Over the past couple of decades, Brooklyn has become one of the trendiest boroughs in NYC. Brooklyn is its own little city with a slew of neighborhoods, parks, and communities all as distinct and diverse as the Big Apple is known to be.
Dumbo, or the neighborhood of Brooklyn that is Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, is one of Brooklyn and NYC’s wealthiest neighborhoods and hub of many national and international tech companies.
Lavish lofts and apartments with great views of the East River make up a large portion of the residential areas surrounding business buildings. The beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of Dumbo’s main attractions. Dumbo’s economic and residential wealth, along with the diversity and population density of NYC, makes Dumbo a prime culinary destination.
If you are looking for where to eat in Dumbo, you’ll be overwhelmed with the variety and excellence you’ll find in Dumbo restaurants. No matter which type of cuisine and dining experience you have in mind, you’ll find it on my list of the best restaurants in Dumbo.
111 Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Located right on the water, AlMar is a longstanding neighborhood restaurant offering happy hour and dinner during the week and brunch, lunch, and dinner on the weekends. AlMar serves modern Italian dishes and artisanal cocktails. The interior of the restaurant is open and airy, with spectacular views of the Manhattan Bridge.
I love their selection of antipasti, namely the grilled octopus with potato, celery, capers, and Castelvetrano olives. All pasta is made in-house and cooked to order, and their main dishes are all classic Italian preparation of meats and fish. I recommend the red wine braised rabbit or the Black Spaghetti with mussels, clams, shrimp, seppiolina, and calamari in tomato sauce.
55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Cecconi’s is a classic Italian restaurant out of London whose fine food and dining experience have earned them a European and American following. Not only is there a location in Dumbo, but also in Berlin, Barcelona, Miami, and L.A, to name a few.
Cecconi’s Dumbo is also right on the water with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and a classy wood and brick interior with old-fashioned chandeliers and light fixtures to match Dumbo’s historic buildings.
They serve lunch and dinner, and they have a brunch menu on the weekends, both with their respective cocktail menus. All pizzas are wood-fired, and all kinds of pasta are freshly made in-house daily. I recommend starting with the whipped ricotta crostini with truffle honey and the Bucatini cacio e pepe with black truffle for the main course.
15 Main St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Atrium Dumbo embraces the phrase “concrete jungle” by offering patrons an industrial-chic interior adorned with an entire wall of greenery. Atrium Dumbo’s food is all locally sourced from farmers and fishermen in the New York area. It’s also right across the street from the Brooklyn Bridge Park, adding to the theme of a green haven amidst an urban background.
They have a great happy hour with discounted drinks and bar bites from 5-7 pm every night. The menu changes seasonally, using the bounty of local harvests to dictate the dish offerings. I recommend trying the P.E.I mussels with coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass, and cilantro. They also make a delicious grilled Branzino with white bean stew and fish velouté emulsion.
81 Washington St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Westville is a New York favorite, with multiple locations around New York City. Westville is a farm-to-table American comfort food restaurant with accessible prices and a casual, welcoming, and family-friendly atmosphere. Their menu has every comfort food under the sun made with fresh and local ingredients.
My favorite comfort food is French fries, and the battered and seasoned yuka, sweet potato, and truffle potato fries at Westville do not disappoint. They have an entire selection of market vegetables fresh from the farm that you could make into a veggie plate.
I love their crispy brussels sprout poppers with sriracha aioli. You can also find all the comforting sandwiches, soups, salads, burgers, hot dogs, and veggie bowls you can possibly want.
66 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Seamore’s is a seafood restaurant out of Montauk with a prime Water Street location in Dumbo with great views of Manhattan. They offer beer, wine, cocktails, lunch, dinner, and brunch with a daily catch special and plenty of local fish and shellfish fresh off the boat. Seamore’s Dumbo has a nautical theme with bright aqua and light wood adorning their casual, family-friendly restaurant.
Most of their fish and shellfish come from the east coast, especially the daily catch. I loved the beer-battered fish sandwich, which always uses the daily catch. Although, it’s hard to pass up their Maine lobster mac n cheese baked with a three-cheese blend over rigatoni and topped with breadcrumbs.
1 John St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Celestine is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant located directly under the Manhattan Bridge and right on the water in a sunroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor eating areas during pleasant weather. Their location makes happy hour the ultimate golden hour to enjoy delicious, innovative cocktails while you swoon over the sunset-lit skyline and silhouette of the Manhattan Bridge.
Mediterranean food is all about sharing small plates of delicious spreads and salads. I recommend trying the Mezze platter with hummus, pistachio feta spread, muhammara dip with walnut and piquillo pepper, whipped labneh with local honey drizzle, and marinated olives served with freshly baked pita.
509 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
Serving up the very best of southern comfort food, craft cocktails, and American craft beer on tap, Jacob’s Pickles uses pickles and pickled veggies to accentuate and compliment the savory and sweet flavors of southern comfort food. Pickles, themselves, have a broad range of flavors, from sweet to tangy to salty to spicy, and you can find every variety at Jacob’s Pickles.
