Top 10 Affordable Brooklyn Neighborhoods for Renters

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Looking for a new place to live can be an exhilarating experience when money is no object. For those without deep pockets, we identified the best neighborhoods in Brooklyn for affordable rentals based on price and local amenities. All of our picks are much less than Manhattan’s median asking rent of $3,000 (as of September 2020) – not to mention Williamsburg, which landed on $2,900 for the same period. Another big selling point is that each area on our list has a relatively short commute to Midtown, less than an hour. So without further ado, here are some of the cheapest neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

1. Flatbush: Affordability in the Heart of Brooklyn

Kings Theater Stage in Flatbush Brooklyn

The historic Kings Theater was restored to its original glory. (Getty Images)

  • Median Rent: $2,200 per month
  • Subway Info: The 2, 5, B, and Q trains service the neighborhood. Expect a 40-minute commute into Manhattan.
  • Notable Attractions & Amenities: The Kings Theatre originally opened in 1929 but closed in 1977. It sat vacant until 2010, when it was renovated to its original grandeur. It now hosts a variety of live performances set to resume in 2021. Another nice neighborhood establishment is the Flatbush Food Co-op, serving the area since 1976. But perhaps the crowning jewel of the nabe in Brooklyn’s largest green space, Marine Park. It’s nearly 800 acres.

Residential buildings are a mix of  Victorian homes, brick townhouses, stand-alone houses, and prewar apartment buildings giving the area a neighborly and peaceful vibe. But you also have access to a lively shopping district along Flatbush Avenue, where you can find pretty much everything. One must-see is Flatbush Caton Market, a small but mighty open-air market featuring local merchants.

2. East Flatbush: The Burbs in the City

  • Median Asking Rent: $2,200 per month
  • Subway Info: You can catch the 2 and 5 trains. It’s roughly a 40-minute commute to midtown Manhattan.
  • Notable Attractions & Amenities: The Wyckoff Family Museum is a National Historic Landmark and consists of a farmhouse built around 1652, making it the oldest Dutch frame houses in the country. While most of the current structure dates to the 19th century, there are still original sections making it an ideal destination for history buffs. There are also plenty of parks nearby, including one with a pool, Betsy Head Memorial Playground.

With a plethora of private driveways and backyards, those seeking a taste of suburban life can find it in East Flatbush, one of the best neighborhoods in Brooklyn for renters on a budget. While it’s easy to have a car here, you’ll find it’s a highly walkable area with plenty of shops and restaurants lining both Utica and Church Avenues. One favorite local spot is Suede, serving up Caribbean cuisine with a modern twist.

3. Bay Ridge: More Space for Less in South Brooklyn

errazzano-Narrows bridge in Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Bay Ridge residents can enjoy spectacular views from the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. (Getty Images)

  • Median Asking Rent: $2,000 per month
  • Subway Info: It’s about a 50-minute subway commute to Manhattan from one of the four R train stops.
  • Notable Attractions & Amenities: Although currently closed, Alpine Cinema on 5th Avenue is known for showing all the latest flicks for just $6 on Wednesdays. And for a little nature escape, head to the Narrows Botanical Garden on Shore Road. There you’ll find a butterfly garden and a plant sanctuary.

Often referred to as “Old Brooklyn” or “Real Brooklyn,” it’s no wonder that Bay Ridge residents are bursting with hometown pride. Though 86th St. has all the big box and chain stores like Century 21 and Banana Republic, family-owned restaurants and mom-and-pop shops make up most of the neighborhood. You can find many of the local favorites along Third Ave. As far as housing goes, expect to see two-family rowhouses, apartment buildings (topping out at six floors thanks to rezoning in 2005), and single-family homes. The area is also notable as Tony Manero’s neighborhood in the hit movie “Saturday Night Fever.” 

4. Sunset Park: A Budget-Friendly Neighborhood Close to Industry City

Sunset Park Brooklyn 4907 4th Avenue

You won’t find high-rise, residential buildings in Sunset Park. (From at listing at 4907 Fourth Ave.)

  • Median Asking Rent: $2,000 per month
  • Subway Info: The D, N, and R trains service the neighborhood, allowing for a 40-minute commute into Manhattan.
  • Notable Attractions & Amenities: Along the waterfront, you’ll find Industry City, an area comprising 16 warehouses on cobblestone streets. Pre-COVID 19, it was home to Smorgasburg, The Brooklyn Flea, and other summertime weekly events. Please refer to their websites for re-openings. 

Thanks to the neighborhood’s unusually high elevation, Sunset Park has some of the city’s best views, in addition to being one of the best neighborhoods in Brooklyn for renters on a budget. From here you can take in stunning vistas of the Statue of Liberty. New developments stay away thanks to a rezoning effort, which caps building heights at 80 feet. The low buildings create a sense of open space and ensure top-notch views of the Manhattan skyline from the neighborhood’s eponymous park.

5. Crown Heights: A Big, Bustling Neighborhood in Central Brooklyn

  • Median Asking Rent: $2,400 per month
  • Subway Info: The 2, 3, 4, and 5 trains serve the neighborhood, and a shuttle links these four lines to the A and C trains. Commutes are relatively swift, around 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Notable Attractions & Amenities: Brooklyn’s Children Museum (temporarily closed), founded in 1899, is the country’s first children’s museum. It’s filled with whimsical hands-on attractions making it a favorite among local families. Plus, the eastern edge of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens lines the western side of the popular neighborhood. 

