Prospect Heights is a Brooklyn neighborhood known for its cultural diversity. The area is home to the Brooklyn Nets basketball team. It’s also a great place to enjoy a variety of cuisine traditions.
Visitors attending music and sporting events at Barclays Center can spill over to the craft bars and hipster restaurants on Vanderbilt and Washington Avenue. Others come to Prospect Heights to enjoy Prospect Park, along with the museum and botanic garden there.
It’s difficult to choose just one place to recommend because I’m in love with every restaurant on this list. I enjoy the Brooklyn sushi and atmosphere of camaraderie at Geido, the khao soi soup at Look Thai, the Dominican breakfast at El Gran Castillo de Jagua, and the tahdig and date night drink at Sofreh.
Check out my list of the 17 best Restaurants in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, below, and then start making your own list of where you want to go.
659 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Olmsted is the ultimate farm-to-table restaurant, with many ingredients coming from the garden out back. You can find it on the corner of Park Pl and Vanderbilt Ave, not far from Grand Army Plaza and the 7 Avenue Station.
The restaurant itself is small, but it still feels spacious inside. The servers are all warm and welcoming. Dining outdoors in the garden is a special treat due to the cozy garden space available there.
If you don’t have reservations, you’ll end up at the bar, but their bartender crafts some of the finest drinks in the area with seasonal options like honeysuckle and spiced pear.
The chefs produce a small and thoughtfully-crafted seasonal menu with numerous innovative small plates. Some of the best menu items I’ve experienced there have been the duck liver mousse, carrot crepe, tomato schnitzel, rutabaga tagliatelle, and fantastic chocolate mousse.
236 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Garden-fresh soul food with global scope is something you must experience. Cheryl’s Global Soul is in the heart of the Park Slope area at the intersection of Underhill Ave and Lincoln Pl. It’s in a lovely location near the library and Prospect Park, accessible with Eastern Parkway Brooklyn Museum subway stop.
Chef Cheryl has a global cuisine background and once had her own show, Melting Pot, on the Food Network.
They’re extremely busy for weekend brunches, and the interior is small, but it’s worth the long queue. Ask to sit in the garden to experience this laid-back restaurant the right way.
They have a chicken and pancakes dish that melts in your mouth. I always like to get a mimosa or ginger tea. I also like their salmon has with poached eggs, which is filling and delicious.
782 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Tom’s has been serving American breakfast and lunch on the corner of Washington Ave and Sterling Pl since 1936. It’s jam-packed on weekends. You’ll find it a little more than a quarter-mile from the Brooklyn Museum and the Eastern Parkway Brooklyn Museum subway stop.
Tom’s is the epitome of an old-school diner with its laid-back atmosphere and authentic Brooklyn vanilla egg creams and lime rickeys. You’ll never find any bad food here because they’ve perfected their menu.
The cinnamon roll pancakes are one of their biggest hits. But you’ll also need to visit again to try their fluffy and delicious lemon ricotta pancakes and sweet potato pancakes. I’m also a big fan of their delicious crabcakes florentine.
565 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
When you’re craving warm ramen, Asian appetizers, and saké, Chuko’s is a hip place to try. It’s less than a half-mile from Grand Army Plaza and Bergen St Station, where Vanderbilt Ave meets Pacific Street.
You’ll enjoy the relaxing yet energizing hipster vibe almost as much as their traditional and novel food.
Their ramen broth is savory and flavorful, with tons of noodles in the bowl. All of their meat ramens are good, but even their vegetarian one is on point. Add extra ingredients for your perfect bowl. I also love their crispy Brussels sprouts appetizer, double-fried chili soy wings, and pork buns.
605 Carlton Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
James serves seasonal American cuisine alongside unique cocktails, with a modern yet vintage Brooklyn feel. You can find it at the corner of Carlton and St. Marks Avenues, a couple of blocks from 7 Avenue Station and a little more than a quarter-mile from Barclays Center.
James is one of my favorite brunch spots in Prospect Heights because of its innovative flavors and warm and friendly vibe. They also feature Burger Happy Hour, $5 Draft Beer Happy Hour, and Sunday Suppers.
