Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options—house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location—it all can be quite overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve done the research for you, so you don’t have to (and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhop—your friendly Brooklyn movers). We’ve examined what it’s like living in each of these highlighted neighborhoods and created in-depth guides with insider scoops on close-by, popular destinations. Soon, you’ll be living like a local.
A Little About Brooklyn and its Neighborhoods
When most outsiders think about New York, they picture the streets and skyline of Manhattan. But while Manhattan is its big, glamorous sibling, Brooklyn is the cooler younger brother.
Sitting southeast of Manhattan, Brooklyn has become a haven for people looking for a little more space at a little lower price in the Big Apple. Locals don’t have to compromise either when it comes to amenities. Between its many restaurants, bars, lounges, thriving art scene, and even some pockets of affordability, Brooklyn is one of the best boroughs to live in across New York City.
This borough has a lot to offer, and it might seem overwhelming to a newcomer. So we’ve narrowed in on 5 of Brooklyn’s 38 neighborhoods that are up and coming. From hip avenues to historic brownstones, these are the five hottest ‘hoods in Brooklyn.
Home to eclectic restaurants, bars, cafes, vintage shops, markets, and music shows, Williamsburg has become more popular over the past few years. Rent here is cheaper than closeby Manhattan. And the grungy, graffiti-laden vibe draws a lot of young artists and creatives. But it’s not only young professionals moving to the area. Williamsburg has seen a surge of young families who are looking for great amenities, local parks, and friendly neighbors.
What’s Happening in Williamsburg
This corner of Brooklyn is booming, it’s drastically changed since the ‘90s and is still growing. To get an overview of some of Williamsburg’s best, grab a pint at Brooklyn Brewery, bike across the Williamsburg Bridge, visit Domino Park, or explore the myriads of vintage shops in the area. For top restaurants, check out The Elm, Allswells, and Roberta’s.
Schools in Williamsburg
Schools in the area include Williamsburg Northside Lower School, Intermediate School 318, and Williamsburg Preparatory High School among others.
Homes in Williamsburg
While this area is still on the rise, we’re past the cheapest season. You’ll have to do a little more digging, but you can still find some great deals in the area. The nearby Bushwick community is filling up with some of Williamsburg’s spillover, offering more housing and local shops for artsy New Yorkers.
Bedford-Stuyvesant, or Bed-Stuy for short, is a great affordable option for creative professionals living in the city. This northern Brooklyn spot is famed as the birthplace of the nineties rapper, Notorious B.I.G., and was the home to Jay-Z, Mos Def, and Aaliyah. Today, it’s quickly becoming the neighborhood of choice for young artists.
Lower rent and a neighborhood-feel have turned people’s heads toward this once-hidden treasure. Here, you’ll find true community spirit—outdoor movies in the park, block parties, and busy Sunday services at church keep Bed-Suy residents close-knit.
What’s Happening in Bed-Stuy
Bed-Suy’s unpretentious culinary and bar scene is part of what makes it so fun to hang out here. Dig into southern comfort classics at Peaches HotHouse. Sample the veggie-packed dishes at the retro Fancy Nancy. Enjoy Bed-Suy’s best night scene and go dancing at Doris or Lovers Rock.
Annual events, like the Universal Hip-Hop Parade, bring musicians and locals out to the neighborhood streets. During slow months, residents can easily hop over to both Williamsburg and Bushwick and find plenty to do and see.
Schools in Bed-Stuy
Bed-Stuy’s great school options include Uncommon Schools Bedford Stuyvesant Collegiate Charter School, Academy of Global Finance High School, Success Academy, P.S. 8, and P.S. 376 among others.
Homes in Bed-Stuy
Bed-Stuy’s charming Victorian row-homes bring all the beauty at a lower price tag than some of the other neighborhoods on this list. Historic features, like old fireplaces, brick-detailed exteriors, and decorative turrets really ramp up Bed-Stuy’s charm. Looking to rent? The area’s beautiful, medium-sized apartments can be found anywhere between $1600 and $3000/month.
FORT GREENE/CLINTON HILL
These two next-door neighborhoods sit right along the Brooklyn Navy Yard and East River. The up-and-coming area is home to a mix of old-timers who’ve lived here for years and young professionals that are new arrivals. And while Fort Greene and Clinton Hill are becoming hot spots in the city, there’s still room for investment.
Throughout Clinton Hill, creatives have moved to the area and established cultural institutions and a diverse entertainment scene. As a designated historic district, Fort Greene is home to lots of classical sites and contemporary spots. But if locals of either neighborhood ever want a change of pace, they can easily take one of the area’s 10 subway lines to bustling Downtown Brooklyn in no time.
What’s Happening in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill
Fort Greene and Clinton Hill are full of culture, a great arts scene, and culinary hotspots. Expansive green space, urban venues, nightlife, and job opportunities attract artists, hipsters, and foodies to move in. The local Pratt Institute is home to the largest sculpture garden in New York City. The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Peter Jay Sharp Building puts on live music, theater, and dance performances on the regular.
The area is full of trendy bars and rooftop vineyards along the navy yard. Locals can grab coffee and breakfast at Maison May or Bittersweet. Petee’s Cafe satisfies residents’ sweet tooths with their long list of creative pies. During a visit, make sure to sample the fresh oysters and cocktails at Karasu—a secret Japanese bar and restaurant hidden behind Walter’s (which has an awesome French Dip on the menu, btw).
On sunny days, locals can wander through Fort Greene’s famous park and the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument. In the evenings, the prohibition-inspired bar Dick & Janes serves creative cocktails. But little can compete with the local favorite watering-hole, Frank’s Cocktail Lounge.
Schools in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill
This area of Brooklyn is home to several schools including Green Hill Private School, Community Roots Charter School, Success Academy Fort Greene Charter School, and P.S. 20 Clinton Hill School, among others.
Homes in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill
Cool architecture and tree-lined streets set these two neighborhoods apart. Brownstones, rowhouses, and Victorian homes display the area’s historical character. Modern apartment buildings are now part of the mix.
In Fort Greene, prices have continued to trend upward by almost 28% year-over-year. Investors are still swooping in. Today, the median home price in Fort Greene is over $650K. But Clinton Hill is still full of affordable options. The area’s median monthly rent is right around $1500.
There you have it: 5 of Brooklyn’s hottest ‘hoods!We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. As we said, we coordinate local and long-distance moving services in Brooklyn, and we would love to help.