224 Best Restaurants in Brooklyn, New York City

La Vara

$$ | Cobble Hill Fodor's choice
The accent at this diminutive restaurant with exposed-brick walls and ample bar space is on Spanish tapas with Moorish and Jewish influences. Choose among many tasty small plates, including eggplant with cheese, fried artichokes, and a daily selection of savory croquettes. The suckling pig is excellent, especially when accompanied with a glass of sangria in the pretty garden area.
268 Clinton St., Brooklyn, NY, 11201, USA
718-422–0065
Known For
  • Authentic Spanish tapas with flair
  • Intimate atmosphere
  • Garden seating
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No lunch weekdays, No lunch weekdays

Little Skips

$ | Bushwick Fodor's choice
Artwork by local artists, some of them customers, hang on the wall at this popular hangout space that lures a large contingent of freelancers typing away on their laptops. The sandwiches are excellent, and gluten-free substitutes are available for an additional charge. Service can be slow, but there's plenty of people-watching while you wait.

Locanda Vini e Olli

$$$ Fodor's choice
Tucked behind a 150-year-old pharmacy facade on a quiet residential block, this convivial restaurant feels like a large family farmhouse in Tuscany. The menu skews hearty, in the pastas (perhaps sage-scented pappardelle with braised rabbit), mains (there are usually preparations of beef, lamb, duck, and fish to choose among), and antipasti (the chicken liver risotto starter is sublime), with seasonal vegetables showcased as well. The wine list is, of course, excellent.

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Lot 2

$$ Fodor's choice
The changing menu at this romantic, dimly lit restaurant is short but always stellar. The chef has an expert hand, whether exploring unexpected flavor combinations like candied bacon alongside shaved fennel and watermelon or putting together classics like chicken under a brick or the rave-worthy cheeseburger with duck-fat fries. The Sunday Supper (for $35) is a favorite: it's a set, multicourse menu featuring anything from fried chicken and hush puppies to sausage- and shrimp-studded gumbo.

Lucali

$$$ | 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
718-858–4086
Known For
  • Thin, crispy crusts
  • Hours-long waits
  • Cash-only
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues. No lunch

Maison Yaki

$$ | Prospect Heights Fodor's choice

Yakitori—tasty morsels on skewers—has long been a staple of Japanese cuisine. As the name would suggest, this restaurant takes the age-old concept and runs with it in a faintly Gallic direction, its open kitchen churning out grilled bites on skewers, artfully arranged on plates, or, in the case of the pommes dauphines (crispy spheres of potato), wrapped in paper cones with a delectable dipping sauce. Don't miss the cocktails on tap and delicate desserts, both of which also have a creative East-West slant.

Marlow & Sons

$$ | Williamsburg Fodor's choice

With its green-and-white-striped awning, this place looks like a vintage grocery store, but don't let that fool you. This a buzzy bistro from restaurateur Andrew Tarlow is a destination for in-the-know foodies, featuring locavore cuisine on two different menus. The grab-and-go daytime menu includes pastries, gourmet sandwiches, and salads, while the sit-down night menu features creative plates celebrating the bounties of local fishermen and farmers. 

Meadowsweet

$$$ Fodor's choice
Amid Williamsburg's culinary landscape of casual, comfort food–centric bistros with rock-and-roll sound tracks, this Michelin-starred restaurant and bar feels thoroughly grown-up. Chef-owner Polo Dobkins serves New American cuisine in an airy space with blond-wood accents. The striking mosaic floor was preserved from the original 1890 building, at one point a kosher cafeteria. The sophisticated dishes might include crispy baby artichokes peeking out of a mound of arugula and topped with shaved Parmesan or wild-caught sea bass with stewed tomato, yellow squash, zucchini, and olive vinaigrette. If you can't choose, the $75 tasting menu is a great way to sample the greatest hits.