I love all their small vegetarian plates, like roasted chickpeas, charred beets, kale salad, and parmesan truffle fries. Their smoked Hudson Valley trout with kohlrabi, capers, pine nuts, lemon, and greens is delicious, but you also can’t go wrong with their chimichurri steak.
331 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Geido has been serving their Brooklyn regulars sushi and Japanese food since 1985. They’re right around the corner from 7 Avenue Station on Flatbush Avenue, and you only have to walk a quarter-mile to get to Grand Army Plaza.
The restaurant is warm, inviting, and kid-friendly, with a fun graffiti wall. It’s fun to watch the sushi chefs give a slight bow when customers applaud or give a thumbs up to them after a great meal.
You might even find the master chef sneaking a little saké to you at the bar, and every night ends up with a party of regulars.
Geido’s seasonal menu features noodle soups, chilled noodles, rice bowls, and specialty dishes. And, if you like sushi, don’t miss their Obama roll and Brooklyn roll. I love to share their Nabeyaki udon to save room for their fried ice cream.
671 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Serving up jerk chicken, curry goat, and other Jamaican favorites, The Islands is a tiny Prospect Heights favorite. The Islands is on Washington Avenue near St. Marks Avenue. It’s less than half-mile from everything at Prospect Park and the Eastern Parkway Brooklyn Museum subway stop.
The restaurant operates at a Jamaican pace and exudes an island vibe. They’re popular enough to have no need for a web presence and even allow you to BYOB from the nearby liquor store.
You’ll get significant portions of bold, spicy foods with homemade island flavor. The jerk chicken is so tender that it falls off the bone. I also like their curry goat, oxtail, and calypso shrimp, Don’t miss their bread pudding.
622 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Look Thai by Plant Love House originally started in a backyard in Queens. Their Brooklyn location is near Lowry Triangle on Washington Avenue (less than a mile from 7 Avenue Station). They have a compact indoor area with refreshing garden space.
You need to know that it’s a cash-only restaurant before walking in the door. Expect to spend around $15 for most entrees.
Everything has an incredible flavor, but be aware that even the mild dishes are plenty spicy. Look Thai specializes in Thai noodle soups. Their khao soi soup is the best in Brooklyn and tastes like what you’ll find in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Their pork dumplings are also fabulous.
617 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
There’s nothing better than good soul home cooking, and Mitchell’s Soul Food’s small menu is comfort perfection. Mitchell’s is near the corner of Vanderbilt and St Marks Avenues and a quarter-mile from 7 Avenue Station and Grand Army Plaza.
The service is friendly, and the food tastes like your grandma’s if you grew up in the south.
I’m a connoisseur of fried chicken, and theirs is delicious. I took a bite of my friend’s smothered pork chops, which they’d excellently seasoned. Between us, we had sides of collard greens, potato salad, okra, mac and cheese, and sweet potato pie. All were excellent.
355 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
El Gran Castillo de Jagua marries the flavors of Dominican and American cooking in their Flatbush Avenue restaurant. It’s on the same block with 7 Avenue station and just a 2-minute walk to Grand Army Plaza.
The restaurant has an unpretentious classic diner feel, with big comfy booths. You’ll enjoy its laid-back and family-oriented atmosphere and reasonably-priced food.
Their big Dominican breakfast is cheap, and they serve it until 3 pm. They also have inexpensive dinners and daily specials under $8.
One of their specialties is their spicy and flavorful rotisserie chicken, which falls right off the bone. The mofongo (a green plantain dish) with pork is tasty and has a delicious sauce. I enjoy their sweet plantains and garlic tostones. And, on a cold day, their Dominican sancocho soup always hits the spot.
657 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
KIT’s regulars say they have some of the best food in the neighborhood. You can find KIT in the former location of MeMe’s Diner on Washington Street, only a half-mile from the Brooklyn Museum at Prospect Park and the Eastern Parkway Brooklyn Museum subway stop.
The staff is fantastic, and they have unique pop-ups in a space co-owned by several queer-owned restaurants that have struggled during the pandemic economy.