Crown Heights is a place bustling with businesses while still being a close-knit community that hosts regular block parties. It’s primarily a residential neighborhood with grand architecture making up much of the streets. Still, it draws people from across the borough who shop, eat, and drink along with Franklin, Nostrand, and Utica Avenues. And be prepared for a party with the annual colorful West Indian Day Parade, which runs along the neighborhood’s Eastern Parkway. It usually takes place over Labor Day weekend and attracts more than 1 million people.

6. Bed-Stuy: Historic Housing Stock and Reasonable Rents

Bed-Stuy Rental in Designed by Fischer + Makooi Architects building

Just one of many lovely rentals available in Bed-Stuy, (From a listing at 847 Lexington Ave. #4B)

  • Median Asking Rent: $2,400 per month
  • Subway Info: The A and C trains cut through the southern section of the neighborhood, while the J, M, and Z trains run on the northern and eastern edges. The G train also runs through the neighborhood. The commute into Manhattan typically takes 35 minutes.
  • Notable Attractions & Amenities: Normally, you can catch some jazz at the Sankofa Aban Bed & Breakfast as part of their concert series, or enjoy an outdoor movie screened in one of Bed-Stuy’s green spaces.

Architecture buffs will love Bed-Stuy as it has one of the highest concentrations of brownstones in New York City, and arguably the entire country. These Victorian brownstones typically feature gorgeously carved mantels, parquet floors, and stained glass. Over the years, many of these abodes evolved into multifamily units as well as walk-up apartment buildings. The food scene here is thriving. You can grab a cocktail at spots like Dynaco, Neapolitan pizza at Saraghina, and Nashville-style fried chicken at Peaches Hot House.

7. Bushwick: An Alternative to Williamsburg

  • Median Asking Rent: $2,500 per month
  • Subway Info: The L, J, M, and Z trains service the area. The A and C go to Rockaway Avenue and Broadway Junction, two stations on the neighborhood’s eastern edge.
  • Notable Attractions & Amenities: What’s great about Bushwick is that one of the best cultural draws is free as it’s home to incredible street art. You can find warehouses covered in block-long, colorful murals.

Dubbed No. 7 on Vogue’s list of coolest neighborhoods in the worldBushwick is oozing a bohemian vibe with a buzzing nightlife and eclectic food scene. New restaurants, bars, and galleries are continually popping up, making it one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the borough. You’ll get all the artsiness of Williamsburg with a $605 a month discount in median asking rent. And the housing market is just as eclectic with plenty of converted lofts in old factories. 

8. Sheepshead Bay: Coastal Vibes and Diverse Cuisine

  • Median Asking Rent: $1,900 per month
  • Subway Info: Two Q train stops serve the northwestern portion of the neighborhood while the southwestern part has access to both the Q and B trains. Expect a 50-minute commute to midtown Manhattan. 
  • Notable Attractions & Amenities: It’s all about the food in Sheepshead Bay. Here you can get some of the most culturally diverse cuisines. Head to Wing Hing Seafood for famous Cantonese birthday buns or Long Wong bakery for their delectable pastries. But the real turf war is over who has the best roast beef. Both Brennan & Carr and Roll-N-Roaster claim to reign supreme.

Coastal charm and New York City aren’t two things you’d typically pair together. But that’s what you get with Sheepshead Bay where the bay lines the southern border. Along the piers on Emmons Ave., you’ll find bait and tackle shops, and Randazzo’s Clam Bar serves up some of the best seafood in the city. Plus, pre-COVID-19 there were booze cruises most summer nights. That beachy vibe can be found in some real estate, too, as many streets are lined with older stucco-clad beach bungalows. There’s also 1970s-era single-family homes and extravagant mansions on Ocean Parkway. All of the above is why this nabe is one of the best neighborhoods in Brooklyn for renters on a budget.

9. Brighton Beach: Surf, Sand, and More

  • Median Asking Rent: $2,000 per month
  • Subway Info: The Ocean Parkway Q stop is the only subway station in the small neighborhood. But there is access to the B just north at the Sheepshead Bay station. It will take about 55 minutes to get into Manhattan.
  • Notable Attractions & Amenities: The end of the 2.7-mile-long Rigelman Boardwalk runs right through Brighton Beach and is perfect for a leisurely stroll. Or, head over to St. Petersburg Bookstore to peruse books, music, and movies. Master Theater is another local attraction where live musicians perform to audiences of more than 1,300 people. Visit their website for reopening details.

Brighton Beach is filled with high-rise residential buildings along the sandy shores. You can enjoy a more laidback boardwalk and beach than nearby Coney Island, making it an ideal place for locals to relax. But there’s plenty of liveliness too with tons of restaurants and markets along Brighton Beach Avenue that serve up classic treats like cheesecake bars. 

10. Canarsie: A Secret Green Escape

cheapest neighborhoods in Brooklyn Canarsie

You can rent a 1,200 sq. ft apt. for less than the median rent in this Canarsie building. (From a listing at 20 Paerdegat 9th St. #3)

  • Median Asking Rent: $2,300 per month
  • Subway Info: The L train services two stops with a commute time of just under an hour.
  • Notable Attractions & Amenities: Canarsie Park and Pier are the major draws to this quiet neighborhood. Residents can enjoy outdoor activities like baseball, soccer, tennis, skating, basketball, fishing, and even cricket in the 100-acre green escape.  

Though there are some smaller apartment buildings, most of this neighborhood is made up of one and two-family homes complete with trees and yards. It’s an ideal locale for finding respite in a busy city. The main commercial area is along Rockaway Parkway, Remsen Avenue, and Flatlands Avenue, where you can grab West African fare at Honey Bee’s or hit up one of the many discount clothing shops.

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