Nathan's Famous

$ | Coney Island Fodor's choice

Nathan Handwerker, a Polish immigrant with a $300 loan and his wife Ida's secret spice recipe, founded this Coney Island hot dog stand in 1916. Fast forward over a century, and this New York City institution has endured with a cultlike following among celebrities and heads of state, paving the way for international franchises. While Nathan's may be synonymous with hot dogs and fries, they also offer burgers and other sandwiches. At this original location (not to be confused with the one a block away on the boardwalk), you can also get seafood—even fried frog legs.  The biggest day of the year at Nathan's is always July 4, when competitive eaters and fans converge on Surf Avenue to crown that year's hot-dog-eating champion.

One Girl Cookies

$ | Boerum Hill Fodor's choice
Vintage serving pieces, a hand-painted family tree, and life-size family photos adorn the interior of this aqua-walled bakery and café beloved for its old-world charm and tasty, bite-size cookies. The whoopie pies—chocolate or the very popular pumpkin—and cupcakes are worth checking out, too. The free Wi-Fi, spacious seating, and pleasant atmosphere invite lingering.

Ovenly

$ | Greenpoint Fodor's choice
This tiny bakery has made a name for itself with standouts like vegan salted chocolate-chip cookies, pistachio agave cookies, and currant-rosemary scones. The seasonal specials are equally mouthwatering—just try to resist the bourbon-maple-pecan pie made for Thanksgiving. In warm weather, take your goodies up the block to WNYC Transmitter Park for a picnic that will make everyone jealous.

Patisserie Tomoko

$ Fodor's choice
Tokyo-born chef Tomoko Kato came up through New York's famed Le Bernardin and the East Village teahouse Cha-An before opening this pastry shop. Her inspired desserts marry Japanese flavors and French techniques, resulting in original creations like black-sesame crème brûlée, sake ice cream, and green tea mousse cake. Ingredients like matcha, yuzu, and mochi are sourced from Japan, appearing alongside seasonal items like chestnuts and cranberries. Sit at the dessert bar for a three-course tasting of sweets, or take them to go.

Paulie Gee's

$$ | Greenpoint Fodor's choice
When it comes to pizza there’s stiff competition, but Paulie Gee’s serves outstanding gourmet pies with all kinds of creative toppings—the idea to put Mike's Hot Honey on pizza is just one of many strokes of genius. The extensive list of offerings includes the “Anise and Anephew” (Paulie Gee’s personal favorite) made with braised fennel, Berkshire guanciale, and fresh mozzarella, plus a full page of vegan pies. The handmade wood-fired oven is from Naples’s famed oven-maker Stefano Ferrara. The average wait time for a table on Friday or Saturday night is an hour.
60 Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11222, USA
347-987–3747
Known For
  • Wood-fired pizza
  • Ample vegan options
  • Cozy farmhouse design
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No lunch

Peck's

$ Fodor's choice
Theo Peck's eponymous gourmet shop descends from New York culinary royalty: Peck cut his teeth as a chef at Michelin-starred restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and his great-grandfather co-owned Ratner's kosher dairy, once a Lower East Side institution. The narrow store sells deli meats and cheeses, an impressive selection of beer, and goods from Brooklyn purveyors. The takeout counter serves La Colombe coffee, sandwiches, and prepared foods like house-made hummus, rotisserie chickens, and pastries. In warm weather, take yours to the picnic tables on the sunny back patio.

Peter Luger Steak House

$$$$ | Williamsburg Fodor's choice

Despite scathing food critic reviews in recent years, steak lovers (and food bloggers) continue to embrace to this steak institution that's endured since 1887. It's known for dry-aged cuts of meat and classic steak-house sides, as much as its old school, high-handed waiters. While burgers, lamb chops, and salmon are on the menu, the reason to make reservations is indisputably their prime aged steaks, served in cuts for one to four people. Book a table as far ahead as possible, as choice dining times fill up more than a month in advance. 

