DUMBO doesn’t have much of a nightlife scene. The neighborhood gets pretty quiet in the evening and most places close early. Unless you’re at a spot for dinner, finding a drink can be tricky. My favorite loophole is hitting up Blanc & Rouge, which is a little shop filled with wine and spirits. They have vintage bottles and bottles under $15, so everyone can walk away happy. Plus, the people who work there are always friendly and helpful. They know their stuff, so don’t be afraid to ask if you have a question!


Brooklyn Bridge Park – If you’re in DUMBO, you are currently in one of the most beautiful and picturesque places in all of New York City, so bask in it! Brooklyn Bridge Park is a great way to do this because it wraps around DUMBO past the Brooklyn Bridge. You can walk along the waterfront, sprawl out in the grassy areas and take in the breathtaking views of Manhattan across the east river. It’s a view that can’t be beat at sunset.

Walking The Manhattan Bridge – The Brooklyn Bridge gets so much attention, so I think it’s time to give some love to the Manhattan Bridge. After all, DUMBO is an acronym for Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass. The bridge itself is gorgeous structurally and you can take the gorgeous factor to the next level by walking across it, just make sure you walk on the south side path. The view of the East River is beautiful, but you know what the best part is? You can see the Brooklyn Bridge perfectly without having to deal with all the crowds. It’s a win-win.

Image Via: Sidewalk Sherpas, Ingrid Nilsen,, Cheryl Lau