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Bostonians stayting in Brooklyn, need advice

We will be staying in Brooklyn for a week and would like suggestions on what not to miss during our stay. We enjoy ethnic food like Indian, Thai, and Mexican. We would also like to find some really good bagels and lox. We were planning on heading down to Coney Island for a day but a friend told us not to waste our time? We are not looking for fancy but more for unique.

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  1. It would be very helpful if you could tell us what neighborhood and budget range you're looking for. Brooklyn is huge and runs the gamut price-wise.

    2 Replies
    1. re: snaporaz

      We are staying right by the Brooklyn bridge and prefer plates under $20.

      1. re: drewinmrblhd

        Hill Country BBQ is right near where you are staying and across from that is the Shake Shack. These are not ethnic but in a pinch you might enjoy going for a lunch or a snack.

    2. Brighton Beach is an interesting neighborhood both from an eating and population diversity standpoint with Russian, Georgian and other food from the former soviet union and a lot of interesting stores (as well as the beach). Put Brighton Beach into the search upper right.

      Pok Pok NY is on the Red Hook waterfront close to downtown brooklyn - probably only well regarded thai in Brooklyn - you will have to stand in line to eat there. Do a search for "thai" if you prioritize eating thai over eating in the heighborhood.

      There are several good pizzerias in range of you, I like Juliana's down by the Brooklyn Bridge run by Mr. Patsy Grimaldi..

      Basically no really good indian in Brooklyn though there is a cluster of punjabi places on Coney Island Ave. You will probably have better luck in Manhattan for this.

      Interesting cluster of middle eastern stores and restaurants not far away from you on Atlantic. Sahadi for shopping and browsing, yemani place across the street for exotic flavors.

      Much further out in Red HookI like the Good Fork in Red Hook for an interesting remix of bistro foods with some korean flavors. Weve had several great brunches there, including bibim bap and a mexican dish (maybe huevos rancheros?) that was very good. Red Hook is an interesting neighborhood to walk around in, with Steve's Key Lime Pie, the central american food truck action at the soccer fields on weekends, a good bakery, Baked, and lots of remains from its former nautical and industrial history. Red Hook also contains one of the best sandwich places in the city - eat a warm roast beef-mozz and juice hero of good seeded bread with the firefighters. New places are springing up all the time.

      Second the recommendation of Hill Country BBQ. Not cheap, though.

      6 Replies
      1. re: jen kalb

        Would it be crazy to think that you could easily ride bicycles from the Brooklyn bridge to Coney Island? We are used to riding around Cambridge MA on bicycles without a problem.

        Last request would be for great Jamaican patties?

        1. re: drewinmrblhd

          It's not possible. As in, it's possible, but it's not easy, Coney Island is like as far away as possible from where you are at.

          I suggest biking to closer neighborhoods, to Red Hook, Park Slope, Sunset Park (Mexican and Chinese), Flatbush (some decent Jamaican places, not sure about patties though), etc.

          1. re: villainx

            Of course you can bicycle from Downtown Brooklyn - it will take a while but brooklyn is flat and there are bike paths available., including a nice run along the harbor and under the verrazano bridge, and a return up ocean parkway and through prospect park. My husband rides this route several times a summer. Coney is not the best food destination but you could easily visit Brighton Beach (near by) L&B or Totonnos pizzerias or any numbeer of other places as a detour or stop along the way.

          2. re: drewinmrblhd

            Google Maps estimates 1hr 10 minutes from Brooklyn Bridge to Coney Island:

          3. re: jen kalb

            ps, recommended Sandwich place in RedHook is daFonte's. Some Hounds also like Lucali's pizza in Carroll Gardens.

            There are lots of bagels to be had in brooklyn but the old jewish appetizing culture is pretty much gone. You may want to consider some of the Manhattan options http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/974975

            1. re: jen kalb

              I agree that there is no "really good" Indian in Brooklyn -- and by Indian I'm going loose, meaning Indo-Pak-Bangla-Sri Lankan -- but there is a Bengali / Bangladeshi cluster around the intersection of Church and MacDonald Avenues that has a couple of pretty good places. Ghoroa (formerly Jhinuk) could be worth a trip. It's loosely on par with other Bengali places in the five boroughs, such as Neerob in the Bronx and assorted ones in Jackson Heights.

