NEW YORK CITY, 23 FEBRUARY 2023 — NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for the five boroughs of New York City, announced a new Get Local NYC campaign. The new initiative kicks off with a new Brooklyn travel guide, inviting visitors to Brooklyn Like a New Yorker. As more visitors return, NYC & Company remains committed to five-borough storytelling, ensuring that all communities across New York City benefit from the return of tourism. For further details, visit here.
“Brooklyn’s energy is unmatched and Brooklynites are the heart of the city,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Whether you catch a show at BAM, see the street art in Bushwick or grab some ‘rasta pasta’ at Footprints, Brooklyn has unlimited possibilities to keep you busy. We are thrilled to launch Brooklyn Like A New Yorker, offering hidden gems all over the borough. You won’t fuhgeddaboudit!”
“A visit to Brooklyn is a special experience, whether strolling under the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden or eating a Nathan’s Famous hot dog on the boardwalk at Coney Island,” said NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon. “From world-class art at the Brooklyn Museum to Black-owned businesses in Little Caribbean and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn is a spectacular place to sightsee, dine, shop and experience life in New York City just the way New Yorkers do. We welcome the world to Brooklyn Like a New Yorker.”
BROOKLYN TRAVEL GUIDE
Just a subway, taxi or ferry ride from Manhattan, Brooklyn offers everything from world-famous sites like Coney Island and the Brooklyn Bridge to welcoming neighborhoods where visitors can learn about Black history, enjoy authentic ethnic food and marvel at beautifully preserved architecture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Brooklyn is also the City’s most populous borough, home to 2.7 million people, including the City’s mayor, Eric Adams, who owns a home in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
NEIGHBORHOODS: Brooklyn is the most populous borough in NYC with 2.7 million people living in more than 75 distinct communities. Here are highlights from some of those neighborhoods.
THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE, DUMBO, BROOKLYN HEIGHTS: Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is a thrill worthy of any bucket list. When it opened in 1883, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world and an engineering marvel. With its soaring Gothic arches and delicate filigree of cables, it remains a work of stunning beauty. For the best views, take the subway to the Brooklyn side (A or C to High Street) and walk back across to Manhattan.
Two neighborhoods near the bridge are worth a visit. In Brooklyn Heights (2 or 3 train to Clark Street), stroll the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, hang out at the Brooklyn Cat Cafe, or stop by Plymouth Church, which was a center of anti-slavery activism in the 19th century and was visited by Abraham Lincoln (his image can be seen on a bas-relief in the courtyard). The side streets here are lined with stately 19th-century homes, while Montague Street is home to shops like the Tango boutique; City Chemist, known for luxury beauty products; and Montague Jewelers. Nearby is the New York Transit Museum, displaying historical artifacts of the NYC subway, bus and commuter rail systems.
Walk to Dumbo from Brooklyn Heights or take the subway directly there (F train to York Street). Dumbo is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, and there’s a famous spot for selfies at the intersection of Water and Washington streets, where the Manhattan Bridge’s rectangular arch is framed by old brick warehouses. Other Dumbo attractions include Brooklyn Bridge Park; Jane’s Carousel; and Brooklyn Flea, an outdoor vintage market held on weekends from April to October. Expect a line to get into Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, and don’t miss the treats at Jacques Torres Chocolates. Unique shops include POWERHOUSE Arena bookstore, John Fluevog Shoes and Thea Grant jewelry studio. At the Dumbo pier, look for the stone marker describing how George Washington and his troops fled across the river after losing the Battle of Brooklyn in August 1776 during the Revolutionary War. Ferries run to and from the pier with stops in Williamsburg, Lower Manhattan and 34th Street in Manhattan.
Take the D, F, N or Q trains to Stillwell Avenue at the end of the line, cross Surf Avenue, and there’s Coney Island. Get a hot dog from Nathan’s Famous and check out the rides, including Deno’s Wonder Wheel, the legendary Cyclone wooden roller coaster, a vintage carousel, kiddie rides, games and more. (The rides are open weekends from Easter until Memorial Day, daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day and weekends from Labor Day to Halloween).
In summer, swim in the Atlantic. In the off-season, grab a selfie with the iconic red Parachute Jump tower, walk on the pier and hang out with the fisherfolk, kite fliers and salsa dancers. From April until September, take in a Brooklyn Cyclones minor-league baseball game; the team is affiliated with the New York Mets.
