10 Things To See And Do In Bed-Stuy, New York

Photo of Justine Johnson
9 February 2017

While Bedford-Stuyvesant still has the gritty Brooklyn feel we love, this neighborhood truly is up and coming, not to mention chock full of amazing things to do, see and eat. Here are some of the best.

Brooklyn Ny 1875 a 600 Carlton Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238 | © JDH Rosewater/Flickr

Historic Brownstones

Building, Park
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Taking a stroll down Bed-Stuy’s beautiful, tree-lined blocks is a must for any architecture buff. Built between 1870 and 1900, the historic district is located north to Jefferson Avenue, east to Malcolm X Boulevard, and west to Tompkins Avenue. Make sure to stop by MacDonough Street, which has been a competitor in the annual Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest. In addition to being extremely pretty, each building has a rich cultural history and the neighborhoods are sure to make a nice walk.

Breakfast In Bed-Stuy

Bakery, American
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Why settle for any of the thousands of delis littering the streets of Bed-Stuy when you can eat delicious breakfast items from tiny artisanal restaurants that rival the best of Manhattan’s venues? Try Dough’s amazing and distinctive doughnuts, in flavors like hibiscus or tropical chili.

Dog Parks

Dog Park, Park
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Dog lovers rejoice – Bed-Stuy has a variety of incredible dog runs and parks. They are perfect for families or fitness enthusiasts to explore. Head over to Thompkins Park – this tree-lined spot near Lafayette Avenue is complete with an amphitheater and neighborhood vibe. The dog park here is tons of fun for you and your pooch.

Vintage Clothing

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Tulips in Black and Purple
Tulips in Black and Purple | © Jenny/Flickr
With the influx of hipsters moving to Bed-Stuy nowadays, the vintage scene is booming. The last few years have seen an eruption of pre-1990s military jackets, leather shoes, antique hats and vintage dresses. One good pick is the clothing store Harold and Maude, which takes its name from a cult classic movie from the 1970s. This charming little venue will surely delight any quirky hipster.

Plant And Garden Shopping

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The Oyster Bar, Grand Central Terminal, New York, NY. The oldest operating restaurant in Grand Central.
The Oyster Bar, Grand Central Terminal, New York, NY. The oldest operating restaurant in Grand Central. | © Jazz Guy/Flickr
Want your apartment to be just like all the beautiful brownstones on the green streets of Bed-Stuy? The things you really need are a ton of plants. Stock up on huge, glossy indoor flowers and air-cleaners, tiny baby succulents and flowering outdoor pots to go on your stoop. One of the best plant stores in all of Brooklyn is in the heart of Bed-Stuy, right down Stuyvesant Street. Local favorite Seasons is a friendly little spot where you can get anything from cacti to homemade plant food called witch’s brew.

Oyster Bar

Restaurant, Bar, American, $$$
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Bedford-Stuyvesant is home to more than just jazz. Lately, more and more restaurants are appearing with expensive tastes and classy ingredients. Some of the upscale new bars and restaurants are really catering to fresh faces in the neighborhood. One of these is Baron’s, an oyster bar on Dekalb Avenue, complete with refurbished church pew benches and picturesque windows.

Antique Furniture Shopping

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Nosing glass with Renegade Saint Lucia Rum, cocktail glass with Manhattan and Old Fashioned glass with Tequila Old Fashioned.
Nosing glass with Renegade Saint Lucia Rum, cocktail glass with Manhattan and Old Fashioned glass with Tequila Old Fashioned. | © Marler/WikiCommons
There are a surprising number of top quality vintage and antique furniture shops finding a welcoming home in Bed-Stuy. They rival the best of Manhattan’s stores with the added bonus of a (slightly) cheaper price tag. A treasure only found in Bed-Stuy is the man behind I Like Mike’s Modern and Midcentury. He expertly refurbishes and completely restores beautiful pieces of furniture in his historic brownstone home.

Cocktail Bars

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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Looking for bars with that distinctive, chill vibe that has defined the Brooklyn nightlife scene? Whether you are in need of a nice sports bar to watch the game with your buds, a cocktail bar to bring your girls to for an after work pick-me-up, or just a college hangout spot, look no further than Bed-Stuy. With its close proximity to Pratt, One Last Shag is a good spot to go meet other intellectual drinkers. If you’re looking for a standard good time head over to Project Parlor, an alcoholic oasis in downtown Bed-Stuy.

Music Venues

Music Venue
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Everyone knows about Bed-Stuy’s long history of jazz music, but how does the neighborhood keep up the tradition in today’s world? Luckily for us, there are a few music venues that still call beautiful Bedford-Stuyvesant home sweet home. If you’re really looking for that intimate, jazz experience, there is actually a brownstone home downtown that plays live jazz music in their own living room. It’s called Sankofa Aban Bed & Breakfast, and it really is an exceptional experience. Just want to go out dancing to new, live bands? C’mon Everybody on Franklin Avenue has the perfect (and huge) dance floor for you.

Lunch And Dinner Spots

Restaurant, South American, $$$
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Bed-Stuy has a ton to offer the hungry tourist. After walking through the brownstones and checking out the random stores spread through the streets, it’s great to know just how many options there really are. Hit up Black Swan if you are in need of some amazing Bloody Marys loaded with toppings or just some classic American food. If you want first-rate Italian cooking look no further than Saraghina. Bed-Stuy is also home to some exceptional Southern cuisine, and Peaches is a local favorite.

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