The recent episode of the Amateur Traveler on Brooklyn (Travel to Brooklyn in New York City – Episode 270) reminded me of the years I spent in Brooklyn. Here are a few more places to visit in Brooklyn that the guest didn’t mention:
The Brooklyn Heights Promenade overlooking the East River offers a breathtaking view of the Statue of Liberty, lower Manhattan, and the Brooklyn Bridge. It has been featured in movies such as Annie Hall and Moonstruck and is part of Brooklyn’s Historical Preservation District. Lined with mansions and greenery on one side and the amazing views on the other, this is a romantic spot favored for a stroll by locals and visitors alike. Montague Street leads up to the promenade which is a nice shopping and brunch area.
Cobble Hill / Carroll Gardens is a quaint yet lively area with a strong Italian influence that is being slowly overtaken by French immigrants. There are bilingual French/American schools, lovely French restaurants such as Provence en Boite, Robin des Bois and Bar Tabac who get together each year to celebrate Bastille Day with a petanque tournament on Smith St, one of the main restaurant and bar streets in the area.
Smith Street is also home to a trifecta of stores all owned by the same people: Stinky Brooklyn, a cheese shop with the widest variety of domestic and foreign cheeses I have ever seen in the US, The Jake Walk, a wine bar that also serves tapas and specialty cocktails, and Smith and Vine, a specialty wine shop with friendly employees happy to help with a pairing.
Cobble Hill / Carroll Gardens has a vast selection of ethnic restaurants: Cubana Cafe for Cuban food, Zaytoons for Moroccan, Fragoli for homemade Italian, the French restaurants mentioned above, Char 5 and Buttermilk Channel for upscale southern fare, and Lobos for Tex Mex at its best: Blood Orange Margaritas and tasty shrimp tacos.
For drinks, there is Zombie Hut which is famous for the Frozen Zombie and its $5 Mai Thais and large backyard seating area, Camp which has The Dirty Girl Scout Cocktail and a great DJ, and Ceol, a traditional Irish pub with a jukebox, plentiful seating and inexpensive pints. If you want to go upscale, Clover Club has a completely 1920s style decor and old fashioned cocktails to match- get an Old Fashioned or the Clover Club signature cocktail for a treat.
For dessert, the Chocolate Room is divine, especially for its house-made chocolates or chocolate beer float. Sweet Melissa has delicious baked goods (try a Bee Sting) and ice cream and the Brooklyn Farmacy is an old fashioned soda fountain with classic sundaes, shakes and of course the egg cream. The best thing on the menu is the Sundae of Broken Dreams, with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, pretzels, and whipped cream.
All in all Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens are a food lover’s dream and worth the trip on the F train from Manhattan to Warren Street or Carroll Street.
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