A 10-minute walk from the rides, visit the penguins and sea lions at the New York Aquarium (book tickets ahead, as they do sell out). Walking east for another 10 minutes down the boardwalk, visitors will hit Brighton Beach. It’s known as a Russian neighborhood, but immigrants from many former Soviet states live here, including Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan, along with Jews who fled Soviet oppression in the 1970s and ’80s. After the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, many locals showed support for Ukraine by displaying Ukrainian flags. Visitors to the area will want to sit at a boardwalk café and enjoy a bowl of borscht with a side order of pelmeni or vareniki dumplings, then stroll down Brighton Beach Avenue. Take the B or Q train back to Manhattan or stay for the evening and enjoy dinner and entertainment at the legendary Tatiana nightclub.
PARK SLOPE, PROSPECT HEIGHTS, CROWN HEIGHTS: Park Slope, adjacent to Prospect Park, is lined with beautifully preserved brownstones, limestones and mansions on quiet, leafy streets. The park itself is a wonder of nature in the middle of the City and was designed by Olmsted and Vaux, the same landscape architects responsible for Central Park. Wander through meadows and woods; walk, jog or bike on a paved 3½-mile loop; go birdwatching; visit the zoo, skating rink, lake and playgrounds; or stop by the Drummer’s Grove where locals gather to play drums and dance in warmer months.
The park has multiple access points, but its official entrance is Grand Army Plaza, which is dominated by the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch, a Beaux-Arts monument commemorating the Union victory in the Civil War (The 2 and 3 trains stop at Grand Army). A sprawling farmers’ market takes over the plaza on Saturdays; a majestic public library sits across the way.
Next to the library along Eastern Parkway in Prospect Heights lie the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The museum’s most famous works include the iconic 20th-century feminist installation The Dinner Party and the multicultural outdoor sculpture OY/YO. The garden offers year-round attractions like a bonsai collection and a Japanese hill-and-pond garden, but its springtime wonders are incomparable. There’s Daffodil Hill, walkways draped with wisteria and the Cherry Esplanade, where visitors can indulge in the Japanese custom of hanami–enjoying the beauty of cherry blossoms–by watching pink petals float on the breeze and carpet the ground. (Book ahead for garden tickets as they do sell out.) To reach the museum and garden directly, take the 2 or 3 train to Eastern Parkway.
Along nearby Vanderbilt Avenue find a lively selection of bars, shops and cafés, including Brooklyn High Low, which serves a fancy afternoon tea, Mitchell’s Soul Food for fried chicken and cornbread, and The Nuaa Table for Thai.
Crown Heights is a thriving multicultural neighborhood that’s home to many New Yorkers of Caribbean and African descent, along with a large Hasidic Jewish community served by Judaica shops, kosher markets and the world headquarters of the Lubavitcher Orthodox Jews. Kids can spend hours at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, while history buffs will want to tour Weeksville, a historic Black community founded in 1838, 11 years after slavery was abolished in New York. For shopping, visit the Marche Rue Dix boutique, Anyone Comics for classics as well as zines and Calabar Imports for African fashion and jewelry. The neighborhood’s restaurant scene includes La Napa (Latin), Joloff (Senegalese) and Ras Plant Based (Ethiopian, vegan).
BEDFORD-STUYVESANT: Take a selfie with a mural of the legendary rapper Biggie Smalls, visit Do the Right Thing Way, where Spike Lee filmed his iconic movie, and enjoy the beautiful architecture along streets lined with hundreds of elegant late 19th-century brick-and-brownstone homes. Take the G train to Bedford-Nostrand and check out the thriving small businesses along nearby Tompkins Avenue: Peace and Riot (clothing, gifts, art), Byas & Leon (clothing), Ancient Blends Apothe’Care (teas, plant-based personal care), Brown Butter (heavenly biscuits, chicken and waffles), Bed-Vyn Brew (pub) and The Word Is Change (books). Elsewhere in the neighborhood, try Moshood Creations for African apparel and Grandchamps for Haitian food.
FLATBUSH/LITTLE CARIBBEAN: Immigrants from Haiti, Trinidad, Jamaica and other islands have turned Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens and surrounding neighborhoods into New York’s Little Caribbean. Visitors can partake of that island vibe through dining, nightlife, shopping and cultural attractions while strolling streets renamed for Bob Marley and Toussaint L’Ouverture. Get there via the 2 or 5 train to Church Avenue, Beverly Road, or Newkirk Avenue-Little Haiti.
