Anyone on a trip to New York City on business or to visit friends would be remiss to let the trip pass by without exploring the thriving neighborhood of Downtown Brooklyn.
Located in the northwestern portion of the borough, Downtown Brooklyn is a great spot to do some shopping and enjoy a seriously good meal.
One of the best parts of Downtown Brooklyn is the food. A hot spot for students and young professionals, Downtown Brooklyn is overflowing with cute cafés, casual eateries, and hip restaurants.
Whether I’m craving a classic cheeseburger or want a fancy latte, Downtown Brooklyn is home to some of my favorite places in New York City.
With so many restaurants located in Downtown Brooklyn, it can be challenging to parse out which ones are worth checking out. To help, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite places to eat in the neighborhood.
These are some of the best restaurants in Downtown Brooklyn, ranging from casual joints to awesome date night locales. Check out my list of the best restaurants in Downtown Brooklyn below!
DeKalb Market Hall
445 Albee Square W, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Food halls are trendy right now and for good reason. Not only can they be financially beneficial for business owners, but they also give diners a great range of diverse and yummy dining options.
I love to go to DeKalb Market Hall, which is located in the downstairs area of City Point and features over 30 vendors offering international cuisines.
Highlights include Daigo Handroll, which has both modern and traditional Japanese hand rolls, and Creamline, which has classic American cuisine made with farm-fresh ingredients.
DeKalb Market Hall has something for everyone, ranging from authentic arepas to high-end smoothies.
Junior’s Restaurant & Bakery
386 Flatbush Ave Ext, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Calling all cheesecake lovers! Junior’s Restaurant & Bakery has a fantastic menu, but the main star is their iconic cheesecake.
This famous New York restaurant has been around since the 1950s and features elevated versions of classic diner and deli foods.
Located on the corner of Flatbush & DeKalb, this special piece of New York history is a can’t miss.
I enjoyed pairing the picturesque retro decor with one of Junior’s delicious cheesecakes. Made with fresh, premium ingredients, these cheesecakes go back to the restaurant’s origins.
The “No. 1 Original Cheesecake” is a classic, though I’m partial to the “Brownie Explosion Cheesecake.”
409 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Shake Shack is a New York staple. This popular chain is in a league of its own, with top-quality burgers and some mouth-watering milkshakes that have earned their reputation.
Located between Adams Street and Pearl Street, the Downtown Brooklyn Shake Shack is my preferred spot for a quick bite or to satisfy my fast food cravings.
I’m a fan of their famous Shackburger, arguably the best fast food cheeseburger in the game.
Complete the meal with a side of crinkle-cut fries and a hand-spun milkshake. For those with a big sweet tooth, their frozen custards are also worth a try.
Circa Brewing Co.
141 Lawrence St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Circa Brewing Co. is a fashionable and boisterous place to enjoy brunch, dinner, and craft brews. The bar has an edgy, industrial aesthetic with a brewery on site.
I like going to this spot with a group of friends when we want a casual setting to enjoy original beer and great New York bar food.
Circa Brewing’s head chef, David Thomas, curates an excellent menu that takes bar food to the next level.
The brick oven pizzas come with original and unique topping combos, and the appetizer menu includes elegant items such as a burrata dish and sweet tea brined chicken wings.
Forno Rosso Pizzeria
327 Gold St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
For a cozy Italian dining experience, head to Forno Rosso Pizzeria for authentic Neapolitan cuisine.
This bar and restaurant is the perfect place to kick back with some well-balanced cocktails and Italian food transports guests to Naples, Italy.
As any reputable Italian restaurant should, Forno Rosso Pizzeria has a fantastic selection of pizza and pasta dishes.
The fettuccine bolognese is a true classic, and the rib-eye steak is a beautiful ode to what Italians can do with the dish. All the pizzas are to die for, but my personal favorite is the burrata, provola, and speck pizza.
Bluestone Lane DUMBO Café
55 Prospect St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
With locations sprinkled throughout major cities in the United States, Bluestone Lane is the Australian-inspired café and restaurant that can’t be missed.
Whenever I’m walking around Brooklyn, I try to stop by the DUMBO location for an Australian-style latte and their avocado smash toast.
I love pretty much every menu item at Bluestone Lan, but there are a few in particular that I recommend for a first visit.
In terms of coffee, try the Australian classic flat white, or an Aussie iced latte (iced espresso with ice cream and milk—yum!).
