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The best Brooklyn restaurants for hipsters
Looking for dining destinations in New York? Brooklyn’s where the gastronomic adventures are truly taking place. Here's our pick of 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. Worldwide fashion trends are started by Williamsburg residents, while young families have found friendly enclaves 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 ranging from lobster rolls to vegan Dun-Well Doughnuts, while Berg’n is an indoor beer hall packed with idiosyncratic food options (ramen burger, anyone?).
But food in Brooklyn isn’t just casual. Blanca — a 12-seat restaurant hidden within Roberta’s Pizza — remains one of the city’s most coveted tables, while Aska brings adventurous New Nordic techniques to the Big Apple.
But fret not, intrepid diners; even if you can’t score that exclusive res, Brooklyn has so many fantastic eateries that you’ll never go hungry. Thanks in part goes to Andrew Tarlow, whose local 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 in his stable, as well as Fort Greene’s Roman’s, where the menu changes nightly and Italian 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 you’ll find Egg, home to arguably the city’s finest breakfast; 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); kooky sweet treats at Milk Bar; and perhaps the best 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 Frankies 457 Spuntino (where you’ll find our favourite haute meatball parmesan sandwich). Then there’s Olmsted, with a super-fresh locavore ethos, and Grand Army, which combines next-level cocktails with delicious seafood. And don’t miss Al Di La Trattoria in Park Slope — one of the Brooklyn old guard, it’s still very much worth visiting.
Don’t stop there. You’ll find your fill of Asian eats in Brooklyn too. Score creative Thai food at Samui in Fort Greene and Pok Pok Ny in the Columbia Waterfront District, and swing by Ichiran in Bushwick for New York Times-approved bowls of ramen.
And, of course, you can’t leave Brooklyn without noshing on pizza. DUMBO’s classic old-school pizzeria, Grimaldi’s is a must-visit, while Emily in Clinton Hill puts a modern spin on its pies (tomatillo sauce, anyone?). The aforementioned Roberta’s is another sure-fire bet, while Di Fara’s is nothing short of a Brooklyn icon.
Well, it looks like you have some chowing to do. Get thee to Brooklyn, and come hungry.
Written by Andrew Stone