They have a killer brunch, lunch, and dinner menu with to-go pickles and fruit preserve jars for purchase. I also have a weak spot for Southern comfort food, so it’s hard to pick my favorite item from their amazing menu. I would start with the fried pickles with spicy red mayo or the pickled okra with chili flakes and scallions. Their buttermilk fried chicken biscuit with Nashville hot sauce and a hot and sour pickle served with cheese grits won my heart.
126 Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
With over twenty years in Dumbo, Superfine is one of the first restaurants to offer true farm-to-table, local, and sustainably sourced food in Brooklyn. They offer a fun and lively mid-century-modern environment with plenty of live music events and weekly specials like Taco Tuesday.
Their menu revolves around fresh, seasonal produce, dairy, meats, and fish, so it changes with the seasons. The menu also features southwestern, new American, Mediterranean, and Italian dishes. I recommend the pan-fried Mahi Mahi tacos with refried black beans, roasted tomato salsa, guacamole, and radish slaw.
Adams St &, Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Appropriately, if not obviously, named, Thai Sidewalk is a Thai food truck that is family-owned and operated, serving up authentic Thai food dishes to Brooklyn Heights lunch crowds. Their affordable pricing, friendly service, and hefty portions give them a faithful following.
Try their veggie curry puffs, a Thai take on empanadas. Their spicy green curry over rice and, of course, the pad Thai are my go-to orders. All dishes come with a base sauce and preparation with your choice of veggies, tofu, chicken, or shrimp. I’d also add a fried egg to any of the noodle or fried rice dishes.
54 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
dumboLUV is a Millennial, hipster paradise, using an exclusive and innovative approach to farm-to-table fare that involves a weekly menu based on the Chef’s farmer’s market findings every Friday. Plus, every Saturday, there is a special one-time-only dinner menu. The chef posts the following week’s menu online or on Instagram after his farmer’s market shop.
Since the menu changes weekly, it’s hard to recommend a dish unless you’ll go the week I went. The menu encompasses all types of world cuisine, and sometimes they have guest chefs with a specific specialty. If you go to their website, you can gander at this week’s menu or Instagram to see old menus and beautifully photographed dishes.
Bread & Spread
151 Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Bread & Spread is a sandwich shop offering the most decadent and complex breakfast and lunch sandwiches you’ll come across. It may be a pick-up or delivery restaurant, but it’s a far cry from a Subway or McDonalds. They use freshly baked artisanal bread and high-quality, locally sourced meats, cheeses, and produce.
Try the Porchetta with thinly sliced Creekstone Duroc pork belly with garlic and fennel seed, pickled red onions, arugula, red peppers spread, and aged provolone. The veggie sandwich is delicious as well, with shaved carrots, zucchini, yellow squash tossed in red wine vinaigrette with fresh tomato, avocado, watercress, and Muenster cheese on a seven-grain hero.
Front Street Pizza
80 Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Pizza in New York is world-famous, and Front Street Pizza has classic New York-style pizza along with treasured family recipes that set its pizza apart from the average slices you see on every corner. They have round pies and specialty pies, but they also have square, thin-crust pies and a huge assortment of pizza by the slice with unusual toppings.
Their menu also includes wings, appetizers, soups, and salads. I like to buy a few slices with different toppings. My favorite slices are the Penne Vodka sauce slice, the eggplant and ricotta slice, and the chicken bacon, and ranch slice.
55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Bklyn Wild is a vegan lunch and dinner restaurant, serving salads, bowls, and shareable plates to veggie-lovers and healthy-eating advocates. Even if you’re a meat lover, the freshness and flavorful combinations head Chef Ivy Starks brings to the table will impress you and leave you nourished and satisfied.
I would recommend the garden charcuterie with handmade veggie spreads, vegan cheeses, and crudite to share. I ordered the unicorn bowl as a main dish that was as colorful as its name, with purple sweet potatoes, pink lentils, pomegranate, chili coconut yogurt, and mint.
238 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Sugarcane is a raw bar and grill that has a raw sushi bar, a wood-fired grill, and a traditional kitchen. They offer a diversity of cuisines that encompass the various cooking installations, like sushi and sashimi (know the difference?) for the raw bar, and Italian, pan-Asian, and new American for the grill and kitchen.
I recommend trying the crispy rice rolls with yellowtail and kimchi slaw along with the shrimp ceviche with mango, celery, cucumber, red onion, and passion fruit aji with cassava chips. If you want a cooked meal, I recommend the duck and waffle with crispy leg confit, fried duck egg, and mustard maple syrup.
Time Out Market New York
55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Time Out Market is a food market/food court in Dumbo featuring some of New York’s premier chefs and restaurateurs offering special menus to the masses filtering in and out after a leisurely stroll along the waterfront or through the nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park. You can find everything from Indian street food to Mexican food to the famous Clinton St. Baking Company brunches.
Many of the purveyors at this giant open warehouse market are on my list, including Bklyn Wild, Jacob’s Pickles, and chef Ivy Parks’ special menu.
