Brooklyn’s Best Neighborhood, by the Numbers

Here’s a simple question that over 250,000* people ask themselves yearly:

Where should I move in Brooklyn?

Of course, there are over 250,000 different ways to answer this question: every individual has unique desires, needs, and constraints when it comes time to find a place to live. Yet many of us probably share some general requirements, such as:

  • Affordability
  • Safety
  • A (relatively) short commute
  • Places to eat
  • Places to drink, and
  • Places to have fun

I crunched the numbers and found the neighborhood that provides the strongest balance of those characteristics. Wouldn’t you know, it’s:

East Williamsburg

“East Williamsburg,” for our purposes

Maybe all those hipsters are on to something, after all. Let’s dig in to the data and find out how East Williamsburg comes out on top.

It’s not the rent

East Williamsburg is not terribly affordable. Median rent stands at $2,950 for the 139 active listings I surveyed. Even a studio in East Williamsburg will set you back somewhere around $2,400. It’s not as expensive as some other parts of Brooklyn — try South Williamsburg, where median rent rises over $4,000 — but it is well over the borough’s median rent of $2,150.

You do get what you pay for, however, when it comes to other attributes.

It’s surprisingly safe

East Williamsburg claims 1 crime for every 59 residents, just a little worse than the borough’s average of 1 crime for every 73 residents. One thing to watch out for: burglaries are nearly twice as likely in East Williamsburg compared to the rest of Brooklyn.

It’s so close to Manhattan

It’s only 32 minutes to Midtown Manhattan from East Williamsburg. Downtown is even closer, and if you’re worried about 2019’s L-train shutdown, you’re still close to the JMZ line.

Most of all, there’s one thing that puts East Williamsburg at the top:

Restaurants, bars, and culture: it’s got it all

No neighborhood in Brooklyn has more options for restaurants, bars, or entertainment than East Williamsburg. Within a mile’s walk from anywhere in the neighborhood, you can find:

Masion Premiere, Emmy Squared, Cafe Mogador

316 restaurants, including oysters at Masion Premiere, pizza at Emmy Squared, Moroccan cuisine at Cafe Mogador, Italian at Lilia, and steaks and seafood at St. Anselm.

Hotel Delmano, St. Mazie, TØRST

196 bars, including cocktails at Hotel Delmano, Sweet Chick, or St. Mazie, or an extensive tap at TØRST. Brooklyn’s next-best neighborhood for drinking has only 112 bars from which to choose.

Rough Trade, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Videology

152 venues for culture, including music at National Sawdust or the Music Hall of Williamsburg, records at Rough Trade, or videos and trivia at Videology

East Williamsburg has 53 restaurants and 19 bars rated over 9.0/10.0 on Foursquare, more than any other neighborhood in Brooklyn. If you can afford it, nothing beats the dining, drinking, and entertainment options in East Williamsburg.

“But what if I can’t afford East Williamsburg?” you ask. Or, “What if I don’t care about a quick commute to Midtown?” Perhaps, “Isn’t there something less… basic?” Friend, you’re in luck.

Check out the prototype neighborhood discovery options at www.cityatlas.us—a little website I built, which features all of the information shared above, and more! Or, you can come back in a few weeks when I’ll look at a few other great neighborhoods in Brooklyn revealed by my research.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter, sign up for my mailing list, and, if you’re interested in cities and mobility, like I am, by all means, let’s get a coffee sometime!


*assuming that 10% of people move within Brooklyn, as they do in the US as a whole. Given that nearly 70% of Brooklyn residents are renters, this number is likely higher.