              I wouldn't characterize Ghoroa as "don't miss," but it loosely meets the criteria of "good" and "Indian".

              Nearby also were, and probably still are, a couple of very good Mexican restaurants. Just walk toward Ocean Parkway. I'll leave this to others to confirm, because I haven't been to the area for a while.

              For general interest, it's worth noting that Russian, Polish and Yugoslavian delis operate in the area. There was one a while ago on Church toward Midwood that was straight-up Albanian.

              I don't know so much about bagels and lox, but if you want hardcore Jewish deli stuff, you can go north to Williamsburg and hit Gottlieb's Restaurant. I used to go years ago and arguably it had the best chopped liver in the city.

            2. Go to Sunset Park for Mexican. I suggest Tacos El Bronco

              1. From where you're staying (I'd guess the BB Marriott?) it's a very easy ride on the f train into the east village - zaab elee and somtum der both offer very good northern style Thai check out the manhattan board for more info. I like pok pok a good bit also but it's not exactly easy to get to despite being in the same boro.

                2 Replies
                1. re: tex.s.toast

                  huh? Its not that long a walk (or bikeride) from the Marriott, thorugh cobble hill or along the waterfront if the OP is interested in exploring on foot.MIght be a nice evening activity. If they are going to be in the LES I agree thats travelable too. I dont hold a brief for any of these restaurants.

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    i guess i may have been overly harsh - google list a 22 minute walk from the BB marriott to Pok Pok and 15 mins via train to Zaab. if biking id guess that Pok Pok would be closer, but it is mostly a toss up - i meant mostly that before the OP went venturing deep into brooklyn (coney island/brighton beach/kensington) that they knew they were, relatively speaking, very close to some parts of manhattan that have good renditions of the foods they are seeking.

                2. Sanskriti is actually a decent Indian restaurant. They're located on 52 7th Avenue in Park Slope.

                  I second the walk down Brighton Beach. There's a Russian supermarket/steam-table place right on the corner of Coney Island Avenue and Brighton Beach Avenue. When on CIA wlak towards the beach and make a left - you'll see a ramp leading up. Traif heaven.

                  1. Lots of good recs on this board. If you guys are avid bikers then biking to coney island should be fine. we do it several times a year from pretty near where you are staying. we take the bike path down ocean parkway. it's a nice ride. If you go down to coney island on a thurs-sun i recommend getting pizza at totonno's. great pizza and a real new york experience. brighton beach is also totally worth a stroll and a nosh.
                    Not sure about patties, but check out the doubles at A&A on Nostrand ave in bed stuy. A great west indian snack of curried chickpeas sandwiched in between fried roti breads.
                    Pok Pok is good, upscale thai, but I agree that you are also close to east village, where you will get excellent thai at zabb elee. or bite the bullet and trek to queens, where the best thai is. Though it can be uneven, sripraphai is still my fave, mainly for the breadth of the menu--you can get almost anything there, though not everything is a sublime rendtion.
                    Mexican in sunset park is also good. Agree that tacos el bronco is great.
                    And definitely check out the stuff close by on Atlantic, like Sahadi's and Damascus. Every time I go in those stores, I'm happy that I live nearby. You could get great picnic fare from these stores and spend the day in brooklyn bridge park
                    Also agree that red hook is worth a stroll. love the sandwiches at defontes. I'm not crazy about the good fork, but everyone else likes it, so it must be me.
                    People like the bagels and lox at shelsky's, an appetizing place on smith st not too far from you, but I never go, so can't vouch for them.
                    Another option is polish in greenpoint--lots of good, cheap restaurants there. It's an old polish neighborhood that is turning hipster at a quick pace.
                    For indian, i will recommend dosa royale on court street in carroll gardens. it's more upscale than most indians, but the food is good, esp the dosas, the lamb curries, and the okra. A very good meal and some nice cocktails can be had there. Plus, it's probably walkable from your hotel.

                    1. Unfortunately, to get good bagels and good smoked salmon in Brooklyn you have to travel some distances between stores. The cream cheese is pretty much the same everywhere. Saying this, you may want to hit the Fairway market on Van Brunt in Red Hook. You can either buy your ingredients piecemeal and make your own sandwiches on their riverfront patio, or buy the bagels and lox behind the take-out counter by said patio. The great thing about the former is that the smoked fish section will give you samples to taste (for the asking) before you order. I believe Russ and Daughters and Zabar's both in Manhattan, do the same thing. Zabar's, however, doesn't have a dine-in option.

