BoCoCa / Red Hook - Not For Tourists Guide to New York City - Not For Tourists

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

Map 32. BoCoCa / Red Hook



Neighborhood Overview


Map 32

Sorry for the “BoCoCa” thing, but we just can’t fit “Boerum Hill / Cobble Hill / Carroll Gardens” along with “Red Hook” on the header bar. Crusty oldtimers will say “I remember when this area was just called ‘South Brooklyn.’” Well, Mr. Crusty Oldtimer, this is what happens when neighborhoods age, become economically stable, and are ravaged by hungry real estate agents.

Cobble Hill is like the bastard child of Brooklyn Heights—waterfront without the Promenade, nice-but-not-stunning brownstones, and slightly less convenient subway access. That said, Cobble Hill’s dining, shopping, and nightlife are far and away superior to the Heights. Plus, it has one of the quaintest small parks in all of New York—if you’ve ever seen Cobble Hill Park right after a snowfall, you’ll know what we’re talking about.

Boerum Hill, immortalized in Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude, has an unusual floor plan in that it’s much wider east-west than north-south; Boerum Hill extends east all the way to 4th Avenue, and encompasses more retail along the Atlantic Avenue corridor, as well as Smith Street’s northern half. Boerum Hill has come a long way, as evidenced by Smith Street’s high commercial rents (say goodbye to porn video, furniture rental, and dollar stores) and the ongoing renovation of many brownstones.

The image of Carroll Gardens is of hard-working immigrant Italian families tending to wide brownstones with those unusual garden frontages. Now many of these owners are either condo-izing or selling outright to Manhattanites who flock to Carroll Gardens for its schools, amenities, a 20-minute subway ride to Manhattan, and huge retail options on lower Court and Smith Streets. There are still old-school Italian shops and eateries that hold their own against the influx of hip restaurants on lower Court Street and the design shops of Smith Street. Somewhere east of Carroll Gardens lies/flows the Gowanus Canal, the notorious gonorrhea-breeding waterway/polluted vestigial nightmare that is home to various and sundry household refuse and alleged mafia dumping ground. All that aside, things are looking up for this low-lying stretch of “South Brooklyn,” what with new remediation technologies and even a Whole Foods on 3rd Avenue.

And then there’s Red Hook. Isolated, peppered with derelict industrial sites (re: the Red Hook Grain Terminal), and lacking high-quality housing, Red Hook still draws folks to the other side of the BQE. Even with the closest subway stop over a mile away, Fairway and IKEA have chosen to make Red Hook their Brooklyn home. Elsewhere, the vibrant sports-and-food-stall scene at the Red Hook Ball Fields during summer is not to be missed, and did we mention the view of New York Bay from Louis J Valentino Park? It rocks.

BoCoCa / Red Hook


Map 32

image Landmarks

✵ Beard Street Pier ✵ Van Brunt St & Reed St

Historic 19th century warehouses, now a cluster of shops and offices.

✵ Brooklyn Clay Retort and Fire Brick Works ✵ 76 Van Dyke St [Richards St]

Red Hook’s first official Landmark building dates to the mid-19th century.

✵ Cobble Hill Park ✵ Clinton St & Verandah Pl

One of the cutest parks in all of New York.

✵ Cool House ✵ 26 Reed St [Van Brunt St]

One of the coolest single-family dwellings in the city.

✵ Gowanus Canal ✵ Smith St & 9th St

Brooklyn’s answer to the Seine.

✵ Louis Valentino Jr Park and Pier ✵

Coffey St & Ferris St

Escape gentrification-industrial complex with perfect view Statue of Liberty.

✵ Red Hook Ball Fields ✵ Clinton St & Bay St

Watch futbol and eat Central American street food every Saturday from spring through fall.

✵ Red Hook Grain Terminal ✵

Columbia St & Halleck St

Visit this abandoned grain elevator just to wonder what it’s doing there.

