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Good places to live in Brooklyn based on food/bevs?

I live out west but work for a NYC based company and am thinking of moving in order to advance the career. Brooklyn seems to be a choice place to consider living, based on proximity to work and budget.

That said, I've only visited the borough once or twice, so while I browsing apartments online, I really don't know much about the neighborhoods. Being single, I'm not really looking for best schools, etc. But one thing I am interested in is proximity to good eats... and by that I'm not talking about "Luger-like, best of " - just a good mix of local choices. Simple, no frills ethnic/international places, tasty takeout, interesting markets/delis, farmer's markets. Love all foods, but am particular to cuisines with a kick... SE Asian, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, etc.

Also, being new (and single), a few local, no-hype social taverns with good beers/grub wouldn't hurt. By no means am I wanting to start a debate on one area versus another... just trying to get a sense if there are particular clusters that I might want to put on the list. I'll obviously visit before making a final choice, but this will help me when researching from afar. Plus it might help others who want to go on a chow crawl!

Thanks!

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  1. Bay Ridge...
    Has or adjacent to. pretty much everything you mentioned. Only drawback: Parking is very difficult

    17 Replies
    1. re: Tay

      Bay Ridge is a loooong way from Manhattan. I haven't heard it's a mecca for singles, either. A mecca for singles and excellent food is Williamsburg. That's much closer to Manhattan, although it isn't well-served by mass transit. It might also be kinda pricey to live there.

      Along similar lines, Carroll Gardens / Gowanus near Smith Street has good grub, good bars, and seems to have lotsa singles having a very good time. Better mass transit, depending on where exactly you live, and kinda pricey real estate.

      Neither of those are ethnic enclaves. For Mexican, Chinese, and cheap digs, Sunset Park might do you for. It's further out, OK mass transit. The great Indian nabes are in Queens, which you might want to look into as well. They'll have cheaper digs and pretty good mass transit, with increasing numbers of singles.

      Hope that helps.

      1. re: BklnChicken

        To round out that list, I would include the neighborhoods of Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Park Slope and, to a lesser extent, Fort Greene. These are all "gentrified" areas now, with decent transportation options and lots of restaurants and bars. I think of these areas as very livable, but not necessarily culinary destinations. There are definitely standout restaurants, as well and cheap & cheerful local joints, but after a while a lot of the options start to feel the same.

        The real ethnic food can be found further out, as mentioned above. Sunset Park for Mexican and Chinese, Flatbush for West Indian and Punjabi, Brighton Beach for Russian, etc.

        1. re: BklnChicken

          If you live on the L line, Williamsburg may be the best for getting into the city.

          1. re: BklnChicken

            "Bay Ridge is a loooong way from Manhattan. I haven't heard it's a mecca for singles, either. A mecca for singles and excellent food is Williamsburg. That's much closer to Manhattan, although it isn't well-served by mass transit. It might also be kinda pricey to live there"
            I'd have to disagree. Manh is so easily reached from BR.both by subway/express bus and car. It's also a beautiful, relatively safe neighborhoood. Lots of fairly affluent singles living in BR. The problem with Williamsburg is that it's still a dumpy somewhat decayed area and waaay, waaay overpriced

            1. re: Tay

              Leaving the descriptions of williamsburg aside, I have to disagree with Tay above. Bay Ridge is exceedingly far from manhattan and really only served by one subway line which ranks last in terms of speed/service every year in the straphanger's rankings. Additionally, it is very monochromatic in terms of its population, so if you are considering living there you should spend a few nights/days out there and make sure you like the vibe. Lastly, aside from it's proximity to sunset park, I really can't think of any good restaurants in this neighborhood...

              1. re: StheJ

                Honestly, No part of BR is 'exceedingly far' from Manh. I used to catch the express bus at 3rd and 69th St and one traffic light later it zipped right up the 65th St ramp onto the BQE. I've also caught the "R" and found it to be clean and speedy.. As for food/drink, there are probably more pubs/taverns serving good bar food per block than any other Brooklyn neighborhood. We used to joke that the crime rate was probably so low b/c everyone was too tanked to cause much trouble. :-)
                Bay Ridge is just a clean, beautiful neighborhood, filled with great small store shopping on both 3rd and 5th Aves. Great Deli's, specialty food shops, etc.
                I'm not sure what you mean by", Monochromatic in terms of its population,"
                but I completely agree with your very wise sugggestion of spending some days checking out ANY area before moving..
                As for good restos, here is a great one...

                http://grandsichuanhouse.com/

                1. re: Tay

                  1. I mean that the population is not particularly diverse in terms of race/ethnicity/religion. So if you like diversity, Bay Ridge may not the place for you.

                  2. I guess we have different definitions of being close to the city. To me close to the city means 15/20 minutes from your door to lower manhattan. So bay ridge doesn't fit my definition.

                  1. re: StheJ

                    Gotcha.
                    Very true. For a long time it was populated by Scandinavians and Irish.
                    Now Ii's becoming more diverse in terms of an increasing Asian and Middle Eastern pop.
                    I agree.with you. By public transpo during rush hr, BR is more than 15-20 min but not by much. It used to take me 25-30 min by bus to 34th and 6th Ave. Still, well past your comfort distance.

                    1. re: Tay

                      And, let's be honest the "quick" express buses, aren't exactly a bargain.

                      1. re: EJC

                        It's the MTA. The fare is what it is :-) . There are no bargains, nor were any implied.

