Sunset Park is one of Brooklyn’s most culturally diverse neighborhoods. Originally a center for Scandinavian and Polish immigrants, with particularly large Norwegian and Finnish demographics, Sunset Park now includes major enclaves of Chinese and Hispanic residents. Sunset Park was originally settled by the Canarsee, and the first European settlement occurred in 1636, after which Dutch settlers moved in. The Dutch towns of Brooklyn and New Utrecht were established in what would become Sunset Park, and the original Dutch roads would later be used during the Battle of Long Island during the American Revolution. Today, Sunset Park is a mix of bustling commercial avenues and historic rowhouses dating back to the 1890s. Here is our guide to 11 secrets of Sunset Park!
1. Sunset Park has a major Chinatown
With one of the largest Chinatowns in New York, Sunset Park is often seen as the least touristy of New York’s three main Chinatowns. Sunset Park, with an Asian population of over 44,000, has quickly grown into a solidified and united Chinatown. The community is particularly known for its Fuzhounese population, many of whom moved from Manhattan’s Chinatown in the 2000s. Sunset Park’s Chinatown is often considered the fastest-growing Chinatown in New York City, with businesses opening along Seventh and Eighth Avenues primarily between 50th and 60th Streets. Though, according to The New York Times, the first year of the pandemic was “disastrous” with a lack of tourism and anti-Asian sentiment.
If you’re looking for a taste of Chinese cuisine, there are plenty of great restaurants in Sunset Park to try. Known for its simple menu, minimal decor, and fantastic food, Kai Feng Fu offers a variety of dumplings like pork and leek, chicken and mushroom, and vegetable, as well as fluffy pork buns and a selection of noodle soups made with thick udon-style noodles. The unassuming Hong Kong Dim Sum offers a selection of rice rolls as well as congees for a quick breakfast. For a taste of Fuzhou, hole-in-the-wall Wei Mei Xian specializes in gigantic steamed pork buns filled with a delectable BBQ pork filling. Also serving street food-style Fuzhounese cuisine, Wan Zhong Wang serves pork dumplings that have a translucent skin as well as peanut butter noodles and fish ball soup.
Sunset Park has a number of Yunnanese restaurants specializing in cuisine from China’s west, including Yun Nan Flavor Garden known for Crossing the Bridge rice noodles with chicken, vegetables, and quail egg. For dim sum, eateries like the extremely popular East Harbor Seafood Palace, Golden Imperial Palace, and Open Rice serve a variety of classic dim sum delicacies.