8. Little Pakistan, Coney Island Avenue Brooklyn
Though it may seem surprising, the largest Pakistani population in New York City is located on Coney Island Avenue. This area was primarily Jewish (and there is still a large Jewish population in the area) before a large wave of Pakistani migration in the 1990s. The number of Pakistanis in Brooklyn was roughly 9,903 in 2010, though Little Pakistan was almost nonexistent after 9/11. After 9/11, several agencies came into Middle Eastern and South Asian neighborhoods looking for suspicious activities and inciting fear among residents, some of whom could face deportation for small immigration-related problems. As a result of this suspicion and interrogation, business in Little Pakistan dropped by as much as 50%. At the peak of this time, 20,000 members of Brooklyn’s Pakistani population left the United States.
Since then, however, the area has recovered and is now filled with Pakistani restaurants, salons, and jewelry shops. Today, Little Pakistan is mainly concentrated between Church Avenue and Avenue H in Kensington and Flatbush. One of the classic Pakistani spots is Lahori Chilli Restaurant & Sweets, which serves up classics like haleem, a savory porridge, chicken and lamb pulao, and a stew called nihari. Down the street is Jalsa Grill & Gravy, which serves Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi classics. A handful of restaurants offer a selection of savory and sweet goods like jalebi, such as Mashallah, Shandar Sweets & Restaurant, and Abdullah Sweets and Restaurant. There are also a handful of clothing stores that sell items like salwar kameez, kurta, and headpieces