                        1. re: Tay

                          It's a bit disingenuous to praise the painless commute from Bay Ridge, when you're relying on an Express Bus, which is twice as expensive as a typical subway and/or bus ride. (I have a wife that commutes to St. John's everyday and am somewhat familiar with the subject)

                          Anyways, back on topic...
                          while I love certain meals in Bay Ridge, I recently had a late 20s friend move to Bay Ridge as his first NYC neighborhood and it wasn't ideal for him. The family-oriented, Brooklyn born and raised crowd was a tough nut for him to crack.

                          1. re: EJC

                            "It's a bit disingenuous to praise the painless commute from Bay Ridge, when you're relying on an Express Bus, which is twice as expensive as a typical subway and/or bus ride"
                            Please read my earlier posting. As stated previously, I never said nor implied the express bus was the most cost effective way to commute. You failed to note I also mentioned the 'R' subway line as an alternative
                            Bay Ridge offers a number of things on the OP's 'Wish List' that are food/AKA: Chowhound relevant. I am just pointing out that the commute from BR should not deter him.

                    2. re: StheJ

                      have to say i dont get the diversity argument - in terms of ethnic populations bay ridge and adjoining area are much more diverse than downtown brooklyn oy williamsbugh, try to get a good felafel or chinese in one of the downtown nabes for example.

                      the real diff in my view is that the downtown nabes, closer to "the City" are peopled much more with Manhattan-oriented NY incomers like the OP (and me) with lots of restaurants , food stores and bars to cater to them. Bay Ridge is more of a traditional Brooklyn neighborhood, more oriented to families and particular rather interesting ethnic communities.

                      1. re: StheJ

                        Bay Ridge is probably more diverse than most of the other neighborhoods mentioned. Putting it bluntly, the gentrified neighborhoods are just as white as bay ridge in the hip centers. BR is less cool because it is in fact not too close to manhattan. people who live here get more space for less money. plus, BR has some of the best restaurants in bk, followed i think by smith street. there are lots of singles in this area, just not hipster types. yes, some of them stepped out of the sopranos. and yes, many grew up in working class families and now work in white collar jobs. this area is earthy and real.

                        1. re: spgayle

                          I won't argue whatever concept of "diversity" you're defending or your generalization about "earthy and real." Does that mean other areas or people who live in them are less "real"?

                          The OP will be a new arrival hoping for good, interesting and diverse food. We can assume meeting friends and dates might be an issue as well. You're seriously saying taking the X bus home every night will provide some of the best restaurants in Bklyn? And what about the diversity of food choices and markets (and yes I understand Bay Ridge has some great Middle Eastern places and one well liked Sichuan)?

                          1. re: spgayle

                            spgayle:

                            I'm not saying that I don't believe you when you say "BR has some of the best restaurants in bk" it's just that in my experience of living in bk my whole life and growing up in br one way or another, this is just simply false.

                            Please list the restaurants about which you speak.

                      2. re: StheJ

                        In terms of distance, Bay Ridge is not as far away from Manhatten as you can get in Brooklyn, but it's pretty close. The premium cost Express buses will knock some time off the commute, because the R Subway line which serves it runs local and is one of the slowest trains in the system.

                        There are singles in Bay Ridge. There are singles everywhere. But Bay Ridge is primarily a family oriented neighborhood. There are more one family homes than almost all other parts of Brooklyn, although there are a bunch of two family homes also, and a sprinkling of apartment buildings.

                        There are a lot of bars in Bay Ridge, and quite a few places to eat with a wide ethnic variety.

                        Demographically it is mostly Caucasion. I lived there, and the first time I ever saw a Black person south of 65th Street was in the early '90s, and it was a bit shocking.

                2. This is kind of a hard question to answer without more details. For example, where will you be working? How old are you / what kind of nightlife do you like? In my opinion, the best neighborhoods for the ethnic cuisines you mentioned are not necessarily the best for commuting into the city or meeting singles at bars. Brooklyn is a very big place. With a little more info we can narrow it down to a few helpful suggestions.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: chorosch

                    Thanks. I'm latter 30s and am not into the see and be seen scenes... more inclined to like taverns and such with good food as an option.

                    Our office is in SoHo on Hudson, just S. of Houston. I'm not quite sure which Brooklyn neighborhoods are easier commutes... most would seem to need a transfer. I'll also work from home quite a bit, hence the interest in markets, affordable takeout, etc. versus special occasion experiences.

                    So I guess in order to keep the focus on food, I'll amend the post to ask for recs on neighborhoods that are both chow-friendly and also transit friendly to SoHo. This post might also help people living/working/visiting SoHo do the reverse... explore Brooklyn eats.

                    1. re: tastyjon

                      With that in mind, my personal recommendation as a starting point would be to check out Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill. It's a comfortable enough area for late 30's, good bars, a few really good restaurants and lots of great Middle Eastern food along Atlantic Avenue. You could also do Williamsburg (which has much more nightlife, but tends to age a little younger.) Neither commute would be too bad (transfers are pretty common in NYC.)

                      Part of the reason I lean more toward Boerum Hill is that you would be really close to a lot of other neighborhoods and cuisines, and there is a big greenmarket in Park Slope. Commute would probably be about 30 minutes.... many transit options at Atlantic Avenue station.

                      Here are a few things in that general area to check out. Other 'hounds can think of more, I'm sure:

                      Sahadi's (market)
                      Saul (restaurant - one Michelin Star)
                      the farmer's market @ Prospect Park
                      Waterfront Ale House (good burgers)
                      Zaytoons (middle eastern restaurant)
                      The Brooklyn Inn (great bar)

                      There are lots, lots more. Just a start if you want to get a feel for the area from afar.

