Lincoln Station (409 Lincoln Place) — just over the Washington Avenue border that separates Crown Heights from Prospect Heights. This cafe manages to elevate the classic New York bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, serving it with some salsa rosa, perfectly cooked fried eggs and a pillowy bun. Good news for late risers: Lincoln Station (which also has great lunch options) serves breakfast until 4 p.m.” data-id=”112763535″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/18840_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.12763535″/> Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen
Berg’n, located at 899 Bergen St., has a coffee bar, an actual bar, four food options and pinball machines. It’s open all day long — so whatever time it is, if you hit a lull in your day, it will be there to receive you with open arms and long communal tables. (Unless it’s Monday, then you’re out of luck.) Berg’n is a spin-off of Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea, and it offers up food from Mighty Quinn’s, Landhaus, Bread and Salt and Lumpia Shack.” data-id=”112763635″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/20272_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.12763635″/> Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen
Gloria’s on Nostrand Avenue, and at spots offering more updated takes on the genre, like Glady’s on Franklin Avenue or The Food Sermon on Rogers Avenue.
If you want a filling lunch, The Islands, at 803 Washington Ave., is hard to beat. It might be tough to find a spot to sit during lunch, but the jerk chicken and other dishes will be spicy enough to keep you warm outside, even in this weather. And you’ll have more seating options soon — in typical Brooklyn fashion, the Key Food building that’s home to The Islands is slated to be turned into condos, and the restaurant plans to move down the road to a bigger place.” data-id=”112763666″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/20274_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.12763666″/>
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen
Breukelen Coffee House, located at 764 Franklin Ave. Crown Heights has a ridiculous number of coffee shops these days (DNAinfo pegged it at “ at least 17” shops, and that was back in 2015) but Breukelen is one of the longer-lasting coffee houses. It opened its doors — and in doing so started a little rivalry with another shop across the street — in 2009. Co-owner Frank Warren was serving up coffee with a smile during a recent visit, while patrons worked on laptops or struck up conversations with one another. The shop also hosts community events.” data-id=”112763845″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/20276_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.12763845″/> Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen
Owl and Thistle General Store, at 833 Franklin Ave., has you covered. From plush pigeons and yellow taxis to dish towels featuring New York street scenes, the shop is full of Brooklyn-made goods and also offers sewing and crafting classes in a cozy setting.” data-id=”112763930″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/24806_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.12763930″/> Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen
Mayfield (688 Franklin Ave.), a popular New American restaurant, and order up a dozen bivalves. Wash it down with a discounted drink — a rotating $3 beer (on a recent visit, it was Labatt Blue), a $4 house draft, a $5 well drink or a $6 house wine.” data-id=”112763999″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/13652_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.12763999″/> Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen
Barboncino, at 781 Franklin Ave., does the genre well, with a lightly blistered crust, bright tomato sauce, just enough mozzarella and a touch of basil. If you want some heat, add a little of the chili oil, the modern version of those giant red pepper shakers you’d find at your local slice joint. If you’re not feeling pizza for dinner, consider the aforementioned Food Sermon — though note it will be closed from Dec. 16 through Jan. 15 for the holiday season — for modern but accessible island cuisine, or Catfish for Cajun food.” data-id=”112764022″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/13654_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.12764022″/> Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen
Butter & Scotch, a bar-meets-bakery at 818 Franklin Ave. where you can class up your childhood favorite by selecting the “Make it Sparkle” option — which pairs a glass of Champagne with your three-layer, sprinkle-covered cake. If you’re more in the mood for chocolate, order the Hotline Bling Cake: dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate frosting, salted caramel sauce and gold glitter. Pair that with bubbly to make it a Champagne Papi. If you prefer to drink your dessert, check out the selection of boozy milkshakes, which are closer to composed cocktails than spiked desserts.” data-id=”112764055″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/13656_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.12764055″/> Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen
King Tai is the other). The lighting is pleasingly dim, the vibe is warm and friendly, the service is superlative and the drinks are well-made and lovingly presented.
Grab a John the Beachcomber — which is also available supersized to share — or a simple but sweet Galangal Daiquiri. But the Slow Reveal, pictured, is the most Instagram-worthy, thanks to its pineapple serving vessel.
If you’re more into beer than cocktails,
check out Covenhoven instead.” data-id=”112764121″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/13659_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.12764121″/> Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen
Izzy’s Smokehouse, a kosher barbecue joint. Just note it’s closed on Fridays and Saturdays for Shabbat.
The boundaries of Crown Heights and Prospect Heights have been much debated, but the general rule is the middle of Washington Avenue. The western side is Prospect Heights; the eastern side, Crown Heights.
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Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen
Few neighborhoods see their reputations change as much and as quickly as Crown Heights has in the last couple of decades.
For years, this vibrant neighborhood was most closely associated with rising crime rates and a three-day riot in 1991, fueled by racial tensions between Hasidic Jews and African-American and West Indian residents. Today, it’s among the most in-demand neighborhoods in the city’s most in-demand borough — and even as it undergoes the often tense and always complicated process of gentrification, it remains diverse and has held on to plenty of its cultural history, especially in the food department.
Stroll along Eastern Parkway and you can slip down cross streets to find authentic West Indian food (and, on Labor Day Weekend, the colorful West Indian Day Parade along “de Parkway”), or kosher bakeries (and barbecue joints), and yes, hip new restaurants — many of which nod to the neighborhood’s history.
Here’s how to spend a day in Crown Heights.