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Red Hook: The best of the Brooklyn neighborhood

Find the best restaurants, bars, attractions and things to do in the waterfront neighborhood of Red Hook in Brooklyn.

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Cocktail bar Botanica in Red Hook

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Photograph: Beth Levendis

Louis J. Valentino Jr. Park and Pier offers great views of the Statue of Liberty and free kayaking sessions in the summer.

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Louis J. Valentino Jr. Park and Pier

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Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

The semioutdoor tented dining room in the back of Pok Pok Ny, is the most atmospheric spot in the restaurant to try chef Andy Ricker's superlative Thai fare. 

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Photograph: Bill Kelly

Red Hook Park during a SummerStage concert

 

 

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Photograph: Beth Levendis

Make sure to drop in to Fort Defiance, the cocktails rank among the best in the borough.

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Sunny's Bar, you can't miss it, just look for this car

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Photograph: Jeffrey Gurwin

If the weather's nice, take a drink up to Rocky Sullivan's roof deck.

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The Red Hook Pool, you weren't thinking of cooling off in the East River or Gowanus Bay were you?

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Photograph: Sean Ellingson

IKEA Brooklyn, it's why the majority of people come to Red Hook, but escape the labyrinth of reasonably-priced goods and a charming neighborhood awaits.

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Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

The Brooklyn Crab seafood shack in Red Hook offers views of the bay and games of mini golf and cornhole in its backyard.

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The Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge hosts art exhibits, readings, and music, theater and dance performances.

To the southwest of Carroll Gardens, beyond the BQE, the formerly rough-and-tumble industrial locale of Red Hook remains a secluded neighborhood, thanks to the lack of subway stops, which makes it perfect for a day out exploring. 

RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of things to do in Brooklyn


Despite the arrival of gourmet mega-grocer Fairway and Swedish furniture superstore Ikea, the area is still home to smaller, artisanal businesses and factories, like the Sixpoint brewery. Its time-warp charm is still evident, and its decaying piers make a moody backdrop for massive cranes, empty warehouses and trucks clattering over cobblestone streets. 

Red Hook suffered badly during Hurricane Sandy, with buildings flooded out and residents without electricity for weeks on end. Most businesses have reopened by now, although the community is still feeling lingering effects.

To find out more about things to do, see, eat and drink in Brooklyn and discover other neighborhoods in the area, visit our Brooklyn borough guide.

Map of Red Hook and travel information

The waterfront neighborhood of Red Hook in Brooklyn runs south west of Hamilton Avenue (which follows the BQE) between the East River and Gowanus Bay. It borders the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens, Gowanus and Cobble Hill. Public transport options are limited, with the nearest subway stop being Smith-9th Streets—requiring either a 30-minute stroll into the nabe or a transfer to the B61 bus. Your other options are taking the New York Water Taxi or cycling, the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway connects Red Hook, Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg via (mostly) protected bike lanes along the East River.

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Attractions in Red Hook

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