                      1. re: tastyjon

                        I'm gonna put in a bid for my neighborhood, Carroll Gardens, which I love. Old Italian neighborhood, and while there are fewer italian spots than there used to be, there are still enough to make it interesting--the old guys speaking italian and playing bocce are still in the park.
                        Easy commute (with one change across the platform) to your office; within walking distance of atlantic ave, sahadi's, trader joe's, etc.
                        Don't love love much of the dining around here, but some nice shops for sandwiches, fresh pasta, italian things, and decent takeout options, and probably people who don't want the best/cheapest renditions of things like banh mi or dumplings or tortas will be totally satisfied with what's around.
                        Honestly, I tend to think of Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill/Red Hook as one large neighborhood (tho I won't use the dreaded name for it) so anywhere around here is good. I'm partial to Carroll Gardens because it does have the nice italian vibe, a nice little farmer's market on sunday, some decent (if sometimes crowded) bars and kind of a real small-town neighborhoody feel. But anywhere in these neighborhoods would suit you fine.

                        Fort Greene is also convenient for commuting and nice, but IMHO doesn't have as good food shopping possibilities.

                    2. I can only tell you one neighborhood where you s/ not live- Brighton Beach/Little Odessa- very long subway ride to Manhattan, and not ethnically varied enough, mostly all Russian now. Great if you dig only that, but am sure there are other places that would float your boat in a better way. Even Sheepshead Bay has a better variety of cuisine. Sorry, have not lived in NYC for a million years, only get back there every few years.

                      1. Good no-hype awesome beer social taverns in the Boerum Hill/ North Slope area. 4th Ave Pub, Pacific Standard, The Gate etc. Also many solid restaurants and centrally located so Ft Greene, Smith St are a short walk away. Also you have Atlantic Terminal nearby for awesome eats. JK, almost every subway stops there and the LIRR.

                        1. There are lots of singles settling all over brooklyn - with Williamsburg being one concentration only. Many of the downtown brooklyn neighborhoods (Park Slope, Prospect Hts, Boerum Hill or Cobble Hill for example) can be (depending on exactly where you are) very convenient to transportation to Manhattan. Because of the gentrification in all these areas, there is not a lot of cheap ethnic eating, but its generally easy to get to communities such as sunset park (for Mexican/Central American or Chinese), Manhattan Chinatown, Bay Ridge, and other enclaves for more eating options. These downtown neighborhoods also have greenmarkets where local farmers bring local products to consumers as well as a Trader Joes, several good natural foods and specialty grocers for good cheeses, breads etc as well as a food coop (in Park Slope).

                          Other neighborhoods, such as Midwood, Bushwick, Crown Hts. sunset Park, etc are less gentrified with lower rents but may (not always) have more cheap ethnic eating options. they may also be farther out and less convenient to transport. (this may not always be the case depending on where you work, for example, Fort Green, Clinton Hill and Bed-Stuy could be more convenient if your work is near the A line, which runs through that area. Sunset Park if the N works for you, etc.

                          I think the best advice is to visit and see what neighborhood feels right to you.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: jen kalb

                            However, keep in mind while you are browsing from afar that what Jen is describing as "downtown" neighborhoods should not be confused with "downtown Brooklyn" itself. Until recently, there was not a lot of residential development in downtown Brooklyn, and it has not really taken off as a neighborhood yet.

                            Landlords are offering great deals there, but there is very little in terms of services (e.g: grocery stores, restaurants etc) that is not concentrated on the Fulton Mall. The new luxury condos may look good on the internet, but that is one neighborhood you definitely want to visit before you rent something.

                            1. re: chorosch

                              There is a cluster of neighborhoods called downtown brooklyn or "Brownstone Brooklyn". which includes Brooklyn Hts, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Fort Greene, Prospect Hts, Park Slope. (some would include Clinton Hill, Vinegar Hill, Dumbo in this list). Most of the major subway lines move through this area which is adjacent to Manhattan and the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge Crossings. These neighborhoods have experienced significant gentrification and development over the last 30 years with many new restaurants and foodstores serving the new population and a diminishing of the former more economical establishments (hispanic, etc) tho there are still significant italian and midde eastern elements, as well as hispanic (more central and mexican american and less puerto rican and dominican than in the past) and african american populations in the area . There is also a commercial office concentration in the midst of this residential development which is what chorosch is referring to. Many new high rises have been bullt in and around the area, many in locations where there is very little street life or consumer infrastructure. Real Estate ads in Brooklyn are often inaccurate or dishonest in describing the neighborhood where a specific building is located. So you want to get oriented with map aids and cruise the area before believing what they say..

                          2. In my opinion, the most delicious food for the money in Brooklyn is found in Sunset Park and Williamsburg. The former has a lot of Chinese and Mexican restaurants and looks kind of like SF's Outer Richmond. The latter has a lot of fancy foodie hipster fashiony stuff at lower prices than Manhattan, such as El Almacen, Brooklyn Star, etc.

                            1. Tough to answer the question not knowing much about you, because many of the neighborhoods in Brooklyn could meet your needs.

                              One area I've noticed a lot of things starting to happen is "south slope", that part of Park Slope below 14th street, around 6th ave and 7th ave. New restaurants (Lot 2, Lucali, Southside Coffee), plus sushi restaurants, Banh Mi, Italian; many opened in the last year or so. The folks who live there seem young, to me anyway, and the rents are lower than other parts of Brownstone Brooklyn.

