Restaurants in Red Hook: Where to eat in the Brooklyn neighborhood

Discover the best restaurants in Red Hook, Brooklyn—including Pok Pok Ny, Red Hook Lobster Pound and Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

Appropriately for a waterfront neighborhood, Red Hook includes seafood restaurants like Brooklyn Crab and lobster-roll spot Red Hook Lobster Pound, as well as top Thai restaurant Pok Pok Ny. Food-truck culture is also well represented, with a number of Vendy Award winners setting up at the Red Hook Ball Fields.

RECOMMENDED: Red Hook neighborhood guide

Court Street Grocers

The popular Carroll Gardens market expands its sandwich operations with a five-seat counter in Red Hook. You’ll find signature items like the Breakfast Sandwich and Italian Combo (salami, mortadella and mozzarella).

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Red Hook

Pok Pok Ny

Critics' pick

There are plenty of chefs toying with far-flung flavors in New York, but few have flawlessly captured the true taste of distant cultures. Once in a while, though, an outsider manages to find a way in, learning to cook like a native son. Andy Ricker, raised on ski-town grub in Vermont, flipped for Thai food years back, as a rudderless vagabond wandering across Southeast Asia (working on boats in the Pacific). His immersion started in Chiang Mai, where great local cooks took him under their wings. Year after year he returned to the city to build a repertoire of authentic Thai tastes with a scholar’s devotion to detail. His first restaurant, the original Pok Pok, opened in Portland, Oregon in 2005 as a takeout shack, serving Thai-style barbecue chicken and mortar-and-pestle papaya salads. It gained momentum organically, evolving over the years into one of the country’s top spots for a serious Thai feast. Recently, Ricker exported the concept east to New York, opening a small wing shop on the Lower East Side, followed by a full-fledged replica of the Portland Pok Pok on the Brooklyn waterfront, featuring the same intense flavors and honky-tonk vibe. The new spot, like the original, replicates the indigenous dives where Ricker’s Thai food education began, with a tented dining room out back festooned with a jungle of dangling plants, colorful oilcloths on the tables and secondhand seats. Ricker is a rare out-of-town chef who hasn’t jacked up prices in the move to New York—nothing o

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Red Hook

Red Hook Lobster Pound

Critics' pick

This lobster seller trucks the critters from Maine to the storefront every week. You can order two styles of lobster roll—the warm and buttered Connecticut version or the cold and mayo-laced New England one—plus Maine Root sodas and Robicelli treats.

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Red Hook

El Olomega

From their seasonal station at the Red Hook Ball Fields, siblings Marcos and Janet Lainez serve Salvadoran pupusas made from their mother's recipe. The handmade corn cakes are stuffed with a variety of fillings (including pork, chicken or cheese) and griddled.

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Red Hook

Brooklyn Crab

Channeling Maine's minigolf clam shacks, this hulking 250-seat eatery brings putt-putt facilities and seaside tastes to Red Hook's waterfront. Elevated on stilts, the three-story stand-alone restaurant is done up with wharf-themed flourishes: lobster traps, fishing rods, Christmas lights and a mounted shark's head. Gather friends for a round of minigolf, bocce or cornhole (beanbag toss) outdoors. After hitting the greens, grab a picnic table and dig into simple coastal fare, such as fried whole-belly clams with homemade tartar sauce, peel-and-eat shrimp, and steam pots brimming with lobster, Jonah crab and mussels, along with potatoes and corn. Drinkers can sip frozen daiquiris or split a bucket of beer (Corona, Bud) with pals on the open-air roof deck, which boasts clear views of New York's Upper Bay.

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Red Hook

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Critics' pick

Stumptown founder Duane Sorenson opens this coffee bar inside his Red Hook roastery. Caffeine geeks can select their bean from 30 sustainable options roasted on the premises—you can even pick your preferred brewing method (Chemex, French press, Melitta and more). A small retail area offers coffee gear and whole beans to take home.

