Bensonhurst is a large neighborhood in the southwestern portion of Brooklyn, which runs from Gravesend Bay on the south, Bay Parkway and Avenue P to the east, 65th Street to the north and 14th Avenue to the west. Surrounded by Dyker Heights, Borough Park, Flatbush, Midwood and Gravesend, it is often referred to as the Little Italy of Brooklyn due to its large Italian-American population. The elevated D train, which runs above 86th Street, provides a direct connection to Grand Street and the N train near 63rd Street provides a direct connection to Canal Street, offering a quick and easy commute into Manhattan.
One- and two-family brick houses and stucco row homes are plentiful in Bensonhurst; condos have recently become popular as well. Bensonhurst’s traditional row houses are cherished for their gardens, large backyards and antique wrought-iron fences. Historically, this area of Brooklyn was created as an upscale housing development and was built as such in the late 1800s. Several of these large homes are still standing today and make for a nice stroll down one the area’s historic streets. In addition to Bensonhurst's residential and commercial districts, the neighborhood offers some beautiful outdoor spaces.
On 86th Street, the dividing line between the Bath Beach and Bensonhurst areas, make your way through dozens of outdoor markets filled with colorful fruit and vegetables for sale. The annual Santa Rosalia Festival draws residents and visitors from afar, rivaling the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy in Manhattan. Milestone Park, which contains a replica of the oldest sandstone mile marker in New York City, is a beloved historic hangout for residents. Il Fornaretto, a quaint Italian neighborhood bakery with a coal-fired oven, has been producing classic, well-made loaves for decades, including what may be the best semolina bread in town. Ortobello’s on Bay Pkwy offers family style dining and classic Italian cuisine. Sandwich lovers must try the Sofia Loren at Lioni Heroes on 17th Avenue, an 18 inch hero generously stuffed with prosciutto di Parma, house made fresh mozzarella and sweet stuffed pepper. Community activities, cooking demonstrations and recipe exchanges add to the diverse nature of the Bensonhurst Greenmarket on 18th Avenue. Drier Offerman Park, also along the bay and just outside the southern border of the neighborhood, hosts the annual Great Irish Fair. Bordering the Lower New York Bay, Bensonhurst Park offers a promenade walkway with stellar water views.