31 Best Restaurants in Williamsburg, New York City

Aurora

$$ Fodor's choice
Handmade pastas, exceptional antipasti, and wonderful brunch have earned homey Aurora a loyal following. Most ingredients are locally sourced, though the mozzarella and burrata hail from Italy. Ricotta, black truffles, and prosciutto di Parma elevate the eggs Benedict at brunch, when the French toast comes stuffed with apple compote and topped with Amarena cherries. The trattoria's main dining room is inviting enough, but angle for a seat in the enclosed garden (heated in winter), where lush ivy covers the brick walls.

Blue Bottle Coffee

$ Fodor's choice
Self-described coffee aficionados line up for the espresso and pour-overs at Blue Bottle, which originated in Oakland but feels very much at home in Williamsburg. The former factory building has light streaming in through large windows so the La Marzocco espresso machine seems to shine, and a Kyoto-style iced-coffee dripper, which looks like it belongs in a science lab, is displayed opposite the coffee counter. There's not much seating, so it's best to get your coffee and snack (mmmm, s'mores) to go. Beans are roasted in a vintage Probat roaster in back.

Devoción

$ Fodor's choice
At this coffee shop with roots in Bogotá, the beauty of the space is matched by the quality of the coffee, which comes exclusively from small farms in Colombia. Fresh beans are brought directly to Brooklyn, where they're roasted on-site within a few days of arrival. Take a seat on one of the leather sofas under the skylight or at a table in front of the living wall, and enjoy a cappuccino with one of the homemade medialunas or croissants. The stylish space has books, magazines, and even dominoes—perfect for a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

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Diner

$$ | Williamsburg Fodor's choice

The word "diner" might evoke a greasy spoon, but this trendsetting restaurant under the Williamsburg Bridge is nothing of the sort. Andrew Tarlow—the godfather of Brooklyn's farm-to-table culinary renaissance—opened it in 1999 and launched an entire movement. The restaurant occupies a 1927 dining car, and foodies cram into the booths to partake in eclectic dishes from the regularly changing menu, based on seasonal ingredients from farms in the Greater New York area. They're also known for their grass-fed burger, available year-round.

Fornino

$$ Fodor's choice
The chefs here consider pizza-making both art and science, and their wood-fired creations prove just how deftly they balance the equation. The funghi misti—a white pie with mozzarella, wild mushrooms, and truffle oil—is downright irresistible. It’s no wonder locations in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Greenpoint have joined the original, which is casual in style but gourmet in quality. Check for seasonal specials, like the fig, Gorgonzola, and arugula pizza offered in summer.

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.

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.

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

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.

Zenkichi

$$$ Fodor's choice
Modeled on Tokyo's intimate brasseries, this hidden Japanese restaurant serves no sushi: they specialize in exquisitely composed small plates, best enjoyed as part of the eight-course omakase (chef's tasting menu), though you can also order à la carte. Instead of a dining room, guests are seated in private booths separated by bamboo curtains, so other diners are audible but not visible. The gracious waiters can recommend sake to pair with your meal. This might be the closest to Tokyo you can get in Brooklyn.
77 N. 6th St., Brooklyn, NY, 11211, USA
718-388–8985
Known For
  • Japanese omakase
  • Private booths
  • Romantic date spot
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No lunch, Reservations essential

Abracadabra

$
This Turkish-owned bakery is a cozy stop for a quick breakfast, lunch, or afternoon snack. Grab a table in front of the street art--style mural and settle in with sandwiches and wraps, or vegan and gluten-free pastries like the coffee cake (served with berries in summer, pumpkin in fall). Chocoholics should try the intense Nutella pouf, a flaky confection filled with Nutella and served warm.

Allswell

$$
An alum of Manhattan's much-lauded Spotted Pig gastropub opened this popular spot, where closely packed tables, medieval-looking chandeliers, and a patchwork of patterned wallpaper are a rustic backdrop for elevated pub fare. At dinner the roast chicken is a standout; at brunch it's hard to choose between fluffy pancakes and eggs Benedict.

