It's worth the trip into Flatbush to explore affordable shopping opportunities — and sample some of Brooklyn's different neighborhoods, too.
1. Where and What is Flatbush, Brooklyn?
What is Flatbush? Flatbush is a huge area in central Brooklyn. It encompasses interesting ethnic neighborhoods, lovely Victorian homes, and vibrant immigrant communities. It offers a broad spectrum of shopping experiences, from a large mall filled with American chain stores to mom-and-pop ethnic food shops. Flatbush is ethnically eclectic, gritty, and quintessentially Brooklyn.
Where is Flatbush? On the map, Flatbush includes the large district that lies between Prospect Park and the Brighton Beach neighborhood that faces the Atlantic Ocean. Specific areas in Flatbush are quite distinctly commercial, while others are strictly residential.
2. Shopping for Ethnic Foods and Bargains along Church Avenue in East Flatbush
Church Avenue is choc-a-bloc with mom and pop stores serving the area’s diverse West Indian communities. Visitors can explore Jamaican, Haitian and other ethnic Caribbean music and food shops. Shoppers will find numerous find inexpensive chain stores and small businesses selling basic house wares, clothing, and toys.
To fuel up for the shopping expedition, pick up a West Indian snack at Sybils Bakery or the Golden Crust.
How to Get There: Explore the commercial strip of Church Avenue between Flatbush and Nostrand Avenues. The nearest subway station is Church Ave. (#2, 5 trains). Street parking is available.
3. Brooklyn Discount Shopping: From Clothes to Kitchens in Midwood
Many of Midwood's mom-and-pop stores offer discounted prices on high-quality house wares, jewelry, and clothing. One can find good buys on such appliances as refrigerators, and home repair supplies from bathroom tiles to lighting fixtures. Midwood is a predominantly orthodox Jewish neighborhood. So, most stores are open on Sunday, but close a few hours before sundown on Friday, and remain closed all day Saturday.
Don't miss getting a tasty snack in Midwood, notably kosher pizza and takeout food, either!
How to Get There: Most shopping is concentrated between Avenues J and M, from Coney Island Avenue to Ocean Avenue. The nearest subway station is Ave. J (Q,B trains). Street parking is available.
4. Shopping Brooklyn-Style: Kings Highway
Looking for an expensive watch, custom-tailored suit, or a discounted designer ball gown? Try the retail corridor along bustling Kings Highway.
Shoppers will find over two hundred small stores and a smattering of chain stores along this street, offering a wide price range of clothing, shoes, and house wares.
Kings Highway been a shopping mainstay for born-and-bred Brooklyn residents for decades. The now-famous shoe store Chuckies started here, among other New York City shopping legends.
How to Get There: The shopping strip stretches from Ocean Avenue to Ocean Parkway and two short blocks on Quentin Road. The nearest subway station is Kings Plaza (Q, B trains). Public parking lots are on East 15th and 14th Streets.
Kings Plaza Mall is the borough's oldest and biggest mall. Macy's and Sears are the anchor stores. Other major chains include Children's Place, Victoria's Secret, and H&M. There is a parking lot and a cinema on site.
How to Get There:Kings Plaza Mall is at the intersection Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U. Take the Belt Parkway to Exit 11N. Public transportation requires a bus, or a subway and then a bus.
Full disclosure: Strictly speaking it is located in Flatlands, but it is very close to Flatbush, the adjacent neighborhood.