Looking for dining destinations in New York? Brooklyn’s where the gastronomic adventures are truly taking place. Here are the best Brooklyn restaurants to check out next time you’re in town.
So much has been made of Brooklyn in recent years, one wonders if the day will soon arrive when travellers forego Manhattan entirely and head straight for this boisterous borough instead. World-over fashion trends are sparked in the minds of Williamsburg residents, who don their haute apparel at the go-to bars, while chic city-goers and their families are getting cosy from Brooklyn Heights to Bushwick to Sunset Park. The art is also a major draw, with DUMBO rivalling Chelsea, Montmartre, Wynwood, and Cork Street when it comes to artistic innovation. But perhaps the greatest thing about Brooklyn these days is its food scene.
Delightful bites abound in Kings County (yes, that’s Brooklyn). Foodies travel far and wide to peruse the well-culled provisions at BKLYN Larder and devour artisan sandwiches. Smorgasburg, the flea-and-food market of your dreams, offers local items such as Brooklyn Piggies (pigs-in- a-blanket), Dun-Well Doughnuts, Handsome Hanks’ fish and chips, and to-die for lobster rolls from Red Hook Lobster Pound. The borough’s chefs are constantly demonstrating their daring recipes on the Food Network, while local products like Kings County Beef Jerky, Empire Mayo, and Brooklyn Soda Works stock the shelves at the finest food shops in the country.
In When Harry Met Sally, Carrie Fisher said: “Restaurants are to people in the 80s what theatre was to people in the 60s.” Well, Brooklyn’s restaurants are the life’s blood of the New York food scene. Chef’s Table at the Brooklyn Fare in Boerum Hill has become virtually impossible to penetrate, as it’s only 18 seats and the proud owner of three Michelin stars.
Fret not, intrepid diners; Brooklyn has so many fantastic eateries – more every week – so you’ll never go hungry, nor will your palate get bored. Let’s start with Andrew Tarlow, whose empire includes boundary-pushing, artisan-centric New American restaurants that are unilaterally revered by the city’s toughest food snobs. Tarlow’s casual, beloved Diner serves elevated takes on greasy spoon fare. Marlow & Sons is a cool café and oyster bar drawing on cherry-picked ingredients; Marlow & Daughters is the shop where these fab foodstuffs can be acquired for snacking and personal experimentation. He has the hopping Greenpoint bar-café, Achilles Heel, as well as Fort Greene’s Roman’s, where the menu changes nightly and flavours never fail to make palates purr. And we can’t ignore the Wythe Hotel; boisterous and oh-so boutique, with its resident nightspot, The Ides and high-minded restaurant Reynard.
And that’s just scratching the surface of the best Brooklyn restaurants. In Williamsburg there is Egg, arguably the city’s finest breakfast (sorry Norma’s); the gorgeous, Gatsby-esque oyster bar Maison Premiere (take it slow on the absinthe); Cal Elliott’s nuanced and comforting Rye; marvellous and meaty Fette Sau (serving the kind of pork belly you’ll dream of years from now); rib-sticker Allswell; ingredient-conscious (and adorable) Rabbithole; and perhaps the best darn classic steakhouse on the planet, Peter Luger’s.
And then there’s all that is not Williamsburg, which is plenty. We swoon for the farm-to-table philosophy driving Court Street’s Prime Meats, not to mention its wholly approachable sister spot Frankie’s 457 Spuntino (where you’ll find our favourite haute meatball parmesan sandwich). On Smith Street, meanwhile, make sure to visit the cosseting and creative Battersby for fresh, seasonal fare.
Al Di La Trattoria in Park Slope is consistently tagged as one of the best Brooklyn restaurants and most sought-after dinner spots, while Bar Corvo and Lincoln Station offer a similar sense of standout quality in Crown Heights. Also in Park Slope is the Brooklyn outpost of Mary’s Fish Camp, where seafood is served simply and sublimely. French country offerings and locally sourced wine can be found at Fort Greene’s iCi, or spicy fisherman’s stew and salsa verde-sided Berkshire pork chop at nearby Walter’s. The cornmeal-dusted skate is also worth trying at Prospect Heights’ James, and DUMBO’s classic old-school pizzeria, Grimaldi’s is a must-visit.
Well, it looks like you have some chowing to do. Get thee to Brooklyn, and come hungry.
Written by Andrew Stone