                              Anyway, good hunting, Brooklyn is a fun place to live and dine.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: gfood

                                Kinda off topic for Chowhound, but you might want to sublet for a couple of months in a neighborhood before taking the big plunge and signing a year's lease. Just to sample the restaurants, of course, since this is Chowhound.

                                1. re: BklnChicken

                                  This one is right up my alley.
                                  Lived on Long Island my entire life, just turned 40, just moved to a place in Greenpoint Brooklyn last week.
                                  Could not be happier!
                                  Oh ya, I am recently single too.
                                  Between Greenpoint and Williamsburg 5 minutes away the bar/pub/beer garden/restaurant choices are endless.
                                  I work in Manhattan and the subways make it very easy to get there.

                                  It is what I call a "leap of faith", just do it.

                                  You will be so happy you did, trust me.

                                  1. re: dougnash

                                    Yay finally a Greenpoint recommendation! Greenpoint is great for food, and the commute isn't awful... Granted, the G kind of sucks but the buses are great and the L is easy to get to... There is really good Thai, sushi, Mexican, Polish and American eateries within walking distance from any part of GP, plus it is close to Williamsburg so you can go there without hassle and without living there. It's a tad expensive, but it's a nice homey neighborhood. There's some great stores too, The Garden for example, and lots of awesome Polish stores too. Good coffee at Grumpy and some places that sell Stumptown Coffee. Also, there are two different green markets when weather permits, along with lots of locally owned/operated stores of all kinds. I really love living here.

                              2. Another vote for Bay Ridge. It is, however, far away from Manhattan and the parking is crazy.

                                I lived in Clinton Hill (bet. Ft. Greene and the Navy Yard) when it was just starting to become gentrified. We've been back to visit; there's great dining, a greenmarket in Summer, and cool bars. The kids from Pratt Institute, right nearby, add an eclectic, artsy component to the people mix. Especially if you have a car, Clinton Hill's a nice location that's central to a lot of other great parts of Brooklyn (and Manhattan).

                                1. Let's get down to brass tacks, yes? The guy's single, late 30s, not a native. But, prioritizing chow. Works on Hudson street, can't afford the city, and may not even want to, so is looking at Brooklyn. The train bringing him to work at Hudson and Houston could be either the C or the 1/9, even the F. His commute will never be more than an hour and could likely be 20-40 minutes depending.

                                  I'm not sure why this conversation has devolved into discussing the relative merits of the X bus to Bay Ridge.

                                  He could live along A, C or F; or anything that goes through Atlantic Terminal. Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, even Carroll Gardens are all crawling with youngish people, bars and restaurants; groceries, farmers markets and Brooklyn Flea.

                                  Perhaps the elephant in the conversation is Williamsburg. I've heard there are things to do there, too. (snark) Greenpoint was mentioned and I'd posit that's a great choice with what might be considered a calmer, quieter scene that skews older. I have friends, including homeowners, in both neighborhoods and they love it. Obviously the L train, other than being jammed, is a snap to his connecting trains. There's the J/M/Z, too. Deeper into Greenpoint, the G will do fine to the A/C/F (or even the L, if he wanted to try 3 trains). And does nobody here know about Bushwick? Again, more restaurants and bars.

                                  I'd put my vote for South Slope/"Greenwood". It has it's own burgeoning little bar/restaurant/coffee scene on 5th and 6th aves around there, including Korso and Luigi's, among the less obvious places named is relatively affordable. Of course, it's only minutes from Sunset Park, the food benefits well documented here. And living there is certainly an option - it would just require a tiny bit of effort to get back to the Slope or somewhere further in for drinks with friends/singles. It's likely too family/traditional to offer social benefits to a single professional in his late thirties.

                                  1. As a non-native who is now living in Bay Ridge I have to say that this is absolutely not the best place for an NYC newbie to first live. Most of the people in the neighborhood are native Brooklynites and the area is very family-friendly. You'll be doing most of your partying/carousing in other neighborhoods and will very likely be far from the friends you make upon moving here. That being said, I totally love BR. But, I'm dating a native and have lived in NYC for the past 4 years now.

                                    That being said, I'd look into Carrol Gardens/Boerum Hill/Cobble Hill as a first spot. Tons of great restaurants and bars, not too tough of a commute to where you're working, plenty of singles, and an all-around good vibe. Your rent $$ isn't going to go too far but if you're spending most of your time at home during your first year in NYC, you're doing it wrong. The South Slope/Gowanus area is also an option as it's very close to CG and Park Slope plus it's cheaper to rent.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: rdc

                                      I am a former New Yorker and I have to agree with you 100% Carroll Gardens would be my first choice as it has many many great restaurants and taverns galore as well. It has the best Italian Bread to at Mazzolla's on Henry and Union Streets with a Great Restaurant right across the street that makes a good pizza too
                                      Carroll Gardens is about the safest and most convenient of all places to Manhattan then just about any place in the area at a fraction of the City's price. As a matter of fact many people from Manhattan now frequent Carroll Gardens when dining out or looking for a good place to have a drink and watch the game !!
                                      You can't go wrong in Carrol Gardens Great People Great Food Great Area to live in too !!

                                    2. Prospect Heights in walking distance of the 2/3 train would work well. Check out this post singing the praises of our nabe full of 30-somethings who love the great mix of local choices, access to the farmer's market, and pub grub. We don't have the MOST ethnic choices, but enough I think, and close to Sunset Park for your real Asian & Mexican cravings.