✵ Warren Place ✵ Warren Pl [Warren St]

Public housing from the 1870s.

image Coffee

✵ The Black Flamingo ✵

281 Van Brunt St [Pioneer St]

Hippest spot in the ‘hook for java.

✵ Black Gold ✵ 461 Court St [Luquer St]


Coffee, records, antiques, baked goods. All they’re missing is cheese.

✵ Blue Bottle Coffee ✵ 85 Dean St [Smith St]

Bay Area masters with the long lines for pour overs.

✵ Cafe Pedlar ✵ 210 Court St [Warren St]


Stumptown Coffee is served here. That’s all you need to know.

✵ D’Amico Foods ✵ 309 Court St [Degraw St]


The neighborhood spot for fresh beans.

✵ Henry’s Local ✵ 570 Henry St [1st Pl]


Very chill, quiet cafe with baked goods.

✵ Key & Cup ✵ 331 Henry St [Atlantic Ave]


Great coffee, and a stunning Chocolate Brownie Cookie.

✵ Konditori ✵ 114 Smith St [Pacific St]


Cozy/packed mini-chain of Swedish coffeehouses.

✵ Momofuku Milk Bar ✵ 360 Smith St [2nd Pl]


Coffee and a bunch of other weird stuff.

image Farmers Markets

✵ Carroll Gardens ✵ Smith St & Carroll St

Sunday, 8 am-3 pm, year-round.

Each of the ‘nabes here has their stalwarts. In Boerum Hill, it’s classic Brooklyn Inn or the jukebox at The Boat. Cobble Hill has several great places on Atlantic (Floyd, Montero’s,Last Exit), or stick with old-tyme cocktails at Henry Public. In Carroll Gardens, it’s Gowanus Yacht Club in summer and Brooklyn Social in winter, and in Red Hook, Bait and Tackle and Fort Defiance compete with classic dive Sunny’s.

image Nightlife

✵ 61 Local ✵ 61 Bergen St [Smith St]


Spacious bar with a wide, local craft beer selection.

✵ Abilene ✵ 442 Court St [3rd Pl]


Cozy and unpretentious. Drink specials galore.

✵ Bar Great Harry ✵ 280 Smith St [Sackett St]


There’s a blog devoted to the draft beer section.

✵ Black Mountain Wine House ✵

415 Union St [Hoyt St]


Try the Lebanese wine!

✵ Boat Bar ✵ 175 Smith St [Wyckoff St]


Dank, dark, and friendly. Nice tunes to boot.

✵ Botanica ✵ 220 Conover St [Coffey St]


Classy looking joint.

✵ The Brazen Head ✵ 228 Atlantic Ave [Court St]


Cask ale, mixed crowd.

✵ The Brooklyn Inn ✵ 148 Hoyt St [Bergen St]


When you’re feeling nostalgic.

✵ Brooklyn Social ✵ 335 Smith St [Carroll St]


Old boy’s lounge revamped. Cocktails still the same. NFT Pick.

✵ Building on Bond ✵ 112 Bond St [Pacific St]


Coffee by day, alcohol by night. Perfect.

✵ Clover Club ✵ 210 Smith St [Baltic St]


Charming den of cocktails and conversation.

✵ Cody’s American Bar & Grill ✵

154 Court St [Dean St]


Great sports bar. Seriously.

✵ Floyd ✵ 131 Atlantic Ave [Henry St]


Indoor bocce ball court!

✵ Fort Defiance ✵ 365 Van Brunt St [Dikeman St]


Great cocktails, great beer, great pork chop.

✵ Gowanus Yacht Club ✵

323 Smith St [President St]


Dogs, burgers, and beer. Love it.

✵ Henry Public ✵ 329 Henry St [Atlantic Ave]


From those that brought us Brooklyn Social.

✵ Hollow Nickel ✵ 494 Atlantic Ave [Nevins St]


Fried pickles, BLTs, and burgers for the Barclays crowd.

