Good stuff in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn?
June 12, 2009 6:37 AM   Subscribe

Moving to Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, a couple of blocks northeast of Grand Army Plaza. We're already excited about being near the Brooklyn Museum, the Library, and Prospect Park... but we're looking for neighborhood tips on the little things: good cheap food and drink, best grocery, best coffee, least shady laundromat, what to check out, what to avoid, et cetera. Help us out!
posted by D.Billy to Grab Bag (24 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Not necessarily cheap, but you definitely need to check out Beast.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:44 AM on June 12, 2009

weather up has fantastic (though pricey) cocktails
posted by soma lkzx at 6:55 AM on June 12, 2009

Oh man do I miss Beast. Also, look into joining the Coop for fresh, delicious and affordable groceries, or if that's a bit much for you, the local CSA.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 6:57 AM on June 12, 2009

Cheap drinks can be found at Freddys and The Manhattans.
posted by josher71 at 6:58 AM on June 12, 2009

Consider joining the Park Slope Food Coop for groceries. Great quality stuff at incredible prices, but you have to work 2 hours and 45 minutes once every four weeks.
posted by exogenous at 7:27 AM on June 12, 2009

But beware, people at the coop might give you the stank eye if they see you buying non-organic products.
posted by scrutiny at 7:33 AM on June 12, 2009

The laundromat on Vanderbilt between Sterling & Park is very good! They are great for drop off. I can't think of the name. I only know where it is.
posted by alice ayres at 7:46 AM on June 12, 2009

people at the coop might give you the stank eye if they see you buying non-organic products.

Gotta say that this never, ever happened to me. Not in the least. I got into a weird conversation on the checkout line with a kooky lady wearing excessive bead jewelry and a tie-died shirtdress about fair-trade chocolate that gave me flashbacks of being back in the Bay Area, but that's it.

More: Farmer's Market at Grand Army Plaza on Sundays, Blue Marble Ice Cream on Underhill, the Brooklyn Flea Market in nearby Ft. Greene, Taro Sushi on Dean, Franny's for pizza, Blue Sky for amazing muffins and wake-up treats, Flatbush Farm for a nice bar with a great backyard, Park Slope Community Bookstore for books and more.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 7:55 AM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Chavellas for incredible (and cheap) Mexican food!

It's a bit of a walk, but aren't you tempted to try a restaurant called The Obama Flavor?
posted by moonmilk at 8:08 AM on June 12, 2009

I think my best advice is to enjoy Prospect Heights itself. You may be excited by proximity to Park Slope (nothing wrong with that), but don't forget to enjoy everything that is on your doorstep including the museum and gardens, lots of fun stuff down Washington Ave, and a generally fun and diverse neighborhood.

Consider a membership to the Botanic Gardens. It's not too pricey, and it's great to be able to check out the beautiful gardens all the time. It's so much more than just the cherry blossoms, and if you go at different times of year, you'll discover all kinds of treats, like the Bluebell Wood.
Go to Tom's for breakfast or lunch (Mon-Sat) and check out the other fun places on Washington Ave such as Cafe Shane. Also Franklin Park is a bar with readings, good DJ nights, a beer garden etc.
There isn't really a good grocery store (yet?) unfortunately. Heading towards Park Slope is probably a good idea for groceries.
posted by cushie at 8:10 AM on June 12, 2009

Hey neighbor! I'm on Lincoln Place, just around the corner from the museum. I'm fond of Barrette Bar, they have good beer on tap and a burlesque show (on Tuesday's, I think) and other fun entertainment, but it's also just a good place to have a quiet drink on a weekday. They also have the best BLT I've ever eaten. Just a few blocks down is bar called Soda, which has a great garden, good beer, and the best grilled cheese ever. It also has a large back room with lots of sofas and chairs.

