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Bensonhurst/Gravesend recs?

My daughter has just started at a new school near Ave P/Stillwell/Bay Parkway and I'm excited to have a reason to explore a new (for me) neighborhood. Anyone have any recs to get me started? There's a diner nearby on Kings Highway and I passed an interesting looking bakery/gelateria on Bay Parkway (starts with an "R"...Rimaldis?) and of course there's the chinatown stretch on 86th nearby.

We like it all. Will report back soon!

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  1. Gravesend has some of the best Vietnamese in the city, Pho Tay Ho on 86th street and the pioneer in the area Pho Hoai on Ave U near Ocean Ave. Both are very good with Pho Hoai having a little edge on food for me. Also on Ave U is a stretch of chinese restaurants spread from Ocean Ave to Coney Island Ave, though I have not been to many since the Ocean Palace closed there years ago. On 86th street, same stretch as Pho Tay Ho is Kowloon Cafe that makes Hong Kong style cafe dishes (sorry forgot the proper name for this). I have a soft spot for their Kownloon fried rice (excellent!!!) and also find some of their 'western' dishes intriguing like Portugese style chicken over spaghetti.

    Joes of Ave U is a favorite of many (Italian Focacieria)

    Bamboo Pavilion has excellent Szechuan fair on 18th Ave

    The Mirage Diner on Kings Highway is the best diner in the area for my tastes

    Sahara restaurant in all its humongous glory is Turkish/mideastern fair near Ave U along with several other mideastern options along Coney Island Ave and Kings Highway

    Pita Off the Corner on 2nd street off Ave P near McDonald Ave for Schwarma, plus there are many others in the are to choose from, most off Kings Highway (heavily Jewish area)

    Adelman's is a classic NYC Jewish deli on Kings Highway near Ocean Ave

    Cupola Samarkanda II is an Uzbek place on McDonald Ave just above Ave P, still haven't been

    When it reopens, it is worh a trip to Coney Island for Totonno's pizza and/or a stop at Nathans for the novelty and a pretty good dog

    when I think of some others, I'll post them

    1. I live right there. The bakery is Rimini. Nice bread, pastries and cakes. A few doors down is Torre's Restaurant. Delicious Italian food, but I don't care for the pizza (lousy crust). The Chang Wang Supermarket at 67th & Bay Parkway has a great selection of fresh fish at reasonable prices.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Brklynbobby

        I second Bamboo Pavillion, on 18th ave and 70th or so. Directly across the street is Villabate, one of the best Italian pastry shops in the city. And perhaps the best gelato. On 18th ave and about 62nd is world tong, which has excellent dim sum. Il Colosseo, on 18th and 77th, has great brick oven pizza, and a full menu too -- fresh fish, seafood, pastas, etc. and is a fun little place for dinner. (The food is not on the level of, say, Al di la, but definitely worth a visit.)

        1. re: Wet Towel

          Will definitely plan on a Bamboo Pavillion/Villabate trip soon. I've been to World Tong...do they do dim sum during the week? And good to know about Colosseo, particularly since it's the name of the best pizza in the town where I grew up. Thanks for everyone's tips...will report back!

        2. re: Brklynbobby

          Thanks! I actually stopped into Chang Wang (I thought it was called "Early Bird Market", maybe that's another one?)--you're right, really impressive fish and vegetables and other fun looking things. Good to know about Rimini and Torre's.

          1. re: Budino

            Check out various threads on bamboo pavillion over past few months. Sietsema declared it the city's best Chinese restaurant in the Village Voice a few months ago. Definitely get the tea smoked duck, the ma po tofu, the ox tripe appetizer (unbelievably good) and the cold cucumbers. At Villabate, get the so-called "lobster tail." Many great pork stores on 18th ave. Just take a stroll from 86th up to 60th along 18th ave and you'll pass many great Italian, and increasingly Chinese stores.

            1. re: Budino

              There are two Chinese groceries. Chang Wang is on Bay Parkway by 67th St. (south side). Early Bird, which is brand new, is on Bay Parkway by 67th St. (north side). I like Chang Wang better . . . more variety.

              1. re: Brklynbobby

                good to know!

                1. re: Budino

                  Another great treat at Villabate is gelato in a brioche-type bun, an authentic (so I'm told) and hard to find (unarguable) Sicilian specialty.

                  At Bamboo Pavilion, the cold noodles in red oil are memorable. Sounded boring to me, so I tried to discourage my companions from ordering in favor of a different noodle dish. Even though they prevailed, I couldn't stop apologizing and shuddering in horror at the thought that I almost caused us to miss them.

                  1. re: Amy Mintzer

                    "Another great treat at Villabate is gelato in a brioche-type bun..."
                    Amen to that. I had mine with Nociolo - it's one of the best desserts I've had in years.
                    p.

          2. cant forget about l&b stupomi gardens for pizza and italian ices

            2 Replies
            1. re: jsilver227

              Ate at Spumoni Gardens a few weeks ago, loved it. Good red sauce, excellent slices or squares as they say, great spumoni. The best part was the people watching. I felt like 1970 all over again. Can't wait to go back.

              1. re: doxy216

                I love L&B. We actually go there fairly regularly, and I am thrilled it's so close to school!
                BUT we can't have pizza all the time. Or, I can't...husband and child might disagree. ;)