Our Favorite Neighborhood Spots

Now that we've lived in Park Slope for six months, we are starting to get a grasp on some of our favorite neighborhood food and hang-out spots. While this may make it sound like we eat out a lot, I promise we actually cook the majority of our meals at home. Yes, we use our oven for baking and not clothing storage! This list may change as we continue to get to know the area better, but six months in, here is a break-down of Keith's and my nearby favorites.

Though I don't drink coffee, both Keith and I agree that Naidre's Cafe and Bakery on 7th Avenue, between 11th and 12th Street, is our favorite go-to spot for morning drinks. They make a great hot apple cider and hot chocolate, and according to Keith, all their caffeinated drinks are great. Plus, their scones are always a welcome treat! And it's a quick walk from our apartment, so it's a common stop for us on morning walks with Aurora. Our close runner-up is Cocoa Bar on 7th Avenue and 3rd Street, but it's really more of a hang-out reading spot with a cup of tea than a quick coffee stop.

Keith's favorite is Bagel Pub on 9th Street, which I agree has a fun atmosphere and the bagels are always fresh, but I've only been once. My favorite is currently Bagel Hole on 7th Avenue, another just around the corner spot. It's small, they don't even offer toasted bagels (a sign of a truly fresh bagel!), and though there is always a line, you're in and out in minutes. We've been several times and while their plain bagel is fine, the real stand-out is the everything bagel!

Keith and I have actually only been once, but of all the nearby brunch spots, our current favorite is Applewood Restaurant on 11th Street. Their winter vegetable omelet with a side of homemade grits was so good that it's a struggle to not indulge and go back every weekend!

Occasionally after we take Aurora for off-leash hours in Prospect Park, we like to walk by Ladybird Bakery on 8th Avenue and share a baked treat. This is another local spot that typically has a long line (so you know it's good) and every baked good we've ever had here was delicious! We have yet to order one of their cakes or giant tarts, but I'm already thinking it may be a perfect spot to order a future birthday treat (*hint hint* husband). 

Pizza (slice)
This is another one that Keith and I are in disagreement on. My current favorite is Smiling Pizza on 9th Street and 7th Avenue. Their classic cheese slice has the perfect balance of sweet, tangy sauce, thin crisp crust and just the right amount of cheese. Keith's current favorite is Pino's on 2nd Street and 7th Avenue. I've also only been here once so I don't think I'm a fair judge, but Pino's takes the top spot for Keith because of their sauce.

Pizza (pie)
To be fair, we haven't ordered a lot of pizza delivery but after reading good things about Peppino's Brick Oven Pizza on 5th Avenue, we ordered delivery the first night we moved in to our new place. We have now ordered from them twice, and both times have been impressed with their classic margherita pizza - especially the thin, crisp crust.

There is obviously a lot of great cheesecake in New York, but we've only tried a few different spots in Brooklyn. While Junior's Restaurant in Downtown Brooklyn is considered a crowd favorite, Keith and I both felt it was a bit too touristy. We actually prefer the cheesecake from nearby 7th Avenue Donuts. One slice is definitely more than enough for two, but it's one of the lightest crusts and creamiest cheesecakes we've had.

Keith has gotten really into following local foodie blogs and we've enjoyed trying to compare some of their favorite doughnut and pizza spots (thank goodness we walk a lot here, right??). We don't really have a neighborhood favorite doughnut spot, but Dough Doughnuts (which was always our go-to dessert at Smorgasburg this summer) are the best doughnuts we've ever had. They don't have a nearby shop, but they are available at multiple locations throughout the city. 

Wine Bar
Brook Vin on 7th Avenue and 12th Street has a nice low-key ambience, comfortable seating, a good variety of beer and wine options (obviously not that I've been able to enjoy any of them yet), and delicious desserts perfectly portioned for sharing.

We have been to Threes Brewing on 4th Avenue and Douglas Street for multiple meet-ups and a birthday celebration now, and their outdoor space is a great summer and fall hang-out spot! While it's technically in Gowanus, it's still walk-able from our apartment. Not only do they brew their own beer, have 24 draught lines plus wine and liquor (and make one of my favorite mocktails), they also regularly rotate their kitchen residency. So every time we've gone, we have gotten to try an entirely new menu from a different locally acclaimed restaurant!

Again since we do prepare most of our meals at home and the majority of this list is more of our favorite "treat" spots, we haven't yet chosen favorite lunch or dinner spots, diner, happy hour, etc. I'm sure the longer we're here, and the more guests that visit, we'll continue to change and expand this list. If you're ever in the neighborhood, I look forward to showing you around and getting your thoughts on some of our favorites!