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  4. Why Bensonhurst is NYC’s
    Most Underrated Neighborhood

Why Bensonhurst is NYC’s
Most Underrated Neighborhood


Let’s face it, once you know how great it is to live in NYC, there’s no going back.

The fast-paced urban atmosphere, the near overwhelming access to markets and restaurants, and yes, of course, Coney Island. There’s so much to love about the City that Never Sleeps, and so many reasons to put down roots in an apartment that you’ll only really spend half of each day in. 

But those roots have thorns, and those thorns are aimed straight at your pocketbook.

This is something that not many people talk about when going on about the livability of New York neighborhoods. People will go on and on about West Village and Park Slope but some tend to fly under the radar as far as that type of praise goes. Like, why is nobody talking about lower-cost neighborhoods like Bensonhurst?

While any New Yorker worth their salt knows the difference between Neopolitan and Neo-Neopolitan pizza, not many could tell you the difference between Bensonhurst and its surrounding neighborhoods. Sure, the neighborhoods of Brooklyn may look similar, but if you admit you can’t tell the difference between Flatbush and East Flatbush, depending on where you are, you might get punched in the face.

Bensonhurst tends to get thrown under the rug as far as this type of notoriety goes. It’s not like it belongs there like some other choice neighborhoods (*cough* Williamsburg *cough*). Bensonhurst has a lot of valuable qualities that really aren’t given the publicity they deserve.


Close enough to Manhattan without the Manhattan costs

Working in Manhattan is one of the best ways to stay on the up and up in the business world. Whether you’re just starting out at a desk job for a printer company, or you’re working at the Chick-fil-A on 6th just until you can get your feet off the ground, being close to Manhattan is important if you want to eventually make your mark on the world.

The only problem is, your bank account is going to suffer for it. The cost of living in Manhattan is steep, to say the least. With a $3,475 average rent for an apartment, it can be expensive to stay there for longer than just a shift at work, not to mention a whole year.

However, in Bensonhurst, the commute to Midtown Manhattan from the D train is only about 45 minutes. And the best part is: the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,513. That’s roughly a 130% decrease in price from living in Manhattan, and a 72% decrease in price from the average rent of $2,600 in the rest of Brooklyn. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re flipping burgers and crunching numbers for your weekly budget or crunching burgers and flipping numbers for a high-stakes agency (see what we did there?). Bensonhurst is a great value in terms of living costs while still having access to the attractions that bring so many people to Manhattan.


A deep cultural history that has shaped iconic restaurants

Nothing quite beats the taste of authentic cuisine made from the hearts of the cultures that made it popular. This is what makes Bensonhurst a hub of fantastic and traditional food from all walks of life. 

Originally, Bensonhurst was an enclave for people of Italian and Jewish descent. But, over the last 30 years, there has been a flock of cultural diversity that has made this city one of the most integrated areas of New York City. In fact, most people refer to this as the main Little Italy in Brooklyn, and Brooklyn’s second Chinatown at the same time. And unless Manhattan has a lot of immigration numbers soon, I don’t see their Little Italy topping that.

Because of this cultural background, there is a wide array of authentic restaurants to try out. Lenny’s has some of the best pizza in all of Brooklyn, and yes, for the two people that even remember Saturday Night Fever, it’s the place that John Travolta likes to chow down to the tune of Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees.

Hand Pull Noodle & Dumpling House has a fantastic variety of traditional Chinese food for a great price. And for lovers of Mexican food, it doesn’t get much better than EL TOLOLOCHE on 16th, which has kept me from feeling content with a taco from anywhere else.

This neighborhood has so much food to offer within walking distance that, without flipping a coin or random number generator, it can be really strenuous to find where to eat next.

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Seconds from the park and minutes from the ocean

If you’re a fan of sitting inside all day, Monday-Friday, while the thrills and the excitement of the city permeate the atmosphere around your apartment, here’s the deal. Stay away from New York, and especially stay away from Bensonhurst.

The neighborhood of Bensonhurst has gorgeous greenways to admire while looking at the sights of the city and fantastic options in terms of recreation and exercise. Take a jog around the neighborhood and check out the greenery it has to offer. Take a scenic walk around the beautiful coasts of Bath Beach and be back within the hour if you want. You could even take the B line and be at Dyker Beach Golf Course within a half hour.

Bensonhurst Park is the best place to be if you’re looking for a fun time outdoors in Brooklyn. The beautiful scenery is great for sitting down on a blanket and sunbathing. There’s fitness equipment if you’re really trying to avoid joining a gym that you’ll go to twice and waste your yearlong membership. It also has tennis courts, basketball courts, and soccer courts just to name a few. 

Overall, Bensonhurst has fantastic sights to see everywhere you walk, and it’s in the dead center of some of Brooklyn’s greatest outdoor activities and recreation. 

bensonhurst parks

Free of the noise of the NYC nightlife

Let’s be honest. NYC can get a little too loud some nights. Whether it’s the constant parade of barhoppers looking for their next great place to get a drink or the droning of car horns during the late-night traffic. There’s a reason it’s called the City that Never Sleeps: most of the residents are kept up by the massive cacophony going on right outside their apartments.

Meanwhile, you can get all of the sleep you want in Bensonhurst. There’s no bumpin’ bar and club scene to keep the cavalcade of partiers on the streets, and the traffic is incredibly tame compared to the rest of NYC. 

That doesn’t mean there’s no nightlife when you live in Bensonhurst though. Just look to Parc Oasis or SET Lounge for some great bars in the area if you’re looking to get out for a while. They’re about a 15-20 minute walk away depending on where you’re living, which is the same amount of time we all normally look at a bar menu before getting ‘the usual’ anyways.

When you’re done, you can take comfort knowing that you’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep without two drunk guys shouting outside of your complex at 3:00 am when you have work in four hours. 

nyc nightlife

Surprisingly low crime rates compared to the rest of NYC

Saying “New York isn’t the safest place to live” isn’t exactly a hot take. There’s always going to be someone looking to steal a purse, and NYC is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. It’s bound to happen to someone. But some places in NYC are a lot safe than others.

According to crime statistics from the New York City Police Department, in 2019, the citywide rate of serious crimes in NYC per 1,000 Residents was 11.3. This accounts for 7 property crimes and 4.3 violent crimes per thousand. While some of these averages can be accounted for by the high rates in neighborhoods like the Meatpacking District or Vinegar Hill, these rates of crime can be an extreme turn-off for living in this great city.

Bensonhurst on the other hand had 5.6 serious crimes per 1,000 Residents in 2019, which is just about half that of NYC as a whole. To put that into a better perspective, according to FBI data for 2019, that’s 55% lower than the national average for crime.

While there’s no place in NYC that’s 100% free of crime, living in Bensonhurst lets you rest a little bit safer than the rest of Brooklyn and especially the rest of NYC.

bensonhurst brooklyn

Try giving Bensonhurst a chance.

Overall, Bensonhurst has so much more to offer its residents than most people give it credit for. Not only is it a great place to experience the lively atmosphere of NYC, but it’s also a sound place to hole up for the next year or ten.

Bensonhurst is no West Village or Astoria when it comes to notoriety. But we find it terrible that this neighborhood has so much charm and culture that goes right under people’s noses.

So next time you’re in downtown Brooklyn, check out Bensonhurst and try a slice of Lenny’s for your own sake.