Back in January, when I was having my Hamilton themed, Statue of Liberty loving, New York City weekend, I was crashing at my best friend’s apartment in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. (One of my best friends…if I don’t say that my phone is gonna blow up).
Ashley has been one of my main partners in travel crime over the years (see: here and here and here for examples). After college, I moved to Philadelphia and she moved to NYC. The vast majority of this time she’s lived in Park Slope. Whenever she leaves for a bit, she always ends up coming right back. A decade later (cough, cough, oh god where did the time go), and she’s explored almost every corner of her neighborhood. While I’ve only gotten to do a handful of these great activities with her, I want you to benefit from her repository of Brooklyn knowledge.
Here are 18 Awesome Things to Do in Park Slope
- Explore Prospect Park: Built by the same architects as Central Park, Prospect Park gives Park Slope its name. Full of stuff like a dog beach, a concert pavilion, and a zoo, there’s something for everyone – though when I’m not just meandering around, I go with friends for an impromptu weekend picnic – we have a place known as “the spot” so we know where to meet up in the giant meadows.
- Hit up the Farmers Market at Grand Army Plaza: Grand Army Plaza’s monument always reminds me of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, but cooler (because Brooklyn). Hit up this entryway to Prospect Park on weekends for the Greenmarket – my fave place to buy Kale, apples, and Farm-fresh Goat Cheese.
- Catch a show at BAM: I love weird theater and dance, author talks, and the occasional live podcast session. BAM provides all of these in spades.
- Go Patrick Stewart Spotting: Patrick Stewart famously bought a Brownstone right by the park a few years back, and now seeing him at a café or shopping at Park Slope Food Co-op is a pretty common occurrence for locals
- Craft Beer in the backyard at Uncle Barry’s: Uncle Barry’s (A Bar) carries a rotating list of craft beers from all around the US, and their small backyard is perfect for a Saturday afternoon catch up with friends, or before an event at the Barclay’s Center.
- Catch an Islanders Game/Nets Game/Circus/Jay Z concert at the Barclay’s Center: This monster arena was pretty controversial when it opened in 2012, but I think it’s been a really great addition to the neighborhood – the lack of street parking on game nights is no match for the money the crowds bring to local businesses. Also, I think it’s pretty.
- Stuff yourself at Dino BBQ: Growing up in Kansas City, I’ve often been disappointed by the food they call “BBQ” in New York, but Dino restores my faith in BBQ. Though its Southern Style, not KC BBQ, the brisket is no joke, and the pulled pork makes me so so happy.
- Cocktails and Tapas @ Blueprint: Blueprint is my go-to for catching up with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. Fancy pants cocktails, a giant wine list, and killer charcuterie plates make for a great evening of conversation. And they have a backyard!
- Trivia @ Pacific Standard: It’s almost harder to find a bar in Brooklyn that *doesn’t* have a trivia night than one that does. Pacific Standard, however, takes Trivia to the next level – harder by far than your average quiz, teams play for three months at a time, accumulating points to try for a seat in the playoffs, and ultimately, the title of Trivia Champions.
- Get fancy @ Al Di La: This Italian trattoria has been in the neighborhood for ages, and is the go-to for really excellent Italian food and wine.
- Catch a show at the Rock Shop: The Rock Shop is a music venue downstairs, with a bar/french fry shop/roof deck upstairs – I recommend catching a good show and then heading upstairs for some late night tater tots and pool.
- Look for records at Music Matters: Though this shop is tiny, the selection is mighty. And if they don’t have what you’re looking for, chat up the owner, who mans the register and he’ll order it in time for your brother-in-law’s birthday.
- Caffeinate at the Hungry Ghost: Great coffee is easy to find in BK, but there’s something about the chill atmosphere of the Hungry Ghost that keeps me coming back. Also, the “no laptops allowed” rule keeps the good seats open for those of us popping in, not camping out.
- Learn about the Battle of Brooklyn @ the Old Stone House: The bottom floor of this precisely named building has been turned into museum about the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776. I used to only hang out in the surrounding park, until I learned about the museum after listening to the Hamilton soundtrack a few (hundred) times.
- BKLYN Larder: They have the fancy cheese, the cured meats, the breakfast sandwiches. Did I mention the fancy cheese?
- Bagels @ Bagel Pub: My cousin regularly makes me meet her blocks away from either of our houses, because the bagels at Bagel Pub are a cut above the rest. My fav is Toasted Pumpernickel with Scallion cream cheese, but I hear an Everything with Lox is pretty good too.
- Brunch at Dizzy’s: Dizzy’s is a pretty classic diner-on-the-corner, but the food is SO GOOD. Get there early, though it fills up fast, and you might have to go to one of the other 800 delicious places to eat brunch. Like Miriam. Or Alchemy.
- Dessert at the Chocolate Room: The classic post-dinner stop for many a first date, the Chocolate Room is great anytime for a quick pick me up, a chocolate cocktail, or picking up a refill for your at-home stash.