The best of Brooklyn: Bloggers' favorite local spots

We asked a few of our favorite Brooklyn bloggers for their recommendations of the borough’s best restaurants, shops, parks and more.

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Green-Wood Cemetery

Green-Wood Cemetery Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson


RECOMMENDED: What's new and what's best in Brooklyn

Emily Nonko, reporter for Brownstoner (brownstoner.com)

“My grandpa has been taking me and my family to [L&B] Spumoni Gardens for years. Forget the hipster pizza joints, the two-hour waits, the restaurants that brag about their wood-burning ovens—Spumoni Gardens is it. They perfected the art of the Sicilian slice: cheese on bottom, sauce on top and a heavenly doughy crust. You finish with a scoop of the house-made spumoni, which has a consistency between ice cream and a snow cone. The huge outdoor patio and the quick service are perks, but the pizza is worth your left arm—or at least the long subway trip.” L&B Spumoni Gardens, 2725 86th St between W 10th and W 11th Sts, Gravesend, Brooklyn (718-449-6921, spumonigardens.com)

“Strange, wonderful things always happen at Montero’s. It’s just one of those bars that surprises you. The beers are cheap, the mixed drinks are strong, and the bartenders are friendly. It’s also the very last remnant of Atlantic Avenue as a place where sailors hung out after their shifts on the dock, and the bar is full of old shipping paraphernalia. It’s not really the decor that makes Montero’s special, though: If you stay drinking late enough, you’re bound to make friends, or find yourself belting karaoke or combing through the history plastered on the walls.” Montero’s, 73 Atlantic Ave between Columbia and Hicks Sts, Brooklyn Heights (646-729-4129)

“Nowhere else in Brooklyn do I feel entirely outside of Brooklyn than in Green-Wood Cemetery. It carries with it a peacefulness unlike anywhere else in the city. I like to wander far enough into the cemetery where there are no other people besides myself (believe me, it isn’t hard to do), and just sit and enjoy the scenery. The gravestones range from fantastic works of art to simple headstones marking Civil War soldiers. You can take guided tours here every weekend, but I prefer solo wandering, just because I stumble upon something new every time.” Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th St at Fifth Ave, Sunset Park, Brooklyn (718-768-7300, greenwoodcemetery.org)

“My first apartment in Brooklyn was tiny and infested with all the things that scare you away from New York City forever. Without Red Horse Café nearby, I doubt I would have survived. Red Horse is super cozy without feeling tiny. There are comfy leather couches toward the back of the café, and this unspoken camaraderie between all patrons on said couches. They also occasionally feature really good live music. As for the baristas, I’ll never forget when I stopped by on Valentine’s Day and they were creating hearts in the latte foam. ‘I’m so sorry,’ my barista told me. ‘This looks a lot more like a fetus than a heart.’ So in love.” Red Horse Café, 497 Sixth Ave at 12th St, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-499-4973)

“I’m including Broken Angel, not only because it’s one of the best pieces of outsider architecture in New York, but because it may not survive for much longer. The story is really sad: An artist couple, Arthur and Cynthia Wood, bought this Clinton Hill building in the ’70s and turned it into an artists’ enclave. They built up the building with whatever materials they could get their hands on. After a fire, the city forced the couple to move out and ultimately remove some of the building’s structure. Then Cynthia Wood was diagnosed with cancer and eventually passed away. Only her husband Arthur remains in the building now. (You can say hello by pulling the large rope outside the door.) After a long foreclosure battle, the bank now owns the building, and its future is up in the air. I recommend visiting this site by bike: go north on Classon Avenue from Crown Heights, and take a left onto Downing. The bland-looking, quiet block curves into a kind of cul-de-sac, with this spectacle waiting at the end.” Broken Angel House, 4-6 Downing St at Quincy St, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

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3 comments
Heather
Heather

I wonder if Robert knows that one of the proprietresses of Bamonte's is a member of our local Community Board? I do. I'm going to bring this to her attention. I'm certain his back-handed "suggestion" will be amusing to her. And I stand by my endorsement of their blueberry cream pie: it's wonderful.

Lynne
Lynne

Frost > Bamonte’s, all the way.

Marie
Marie

I gotta wonder if Robert has ever actually been to Bamonte's. The only soundtrack at Bamonte's is the sound of people dining, talking, and maybe a little baseball game sound from the TV at the bar. They don't play music, Sinatra or otherwise. Secondly the old timers will not tell you Sinatra ate there, because he did not. Mike the bartender used to work at Jilly's, and waited on Sinatra there.