Antica Pesa

$$$
The Williamsburg outpost of the historic Roman restaurant serves handmade pastas in an upscale setting. Though the decor is modern, the recipes uphold tradition: try the spaghetti cacio e pepe (al dente pasta with pecorino Romano and crushed black pepper) or the carbonara. The extensive wine selection (all Italian) ranges in palate and price from an approachable $35 Dolcetto d'Alba to the absurdly extravagant $900 Masseto. Antica Pesa draws the A-list—Madonna, Julianne Moore, and Giorgio Armani have all dined here.
115 Berry St., Brooklyn, NY, 11211, USA
347-763--2635
Known For
  • Roman cuisine
  • Sleek modern design
  • A-list clientele
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No lunch

Cafe Colette

$$
An owner of the Hotel Delmano bar across the street operates this charming corner bistro with an enclosed garden that's open year-round. Inside, the weathered wood, a zinc bar, leather banquettes, and candlelit tables lend the place a romantic, old-world feel and provide a backdrop to fresh, simple New American food influenced by the cuisines of Italy, France, Spain, and Central America. Standout dishes include the crispy-chicken sandwich (served at lunch) and the handmade pastas, among them wild nettle and ricotta ravioli. Craft cocktails are poured, and the wine list focuses on small producers known for sustainable agricultural practices. Reservations are recommended on weekends.

D.O.C. Wine Bar

$$
There's simply nowhere else in Williamsburg like this rustic enoteca: You'd have to sail to Sardinia to savor a comparable meal. Pastas highlight the island's specialties, among them fregola (similar to couscous) with pistachio pesto and mascarpone, and the all-Italian wine list has plenty of accessible choices to pair with the artisanal cheeses. These come with pane carasau, a thin, crispy Sardinian flatbread best simply drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. It's all so authentic, you can practically smell the sea air and the sheep.
83 N. 7th St., Brooklyn, NY, 11249, USA
718-963--1925
Known For
  • Excellent wine list
  • Sardinian cuisine
  • Rustic design
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No lunch

El Almacen

$$$
The focus at this Argentine steak house is on grass-fed beef, served on wooden platters and paired with an Argentine Malbec from the extensive wine list. The restaurant has a warm bistro feel, with lace curtains and a pressed-tin ceiling. In summer, the best seats are out in the garden, which is tucked away behind the restaurant and strung with lights.
557 Driggs Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11211, USA
718-218–7284
Known For
  • Argentine steaks
  • Great wine list
  • Romantic atmosphere
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No lunch weekdays

Fada

$$
A typical French bistro in the heart of Williamsburg, Fada serves Provençal specialties, including classic moules marinière, steak au poivre, and ratatouille. The owner hails from Marseille, so both the menu and decor are in keeping with the traditions of the French Riviera. A gypsy jazz band plays on weekends (there's flamenco on Tuesday), and a fetching enclosed garden awaits you out back.
530 Driggs Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11211, USA
718-388–6105
Known For
  • French bistro fare
  • Charming garden
  • Live gypsy jazz
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No lunch Tues.--Sat.

Fette Sau

$$ | Williamsburg

There are enough transplants from Texas and the South bringing their pitmaster experiences to Brooklyn that "Brooklyn style BBQ" has become formidable fare. One of the first purveyors of Brooklyn barbecue is this joint inside a former auto-body repair shop, where a huge wood-and-gas smoker delivers rotating meats, including brisket, pork belly, sausages, ribs, and smoked wings—all sold by the pound. Sides include potato salad, broccoli salad, and baked beans, but other pairings come in the form of one of over 100 American whiskeys and 10 microbrews. Come early, especially on warm afternoons, when carnivores line up to order meat and then vie for a table inside or out on the former repair shop's driveway.

Fortunato Brothers Café & Pasticceria

$
Of the few old-school Italian pastry shops remaining in Williamsburg, this family-run café and bakery is by far the best. The three Fortunato brothers emigrated from Naples in 1971 and opened this Italian bakery in 1976; the fact that they may not have updated the decor since then only makes the place feel more authentic. Glass cases are lined with trays of cannoli, tiramisù, rum baba, sfogliatella, cream puffs, and cookies, all made in-house. The gelato is homemade, too.

Kinfolk 90

$
Multitasking is taken to a high level at this fabulous space that includes a coffee shop, a men's boutique, and a nightclub, all of which ascribe to the same überhip lifestyle. At Kinfolk 90, creative types meet for locally roasted coffee in a former garage decorated with custom artwork. Next door, the Kinfolk store sells street-style clothes and accessories for the urban sophisticate—it's one of two New York shops that stock threads by Japanese designers Bedwin and the Heartbreakers. And then there's Kinfolk 94, where the in-crowd parties in a custom-built wooden geode outfitted with low benches and a full bar; there are DJs on weekends, the occasional live performance, and rotating art shows.

OddFellows Ice Cream

$
In summer, lines stream out the door for unique and delicious ice cream flavors like extra virgin olive oil and Thai iced tea. Everything is homemade in small batches, even the cones, which are pressed in a waffle iron and hand rolled. Flavors change constantly and range from standbys like chocolate chunk to only-for-foodies combos like chorizo caramel swirl. There are a few tables in the red and white carnival-theme shop, but it's more fun to head across the street to the North 6th Street Pier, where you can watch people and boats go by from one of the benches.

