Brooklyn is a borough brimming with art and culture. It is known for its hip neighborhoods like Williamsburg, the sandy beaches of Coney Island, and more recently, the many popular restaurants you can find in the area for a popular dish.
Whether you’re wanting a fancy meal or a classic dishes New York style pizza, Brooklyn has every type of restaurant imaginable. But how do you find these spots? If you’re a local to Brooklyn you may think you know all the best spots, bit it can be easy to pass by a few lesser known places. And for visitors it can be even harder to find these local gems.
Visitors come from all over to try this Brooklyn food spot even though it is quite the hike from Manhattan and even Downtown Brooklyn.
That’s why we’ve made this list of the best restaurants in Brooklyn. On this list, you’ll find everything from huge restaurants to small diners. You’ll have so much to choose from as all these restaurants offer something different, as many specialize in one specific type of food.
So whether you’re interested in burgers or bagels or anything in between, read on to find the best restaurants in Brooklyn. Your food journey starts here.
If there’s one type of food you think of when you think of New York, it’s pizza. Nearly every restaurant, diner, and street food car sells it, but Paulie Gee’s might do it best.
This legendary restaurant is perfect for those who take pizza seriously. All of their Neapolitan-style pizza’s are made in a wood-fired oven, just like the pizzas of Italy. They offer a huge variety of pizzas as well, with up to 25 appearing on their menu at any given time.
With so much choice it can be a bit overwhelming, but we recommend you try the King Henry Classic. This mouthwatering pizza has fresh mozzarella, Italian tomatoes, Pecorino Romano, olive oil, fresh basil, and prosciutto di Parma.
Paulie Gee’s also caters to vegans and vegetarians, with a large selection of meat-free pizzas on the menu. Though they’re famous for their pizza if this isn’t what you want then you could try one of their many soups and salads which are rated just as highly.
While this is a very popular spot there are some odd things you should know about Paulie Gee’s before you go. First of all, you can’t book a reservation, and because it’s such a popular place the lines can get up to 3 hours long at peak times.
If you’re willing to make this commitment then make sure you don’t fill up on snacks before you get in because they don’t offer take-a-ways as they want their pizzas to be eaten fresh and piping hot.
If all this sounds like too much of a hassle then you could instead visit their recently opened slice shop just around the corner, where you can buy one or two slices of their famous pizzas to go.
While this spot is most be suitable for dedicated pizza lovers, there’s a reason why it’s so popular and if you have the chance you should defiantly check it out. They have a dining room and a large outdoor seating area, so there’s plenty of space for all you pizza lovers.
For spice lovers, this restaurant is the one to go to just to see how much spicy food you can really handle. Located on the quiet Smith Street in Carroll Gardens, Ugly Baby is a Thai food restaurant that will make your mouth burn, but that won’t stop you from wanting more.
With food so hot that servers warn you to be careful, Ugly Baby’s specialty dishes are the curried rice and pork skin, and the snapper in tamarind broth, but all their dishes are just as highly rated and loved by locals and visitors alike.
Ugly Baby also uses rarer ingredients than other Thai restaurants around New York. Their other specialties include the fiery kang hoh with mung bean noodles and Chinese long beans, and tum kanoon (young jackfruit) paired with pork belly and curry paste.
With vibrant flavors, fiery spice, and bright ingredients, your colorful meal will match the interior, with its light wooden furniture and bright walls. This simple spot is great for a social night with your friends or family, with the fun atmosphere providing a great backdrop for you and your meal.
For spice lovers, this is an unmissable sport in the city and will really put your tastebuds to the test.
One of the fancier restaurants on this list, Francie will change you nearly $200 for a steak, but it might just be the best steak you’ve ever had. Within just six months of opening, Francie was awarded a Michelin Star due to its mouth-watering food, gorgeous interior, and sophisticated atmosphere.
Modeled after the European brasserie and located in the hip Williamsburg neighborhood, the white-suited waiters are on hand to make this one of the best meals you’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Inside the limestone-clad former bank building, you’ll find foods inspired by European flavors, with seafood and handmade pasta being some of their main specialties.
Offering every type of meal from small snacks to full 3-course meals, though it’s one of the pricer restaurants on this list, with so many delicious options to choose from you may not mind splashing the cash a little more.
If you are in New York for a celebration, or you just want to experience Michelin star dining, then this might be the place for you. Just remember to make a reservation as unsurprisingly this is a very popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
Have you ever wanted to dine on Vietnamese dishes in a Scandinavian-styled restaurant? If the answer to this very specific question is yes then you have to visit Di An Di.
Blending Vietnamese and traditional New York flavors, this hipster favorite restaurant has many dishes that seem like they shouldn’t work but are absolutely delicious, and they will always leave you wanting more.
