The best of Ft. Greene
June 19, 2009 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Just moved to Ft. Greene. What's awesome here?

Been here a few days and I love it. I just don't know where to find things yet (coffee shops, groceries, brunch, book shops, fun things, best spots in the park).

I've lived in Bay Ridge, Kensington, and Park Slope over the years, so I'd prefer answers that focus on the area north of Atlantic Ave. And I've already been to Habana Outpost, Moe's and the Fulton Street Mall. Also been to BAM, but I'd like know about other places for art and performance.

I especially would like coffee shop recommendations. Found this great post on a local blog, but things change so quickly and it already seems out of date. For reference, my favorite coffee shop is Heights Coffee - good, quiet music; decent coffee; no kids.

What do you love about Ft. Greene?
posted by anthropoid to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Not coffee (but perhaps tasty with coffee) is the fantastic red velvet cake from the Cake Man Raven
posted by heliotrope at 10:58 AM on June 19, 2009

Best answer: Hi, new neighbor!

Check out Clinton Hill Blog -- this covers a lot of the area you're talking about, and is a good go-to for neighborhood happenings (full disclosure -- I write for them sometimes).

Tillie's and Pillow are good for coffee. Tillie's also has occasional performance events.

RePop is way north, towards the Navy Yard, but is a funky little shop that has monthly arts exhibits. One of the owners is a guy named Russel who is an absolute sweetheart -- I discovered this shop about 3 months after I moved in, when I was on an explore-the-neighborhood walk; I went in and found two people talking. They looked at me and demanded eagerly, "are you Amanda?" I said no, and they shrugged, and said, "Oh well. Want some wine?" Then they served me wine and explained that one was the owner, working late because someone named "Amanda" was supposed to pick up a chair, but was running late, and the other had brought some wine to keep him company. I ended up hanging out there for an hour.

Check out the whole stretch of DeKalb between Vanderbilt and the park - lots of restaurants and shops. Madiba is South African food; Ici is French; there are a couple other low-key coffee shops there too. Alibi is this really funky dive bar on DeKalb, and Brooklyn Public is its younger and more cleaned-up rival across the street. Another cool bar is Rope, up on Myrtle. Also on Myrtle is Maggie Brown's, a mellow bar/restaurant.

The park has a farmer's market every Saturday.

Pratt has this awesome New Year's Tradition -- they have an antique steam boiler on site, and the guy who maintains it also has this huge collection of antique steam whistles he's saved from trains, steamships, etc. On New Year's Eve, he drags them all out and sets them all up on the Pratt campus quad, and then in the hour before midnight he hooks up a calliope and plays songs on it as the crowd gathers. Then at midnight, he blows off all the steam whistles at once, which is as awesome as it sounds, and then sets the crowd loose on all the whistles to all take turns pulling the cords to sound them off themselves.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:54 AM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Black Iris has fantastic felafel and Middle Eastern pizza. If you like BBQ, Blue Smoke near BAM is pretty good. There's a tiny little Mexican joint around the corner from Moe's that has awesome fish tacos. Olea on Lafayette has the one of the best brunches in Brooklyn in you ask me, not to mention dinner is fantastic and the vibe is great. I prefer Lou Lou over Ici for French. Ici is just too "NYC" I guess. Lou Lou feels more from the heart.

I second RE-POP. Love that place and go at least twice a month.
posted by spicynuts at 12:52 PM on June 19, 2009

I can tell you that red bamboo is pretty highly overrated. Chez Oskar has extremely unhealthy brunch and great bloody's. I can heartily second the Alibi, Rope, and Maggie Brown reccs.
posted by shownomercy at 1:29 PM on June 19, 2009

(and I mean extremely unhealthy in the best possible way; it is french after all...)
posted by shownomercy at 1:31 PM on June 19, 2009

I didn't think much of Rope when I was up there visiting a friend of mine who used to live in the neighborhood, but maybe it's just not my scene. Tillie's was great. Is Kush still around? Delicious West African food there, and you must try the fresh ginger drink. I liked Café Lafayette, too.
posted by emelenjr at 1:59 PM on June 19, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the tips folks! What about delis/small grocery? Any good place for a good old cheap egg sandwich?
posted by anthropoid at 5:44 PM on June 19, 2009

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