Our 10 Favorite Restaurants in Brooklyn
Going to Brooklyn? Arrive hungry. New York City’s buzzy borough has everything from cozy Williamsburg gastropubs to historic steakhouses to soaring BBQ destinations near the docks of Red Hook. Craving fiery Thai fare, Caribbean comfort food, elegant Spanish-Moorish-Jewish cuisine, or the world’s most stylish pizzeria? Brooklyn’s got you covered. Here are our top 10 not-to-be-missed, new and landmark Brooklyn restaurants.
Emily Saladino is a journalist and recipe developer in New York City. She has covered food, drinks, travel, and culture for Bloomberg, BBC, Travel + Leisure, and others. A former professional cook, she graduated from the International Culinary Center. She is currently the Editor in Chief of VinePair.
Chef Missy Robbins’ warm Williamsburg spot occupies a former auto garage, not that you’d know it from the stylish fixtures and soaring ceilings. The rare NYC restaurant that feels simultaneously hip and welcoming, Lilia specializes in cacio e pepe fritelle, housemade pastas, grilled swordfish, and a creative, Italian-accented cocktail list. 567 Union Ave.
Heat is the word at this perpetually thronged new Thai spot in Carroll Gardens. Chef Sirichai Sreparplarn keeps things fiery with spicy vermicelli with chicken in green curry, grilled prawns,, and moo pad kapi, or pork belly in shrimp paste. The 25-seat space doesn’t accept reservations, so do like the locals do and await your table at nearby cocktail den Minibar or Other Half Brewing Company, a 10-minute walk south.
This James Beard Award-winning restaurant serves locally sourced New American fare in a sleek space with a twinkling backyard (complete with herb garden and warbling, egg-laying quail). Chef Greg Baxtrom’s impressive menu spans carrot crepes stuffed with littleneck clams, buckwheat spaetzle mac and cheese, and Long Island duck confit; those looking to gild the sustainably sourced lily can sample desserts like s’mores, frozen yogurt with lavender honey, and, in the summertime, house-made soft serve.
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Creative Taiwanese fare headlines this bustling East Williamsburg boite, where crowds of cool kids sip cocktails while patiently awaiting tables for dinner and brunch (Win Son only accepts reservations for parties of five or more). Chef Trigg Brown’s stellar menu includes addictive smashed cucumbers flecked with mullet roe, fried eggplant with black vinegar, and scallion pancakes wrapped around tender, New York State beef shanks.
Located just around the corner from the King’s Theater, a stunningly restored 1929 landmark in Flatbush, Delroy’s serves Caribbean comfort food like Scotch bonnet-flecked Jamaican omelets for breakfast, tender roast fish, and not-to-be-missed Rasta Pastas, studded with spicy peppers and your choice of chicken or shrimp. Delroy himself is often manning the smokers out front, or fixing drinks at the low-key rear bar. 14 Duryea Place
Named for an NYC newspaper that shuttered in 1948 and was written in Ladino, a cross between Hebrew and Castillan, La Vara serves Spanish fare with Jewish and Moorish accents. The elegant, Michelin-starred Cobble Hill haunt is helmed by chefs Alex Raij and Eder Montero, who also run popular Manhattan tapas destinations Txikito and El Quinto Pino. Specialties include fried artichokes with anchovy-flecked aioli, Menorcan sausage on toast, and fideuá, a Valencian shellfish paella.
Those who believe good barbecue doesn’t exist north of the Mason-Dixon line might find themselves singing a different tune after visiting this gargantuan Red Hook destination. The convivial space is counter-serve only, and pitmaster/owner Billy Durney is often working the room personally. The Texas-style ‘cue includes meltingly tender smoked brisket, lamb belly, pulled pork, and turkey by the half-pound, as well as ribs, links, sandwiches, and sides such as smoked pit beans, queso-style mac and cheese, and porky collards.
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Exposed beams, power-clashing wallpaper, and a handsome wooden bar give this Williamsburg gastropub a timeless vibe (it opened in 2011). Expect clever preparations of seasonal vegetables, like curried romanesco cauliflower, wild mushroom cavatelli, and red Kuri squash with cilantro, as well as comforting roast chicken and excellent burgers. The wine list includes several organic and biodynamic options, and the craft beer selection spans local New York state breweries and Jordan’s Carakale Brewing Company. 124 Bedford Ave.
You can’t discuss Brooklyn food culture without talking about Roberta’s. The sprawling complex turned an industrial corner of Bushwick into a dining destination, complete with a rooftop vegetable garden, Michelin-starred restaurant, Blanca, radio network, and, of course, table after table topped with chewy, Neopolitan-sized pizzas, perfectly blistered and topped with sopressata and honey, jalapenos and salume, or something similarly delicious. There are countless places to eat pizza in Brooklyn, but none are quite like Roberta’s. 261 Moore St.
Since 1887, charmingly gruff waiters have been serving superlative chops at this landmark steakhouse inches from the Williamsburg Bridge. The dry-aged porterhouse, crisp tomato salad, and indulgently thick-cut bacon are as tasty as ever, and continue to delight generations of diners, from Long Island tourists to Williamsburg lifers, all hungry for a taste of classic NYC. 178 Broadway
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