Red Hook might be a lesser-known name amongst the more infamous neighborhoods in Brooklyn, but the food scene in this area is not to be underestimated. Located along the backdrop of shipping yards and warehouses that pre-date the Civil war, there’s a lot of history in Red Hook.
This casual sea-side vibe lends itself perfectly to the foodie scene. The populus is young and hip, working families and artists crave creativity on their plate, and Red Hook doesn’t disappoint. Quirky eateries and cozy bars are easy to find around the corner from edgy art galleries here.
Red Hook is also home to Van Brunt Stillhouse and Widow Jane Distillery, so if you want to make an afternoon of your outing, check out a tour before grabbing lunch at one of these recommendations. Check out my list of the 14 best restaurants in Red Hook Brooklyn below!
- Defonte’s Sandwich Shop
- Hometown Bar-B-Que
- Fort Defiance
- Brooklyn Crab
- Brooklyn Ice House
- Red Hook Lobster Pound
- Somtum Der
- Court Street Grocers Hero Shop
- Sunny’s Bar
- Pizza Moto
- Hoek Pizza
- Jam’It Bistro
379 Columbia St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Here’s the perfect afternoon: a stroll in Coffey Park and a bite to eat at Defonte’s after. Few things feel quite as quintessentially New York than the story of an immigrant making their way in an unfamiliar new place filled with possibility.
That’s the story of Defonte’s when the original owner came to start the sandwich shop after a man named Brooklyn offered Nick Defante his shop for just $100 in 1922.
A hundred years later, you can find the best hot and cold heros in the city here. Try the Nicky special, but come hungry. You’ll find ham, capicola, salami, provolone, fried eggplant, hot salad, marinated mushrooms, lettuce tomato, and oil and vinegar piled high on this sub.
454 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Finding pit-smoked barbecue in Brooklyn is a dream come true at Hometown. They use oak wood in their traditional southern-style smoker, and service is walk-up until the day’s goods are sold out.
You can often enjoy live music while you wait. Make a day of it and check out the Waterfront Museum just a few blocks away or visit IKEA down the street.
Beef, pork, turkey, and chicken alike can all be found in various delightful states of smokiness across the menu at Hometown. But if you’re after something unique, try out their Vietnamese hot wings–with sesame seeds, scallions, and cilantro ranch–or the lamb banh mi with the perfect crunch from a toasty baguette and tangy pickled daikon.
347 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Here’s a date idea: explore the unique sculptures at the Golden Anvil museum and grab a sandwich and provisions for a little picnic at Fort Defiance.
Known for its hearty brunch menu, Fort Defiance is in an exciting state of transition as they move locations down the block to a bigger building. Soon, the eatery will offer a full dinner menu.
In the meantime, grab a seat with a good book and indulge in a cheddar biscuit and signature King Bee cocktail with vodka, tea, and lemon. If you’re craving a hot dish, try the Charleston breakfast platter–it features poached eggs, savory cooked greens, and a hearty portion of homemade cornbread.
24 Reed St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Seafood reigns supreme at Brooklyn Crab. They’ve got great happy hour specials that leave customers full and satisfied, like $6 lagers and $1 oysters.
Those prices are hard to find over in Manhattan, but in Red Hook, you’re sure to find incredible flavors and deals. The crab roll is well-portioned, the lobster mac n cheese is nice and creamy, and the snow crab steam pot arrives at the table piping hot.
The upstairs has some water views to add to the ambiance, which is that beautiful open-air seafood vibe that makes you crave mouthfuls of all the yummy goods the salty sea has to offer. The restaurant is open only on weekends, so plan ahead for maximum relaxation, and be sure to check out their impressive drink menu.
318 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Manhattanites wish this classic eatery was on their island! Barbeque has another great home at Brooklyn Ice House, where you can enjoy sandwiches that are too good to be true, especially in a dive bar. Where else can you find two pulled pork sandwiches for $7 bucks?
There’s a backyard where regulars enjoy cutting loose and socializing, and it can get a little crowded on weekends, especially when brunch is in full swing.
This neighborhood bar has friendly staff and great food. Next time you’re wrapping up another Frito pie, don’t hesitate to finish off the night with a slice of Steve’s key lime pie for dessert.
284 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
If you’re catching an art exhibit at the Pioneer Works gallery, Red Hook Lobster Pound is the perfect place to grab dinner. Fresh lobsters are delivered daily from Maine, and they have options for indoor dining as well as heat lamps to enjoy outdoor dining comfortably all year long.
The fried lobster roll is the fan favorite, and it’s easy to see why. The buttery goodness of this roll is infamous in these parts.
They also ensure a rotating menu of delicious local beers from New York and New England. The menu doesn’t stop there–they also feature all the seafood classics you’d hope to find, including hearty boils, shrimp and crab cocktails, and clams.
