Fort Greene / Clinton Hill - Not For Tourists Guide to New York City - Not For Tourists

Not For Tourists Guide to New York City - Not For Tourists (2016)

Map 31. Fort Greene / Clinton Hill



Neighborhood Overview


Map 31

Fort Greene could be the perfect outer borough neighborhood: the population is diverse, it’s close to Manhattan, it’s got a stellar park, tons of restaurants, a farmer’s market, the hippest swap meet on the planet, beautiful tree-and brownstone-lined streets, historic buildings, subway and LIRR access, and a world-class performing arts center. Unfortunately, many people already know this, so rents are increasingly high, but the area still retains a homey, community vibe.

Fort Greene’s landmarks run the gamut from religious to cultural to economic to civic to military. Check out the Underground Railroad murals at the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church. In addition to templing Masons, the Brooklyn Masonic Temple also hosts indie concerts. The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) has two live performance spaces, movie theaters, a café (which hosts free shows), plus the “Next Wave” festival of dance, opera, music, and theater. (Also, the Mark Morris Dance Center is just down the block.) The Williamsburg Savings Bank Building is one of the tallest structures in Brooklyn and has now been converted to condos. The Brooklyn Navy Yard now houses businesses as well as Steiner Studios. Shoppers and those who need the soul-sucking DMV flock to the hulking, commercial Atlantic Terminal Mall, which sits above a massive Long Island Railroad Station.

On weekends, hilly Fort Greene Park is rollicking with a farmer’s market, playgrounds, cricket, soccer, and local community groups. Just a few blocks away, Brooklyn Flea is a major shopping (and eating!) destination, complete with tons of Etsy-type crafts, vendors, and enough food to fill up a year’s worth of blog entries.

But that’s only half the story, because Fort Greene’s “sister” neighborhood, Clinton Hill, has a lot going for it, namely a proximity to the amenities of Fort Greene with fewer crowds. Clinton Hill hosts bucolic St. Joseph’s College and the Pratt Institute, whose grounds are home to both sculpture art and a Power Plant. Several historic churches also dot the Clinton Hill landscape, which is filled with beautiful brownstones as well as some massive single-family homes on Washington Street.

Clinton Hill is home to an African community that has set up a number of restaurants and shops in the neighborhood, and it’s also home to a whole row of artist’s studios on Lexington Avenue. And film shoots—that peculiar New York City metric of neighborhood self-worth—are a regular occurrence in Clinton Hill. As if that weren’t enough, you know Clinton Hill has clearly arrived when local coffee/food nexus Choice Market had its BLT profiled by Food Network.

Frank’s, Alibi, and Stonehome are all great places to grab a drink before or after a movie at BAM Rose Cinemas or a performance at the Masonic Hall. Hanson Dry focuses on cocktails. Farther afield, The Fulton Grand is a nice option.

Fort Greene / Clinton Hill


Map 31

image Landmarks

✵ Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) ✵

30 Lafayette Ave [Ashland Pl]


America’s oldest continuously operating performing arts center. Never dull.

✵ Brooklyn Masonic Temple ✵

317 Clermont Ave [Lafayette Ave]


Its vestrymen have included Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson.

✵ Brooklyn Navy Yard ✵

Flushing Ave & Clinton Ave


Nation’s first navy yard employed 70,000 people during WWII. Today, it houses a diverse range of businesses.

✵ Fort Greene Park ✵

Willoughby Ave & Washington Park


Liquor store proximity is a plus on a warm afternoon when you visit this welcome chunk of green.

✵ Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church ✵

85 S Oxford St [Lafayette Ave]


Nationally known church with performing arts; former Underground Railroad stop.

✵ Long Island Rail Road Atlantic Terminal ✵ Flatbush Ave & Hanson Pl


A low red-brick building hosting more than 20 million passengers annually. A total craphole.

✵ Pratt Institute Steam Turbine Power Plant ✵ 200 Willoughby Ave [Hall St]

This authentic steam generator gets fired up a few times a year to impress the parents. Cool.

✵ Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument ✵

Fort Greene Park

Crypt holds remains of thousands of Revolutionary War-era prisoners.

✵ Steiner Studios ✵

15 Washington Ave [Flushing Ave]


Film studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

✵ Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building ✵

1 Hanson Pl [Ashland Pl]

Still the tallest building in the borough and when you’re lost, a sight for sore eyes.

image Coffee

✵ Bedford Hill ✵ 343 Franklin Ave [Greene Ave]


Coffee, plus beer and egg sammiches.