For food, the banana bread topped with whipped ricotta, berries, and honey is an absolute dream.
180 Livingston St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
I’m a fan of barbecue, and I never pass up a chance to try the food at Dallas BBQ. This local chain can be found throughout New York City and offers a variety of barbecue dishes, American cuisine, and frozen drinks.
The menu has a great selection of barbecue favorites, as well as a few surprisingly healthy options. Go all out with the chicken and waffles or try out their Taco Bowl salad.
I always have fun when I go out to Dallas BBQ with my friends—we get a pitcher of their famous frozen margaritas and live it up while enjoying pulled pork, burgers, and more.
New Apollo Diner
155 Livingston St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Often called the most popular restaurant in Brooklyn, the New Apollo Diner is essential to a complete Brooklyn dining experience.
In true Brooklyn tradition, New Apollo Diner offers an elevated and perfected take on all of the classic American diner dishes.
For an authentic New York sandwich, order the Monte Cristo or open Reuben sandwich. Other options include Italian sandwiches, special comfort food dinners, and a variety of salads.
For dessert, I always make sure to order something from their lengthy selection of New York Cheesecakes.
148 Lawrence St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
For a quality Chinese food restaurant, there’s nothing better than Yaso Tangbao. This Chinese restaurant has an eclectic and modern aesthetic and has a reputation for serving up a fantastic dim sum menu beloved by residents in the neighborhood.
Yaso Tangbao boasts authentic Chinese dishes that are sure to satisfy every diner. The bao is my favorite, and the soup dumplings are absolutely fantastic.
If I could only get one thing, it would be the spicy pork soup dumplings, which are tender, juicy, and flavorful.
189 Bridge St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Located in the Vinegar Hill area of Downtown Brooklyn, Amarachi is a beautiful fusion of the African diaspora experience.
This beautiful restaurant shows off the richness of African and Caribbean culture, focusing on art, music, and, of course, cuisine.
I adore Amarachi’s classy and well-appointed dining environment and their selection of incredible dishes.
My favorite of all is the delicious beef suya and jollof rice. Other popular items include the jerk chicken wings and the signature Amarachi oxtails. Amarachi is also available for private events and catering services.
The Migrant Kitchen
55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
The Migrant Kitchen is a perfect reflection of the multicultural food scene in New York City. Their menu features Latin American and Middle Eastern dishes, in honor of the founders’ cultural roots.
Furthermore, The Migrant Kitchen engages with the NYC community by using a portion of their profits to provide meals to those in need.
When it comes to menu items to try, I could go on for days. Chefs Dan Dorado and Nasser Jaber are true innovators who come up with original takes on popular dishes.
From the slow-roasted pork shawarma to the superb roasted chicken, a meal at The Migrant Kitchen is sure to delight and surprise.
81 Washington St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Westville is a restaurant known for having a contemporary American cuisine menu that’s vegetarian-friendly, and its hip vibe is a great match for the Downtown Brooklyn scene.
A satisfying choice for either brunch or dinner, Westville provides food made from fresh, well-sourced ingredients that made me look forward to eating healthy.
In terms of what to order, I always adore the buffalo chicken mac and cheese, which is a big crowd-pleaser for all of the meat-eating Westville patrons.
The Tuscan salad is a major hit for all the vegetarians out there—even someone like myself, who usually hesitates with salads, will love this dish.
Time Out Market New York
55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Time Out Market New York is another great Brooklyn food hall. What sets this spot apart from the rest is its commitment to getting all of the classic New York food vendors under one roof.
Located in Empire Stores, the Time Out Market gives a chance to try all the best of New York dining in one fun dining hall.
This trendy food hall has so many great vendors, and sometimes I feel like I could spend all day there.
Some of my favorite highlights include the southern cuisine at Jacob’s Pickles, the vegan eats at BKLYN Wild, and the delicious brunch food at the Clinton St. Baking Company.
Menya Jiro Brooklyn
306 Gold St C2, Brooklyn, NY 11201
For an authentic New York City ramen experience, I recommend stopping by Menya Jiro in Brooklyn. With a modern and timeless aesthetic, this Downtown Brooklyn restaurant nails a whole range of soup and sushi dishes.
Menya Jiro is best known for its fantastic ramen menu. I advise sampling the rich ramen and the spicy ramen—both are popular favorites.
