Boasting unbeatable views, diverse dining, and an old-meets-new vibe, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, is attracting the attention of New York’s in-the-know visitors and locals alike. Here are eight reasons why this under-the-radar area is one of the city’s best-kept secrets.
It feels like traveling back in time
From its early-20th-century row houses to its refreshing lack of ubiquitous chains (not a Starbucks in sight), Sunset Park feels like a preserved piece of Old New York. Throwback-loving travelers can look forward to supporting independent businesses, enjoying old-school restaurants and stepping out of the shadows of New York’s countless luxury developments.
Saint Michael’s Roman Catholic Church is a local landmark in Sunset Park | © alexat25 / Alamy Stock Photo
Some of New York City’s best views can be seen from Sunset Park
Shutterbugs flock from all over to the neighborhood’s eponymous Sunset Park. While you may not be able to see your house from here, you will be able to relish in breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn neighborhoods, Staten Island and New Jersey. Whether you’re working with a fancy camera or an iPhone, you’re sure to snap some of your best shots yet in Sunset Park.
People in Brooklyn’s diverse neighborhood of Sunset Park sit on benches and take in the view | © Harry Green / Shutterstock
It boasts a diverse population
In Sunset Park, minority groups make up the majority of the population. Nearly half of the area’s inhabitants are Latino, while roughly 40% of the people come from Asia, making for a deliciously diverse melting pot of ethnic eateries and cultural businesses. Experience New York City in a nutshell with Latin tamarind juice, Cantonese street food, and Chinese bubble tea – all courtesy of one Sunset Park street.
Dancers perform on Eighth Avenue in Sunset Park during the 2016 Lantern Festival street fair | © © Richard B. Levine / Alamy Stock Photo
A city within a city
Many would likely be surprised to learn of the booming city within New York City. The 6 million-square-foot Industry City is a man-made “microcosm of NYC,” equipped with a 40,000-square-foot food hall, over five acres of open space and more than 400 companies from verticals ranging from fashion to film production to tech.
Industry City is a historic shipping, warehousing and manufacturing complex on the waterfront | © Felix Lipov / Shutterstock
It’s one of the most beautiful neighborhoods
In the early 1900s when many of Sunset Park’s structures went up, uniformity was not exactly trending. On any given block in the Brooklyn neighborhood, classical brownstones, funky brick buildings and rugged limestone structures all share space on the city streets. The neighborhood, which promises a change of scenery at every turn (literally), never ceases to surprise.
Brownstone row houses line a street in Sunset Park | © a katz / Shutterstock
It’s home to the best old-school partying
The dream of the ’90s is alive in Sunset Park, where the area’s warehouses are routinely tapped as venues for raves, parties and concerts. Leave velvet ropes and VIP rooms behind at Brooklyn’s best old-school affairs, the city’s top partying pick of nightlife lovers from around the globe.
It’s home to one of the city’s most exciting food and drink scenes
Thanks in part to its diverse residents and old-meets-new vibe, Sunset Park boasts some of New York City’s most unique dining and drinking. Here, no-frills mid-century Irish pubs are neighbors with trendy vodka distilleries. When searching for something worth washing down, count on the area’s top taquerias, where some of the best Mexican cuisine on the East Coast is enjoyed with abandon.
A woman browses at a seafood market in Brooklyn’s Eighth Avenue Chinatown in Sunset Park | © 1000 words / Shutterstock
A waterfront area
When you need to escape from city scenes, this waterfront neighborhood provides a welcome reprieve. Give your back to the buildings and bustle of New York City as you take in Upper New York Bay, where views of the tugboats – and a taste of freedom – can be savored stress-free.
The sun sets over Upper New York Bay | © Tommy Larey / Shutterstock