New York City is known as one of the best food cities worldwide. The borough of Brooklyn is a huge reason for that reputation, and I’m happy to tell you that it’s 100% true.
Brooklyn has been a cultural center for decades, bringing in the best artists, musicians, writers, and chefs. That means that new restaurants are constantly popping up, showcasing fresh, regional cuisine cooked perfectly.
But don’t think that Brooklyn just has new, modern restaurants. On almost every corner, you’ll find a neighborhood joint serving up classics. No matter what kind of cuisine you want and what time of day you’re hungry, Brooklyn has hundreds of spots ready to blow your mind.
So take a trip with me over the Brooklyn Bridge through Williamsburg, Bushwick, and every space in between. You’ll get to see some spots that have opened in the last 12 months and some that have been open for decades. Check out my list of the best restaurants in Brooklyn, NYC below!
94 Franklin St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
We start our food journey in Greenpoint at one of the area’s newest restaurants, Taqueria Ramirez. This tiny spot on Franklin Street has been enormous, with fans every since opening in 2021. The location is small, but the food is absolutely delicious. The chefs cook everything in a stainless steel vat called a choricera.
If you come to Taqueria Ramirez, you’re coming for the tacos. They are slow-simmered and delicious. But, for a true delicacy, order the tripe. The chef blowtorches it for a few seconds, and then it comes to you charred and perfect. It’s a must-try if you visit!
136 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Sitting right on Broadway is Francie. Francie is a brasserie serving food and craft cocktails with a distinctly European flair. The open kitchen and high ceilings give off a great vibe for indoor dining, making Francie a destination spot and one of the best restaurants in Brooklyn.
When I visit Francie, I always get the Heritage Pork. They serve it with molasses, cabbage, and cherry peppers. It’s a hearty treat but great for the colder seasons and is a superb entree. Francie’s signature martini is a classic and comes shaken, not stirred. Grab a few, and you’re guaranteed a great night.
659 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
For an authentic farm-to-table experience, head over to Vanderbilt Avenue, and you’ll find Olmsted. The Olmsted menu is seasonal and features a lot of ingredients that are grown in the backyard garden.
The dining room even features a living wall and lush garden, so you know that everything you’re getting is fresh and thoughtful.
Because the menu is seasonal, you never know what you’re going to get. If available, though, absolutely get the beer-battered squash rings. These are fried to a perfect golden brown and served alongside house-made green tomato ketchup. For an entree, the roasted duck breast with charred cabbage is sublime.
268 Clinton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Walk by La Vara, near Cobble Hill, and you might confuse it for a storefront. But this storefront houses one of Brooklyn’s best dining spots. Boasting a unique menu combining the best Spanish, Jewish, and Moorish cuisine, La Vara offers flavors that you won’t find anywhere else in the city.
The Ensalada de Lentejas is a terrific lentil salad that comes with black-eyed peas, scallions, and a tart grape leaf vinaigrette. The Bakalao is a twist on a classic preparation, with house-cured salt cod served alongside pisto and pil pil sauce. It’s filling and delicious! The wine list is also one of the best around.
112 Harrison Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Located in the heart of Bushwick, Falansai specializes in Vietnamese-American cuisine. Falansai keeps their menu seasonal and is pretty unique in that they practice whole animal butchery.
That means they’re making the most of every protein and serving one-of-a-kind meals. In addition, Falansai offers a specialty meal featuring one animal at any given time, which is a real treat.
They do have excellent a-la-carte options as well. For example, I’m a huge fan of Dad’s Egg Rolls. These are a twist on the classic American egg roll, with Berkshire pork and wood ear mushrooms served in lettuce wraps alongside a fish sauce vinaigrette. They’re fantastic!
Gage & Tollner
372 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Gage & Tollner is one of Brooklyn’s most famed restaurants, having served locals and tourists on Fulton Street for more than a century.
The current owners are working to restore the restaurant and make it an oyster and chop house that can keep providing memories and good meals for decades to come. The dining room just oozes history.
