Walking Photo Tours · Street Photography Workshops · Sightseeing Tours

Discover NYC – Your Guide to Indie Businesses

Discover the local, independent businesses that are the heart and soul of NYC in Shoot New York City’s guide to the best of indie New York!

Discover the real NYC in Shoot New York City’s Discover Guide

I love the independent businesses in New York, they are the heart and soul of the city! In this section you will find bookstores, cafés, restaurants, arts & crafts markets and more. This is an ongoing project to list the best of indie New York so visit often to discover the real New York City. Experience the hidden gems and places that New Yorkers frequent. For more information on many of NYC’s vibrant neighborhoods, have a read of my Neighborhood Guides. I am not compensated for writing these reviews and I'm only writing about the places that I like.

Sadly, far too many of these unique, independent businesses close every year. When I learn of one closing I will move it to the category Vanishing NYC. They may be gone but they’ll never be forgotten!


Ocean View Cafe, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn

Brighton Beach is a very cool Russian and Ukrainian neighborhood in Brooklyn. I've eaten here a few times and the borscht (beet soup) and varenikis (dumplings) are fabulous. It's a little independent restaurant and the clientele is for the most part locals. There are many photos on the walls of Nicholas Cage that were taken when he was making a film in the neighborhood. I will try to try out other things on the menu when I return. But I don't often eat very much in a sitting and their portions are rather large. Other items on the menu include Beef Stroganoff, stuffed cabbage, and a number of meat and fish dishes.

Ocean View Cafe, 290 Brighton Beach Avenue close to the Q train stop for Brighton Beach

Ocen View Cafe