✵ home/made ✵ 293 Van Brunt St [Pioneer St]


Wine-soaked snacking on the Red Hook waterfront.

✵ The JakeWalk ✵ 282 Smith St [Sackett St]


The important things in life: wine and whiskey.

✵ Jalopy Tavern ✵

315 Columbia St [Hamilton Ave]


Live music from rockabilly to out jazz; banjos in the window.

✵ Last Exit ✵ 136 Atlantic Ave [Henry St]


Still trying to win trivia night. $10 pails of PBR.

✵ Montero’s Bar and Grill ✵

73 Atlantic Ave [Hicks St]


A taste of what things used to be like.

✵ Other Half Brewing ✵

195 Centre St [Hamilton Ave]


Elegant/bold brews sold in cans or from tasting room.

✵ Red Hook Bait & Tackle ✵

320 Van Brunt St [Pioneer St]


Kitschy, comfy pub with cheap drinks and good beers on tap.

✵ Rocky Sullivan’s ✵ 34 Van Dyke St [Dwight St]


The Sixpoint portfolio is on tap—a Red Hook must.

✵ Roebling Inn ✵ 97 Atlantic Ave [Hicks St]


Good vibe at this sister tavern of the Brooklyn Inn.

✵ Sunny’s ✵ 253 Conover St [Reed St]


No longer pay-what-you-wish, but still cheap and good.

✵ Waterfront Ale House ✵

155 Atlantic Ave [Clinton St]


Renowned burgers and sizable beer list.

image Restaurants

✵ Alma ✵ 187 Columbia St [Degraw St]

718-643-5400 $$$

Top NYC Mexican with great views of lower Manhattan.

✵ Atlantic Chip Shop ✵

129 Atlantic Ave [Henry St]

718-855-7775 $$

Heart attack on a plate.

✵ Avlee ✵ 349 Smith St [Carroll St]

718-855-5125 $$$

Good Greek that you don’t have to schlep to Astoria for.

✵ Bacchus ✵ 409 Atlantic Ave [Bond St]

718-852-1572 $$$

Low key neighborhood Frenchy bistro.

✵ Bar Bruno ✵ 520 Henry St [Union St]

347-763-0850 $$$

Mexican gastropub just off the main drag in Carroll Gardens.

✵ Bar Tabac ✵ 128 Smith St [Dean St]

718-923-0918 $$$

Open late; fabulous frites, burgers, et al.

✵ Battersby ✵ 255 Smith St [Degraw St]

718-852-8321 $$$$$

Upscale joint in tiny space. Let us know if you get in.

✵ Bedouin Tent ✵ 405 Atlantic Ave [Bond St]

718-852-5555 $

Two words: lamb sandwich. No, four: best lamb sandwich ever.

✵ Bergen Hill ✵ 387 Court St [11231]

718-858-5483 $$$

Sit at the bar, talk with the chef, and eat everything.

✵ Brooklyn Crab ✵ 24 Reed St [Van Brunt St]

718-643-2722 $$$$

3 floors of delish seafood with a view of New York Bay. We love it, except for weekends.

✵ Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain ✵

513 Henry St [Sackett St]

718-522-6260 $

A blast from the past. Homemade sodas and shakes.

✵ Buddy’s Burrito & Taco Bar ✵

260 Court St [Baltic St]

718-488-8695 $

Fast, cheap, and out-of-control huge burritos.

✵ Buttermilk Channel ✵

524 Court St [Huntington St]

718-852-8490 $$$

Oysters, sausages, fried chicken, waffles, burgers, ahhh.

✵ Café Luluc ✵ 214 Smith St [Butler St]

718-625-3815 $$$

Friendly French bistro.

✵ Carroll Gardens Classic Diner ✵

155 Smith St [Bergen St]

718-403-9940 $$

Good diner food with 24-hour delivery—Crucial for survival.

