The largest and fastest growing Chinatown in the 5 boroughs is in Brooklyn. 30 years ago, most of the storefronts on 8th Avenue in Borough Park, Brooklyn were empty or doing poorly. Now it is one of the most vibrant areas in the neighborhood. The borders are often disputed, but 8th Avenue between 40th to 68th street is where you will find most of the stores.
Brooklyn’s Chinatown in the Sunset Park/Borough Park neighborhoods house many residents from the Fujian Province in China and the area is often referred to it as Little Fuzhou. This neighborhood is filled with vendors, stores, restaurants and tea shops. I was never able to find a daylight hour that wasn’t filled with people moving through the area. This is also the least English speaker friendly of the 3 largest Chinatowns in NYC. There may be a person in the business that speaks English, but sometimes they will have to be called to help you. Patience is important. Speak clear English, no slang and you should be fine. You can also easily point to items on the menus if your first try doesn’t work. The people in the businesses are generally extremely kind and want to be helpful.
The area is easiest to reach from the N train to 8th Ave in Brooklyn, but I decided to start at the North end of the neighborhood at 40th street, walking towards 68th street, and explore storefronts and tea shops. For the next few days I’ll walk you South to 68th street on 8th avenue and visit tea shops, bakeries and an accessory store.