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Red Hook

The Good Fork

This affordable, sophisticated Brooklyn restaurant—evocative of a first-class dining car with its glossy blond wood paneling—consistently packs in local crowds. Much of the credit goes to chef Sohui Kim (Blue Hill, Annisa), whose Asian-inspired menu flirts with European influences in dishes like flavorful barramundi with brussels sprouts, apples and bacon in a sorrel-based sauce. Getting there (for non-Hookers) can be a tougher sell: Expect at least a ten-minute walk from the subway.

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home/made

When owners Monica Byrne and Leisah Swenson consolidated their itsy-bitsy lounge, Tini Wine Bar, with its sister home-goods shop, the resulting mash-up became dangerous territory for shopaholics. After downing a glass of pinot grigio ($6), see if you can resist such industrial-looking pieces as a metal-and-reclaimed-wood coffee table ($800) that was handmade by Swenson, an antique medical lamp ($245) and the selection of mercury glass candlesticks ($18–$48) tempting you in the front window display.

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Baked

At this snug bakery and café in Red Hook, kids can load up on homestyle American sweets like fruit pies, brownies, cupcakes and red velvet cake. The traditional apple pie is the best we've ever had (sorry, Mom).

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Raaka Chocolate

Unroasted cocoa beans are stone-ground at this factory-sweetshop, where chocolate bars are flecked with Himalayan pink sea salt and studded with English porter hops.

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Red Hook

Hope & Anchor

Classic red vinyl diner seating abounds at this Red Hook diner-cum-pub, whose interior is a reassuring alloy of a blue-tinted bar and red-brick walls, adorned with restrained art. Try the gazpacho; it’s light and well blended. Or the mac and cheese fritters, delicate, un-oily and melding nicely with the horseradish-based sauce. Move onto the moist and peppery pork burger with cheddar and apple relish (though be sure to ask for sweet potato fries instead of the standard anemic variety). If you have room, finish with the banana cream pie, a study in gustatory excess.

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Grindhaus

Soho dominatrix Erin Norris switches to the restaurant business with this 20-seat Red Hook eatery, outfitted with mismatched wood chairs, a zebra-printed ceiling fan and a taxidermied horse. Co-chefs Leon Douglas and Aaron Taber (the Pines) offer meaty small plates like lamb-neck piccole borsa (stuffed pasta), pork cheek with onion jam and cracklings, and merguez alongside chickpeas and artichokes. Cheese, pasta and sausage—hand-cranked vintage grinders top the tables—are all made in-house, and naturally leavened bread is baked in a backyard wood oven.

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Red Hook

La Bouillabaisse

The third iteration of this pioneering seafood eatery, which first opened on Atlantic Avenue in 1993, lacks much of the originals’ appeal. Prefab design gives way to a redundant menu, featuring too many repeated ingredients—shellfish dominated the tepid appetizers, which included a dull crab-and-avocado salad. The bouillabaisse (one of two fish stews) featured funky-smelling shrimp and mussels—hardly a good showing for the namesake dish. The best thing we ate was a juicy skirt steak with crisp fries. Maybe it’s a sign that chef Neil Ganic should try a different concept.

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Red Hook

Hometown Bar-b-que

Grab your Wet-Naps—Brooklyn’s BBQ renaissance shows no signs of cooling off. This wood-paneled 120-seat smokehouse is the latest addition to the scene, a collaboration between self-taught pit master Billy Durney and restaurateur Christopher Miller (Smith & Mills, Warren 77). Inspired by his Brooklyn upbringing and travels through the South, Durney turns out 'cue with global influences. Dig into smoked meats both American (Texas-style brisket, North Carolina–inspired baby back ribs) and international (smoked jerk chicken, lamb belly banh mi). The drinks match the honky-tonk menu: Bartenders pour draft beers (Smuttynose, Shiner Bock) and American whiskeys (Van Brunt Stillhouse).