                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/660217

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: chowbie

                                        Chowbie, I agree PH would be a great choice for our new friend. But, it's not nearly "close to Sunset Park." By train, down around the horn to the R, door to door, at least 30min, especially if you're walking up to 8th ave. Driving would be at least 20min depending on day/time.

                                        I'd venture to say, however, PH or South Slope, might be best bets. The former is jammed with bars and trendy restaurants, and steps from North Slope depending on where in PH you're coming from. Crown Heights/Bed Stuy offers cheaper rents and huge amounts of Caribbean food (not to mention North Carolina Country Kitchen) right next door.

                                        On the other hand, South Slope truly is steps away from Sunset Park for all the Asian and Central American/Mexican choices, and of course going North on 5th ave there's the plethora of Slope bars and trendy restaurants.

                                        If I was a little younger, a lot more single, and not a co-op owner in Kensington, I'd give those two areas, and maybe Greenpoint, the greatest consideration.

                                      2. I've lived in Sunset Park for eight years, and it's pretty amazing, food-wise (as is Bay Ridge, but living on the R train is tough). Commute isn't terrible if you live off one of the express stops (59th St or 36th St). I'd say around 36th St is the better option-you've got four trains at that station, and you'll be within walking distance of that good banh mi place on 42nd and 8th. Also, you'll be a fairly easy ride away from Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, and getting to Fairway is doable (M/R to 9th St, then B77 or IKEA shuttle). Fairway is BY FAR the best grocery option in Brooklyn.

                                        1. Park Slope and Prospect Heights are close to a good Farmer's Market at Grand Army Plaza, good specialty food stores like Larder on Flatbush Ave, Blue Apron on Union, Union Market, Bierkraft (for beer and cheese), etc.

                                          Good ethnic food is scattered throughout the City, so you'll have to travel for the "best" of any ethnic food.

                                          IMHO, good delivery type neighborhoods with a good range of options are Park Slope, Cobble Hill, parts of Prospect Heights.

                                          Prospect Heights and Park Slope have a good number of restaurants open for lunch during the week, with good affordable lunch specials. Park Slope also has a sizable freelance/work from home community so there are lots of cafes/coffee shops around. Yes there is the stoller brigade in PS, but is also has a good number of singles living there as well.

                                          If you pick a place in walking distance to Atlantic Terminal you will have access to just about every train line going into Manhattan. There are two taxi cab hubs on 4th ave in the Park Slope/BH area, so you can get taxis relatively easy throughout the day if you live in the area. That is also a plus after late nights in Manhattan.

                                          I would suggest that you of course check out your top neighborhoods during the day and at night if you can.

                                          1. Ditmas Park is affordable, and is definitely up-and-coming in terms of good and accessible food. And, it's got one of the few year-round greenmarkets. The CSA is pretty much awesome, as ewll. So, if you cook and want access to fresh local produce year-round, give it a shot. There's a good mix of ethnic food (Tibetan, Mexican, Middle Eastern), and some nicer places with a neighborhood feel, like The Farm on Adderley, which is definitely foodie-oriented.

                                            It's a quick shot into Manhattan on the Q Train (much faster than the F from Park Slope), rents are more affordable, too. For drinking, there's Sycamore (a combination bar/flower shop -- beer and a bouquet for $10 is their happy hour special) or 773 Lounge (a bit more divey), which are both neighborhoody.

                                            1. I think Cobble Hill or Carroll Gardens would be ideal if you can afford it. Rent there is kind of pricey but it's got some of the best restaurants and bars in Brooklyn. If food and a convenient commute are your top priority I would start my search there.

                                              I live in Bay Ridge (where the rent is much more reasonable) and work in downtown manhattan. My commute on the N/R is about 20 min to 30 min.door to door. But I must admit that I am very conveniently located. I am one stop away from the N train which then gets me to Canal street in 3 stops. If you are further into Bay Ridge (above 75th street) or if you need to get to Soho you would have to stay on the R train which would make for a long ride. But foodwise Bay Ridge is great. Tanoreen and La Maison de Couscous are two restaurants that are highly praised (and rightfully so!) on this site for its middle eastern and Morrocan cuisine. Sancho's has great Spanish food and Taj Mahal is a wonderful Indian restaurant. Skinflints is a very popular sports bar with great burgers and a great crowd. Some of the other bars in the area tend to be cop hang outs or fire fighter hangouts. (Don't know if that matters to you but I've found that it matters to some people.) This is definitely not an exhaustive list of the restaurants in Bay Ridge. I've barely scratched the surface. But even is you decide to live somewhere else in Brooklyn, you'll be just a short subway ride away from Bay Ridge and some good eats.

                                              Good luck with your search!

                                              1. I suspect that Park Slope, Carroll Gardens or Cobble Hill are your best bets (I live in Gowanus which is sandwiched between Carroll Gdns and Park Slope)...all nice neighborhoods with tons of restaurants, LOTS of nice taverny bars and a pretty nice lifestyle if you can afford it. If you are looking for something cheaper I would go with Sunset Park (great cheap ethnic options and a very cool, untouristy chinatown). HOWEVER, I think maybe Prospect Hts should NOT be recommended as it is going to be irrevocably altered for the worse once they start demolition in earnest for the new stadium...Anyway tastyjon, you will find that NYers are used to jumping on the subway for food, or taking a nice walk to the next neighborhood over. In any of these neighborhoods you are not far from all kinds of options. My commute from Gowanus to midtown is 40 minutes, and honestly a 40 minute commute is not a big deal, bring a book or iPod like everyone else. I hope you are very happy with whatever you choose!