Gage & Tollner has a great raw bar showcasing Atlantic delicacies. All the steaks are excellent dinner options, but try out the braised pork shank for something different. The chef slow-cooks it until amazingly tender, then serves it next to grits, delicata squash, fermented cranberry jam, and a gremolata. It’s intense, complex, and a must-have.
Paulie Gee’s is a wood-fired pizzeria with a couple of locations in Brooklyn. The main restaurant, on Greenpoint Avenue, is dine-in only. The Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop on Franklin Street offers pick-up and takeout. In either location, you’re getting crisp and creative pizza served piping hot.
The Brian DeParma is simple, just Italian tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano. It’s a great introduction to the menu. From there, you can branch out into super-creative pies.
For me, one of the highlights is the Monte Cristo. It’s a mild Gouda and sliced Canadian bacon pizza finished with a maple syrup drizzle. Sweet, savory, and spectacular!
75 St Marks Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Sofreh is a hip and lively spot on St. Marks Avenue. It offers modern Persian food in a dining room that’s been whitewashed except for the wood-beam ceilings.
Everything at Sofreh is homemade, from the loaves of bread to the yogurts. You’ll love the sights, the smells, the sounds, and the tastes when you take a trip to Sofreh!
The Feta & Herbs Flat Bread is a beautiful starter, combining sheep’s milk feta, herbs, walnuts, and radish on house-baked bread. I also recommend getting the Lamb Shank. This slow-braised lamb is served with butter beans, fresh dill, and dried lime broth.
91 S 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
For a contemporary take on Mexican cuisine, make a reservation at Aldama, located under the Williamsburg Bridge. Offering outdoor dining when the weather allows, Aldama is a tasty experience that you won’t usually find outside of Mexico City.
The guacamole is an absolute must as an appetizer. It blows away any guacamole you’re getting at the store or making at home.
For my entree, I always get the vegan mole. A rich mole sauce comes together with ajillo mushrooms, black truffles, and quelites chinos to form a complex, spicy and warm dish that you’ll want to try again and again.
284 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Claro is another fantastic spot for Mexican dining in Brooklyn, sitting on 3rd Avenue. Their menu centers on dishes from the Oaxaca region, as well as a tremendous array of mezcals. If you can, go when the weather is nice and dine al fresco under their veranda.
The Mole Rojo with heritage pork cheek, chicories, and apple is great if available when you visit. Claro also suggests mezcals to match every single entree on the menu. If you want some variety, the restaurant also offers mezcal flights with a little bit of something for everyone. It’s a true experience.
al di la Trattoria
248 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
If you’re someone with a bit of an old-school sensibility, ai di la Trattoria is a spot for you. Since it opened a few blocks from the Old Stone House in 1998, ai di la has specialized in Northern Italian food and great wine inside an old-world-feeling dining room. Locals rave about ai di la!
The menu rotates pretty frequently, so it’s tough to nail down one recommendation. The good news is that everything is fantastic! If you can, get a pasta dish like the Spaghetti Vongole. It comes with Manila Clams, hot peppers, garlic, and oregano. It sounds straightforward, but the flavors complement each other absolutely perfectly.
791 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Oxalis sits just a few steps from both the Brooklyn Museum and Prospect Park. This bistro makes a great stop after a day at the park or the museum.
Oxalis offers two completely different menus. An a la carte menu is available for their outdoor garden seating. Each night, Oxalis also offers a nine-course seasonal tasting menu. Spots are extremely limited, so book early!
The a la carte menu has some great options that are always available, like the Smoked Steelhead Trout, Bergamot, Horseradish, and Cauliflower. Oxalis is also a great spot to get some wine and fresh bread and just hang out!
127 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Colonie is a modern American restaurant just a couple blocks away from the East River. The menu focuses heavily on farm-to-table cuisine, especially from area farms. The dining room is full of warm woods, inspired by the trees that line Atlantic Avenue.
