The swift redevelopment of western Crown Heights comes as no surprise. The neighborhood ticks all the "def going to gentrify" boxes: it's near green space (Prospect Park no less), has access to several subway lines, and is relatively attractive.
Some of the newer openings - many on the Franklin Ave stretch - could perhaps feel a little forced, but many are beloved go-tos of ours for a pre-museum drink, casual-but-solid dinner, or weekend handout nonetheless:
- Mayfield: love this place. American fare that's good every time.
- Chavela's: Mexican bites and good cocktails. The interior is pretty sweet too.
- Barboncino and Rosco's: two very different kinds of pizza - Neapolitan and New York respectively - but we love (almost) all slices and these two are definite favorites in the 'hood.
- Glady's: this is an interesting one. It was a hip sandwich shop that decided to do a 180 and make Caribbean food, one of the more popular cuisines that had numerous homestyle outposts *before* newcomers arrived. It is delicious so it gets a thumbs-up from us, but also consider somewhere like The Islands for authentic Caribbean (small space and spotty service, but the oxtail is worth it).
- Little Zelda: one of the more established of the hip Franklin Ave addresses, and the cute coffee shop has lasted for a good reason. The owners' next-door venture, Wedge Cheese Shop, sadly closed down. It reopened as Nagle's Bagels, which we have yet to try.
- Marker Coffee: a neighborhood newcomer with Café Grumpy coffee and pastries.
- Two Saints: play on "Toussaint," this is a new cocktail bar from the owners of Little Zelda. Hand-made signature cocktails for $10. Yes please.
- Sunshine Co: craft cocktails (which are $2 off during 4-7pm happy hour) on the Prospect Heights border.
- The Way Station: Dr. Who themed bar + live music space. Just the right amount of nerd for us.
- Berg'n: ok so to be honest, this place is close to falling into the "trying to hard" category. We've covered it before and its saving grace is the outdoor space and food options.
- Friends and Lovers: is this a "drink" place or a "to do/see"? Both, so it's going here. F&L is a bar, but their Soul Night rocks. They also have Hip-Hop trivia sooo...
- Hullabaloo Books: pop into the teeny-tiny independent bookshop and peruse.
- Chrysanthemum: fresh-cut flowers, plants, art, and tea. Head to the Washington Ave shop for a Chinese tea ceremony, a wreath-making class, or to pick up some stems and loose leaves to go.
Take the A/C/S to Franklin Ave and Nostrand Ave or 2/3 or 4/5 to Franklin Ave and Eastern Parkway.
Have a reliable recommendation or sweet spot to share? Go crazy in the comments section.