The tree-lined streets between Prospect and Crown Heights have weathered waves of crippling crime and racial tension. But these days, the area is forging its own brand of multicultural park-side living. (And not unlike neighboring Park Slope two decades ago, it’s still relatively affordable.) Abigail Café and Wine Bar started paving the way in 2008, followed by Australian coffeehouse Glass Shop. Then came Brooklyn LaunchPad with its improv classes, sewing circles, and children’s book clubs. Then up sprung glossy condos like the Prospect Building and St. Johns Heights. Now everywhere you turn are signs heralding the arrival of some new roti restaurant or manicure joint or steampunk bar. Considering that the three crown jewels of Brooklyn civic life—Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden—are all within walking distance, Pro-Crown Heights no longer feels like a calculated risk—it feels like a no-brainer.
781 Franklin Ave.; no phone yet
The man behind Minter’s Ice Cream Kitchen, Ron Brown, will soon try his hand at authentic Neapolitan pies.
2. Island Thyme
751 Franklin Ave.; 646-393-9422
The old Bristens space has gone Caribbean, turning out island staples like goat roti and ackee-and-codfish bruschetta.
736 Franklin Ave.; 718-484-3386
Any day now, fans of Arturo Leonar’s Mexican cantina can eat all the tortas they please in a shiny second location, just blocks from the original.
4. Coffee Bites
824 Washington Ave.; 347-787-2991
A bi-level hangout, with all the coffeehouse essentials: Wi-Fi, interesting treats (green-tea macarons, vegan chocolate-chip cookies), and the occasional open mike.
5. Dean Street
755 Dean St.; 718-783-3326
The nearly round-the-clock gastropub has already given the boot to its first chef, ex–Spotted Pig lieutenant Nate Smith, but that hasn’t seemed to dent its popularity.
6. Kimchi Grill
Washington Ave.; 718-380-1839
The beloved Kimchi Taco Truck is putting down brick-and-mortar roots this spring. On top of the truck’s taco-and-rice-bowl oeuvre, partner-chef Youngsun Lee plans to sling Korean noodles, wraps, and pancakes.
7. Pine Tree
744 Franklin Ave.; 347-533-9782
An organic grocery store, sushi bar, and Korean-food counter from Kenny Nam, owner of nearby Nam’s fruit market.
8. Way Station
683 Washington Ave.; no phone
Steampunk adherents flock to this H. P. Lovecraft–dedicated taproom for its Doctor Who cocktails and kitschy time-and-space-traveling police box.
9. Posh Nails BK
666 Franklin Ave.;347-663-9802
The upscale nail and beauty bar offers manis, pedis, waxing, eyelash extensions, and, later this spring, facials.
10. Yet-to-be-named bar and restaurant
724 Franklin Ave.; no phone yet
The owners of Franklin Park and Dutch Boy Burger are staring down a spring launch for their latest food-and-booze project, which will dole out Long Island wines, charcuterie from the Meat Hook, panini, oysters, and a “healthy whiskey selection.”
629 Classon Ave.; 718-857-9227
The chalkboard menu changes weekly at this 45-seat European bistro from Thirst Wine Merchants co-owner Michael Yarmark.