May 11, 2015

Crown Heights, an Old Jewish Neighborhood with Many New Kosher Destinations

Brooklyn NY - Walk through the streets of Crown Heights in Brooklyn on an average weeknight and you’ll find a street party of sorts on one particular corner. The recent opening of Boeuf & Bun, an artisanal burger lab, and Basil Pizza & Wine Bar across the road, have brought people from around New York and even as far as New Jersey to the celebrated Brooklyn neighborhood. These developments are quite fascinating for a Jewish neighborhood that in the 1950’s and 1960’s numbered nearly 100,000 and is known worldwide for the Eastern Parkway headquarters of the international Chabad movement and home of the late Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, Lubavitcher Rebbe.

“It’s unbelievable how many people come through our doors each night. We’re turning tables about five times a night, and peak times can see people lining up in the streets to get a table,” said Chany Turner, manager at Boeuf & Bun. “Customers love our artisanal twist on the classic burger, they can’t get enough. Our most popular burger is the Morning Scramble, which features a fried egg and cured beef ‘bacon’, in addition to the meat.”  Another modern kosher restaurant will soon be added to mix - Texan style eatery, Izzy’s Brooklyn Smokehouse, will be opening a few blocks away. Although it seems that Crown Heights only boasts trendy eateries, it is also home to the traditional pizza, sushi and bagel stores, as well as several fast-food outlets and an ice-cream store. It has become less necessary for Crown Heights residents to leave the neighborhood in order to satisfy their food cravings.

Kosher supermarkets are also found every few blocks, from the little corner store to luxury grocery stores. One stand out store is The Market Place, a beautifully designed store that provides an easy shopping experience with its impressive bakery, takeout food station, sushi bar, fresh produce, and dry good displays. The store attracts not only Crown Heights residents, but those living in nearby neighborhoods such as Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights. Benz’s Gourmet is also a store to visit if you find yourself in the Brooklyn neighborhood. The store which opened 11 years ago is the retail face for the kosher grocer. Seeing a gap in the kosher market, Benz’s offers the best in kosher gourmet foods, catering to both Jewish and non-Jewish residents alike. Those looking for gourmet imported kosher cheeses, olives, or beers make their way to the small shop front, where they can also purchase Benz’s famous fish.