Brooklyn Heights

Coolstuff Team
June 28, 2024

Nestled between the bustle of Atlantic Avenue and the shimmer of the East River lies Brooklyn Heights – a neighborhoody neighborhood perched atop it all. Dotted amongst stunningly preserved brownstones are plenty of locally-owned gems ready to discover. While Brooklyn Heights is also known for its present-day celebrity inhabitants, a famous line from longtime resident Truman Capote says it all, “I live in Brooklyn. By choice.” 


Ingas Bar

Owned by the former chef of Marlow & Sons, Sean Rembold, and designer Caron Callahan, Inga’s Bar is a corner watering hole quietly serving some of the best food in the city. Yes, they have a stellar martini, but every bite we’ve had from here has been fantastic. While standouts include any salad they’ve got at the moment as well as mortadella, Inga’s best will always be their perfect burger.

L'Appartement 4f

While the TikTok-induced lines may have died down, L’Appartement 4f continues to crank out simple and well-done pastries every day. Sure if you’ve got $50 burning a hole in your pocket, go for the mini croissant cereal, but we mean it when we say 4f has maybe the best chocolate chip cookie in the city (and a damn good baguette too.)


We debated the inclusion of this Henry Street spot – we don’t want to blow up the best pasta in New York City. Lillo’s insanely perfect pastas do come with a few rules: no alcohol or BYOB, no credit cards, and tight hours BUT it’s completely worth it all to enjoy a perfect plate by this IYKYK restaurant run by just 2 people at a time. Focus on any classic Roman pasta and you’ll be headed in the right direction. 

Long Island Bar

Just across the street from Lillo is this BK classic. Great cocktails, delicious burgers, and beautifully untouched old school vibes. On a nice day, you’ll find half of the neighborhood enjoying a meal sidewalk side – perhaps paired with a cosmo (co-owner Toby Cecchini is credited with the drink’s invention.)  By the way, no dancing. 

Montague Diner

Alongside many Brooklyn Heights residents, we mourned the loss of Montague Street’s old 24-hour diner following New York’s lockdown days. And while the space was vacant for some time, we’re also among the chorus of people singing praises of the old greasy spoon’s great successor: Montague Diner. Stop in for a correctly-priced diner classic (from breakfast to club sandwiches) OR come for a late-night celebration and order one of their fun combo meals: Pile of Fries + a bottle of Champagne ($99); Mozzarella Sticks + a bottle of orange wine ($70); or the Giant Grilled Cheese + a bottle of chilled red ($80.)


Colonie has been a staple on the edge of Brooklyn Heights for nearly 15 years since its opening and was one of the first in the neighborhood to usher in the then-new farm-to-table movement. The menu is tight and consistent and is always a good time.

Lassen & Hennings 

Our favorite deli in NYC is in Brooklyn Heights. There is something special about the bread they source that makes every sandwich better than the last. Lassen & Hennings opens early enough to serve breakfast sammies and also has a robust selection of house-made sweets. Our lunchtime move: Turkey, Lettuce, Tomato, Banana Peps, Mayo, and Mustard on a roll, taken to-go and enjoyed on a bench along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.



This haven on Atlantic Avenue has an extensive list of original cocktails alongside classics like their frozen painkiller. With its luxe interiors, Elsa is a great spot for a date, or in their backyard, a hang with old friends. 

Henry Public

A neighborhood bar that is the embodiment of cozy, Henry Public feels like it’s from another time. While this definitely isn’t true, it feels like no one has ever sat down here just to scroll on their phones – instead this is the perfect place to order a strong sipper with a friend and play cards while you linger.


In case you haven’t heard, this Cobble Hill fave recently opened a Brooklyn Heights outpost that is our favorite spot to grab a coffee in the heights. While you’re there don’t miss out on Poppy’s famous sandwiches or the selection of pantry items on their shelves. Keep your eyes peeled for A-listers too – last time we popped by we might have seen an Actor/Musician power couple… 


Two words: Karaoke Dive – Montero’s is famous for both. Each Thursday – Saturday patrons pile into this 80 year old, cash-only bar to hear hilariously bad (but sometimes great) versions of songs we all know and love. Most good nights out in Brooklyn Heights finish up here. 


We discovered Floyd after asking a server at June Wine Bar where they like to go after work – and the answer didn’t disappoint. Floyd is primarily a Bocce bar that serves slices from Table 87 up the block and a bucket of obscure cheap beers. A good place to take the father figure in your life.