380 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
This flavorful eatery presents Isan cuisine. Isan is situated near Louis Valentino, Jr. Park and Pier, and these flavor offerings are accordingly upbeat and spicy. This restaurant has earned and held onto a Michelin star for its unique menu–need I say more? You’ve gotta check this place out.
The menu is broken down by category. First is its infamous Somtum, papaya salads, which are delicately balanced with noodles, herbs, oils, and meats. They also have a selection of fried and grilled meats and fishes, soups, spicy salads, and more. You can also find all your favorite thai dishes here, so even the more timid eaters in your group will be able to find something delicious to try.
359 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Phone: 718-222-0345 ext. 1
Dessert fanatics will delight in all things Baked. They not only have classic American baked goods and a cafe, but their laboratory focuses on creating “better baking mixes” with familiar, whole ingredients in addition to putting out delicious granola and dessert spreads. They’re pretty popular, so be sure to place your order for special gatherings sooner rather than later.
The sweet and salty brownie is a popular choice, as is the brookster–a cookie baked inside a brownie. These creative combinations are what keep bringing back repeat customers, always curious to see what the imaginative minds at Baked are going to think up next.
116 Sullivan St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
If you’re in Red Hook to do some furniture shopping, instead of planning to grab lunch on-site at Ikea, why don’t you try a new sandwich shop? Court Street Grocers has a smattering of tasty breakfast sandwiches and lunch heros.
If you’re looking for a vegetarian treat, try the olliflower hero: it’s got roasted cauliflower, melted provolone, broccoli rabe, a drizzling of crystal hot honey, and a smear of mayo across a seeded hero. The droopy also is amazing, with grass-fed roast beef, french’s fried onions for crunch, fresh peppery arugula, and a seeded hero slathered in horseradish mayo.
253 Conover St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
This bar has seen Red Hook through the ages. Adorned with knick-knacks and a changing name over the decades, this saloon has been around since the 1890s. You can expect to find live music here often, especially full-band bluegrass (with an accordion!).
It’s got a great atmosphere and a full liquor bar. There’s no kitchen, so this is a place you come to have a great time after dinner. Regulars insist this is one of the best bars across the entire city. Come check out this funky old joint and see why for yourself.
338 Hamilton Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11231
When you’re after quality pizza in Red Hook, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Pizza Moto. Open Thursday through Sunday, plan ahead for this to be your weekend treat and gather your friends for a feast so you can try a couple pies at once. Their eggs in hell pizza is their most famous, with tomatoes, bacon, a generous swirl of chili oil, a soft-cooked egg, and mozzarella.
They also have other delights on the menu, like a crunchy Caesar salad with smoked trout or the beef and ricotta meatballs. Whatever you do, save room for a slice of the dark chocolate olive oil cake with cream.
117 Ferris St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Hoek Pizza gives Pizza Moto a run for its money. Another pizza joint in Red Hook, this place differentiates itself with its classic Roman-style pizza.
With eight classic pizza combinations, you have a simple menu to choose from with a boatload of flavor to back it up. They also have sandwiches if you’re looking for something different.
The bar is equipped with cocktails, beer, and wine, and the sweetest condition cocktail with rye whiskey, amarena cherries, lemon, and honey sounds like the perfect thing to sip with a spicy soppressata pie and added anchovies.
367 Columbia St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
This list wouldn’t be complete without an epic Jamaican joint. The jerk chicken here is legendary, but they’ve got all the classics–oxtail, curries, codfish–along with some exciting add-ons, like coconut shrimp, hot wings, and grilled salmon.
The atmosphere has casual vibes, and the menu is colorful in flavor. They don’t limit themselves to only Jamaican food here, allowing for a melting pot of influence from Italian, West Indian, and vegetarian cuisine.
The dessert options include coconut cake and red velvet cake, both so rich and creamy you’ll forget it’s not the main event.
187 Columbia St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Mexican food is a delicious classic sure to please everyone in your party. One of the most memorable parts of a visit to Alma is its insane views.
The rooftop level has open-air dining that opens up into the magical panoramic view of the lower Manhattan skyline. Enjoy a pint-sized margarita and watch the light change as sunset transforms the view.
When it’s happy hour, you can indulge in nachos, wings, and queso fundido–cheddar cheese baked with chorizo, black beans, jalapeno, and onions and eaten with soft corn tortillas. Save room for tres leches cake to finish the experience!
Red Hook has historic, seaside vibes and a food scene that’s constantly evolving. Try out each of these places and see which ones make your own favorites list. You’re bound to find almost any cuisine you can imagine when you take a culinary journey through Red Hook, Brooklyn.
If you’d rather just go somewhere for drinks in Red Hook, check out this list of fun bars to visit around town!
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
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