Constantly changing and evolving, Red Hook looks very different from what it was 20 years ago. While many associated Red Hook as an off-the-beaten-path neighborhood, it includes idyllic riverside views and the birthplace of many notable celebrities such as Al Capone and H. P. Lovecraft.
Bordered from north to south from the Gowanus Expressway to the Upper New York Bay and east to west from the Gowanus Canal to the Buttermilk Channel, this southern edge of Brooklyn is packed full of stunning waterfront views that are perfect for your Instagram.
While many artists are journeying to Red Hook to enjoy its old warehouses packed full of cafes and music venues and its gorgeous waterfront views, the neighborhood is not easily accessible. Red Hook lacks a direct subway connection; the closest subways lines (F & G) are accessible at either Carroll Gardens or Smith-Ninth Street.
As far as ground transportation, the buses are also quite rare. With two buses the (B61 & B57) lines, which go through parts of Downtown Brooklyn and Queens, public transportation through Red Hook is limited, but it is definitely unique. You have the option to take a water ferry from the IKEA and Pier 11 to lower Manhattan, which offers the chance to travel while taking in some pretty incredible views (I prefer this option).
Many say Brooklyn is the up and coming borough (yes, here). Brooklyn neighborhoods typically offer fantastic views and artistic communities, and Red Hook is no different. Red Hook offers authentic vibes with countless huge warehouses that now hold classic cafes, music venues, and community centers. With the lack of subway stops giving the neighborhood an isolated feel, you’ll find residents venturing out to the only IKEA found in the five boroughs or searching for great finds in the classic vintage shops or home decor stores.
Red Hook has a huge variety of authentic restaurants that will make anyone’s mouth water. Our neighborhood favorite is Hometown Bar-b-que. Featuring pit-smoked meats and an oak wood grill (delish, I know), start salivating as your taste buds will begin to go crazy. Next up on the list is Brooklyn Crab, known as the homage of Maryland style seafood. Our favorites on the menu are basically anything with crab (obviously). Do you find yourself a fan of sandwiches as much as Joey Tribbiani from Friends? Then Defonte’s is your savior. These old-school heroes are layered with deliciousness. Top your sandwich off with anything from a fried eggplant to the classic pastrami and roast beef.
Want to skip the food altogether and go straight for the booze? No judgment, I’m with you. Let’s get into where to get a great drink. We recommend either Fort Defiance for a cocktail that rank as some of the best in the city or Brooklyn Botanica for all you cocktail nerds looking for seasonal drinks.
Just like any other area of Brooklyn, Red Hook prices are expensive, but even more so. On the other side, you’ll get an isolated neighborhood with second to none views of lower Manhattan, and the only place to see a frontal view of the statue of liberty. With the average sale price at $1,870,000 and the average rent at $2,850, Red Hook rivals Manhattan’s median sales price ($1,242,500) but trails behind Manhattan’s median rent ($4,500).
Overall, Red Hook is a great neighborhood to get settled in. The prices aren’t as steep as most areas and the views are spectacular. You’ll be able to escape the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and quite simply enjoy the quietness and serenity of your neighborhood. They say New York is the city that never sleeps, but, on the contrary, Red Hook is an outlier and will definitely put in some quality ZZZs. Come to Red Hook for the riverside views and never leave as you get lost in IKEA, forever.