310 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Our Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Cards: All Major
Subway: L to Bedford Ave.
Time Out New York says:
The cheap-eats favorite branches out to Williamsburg, with an expanded menu. Fans of the Chinatown location will find favorites like the fried pork-and-chive dumplings, puffy sesame pancakes stuffed with beef, and pork-and-shrimp wontons with a spicy soy-vinegar sauce. Vegetarians can nosh on items exclusive to this spot: noodles sautéed with vegetables or a four-mushroom roll in tofu skin.
Sure, they may have kicked out Monster Island to make way for more luxury condos, but there’s always room in Williamsburg for more cheap eats, particularly the kind of cheap eats that efficiently soak up that extra Jack-and-coke you probably didn’t need. Enter the first Brooklyn outpost of Vanessa’s Dumplings, sitting pretty in a prime piece of Bedford Avenue real estate.
Dumpling fans are probably already familiar with the mini-chain from its Chinatown and East Village locations, but if you’re not, here’s the drill: Vanessa’s is cheap (dumplings are $2-5, sesame pancake sandwiches $1-3, seemingly random Japanese teriyaki platters $4-7), fast, and no-frills. The dumplings aren’t as good as any of these, but for the neighborhood, they’re more than serviceable and we’re willing to bet this place will be packed, especially after-hours. A rep tells us that while they’re only open until 10:30 p.m. now, within a few weeks they hope to expand their hours until 1 a.m. to appease the legions of grease-seeking bar-hoppers. It’s certainly much more affordable than some other late-night options nearby.
They also a few additional menu items for the Williamsburg location, like a fried mushroom roll, green salad, and chicken and basil fried buns. We suggest grabbing an order of fried pork-and-chives and bringing them across the street to undersung neighborhood bar Lucky Dog for a night to remember.