NYC Guide

Exploring Sheepshead Bay, in Brooklyn

The first time I was in Sheepshead Bay was with my friend Patricia. She took me to lunch at a restaurant in the area after we recorded a video. I had never been to the area and wrote down that name, so I could come back again since everything looked so nice. It took more than a year, but last week, thinking about what to do on Saturday, I checked my list and saw that note about the neighborhood. I talked to Thiago about it, we quickly researched things to do and then we decided to go there.

Sheepshead Bay is a bay separating the mainland of Brooklyn, New York City, from the eastern portion of Coney Island, the latter originally a barrier island but now effectively an extension of the mainland with peninsulas both east (the neighborhood of Manhattan Beach) and west (the neighborhoods of Coney Island and Sea Gate). Much like the adjacent Brighton Beach neighborhood, Sheepshead Bay is known for its high concentration of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Other ethnic groups in the area include Albanians, Chinese, Turks, and Hispanics. It’s a quiet neighborhood that looks nothing like Manhattan. And that’s what I love most about New York: the way the neighborhoods differ from each other, making it look like you’ve moved to another city.

One of the highlights of Sheepshead Bay is the bay itself. You can walk along the boardwalk and enjoy the view, which is too beautiful. You will come across many boats – fishing is a strong activity and it is even possible to go fishing on one of the boats in the area. There are several package options. Also, there is a pedestrian bridge right at the end of the bay, and, crossing it, you reach the Manhattan Beach neighborhood – yes, there is a beach there, but we did not check it out on this day. It’s usually a lot less crowded than Coney Island. Another thing to do is to check out Marine Park, which is Brooklyn’s largest park and is close to Sheepshead Bay.

Seafood restaurants are the highlight in Sheepshead Bay. After a brief survey, we chose to have lunch at Liman, a Turkish restaurant with fish dishes. I confess: we were not very happy with our choices (a dish with shrimp and another with sardines). Not to say we did not love it all, the fried calamari was delicious. However, talking to Patricia later, she told me that she loves the restaurant and that the best deal here is the whole baked fishes. I’ll be back for sure to try it. The restaurant is nice and has an area overlooking the bay. It was delicious eating lunch with that view. The price of the fish dishes starts at  $26 and they are super well served. In fact, the choices of the tables next to ours seemed much better and much more appetizing.

But Sheepshead Bay doesn’t have only this restaurant! Other restaurants you can check out are Randazzo’s Clam Bar, specializing in mussels, as well as Clement’s Maryland Crab House, specializing in crab. Yiasou is also another great seafood restaurant in the neighborhood. If you don’t like seafood, its worth to try the sandwiches. Sheepshead Bay is home to two of the city’s most celebrated sandwich places – Brennan & Carr and Roll-N-Roaster. There is even a debate over which of the two serves the best-roasted beef sandwich in the neighborhood.

And one of the surprises was discovering that Sheepshead Bay is home to the first New York public memorial to the Holocaust, located at the end of the bay. There are granite stones dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust. It is not a large memorial, but I found it very beautiful and significant. I had no idea of the existence of this park!

I loved Sheepshead Bay, but I think it’s a lot cooler to visit the neighborhood during the spring/summer season – that’s what I plan to do soon! Also, it’s one of the subway stops before arriving in Coney Island, so you can stretch the day to check out the neighborhood as well, as it’s on the way.

To get to Sheepshead Bay, just use the B or Q line, and get off at Sheepshead Bay station. Leaving Times Square, it’s about 45 minutes.



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