Courtesy of Jan Koors / Copyright Jan Koors

Crown Heights Now an Artisanal Kosher Haven

from the Jewish Week:

Dolly Rotter, a Chabad chasidic grandmother of 19 and great-grandmother of 25, has lived on the south side of Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights since she was 6 years old. When the first kosher pizza shop, Shabsie’s, opened on Utica Avenue in the 1960s, she recalled the jubilation in the then-fledgling chasidic community.

“Forget about restaurants — there was a time in Crown Heights when if you needed a button and thread, you went to Borough Park,” she said. Shabsie’s opening beckoned in a new era “that sparked an interest in a lot of people opening pizza stores.”

Fast forward to today — Crown Heights, which is headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, is quickly becoming an epicenter of fine kosher dining, drawing patrons from across the New York metropolitan area and beyond. In the rapidly shifting Brooklyn neighborhood — as rents skyrocket, bike shops replace bodegas and young hipsters become fixtures in multiplying coffee spots — the artisanal kosher food scene is seemingly the next evolution amid the neighborhood’s changing demographics, a unique confluence of chasidic and bohemian culture.

The shift was highlighted last month by the highly publicized battle between two kosher pizza restaurants on the north side of Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue — Calabria, the recently opened Roman-style pizza eatery, and Basil Pizza & Wine Bar, a popular upscale kosher restaurant that opened in 2010 and is credited with ushering in the new era of fine kosher dining in the neighborhood. While the chasidic owners faced off in religious court over whether the newcomer broke Jewish law by opening so close to Basil, creating unfair competition, readers realized what Orthodox diners already knew: when it comes to eating well and eating kosher, Crown Heights has, perhaps surprisingly, arrived as an eating destination.

Click here to continue reading at the Jewish Week.




  • Mom

    “Forget about restaurants — there was a time in Crown Heights when if you needed a button and thread, you went to Borough Park,”

    Ha ha! We’re back to that! Seriously, if your husband or son loses a button on his jacket, we’re back to needing to go to Boro Park!

    • What??

      There are tailer her in CH that are more than capable to sow a button

  • Sam

    Look who wrote the article hes a confused person who hats chabad please don’t post stuff that he writes on a chabad website

    • To sam

      You are the one that is confused writing about protecting children does not make you anti chabad or writing about gay people does not make you anti chabad. he happens to be a supporter about chabad but also has his own opinions. No reason to put someone else down because you do not agree with their opinion.

      PS what does one thing have to do with the other, the article is a great article and worth reading.

    • to sam

      so you are on a public website cursing someone out while hiding behind your name. please post your name so we can see the real you.

    • Agree with Sam.

      Yes, I agree with Sam. The author is painting Crown Heights as some bohemian food lovers destination. There are a few new overpriced restaurants in the neighborhood and the idiots are beside themselves with glee. You want to fress go to BP or Manhattan.

  • Kettle and cord sells

    Kettle and cord sells buttons and thread – they are on kingston

  • Correction

    One minor correction. Chapsi and Naftali’s kosher pizza,the first kosher pizza establishment ever,first opened on Kingston ave. before moving to Utica ave. No mistake with the spelling it was ‘Chapsi” not “Shabsie”.

  • sd

    Chopsie & Nafatli Pizza shops had two locations in Crown Heights. One was on Kingston between Empire and Montgomery and the second was on Utica near Carroll St. However, they were not the first Pizza store in Crown Heights. The first was Chaim’s Pizza which was located on Nostrand between Montgomery and Crown..

  • Jake

    To number 3. It was a well written article what does
    His personal life have to do with anything?
    Also what ever happend to ahavas yisroel? Isn’t that one if the main point of the omer?

  • Old times

    Ohh, I remember those old times when you could find Chasidim on the streets of CH… now it’s been replaced by hip Bohemian (Nefesh Habahamis) culture…

  • Thank you.

    Thank you for this article. Now I know what artisanal food is = pay a lot and get almost nothing in your plate.

  • Resident

    How sad that a lot of the restaurant encourage Jews and hipsters eating together . Just like Purim story of achashveirosh and his party . Let’s see how this will help the future of our kids and shechuna!?