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Many refer to Ditmas Park as a suburb in the city. A short stroll around and you will quickly see why. With tree-lined streets, lots of open space, and large Victorian homes, it’s easy to forget you are still in the city.
The neighborhood offers a quiet retreat from the chaos of Manhattan. Sitting in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, the neighborhood is probably most well known for its Victorian architecture. While it might be quiet, Ditmas Park still offers a great mix of entertainment, shopping, and dining options. In fact, in 2009, it was named one of the best neighborhoods in New York City for food.
Ditmas Park History
Ditmas Park’s suburban feel can be traced back to the early 1900s. Unlike most of the city, this park of Brooklyn remained rural farmland until 1902. That was the year real estate broker Lewis Pounds bought up the land from the Ditmarsen family.
The family farm was quickly developed into an upper-class neighborhood filled with gorgeous Victorian single-family, free-standing homes. While the farm was gone, the family name stuck and Ditmas Park as we know it today was born.
The neighborhood's unique architecture eventually caught the attention of the National Register of Historic Places which listed the Ditmas Park Historic District as a protected zone in 1983. Today there are around 170 buildings listed with the National Register including great examples of Colonial Revival, Craftsman, and Queen Anne architecture.
Throughout the 1980s and 90s, Ditmas Park remained largely an upper-class family neighborhood. In the last decade or so though, the neighborhood has seen a new influx of residents. Many of these are young professionals and artists attracted by lower rent prices and more space.
A Few Neighborhood Highlights
As long term residents know, Ditmas Park has a lot more to offer than it appears on first glance. It might have a suburban feel but the neighborhood still has everything a New Yorker might want. Here are a few places you’ll want to check out.
Originally opened in 1929, Kings Theatre has been an iconic neighborhood establishment for generations. The theatre was fully restored and reopened in 2015 as a performing arts venue. The theatre hosts events year round, from Christmas concerts to classic ballet performances to rock concerts.
Ditmas Park overall is very residential. The neighborhood does have a few commercial zones though. One of the most popular is the Cortelyou Road area between East 17th and Coney Island Avenue. Here you will find small local coffee shops, bars, the Flatbush Food Co-op, and a number of restaurants.
And Just a Short Subway Ride Away...
While not in Ditmas Park itself, one of Brooklyn’s most popular spots - Prospect Park - is just a short five minute subway trip away. If you want to jump into the heart of the city, Manhattan is also just a 30-minute subway ride.
What makes Ditmas Park special is that balance between being in the heart of Brooklyn, a short subway ride from Manhattan, and still feeling a world away.
One of the Best Neighborhoods in New York City for Food
Something we can’t forget to highlight in Ditmas Park is the food! Forget about having to go all the way into Manhattan for a good bite to eat. From high end restaurants to local cafes, Ditmas Park is a foodie lovers paradise.
In fact, in October 2009, Time Out New York called Ditmas Park one of the “best neighborhoods in New York City for food.” The New York Times also featured Ditmas Park food in a 2009 article titled “Moved for the Space; Stayed for the Food.”
If you are looking for a great Ditmas Park restaurant, Atlas Steakhouse is here to serve. As the neighborhood’s first and only steakhouse, we pride ourselves on serving high quality naturally aged prime beef steaks. Our menu is Mediterranean-style with something for everyone. Stay in the heart of Brooklyn while enjoying a quality meal as good as any you’d find in Manhattan.
Reservations for Atlas Steakhouse can be made at 646-494-7227.