Menya Jiro also offers a wonderful sushi selection, with the spicy salmon sushi getting rave reviews. Other notable items include the spicy fried chicken and the pan-fried dumplings.
320 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
French Louie is a twee and comforting French Canadian bistro in Downtown Brooklyn. This cozy restaurant features charming leather banquettes, a classy wooden bar, and plenty of outdoor seating.
The menu is a great blend of contemporary American and French Canadian cuisine and is particularly popular for brunch.
I recommend their dishes that have the biggest French Canadian influences. At brunch time, enjoy the creme brulee French toast. For dinner, try out the lamb leg chop steak Frites or Peconic escargot.
193 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
The Thai food at Charm Kao is like no other. Charm Kao pays homage to the urban Thai dining culture, especially that of Bangkok.
The restaurant is small but incredibly charming and sweet, and the attention paid to the quality of food makes it a wonderful dining experience.
Each dish is prepared with attention and care, but a few are standouts. Charm Kao pulls from all kinds of regional cuisines in Thailand, allowing customers to go on a mini-tour of the country’s cooking.
I suggest trying the papaya salad and the Kua Kling ground pork, which are both excellent.
38 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Noodle Pudding is a Brooklyn secret: I like a real local when I dine at this wholesome and homey Italian restaurant.
This simple restaurant with no sign and charming window boxes filled with flowers may seem like not much, but it offers high-quality Italian cuisine at a fraction of the typical New York Prices.
Any of the pasta dishes at Noodle Pudding are excellent, but I would be remiss to not put a word in for their excellent gnocchi.
Noodle Pudding also has remarkably high-quality seafood dishes—their fish and scallops are always so fresh and delicious. For meat-eaters, be sure to try one of their prosciutto appetizers.
1 John St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Celestine is a beautiful restaurant that serves modern Mediterranean cuisine and a stunning waterfront view.
This elegant restaurant is upscale without being exclusive, making it a nice date night experience for all. Between the simple decor and fantastic food, Celestine highlights the grace of a minimalist and refined restaurant.
The menu is eclectic and intentional, drawing influence from the Mediterranean, Northern Africa, and the Middle East.
Some of the notable menu items include the short rib Turkish manti and the housemade za’atar flatbread. Honestly, just the flatbread alone makes me want to go to Celestine.
Additionally, the bar makes some wonderful and unique cocktails, such as a turmeric gin and tonic.
Vinegar Hill House
72 Hudson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
At first glance, it may seem casual, but Vinegar Hill House takes food seriously and may just be my favorite restaurant in the neighborhood.
This moody and quirky restaurant boasts a menu with New American cuisine and each dish is carefully and thoughtfully designed.
The stylish brunch menu is a high-class person’s hangover cure, and the dinner menu is consistently delicious and unique.
Popular items include the chicken liver mousse and the cast iron chicken. Like any quality Brooklyn restaurant, the Vinegar Hill House bar makes some fantastic cocktails—the Manhattan and Negroni are my favorites.
15 Main St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Atrium DUMBO is a mature and refined restaurant that features a modern Mediterranean menu with some New American touches.
I go to Atrium whenever my parents are in town or if I have something special to celebrate. For a trendy New York dining experience, Atrium DUMBO is an appealing and delightful option.
This friendly and sophisticated restaurant offers seasonal menus with plenty of delightful and elegant dishes to choose from.
Current and past favorites include the Crescent Farm smoked duck breast and the Lioni Brooklyn Burrata appetizer.
Atrium DUMBO also has quite an impressive wine list, with over 200 different wines to choose from.
55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Cecconi’s Dumbo brings delightful and modern Italian class to the Brooklyn neighborhood. The restaurant specializes in handmade pasta, seafood, and classic Italian meals.
I love to go here for the beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline and the ambiance of a fancy Italian restaurant.
I adore the bucatini cacio e Pepe with black truffle. Other great dishes include the filet mignon, eggplant parmigiana, and the burrata and tomato appetizer.
Don’t forget to choose a beverage from their lengthy wine list and stick around for dessert—the profiteroles can’t be missed.
Downtown Brooklyn has a fantastic food culture, with great restaurants serving cuisines from almost every culture.
You can find delicious food no matter what kind you’re in the mood for. There’s everything from upscale sushi restaurants to Italian bistros and so much more.
If you’re looking more for a brunch spot here in Downtown Brooklyn, we’ve got you covered there as well.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!