Explore Brooklyn: Carroll Gardens’ Italian Neighborhood

Since the turn of the 20th century, the Brooklyn neighborhood of Carroll Gardens has had an unmistakable Italian identity. A visit to the area today reveals that its storied Italian character is still an essential part of this charming community.

LUCALI: Old fashioned, thin-crust, brick oven pizzas…one of the best in the city, expect long lines. Cash only. 575 Henry Street near First Pl.

BROOKLYN SOCIAL: A former Italian social club, this modern bar maintains an air of nostalgia and classic elegance. With slow turning ceiling fans overhead and scratchy Italian opera in the background, grab a seat at the wooden bar to enjoy classic cocktails like the Negroni or more contemporary interpretations like the Riposto (vodka, tangerine slices & rosemary). Cash only. 335 Smith Street between Carroll and President Streets

CARROLL PARK BOCCE COURTS: Developed in Italy during the 19th century, bocce is a game typically played on a court of crushed stone where players attempt to score points by throwing and landing their balls closest to the target ball, or pallino. Stop by the park’s bocce courts to try your hand at the traditional Italian game or take a seat on a nearby bench to watch the matches between the court’s regular players and resident Italians. President and Smith Street

Rained out in the park? Head over to Floyd, located in neighboring Cobble Hill, to get your game in on the bar’s 40 foot indoor court. If you think you have gotten the hang of it, try signing up for the bar’s year round bocce league. 131 Atlantic Avenue between Henry and Clinton Streets

FRANKIES 457: A former Italian social club converted into a dining space serving seasonal Italian fare, Frankies 457 embodies Old World charm and unpretentious sophistication. Go for an assortment of antipasti and crostini or seasonally fresh Italian sandwiches on freshly baked rosemary focaccia. Cash only. 457 Court Street between Luquer and 4th Pl.

D’AMICO FOODS: The D’Amico family has been serving Carroll Gardens since 1948. This coffee shop is a perfect stopover for a specialty roasted small blends, each named for the surrounding neighborhoods, or a traditional espresso or cappuccino. 309 Court Street at Degraw Street