Ditmas Park looks less like Brooklyn than it does the inner-ring suburbs of another city: Bethesda, say. “It’s country in the city,” says longtime broker Mary Kay Gallagher. “People say, I didn’t know Brooklyn was like this!” You’d expect Victorian stand-alone houses and good schools to have driven up prices, but the median house price per square foot, per StreetEasy.com, is $363, which is barely half of Park Slope’s ($633) and a third of Brooklyn Heights’s ($970). Corcoran’s Laura Rozos, who lives here herself, says she has begun to see brownstone Brooklynites selling their townhouses, “putting a lot of money in the bank, and then buying houses here.” It remains a diverse (economically, socially, culturally) community, and P.S. 217 and 139 have good infrastructure and attentive parents. The dining scene grows richer by the day, too: Rozos has two restaurateurs actively seeking space.
1. The Ox Cart Tavern
1301 Newkirk Ave.
Gastropub, for burgers and fish-and-chips.
2. The Farm on Adderley
1108 Cortelyou Rd.
For locally sourced food, a favorite of New York’s dining experts.
3. The Picket Fence
1310 Cortelyou Rd.
Comfort food and a sweet back garden.
4. Purple Yam
1314 Cortelyou Rd.
Filipino food in a pretty space.
5. Mimi’s Hummus
1209 Cortelyou Rd.
Yes, hummus, but also great tomato stew and more.
1112 Cortelyou Rd.
Known for its beans and friendly vibe.
7. The Castello Plan
1213 Cortelyou Rd.
Live music, brunch, dinner.
8. Flatbush Food Co-op
1415 Cortelyou Rd.
Whole grains since 1976.
9. Toy Space
1410 Cortelyou Rd.
For toys, puzzles, and crafts galore.
10. Newkirk Plaza
Between Foster and Newkirk Aves., above the Newkirk Plaza station
Open-air mall opened in 1908. Just renovated.
11. Sycamore Bar & Flowershop
1118 Cortelyou Rd.
It’s a bar, it’s a florist—it’s both! The National hangs here, too.
12. Cortelyou Library
1305 Cortelyou Rd.
Re-opened after a rebuild.
On the Market
13. 807 East 19th Street
Asking price: $845,000
Yearly taxes: $4,580
A 2,600-square-foot brick-and-stucco Colonial with plenty of original details, including parquet floors and built-in bookshelves. It comes with a driveway and a garage.
Agent: Mary Kay Gallagher, Mary Kay Gallagher Real Estate.
14. 631 East 23rd Street
Asking price: $859,000
Yearly taxes: $5,166
A six-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath, three-story house with a screened-in front porch and period details such as stained-glass windows, ornamented moldings, and more.
Agent: Hal Lehrman, Brooklyn Properties.
15. 858 East 21st Street
Asking price: $929,000
Yearly taxes: $4,756
A six-bedroom, four-bath single-family with stained glass, wainscoting, and original moldings. It includes a partially finished basement, and sits on a street near Brooklyn College’s football field and fitness center.
Agent: Tommieka Texiera, Brown Harris Stevens.
16. 616 East 18th Street
To Rent: 1,600 per month
It’s not a house like the places that draw buyers to Ditmas, but this one-bedroom, one-bath has a renovated kitchen with stainless-steel appliances and is in a doorman co-op with storage.
Agent: Wassim Fakhereddine, Warren Lewis Realty.
Ask a Local
Jazz musician, writer, and teacher; resident since 2004
How did you find Ditmas Park?
I grew up in this neighborhood between 1956 and 1964. We played ball on the street, you know, and then we moved to Florida. Eventually, I got married and had a long life traveling with bands. I lived in the East Village. And then we saw this ad, and I secretly wanted to move back. For the money, there was just so much more room, and a yard—we could put up a basketball hoop for my son.
What’s the best thing about it?
The house! It’s so beautiful I can’t even believe it. I love being able to play my saxophone whenever.
What about the distance to Manhattan?
The B is really fast—it’s incredible—but when they’re doing track work, it doesn’t run on the weekends. The Q is much more a pain in the ass. That’s the difference between living here and places like Cobble Hill—it’s farther in.
What’s the downside?
Money! It’s not nothing to maintain these big houses.
Is there anything else the neighborhood needs?
A public space where people can sit. Cortelyou Road is becoming more of a public space, and the coffee shops are fine, but it would be great if one of the kids’ parks was enlarged.
The Basics: 33 minutes to 14th Street on the Q. 37 minutes to West 4th Street on the B.