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Oct 21, 2007 10:40 AM

Bensonhurst Restaurants

I read the NY Times piece this AM about how Bensonhurst is becoming the home for multiple immigrant groups, and that the Italians are moving out.

Are there restaurants to match?

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  1. Absolutely. 86th Street between 18th Avenue and, oh, east of Bay Parkway is an terrific resource for ethnic dining and shopping. My new favorite Cantonese place is 68 Golden Chinese Restaurant near 20th Avenue; try the [authentic] fried rice--it's a specialty. They also have a small interesting selection of Dim Sum daily.

    Also along the strip is a Shanghai restaurant, which I haven't yet tried, a bunch of Hong Kong teahouse/Chinese-style American food places (hard to describe), a couple of good Vietnamese restaurants, Russian places...and the food shopping near Bay Parkway is quite interesting and multi-ethnic. There's also a pretty good Szechuan restaurant on 18th Avenue in the 70s somewhere, and World Tong is also on 18th Avenue near the N train--considered one of the best Dim Sum parlors in the city.

    1. Pho Tay Ho Vietnamese Restaurant is one to consider.

      1. Yes. Eastern Europeans are moving up Cropsey Ave from Coney Island/Brighton Beach and there has beeen a growing Asian presence there for quite some time. I know of at least one Middle Eastern Restaurant there as well. Most, if not all, of the Jewish Deli's are gone, but there are still some Italian restaurant holdouts, It's a nice place to walk around and 86th St seems to still be the hub of activity. Bath Ave loooks a bit shabby.
        Take a walk from say, 23rd or 24th Aves to 18th Ave and you'll get a real sense of the offerings. I think it's the "W" train that makes stops at 18th, 20th, Bay Parkway (AKA 22nd Ave) and 25th Ave.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Tay

          i gotta disagree a little, while the nabe has changed a little wat neighborhood hasn't, the asians, eastern europeans have stores on 86th st up until aboud 18th ave but even with that theres alot of italian character on that strip, with the surrounding side streets still mainly italian. for instance, down Ave U, Stillwell Ave, 20th Ave, 18th Ave, 17th Ave, 86th St past 18th ave, 15th ave, 13th ave, etc the flavor is all Italian, including many new businesses springing up in the last couple of yrs and new Italians moving to the area and many of the young families deciding to raise their families here.

          1. re: joeyBK

            Yes I agree that there are still many Italians in the area, but to say the neighborhood has only changed "a little" would not be entirely accurate.
            Remember: The OP was referring to Bensonhurst, not Brooklyn in general.
            Just driving down Bath Ave or 86th St and you can tell there are many, many changes.

            1. re: joeyBK

              The Italians are still strongly concentrated between Ft Ham Pkway and 18th Av, but you only need to take the bus or walk down 18th to see the changes. For one, the second you pass 18th Ave on a B1, the majority instantly turns to Russian and Chinese. For two, just about all of 18th Ave below 70th St is now Chinese. I was one of the Italians in the area and I took the B1 every day. When I was born it was 100% Italian, but it is losing ground at an incredible pace.

              Onto the food! There are even two milk tea/bakery places on 18th below 70th. I forget the exact street names but one of them has good HK style milk tea. New Utrecht also has some randomly placed Chinese spots and supermarkets now too. South Bensonhurst hasn't been Italian for ages, but this is a really big change and it clears up a lot of questions about Italian identity in the area. It's on the retreat, massively. Yes, I still had to speak Italian when I went to my tailor, but that's on 13th Avenue. 18th is a different story right now and it might be a veeeeeeery different "Cristoforo Colombo" Blvd in 5 years.

              1. re: JFores

                jfores i have to disagree a little with you, i'm an italian that lives in bensonhurst. south bensonhurst past 86th st is a mostly residential area that contains alot of italians, go through there one day most of the businesses on harway ave, cropsey ave, bath ave are italiano owned. and 18th ave past 70th st are seeing the opening of Caffe Bella and Villabate- Alba Pasticceria. Italian ices places (Ralphs) are still opening as far north as 61st st on the block of Aldo. The older Russian crowd in the nabe is dying away fast and was more of a factor in the mid 1990's

                1. re: joeyBK

                  Really? It's resurging? Every friend I have in that area is Russian and I have quite a few. I used to go down there for Russian house parties all throughout high school... and that was only last year. BTW, 80th Ave from 70th and up in numbers is still very Italian. It's when you hit 86th below 18th or 18th lower than 70th that things start to get very blurred. Many Russians are actually moving in around the area itself, too. Even as far up as 13th Av and 10th Av. There are a few Russian groceries on 18th along with a load of Chinese ones now too.