Start your meal with a couple of small plates. I recommend the duck fat fried dates, served with labneh, thyme, and sea salt.
The duck fat adds a fantastic umami flavor to the dates. Colonie also has excellent pasta dishes, including the rigatoni. This dish comes with braised chicken, sausage, tomato, and fresh Pecorino cheese.
The River Café
1 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
The River Cafe is world-known as one of New York City’s finest dining spots. Sitting right under the Brooklyn Bridge, River Cafe boasts Michelin stars and one of the best wine lists you’ll find anywhere. An immaculate dining room and live piano music complete the ambiance. This fine-dining spot does require upscale attire, including jackets for men, so be prepared!
Everything on the menu is absolutely amazing. I start off with the Pear Salad, which has poached pears, bibb lettuce, bacon, a goat cheese fondue, and toasted walnut accented by a fresh cider vinaigrette. It’s refreshing and light enough to leave you room for your entree.
736 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Chavela’s, located on Franklin Avenue, is a haven for Brooklynites who love Mexican food. Chavela’s has been serving traditional Mexican cuisine and cocktails since 2007. The restaurant proved so popular that they moved to a bigger space and have been thrilling guests all the way!
No matter when you visit, treat yourself to a handmade margarita. They’re as authentic and delicious as it gets.
I also love to pick up the tacos Nopales. These are a vegetarian option with house-made tortillas surrounding cactus, avocado, pico de gallo, and queso fresco. These are so hearty that you won’t be missing the meat.
67 Fenimore St, Brooklyn, NY 11225
If you like the experience of dinner as much as the food, make a reservation at Honey Badger. Honey Badger is steps from Prospect Park and takes farm-to-table over to wild-to-table, as they work directly with hunters and foragers for their meals. Then, they apply classic and modern techniques for tasting menus that change every single day.
Because Honey Badger relies on the food that they get, it’s tough to recommend any single dish. But, rest assured, the kitchen is good at everything.
They’ll usually have some kind of pasta dish alongside exotic vegetables, fish, and meat. Reservations are required, so be sure to plan ahead!
Sunday In Brooklyn
348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249
To me, Sunday in Brooklyn on Wythe Avenue is one of the best neighborhood eateries in the entire borough. They have a super-comfortable dining room, plus an additional space and garden upstairs. The drinks are fresh, and the food is fantastic. What else could you want?
My favorite meal at Sunday in Brooklyn is brunch. I start off with a fresh-baked maple cheddar biscuit, then go right into the famous Sunday Pancakes.
They come with a hazelnut maple praline and brown butter. You can get up to three in an order along with a side of thick-cut bacon. It’s the perfect weekend meal.
339A 2nd St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Benchmark is one of the best steakhouses in Brooklyn. It’s an intimate space located in an old carriage house on 2nd Street. They have an outdoor patio that offers a ton of room and great views.
The Nacho is an enjoyable starter. The fresh tortilla chips are absolutely smothered in chicken, guacamole, house jalapeno cheese sauce, black beans, salsa, and creme fraiche. But, really, you’re coming for the steaks!
For a shared experience, get the dry-aged porterhouse which you can buy for either two or three people. Add a side of goat cheese potato puree, and you’ll be in heaven.
1433 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
When you step into Catfish, located a couple of blocks from the Park Place Metro stop, you’ll feel like you’re entering a hip spot on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. The decor is very upscale-country, and the menu focuses on craft beer and Southern delights. Live music completes the experience!
Every meal at Catfish should start with a serving of their fresh cornbread, served warm with honey butter. I also lean toward the sandwiches at Catfish.
The Catfish Po’Boy is as straightforward as it gets: perfectly cooked catfish with lettuce, tomato, and a remoulade sauce on a crusty baguette. It’s all the best parts of New Orleans cuisine in a single sandwich.
