Carroll Gardens is named for Charles Carroll—a signer of the Declaration of Independence—and honors its namesake by preserving tradition. First settled by the Dutch, and later by Irish and Italian immigrants, Carroll Gardens is a family neighborhood. Visit tree-lined Carroll Park and the Carroll Gardens Historic District for a taste of old New York architecture. Several neighborhood cafés and long-standing pizzerias offer traditional, wood-fired Neapolitan pies.
Consider booking a pizza walking tour to taste the best local offerings. Guided tours, which tend to last a few hours, stop at two or three standout pizzerias. If you have a sweet tooth, you can visit the neighborhood's old-school Italian bakeries, or book a chocolate-tasting tour to get the most out of an indulgent afternoon. Most tours include transportation, making it easy to get around.
Things to Know Before You Go
Carroll Gardens is great for foodies, and history buffs love the neighborhood’s historical buildings.
Wear comfortable shoes, as it’s best to explore Carroll Gardens on foot.
Weekend train service to and within Brooklyn is inconsistent, so check the subway schedule.
The neighborhood’s sidewalks are accessible to wheelchairs; some businesses may have steps at entry.
How to Get There
Carroll Gardens is best accessed by subway. Take the F or G train to the Carroll Street station. Alternatively, take the R train to the 4th Avenue–9th Street Station, then walk west on 9th Street, cross the Gowanus Canal, and stop at Smith or Court streets. If driving, note that metered street parking is free on Sunday, but expect traffic on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) every day of the week.
When to Get There
It’s best to visit Carroll Gardens in spring, summer, and autumn—when the weather is inviting. Winter in New York can be windy and bitterly cold, though still atmospheric. Arrive in the evening for dinner, but aim to show up early, since many restaurants—particularly popular restaurants—are first come, first served.
Explore Adjacent Red Hook
Carroll Gardens is a short walk or cab ride from Red Hook, a rapidly gentrifying, artsy neighborhood south of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Venture into Red Hook along bustling Van Brunt Street and head for its museums, galleries, and eateries. A popular stop is the furniture megastore IKEA, which offers a free-on-weekends water taxi to Wall Street’s Pier 11. Enjoy views of Governors Island and the Statue of Liberty along the way.
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