                                                1. i'm also putting in a vote for bay ridge. i live in bay ridge and there's a very diverse selection of food (and people) around and some of the best restaurants in brooklyn. i don't find the commute to the city that bad (30 mins to lower manhattan) considering the much lower rent for more space apartments here as well.

                                                  there is also a large social and bar scene here. lots of places to grab a beer and meet people.

                                                  1. hey dude,

                                                    so i'm in a similar demographic as you, and also only need to go into midtown manhattan a couple days a week for work (working the others days from home which is currently in the fort greene/clinton hill area). i also recently transplanted from a more western location (greenwich village in manhattan) due to a personal situation, and have been exploring other areas in brooklyn to satiate both eating and cooking demands. and i'm the opposite of single. very very not single. not into the scene, just need a few interesting places that i can pop into if we're (did i mention i moved for a personal situation?) feeling lazy, or walk no more than a few blocks to find desired provisions (veggies, meats, dairy, good breads, assorted booze).

                                                    as a point of reference i would say that i cook dinner and/or something family-styleish to last a few days about half the time, and otherwise buy finished meals/food the other half. and as you probably are, and since we're here, i'm kind of picky about my food.

                                                    the main difference is that you will be looking to integrate/socialize in your settings because you will be new to nyc. i've been here fifteen years - i'm pretty targetted in what i do, and ditzy girls who grew up on Sex and The City annoy the shit out of me (and don't get me started on worshippers of SATC in syndication).

                                                    i mention SATC because if i'm putting myself in your shoes based on a somewhat similar profile, and you being single, i'm going to make the assumption that your priorities, no particularly order, are eating, sex, sleeping, and money.

                                                    there's some focus on money because you're interested in moving to nyc to further your career. the focus on eating is self-explanatory since you're here. sleeping is covered by discussing your commute and the fact that you will work from home a portion of the time. and the last item? well, i gotta say that being around attractive, interesting, vibrant, sincere, wholesome women makes me think a lot less about food.

                                                    so definitely stay away from williamsburg.

                                                    *just kidding*

                                                    not assuming that you haven't done this - look at a map online of brooklyn (and manhattan). cross reference with subway lines. you said you will be working on houston and hudson (advertising/media related?). there's a local 1-train stop there. coming from brooklyn you will be on the 2 or 3 train (1/2/3 are the red lines, the 1 runs from southern manhattan to the north). follow the 2/3 train stops through brooklyn. these will take you through the neighborhoods (which have been mentioned in previous posts) from west to east - Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, Park Slope, Prospect Heights - and that's about as far east as I would recommend to maintain the kind of experience I think you're looking for. The 2/3 trains run through those hoods and then you can switch at Chambers (across the platform, and in Manhattan) to the local 1 train.

                                                    of course, you can live elsewhere but if you get too far away from the appropriate train it's gonna bum you out and kind of isolate you. which is not a bad thing but then you're never gonna socialize and meet the really really cool women that live in brooklyn. MUCH cooler than the women in manhattan. particularly if you're from out west. that environmentally conscious, artsy, emotionally available, farmer's market shopping, yoga-fit woman in brooklyn with the cool dog(s) is a serious upgrade from that career driven, neurotic, shallow, treadmill-walking, keeping up with the (january) jones', hypocritical, gossip girl, prada devil in manhattan.

                                                    i'm getting tired so i'll wrap up - brooklyn is good. those hoods i mentioned have the train you need to get to work easily. and they have excellent assorted cuisine. women are better quality (and i've noticed that brooklyn women have much nicer asses - probably from eating better). the money thing is your business. from a 15 year manhattan resident - regular assorted cuisine food is much better and cheaper in brooklyn than in manhattan. probably has something to do with manhattan restaurants having to cut costs every which way (including quality) in order to pay their rent. and speaking of rent, unless you're from SF, you're going to be shocked by the rents. this was a previously undiscussed talking point.

                                                    hope that helped.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: alpinebomber

                                                      Thanks for this reply - I hate to use the term but I laughed out loud. And thanks to everyone else for the great input.

                                                      Here's a quick update.... I'm now probably going to be working closer to Madison Ave and would be taking the R. It doesn't seem to me that changes the equations any.

                                                      Cheers!

                                                      1. re: tastyjon

                                                        Hi tastyjon,

                                                        Sorry to muddy the waters but the R train also goes to Queens.

                                                        If good ethnic food is your primary focus, then you should consider Queens. In Queens, along the R train are: Astoria (burgeoning singles scene), Woodside (Filipino food and Sripraphai, the best Thai restaurant in the entire city), and Jackson Heights (home to the city's largest Indian community and a huge Latino one as well). If you change to the 7 train at Jackson Heights, you get easy access further out to Corona (more Latino food) and end at Flushing (the largest Chinatown in the entire city with an absolutely mind boggling variety of Asian foods).

                                                        Also, Queens is almost always cheaper than Brooklyn. Why? Well, before I say any more, I should let you know that I lived in Astoria for over ten years before moving to Glendale (also in Queens) and really loved Astoria for its many delicious, easy-to-get-to ethnic food options. The point is, I like Queens—a lot.

                                                        But...it has so much absolutely butt ugly architecture, that there's even an entire blog devoted to it. (queenscrap.blogspot.com) You won't find brownstones here—just the occasional townhouse and, a word you've probably never heard before will keep revealing itself to you like a mysterious mantra, "...FEDDERS..."