Experience the islands through their food: Trini Breakfast Shed or Bake & Things for Trinidadian; Zanmi, which is Creole for “friends,” for Haitian; Culpepper’s, for Bajan; and MCG Grand Cafe, Grenadian. Errol’s sells Jamaican patties while Immaculee does Haitian patties; jerk chicken can be had at Fisherman’s Cove and Peppa’s; Mangoseed + Zurilee offers fusion creations, and Footprints Cafe is known for its “rasta pasta.” For sweets, head to Allan’s Bakery, a family business for three generations. The Rogers Garden is a rum bar, Sip Unwine is a cocktail spot with Caribbean-inspired tapas, and Caribbean Social is a restaurant and lounge with a dress code.
Shopping destinations include Flatbush Caton Market, an open-air bazaar for clothes, personal care products and jewelry; WOODstack for sneakers and streetwear; African Record Centre for music; Tafari Tribe for Afrocentric clothes, accessories and personal care items, and Paris Beauty Supplyz for hair care and more.
Check out caribBEING, a multidisciplinary venture showcasing Caribbean culture, art, food and themed merchandise, and see what’s on display at the Caribbean Literacy and Culture Center at the Flatbush branch of the public library. And don’t miss what might be the neighborhood’s most famous site: Kings Theatre, a restored 1929 movie palace now showcasing live performances by big names like Tori Amos, Cedric the Entertainer and the Avett Brothers, along with film screenings, comedy and dance troupes.
FORT GREENE and CLINTON HILL: This area is home to many Brooklyn treasures, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, featuring theater, dance, movies, live music and more; and The Center for Fiction, hosting talks by famous writers, workshops and kids’ events, along with a café, bar, bookstore and library. Get there via the many trains serving Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center (2, 3, 4, 5, D, N, R, Q, B), or the C to Lafayette. And consider catching an NBA basketball game at Barclays if the Brooklyn Nets are in town.
Fort Greene Park, a gem designed by Central Park landscape architects Olmsted and Vaux, is home to a towering monument built by Gilded Age architect Stanford White, commemorating more than 11,500 American prisoners of war who died aboard British ships during the Revolutionary War. Architecture buffs will want to take in the Italianate and Beaux-Arts mansions, villas and row houses with their columns and elaborate stonework along Clinton and Washington avenues.
Local businesses include Greenlight Bookstore and Jill Lindsey boutique. Foodies will love Miss Ada for Middle Eastern; Locanda Vini & Olii for Italian food; and Madiba, a South African restaurant honoring Nelson Mandela.
SUNSET PARK AND GREEN-WOOD CEMETERY: Sunset Park is known as Brooklyn’s Chinatown, with Asian restaurants and markets clustered along Seventh and Eighth avenues. But it’s also home to a thriving Latino community centered closer to Fourth and Fifth avenues. Either way, take the D, N or R train to 36th, the R to 45th or N or R to 59th streets in Brooklyn for a look around. The neighborhood is also served by ferries at the Brooklyn Army Terminal pier at 58th Street, heading to and from Lower Manhattan in one direction and Rockaway Beach in Queens the other way.
For dim sum, try Pacificana or East Harbour; for seafood, Lucky Eight; Tiger Sugar for bubble tea; Chuan Tian Xia for Sichuan food; and Ba Xuyen for a great banh mi sandwich (wash it down with an avocado shake). For Latin food, head to Tacos El Bronco, Tacos Matamoros and Maria’s Bistro. Ha-Weeda Tavern is a bar and pool hall, while L’Wren is a friendly cocktail bar.
Green-Wood Cemetery, which dates to 1838, is the final resting place for nearly 600,000 souls as well as one of Brooklyn’s most beautiful parks. Sprawling across 478 acres, it’s home to four ponds, 8,000 trees, hundreds of monuments and works of art, and 185 species of birds, including a colony of bright green parakeets. The humans here for eternity range from Civil War veterans and victims of 9/11 to artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and composer Leonard Bernstein. Find Battle Hill and the statue of Minerva, which is Brooklyn’s highest point, with views of the Statue of Liberty.