Em Vietnamese Bistro
57 Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Em Vietnamese Bistro is owned and run by a native Vietnamese woman chef and her Chinese-Vietnamese-American husband. Chef Ly Nguyen has cooking in her blood, raised amidst a bounty of tropical fruits and spices that her family sold from their farm.
She then moved to Saigon and opened up a popular restaurant in which her soon-to-be husband was a customer. After the two married, they moved to Brooklyn and opened Em Vietnamese Bistro that has received the highest praise from locals and food critics alike.
The menu is stunning, and the presentation is spectacular. I recommend trying their Pho and the Chao So Diep, a Vietnamese comfort food with scallop rice porridge topped with garlic, butter, scallion, and cilantro.
The Migrant Kitchen
55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
The Migrant Kitchen offers a meal that represents the migrant community and matches all meals bought with a free meal for a New Yorker in need. New York City is one of the most diverse cities in the world due to all the hardworking and colorful immigrants who come from every continent around the globe. The food at Migrant Kitchen is a mix of Middle Eastern and Latin American in honor of the founders’ cultural backgrounds.
The menu is small, and yet every item is delicious and authentic. I recommend the Abuelas Empanadas stuffed with slow-roasted lamb and served with your choice of salsa verde, diablo hot sauce, or minted yogurt.
19 Old Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Juliana’s is the creation of the former owners of the famed Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, a couple by the name of Patsy and Carol Grimaldi. Juliana’s is named for Patsy Grimaldi’s mother, an Italian national who moved to Manhattan along with her brothers who opened pizzerias and pastry shops of their own in the 1920s and 30s.
Juliana’s pizza is New York-style pizza at its very best, steeped in generations of Italian American pizza and pastry making. The specialty pizzas are perfect in their simplicity, and thus no changes or substitutions are allowed. I recommend the No. 2, with sliced cherry tomatoes, Bufala mozzarella, garlic, and sea salt.
5 Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Gran Eléctrica is a high-end authentic Mexican food restaurant that has won 7 Michelin Bib Gourmand awards and was voted best Mexican Restaurant by Time Out NY Food and Drink award in 2013. Gran Electrica’s outstanding menu has also been featured on the Food Network and as one of Zagat’s most highly rated Mexican food restaurants.
First, you must try their award-winning margaritas. As for starters, I recommend the queso fundido with rajas with queso chihuahua, caramelized onion and poblano, huitlacoche (corn fungus), and epazote with homemade tortillas. And for a main course, I’d either get the Chile Relleno or the cochinita pibil, a traditional pulled pork dish with achiote, habanero, and onion.
The River Café
1 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
By far the most iconic, classy, and world-renowned restaurant on my list, The River Café is a Michelin-star fine dining restaurant and jazz piano that has been serving the most outstanding menus in the city, in the most beautiful restaurant setting, serenaded by the piano stylings of the famous Samba funk inventor Dom Salvador.
The menu changes seasonally and is meant to be a multi-course meal. I recommend starting with the River café oysters, followed by the chargrilled Niman Ranch strip steak in Noir sauce with cipollini, broccolini, and a russet and yam potato gratin. If you’re a chocolate fan, it doesn’t get more decadent than the Chocolate Brooklyn Bridge with dark chocolate Marquise, poached blueberries, and honey vanilla ice cream.
85 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Almondine Bakery is a French café, bakery, and confectionery that has a whole write-up singing its praise in Bon Appetit magazine, which is the best of the best in the culinary world. It has everything from baguettes to French country loaves to sweet bread and multigrain loafs baked fresh daily.
The real wow factor is its wide assortments of cakes, tarts, and pastries. You can buy slices, whole cakes, or tart trains for parties. My favorite is the Almondine cake with chocolate mousse, praline cream, crunchy wafer, and chocolate dacquoise.
Smile To Go
Smile To Go is a smaller sister restaurant and bakery to its larger downtown Manhattan café The Smile. It offers Mediterranean-style chicken, salads, and sandwiches prepared with locally sourced ingredients. They are open for breakfast and lunch during the week and brunch on the weekends.
I recommend trying their lentil and quinoa salad with orange zest and arugula along with their baby kale, mizuna, and sunchoke salad with toasted sunflower seeds and lemon dressing.
Vinegar Hill House
72 Hudson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
The Vinegar Hill House is a fancy-casual new American restaurant along the Brooklyn waterfront that serves locally sourced, sustainable produce, meat, and fish in dishes that have been cooked in their giant wood-fired oven. They have a lovely wine, beer, and cocktail menu to compliment their small but impeccably curated dinner menu.
I recommend the cast iron chicken dish with shallots and sherry vinegar jus and a side of honey nut squash with pecan pesto and fresh horseradish, or the rigatoni with lamb ragu and pecorino cheese.
Dumbo is a historic yet trendy neighborhood in Brooklyn with a wide array of restaurants that represent NYC diversity both in culinary and atmospheric stylings. My list of the 23 best restaurants in Dumbo gives you a tasty glimpse of the special dining experiences you’ll have when you visit.
Looking for other places to eat in Dumbo? Check out the best brunch spots by clicking here.
Are there any good restaurants missing from the list? Leave a comment and let us know so we can add them!