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Red Hook

Red Hook Ball Fields

Critics' pick

Although it's home to Fairway and Ikea, Red Hook's remote location and lack of subway lines make it feel like unexplored terrain. Hop onto your bike or take the Water Taxi service from downtown Manhattan (it's $5 during the week, but free on Saturdays and Sundays) and make a beeline for the much-praised Latin-food vendors that set up on the Red Hook ball fields. Sample excellent Salvadoran pupusas and other national delicacies, and watch some serious teams play soccer—kickball in McCarren Park this ain't.

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Red Hook

Defonte’s

Critics' pick

If you’re lucky enough to live or work near this legendary Red Hook sandwich shop, you know the secret of its success: massive, old-school Italian heros. Buns are layered with ingredients like ham, provolone, salami, roast beef, mozzarella and fried eggplant. In the Gramercy location, prepared dinners (macaroni with vodka sauce, chicken parmigiana) in microwaveable containers are available to go.

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Red Hook

O’Barone

Chef-owner Fulvio Leone brings his native Italian sensibilities to the table at this rustic eatery. The slim menu stresses simple dishes, like tagliatelle with mushrooms, and melted tomino cheese with pancetta, while the wines, such as falanghina and chianti, hail from the country’s regional vineyards. The intimate space, meanwhile, gets a breezy lift from a retractable glass roof.

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Red Hook

Red Hook Mercado (CLOSED)

Critics' pick

Inspired by the open-air markets of Latin America, Cesar Fuentes (representative of the food vendors at the Red Hook ball fields) has teamed up with others in the neighborhood to convert an empty lot into just such a public space, open weekends for now with some weekdays coming later. Familiar ballfields offerings like pupusas and huaraches will be joined by more global bites, including "Spicy Bitches"—deep fried hot pork wieners from Gridnhaus (a sausage-and-beer bar yet-to-open nearby)—and "Movie Theater" cookies (chocolate chip, popcorn and gummy fish) from FattyCakes NY. A rotating group of artians selling their crafts will also make daily appearances, followed by poetry, music and other performances at night.

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Red Hook

El Huipil (CLOSED)

Were El Huipil in Hell’s Kitchen or on the Lower East Side, you’d easily pass by its generic awning and the glass facade revealing Mexican flags and bric-a-brac. But on a residential block in still-sleepy southern Red Hook, it stands out. The food is mostly excellent, though the tacos and tamales don’t measure up to the sopes picaditas, three little pillows of corn dough filled with black beans, salty cotija cheese, lettuce and crema. The mole of distinction here is a chocolate-brown version with roots in Guerrero, the Mexican state where the owners grew up. The smooth sauce smothers chicken and various enchiladas in its richness, and has a haunting smoky, bitter taste. A pleasant surprise: Breakfast is served all day.

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Red Hook

Fairway

Steer your brood to the back of this Red Hook market and you'll find an affordable sandwich shop. Outside, a sublime patio opens onto the New York Harbor—keep an eye out for the Staten Island Ferry in the distance. The kids can feast on gooey grilled cheese, but you should try the $10 lobster roll: It's a perfect tribute to a fine sea view.

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Red Hook

Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pie

Hurricane Sandy couldn't stop the beloved Red Hook pie shop from making a sweet return to the Brooklyn waterfront. Waist-high flooding ravaged the original factory on Pier 41, putting owner Steve Tarpin and his pastry lieutenants out of commission during their busiest season. The Miami native makes his big comeback on the next pier over, with a sunny kitchen three times the size of his old one. Find his signature graham-cracker-crusted pies—filled with a condensed-milk custard laced with zesty lime juice—and the Swingle—a tartlet dipped in dark Belgian chocolate—inside the tropical-orange-hued bakery. The pies may be the same, but Tarpin will hang a new vintage glass sign etched with the shop’s motto: "Always Freshly Squeezed."

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