Teddy's is a great place to order diner food from, but you have to go to Tom's some Saturday. It's a legend. I'll second the suggestion on Beast.
posted by Evangeline at 8:11 AM on June 12, 2009

One of my favorite Prospect Heights haunts is Franklin Park, a great bar with a large outdoor setting for the summer. Another great place, though a little bit of a hike, is The Havana Outpost- great $2 beer (5 point), and great food.
posted by HabeasCorpus at 8:18 AM on June 12, 2009

Gotta say that this never, ever happened to me. Not in the least.

To be fair, I've only been there once as I live in nearby Jersey, but I have a reclusive writer friend who lives in the area and goes/works there. He said he's definitely gotten the look from some of the people there, including once from the person working the checkout line and another time from a lady with her daughter.

My point is not to dissuade anyone from shopping there. The food is high quality and a better price than you'll find anywhere. However, the people who shop / work there can have very strong opinions about what types of food are acceptable to eat and if you're not used to that sort of thing it can be moderately disarming.

The best thing to do would be to go there and check it out yourself. I'm sure you'll like it.
posted by scrutiny at 9:58 AM on June 12, 2009

East of Park Slope there's not too much on Yelp, so please, whatever you find, review!
posted by Salamandrous at 10:13 AM on June 12, 2009

I used to live on Prospect between Vanderbilt and Underhill, and highly recommend Sea Land (if I'm remembering the name properly, at the corner of Flatbush and Seventh) for groceries, and just all up and down fifth avenue or seventh avenue for other types of food and fun.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:20 AM on June 12, 2009

I think Franny's is highly overrated. Amorina on Vanderbilt is where I get my fancy pizza fix.

Also, check out the Prospect Heights forum on Brooklynian for more recommendations.
posted by turaho at 10:54 AM on June 12, 2009

Oh, I moved out of that area last fall, and I miss it so much! Second:

The Coop - best groceries and cheapest cheese ever
Grand Army Plaza Farmers' Market - great produce and fish
Natural Land, on Flatbush and 7th - good for stocking up
Soda Bar - nice, fun bar - good cheese fries!
Flatbush Farm - good brunch
Toro Sushi on Dean - by far the best sushi in the area
Amorina - delicious pizza
Franklin Park, for beer.
Toms - but get there early.
Beast - best burger i've had in a long time

Joyce - on Vanderbilt - really good coffee
Old Brooklyn Parlor - on Washington? - best ice cream around, and old- timey sodas
I think the landromat alice ayers means is BubbleWorks - never been

A bit further away:

Paquena - in Ft. Green on S. Portland- really good mexican in a tiny space
Moes - at the corner of Lafayette & S. Portland in Ft. Greene - 2 for 1 beer happy hour til 7:30
Cake Man Raven - huge, tasty slices of red velvet cake - on Fulton in Ft. Greene
go to Crown Heights and get a roti or curri at one of the West Indies restaurants

Have fun! There's so much great stuff in the neighborhood, and you're really near everything else via walking or subway.
posted by foodmapper at 11:11 AM on June 12, 2009

If you like beer, you can do no wrong at Bierkraft (It's a retail store, not a bar). They have beers from all over the globe, and a rotating selection of great beers on tap to refill a growler or two.
posted by yeti at 12:01 PM on June 12, 2009

Soda on Vanderbilt & St. Marks is great for drinks (and food, although food service doesn't start until 4pm I believe) they have lots of couches & an outdoor patio

New bar, Washington Commons, on corner of Washington & Park Pl opened a couple of months ago, they also have a back patio

I believe the Farmers Market (that foxy_hedgehog mentioned upthread) at Grand Army plaza is only on Saturdays (runs until about 1 or 2pm)

Franklin Commons is surprisingly expensive for Crown Heights...

Flatbush Farm & Bar(n) on Flatbush & St. Marks is a good restaurant on one side & a fun bar on the other (also has a huge patio area)
posted by witchstone at 12:36 PM on June 12, 2009

Oh, and for coffee, I prefer Heights Coffee on Flatbush & Park Pl. to Joyce, but that's a personal preference. They also give you a 10% discount with a zipcard!
posted by witchstone at 12:38 PM on June 12, 2009

Gorilla Coffee is about a ten minute walk away but I still miss their Maple Lattes.

