Sunset Park is called Brooklyn’s “Little Latin America” and it sits lively just south of Gowanus and adjacent to Green-Wood Cemetery. As we strolled 5th Avenue from 25th through 59th streets (it’s not as heavy a walk as that might read), we were greeted by the most overwhelming aromas, like the sweet smell of pan flowing out of bakeries, and the smokey scent of carne asada from street vendors. On an average day, no holiday to be observed, the strip was filled with people and kids, and sounds of salsa and bachata blaring from a street corner, just outside of a Chase bank for no apparent reason. It was just a nice sunny Saturday afternoon. And well, really, that’s enough to celebrate.
WHAT TO SEE
Sunset Park means that there’s an actual park there! Between 41st and 44th street, Sunset Park is a beautiful place for a picnic, or just to take a leisurely stroll on one of their paths.
Experience a real part of New York history at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (at 51st Street and 5th Avenue). This stunning church, which began as a mission house, was built in 1893.
WHAT TO DO
Go bowling at Melody Lanes on 37th Street and 5th Avenue. It’s family friendly—but you can still get a drink.
And soon to open will be Next Level, a video game arcade owned by the now defunct Chinatown Fair that recently closed its doors on Mott Street.
Up and down 5th Avenue, the street is consumed with bodegas, and we just can’t seem to get enough. Whether you’re looking for inexpensive household items (take that Target!) or nostalgic for some Mexican treats, these stores have just about anything and everything you’re craving.
WHAT TO EAT
If there’s one reason alone why you should visit Sunset Park, it’s for the food. When you want real authentic Mexican food, forget going to an overpriced imitation of Latin food in Manhattan. Each block is lined with the most delicious menus, the problem is there are too many options (not a bad problem to have). Here are at least three that we’re coming back for:
Tacos Matamoros is a great sit-down restaurant where the menu includes sopes, tacos, and seafood, among countless more items. The service is outstanding, and the
4508 5th Avenue
Tacos El Bronco
Tacos El Bronco is the real thing. The marble-lined restaurant has an amazingly diverse menu and the prices will leave your mouth in the same state of salivation as the food. Try the pork tacos and the chiles rellenos for an overload of
4324 4th Ave
Puebla Mini Market serves the best tortas, serves with heaps of chorizo, pork, ham, and everything in between. This eatery that doubles as a bodgea is great for food to go or to stay and relax. They also serve fresh juices.
3908 5th Avenue