Bensonhurst is surrounded by Dyker Heights, Midwood, Flatbush, Borough Park and Gravesend, although its boundary streets are not clearly defined. The neighborhood came into the 20th century as a primarily Jewish and Italian enclave; by the 1950s, the Jewish population was making its way to the suburbs while the Italian population welcomed new residents from Europe, and this helped define the neighborhood.
Beginning in the 1990s, Bensonhurst’s Asian community has grown enormously, and the neighborhood also calls itself home to immigrants from a range of countries, including Pakistan, Albania, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Ecuador and the Middle East, making it one of Brooklyn’s more diverse areas.
Many people know Bensonhurst as the setting for “The Honeymooners,” but even before that it had made its way to pop culture through its mention in Thomas Wolfe’s 1930s short story “Only the Dead Know Brooklyn.” In the 1970s, “Welcome Back Kotter” was set in Bensonhurst, as were parts of Spike Lee’s 1991 movie Jungle Fever.Find Bensonhurst apartments
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A main shopping and dining street is 18th Avenue, and here you’ll find small, Italian family-owned businesses, many of which have stayed in the same family and at the same location for multiple generations. 86th Street is also a popular location for restaurants. Bensonhurst is home to L & B Spumoni Gardens, one of New York’s legendary pizza places. Lioni’s Italian Heroes is also a popular neighborhood spot, and for Asian food, locals stop by HK Tea and Sushi for Japanese, Pho Tay Ho for Vietnamese, and Nyona for Malaysian. Each year, in August or September, the Festa di Santa Rosalia takes place in Bensonhurst. “The Feast,” as its called, is held along 86th Street, and celebrates the Italian-American community, annually attracting thousands to the neighborhood.
Public transportation in Bensonhurst includes the D train, which links riders to Grand Street in Manhattan, and the N train, taking riders to Canal Street; both are express lines. A variety of bus lines also run through Bensonhurst.