In the grand tradition of SoHo (South of Houston), TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal), and NoLIta (North Little Italy), BoCoCa is a catchall term coined by a web designer over a decade ago for the neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens (plus the Columbia Street Waterfront and the parts of Red Hook north of the Battery Tunnel). BoCoCa never really caught on, but it can be a handy designation for the intersection of simpatico neighborhoods that were generally referred to simply as South Brooklyn until the 1960s. All three neighborhoods feature cozy brownstones and townhouses and a wealth of great restaurants and bars — and besides, no one seems to agree on the “official” boundaries of Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens.
Below are some not-to-miss BoCoCa spots — we’ll let you argue about which neighborhood each of them calls home.
Lucali (Carroll Gardens)
It’s impossible not to fall hard for Lucali, both for the pizza and the atmosphere. This cozy, perpetually packed restaurant serves up a simple menu. Plain, thin crust pizza served with a heap of basil – you do have an option to order extra toppings, but you don’t need to – and calzones. It’s also BYOB. You can usually catch the owner in the back, kneading dough or spreading fresh mozzarella. There’s often a two-hour wait here, and it’s recommended that you arrive right when it opens at 6 p.m.
Whether you’re in the mood for fresh salmon, an oyster happy hour, or a lobster roll, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Brooklyn’s many seafood restaurants. These four in Cobble Hill, Crown Heights, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint offer some of the best selections in the borough, offering everything from sublime sushi to classic fish and chips.
Bergen Hill (Carroll Gardens)
Bergen Hill is a charming, intimate restaurant with New American seafood, small plates, and fancy cocktails. The seafood here is served with care — scallops with carrots and quinoa, a black bass with tomatillo, octopus with onion puree. It’s our vote for the perfect date night for seafood lovers.