How to Spend the Perfect Day in Ditmas Park
If you live in Ditmas Park, you already know it boasts elaborate Victorian houses, a thriving restaurant and bar scene and a tight-knit community—all reasons why it regularly tops lists of NYC’s best neighborhoods. If you haven’t yet discovered the beautiful enclave nestled just south of Prospect Park, we suggest hopping on a Q or B train pronto.
Take in the architecture
Skip the cycling class, because you’ll get all the cardio you need walking up and down the enchanting streets of Ditmas Park (and neighboring Kensington). The neighborhoods are famous for their wide streets lined with colorful Colonial Revival and Queen Anne–style single-family homes featuring wide porches, turrets and stained-glass windows that will undoubtedly inspire you to fill your Insta feed or call a real estate agent and snag one of the coveted homes for yourself. Tip: Don’t miss Albemarle, Rugby and Argyle roads.
Have brunch at the Farm on Adderley
This neighborhood haunt is famous for its welcoming backyard and hearty meals (the grits and eggs rival anything you’ll find down South). The restaurant uses all local purveyors (listed on the website) and displays works by various artists that are available for purchase.
1108 Cortelyou Rd.; thefarmonadderley.com
Take a floral ARRANGING class at Honeysuckle Hill
A florist walks into a bar… Nestled inside Sycamore Bar you’ll find the charming HoneysuckleHill flower shop. Sign up for a public workshop or gather a group of friends and plan a private class. Creating a chic yet breezy wildflower bouquet is harder than it seems, but the instructors will teach you the tricks of the floral trade in a fun and casual environment. Best of all, classes include a complimentary drink from the bar.
1118 Cortelyou Rd.; honeysucklehillflowers.com
Have a drink at Sycamore
If the promise of an Instagrammable bouquet isn’t enough to entice you into Sycamore, the space also regularly hosts trivia nights, live music and events like Burlesque Bingo and Puppies ’n’ Pints (yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like). Oh, and if you’re still not convinced, it’s hard to argue with happy-hour specials (like $7 margaritas) seven days a week.
1118 Cortelyou Rd.; sycamorebrooklyn.com
Pick up potions at Sacred Vibes Healing
Pop into this neighborhood apothecary and stock up on loose leaf teas, herbs, oils, aromatic resins and other naturally derived elixirs. Have questions? So do we. Luckily, the shop’s owner, Karen Rose, is available to enlighten us. (She also offers classes and apprenticeships for aspiring herbalists.)
376 Argyle Rd.; sacredvibeshealing.com
Grab a coffee and a pastry at Milk + Honey
Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Duck into Milk + Honey for a strong java and a to-die-for freshlybaked cookie. Everything in the café is handmade—and that goes for the reclaimed-wood tables and glass-blown chandeliers as well. There’s also an extensive food menu, so if you’re posting up all day with a book or a laptop, you won’t go hungry.
1119 Newkirk Ave.; milkandhoneycafeny.com
Enjoy a show (and a piece of history) at Kings Theatre
When this architectural masterpiece opened in 1929, it was considered one of the most exquisite theaters in the nation. You can still enjoy the breathtaking building and all its ornate details during a guided tour, or better yet, experience the space as it was intended to be enjoyed: while taking in a show. Upcoming performances include Death Cab for Cutie, Swan Lake and a live taping of the wildly popular podcast “My Favorite Murder.”
1027 Flatbush Ave., kingstheatre.com
Dine on Restaurant Row
An already-busy stretch of Cortelyou Road has seen an influx of new restaurants joining some long-standing institutions over the past five years or so. Stroll the street and see what inspires you. Perhaps a brick-oven pizza from Lea? A cheese board and a glass of Muscadet from The Castello Plan? Some Filipino fare at Purple Yam? You know what, you’re better off doing what we did and eating multiple dinners.
Cortelyou Rd. between Coney Island Ave. and Marlborough Rd.
Borrow a book (or donate one) at a Little Free Library
The only thing more magical than the neighborhood’s glorious Victorian homes are the teeny-tiny ones hidden among them. The little dollhouse-like structures are the handiwork of local residents participating in the Little Free Library project. The tiny hutches house books for children and adults that are available for taking and are replenished by donations. You’ll find them nestled at 415 Beverley Rd., 81 Rugby Rd. and 391 Marlborough Rd., and a brand-new one (literally, the paint was still drying when we saw it) is coming to 32nd Street between Clarendon Road and Avenue D.
Various locations; littlefreelibrary.org