From Lilia in Williamsburg, to Roberta’s in Bushwick, to Sauvage in Greenpoint, there’s just too much going on in North Brooklyn to navigate your way without a little help. We’ve got you covered. Here are our favorite restaurants in North Brooklyn.
Kings County Imperial - Wonderful Chinese-American food served up by two old friends who’ve traveled extensively throughout China and fell in love with the cuisine. The space is warm and cozy with a small bar specializing in Tiki-inspired cocktails. All the dishes are fresh with quality ingredients but we keep coming back for the crispy garlic chicken which is one of our favorite dishes, well anywhere. Our top choice for Chinese food in the neighborhood. Okonomi / YUJI Ramen - A tiny Japanese restaurant on the Graham Avenue L Train stop with multiple personalities. During the day, it's called Okonomi and serves up traditional Japanese set meals known as 'Ichiju sansai' that consist of miso soup, roasted fish, vegetables, and an egg served with rice. At night it becomes one of the city's more acclaimed ramen joints serving seasonal seafood as well as Mazemen (no-broth ramen dishes). The setting is indicative of Japanese minimalism and the seating is limited to 12 tables. From the owners: '[We] embody the Mottainai philosophy of minimizing waste and appreciating what is given. We source our seafood from the Atlantic Ocean. We shop for produce from local farmer’s markets. We make our ceramics with an artist based in upstate New York. Our greatest challenge is to honor the life in what surrounds us.' Reynard - The flagship restaurant at The Wythe Hotel by restaurateur Andrew Tarlow of Diner and Marlow & Sons fame. Expect seasonal American dishes and, of course, an obligatory burger -- a darn good one at that -- in a beautiful restored warehouse setting. For brunch, don't miss the cast-iron pancakes. It's a service included, tip-free zone, which softens the blow, slightly, when the check comes. Meadowsweet - Polo Dobkin's latest venture Meadowsweet is situated in the former home of South Williamsburg favorite Dressler — he was the chef there as well before it closed unexpectedly in 2014. Meadowsweet has no pretense, just honest, beautifully prepared food. We highly recommend it. They recently received a Michelin star for their simple, yet delicious New American cuisine. Maison Premiere - Maison Premiere has long been one of our favorite places in Williamsburg. We first fell in love with their 1/2 price oyster special, which they offer Monday-Friday 4pm-7pm. Their raw bar is unmatched in the city, irrespective of borough. We've also always appreciated the lovely design, that's reminiscent of a New Orleans-style, classic cocktail bar with a touch of old-timey Parisian flare. In recent years, they've expanded their menu to include more entrees as well such as Swordfish and a Lobster Roll. It's all a bit pricey but worth the splurge. Mesa Coyoacan - Yet another reason to travel to the Graham Avenue stop, Mesa Coyoacan has amazing, inventive Mexican food that is among the best we’ve had in all five boroughs. The Pollo Pipian is fantastic and we keep going back for the refreshing cucumber margarita. Though the shared tables can at times feel a bit cramped — sit at the bar unless you have a group — the stellar food keeps us returning for more. Delaware and Hudson - Chef Patti Jackson features traditional Mid-Atlantic and New England recipes “from Baltimore to Buffalo” in a laid-back dining room with flavors that are polished but still homey. She shines with her desserts (green tomato pie!) but dishes like ricotta dumplings, roasted pork loin, and roasted hen-o’-the-woods are all fantastic. (The menu is always changing). The one catch is that you can’t order a la carte, but since the tasting menu is only $48 for four courses, we’re not complaining. Radegast Hall & Biergarten - This spacious beer hall definitely fills up with bros and tourists on most nights, but it’s worth it for the food and festive atmosphere. The sausages are cheap and some of the best you'll find in New York City. If you’re interested in an entree, we recommend the Spicy Hungarian Goulash and Dumplings or the Grilled Smoked Pork Chop. Check their calendar for live jazz, bluegrass and more. St. Anselm - A steakhouse must have steak. St. Anselm has hanger, served here under the old-fashioned title of butcher’s steak, and a massive rib-eye for two, with nearly a foot of frenched bone sticking out of it to give it its menu name: Axe Handle Rib Eye. Allswell - A true neighborhood spot with an amazing chicken sandwich and a cozy dining room. The menu changes daily with an emphasis on farm-to-table, Southern-influenced cuisine. Allswell is one of those places you bypass when you're trying to impress someone with the new buzz restaurant, but nonetheless frequent for good, honest food. Marlow & Sons - Tucked away beneath the Williamsburg bridge in the increasingly posh South Williamsburg, Marlow & Sons has been pleasing crowds for nearly a decade. The bar’s back room feels like a saloon and expect great wine, oysters, exquisite service, and a small menu with classic American fare. (Locally-sourced of course). It can get a little tight on the weekends, but the food is worth the wait. Don’t miss the brick chicken, which sounds boring, but is quite exquisite. A great place for a romantic date. Rye - With its pre-prohibition era décor (they did it before it was trendy) and the best Old Fashioned we’ve ever tasted, Rye is a hidden gem. Don’t miss the meatloaf sandwich — it's made with ground veal, pork, short rib, and duck and comes with house-made pickles. It’s decadent, but amazing. Rye makes a great Bloody Mary too, with a touch of anise, which goes perfect with their Sunday brunch. Lilia - You’ll need a reservation, but buzz restaurant Lilia, is not to be missed. Stand-out dishes include the Grilled Clams appetizer, Sheeps Milk Cheese Filled Agnolotti, Veal Steak with Long Peppers and Rigatoni Diavola but you really can’t go wrong. The dining room is elegant and large and the chef, Missy Robbins, is famous for being the Obama’s favorite restaurateur. When the food is this exquisite, it would be a shame to only enjoy Lilia on special occasions.
