Brooklyn Heights attracts residents and visitors not only because of its proximity to Manhattan but also for its charming brownstones and tree-lined streets. This historic neighborhood is home to cobblestone streets, quaint cafes, and is a short walk from the Brooklyn Bridge.
Perched on the East River waterfront, Brooklyn Heights has been home to several notable personalities, including Academy Award-nominated actor Paul Giamatti and the late Pulitzer Prize winner Norman Mailer and other prominent writers including Truman Capote, Carson McCullers, and Walt Whitman.
Getting to Brooklyn Heights
Brooklyn Heights is bordered by Atlantic Avenue on the south, Cadman Park and Court Street to the east, the East River to the west, and Old Fulton Street to the north. It's also one of the easiest parts of Brooklyn to reach through public transportation. The subway station at Borough Hall is a major hub, with service to the 2, 3, 4, 5, N, and R lines. Further north, the 2 and 3 lines stop at a station on Clark Street. Buses include the B25, B69, B57, B63, and B61.
What to See
At 1,826 feet, the Brooklyn Heights promenade stretches along the East River waterfront and is the main attraction in the area. Stroll down the walkway for breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Brooklyn Heights is also home to the Brooklyn Historical Society, the St. George Hotel, which was once New York City's largest hotel, and a large open-air green market at Borough Hall. Brooklyn Heights might be known for its history and architecture, but it's also where you'll find Brooklyn's first cat cafe, Brooklyn Cat Cafe, where you can get your kitten fix. For train buffs, The New York Transit Museum is located right outside of Brooklyn Heights at a decommissioned subway stop a few blocks from Borough Hall in Downtown Brooklyn.
In the warmer months, walk down Atlantic Avenue to Pier 6 to enter the scenic waterfront Brooklyn Bridge Park. The park is home to a summer film festival and many other activities. In addition, it houses the seasonally run ferry to Governors Island. From rollerskating to kayaking, the Brooklyn Bridge Park is filled with numerous economical activities to fill your dance card during your trip to Brooklyn. Don't forget to have an ice cream cone from the "Ample Hills" kiosk in the park. If you want to have a picnic in the park, pick up supplies from Sahadi's the Middle Eastern market on Atlantic Avenue.
Where to Shop
Montague Street is the main shopping drag in Brooklyn Heights and is filled with a few chain stores including Ann Taylor Loft, but there are also many small boutiques, but it's more commercial than Smith Street and Court Street in neighboring Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. If you're perusing Montague Street, be sure to head to Tango, which has been outfitting Brooklyn women for years or search through the racks at Housing Works for second-hand clothes and home goods.
Where to Eat and Drink
For excellent Italian food, don't miss Noodle Pudding, Queen, or the famous pizza at Grimaldi's. The diner, Teresa's dishes out hearty Polish food. Other neighborhood must-visit restaurants include Fattoush for inexpensive Mediterranean food, "Lassen & Hennigs" for gourmet food on the go, Le Petit Marche" for French dining, Chip Shop for award-winning fish and chips, and Tazza, a coffee shop that serves panini and baked goods. Atlantic Avenue is teeming with great restaurants, Colonie is a local favorite, where you should make reservations or expect a long wait.
You can also dine in Brooklyn Bridge Park. In the warmer months, have an artisanal pizza pie and a drink at Fornino's scenic rooftop restaurant.
Beer lovers won't want to miss the Henry St. Ale House or Jack the Horse Tavern. If you want an old-school drink, you should go to Montero's Bar & Grill, which dates back to the 1940's and was a watering hole for sailors and people working at the docks. The nautical theme has remained, but the clientele is more of a hipster scene these days. If you'd like to play a game of bocce ball, get a drink at Floyd NY, and play a game at their bocce ball court.
- Edited by Alison Lowenstein.