                                                        There are a few transit-friendly neighborhoods in Queens that are a little better in this regard, Sunnyside Gardens, Forest Hills Gardens, Kew Gardens, parts of Jackson Heights, etc., but they are the exceptions. Most of the architecture you will see is no candidate for historic preservation—nor will it ever be.

                                                        So, if the biggest concerns are lots of great diverse ethnic food and cheaper rent, then I say think about Queens. But if attractiveness is a must (and I totally understand, believe me), then Brooklyn is probably your best bet.

                                                        Ciao,

                                                        Glendale is hungry...

                                                        -----
                                                        SriPraPhai
                                                        64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                        1. re: tastyjon

                                                          Your office will be on Madison and around what street exactly? I'm guessing in the 50s? Madison stretches over 100 blocks, so knowing which area will help.

                                                          Here are some points to consider:

                                                          What is the maximum commute time you're willing to endure? Are you choosing Brooklyn over Manhattan primarily due to budget, or for lifestyle reasons? Manhattan rents, although high, are not as bad as some might think if you're going to live in a "popular" Brooklyn neighborhood anyway (such as Williamsburg, Dumbo, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, or Fort Greene). e.g. a nice 1BR in Cobble Hill could easily set you back $2,500/month

                                                          Do you prefer city/suburban/rural living? Would you prefer to live with or without a car?

                                                          What type of building would you like to rent in? Would you prefer to live in a walkup or elevator building? Do you need a doorman? What's the minimum # of squarefoot you're willing to live in? Do you need a studio, 1BR, or 1BR+?

                                                          Are you an outdoorsy person? (For biking/jogging) Do you want to be close to a park or close to the water, or is that not important at all?

                                                          Do you mind neighborhoods with ugly architecture or neighborhoods where the predominantly spoken language is not English?

                                                          Do you prefer to live in a neighborhood where your neighbors are mostly a) creative types b) young parents c) hipsters d) policemen/firemen e) young single professionals f) families with older-than-elementary-school-age children?

                                                          It's completely understandable if you're not comfortable with answering some of these super personal questions, so for your reference, here's a great article with a recent ranking of the Most Livable Neighborhoods in NYC by New York Magazine:
                                                          http://nymag.com/realestate/neighborh...

                                                          Here's a livability calculator to help you determine which neighborhood might be most suitable for you:
                                                          http://nymag.com/realestate/neighborh...

                                                          Here's a completely unscientific quiz I randomly stumbled upon which helps you pick a Brooklyn neighborhood (it doesn't break down the Manhattan neighborhoods so it's completely skewed towards Brooklyn
                                                          )http://quizfarm.com/quizzes/new/steph...

                                                          And here's a handy website for shops in the popular parts of Brooklyn: http://www.brooklynnow.com/brooklynno...

                                                          As a diehard Manhattanite, I don't think you should discount Manhattan just yet! Keep it in the running!

                                                      2. I'm 26 and single and live in Bay Ridge....Food has many different options and it is a nice young AFFORDABLE neighborhood. Commute is not terrible it takes me about 45 minutes to an hour to get to work in midtown. Williamsburg is very hippyish alothough the food is fantastic. Bay Ridge is fantastic in my opinion for options and price both food wise and living wise.

                                                        1. Without question the happening nabs foir singles/foodies in Brooklyn are Williamsburg, Ft. Greene, Park Slope, Cobble Hill.
                                                          Williamsburg is considered hipper, but frankly, it's pretty ugly and even though it is the closest to Manhattan subway service is not terrific (although miles better than Bay Ridge). Park Slope and Cobble Hill are prettier- lots of leafy streets. Park Slope has the added benefit of Prospect Park and a great farmer's market on Saturdays (one of the largest in the city- although not nearly as big as the market at Union Sq). Ft. Greene is very convenient to Manhattan with a very diverse community and a newly emerging restaurant scene.
                                                          Frankly, Bay Ridge is too far, still too much of a family nab for what you seem to be looking for.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Ann900

                                                            I might also add that Boerum Hill is conveniently located between Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope and Fort Greene. There's not that much going on in BH, but it's a short walk to any of those other neighborhoods, as well has having fantastic train service if you're near the Atlantic/Pacific street stop.

                                                            The rents are marginally lower there than CH,CG and PS neighborhoods and there are lots of beautiful tree lined streets as well.

                                                          2. Can we come to the understanding that "The City" consists of FIVE boroughs, not just Manhattan? New York City is a very big place and Manhattan is not "The Promised Land."

                                                            1. As a tangent to this thread, which of these neighborhoods has the best grocery shopping if one has no car?

                                                              1. Park Slope
                                                              2. Brooklyn Heights
                                                              3. Fort Greene
                                                              4. Carroll Gardens
                                                              5. Boerum Hill
                                                              6. Cobble Hill

                                                              Basically looking for Whole Foods and/or health market type of shopping with good access to either Sunset Park or Manhattan's Chinatown. Being closer to Manhattan is better -- will probably not consider neighborhoods east and south of Park Slope as the commute would be tough. DH works in Tribeca and I work 3 days in Long Island and 3 days on the UWS. I don't think Williamsburg is ideal either -- but would consider it if grocery shopping is great. Bonus points if easy access to red line and Brooklyn LIRR at Atlantic Terminal.

                                                              Have a decent idea of the vibes of each of these hoods. But I don't know the grocery market situation. Any input?

