Williamsburg. Cobble Hill. Brooklyn Heights. These Brooklyn neighborhoods are well known for their tree-lined streets, lively social scenes and creative residents, but like most New Yorkers, we’re always looking for the next big thing. Here we take a look at the up-and-coming Brooklyn neighborhoods that are adding new dimensions — not to mention real estate opportunities — to the New York experience.
If you’re thinking of relocating to Brooklyn, or just want to pay a visit to this storied and diverse borough, consider checking out these five neighborhoods.
Let’s face it, the 2008 arrival of New York City’s first IKEA put this former dock town on the map for many New Yorkers, but Red Hook’s rise to prominence has only grown from there. A feisty desire to respect its shipyard roots combined with limited subway service, have kept the hook-shaped neighborhood found below the Gowanus Expressway largely off the radar until now. Today, visitors will find a pleasing mixture of old and new establishments set in a seaside atmosphere with stunning Stature of Liberty views. Excellent dining and drinking establishments abound in Red Hook, including the Brooklyn Icehouse, Botanica and the renowned food truck scene, while a roster of events in the neighborhood’s public parks — like Summerstage concerts at Red Hook Park and outdoor Red Hook Flicks at Louis J. Valentino Jr. Park and Pier — entertain residents as the weather warms up.
We’ve already gushed over historic Bedford-Stuyvesant, but it bears repeating — Bed-Stuy is a must-see neighborhood whether to tour the exquisite architecture, sample the nightlife or search for your new home. Technically a mélange of smaller neighborhoods like Stuyvesant Heights and Bedford, Bed-Stuy is the large swath of central Brooklyn bordered by Broadway, Atlantic Avenue, Classon Avenue and Flushing Avenue. Unbeatable restaurants like Southern spot, HotHouse, its sister restaurant, Peaches, and Italian go-to Saraghina delight local taste buds while Dynaco and Glorietta Baldy serve up great cocktails. Events like the annual West Indian Day parade and regular jazz concerts speak to the neighborhood’s rich ethnic diversity and deep musical heritage.
Directly to the west of Bed-Stuy, lies the smaller Clinton Hill neighborhood. The young, artsy feel of this community is driven by the renowned Pratt Institute of Art, located in the heart of the neighborhood, and underscored by state-of-the-art television and movie facility, Steiner Studios. Nearby Barclays Center and Brooklyn Academy of Music provide an exciting roster of concerts and sporting events, while just to the north, continuing development of the Brooklyn Navy Yard — recently announced as the site of New York City’s first-ever Wegman’s location — continues to bring change and opportunity to Clinton Hill. Locals flock to hotspots Locanda Vini & Olii and Aita restaurant and its Mayflower Bar, and shop at trendy boutiques like Leisure Life NYC.
Below Atlantic Avenue, south of Bed-Stuy, lies the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. This district is heavily influenced by its proximity to nearby Prospect Park, designed by the well-known Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. Crown Heights’ main thoroughfare, Eastern Parkway, was planned by the duo as a scenic drive to the park, and the world-famous Brooklyn Botanic Garden is situated in the park at the neighborhood’s western edge. Once known solely for clashes between its Jewish and Black communities, Crown Heights is now a bustling and thriving New York City enclave. While Caribbean favorites like Glady’s still reign in Crown Heights, a true sign of its status as an up-and-coming neighborhood is the recent opening of Berg’n, an eclectic beer hall from the founders of hipster havens Smorgasburg and the Brooklyn Flea.
If the bloom is bloom is off the rose in uber-hip Williamsburg, its right-hand neighbor, East Williamsburg, is ready to pick up the slack. Brooklyn at its best means leaving the best of the old, while providing some much needed newness, and here, East Williamsburg is ahead of the game. The revitalized former Pfizer plant on nearby Flushing Avenue is now home to a number of up-and-coming Brooklyn-based food brands like Kombucha Brooklyn and Brooklyn Piggies, while former factory and warehouse buildings house artists and galleries, in a Soho-for-the-next-generation transformation. Known for off-the-charts-good Italian and Mexica food, locals swear by Il Passatore and Fitzcarraldo as well as tiny loft kitchen Blanca where the only table is the chef’s table.
While the wave of development sweeps east, expect new and exciting developments across all of Brooklyn.