Runners Up in Williamsburg
- All Hands – Chef Peter Lipson (Northern Spy, Empellon) is serving up seafood with a view of the Williamsburg bridge in this South Williamsburg cafe.
- Baci & Abbacci – Love the food, especially the perfect homemade lasagna.
- BAMONTE’S – Old world Soprano’s setting — stick to the homemade pastas and absorb the scenery.
- BOZU – Sit at the bar at this cozy Japanese joint and enjoy a handful of their small plates. We love the pork belly and the shrimp dumplings, but you can’t go wrong with the sushi either.
- BROOKLYN BOWL – Bowling alleys aren’t generally known for their food, but most don’t have award-winning chefs cooking for them either.
- Brooklyn Star –Brooklyn Star specializes in comfort food with a N’awlins twist. Must have dishes include the Molasses Brined Pork Chop and their fantastic fried chicken.
- THE COMMODORE – More of a bar vibe, but go for the fried chicken.
- D.O.C. WINE BAR – Romantic and perfect for wine and snacks.
- Fette Sau – Brisket, pulled pork, ribs, sausage! Fette Sau is a meat lover’s paradise.
- DOTORY – Great Korean food. Try the savory pancakes!
- MABLE’S SMOKEHOUSE – Less expensive than Fette Sau and more fun.
- Peter Luger – Only a runner-up because after 130 years, someone else needed a chance. This New York institution has been serving steaks since 1887.
- Shalom Japan Authentically inauthentic Jewish and Japanese food in South Williamsburg.” It’s an odd pairing, but somehow everything seems to fit. (Who doesn’t want to try matzo ball ramen!)
- SWEET CHICK – classic soul food staples (all organic) such as roasted pork tenderloin, dry-aged rib eye, & grilled fish in addition to chicken & waffles.
- MOTORINO – In South Williamsburg location with amazing artisinal pies in South Williamsburg.
- RAMEN YEBISU – Some of the best ramen in all of NYC. Delicious!
- Sunday in Brooklyn – Located in the former home of Isa in South Williamsburg, Sunday in Brooklyn has some of the tastiest New American food in North Brooklyn
- TABARE – Great food from Uruguay served by some very nice people in a quaint and romantic spot.
- Traif –You won’t find anything kosher on the menu – bacon donuts, baby back ribs, fois gras with egg and bacon, scallops – and that’s the point. A very eclectic and delicious menu for experimental eaters who love their pork and shellfish.