✵ Bittersweet ✵ 180 Dekalb Ave [Carlton Ave]


Line-out-the-door coffee on weekend mornings.

✵ Greene Grape Annex ✵

753 Fulton St [S Portland Ave]


Bright, busy, super-quiet, with alcohol, too.

✵ Hungry Ghost ✵ 781 Fulton St [S Oxford St]


Perfect coffee and a few fun noshes.

✵ Marcy & Myrtle Cafe ✵

574 Marcy Ave [Myrtle Ave]


Small coffee shop with pastries and a cool design.

✵ Outpost ✵ 1014 Fulton St [Downing St]


Important Fulton-area coffee shop.

✵ Red Lantern Bicycles ✵

345 Myrtle Ave [Adelphi St]


Coffee shop, bicycle shop, a tad loud though.

✵ Smooch ✵ 264 Carlton Ave [Dekalb Ave]


Coffee, tea, and vegetarian noshes.

✵ Tripp & Cooper Cafe ✵

80 Dekalb Ave [Rockwell Pl]


Coffee for the LIU crowd.

✵ WTF Coffee Lab ✵

47 Willoughby Ave [Adelphi St]

Third wave, expensive, etc.

image Farmers Markets

✵ Fort Greene Park Greenmarket ✵

Dekalb Ave & Washington Park

Saturday, 8 am-4 pm., year-round, southeast corner of park.

It’s all here, folks: Italian (Locanda and Scopello), French (Chez Oskar), BBQ (Smoke Joint), tapas (Olea), hip (General Greene and No. 7), Middle Eastern (Black Iris), Mexican (Castro), burgers (67 Burger), and a reliable greasy spoon diner (Mike’s Coffee Shop). Full yet?

image Nightlife

✵ The Alibi ✵ 242 Dekalb Ave [Vanderbilt Ave]


Real deal neighborhood bar.

✵ Bar Olivino ✵ 899 Fulton St [Vanderbilt Ave]


Companion wine bar to Olivino Wines.

✵ Brooklyn Masonic Temple ✵

317 Clermont Ave [Lafayette Ave]


Masons + Indie Rock = smiles all around.

✵ Brooklyn Public House ✵

247 Dekalb Ave [Vanderbilt Ave]


Lots of beers, with food, open ‘till 2 am. Perfect.

✵ Der Schwarze Kolner ✵

710 Fulton St [S Oxford St]


German beer hall, w/ food. Ft. Greene now almost perfect.

✵ Dick & Jane’s Bar ✵

266 Adelphi St [Dekalb Ave]


A very, very cool speakeasy hidden behind four garage doors. Sssshhhh…

✵ The Emerson ✵ 561 Myrtle Ave [Emerson Pl]


Good pub for Pratt students and locals.

✵ Frank’s Cocktail Lounge ✵

660 Fulton St [S Elliott Pl]


When you need to get funky.

✵ The Fulton Grand ✵

1011 Fulton St [Grand Ave]


Well appointed, good beer and whiskey selection.

✵ Hanson Dry ✵ 925 Fulton St [Waverly Ave]

Good cocktails.

✵ One Last Shag ✵

348 Franklin Ave [Lexington Ave]


Great locals bar with patio, free grill, and Guinness on tap.

✵ Project Parlor ✵ 742 Myrtle Ave [Sanford St]


Cozy bar with surprisingly huge backyard in shabby environs.

✵ Rustik Tavern ✵ 471 Dekalb Ave [Kent Ave]


Neighborhood tap draws cozy clientele.

image Restaurants

✵ 67 Burger ✵ 67 Lafayette Ave [S Elliott Pl]

718-797-7150 $$

Super-cool stop for a quick bite before your movie at BAM.

✵ Baguetteaboudit! ✵

270 Vanderbilt Ave [DeKalb Ave]

718-622-8333 $$

Great breakfast and sandwiches, say hi to Keith.

✵ Baron’s ✵ 564 Dekalb Ave [Spencer Ct]

718-230-7100 $$$

Burgers, cocktails, and perfect brunchtime breakfast sandwiches.

✵ Bati ✵ 747 Fulton St [S Portland Ave]

718-797-9696 $$

Friendly (aren’t they all?) Ft. Greene Ethiopian. Good pre-BAM option.

✵ Berlyn ✵ 25 Lafayette Ave [Ashland Pl]

718-222-5800 $$$

De rigueur pre-BAM schnitzel performances.

✵ Black Iris ✵ 228 Dekalb Ave [Clermont Ave]

718-852-9800 $$

Middle Eastern; good lamb, terrible chicken, excellent Zataar bread.