178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY, 11211, USA
718-387–7400
Known For
  • Being a steak institution for over 135 years
  • Historic Brooklyn environs
  • No credit cards
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Reservations essential

Pok Pok Ny

$$ Fodor's choice

The New York outpost of Andy Ricker’s famed Portland, Oregon restaurant continues to serve delicious Thai food that goes well beyond the dishes typically found on menus here. Knockouts include the pork belly and pork curry, the boar collar, the wings, and the papaya salad, but it’s hard to go wrong—and the servers give excellent guidance.

Red Hook Lobster Pound

$$$ | Red Hook Fodor's choice
For a taste of Maine in Brooklyn, head to the Red Hook Lobster Pound, where legendary lobster rolls are served with just a touch of mayo. There are variations on the classic, including "Connecticut style" (served warm, with butter) or "Tuscan style " (vinaigrette instead of mayo), as well as lobster dinners, lobster bisque, lobster mac and cheese, and a few noncrustacean options.

Roberta's

$$ | Bushwick Fodor's choice

Roberta's completely transformed this industrial district in 2007 with its destination wood-fired pizzas topped with hyperlocal ingredients—many herbs come from their garden on-site, a former garage and yard. Their acclaimed pies with innovative combinations and signature crusts have wowed pizza connoisseurs so successfully, Roberta's has expanded well beyond this groundbreaking original location, with a frozen pizza line and outposts as far as Singapore. Here, where it all began, there are also pastas and mains, served in a room that extends to a patio and tiki bar. 

Rucola

$$ | Boerum Hill Fodor's choice
Magnificently prepared seasonal vegetables in sides, salads, appetizers, and pastas are the focal point of the menu at this dark-wood Italian restaurant, but don't overlook entrées that range from roast chicken to perfectly prepared branzino or a leg of lamb. Dining at the communal table in the center of the restaurant is fun; opt for bar seating or the few two-tops for a more intimate meal. The cocktail menu has intriguing concoctions, and dessert usually includes at least one pie selection from Brooklyn's Four & Twenty Blackbirds.

Selamat Pagi

$$ | Greenpoint Fodor's choice
Warm and intimate Selamat Pagi brings a little Bali to Brooklyn. The exotic flavors of Kaffir lime leaf, coconut oil, lemongrass, and chili transform local organic produce and proteins into nasi goreng (vegetable fried rice), coconut curry, chili-glazed chicken wings, and other palate-tingling delights. Banana-leaf wallpaper and a DIY design set a rough-around-the-edges yet romantic tone that makes this a great casual date spot—as long as the object of your affection likes spicy food.

Smorgasburg

$ | Williamsburg Fodor's choice

Smorgasburg, the acclaimed open-air food market, is the portmanteau of smorgasbord and Williamsburg, its founding location at Marsha P. Johnson State Park. Here, vetted food vendors serve delicious treats to foodies (and provide photogenic content for food influencers), from arepas to yakitori. Even with the Smorgasburg branded concept dispersing crowds of foodies across other locations across New York, Jersey City, LA, Miami, Toronto, and Sao Paolo, the original Williamsburg location still draws close to 30,000 people each Saturday in the summer, so get there before noon if you don't want to spend most of your time there in queues. The original Smorgasburg is open from April through October, but check the website for details of the other locations in Brooklyn Manhattan.

Superfine

$$ | DUMBO Fodor's choice

Friendly service and convivial, colorful crowds have transformed this bi-level, renovated warehouse into a welcoming, quirky neighborhood institution with rotating art shows and frequent DJ sets. The kitchen's organic menu changes daily, plus there's a weekend brunch with live Americana music. 

Tacos Matamoros

$ Fodor's choice
Exceptional tacos large and small are the main attraction at this restaurant with a lengthy menu. Order the small ones, so you can try several different kinds. Favorites include braised pork, carne asada, and succulent marinated pork cooked on a rotisserie. Chilaquiles are among the breakfast options, and there are plenty of affordable dinner entrées as well. The margaritas are excellent and inexpensive.