                  1. re: JFores

                    joeyBK & JFlores
                    Just to let you know: The Russian pop is not dying out: They are just moving to SI. A sure sign of the times is the new Net Cost Supermarket that recently opened in the Oakwood/Richmondtown section of SI.Until the housing slump forced a lot of people to rethink their options, many of the core Italian population was relocating to or retiring to NJ and the Southern states. As for a resurgence of Italians in Bensonhurst, you'd never know it by driving up Bath Ave, but if that's happening it may be because the Asian population is moving on to other areas and other states. Since they tend not to patronize the neighborhood businesses, that may well be an economic boost for Bensonhurst. There is also a growing Central American pop. but they are not opening businesses so they seem to have a less noticable impact on the types stores that are opening.

                    1. re: Tay

                      The Central Americans are very limited and hard to notice unless your on foot. Small Brazilian community above New Utrecht too, but it's practically unnoticeable.

                      In regards to the Russians, I really don't see the moving. I know many who are going to SI, but I also know many who just moved to Bensonhurst. Brighton and it's tributaries are expanding rapidly and I would not be surprised if much of lower Bensonhurst, "Gravesend", and lower 18th Ave become completely rather than partially Russian in only a few years. The Russian influx is massive. Just as they're moving to SI for better houses, they're moving to upper Bensonhurst and Dyker for the same. They also own a massive amount of the new "yuppy" style housing that is appearing in the wake of demolitions across south and south west Bensonhurst. Not to mention the brown buildings on the water.

                      1. re: JFores

                        The Central Amer population seems to inhabit the many pre war walk ups along Bay Parkway below 86th St.. I didn't know about the Brazilian pop in the NE area. When I think NU, I think: Rispoli's Ices. They were the best! Have they opened any Brazilian restaurants? Now that you mention it, I do recall my friends mentioning that many Russian families have moved into Dyker Hts.,
                        I don't recall any Russian restaurants opening in the immediate area.
                        I wonder if they are around and I just haven't noticed. I'm probably too busy pounding the steering wheel in a futile attempt to find parking! .

                        1. re: Tay

                          Loads of Russians moving into Dyker. I lived among them. I was quite suprised when one family moved straight next to a friend of mine's house.

                          There's no Brazilian places, but one grocery is Brazilian owned and I've seen kids and families speaking Portugese outside of a stretch near this store quite a few times.

          2. In my opinion, the best Asian restaurant in Bensonhurst is on 18th Avenue and 73rd Street. It's a place called Trio Village. It is a Thai-Asian sushi bar where everything is delicious. From the beef cubes, honey walnut shrimp and fried calamari to the sushi, house special rolls and seaweed salad... the drinks there are incredible also. Their Thai iced tea is one of the best that I've ever tasted. I recommend this place to anybody who likes Asian fusion food.

            1 Reply
            1. About a year ago there was an editorial on the Not For Tourists website about all-you-can eat sushi joints and their surprising abundance in Bensonhurst.


              8 Replies
              1. re: nickcarey

                Anyone else been to the Trio Village that Luke Constantino recommends?

                1. re: BMartin

                  I too would like to know more about Trio Villiage. I have been dying to find good Thai food in Bensonhurst. My personal favorite is Wild Ginger on Grove but alas they won't bring the food to me so I often call and drive by and they bring it to my car.

                  I am craving boneless duck with oyster sauce and fresh string beans and some chicken sung . . . And not to forget my mango salad with ginger lime dressing.


                  1. re: nickcarey

                    I started this thread in Oct 2007, so I guess it means I can resurrect it. In any event, yesterday I was driving down Bay Parkway in Besonhurst--on my way to Schnitzi's from Staten Island-and there is a section near the cemetery that is all Chinese. Wow--its been ages since I was there. Are there any good Chinese restaurants on or near Bay Parkway? Schnitzi's is great BTW--we both had the fried chicken cutlet sandwiches plus the potato chips. Then we went to Pomegranite--the supermarket--and I got their great matzah ball soup.

                    1. re: BMartin

                      Bamboo Pavillion on 18th Ave in the 70s is really fine Sichuan.
                      World Tong a little north of there is good dim sum.
                      We have not had any luck on Bay Parkway thus far but not too many tries.

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        World Tong going under a new name for the past couple months at least.

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          Bamboo Pavillion also had a new name last time I was there (a couple of months ago). I had meant to make a note of it and post, but totally forgot until i saw this. The hostess said that the ownership had not changed. Maybe somebody recalls the new name?

                          1. re: gnosh

                            China New Star is the best chinese restaurant in Brooklyn , Flatbush and Avenue R (Yes i know its not Bensonhurst)