10 Best Things to Do in Brooklyn's Sunset Park

Children flying a kite in Sunset Park, Sunset Park neighborhood, New York City, USA

Busà Photography / Getty Images

A few miles from the brownstone-lined streets of Park Slope there's a vibrant Brooklyn neighborhood, which was named the “Coolest Neighborhood in America” by Cushman & Wakefield, the real estate company. As you explore this cool New York neighborhood you'll discover places like Industry City, a re-purposed building complex that houses a food hall, distillery, various craft, and art fairs, as well as thousands of square feet of studio space for Brooklyn’s artists and makers. With attractions like this, Sunset Park is quickly becoming a destination for edgy travelers.

From the artsy transformation of the waterfront factories into shopping centers and art studios along Third Avenue to Brooklyn's Chinatown on Eighth Avenue, there is something for everyone to enjoy during a trip to Sunset Park. This area, sandwiched between Greenwood Heights and Bay Ridge, is experiencing a hotel boom with hotels in Industry City like the L Hotel and more planned.

The beauty of Sunset Park is the diversity, the community, and authenticity. From shopping to ethnic eats, you'll find good reasons to put Sunset Park on your list of must-visit neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

01 of 10

Shop Liberty View Industrial Plaza

Liberty View Industrial Plaza
Alison Lowenstein

Beyond at Liberty View has multiple shops including Cost Plus World Market, Buy Buy Baby, and a spacious Bed, Bath and Beyond Although there are many retail chains in the intelligently redesigned Industrial space, they have carved out areas especially for locally produced products too.

The ultra-hip shopping center is also home to the Bay Market Kitchen, a community space and food hall where you can enjoy casual American cuisine, specialty food products, locally roasted coffee, and craft beers.

02 of 10

Visit a Distillery

Industry City Distillery

Courtesy of Industry City Distillery 

You can score some really good gin at a local distillery in the Sunset Park neighborhood. Brooklyn's distillery scene is expanding and Sunset Park is home to three distilleries, Industry City Distillery (in the middle of moving operations downstairs) and Breukelen Distilling. Although you can only tour or visit Breukelen Distilling when they have an open house, they produce whiskey and gin that is made in Sunset Park every day.

Barrow's Intense Distillery has an open tasting room. They are known for their Ginger Liqueur made with fresh Ginger. Barrow's intense tasting room has a great atmosphere and is the place to sip cocktails made with their popular liqueur.

03 of 10

Dine at the Food Hall at Industry City

Industry City

Courtesy of Industry City 

If you have a sweet tooth, you should spend an afternoon at the Food Hall in Industry City. The Food Hall on the ground floor of this mammoth industrial home to artists and makers has outposts of Blue Marble, Colson Patisserie, One Girl Cookies, and Liddabit Sweets, all of which could satiate any fan of sweets.

If you're looking for savory fare, pop into Ends Meats for a sandwich made with Italian style meats. The Food Hall is open weekdays, and on weekends some of the restaurants are closed. 

04 of 10

Eat Dumplings

Fei Long Food Court
Alison Lowenstein

Foodies flock to the food court attached to the Fei Long Supermarket. With nine choices including the popular Shanghai Dumpling House, you can feast on various Asian specialties at the food court. Grab a seat as you dine on noodles, teriyaki, rice dishes, and other good eats. If eating dumpling inspires you to cook, you can easily spend hours perusing the aisles of the Fei Long Supermarket, packed with specialty items and everything you'll need to make your own dumplings at home.

If you'd rather an afternoon of dim sum instead of dining at a food court, head to Eighth Avenue and get a table at Pacificana for their dim sum. After the dim sum service is over the restaurant serves traditional Chinese American food. This stretch of Eighth Avenue in Sunset Park is filled with many Asian restaurants, so you really have your pick. It's also a great place to celebrate the Lunar New Year

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05 of 10

Watch the Sun Set from Sunset Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park

cmart7327 / Getty Images

Prospect Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park might be the most visited parks in Brooklyn, but Sunset Park is one of New York City's best parks. Watch the sunset over the Manhattan skyline from this verdant park. In the summer, locals flock to the Art Deco style pool constructed in the 1930s, which is open to everyone. The park also has an indoor recreation center for the winter months. On warmer days, you can play basketball or simply stroll through the park. 

