A guide to Little Poland in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
While nearly all of Brooklyn has undergone gentrification, there are a few remaining gems reminding us of the people, their cultures and histories that make the borough so vibrantly diverse. Located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn Little Poland has the second largest concentration of Polish-Americans in the United States (after Chicago). The neighborhood still has a working class feel with a sense that generations-old traditions still pervade daily life. From food to nightlife, here’s a guide on what to do, eat, and see when you visit Little Poland in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Old Poland Bakery, 926 Manhattan Ave
If you’ve never had an authentic Polish baked good, you’re in for a sweet experience. Considered an institution, Old Poland Bakery is where you can sample a wonderful selection of breads and traditional pastries. Delectable treats include cheese and blueberry babka, poppy seed cake, cheese danish, and an assortment of donuts. Pick up a fresh loaf of old style rye to enjoy later at home.
Kiszka Meat Market, 915 Manhattan Ave
It would be a crime to visit Little Poland and not check out a local butcher (vegetarians may want to skip this section). Kielbasa is a staple of Polish cuisine and Kiszka Meat Market makes the celebrated sausage to perfection. A meat-lovers dream come true, it also sells a variety of homemade cold cuts, smoked bacon, and cheeses.
Saint Stanislaus Kostka Church, 607 Humboldt St
Saint Stanislaus Kostka Church is perhaps the most important building to Greenpoint’s Polish community. It was first established as a humble wooden structure in 1894 to serve to growing population of Polish Catholics. In 1903, construction began to build a new and much larger church. Marked by towering steeples and an elegant façade, Saint Stanislaus Kostka Church stands like a majestic beacon that can be seen from blocks away.
Karczma, 136 Greenpoint Ave
With its rustic, cozy interior, Karczma restaurant evokes the look and feel of an old country farmhouse in Poland. Right down to the waitresses is traditional dress, Karczma offers the ultimate Polish culinary experience. The menu is a tour de force of authentic dishes including cheese and potato pierogies, grilled kielbasa, breaded pork, potato pancakes, and stuffed cabbage. These hearty meals are best enjoyed with a cold Zywiec beer.
Acme Fish, 30 Gem St
Since 1906, Acme Fish has been a purveyor of NYC’s finest smoked fish. While not inherently Polish, this family-run establishment acts as meeting place for Greenpoint’s diverse community at large – you only have to stand in the counter line for a couple of minutes to realize this. Acme’s delectably smoked products include salmon (made with a generations-old family recipe), a variety of specialty fish, cured herring, and savory spreads and dips.
Warsaw, 261 Driggs Ave
Housed inside the Polish National Home, Warsaw is one of city’s premiere entertainment venues. With its high ceilings and intimate stage setting, Warsaw recalls the music spaces of the heyday of punk. The lineup is a mixed bag of established legends and rising talents – performers include Patti Smith, The New Pornographers, Le Tigre, King Princess, and the Pscychedelic Furs (below).