It’s the original stomping ground of Jay-Z, Chris Rock, Lil’ Kim and that old ear-biter, Mike Tyson. It’s the showcase for epic wall art, gorgeous brownstones and some old-school, no-frills block parties. It’s Bed-Stuy. And in recent years, this chunk of Brooklyn has birthed a crop of seriously clutch (and cheap) spots to dine, drink and shop… on top of all the incredible, long-standing neighborhood staples. We know the secret’s been out for a while, but here are 10 deals we love in Bed-Stuy.
FUEL-UP FOR THE DAY One of several great new spots at Classon & Greene Aves., Pilar Cuban Eatery (393 Classon Ave. between Greene & Clifton) serves up traditional Cuban breakfast ($2 pastries, breakfast sandwich for $2.50-$4), lunch bites (empanadas for $4-$5) and daily dinner specials. Tiny Cup (279 Nostrand Ave. between Clifton Pl. & Lafayette Ave.) oozes art-house, with free Wi-Fi and the strongest espresso around… along with hefty breakfast panini for $3, delish french toast for $3.75 and a loaded hummus plate for $5.50. Ms. Dahlia’s Cafe (449 Nostrand Ave. between Halsey St. & Hancock St.) serves a stellar deal for morning commuters en route to the subway: $1 coffee with any pastry purchase. Swing by on your way home and get half-off any pastry after 5 pm.
TWO SPOTS FOR CHEAP THREADS Though some may argue that this pick belongs to Clinton Hill (a mere 10-foot technicality, at best), The Salvation Army (22 Quincy St. between Classon Ave. & Downing St.) is enormous, clean, chock-full of high-end finds and well-organized (clothing is even separated by color). The already rock-bottom prices are further slashed by a daily special for half-off all clothes of a designated color. Even better are Family Wednesdays (open to all), when everything is half-off. You may also recognize the space as the backdrop for Dave Chappelle’s 2005 Block Party.
Collecther (306 Franklin Ave. at Lafayette) is a quirky boutique boasting women’s and men’s vintage fashions, including bags and a surprisingly large selection of sunglasses. Owner Shana has a keen curator’s eye and is always helpful with suggestions. Dresses range from $20-$45, men’s shirts average $20, and the Sunday “recessionista” special is key—all dresses are priced at $25, with 25% off everything else in the store.
And while you’re out and about, take a breather at the positively Zen Vietnamese spot Tigerlily (299 Greene Ave. between Classon & Franklin). Sandwiches go for $6.50, salads for $5.50 and the inventive shakes are totally worth the $4.50 splurge on a hot day (think: papaya, pineapple and ginger or strawberry, lychee and mint, among others).
HAPPY HOURS WITH BENEFITS A local staple, Amarachi Lounge (325 Franklin Ave. between Clifton Pl. & Greene Ave.), is a cavernous space sporting a billiards room, flat-screen TVs throughout and a disco-ball-accented dance floor in the back. Weekday happy hours feature 2-for-1 drinks from 6-8. Colador Cafe (1000 Bedford Ave. between DeKalb & Lafayette Aves.) doubles as a coffee/Wi-FI spot by day and a haven for cheap drinks and eats by night—with a new $3 bottled beer special each week, Cream Ale and PBRs for $1 and a free beer and fries with any burger purchase.
With little more than a signboard out front, Project Parlor (742 Myrtle Ave. between Sanford St. & Nostrand Ave.) has a helipad-sized space in back. Happy hour from 5-8 includes $2 PBRs and a PBR & a shot for $6. There’s also a BBQ competition hosted out-back every Sunday, where plates go for around $5. Sweet Revenge (358 Franklin Ave. between Greene & Lexington Aves.) is also in on the happy hour-meets-BBQ game, slinging $4 well drinks, $3 shot-and-draft-beer pairings and $5 frozen margaritas from 4-8 daily. Anytime specials include $5 shots + a can of beer, and the sand-covered, tiki bar-rimmed backyard is home to a new grill menu every Saturday and Sunday from 3-11 (plates average $5-$8).