During our previous Park Slope neighborhood crawl, we expressed our abiding astonishment over Fifth Avenue’s remarkable renaissance; having grown up in the area, we remember when the only reason to venture out amongst the crack dealers was to grab a carton of close-to-expiration eggs from Met Foods.
But Third Avenue in Gowanus? According to our mom, we’d be shot, or kidnapped, or something equally dire, the very second we crossed the border. (Although we did brave the area once during a birthday visit to Two Tom’s, where we enjoyed gloopy platters of spaghetti carbonara and bloody steaks with knives driven through the middle.)
We’re pleased, then, that the trailblazing Two Tom’s is still out there slinging spaghetti, but happier still that everything else has changed. Instead of ne’er-do-wells and tumbleweeds, the post-industrial neighborhood is currently jam-packed with barbecue spots, ice cream palaces, nightlife destinations and more—and those are the places off the main drag.
That’s why Gowanus’ Third Avenue hub is next on our list of drink-to-dessert neighborhood mini crawls, where we tackle one gastronomically blessed BK block at a time by spreading the love—and your dollars—among some of the tastiest restaurants within it.
Happy Hour at Littleneck: For an eatery that specializes in oysters, it took Littleneck a surprisingly long time to institute a happy hour. Thankfully, you can now take advantage of their bivalve promotion at the bar from 5-7pm Monday-Friday, which features $5 draft beers, dollar oysters and a “Long Island Meets Rhode Island” special—half a dozen Long Island oysters and a tall boy of Narragansett for only $10. 288 Third Avenue
Appetizers at Baba’s Pierogies: Stop by Gowanus’ newest tenant for serious, Polish-style comfort food, in the form of potato, sauerkraut or even mac and cheese-filled pierogies, plus kielbasa sliders and schnitzel bites (you’ll want to come back for bigger feeds like the full-on sloppy kielbasa sandwich, so you don’t ruin your appetite for dinner)! 295 Third Avenue
Dinner at The Pines: We don’t need much incentive to grab dinner at The Pines. But it certainly doesn’t hurt that they just opened their incredible backyard for the season, which offers its own, grill-friendly menu—think blistered shishito peppers, grilled beef jerky and ricotta crostini, accompanied by an exciting selection of ciders. 284 Third Avenue
Dessert at Runner and Stone: Since dessert is an afterthought at so many establishments (who can afford an actual pastry chef nowadays?) Per Se alum Pete Endriss has proved to be Runner and Stone’s ace in the hole. So instead of squandering your precious funds on cocktails, funnel them towards the insane rye brownie sundae instead, made with rye whiskey ice cream, caramel sauce, and a caraway walnut sablage. 285 Third Avenue
Late Night Drinks at Canal Bar: Canal Bar is a down and dirty dive in the very best sense of the word—dogs wander throughout the dim, wood-paneled room, past regulars pounding dirt-cheap cans and bottles of PBR, Corona, Heineken and Amstel Light. 270 Third Avenue