There is an awesome and cheap Jamaican patty place on Flatbush about a block, if even, north of Grand Army Plaza.

I was a member of the coop, but I was unemployed at the time so I could shop when the lines weren't crazy long (which is about 75% of the time) and working the shifts wasn't a big deal for me. Some things are super cheap, other things aren't, it really depends how much you are into organic food and how much time you have.

Everything else I can think of has been covered pretty thorougly, Sode and Flatbush Farm are great as others have said. Beware the 2/3 going local or express without warning.
posted by whoaali at 3:34 PM on June 12, 2009

Hey! Welcome to the neighborhood. Most of the places I'd recommend have already been recommended, except...


... which has the. best. takeout. food. I've. ever. eaten.

Seriously: I don't know what I'm going to do if I ever have to move. I MUST have my Islands fix at least once a month.

Prospect Park has a nice little zoo in it, a lake where you can rent paddle boats, and an old-style carousel.

The one thing the neighborhood doesn't have is a good grocery store. It's just a short walk into Park Slope to find one, but on a cold, rainy day, that short walk is a bit long. So get to know Fresh Direct. Or just order from The Islands.

Your Internet options here are basically Verizon or CableVision. Of the two, I recommend the latter -- at least until Verizon has FIOS for our neighborhood.

I don't know if this is a Prospect-Heights-wide problem, but I can't get Sprint reception in my apartment. I'm much happier -- or at least chattier -- now that I'm with AT&T.
posted by grumblebee at 3:49 PM on June 12, 2009

A little late to the party, but: Zaytoons has delicious and cheap falafel sandwiches (I do like a pickle in my falafel, and they wrap them up tight enough that you don't get their innards all over you. Pita made in house, too.)

Eating in Translation, which is generally a good source for diamond-in-the-hole-in-the-wall places, had a good review of this fish and chips and Armenian pastry place on Flatbush, but I haven't tried it yet.

James restaurant, on Carlton, is pretty swanky at full price but has a 7.50 burger at happy hour if you like sitting at fancypants bars without paying 22 bucks a plate. (Which I do.)

Blue Marble on Underhill has delicious if pricey ice cream; having moved down here straight from living in Somerville MA a few blocks from Christina's ice cream, I was pretty happy to have it open up in the neighborhood—though it won't have my full allegiance until it has burnt sugar or kulfi on the flavor list.

I personally think Beast is overrated, and too pricey for what you get. I know people who swear by it, though. Same for Cheryl's on Underhill—but the bar next to Cheryl's, Bar Sepia, I love. Slightly divey, ruined tin ceilings, 5 dollar pints and atmosphere. Conversely, I've only eaten at Franny's once but I thought it was great—but then I hadn't heard of it until my friend suggested it, so it didn't have a chance to be overrated.

Abigail's Wine Bar, on Classon, seems like a nice place to get a coffee and hang, but after having the worst brunch ever there I don't know if I'll ever be back. If I'm correct about the coffee place Witchstone is talking about, it's a nice place but very tiny—Joyce is better for sitting, if you do such things. (I just got a job there—full disclosure!—but haven't had a shift yet, so not really a shill. And I should say it's sometimes a good place to sit and read or do laptop things, but sometimes too crowded/noisy.) Good pastry at both, made in house at Joyce and from some delicious Manhattan place at the other, but I forget which one.

You should also find a good roti place—I like the one around the corner from me (in Crown, not Prospect Heights) but I'm sure there are good ones to be had closer.
posted by felix grundy at 11:31 PM on June 12, 2009

Oh and the farmer's market at Grand Army is very much on Saturday, not Sunday. In fact, I am now going to go to sleep so as to get there semi-early. If you like dogs go before ten, if you like babies go after. For some reason the demographic just sorts that way.
posted by felix grundy at 11:34 PM on June 12, 2009

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