✵ Black Swan ✵

1048 Bedford Ave [Lafayette Ave]

718-783-4744 $$$

Great pub, long menu, late-night bites … about perfect.

✵ Caffe E Vino ✵ 112 Dekalb Ave [St Felix St]

718-855-6222 $$$

Friendly Italian across from Brooklyn Hospital.

✵ Castro’s ✵ 511 Myrtle Ave [Grand Ave]

718-398-1459 $$

Burritos delivered con cervesas, if you like.

✵ Chez Oskar ✵ 211 Dekalb Ave [Adelphi St]

718-852-6250 $$$

French cuisine in a good neighborhood bistro.

✵ Choice Market ✵

318 Lafayette Ave [Grand Ave]

718-230-5234 $

Excellent sandwiches, baked goods, burgers, etc. served w/ maddening slowness.

✵ Colonia Verde ✵ 219 Dekalb Ave [Adelphi St]

347-689-4287 $$$$

Latin American flavors and 3 great dining spaces. Nice.

✵ Dolores Deli Grocery ✵

173 Park Ave [Adelphi St]

718-246-9707 $

Dominican delicacies (roast pork, goat, etc.) for $3.50. Awesome.

✵ Dough ✵ 305 Franklin Ave [Lafayette Ave]

347-533-7544 $

The perfect coffee partner: amazing doughnuts!

✵ Emily ✵ 919 Fulton St [Clinton Ave]

347-844-9588 $$$

Delicious pizza, and, well, who cares about anything else?

✵ Fancy Nancy ✵

1038 Bedford Ave [Lafayette Ave]

347-350-7289 $$$

Tater tots. And duck wings. And more tater tots.

✵ The Finch ✵ 212 Greene Ave [Grand Ave]

718-218-4444 $$$$

Absolutely delicious in a warm, romantic setting.

✵ Five Spot Soul Food ✵

459 Myrtle Ave [Washington Ave]

718-852-0202 $$$

Hoppin’ soul food joint w/ live entertainment.

✵ Ganso Yaki ✵ 515 Atlantic Ave [3rd Ave]

646-927-0303 $$$

Japanese grilled comfort food.

✵ The General Greene ✵

229 Dekalb Ave [Clermont Ave]

718-222-1510 $$

Two words: candied bacon.

✵ Gentleman Farmer ✵

378 Myrtle Ave [Clermont Ave]

929-295-0784 $$$

Top French on Myrtle. Imported all the way from Manhattan.

✵ Hoja Santa ✵ 250 Dekalb Ave [Vanderbilt Ave]

347-463-9460 $$$

Tasty Mexican comes to the DeKalb strip…good, a tad pricey though.

✵ Humo Smokehouse ✵

336 Myrtle Ave [Carlton Ave]

347-689-9631 $$$

Go for the pork belly. A rule for life, really.

✵ Il Porto ✵ 37 Washington Ave [Flushing Ave]

718-624-2965 $$

Cute Italian/pizzeria in front of the Navy Yard.

✵ Locanda Vini & Olii ✵

129 Gates Ave [Cambridge Pl]

718-622-9202 $$$$$

Rustic but pricey neighborhood Italian. Marvelous decor.

✵ Lulu & Po ✵ 154 Carlton Ave [Myrtle Ave]

917-435-3745 $$$

Small-plates goodness arrives in Fort Greene. Sweet(breads)!

✵ Madiba ✵ 195 Dekalb Ave [Carlton Ave]

718-855-9190 $$$

South African—Bunny Chow, need we say more? Shebeen with live music.

✵ Marietta ✵ 285 Grand Ave [Lafayette Ave]

718-638-9500 $$$$

Haute-Southern cuisine plus good cocktails.

✵ Mekelburg’s ✵ 293 Grand Ave [Clifton Pl]

718-399-2337 $$$

Great craft beers and nice little bites to go along with ‘em.

✵ Mike’s Coffee Shop ✵

328 Dekalb Ave [St James Pl]

718-857-1462 $

Classic diner option.

✵ MOLOKO ✵ 705 Myrtle Ave [Walworth St]

718-596-3624 $$$

Double cheeseburgers and oh, yeah, a root salad.

✵ National ✵ 723 Fulton St [Fort Greene Pl]

718-522-3510 $$

Best Thai in Fort Greene, easily.

✵ No. 7 ✵ 7 Greene Ave [Fulton St]

718-522-6370 $$$

Hip killer postmodern goodness in Ft. Greene.