✵ Chance ✵ 223 Smith St [Butler St]

718-242-1515 $$$$

Upscale Asian fusion—recommended.

✵ Char No. 4 ✵ 196 Smith St [Baltic St]

718-643-2106 $$

Worship (and eat) at this temple of whisky and bourbon.

✵ Chocolate Room ✵ 269 Court St [Douglass St]

718-246-2600 $

Guess what’s here?

✵ Court Street Grocers ✵

485 Court St [Nelson St]

718-722-7229 $$

Killer breakfast sandwiches and yes! Taylor Pork Roll.

✵ DeFonte’s Sandwich Shop ✵

379 Columbia St [Luquer St]

718-625-8052 $

Crazy-ass Italian hero shop.

✵ Dosa Royale ✵ 316 Court St [Degraw St]

718-576-3800 $$

Servicable dosa joint satisfies the craving.

There’s more good food here than in some entire states, trust us, from Michelin-noted Ki Sushi, Saul,and The Grocery to brick-oven goodness at Lucali (we’re still waiting for a table), loud Thai at Joya, fried chicken at Buttermilk Channel, seasonal Italian at Frankies 457, Central European comfort food at Karloff, Middle Eastern haven Bedouin Tent, late-night French at Bar Tabac, or rooftop Mexican at Alma.

✵ Dover ✵ 412 Court St [1st Pl]

347-987-3545 $$$$

Top-end dining from the Battersby folks.

✵ Fatoosh ✵ 330 Hicks St [Atlantic Ave]

718-243-0500 $

Nicely priced Middle Eastern Food.

✵ Ferdinando’s Focacceria ✵

151 Union St [Hicks St]

718-855-1545 $

Sicilian specialties you won’t find anywhere else! Get the panelle special.

✵ Fragole Ristorante ✵ 394 Court St [Carroll St]

718-522-7133 $$

Fresh and cozy Italian. An absolute gem.

✵ Frankie’s 457 ✵ 457 Court St [Luquer St]

718-403-0033 $$

Fantastic meatballs. Cool space. Killer brunch.

✵ French Louie ✵ 320 Atlantic Ave [Smith St]

718-935-1200 $$$$

Friendly French on Atlantic. More is better.

✵ The Good Fork ✵ 391 Van Brunt St [Coffey St]

718-643-6636 $$$

Yep. It’s good. VERY good.

✵ The Grocery ✵ 288 Smith St [Sackett St]

718-596-3335 $$$$

Magnificent. Reservations recommended.

✵ Hanco’s ✵ 135 Smith St [Dean St]

718-858-6818 $

Bánh mì for people who won’t trek to Sunset Park.

✵ Hibino ✵ 333 Henry St [Pacific St]

718-260-8052 $$

Highly regarded Cobble Hill sushi.

✵ Hometown Bar-B-Que ✵

454 Van Brunt St [Reed St]

347-294-4644 $$

Grab some ‘cue while the significant other shops for groceries at Fairway.

✵ Hope & Anchor ✵

347 Van Brunt St [Wolcott St]

718-237-0276 $$

Great upscale diner.

✵ Joya Thai ✵ 215 Court St [Warren St]

718-222-3484 $$

Excellent, inexpensive, but super-noisy Thai.

✵ Karloff ✵ 254 Court St [Kane St]

347-689-4279 $$

Eastern European classics, won’t bust your gut, plus ice cream!

✵ Kevin’s ✵ 277 Van Brunt St [Visitation Pl]

718-596-8335 $$$

Eggs Chesapeake. Mmmm.

✵ Ki Sushi ✵ 122 Smith St [Dean St]

718-935-0575 $$

Affordable sushi in sleek surroundings; Michelin-starred.

✵ La Cigogne ✵ 213 Union St [Henry St]

718-858-5641 $$$

Stylish Alsatian food on Union.

✵ Layla Jones ✵ 214 Court St [Warren St]

718-624-2361 $

The best pizza delivery in the hood.

