Sunset Park's Food & Drink Scene
Author: Karen Carter
Sunset Park is an ideal location for foodies on a budget. The neighborhood boasts a diverse population that mirrors its vibrant food scene. Latin flavors live side by side with cuisine from all over Asia. This delicious dichotomy helps draw in an increasingly large young crowd from all over the city, as well as giving neighborhood residents plenty to be grateful for.
Though new cafes and restaurants are starting to pop up all over the neighborhood, local residents still know that the best Latin food lives up and down 5th Avenue, while the Chinatown neighborhood with food from all over Asia can be found on 7th and 8th Avenues. One popular 5th Avenue restaurant is the brunch-tastic Maria's Mexican Bistro, which has daily specials, a bottomless brunch, and a cozy courtyard area that opens up when the weather permits. Visitors looking for the perfect sushi platter can instead wander up to Asea, where both the service and quality will put a smile on customer's faces.
The culinary range of the neighborhood extends to other flavors as well. Lovers of the perfect Turkish meatball will not be disappointed by Kofte Piyaz on 5th Avenue and 39th Street, which prides itself on a small but delicious menu that also includes baklava. The Green Fig, a young Italian Bakery on 36th Street, is another semi-recent but already beloved neighborhood staple which sells the best bread in the area. Cafe Zona Sur on 4th has a French twist to their menu, while Parkette provides the requisite Brooklyn hipster quota. Each restaurant is different, but they are also united in their lack of pretension and robust flavors.
Nearby neighborhoods have long gotten attention for their upscale cuisine, but where Sunset Park really shines is in their reasonably priced yet culturally authentic dishes. Whatever the flavor, it is likely to be cooked by someone who learned the recipe from their grandmother or father. A full list of local restaurants can be found at SunsetPark.com, but this is a neighborhood worth exploring even without a map.