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                North Slope is pretty much what you are looking for. Union Market is basically Whole Foods redux, and you are on the 2/3 subway and about a 10-15 minute walk from Atlantic Terminal.

                                                                -----
                                                                Union Market
                                                                754 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                  I just moved to Boerum Hill a couple of months ago. Here's what I'll say about the grocery store situation. I'm close to Brooklyn Fare which has good produce and meats and all around dry grocery items. It has a decent cheese counter and a so-so olive bar. So that store serves my basic needs.

                                                                  There are a number of good specialty shops along Smith and Court streets in Cobble Hill (Fish Tales, Los Paisanos, Staubitz, Stinky Bklyn) which are less than a 10 minute walk. There's also a Union Market on Court, there's Sahadi's on Atlantic and Clinton-ish and of course Trader Joe's, if you can deal with it.

                                                                  If you shop at the above stores, you'll probably spend 10-20% less than you would in Manhattan, depending on where you live there.

                                                                  I have occasional access to a car if I need to do a big shopping at Fairway, but I can happily do all of my every day shopping at the places mentioned above.

                                                                  See my comment from May 13th on the other virtues of Boerum Hill. I love it there.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Sahadi's
                                                                  187 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                                                  Paisanos Meat Market
                                                                  162 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                                                  Union Market
                                                                  754 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                                                                  Brooklyn Fare
                                                                  200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                    Ft. Greene's situation isn't that great.

                                                                    Greene Grape Provisions has some decent things, but some things are really pricey and there's lots of things they don't have.

                                                                    Fresh Fanatic isn't that great, and the location makes shopping after dark less than ideal.

                                                                    Myrtle Ave has two Associateds, both of which have a poor selection of meat & produce but do carry some of the basic spices and stuff the two fancy places don't.

                                                                    I haven't used the grocery store in the Atlantic Center, but Target does have great prices on a few staples.

                                                                    Thirst is a great wine store, and the Associated by Pratt has a decent beer selection (although you do have to watch the age of stuff), and people like Gnarly Vines a lot.

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Greene Grape Provisions
                                                                    753 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

                                                                    Gnarly Vines
                                                                    350 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

                                                                    1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                      Thanks for your input. Yeah, it seems that Fort Greene probably won't work for me. North Slope does seem a bit more convenient than South Slope, at least in terms of commuting. I discovered last weekend how awesome the Q train is. And I do like Boerum Hill in terms of proximity to things. I'm starting to think that Carroll Gardens and Cobble HIll will probably won't work for me in terms of commuting to work as I find the F and G kind of limiting, but would be easy access from Boerum Hill.

                                                                      I've only been to the Union Market on 7th Ave. Is the one on Union Street similar? Larger? Smaller?

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Union Market
                                                                      754 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                                                                      Union Street Cafe
                                                                      568 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                                                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                        NOrth Slope/and the adjacent parts of Prospect Hts have multiple fast commuting options to Manhattan, excellent access to good fresh produce and fine food stores (I dont know that Union Market is all that special) (the GAP farmers market, the park Slope Coop - also good subway access to both Chinatowns.I think this area probably best meets your criteria tho the area around Atlantic/Court also has a lot of shopping options

                                                                        There are quality choices spreading southward as well into the So. Slope if the F and N?R trains work for you but not nearly as concentrated.

                                                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                                                          I'm afraid I've been really spoiled commute wise living in the Bryant Park area of Manhattan (have the B,D,F,M,R,N,Q,1,2,3,A,C,E,4,5,6,LIRR,Metro North) trains all within a 10-minute walk from my apartment. Not the best in terms of grocery shopping but it was so easy to get to so many places and there are a few great restaurants in my immediate vicinity (eg. Szechuan Gourmet a block away). I am definitely considering an apartment I've seen in South Slope, but the North side probably will work better for me as I'm spoiled in commuting.

                                                                          And, yes, the Coop intrigues me. If I do move to Park Slope, I will definitely check it out. I understand that it's not for everyone. And exploring Brooklyn's C-town (haven't been in quite a few years) would be interesting. I look forward to exploring Brooklyn more in depth. It's been a while since I've lived there. The only thing that will suck (aside from the commute to work) is being further away from Flushing. I will miss Temple Snack's gua baos. How's the Korean restaurant scene in Brooklyn?

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Szechuan Gourmet
                                                                          135-15 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

                                                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                            In answer to your last question, essentially non-existent.
                                                                            There is MOIM in the Central Slope tho it seems to get tepid reports.
                                                                            I wish it was otherwise

                                                                      2. re: Miss Needle

                                                                        I live in Center Slope. After a couple of months of shopping at the supermarkets in slope, we joined the food co-op, and never looked back. Between the food co-op, the farmers markets, M&S meats on fifth avenue, and an occasional foray into Union Market and the fish markets, we have excellent quality foods at a reasonable expense.

                                                                        At a higher price point, you can go to Blue Apron, on Union Street, which really cannot be surpassed, even in Manhattan.

                                                                        As far as Korean food, we have always enjoyed Moim, I think it is excellent, but it is not traditional, and is nothing like the places in Queens, which I also enjoy when I have a chance to go.

                                                                        Whole Foods owns land on 3rd street and 3rd ave, right on the Gowanus, which was recently declared a superfund site. I see some construction vehicles on site when I pass by, but have not heard when, if ever, they are actually going to start construction, let alone open.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Moim
                                                                        206 Garfield Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                                                                        Union Market
                                                                        754 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                                                                        Union Street Cafe
                                                                        568 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215