Another great park to visit, although you can't see a winter sunset because the park closes at 4 p.m., is Bush Terminal Park. The waterfront park in an industrial part of Sunset Park, which was once a port. Enter at 43rd Street, and stroll along the waterfront esplanade or check out the nature preserve.

06 of 10

Fill up on Tacos and Tamales

Maria's Bistro Mexicano

Courtesy of Maria's Bistro Mexicano 

Sunset Park is home to a large Latino community and is known for its plethora of Mexican restaurants. Folks travel to Sunset Park for incredibly tasty and inexpensive tacos and tamales. Favorite spots include Tacos el Bronco. If you’re heading there for lunch the $1.50 tacos should appease all taco lovers. And if you think you can’t get good food for under two bucks, Tacos de Bronco made the list of top Mexican restaurants in NYC by Food Network Magazine. Don’t want to sit down for a proper meal? They also have a food truck.

For a fun brunch, go to Maria's Bistro Mexicano in Sunset Park. They offer an unlimited Bloody Mary and Mimosa brunch. The combo of liquor and Mexican staples like Huevos Rancheros and Tamales makes Maria's Bistro Mexicano the perfect place to start a decadent weekend.

07 of 10

Play Video Games

Next Level Arcade

Courtesy of Brooklyn Buzz 

Gamers can make a pilgrimage to this Sunset Park arcade on Fourth Avenue. Next Level Arcade touts that they take people to the "Next Level of gaming." They feature a wide selection of video games, trading card games, and board games and sell trading card games and products such as Magic the Gathering, Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh.

Next Level also hosts a weekly competitive fighting game tournament on Wednesdays called "Next Level Battle Circuit." Their calendar page lists monthly events for video games and trading card games.

08 of 10

Bowl a Strike

Melody Lanes

Melody Lanes 

The one thing that is seriously missing from Sunset Park is nightlife. There's a Tiki Bar on Fourth Avenue, but besides that, there's a dearth of good bars. Unlike Park Slope's Fifth Avenue, where you have your pick of fun cocktail spots, Sunset Park is still a bit sleepy.

However, if you want to drink at an old school bar, make your way to Melody Lanes. The old school bowling alley houses a bar and an arcade. Locals hang out there, but if you really want to have a fun night in Sunset Park, rent some bowling shoes and try to get a strike or a spare. In the evenings, they have glow bowling. 

Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

Peruse the Art

Tabla Rasa

 Tabla Rasa

Industry City has attracted a lot of artists to the neighborhood, but it's not the only place to see local artwork. Stop in the art gallery Tabla Rasa that exhibits works of emerging, mid-career, and established artists of Brooklyn, New York, and across the United States. The gallery is housed in a turn of the century carriage house on 48th Street.

Or, check out the open studios and other events at The New York Art Residency and Studios (NARS) Foundation on 46th street, look at their website for special programs and information about what is on view at their gallery. 

10 of 10

Tour Green-Wood Cemetery

Tombstone and spring colors at Green-Wood Cemetery.

Steven Greaves / Getty Images

Green-Wood Cemetery, open daily, is more like a park with 478 acres of hills, ponds, paths (and graves, too) to stroll by. The monuments and historic chapel which was built in 1911 are noteworthy for their architectural interest. Founded in 1838, the cemetery is a place where some famous New Yorkers are buried. Find the graves of Tammany Hall "Boss" William M. Tweed, composer Leonard Bernstein, and more. You can take a narrated trolley tour to see the sights. Check-in for the tour at the Gothic Arches to the right at the main entrance.