Tanoreen

$$ Fodor's choice
This restaurant put Bay Ridge on the foodie map when it first opened in 1998, and chef-owner Rawia Bishara’s refined Palestinian dishes—a tribute to her rich Middle Eastern heritage—continue to draw crowds and accolades. Vaulted ceilings and a glass-enclosed atrium are a stylish backdrop for the inventive interpretations of home-style meals. Don’t miss dishes like the cauliflower with tangy pomegranate molasses, the delectable eggplant napoleon, and anything made with lamb (but especially, if it's on the menu, the freekeh bel lahmeh, a type of ancient grain prepared with perfectly seasoned lamb). The signature dessert, knafeh—baked sweet cheese in phyllo dough, topped with rosewater and pistachios—requires a worthwhile 10-minute wait while it bakes.

Taqueria de los Muertos

$ | Prospect Heights Fodor's choice
Casual and unassuming, this taquería with Day of the Dead decor serves what are arguably the neighborhood’s best tacos, as well as burritos, nachos, and tostadas with a variety of fillings and four types of beans. Just a few blocks north of the Brooklyn Museum, it’s among the best options for a quick, low-fuss meal (there's no table service on weekdays). There are brunch options on weekends.

The Farm on Adderley

$$ Fodor's choice
This rustic-chic farm-to-table American restaurant put Ditmas Park on the culinary map when it opened in 2006, and it continues to draw local regulars as well as an in-the-know crowd from Manhattan and beyond. The vegetarian-friendly, locally sourced menu changes seasonally, although the burger, house-made pickles, and award-winning fries with curry mayo are staples. Weekend brunch is especially popular—try the "adult grilled cheese" with apple slices or the smoked pollock cakes, and don’t miss the chocolate bread with sea salt or the spicy Bloody Mary. In warm weather, tables are set out in the backyard. Check the website for wine dinners and other events.

The River Café

$$$$ | Brooklyn Heights Fodor's choice

A deservedly popular special-occasion destination, this waterfront institution complements its exquisite Brooklyn Bridge views with memorable top-shelf cuisine served by an unfailingly attentive staff. Lobster, lamb, duck, and strip steak are among the staples of the prix-fixe menu ($195). The chocolate Brooklyn Bridge mousse delivers the perfect ending to dinner. 

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

$ | Greenpoint Fodor's choice
Renowned for all-natural ice cream and exotic flavors like sorrel blackberry crumble and matcha green tea, Van Leeuwen has established a small ice-cream empire in New York City. Everything is made in-house from the highest-quality ingredients: special flavors like pumpkin are available seasonally, and vegan ice cream is especially popular. Greenpoint was the first brick-and-mortar shop, although its current location is down the street from the pint-size original. In warm weather, get a cone to go and stroll through nearby McCarren Park.

Vinegar Hill House

$$$ | DUMBO Fodor's choice

Outfitted with candlelit tables and a twinkling rear garden, this romantic destination is well worth the sloping walk up from the waterfront. Seasonal menus include inventive new American fare and crowd-pleasing brunch dishes, with a couple of pasta dishes and classics like roast chicken, chicken liver mousse, and pork chops always in rotation. Wait times can be considerable, but the cozy bar pours potent cocktails, local beers, and wine by the glass in the interim.

Wheated

$$ Fodor's choice
Pizza is the thing at Wheated, and the menu lists nearly 20 Neapolitan-style pies—all named after neighborhoods in Brooklyn, which is fitting for this laid-back, local's-favorite spot. There are several white (no sauce) and vegan options, but meat eaters should try one with Faicco’s sweet fennel sausage. Add a kick to your pie with locally produced Mike’s Hot Honey and the owner’s blend of ground, roasted Thai chili pepper. The cocktail menu has creative options that stand up to the pizza, so sipping drinks in the separate bar area is equally enticing.