✵ Le Petit Café ✵ 502 Court St [Nelson St]

718-596-7060 $$

Good bistro food—check out the garden.

✵ Libertador ✵ 400 Henry St [Baltic St]

347-689-3122 $$$

Mixed grill for two and call us in the morning.

✵ Lucali ✵ 575 Henry St [Carroll St]

718-858-4086 $$

One man makes every perfect pizza by hand. Be prepared to wait.

✵ Mazzat ✵ 208 Columbia St [Sackett St]

718-852-1652 $$

Donut-style falafel will make you a believer.

✵ Mile End ✵ 97 Hoyt St [Atlantic Ave]

718-852-7510 $$

Jewish deli, Montreal-style. Two words: smoked meat.

✵ Monte’s ✵ 451 Carroll St [3rd Ave]

718-852-7800 $$$

Pizza and pasta since 1906, updated for the new millennium.

✵ Petite Crevette ✵ 144 Union St [Hicks St]

718-855-2632 $$$

Tucked-away French hard by the BQE.

✵ Pizza Moto ✵ 338 Hamilton Ave [Clinton St]

718-834-6686 $$$

Artisanal pizza made in a 100-year-old-plus oven.

✵ Pok Pok NY ✵ 117 Columbia St [Kane St]

718-923-9322 $$$

Killer Thai with spicy wings straight from the Godhead.

✵ Prime Meats ✵ 465 Court St [Luquer St]

718-254-0327 $$$

German delights like wurst and sauerbraten take center stage.

✵ Rucola ✵ 190 Dean St [Bond St]

718-576-3209 $$$

Rustic neighborhood Northern Italian. Just a great vibe.

✵ Saul ✵ 200 Eastern Pkwy [Washington Ave]

718-935-9844 $$$

Romantical and delicioso.

✵ Sottocasa Pizzeria ✵

298 Atlantic Ave [Smith St]

718-852-8758 $$

Top pizza on Atlantic, with great Italian beer selection.

✵ Strong Place ✵ 270 Court St [Butler St]

718-855-2105 $$

Good beer selection and delicious duck.

✵ Tripoli ✵ 156 Atlantic Ave [Clinton St]

718-596-5800 $$

A Lebanese standby since 1973 is great for a party, with meze platters and BYOB.

✵ Uglyduckling ✵ 166 Smith St [Wyckoff St]

718-451-3825 $$

Chicken ‘n waffles, burgers, brunch, and lots of taps.

✵ Yemen Café ✵ 176 Atlantic Ave [Clinton St]

718-834-9533 $

More good Yemeni food, because you can never have too much lamb.

✵ Yemen Cuisine ✵ 145 Court St [Atlantic Ave]

718-624-9325 $$

Don’t let the decor (or lack thereof) keep you out, go and eat amazing lamb.

✵ Zaytoons ✵ 283 Smith St [Sackett St]

718-875-1880 $$

Excellent Middle Eastern pizzas and kebabs.

image Shopping

✵ A Cook’s Companion ✵

197 Atlantic Ave [Court St]


A fantastic shop with everything for your kitchen (except the food).

✵ Article& ✵ 198 Smith St [Baltic St]


Designer duds and accessories. Who needs the LES?

✵ Baked ✵ 359 Van Brunt St [Dikeman St]


Death by dessert.

✵ Bien Cuit ✵ 120 Smith St [Pacific St]


Stand-out breads and pastries.

✵ BookCourt ✵ 163 Court St [Dean St]


Classic Cobble Hill bookstore w/ great readings, selection, etc.

✵ Botanica El Phoenix ✵

224 Columbia St [Union St]


Santeria accessories, religious candles, icons, books.

✵ By Brooklyn ✵ 261 Smith St [Degraw St]


Dedicated to stuff made in the borough of Kings.