                      If you're willing to make the trips: Kosher Bagel Hole for bagels and cream cheese at either 1431 Coney Island Avenue (bet Aves. J & K) or 1423 Avenue J by the Ave J train station (D train). And Bklyn Larder for the prepackaged Catsmo smoked salmon - some of the best tasting smoked salmon I've had in NYC. There's also What's A Bagel in Canarsie. It's in a dicey neighborhood and inside a fire-trap looking shack. Located on 11112 Flatlands Avenue b/t. Williams & Louisiana. They do a very interesting, Mexican take on bagels and bialy.

                      I hear Mile End, a Quebecois (sp?) eatery, is making bagels now. They make excellent smoked meat and matzo ball soup, so I imagine their bagels are decent as well. They're located on Hoyt Street off of Atlantic Ave (Brooklyn) - only a couple of miles from you.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: David11238

                        Seems like Mile End would be a great option for OP!
                        I would not call a Montreal Jewish Deli quebecois, however.

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          It's part of Quebec, right? We certainly call Jewish owned delis in NYC "New York" in one way or another. And Montreal Jewish is certainly distinct from NY that it deserves it's own regional status. I'll compromise and say Mile End is Quebecois style.

                          1. re: David11238

                            I dont think the analogy is that good, because there is such a strong identification between Jewish cuisine and culture and "New York" in many people's minds whereas the word quebecois is usually used to refer to the francophone community and french culture of the province..

                            Mile End does serve Poutine and such however. I would be interested if the MIle End people would use the french word with all its freight in reference to themselves.

                      2. In the area of your hotel, I will make the following suggestions:

                        Banh mi at Hanco
                        Ramen and chicken wings at Ganso
                        Smoked meat sandwich and poutine at Mile End
                        Pizza at Juliana's
                        Fried chicken sandwich at Van Horn.

                        A little further away would be tacos at Calexico - same area as Pok Pok.

                        Hibino is a good neighborhood Japanese place.

                        No need to go to Fairway for lox. Pick it up at Garden of Eden on Montague. There's a bagel shop at the corner of Atlantic and Clinton which is pretty good.

                        Second the middle eastern places on Atlantic.

                        Even though you have nice dining options in Boston, some of the places in the area like Dover are worth a visit.

                        14 Replies
                        1. re: Bkeats

                          When were you last at Van Horn? they retooled the menu/concept and its now more formal at dinner (not even sure if the original fried chicken sandwich - which i agree is quite good - is still available). i just looked to check their website and registration has expired. potentially great lunch/brunch option still, and i do love their backyard in nice weather.

                          1. re: tex.s.toast

                            Hmm. Last summer probably. Liked the sandwich a lot. It will be too bad if they have removed it from the menu. Took a quick look at the page and see its gone blank. A perusal of yelp shows recent reviews that include the sandwich at least at lunch.

                            1. re: Bkeats

                              yes, i believe they do a similar if not exactly the same thing at lunch as before but dinner was pricier and fancier (we went looking for what had been and were a tad disappointed in the replacement - not the food, which we didnt try - it was more than our dining companions felt like spending)

                              1. re: tex.s.toast

                                it seems they've given up the ghost (though the business and lease are for sale)


                          2. re: Bkeats

                            We are staying at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriot and will be traveling on foot, bike, and subway.

                            1. re: drewinmrblhd

                              Well the first group in my post are within a 15 or so minute walk.

                              1. re: Bkeats

                                We hear that Wiiliamsburg has some good eating spots too. Is it possible to take a water ferry from dumbo to Williamsburg?

                                  1. re: drewinmrblhd

                                    If you take the ferry to Greenpoint you can have the best pizza at Paulie Gee's. It's only a short walk from the ferry stop.

                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                        The water ferry to Greenpoint has been suspended.

                                        1. re: drewinmrblhd

                                          Could always take the B62 bus from Jay St & Sands.

                                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                                              Well, if they did catch the G around Hoyt/Schemehorn they could always hit Mile End. Or the Arabic stores on Atlantic. But the 62 will drop them right off on the Broadway/Bedofrd intersect.