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Sep 2, 2008 01:27 PM

What neighborhood is this, and where to eat?


I will be staying in Brooklyn for the first time and while I've visited there a couple of times I have only been to Cobble Hill/Prospect Park areas. We will be staying between the Avenue H and J stations (the Q line?). Does this neighborhood have a name I can use to search boards by?
Any recommendations for food in the neighborhood? I believe Di Fara's is nearby. We are trying to do this trip rather on-the-cheap, so, while places like Al di La sound great, they are probably out of our price range. One dinner and some breakfast/bagels, and a lunch spot would be great.

We will be going into Manhattan some, but I definitely want to walk the Brooklyn Bridge and go to the Botanical Gardens.

Thanks in advance!


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  1. Search this board for "Ave J" "Coney Island Ave" and "Midwood." There are lots of great recs including some terrific Turkish and Afghan on CIA. Enjoy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Amy Mintzer

      I dont know about Afghan - Bahar was terribly disappointing on our last visit.

      The two Felafel places on CIA - Famous and Olympic - are well worth a visit both for atmosphere and food. Not on Fri night-Saturday though.

    2. "Any recommendations for food in the neighborhood?"...
      Try seeking out some other Sunset Park. Find out how to get to the "R" train for great Mexican or the "N" train to check out Brooklyn's China Town.
      Well worth the effort and the food choices are varied, delicious and very reasonable.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Tay

        So it sees from the responses thus far that the area where we are staying does not have a cute name like Cobble Hill. Is that accurate? And it seems like the food in that area may be lacking. This is fine, but I'm glad to know so that I can seek out food in other areas. Is Chinatown in Brooklyn worthwhile as compared to that area in Manhattan?
        I haven't investigated Coney Island Avenue yet, so likely a stupid question here: is it at all part of Coney Island? Do you all recommend Coney Island as a place to visit? I've heard that it can be deserted and maybe not so much to see anymore. It'd be fun to get an authentic Nathan's there though.

        Thanks for your help.

        1. re: ScarletB

          Coney Island Avenue is not part of Coney Island. There isn't much to see down in Coney Island.

          1. re: ScarletB

            I think most people probably would consider your area Midwood (Midwood technically starts on Ave I). The neighborhood adjacent to yours is called Ditmas Park. So you may want to do a search on that as well.

            Aside from Di Fara's, I've also liked Olympic Pita and Famous Pita for falafel and schwarma. They are both near where you're staying and pretty inexpensive.

            Personally, Coney Island isn't a must-see for me. But if you want to go to Nathan's or Tottono's (pizza) and play some games, I can see some visitors liking it. The neighborhood of Coney Island (different from Coney Island Ave as DeeDee noted) is adjacent to Brighton Beach where you've got a lot of great Russian stores like M&I International Foods. You can find lots of foods to nosh while you're here. It's about a 15-20 minute subway ride from where you are staying.


            1. re: ScarletB

              FYI, in NYC (week Queens and Brooklyn at least), major roads that have the same name as neighborhoods are usually named after the places they lead to and end, not the places they go through. So, Coney Island Ave ends in Coney Island, Flushing ave leads to Flushing (well sort of), and Greenpoint ave leads to Greenpoint. Hope this helps...

          2. The neighborhood is Midwood. One thing you should be aware of is that this is a largely orthodox Jewish community. Almost all of the stores and restaurants will be closed from late Friday afternoon through Saturday (DiFara's is an obvious exception). Ave. J is the main shopping/dining strip for this community.

            Coney Island Ave. (or CIA as its often called here) is a multi-ethnic strip with many Middle-Eastern and South Asian places on it, from Turkish to Bengladeshi, in addition to the above-mentioned Israeli style falafel places.

            Despite the recommendations here, Sunset Park is not very easily reachable from the area you'll be in, since it's over on the other side of the borough. The Q and B trains that run through the area you'll be in though do go directly to some interesting places with cheaper eats, like the Mexican and West Indian areas around Church Ave., the Middle Eastern strip on Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn, and Manhattan's Chinatown to the north - as well as Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum and Botanical Gardens. To the south they go to the Russian neighborhood of Brighton Beach (where the restaurant food is generally not cheap, but the stores have some great stuff) and Coney Island.

            Coney Island is one of my favorite places in the NYC, and in my view well worth a visit. In fact, go now while you can still see a multi-ethnic and multi-racial crowd of regular NYers having fun having a hot dog or two, some nice clams on the half shell, and a cold beer, while enjoying a day at the boardwalk and the beach, because the usual suspects want to tear it all down and yuppify the place for the big $$ crowd asap.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Woodside Al

              Thanks so much for the info Woodside Al and everyone! I think we'll try to go to Coney Island because of its history and as something new and different. We will be there Sunday through Wednesday and won't have a car, so things that are accessible by subway are best.

              What is the best way to walk the Brooklyn Bridge? Okay, that sounds dumb. I mean, going to Manhattan or from, what is the closest subway stop on the Brooklyn side, is there good food to get us the walking energy around there? :)

              1. re: ScarletB

                The last stop on the 6 train (called Brooklyn Bridge) will leave you by the entrance to the walkway on the Manhattan side. I think the closest stop on the Brooklyn side would be High Street on the A and C line. Food options are better on the Brooklyn side -- Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, Jacques Torres, Almondine Bakery, Grimaldi's pizza (though I've heard downhill reports and haven't been there in a while). But the Manhattan side leaves you about 1/2 mile from Chinatown.

            2. Hi!
              I was born and have lived in brooklyn all my life, so i've built up lots of knowledge of great restaurants and hidden away spots to grab a quick bite!

              I'm happy to hear that you've been to the cobble hill/prospect park area, especially since the options of restaurants there are ENDLESS!

              Reccomendations for those areas-
              Pacifico: Smith Street Cobble Hill
              - great mexican food in a tucked away, lively, and authentically decorated little spot.

              Alma: Tiffany Place, Border red hook/cobble hill
              -one of my favorite restaurants, amazing mexican/peruvian cuisine,
              GREAT view of the skyline from their upper outdoors seating,
              VERY fairly priced as well!

              Apple Wood
              Park Slope
              - Amazing food, a little expensive, but defiantly worth the trip over.
              Calm quaint atmosphere perfect for sipping wine,
              wonderful service in a wonderful restaurant.

              Kiku Sushi
              Park slope
              - Cheap AMAZING sushi. Nuff' said.

              Brooklyn is an amazing and diverse borough, make sure you really try to see as much of it as possible during your stay here!

              Good luck

              ps. Al di La is phenomenal!

              2 Replies
              1. re: bklynborngirl

                You will be in the Midwood section but Ditmas Park is the new Park Slope, sort of. Great, affordable restaurants, including the Adderly Farm (on Cortelyou Rd.) and Pommes Terre (on Newkirk), owned by same crew.

                Brooklyn Chinatown is quite a sight and worth a visit.

                If you go to Coney Island, where I live, then you may want to try Gargiulo's, an old-school Italian place. Otherwise, stay away from Nathan's and the other ripoff spots. For a good hot dog or other Jewish deli-type treats, head to Jay & Lloyd's, on Ave. U by Bedford, which is sorta along the Q/B line.

                1. re: eglazarev

                  Was just parked in front of Gargiulo's today and was waiting for some goodfellas to come waddling out! As for Coney Island boardwalk area, Dona Zita's is just fine for tacos and enormous tortas but it's kind of hidden down a side alley by the abandoned Shore hotel. I also enjoyed some of the street vendors when the Flea by the Sea is going on... look for the big white tents.