Vinegar Hill House
72 Hudson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
If you’re like me and like a more relaxed dining experience, you’re sure to love Vinegar Hill House. This chill space fits right in with the historical part of the Brooklyn waterfront. Even better, in nice weather, you can eat outside under the shadow of a cherry tree.
Vinegar Hill House’s menu is new American and farm-to-table. The Farmstead Cheese served with a pear-apple compote and oat crackers is a perfect starter.
For an entree, look to the Red Wattle Pork Chop. It’s an upscaled version of a classic, with cheddar jalapeno grits and a pork jus that makes this one to remember.
1 John St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Located under the Manhattan Bridge, Celestine is one of the best restaurants in Brooklyn. It’s a great place to see the river and enjoy a cocktail while you’re having the wood-fired Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.
The homemade hummus blows away anything that you’ll get at the supermarket. Pair it with the house-made flatbread for dipping, and you’re in great shape.
If you’re looking to make an impression with a special someone, the branzino for two is a beautiful presentation. Served with grilled radicchio, chermoula, preserved lemon, and figs, it’s a great experience to share.
Bogota Latin Bistro
141 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Sitting in the heart of Park Slope is one of the hottest Latin restaurants in Brooklin, Bogota Latin Bistro. Bogota has a fun, colorful, and artsy decor with great cocktails and Pan-Latin cuisine to match. It’s a blast from the second you walk through the door.
Whether you’re a mojito person, a margarita person, or a sangria person, Bogota has you well covered. I always match my cocktail with some of Bogota’s tacos. They offer them with chicken chimichurri, steak, fish, chipotle shrimp, and veggie. Try one or try them all. They’re great, and the corn tortillas are incredibly addicting!
5610 Clarendon Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11203
Suede is an entertaining spot. Get yourself over to Clarendon Road for the modern Caribbean eats, rum cocktails, and a party-like atmosphere. The interior decor is very sleek. Suede is genuinely a treat for all your senses.
If you’ve never had a roti, Suede is a terrific place to get your first one. Picture a thin shell stuffed with your choice of seafood, curry goat, or veggies, served on top of a bed of rice then covered with a great sauce and a fried plantain. It’s an absolute must-try. For something a little more American, the jerk burger is spicy and delicious.
367 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Right down the street from the 7th Avenue Metro stop is Runner Up, the sister restaurant to Winner (another great restaurant!). Runner Up’s seating is all outside in their delightful garden area. Because it’s outside, though, plan accordingly!
At Runner Up, your party orders before being seated, meaning your wait time is at a minimum.
Fresh-baked garlic and cheddar monkey bread is the perfect app for colder days, but Runner Up also offers baguettes and focaccia for your bread course. I like to go hearty at Runner Up and get the half rotisserie chicken, served next to salsa verde and chicken jus. I pair that with a side of chicken fat potatoes.
657 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Kit, on Washington Avenue, is a wonderful space because it’s literally a new restaurant almost every time you go. Kit’s not a single restaurant on its own but an incubator for local chefs and artisans in the area. So, it’s always hosting different short-term pop-up restaurants covering a wide variety of cuisines.
Because of that, there’s not one recommended dish to try out, but everyone who’s hosted a pop-up at Kit is incredibly talented. For the most up-to-date offerings, check out their Instagram. That will usually indicate timing and menu. For a Brooklyn restaurant you can feel great about visiting, visit Kit!
Dog Day Afternoon
266 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215
The New York street cart hot dog is a tradition in the city. With Dog Day Afternoon on Prospect Park West, though, you can add the Chicago-style hot dog into the Brooklyn mix. With a tiny storefront and a tight menu, you might overlook Dog Day Afternoon, but the food makes this a must-try.
If you go, you have to get the Chicago dog. It’s a thick hot dog on a seeded bun with tomatoes, mustard, pickles, peppers, and celery salt. Everything comes together absolutely perfectly. You can also get a chili dog and a milkshake. It’s a great weekend spot!