✵ Olea ✵ 171 Lafayette Ave [Adelphi St]

718-643-7003 $$

Friendly, buzzing neighborhood tapas/Mediterranean. Get the bronzino.

✵ Prospect ✵ 773 Fulton St [S Oxford St]

718-596-6826 $$$

Top-end goodness comes to Fulton Street.

✵ Putnam’s Pub & Cooker ✵

419 Myrtle Ave [Clinton Ave]

347-799-2382 $$$

Buzzing bar, oysters, burgers, mussels, two levels, outdoor seating…we love it.

✵ Roman’s ✵ 243 Dekalb Ave [Vanderbilt Ave]

718-622-5300 $$$

Postmodern Italian buzzes in Fort Greene. Recommended.

✵ Scopello ✵ 63 Lafayette Ave [S Elliott Pl]

718-852-1100 $$

Sicilian chic in stylish surroundings. Get the octopus.

✵ The Smoke Joint ✵

87 S Elliot Pl [Lafayette Ave]

718-797-1011 $$

Spend the $16 and get the short rib. Thank us later.

Hit either Greene Grape Provisions or Choice Greene for gourmet groceries to go with that nice bottle of wine from Olivino, Gnarly Vines, or Thirst. Pick up books at Greenlight Books, mid-century antiques at Yu Interiors, and everything else at Target. Watch for the occasional artsy bazaar outside of BAM.

✵ Speedy Romeo ✵ 376 Classon Ave [Greene St]

718-230-0061 $$

Bizzarro pizzas, good grilled meats, and a killer Caesar salad.

✵ Tilda All Day ✵ 930 Fulton St [St James Pl]

718-622-4300 $$

Food-forward café; graphically neat.

✵ Umi Nom ✵ 433 Dekalb Ave [Classon Ave]

718-789-8806 $$

Filipino-heavy Asian fusion done right.

✵ Walter’s ✵ 166 Dekalb Ave [Cumberland St]

718-488-7800 $$$

Hip oysters, meats, and fish steps from Ft. Greene Park.

✵ Zaytoons ✵ 472 Myrtle Ave [Washington Ave]

718-623-5522 $$

Above-average Middle Eastern’s second outpost. Get the chicken.

image Shopping

✵ Atlantic Terminal Mall ✵

Atlantic Ave & Flatbush Ave


And then there’s Target.

✵ Bicycle Station ✵ 171 Park Ave [Adelphi St]


Laid-back store convenient to points east and west.

✵ Blick Art Materials ✵

536 Myrtle Ave [Grand Ave]


Cavernous art store servicing Pratt students & local artists.

✵ Brooklyn Flea ✵

176 Lafayette Ave [Clermont Ave]

Already-famous flea market with rotating vendors & killer food.

✵ Choice Greene ✵ 214 Greene Ave [Grand Ave]


Cheese, game, produce. The gentrification of Fort Greene is complete.

✵ Gnarly Vines ✵ 350 Myrtle Ave [Carlton Ave]


Cool Myrtle wine merchant.

✵ Green in BKLYN ✵

432 Myrtle Ave [Clinton Ave]


One-stop shop to help you live an eco-friendly lifestyle.

✵ The Greene Grape ✵

765 Fulton St [S Oxford St]


Ft. Greene wine nexus.

✵ Greene Grape Provisions ✵

753 Fulton St [S Portland Ave]


Excellent gourmet meat-cheese-fish trifecta.

✵ Greenlight Bookstore ✵

686 Fulton St [S Portland Ave]


Ft. Greene’s newest and immediately best bookstore.

✵ Hardware 2.0 ✵ 860 Atlantic Ave [Clinton Ave]


Best music in a hardware store you’ll ever hear.

✵ Malchijah Hats ✵

942 Atlantic Ave [St James Pl]


Beautiful and unique hats.

✵ Olivino Wines ✵ 905 Fulton St [Clinton Ave]


Micro-sized wine shop.

✵ Out of the Closet ✵

475 Atlantic Ave [Nevins St]


Thrift shop with clothing, furniture, pharmacy, and free HIV testing.

✵ Red Lantern Bicycles ✵

345 Myrtle Ave [Adelphi St]


Coffee shop, bicycle shop, a tad loud though.

✵ Target ✵ 139 Flatbush Ave [Atlantic Ave]


The everything store. Seriously.

✵ Thirst Wine Merchants ✵

187 Dekalb Ave [Carlton Ave]


Brilliant wine and alcohol selection, plus bar.

✵ Yu Interiors ✵ 15 Greene Ave [Cumberland St]


Modern furniture, bags, and candles.