Underground Thrift Store

Technically upstairs, Underground Thrift is above the rec room of Plymouth Church on Hicks Street. The selection here is small, but the prices are good and the space is beautiful. A great thrift to find that hidden gem.

Housing Works

New Yorkers know that certain (*ahem* wealthy) neighborhoods have a better selection at chain charity shops, and the Brooklyn Heights Housing Works is no exception to that rule. Used clothes, books, and home decor line the shelves here and change daily with the hordes of donations that never stop coming. 

Collyer’s Mansion

Originally near the Key Foods on Atlantic Avenue, Collyer's Mansion recently moved a few blocks further into Brooklyn Heights after some tragic structural damage forced them out of their longtime space. The silver lining here is that the new location is on a stunning block and makes their ever-inspiring selection of housewares, art, and textiles shine.

Salter House

Salter House is a bastion of natural and sustainable home goods and  womens & childrens clothing…as well as a fantastic little coffee shop. This is a great place to shop if you like product discovery – it was here that we first saw Caswell & Massey soap (it’s now a household staple.) On the weekends, Salter House also offers wild-fermented bagels from cult bakery, Bagel Bunny.


After the tragic destruction of Manhattan’s Little Syria in the early 20th century, many of the neighborhood’s Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian residents moved to Brooklyn Heights and brought with them fantastic food and culture. Sahadi’s, a Lebanese grocer, is a standout from this cultural exchange and is an absolute must-visit while in the neighborhood. Shop bulk nuts and spices, Turkish delights, wonderful cheeses, and imported coffees. But…promise us…PROMISE US you’ll get the dips – the best hummus in NYC!

Damascus Bread and Pastry Shop

Another favorite Levantine spot is Damascus Bread and Pastry shop. Here is where you’ll go for homemade flatbreads and sweets to pair with the dip-heavy groceries you’re going to buy at Sahadi’s. 

Books are Magic

The second outpost of Books are Magic perfects the original’s formula and brings the same neatly curated ethos a few blocks north. If there’s anywhere you’re going to find the book of the summer, it will be here.


While there appear to be fewer independent kitchen stores, Whisk proudly carries the torch. We love this spot for their exhaustive selection of kitchenware that range from the trendy to the utilitarian (and also include a fair bit of coffee gear.)  Whisk also stocks a great selection of high-quality knives – one of the best investments you can make into your tiny NYC kitchen.


Just before the BQE lies an unassuming outdoor store, but Hatchet is much much more than camping gear – they’re also a gorpcore powerhouse. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone who loves Japanese menswear, Hatchet stocks hard to find labels like Engineered Garments, BEAMS+, and Nanamica alongside hiking boots and workwear classics like Paraboot.


Brooklyn Heights Promenade

The crown jewel of Brooklyn Heights is the waterfront Promenade which runs along the water (and above the BQE) from Remsen Street to Cranberry Street and offers absolutely stunning scenes of downtown Manhattan. Along the way there are hundreds of benches to enjoy the vista, safe in the knowledge that the good views are protected by NYC’s only “Special Scenic District” enacted in 1974 that protects the waterfront from any high-rise development that would block the view.. 

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Another outdoor highlight of Brooklyn Heights is Brooklyn Bridge Park. Among the five piers that make up this shipyard-turned-garden, our favorite is Pier 6. Featuring volleyball courts, lush landscaping, and stunning views, we also love the oyster bar Pilot which is located on a 1920’s sailboat docked to the pier.

Grace Court Alley

While walking through Brooklyn Heights, it’s easy to notice that even the smaller streets have a rich architectural history. Grace Court Alley, with its carriage homes, is a beautiful dead-end alley that is no longer home to horses but some of the priciest real estate in the neighborhood. Brooklyn Heights also has many more sweet courts and alleys to traverse – don’t miss out on the sweet “Love Lane” between Hicks St and Henry St.

Fabio Scalia Salon

We may be biased as this is coolstuff co-founder, Anna B. 's hair salon…but it really is a good one! If you look for classic New York vibes in your salons, this is the place. Ask for Samantha and don’t forget to get a snack at Montague diner just one floor below when you’re on your way out. 

Picture Room

Adjacent to Salter House, Picture Room is a gallery that has a wide curation of shows and specializes in a blend of contemporary art as well as rare posters and prints. Currently, Picture Room is featuring a solo show by a lighting artist, and can always be counted on for a great show.