✵ Caputo’s Fine Foods ✵ 460 Court St [3rd Pl]


Italian gourmet specialties. The real deal.

✵ City Foundry ✵ 365 Atlantic Ave [Hoyt St]


If you can afford it your place will be in a magazine.

✵ Clayworks on Columbia ✵

195 Columbia St [Degraw St]


Unique, practical pottery and classes for all levels.

✵ Community Bookstore ✵

212 Court St [Warren St]


General interest.

You can find anything on Atlantic, Smith, or Court Streets, especially food: Sahadi’s, Staubitz, D’Amico’s, Caputo’s, Fish Tales, Smith & Vine, and Stinky are all great. Treat yourself at Swallow or Article &. Clayworks on Columbia’s housewares are made by local artists, GRDN has lush plants, Idlewild Books is the spot for travel books, and all manner of kitchenware can be found at A Cook’s Companion.

✵ D’Amico Foods ✵ 309 Court St [Degraw St]


The best coffee in the ‘hood, if not the city.

✵ Dig ✵ 479 Atlantic Ave [Nevins St]


Garden store specializing in tricky urban environments.

✵ Erie Basin ✵ 388 Van Brunt St [Dikeman St]


Jewelry and stuff from the 19th and early 20th century.

✵ Eva Gentry Consignment ✵

371 Atlantic Ave [Hoyt St]


Fashionista consignment emporium.

✵ Exit 9 ✵ 127 Smith St [Dean St]


Quirky gifts.

✵ Fairway ✵ 480 Van Brunt St [Reed St]


Best grocery store in Brooklyn. By far.

✵ Fish Tales ✵ 191 Court St [Wyckoff St]


The place for expensive, but fresh, fish.

✵ Flight 001 ✵ 132 Smith St [Dean St]


Luggage, etc, for the pampered traveler.

✵ G. Esposito & Sons ✵

357 Court St [President St]


Sopressata and sausages direct from the Godhead.

✵ Gowanus Nursery ✵ 9 Carroll St [Van Brunt St]


Make your garden happen in a not-so-green ‘hood.

✵ GRDN ✵ 103 Hoyt St [Pacific St]


Great store…if you’re lucky enough to have a garden.

✵ Hard Soul Boutique ✵

418 Atlantic Ave [Bond St]


Fierce jewelry, recording studio founded by Strafe (“Set It Off”).

✵ Heights Chateau Wines ✵

123 Atlantic Ave [Henry St]


Consistently good store straddling Brooklyn Heights & Cobble Hill.

✵ Idlewild Books ✵ 249 Warren St [Court St]


Extensive foreign-language offerings and language classes.

✵ IKEA ✵ 1 Beard St [Otsego St]


Everything you need for your 312-sq ft apt.

✵ Malko Karkanni Bros. ✵

174 Atlantic Ave [Clinton St]


Cashew Baklava makes you believe again.

✵ Mazzola Bakery ✵ 192 Union St [Henry St]


Top bakery in CG. Get the lard bread.

✵ One Girl Cookies ✵ 68 Dean St [Smith St]


Custom cookies in Cobble Hill.

✵ Red Hook Lobster Pound ✵

284 Van Brunt St [Visitation Pl]


Mmmmm…fresh gorgeous lobsters.

✵ Sahadi’s ✵ 187 Atlantic Ave [Court St]


Totally brilliant Middle Eastern supermarket—olives, cheese, bread, etc.

✵ Smith & Vine ✵ 268 Smith St [Douglass St]


If NFT owned a liquor store, this would be it.

✵ Staubitz Market ✵ 222 Court St [Baltic St]


Top NYC butcher.

✵ Stinky ✵ 215 Smith St [Butler St]


I get it! It’s a cheese store!

✵ Swallow ✵ 361 Smith St [2nd St]


An exquisite selection of glass, jewelry, and books.

✵ Trader Joe’s ✵ 130 Court St [Court St]


The line moves pretty fast, really.