Their menu has a huge variety of dishes from Vietnamese pizzas, daikon rice-cake omelets, summer rolls stuffed with everything from pork and taro to tofu, and even Vietnamese scotch eggs made from quail. And this doesn’t even cover half of their menu.
With so much choice and it being in a very trendy location, if you want to dine here you should try to book ahead as soon as possible or you may have a very long wait for your dinner.
While all of New York is known for its pizza, Brooklyn is known for its many BBQ joints. This 120-seat wood paneled smokehouse is the latest addition to this trend.
The food is inspired by the owner Billy Durney’s trip around America, where he visited many of the greatest BBQ restaurants in the country. Coming to Brooklyn he soon opened his own restaurant which very quickly became one of the premier BBQ restaurants in New York.
While one of the most popular dishes is the massive-sized beef ribs, Hometown offers more BBQ food than you’ve ever seen. You could tuck into the many types of meat available, including homemade sausages, as well as ribs, wings, sandwiches, and even tacos, and all smoked of course.
While a lot of these are inspired by various states in America, like the Texas-styles brisket, Hometown also makes dishes inspired by international flavors. These include smoked jerk chicken and lamb belly banh mi. There are even a few vegetarian options so no one is left out.
Everyone knows that the best drink you can pair with BBQ food is beer, which is why Hometown also has many draft beers available, like Smuttynose and Shiner Bock. If you’re more of a spirit person though you could instead try out various American whiskeys on sale like Van Brunt Stillhouse.
If you get the chance to visit Hometown Bar-b-que, you’ll very quickly understand why it’s one of the best BBQ joints the city has to offer. On the other hand, they use high-quality ingredients to make a delicious dish.
This very small delicatessen fits a lot of flavor into their small, 15-seat location. Serving classic New York bagels this spot serves up the classics like lox, latkes, brisket, and pastrami bagels. Their most popular bales are ones with cream cheese, though the overall favorite is the specialty combo #1, which consists of a generous portion of pastrami salmon, cucumber, and scallion cream cheese on your choice of bagel.
This bright and airy spot is great for eating inside if you can get a seat, but is also a good choice if you’ve planned a busy day out in the city and want to eat on the go.
A do-it-all style restaurant, Emily is known for its many types of dishes, and all of them are delicious. Starting with their famous pizzas, you can either go for a classic mozzarella or try one with more unconventional pizzas that features vodka sauce.
A popular choice is the Brender, which has vodka sauce, garlic, mozzarella, banana pepper, and pepperoni.
While the pizzas are very good, the star of the show at Emily is the Emmy Burger, which has become famous in its own right. Featuring Pat LaFrieda dry-aged beef, EMMY sauce, caramelized onion, Grafton cheddar, on a pretzel bun with cornichon and fries, this burger is so popular that it’s usually one of the first menu items to sell out, so you should get in early if this is what you want.
If somehow pizzas and burgers don’t appeal to you, there’s still plenty of options to choose from like their classic wings, tacos, and salads.
If you’re going to Emily for breakfast, then you’ll be presented with a different but just as delicious American menu that has everything from huge sandwiches, to tacos and burritos.
If you’re part of a group who all like different things, then Emily is a great choice as they provide something for everyone.
Another good spot if you’re exploring the city in a large group, La Vara specializes in sharing plates. This is very much a hidden gem that even some locals may not know about. The modest exterior blends in well with the brownstone buildings on the tree-lined Clinton Street, so much so that if you’re distraced you may not even notice it.
This family-run restaurant serves up Spanish tapas influenced by Jewish and Moorish flavors, with every item on their menu just as delicious as the last. Favorites include the cordero al ajo cabañil – a cumin-roasted lamb breast that’s been shaped into a rectangle, and the berenjena con miel – a fried aubergine drizzled with honey and cheese
While this location is rather small, its warmth and charm provides a great atmosphere for you to enjoy while you catch up with your friends or family, and with good food, it will be smiles all around after your dinner menus.
This small restaurant is named after the famous hot-dog shack in Montreal-North, and aims to make food just as good as this historic spot. The food is inspired by small eateries that dot Europe like pubs, cafes, bistros and tattorias.
With this kind of inspiration you can find a lot of variety in the food so there will be something for everyone here. All their dishes try to improve on these traditotional foods, with favorites on the menu being the kedgeree with poached cod, chips with garlicky aioli, and a sweet maple crème brûlée.
The decor of this restaurant is simple, with whitewashed brick walls and a simple bar, bit this still provides a warm and cosy atmosphere for you and your friends to enjoy. If you visit in summer and the weather is warm then they set up their Parisian-syle tables on the pavements outside, so you can experience a bit of Paris dining while enjoying your food.
Out of all the restaurants on this list, Chez Ma Tante is the best one for brunch dates, and with the chance of ordering their famous pancakes on the weekend, you can’t pass up on this little hidden gem of brooklyn.