Bed-Stuy represents something of a paradox: one of the largest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, it is practically a city within the borough, yet offers an intimate, slow-paced, small-town vibe. A sense of community pervades nearly every block, lined with historic brownstones, trees, and charming shops and restaurants.
This area, first developed by wealthy German and Dutch immigrants in the mid-19th century, has since seen waves of demographic change. It remains a stronghold of black culture, nicknamed “Brooklyn’s Little Harlem.” Musicians and artists from Duke Ellington to Jay-Z, Spike Lee to Lil Kim, have memorialized what Bed-Stuy means to them. Today, older small-town traditions of community persist, a legacy imported with residents who moved in from the South. Neighbors look after each others’ kids and catch up at block parties.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Dazzling architecture, loads of neighborhood pride, and a thriving cultural scene.
With nearly 9,000 houses built before 1900, Bed-Stuy offers a feast for the eyes, showcasing jaw-dropping architectural styles that range from Italianate to Queen Anne. Many of the houses boast intact original details that are hard to find anywhere else in the city.
Enjoy a peaceful oasis in the city, full of beloved bars and restaurants.
The neighborhood remains a home for many artists, actors, and musicians, and the cultural and culinary offerings are appropriately rich. Restaurant and bar doors open as the sun sets: cocktails at Dynaco, Nashville-style fried chicken at Peaches Hot House, Neapolitan pizza at Saraghina. Sip on one of the 45 draft beers at Brooklyn Tap House. Catch some jazz at the Sankofa Aban Bed & Breakfast, or an outdoor movie screened in one of Bed-Stuy’s green spaces.
Though prices are rising, Bed-Stuy still offers great values for beautiful spaces.
While other smaller neighborhoods remain prohibitively expensive for younger folks or first-time homebuyers, Bed-Stuy still offers great deals for those willing to be patient or move fast.
Enjoy one of the city’s richest collections of gorgeous Victorian architecture.
This is among the city’s most well-preserved collections of 19th century rowhouses. MacDonough Street, Decatur Street, and Bainbridge Street make up the Stuyvesant Heights Historic District, one of the major stops on Brooklyn’s brownstone belt. Homes come replete with details like arabesque masonry, wrought-iron fences, turrets, wide stoops, bowed windows, and animal grotesqueries — much of it the handiwork of the borough’s famous architect, Montrose Morris. Look to the northwest section of the neighborhood for newly built residential units and condos.
YOU'LL FALL IN LOVE WITH
A quintessential Brooklyn neighborhood with almost pastoral charm.
Throughout its long history, Bed-Stuy has been a place where neighbors rely and lean on each other. Block associations and churches like the historic Bridge Street AME Church have long represented community institutions. It’s a place where people still say “good morning” to those they pass on the sidewalk. Despite the fast growth the area has seen, that spirit still persists, offering down-home hospitality and a peaceful, bucolic streetscape amidst the city’s bustle.