10 Best Restaurants in Carroll Gardens, New York City


$$$ | Carroll Gardens Fodor's choice

If you worship at the altar of Neapolitan pizza---thin-crust pies baked quickly in blistering brick ovens---Lucali is a worthy pilgrimage. Ordering is simple: there's one large pie and a choice of toppings from beef pepperoni to vegetables like grilled artichokes; and calzones in two sizes, which come with a side of marinara sauce. Pizzaiolo Mark Iacono opened his cozy restaurant in a former candy shop to insure his beloved neighborhood haunt wouldn’t turn over to a chain. Lucali quickly established itself as a top-ranked pizzeria. Arrive early and plan to explore Carroll Gardens. They'll call your phone when a spot is ready, which could be hours later.

575 Henry St., Brooklyn, NY, 11231, USA
Known For
  • Thin, crispy crusts
  • Hours-long waits
  • Cash-only
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues. No lunch

Avlee Greek Kitchen

$$ | Carroll Gardens
Authentic dishes and the use of top-grade products (olive oil, feta, freshly baked pita) are the reasons locals adore this restaurant. Start with the Prasini salad, a delicious blend of crisp romaine, dill, scallions, and a generous amount of the aforementioned salty cheese. The space is tight, and service can be slow during the busy dinner rush, but it’s worth the wait when you’re presented with a steaming plate of moussaka or haloumi cheese grilled to perfection.


$$$ | Carroll Gardens
The five-course tasting menu is the $75 ticket to a reservation at this small, acclaimed restaurant. Chefs and co-owners Walker Stern and Joe Ogrodnek met while working for Alain Ducasse and are known for highly seasonal cooking that merges French techniques with the products of Brooklyn, the Hudson Valley, and points beyond. There's a small à la carte menu as well. Walk-ins are welcome.
255 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY, 11231, USA
Known For
  • Five-course tasting menu
  • Consistently excellent dishes
  • The bar's deft hand with cocktails
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues. No lunch

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Brooklyn Farmacy

$ | Carroll Gardens

Half the fun of this 1920s-style soda fountain is the setting, with swirl-top stools and vintage apothecary drawers and penny-tile floors from the long-closed Longos Pharmacy. The other is a dream menu for sweet tooths. Nostalgia comes in classic Brooklyn egg creams and sparkling sodas, and novelty lands in supersize sundaes like Mr. Potato Head (with potato chips), Breakfast in Bed (with candied bacon) and Affugazi Affogato (with espresso).

513 Henry St., Brooklyn, NY, 11231, USA
Known For
  • Classic Brooklyn desserts
  • Huge sundaes
  • A vintage feel, courtesy of history and a reality TV show transformation
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Reservations not accepted

Buttermilk Channel

$$ | Carroll Gardens

Named for the small waterway between Brooklyn and Governor's Island, this American bistro draws epic brunch lines and a legion of neighborhood families (the Clown Sundae is legendary among Carroll Gardens kids). But when day turns to night, Buttermilk Channel transforms into a surprisingly serious restaurant with an excellent French and American wine list.

Cafe Luluc

$$ | Carroll Gardens
This French bistro is a longtime, lively neighborhood favorite, especially for weekend brunch, when lines can spill out onto the sidewalk. Francophiles can get classics like croque monsieur, brioche French toast, and moules marinière but the extensive menu spans contemporary cuisine. The vibe is more Paris than Brooklyn: all tiles, zinc bar, and tin ceiling. A soaring tree shades the serene patio.
214 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY, 11201, USA
Known For
  • Three-course, weeknight prix-fixe menu before 7 pm
  • Late evening kitchen
  • Brunch pancakes, which also can be ordered on Sunday evening

Frankies 457 Spuntino

$$ | Carroll Gardens

A longtime favorite culinary pioneer in Carroll Gardens, Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli's Italian American restaurant has atmosphere to spare between the backyard and former blacksmith stable. Choose from the well-conceived menu's shareable salads (many with vegetables roasted or marinated with the Frankies' own Sicilian olive oil); house-made ravioli; meatballs with pine nuts and raisins; and crusty sandwiches that ask to be shared. The next-door F&F Pizzeria and Franks Wine Bar are both celebrated destinations in their own right.

Mazzola Bakery

$ | Carroll Gardens
This bakery is all about lard bread. "Lard bread," you ask? It’s a loaf of slightly sweet, buttery and crusty Italian white bread with a generous amount of cured pork and provolone cheese baked right in---think of it as "prosciutto bread." They also sell croissants, muffins, and hazelnut coffee cake but it’s the lard bread you must try here, ideally still hot.
192 Union St., Brooklyn, NY, 11231, USA
Known For
  • Lard bread
  • Old-world, old Brooklyn feel

Smith Canteen

$ | Carroll Gardens
Expertly pulled cappuccinos and a roster of baked goods including salted chocolate cookies and the ingenious "everything" croissant make Smith Canteen (from the owners of Wilma Jean and Nightingale 9) an excellent stop. But the tempting menu of breakfast and lunch fare like the quinoa bowl with fresh vegetables and fried eggs may entice you to linger.

Wilma Jean's

The chef/owner of Nightingale 9 sticks closer to his Southern roots in this spot named for his grandmother. Comfort foods on offer include pimento cheese, fried bologna sandwiches, and baskets of perfectly seasoned fried chicken. The sun-soaked restaurant is a great place to take children, with a kid-friendly menu and large tables. For the grown-ups, there’s a stellar burger, which you can top with that pimento cheese for an extra couple bucks. The juicy birds are from local farmers and much of the produce comes from the nearby Carroll Gardens farmers' market.
345 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY, 11231, USA
Known For
  • Family-friendly menu and space
  • Southern takes on Mexican and Asian staples
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.