BAY RIDGE: Here and in neighboring Bensonhurst are where the movie Saturday Night Fever was set. Take in the sweeping views of the Verrazzano Bridge, hang out with the fisherfolk on the 69th Street Pier, and go for a walk in Owl’s Head Park or along Shore Parkway, known for stunning sunsets. Enjoy Middle Eastern food at Tanoreen, classic Italian food at Gino’s and pastries at Leske’s Bakery. Visit by taking the R train to Bay Ridge Avenue.
CARROLL GARDENS, BOERUM HILL, COBBLE HILL: Take the F train to Carroll Street for a visit to Carroll Gardens. Moonstruck was filmed in this legendary Italian neighborhood, but today it’s also known for trendy cafés and boutiques. Linked together with nearby Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill, the three neighborhoods are sometimes referred to collectively as BoCoCa. Try pizza at Lucali, egg creams (chocolate, milk and seltzer) at Brooklyn Farmacy and fried chicken at Buttermilk Channel. For shopping, hit Foyer Vintage (clothing and collectibles), Article& (boutique), Soula Shoes, Written by Forest (jewelry) and Runnin’ Wild Kids (toys and shoes). Play games at The Brooklyn Strategist and try to spot novelist Emma Straub in the bookstore she owns, Books Are Magic, and stay at the new Ace Hotel Brooklyn.
RED HOOK: Visitors can still see faded factory signs on the old brick warehouses in this waterfront working-class neighborhood, as well as amazing views of the Statue of Liberty from Louis Valentino Jr. Pier and great food at spots like Red Hook Lobster Pound, Hometown Bar-B-Que and Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie. Stop in for a friendly beer-and-burger at Jalopy Tavern or visit Sunny’s Bar, a knickknack-decorated Brooklyn landmark saloon where live music is a staple. To get here, the Red Hook IKEA runs a ferry from Manhattan in warmer months along with a shuttle bus from Brooklyn’s Smith Street subway station (F or G train) or take the B57 or B61 bus from the Smith Street stop.
BUSHWICK: Take the L train to Jefferson Street for a visit to Bushwick, known for street art and Latin food. Try La Isla Cuchifritos (Puerto Rican); Love, Nelly (Colombian-inspired sweets); Alex Luncheonette (no-frills Dominican); El Encebollado de Rossy (Ecuadorian); Arepera Guacuco (Venezuelan); Angela’s Bakery (Dominican sweets); Millie’s Cuban Cafe, and Mesa Azteca. And of course, Roberta’s, whose wood-fired pizzas are credited with putting Bushwick on the hipster culinary map over 15 years ago.
Mil Mundos is a bilingual bookstore and community center; clothing shops include Finn Vintage, and Chess and the Sphinx.
Colorful murals decorate the old industrial buildings along Troutman, Starr, Wyckoff and many other streets.
WILLIAMSBURG: This might just be the birthplace of 21st-century hipster cool in New York City. The neighborhood’s grit has long since given way to condos, galleries and fancy restaurants, but visitors can still have a blast hanging out here. Take the L train to Bedford Avenue and check out neighborhood favorites like Brooklyn Brewery, Blue Bottle Coffee, Llama Inn (Peruvian food), Milk Bar (sweets), Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, Brooklyn Bowl (bowling and live music), and the massive open-air Smorgasburg food market (April–October). Enjoy waterfront views from Domino Park, built on the site of the former Domino Sugar Factory, or hang out with the locals at McCarren Park, a center for community activities. For jewelry, visit Catbird and Scosha, and don’t go home without checking out the nabe’s many vintage clothing stores: Antoinette, L Train, Chickee’s, Beacon’s Closet, Stella Dallas Living, Buffalo Exchange, and Awoke, to name just a few.
GREENPOINT: In addition to art and trendy restaurants and bars, find an old-fashioned Polish immigrant enclave, complete with Polish bookstores, churches and bakeries in Greenpoint. Try the pierogies and sausage at Polka Dot or white borscht in a bread bowl at Karczma, brave the long line for donuts at Peter Pan, walk along the river at WNYC Transmitter Park and have a beer at the friendly Lake Street Bar. Unique shops include Archestratus, a cookbook store and café; Brother Vellies, handcrafted fashion; and Lockwood for home goods, gifts and clothing. Use the G train to Greenpoint Avenue or other nearby stops.