Pies 'n' Thighs

$$ | Williamsburg

This acclaimed corner restaurant takes its name seriously, specializing in sweet dessert pies—apple, pumpkin, and banana cream, to name a few—and the fried chicken thighs intended to eat before them. Amid vintage decor, diners enjoy Southern-style meals that include catfish, burgers, pulled pork, and, of course, fried chicken (the other parts, too). Sides and breakfast items also abide by the Southern-inspired fare, including biscuits and grits.

Rabbithole

$$
A wooden sign with an illustrated carrot marks the entrance to a charming bistro that serves up well-executed standards from hanger steak to pan-seared salmon to house-made gnocchi and taglietelle. Inside, exposed brick, old wood flooring, and time-worn antiques make for an endearingly low-key atmosphere in the main dining space. In summer, though, the place to be is outside in the garden, where flowering trellises shade mismatched tables and chairs. A treat for brunch (served daily) is eggs Benedict on a homemade herbed biscuit.

Rye

$$
An atmospheric hideaway on a little-trod block, Rye serves French bistro classics and creative American fare. Dark wood, leather cushions, a mosaic-tile floor, and a century-old oak bar hark back to the days of speakeasies and illicit booze. Capture the mood with one of the excellent cocktails, perhaps a Havemeyer, made with overproof rye. The signature meatloaf sandwich, a daydream-worthy delight, comes with crispy buttermilk fried onions and horseradish sauce. After dinner, you can stop for a nightcap at the handsome B.B.R. ("Bar Below Rye").
247 S. 1st St., Brooklyn, NY, 11211, USA
718-218–8047
Known For
  • Prohibition-era vibe
  • American comfort food
  • Great cocktails
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No lunch weekdays, Credit cards accepted

Shalom Japan

$$
Williamsburg's melting-pot aspirations past and present express themselves with intelligence and flair at this Japanese-Jewish fusion restaurant. Chefs Sawako Okochi and Aaron Israel, veterans of top New York City restaurants, wanted to explore their respective roots, and in merging these two cuisines, they advanced something unique, as shown in a menu of shared plates including sake kasu challah, traditional Jewish bread infused with sake lees and served with raisin butter; matzo-ball ramen with foie gras dumplings; and the popular lox bowl, a sort of deconstructed salmon avocado roll. The permutations here are so numerous and satisfyingly intricate that it takes multiple visits to fully grasp what's transpiring.

St. Anselm

$$$ | Williamsburg

This rustic eatery with an extensive wine menu serves high-quality steaks and fish, all of it sourced sustainably and ethically from local farms and fishermen. The sides double as small plate menu items, including oysters, salads, soups, and grilled vegetables. Known as place to get a good, reasonably priced steak, make sure to make reservations in advance—otherwise take a chance for an open seat at the bar.

355 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11211, USA
718-384–5054
Known For
  • Grilled meat and fish
  • Casual vibe
  • Sustainably sourced food
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No lunch Mon.--Wed., Reservations essential

Toby's Estate

$
With five cafés in New York City, Toby's Estate is expanding quickly, a mini coffee empire that started in Brooklyn. The coffee drinks are outstanding, as are the made-to-order sandwiches (think egg on a roll with espresso-lacquered bacon) and salads. The spacious location on North 6th Street is perennially packed, so you might have to wait for a seat to open up—but it's worth it, especially for a prime spot on the long, comfy couch. Light streaming in through large windows gives the place a bright, airy feel.

Win Son

$$ | Williamsburg

Taiwan's independence from China may be up for political debate, but there's no doubt that its cuisine stands on its own—and that fare shines at Win Son. Popular dinner menu items include danzi mian (a noodle soup with pork and prawns) and "fly’s head," a mix of minced pork and chili. Brunch favorites include dan bing (a Taiwanese crepe with eggs). The no-reservations policy for parties under six translates to long wait times, so arrive before opening (11 am weekend brunch, 5:30 pm dinner)—or kill time waiting at Win Son Bakery across the street.

Zizi Limona

$$
This casual neighborhood bistro serves mouthwateringly good Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes, drawing inspiration from the cuisines of Israel, Morocco, Greece, Turkey, and Southern Italy. You could easily make a meal of the tapas-style "Small Zi's," like the baba ghanoush with basil and feta, the silky hummus, and falafel with tomato salsa and yogurt sauce—but then you'd miss out on the delicious tagines (stews) and kebabs. The restaurant is cozy and unpretentious, with exposed-brick walls, wooden tables, and white shelves stocked with traditional products like tahini, honey dates, halva, and the spice blend za'atar.