Glasserie - The stand-out dish at this deep Greenpoint gem is the rabbit for two. (It’s amazing). But Glasserie aims to please and serves many Mediterranean-inspired vegetarian dishes as well, such as Rice with yogurt, hen of the woods & toasted nuts. The space is beautiful — it’s inside a refurbished industrial glass factory beside Newton Creek. Don’t miss their flaky flat-bread to accompany your entree. Glasserie is one of our favorite restaurants in Greenpoint. Sauvage - Sauvage is the second restaurant from the people behind Maison Premiere. Where Maison Premiere's focus is on seafood, Sauvage focuses more on dishes like Heritage Pork with celery root and persimmon or Rabbit with roasted turnips. There's an abundance of small plates, many vegetarian, and a smaller raw bar. Come for a snack and a fancy cocktail or splurge on a dinner. If you're a fan of Maison Premiere, you will be very happy. Paulie Gee’s - The only place in New York where we don’t mind waiting 45 minutes to eat pizza. It’s that good. (Plus we can always meander next door for craft beer at Brouwerij Lane while we wait.) Paulie’s brick oven pies, served up in a beautifully renovated warehouse that looks more like a barn you’d find in upstate New York, are our favorite Brooklyn. Sorry Robertas. Start with the Greenpointer — a white pie with Fior di Latte, Baby Arugula, Olive Oil, Fresh Lemon Juice and Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano — and be sure to try one of the pies that has hot honey on it. Wash it all down with one of the many craft beers they have on the menu. A true Greenpoint gem. Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. - The understated space is warm and inviting, with black and white tiled floors, a raw bar, and a marble bar. Up front, Vinny Milburn is in charge of the market featuring fresh locally-sourced seafood and in the back Adam Geringer-Dunn runs the kitchen. The bar features a handful of craft beers and a small, but lovingly-curated selection of wines that pair well with oysters and the other light fare on the menu. You won’t find a better lobster roll anywhere in New York.
Runners Up in Greenpoint
- ACAPULCO – Amazing old school Mexican joint. Don’t miss the chorizo tacos and the house-made guac.
- ALAMEDA – Our favorite burger in a beautifully-designed setting.
- ANELLA – Tasty locavore fare in a low-traffic area of Greenpoint.
- CALEXICO – Great tacos and margaritas.
- Five Leaves – A seasonal cafe known as much for its food as it is for its too-cool-for-school clientele.
- Habitat – The best place to go food a cheap meal in Greenpoint. We love the house-made empanadas and the chicken sandwich. which both go down well with one of the dozen craft beers on tap.
- KARCZMA – When you want traditional Polish fare.
- Park Luncheonette – it ain’t Paulie’s but it’s damn good pizza pie in a cool park-side setting.
- Frankel’s Delicatessen – Brisket, Pastrami, Bagels with a Schmear … everything you would expect from a deli, but with a self-aware hipster atmosphere. Great food, but the space is tiny.
- Vamos Al Tequila – Everything is homemade in this North Greenpoint treasure. The margaritas are meh, but the food is outstanding, especially any dish made with their verde (green roasted poblano pepper) sauce.
Bunker - In Queens you have Sripraphai. In Cobble Hill there's Andy Ricker's Pok Pok. Bushwick now has Bunker Vietnamese -- they outgrew their smaller space in Ridgewood -- and they're cooking up some of the tastiest, most authentic Thai food in the city. It's a tad pricier than your standard Vietnamese restaurant with entrees in the $20 range, but feel confident that the ingredients are all freshly sourced and that you'll leave delighted. Highly recommended. Faro - If you miss Northeast Kingdom — a trendsetting restaurant that helped originate Brooklyn’s farm-to-table food craze in the aughts — take solace in Faro which was founded by the same restaurateurs. Faro’s use of fresh, seasonal ingredients paired with their delicious homemade pastas is a winning combination. The atmosphere is without frills, but you will not be disappointed with the menu. We recommend any of their homemade pastas, the roasted beets, the wood-fired octopus, or the steak. Make a reservation since Faro recently received a Michelin star. Roberta’s - Roberta's is the iconic restaurant in Bushwick that put the neighborhood on the map as an essential foodie destination. Anthony Bourdain is a fan (of course) and the New York Times call Roberta's “one of the more extraordinary restaurants in the United States.” We agree. Start with a brick oven pizza to share — we prefer any that include their house-made spicy honey — but be sure to try one of their always-changing, seasonal entrees. The waits are tremendous, so get on the list early. Thankfully, they have a large bar where you can enjoy a craft beer or frozen cocktail while you wait.
Runners Up in Bushwick
- BUNNA – Fantastic and fresh Ethiopian food.
- Le Garage – The menu is French and the food is simple, traditional and, well, delicious. Stand-outs include the chicken for two and the braised pork shoulder in milk with roasted fennel and chestnut.
- MOMO SUSHI SHACK – Great Japanese sushi and small plates, from the people who run Bozu.
- Falansai – Street-food Hanoi and Saigon style, with a subtle french twist.
- Tortilleria Mexicana los Hermanos – A family-run spot with homemade tortillas and some of the best, authentic Mexican food to be found in Brooklyn.