80 Wythe Ave 6th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Bar Blondeau is a really cool spot. Sitting on the sixth floor of the Wythe Hotel, right in the middle of Williamsburg, Bar Blondeau offers excellent views of the surrounding skyline. Fortunately, they also provide hand-crafted signature cocktails and a menu full of seafood delicacies.
The cod tempura with yuzu mayonnaise is a great starter and very shareable. For a more vegetarian flair, check out the marinated eggplant. Served alongside chermoula and pistachio, this is a filling treat and great with a cocktail. Try out the martini blond with gin and vodka, plus vermouth, lemon oil, and an olive. Classic!
Cherry on Top
379 Suydam St #3B, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Cherry on Top, just down the street from Maria Hernandez Park, is one of Brooklyn’s hottest new dining spots. Coming from the mind of restaurant illustrator Cerise Zelenetz, Cherry on Top is akin to a Spanish wine bar. Come in, enjoy the decor, have some wine and snacks, and leave feeling very satisfied.
The bar has a fantastic selection of wines from around the globe, so no matter what your preferred variety, they’ll have something to delight you. I also highly recommend the taleggio & caramelized onion toast. It’s bite-sized and packed with flavor, which means you can eat it without making a big mess. Enjoy!
8504 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209
Over on 3rd Avenue is Ayat, a very homey and comfortable bistro serving authentic Palestinian food. Since it opened in 2020, Ayat’s been a massive hit with diners and critics alike. It offers an experience that you won’t often find in the heart of Brooklyn.
If you’ve never had Palestinian food, you may opt for either beef or chicken shawarma. It’s perfectly tender meat that can come as a sandwich or on a platter.
A great part about Ayat is that every single meal comes with rice, salad, baba ganoush, and some of the best homemade hummus I’ve ever had.
321 Starr St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Head over to Bushwick to visit a fabulous Thai restaurant in Tong. Tong offers modern Thai dishes and small plates in a really sleek, industrial-feeling space. It’s a hip spot and an enjoyable place to spend an evening.
Because Tong specializes in small plates, it’s an excellent place for friend gatherings or dates. My favorite is the gai tod hat yai. If you don’t speak Thai, know that it’s a spectacular plate of fried chicken.
Chicken thighs are fried to perfection and served with crispy shallots and a sweet chili sauce for dipping. Great with a cocktail!
Sobre Masa Tortilleria
52 Harrison Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Sobre Masa has two Brooklyn locations. One in Williamsburg is a cafe and a bar. The other is a dinner and late-night takeout spot in Bushwick. Both sites were founded by Mexican pastry chefs who decided that New York needed a spot with the best, freshest tortillas in the area.
Sobre Masa features those tortillas in everything they serve. The al pastor tacos come with heritage pork, pineapple, and spices and are a sweet and savory treat. The costra is essentially fried cheese on a tortilla, which is great to soak up Sobre Masa’s cocktails and beer selection.
There you have it! That’s about 30 of the best restaurants in Brooklyn. But, honestly? We’re really just scratching the surface. You could go out to a new restaurant for every meal for a year and still not come close to knowing everything that Brooklyn has to offer.
Brooklyn has restaurants for every kind of cuisine you can imagine. Want a fancy night out? You’ve got it. Are you just looking for a tasty spot at the end of a night of bar-hopping? You’re covered there too. Brunch spots? Absolutely.
If this list is a bit too broad for you, I suggest checking out some of my favorite pizza places located around Brooklyn.
Did we miss out on your favorite restaurant? Let us know down below in the comments and we’ll check it out!
Best Restaurants in Brooklyn
- Taqueria Ramirez
- La Vara
- Gage & Tollner
- Paulie Gee’s
- al di la Trattoria
- The River Café
- Honey Badger
- Sunday In Brooklyn
- Vinegar Hill House
- Bogota Latin Bistro
- Runner Up
- Dog Day Afternoon
- Bar Blondeau
- Cherry on Top
- Sobre Masa Tortilleria
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