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Ditmas Park vs. Sunset Park

My boyfriend and I are planning to move in March. I currently live in Carroll Gardens, which I adore, but it seems there aren't too many affordable apartments available. Given our budget, it looks like we're likely to end up in either Ditmas Park/Kensington or Sunset Park (ideally near the 36th St subway). Which neighborhood has better restaurants/delivery? We checked out Ditmas Park the other night and ate at the Farm on Adderley, which we found to be okay but not great. Would we have better luck in Sunset Park?

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  1. in a word, unless things have changed greatly in the last two years, no. We lived in Sunset Park for a couple years. GREAT Chinese/vietnamese on 8th ave and excellent Mexican all down 5th ave. But not much other than that. Maybe someone could prove me wrong? You'll eat very well and cheaply, but we got tired of only having a chioce between Asian and Latin. Shopping is also a major drag except for these two cuisines. You can get good Italian products further south and east, but it's a trek.

    1 Reply
    1. re: quentinC

      You are correct. Things haven't changed much in 2 yrs. Your assessment is very accurate.

    2. What's more important to you - cheap ethnic or Farm on Adderly (ethnic haven) type places?

      2 Replies
      1. re: guide boy

        id go with ditmas park...i couldve sworn i heard the farm on adderley was expanding to a french restaurant in the area. i think the restaurant is great...i wish i ate there more often. you have picket fence, that coffee shop...and if you walk to coney island ave, you have paki joints galore...you also are closer to difara and a bunch of other solid ethnic food.

        1. re: sam1

          I mean it really depends what kind of person you are.

          If I were going to move to either of these neighborhoods my first instinct would be Sunset Park. It isn't eerily quiet and full of baby strollers, and has some of the most incredible, richly developed (however limited) ethnic food in Brooklyn. The commute to Manhattan is similarly fast on the D as it is on the Q, and Park Slope, for bars or restaurants or whatever, is accessible by bus as well.

          But I am young and single and without child, and with limited experience in Ditmas Park. The Middle Eastern strip on Coney Island Ave is tempting though, as well as the affordable quiet that the neighborhood offers.

      2. I live in Ditmas Park, and I think the food situation is decent, but not great. One decent Chinese delivery option (Yen Yen in Kensington), a pretty good Thai place that delivers (Am Thai, also in Kensington), a couple of OK Mexican options, some very good (to me) Pakistani/Bangladeshi steam table places on and near Coney Island Ave., Israeli/Kosher falafel joints. Not too shabby, but not Smith Street, by any stretch. THe Farm at Adderly people are involved with a small bistro-ish restaurant that is supposed to be opening sometime soon on Newkirk. I'm sure other joints will come along. Also, the Flatbush Food Coop on Cortelyou is moving into larger quarters, and while people complain about it, I think it is nice to have in the neighborhood. Vox Pop, the conspiracy theory-advancing coffee shop on Cortelyou, is fun and has free WiFi. I think those last two (the coop and Vox Pop) are the kinds of things you would be less likely to find in Sunset Park, but I don't know much about that neighborhood except that it has great Asian and Mexican food.

        2 Replies
        1. re: gnosh

          lol at Vox Pop description. Right on. "Buy a coffee, read some Chomsky, feel good about your liberal self, join the revolution!" lol.

          To the OP - I would favor Ditmas Park. There will be more Farm/Co-op places popping up there (there is also Connecticut Muffin). And the fact that I see Corcoran signs all over the place is a good sign in itself. In addition, Ditmas Park allows you easy transportation options to Midwood (DiFara's + excellent Turkish options), and Brighton Beach (Russan Food, beach).

          1. re: nokitsch

            Corcoran signs a sign of good things to come? Hmmmm. Maybe they serve as a welcome mat for those priced out of Skippy Slope and Cobble Whatever. Feel good about your liberal self indeed. May the wealthiest win.

            For those not freaked out by the old neighborhood, check out the spicy, fragrant Haitian cuisine at Le Boucanier, 1368 Flatbush Avenue near Farragut Road.

        2. I live right in between the two hoods, have a car, and am thankful for it. There's a lot of good in both directions (though I've heard Picket Fence is under new management and not doing so great these days.)
          But for the Sunset Park side of the discussion, let's not forget the places on 6th Ave and 20th St. I know, it's not Sunset Park, but it's close, very very close, and has the BBQ place, Kitchen Bar and the new Kitchen Bar pizza place (which i don;'t think is open yet). Also on 5th there's my favorite pizza place in the hood, Luigi's, and a new groovy little bar on the same block that may serve food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: HankyT

            I used to live on 49th near 5th in SP (2002-ish) and would def. not rec. that part at of the nabe at least. It might be nicer further east, but the immediate, everyday 5-block radius options were way slim (the Chinatown was a bit of a hoof for everyday). In the western bit there are no decent places to eat (outside of maybe the Los Pollitos), there are no bars, bookstores, or coffee shops, a depressing C-Town (or was it a Met?), filthy streets with 24-7 loud music, and you're on the R train. Ditmas Park, if you're gonna live that far out, seems to have a better mix of stores and food options, and there's some beautiful old buildings to boot, and it's on the B/Q, so it's a little faster to get around.

          2. Definitely Sunset Park. Ditmas Park is surviving off of a handful of faux Park Slope restaurants. If you live in Ditmas Park, you will end up shopping and eating in Park Slope. The closest magical place to you would be Di Fara, but it pretty much ends there. Furthermore, Ditmas Park has bad subway access and is not as gentrified as your real estate agency wants you to think.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JFores

              I disagree. Subway access is good...it is faaaar from Midtown, though. Also, Ditmas is QUITE gentrified.

              Most importantly, cuisine-wise, I think Ditmas puts you in a good spot. You've got Slope-esque bougie food so you can brunch it up when you feel like it, and also some of the better Indian-Pakistani food in all of Brooklyn nearby on Coney Island Ave. Cruising over to Flatbush puts you in touch with the Caribbean. You are near to DiFara's. You are closer to interesting Russian food. You could also potentially consider yourself closer to Bay Ridge Italian. The ethnic mix is there, it's just not the Chinese/Mexican of Sunset. But for variety, you can't beat the proximity to a number of great ethnic neighborhoods.