Enjoy weekend Banya brunches from Dacha 46, including pelmeni (Russian dumplings), medovik (multi-layered honey cake), and breakfast flatbreads. Black Cat provides sustainable wines, Solid Wiggles offers delectable alcoholic and non-alcoholic fruit jelly cakes, while KIT stocks coffee and pastries.
791 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Oxalis is a New American bistro within a few steps of the Brooklyn Museum at Prospect Park on Washington Avenue (near the Eastern Parkway Brooklyn Museum subway stop).
This one-Michelin-star restaurant has a beautiful and friendly environment with chefs that will greet you as you enter.
Oxalis offers a seasonally-inspired carte blanche menu for indoor dining. However, outdoor dining comes with a different a la carte menu.
If dining indoors, I highly recommend the tasting menu and wine pairings. They bring out six dishes, which are all pure bliss. My favorite dishes have been ramp and kale with snails, potato pave, and their refreshing lychee dish. They also have fantastic sourdough bread and cultured butter.
794 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
You can’t go to New Orleans every time you crave Cajun soul food, but you don’t have to after you’ve found Lowerline. This hipster Cajun joint is only a quarter-mile from the Brooklyn Museum and the Eastern Parkway Brooklyn Museum subway stop.
The atmosphere at Lowerline is both cozy and lively, with a quaint rustic-chic feel. And the servers are ready with ideas if you can’t decide.
Enjoy all your Cajun favorites like fresh oysters, red beans and rice, seafood gumbo, shrimp or oyster po’boys, and muffuletta. My favorite is their phenomenal crawfish etouffee, which is the best I’ve had outside New Orleans. Everything is flavorful but not too heavy, with perfect portions, so you don’t walk out overstuffed.
550 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Ciao, Gloria is a daytime American bakery and café with an Italian accent. You can find them on Vanderbilt Avenue, less than a half-mile from Barclays Center and the Bergen St subway station.
The restaurant vibe is modern and clean, with many lights and plants. I enjoy all their coffee, phenomenal pastries, and sandwiches. I’ve indulged in so many of their sweet treats, including tricolor bar, their citrusy and bubbly Aperol Spritz cake, and cinnamon rolls.
However, their breakfast sandwiches are my favorite, especially the PEC (prosciutto, frittata, greens, aioli, and provolone on brioche). They also have a lot of vegan items to enjoy.
581 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
LaLou is a natural and bio-dynamic wine and food bar on Vanderbilt Avenue, with a menu that combines French, Italian, and American cuisines. It’s less than half a half-mile from Barclays Center and the Bergen St subway station.
The food at LaLou is always good, the atmosphere is chill and cozy with perfect lighting, and the service is attentive and friendly.
LaLou’s roast chicken is perfection and is some of the best I’ve ever had. I also recommend trying small plates like potato dumplings, the cheese plate, and fried olives. The restaurant also has 150+ small-production wines to try.
75 St Marks Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
If you love Persian food, you won’t want to miss Sofreh’s modern ingredient-driven restaurant on Flatbush Ave. It’s only a block away from the Bergen St subway station and Dean Playground and less than a quarter-mile from Barclays Center.
Sofreh is a cozy, minimalistic restaurant with a bright, detailed interior.
I like to share with my tablemates to explore as many unique cocktails and dishes as possible. My favorite cocktail is Date Night (rum, port, dates, cream, aquafaba, and pistachios). I also love their perfect tahdig (crisp-bottomed rice), their bread dipping sauces, cauliflower appetizer, herb kofteh (meatballs), and the smoked eggplant.
824 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Banh mi is only one of several Vietnamese dishes you can enjoy at Banh Mi Place. This hole-in-the-wall restaurant is less than a quarter-mile from Brooklyn Museum and Prospect Park (with the Eastern Parkway Brooklyn Museum subway stop close by).
There are only a handful of seats inside, including single seats at a window bar. But It’s close enough to Prospect Park to take it to the Botanic Garden or the museum steps for a picnic.
Their traditional Banh mis come on toasted Italian bread. I also enjoy their simple pho, rice dishes, green shredded papaya dishes, and rice vermicelli salad. Don’t forget to order bubble tea or Vietnamese coffee. One of my favorites is the bubble tea with lychee jelly.