Has Brooklyn’s dining scene finally surpassed Manhattan restaurants? Judging from the breadth and innovation emerging from the borough’s restaurants, many might say yes. Whether you’re looking for New York pizza institutions in sleepy Midwood, the best pies with a cult following in hipster-central Gowanus or a spot in Fort Greene to have a Middle Eastern feast, here are the best restaurants in Brooklyn.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC
Best restaurants in Brooklyn
You better plan in advacne if you want to dine in this Michelin two-star restaurant, since you need to prepay for your tasting menu experience. But once you book your spot, you can sit back and enjoy an evening of attentive hospitality and Nordic cuisine at its best. The restaurant sports a moody, cool style with animal-skin rugs and wood tables covered in black cloth, enjoyed with the added benefit of having plenty of space between tables (an anomaly in the era of cluttered New York dining).
For pizza aficionados, there is no greater god than Domenico DeMarco. The veteran pizzaiolo has been turning out Brooklyn’s most-famed pies since the 1960s, in a scruffy Midwood storefront that hasn’t changed much in the intervening decades. The cognoscenti try the classic cheese slices (both regular- and square-style) first, but your stomach is the only limit when it comes to piling on other toppings.
This Prospect Heights gem is worth the trip for the gorgeous garden out back alone (and the s’mores served there). But then you would miss the full magic that chef Greg Baxtrom, an alum of Alinea and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, is creating in the kitchen. Each item of the eccectic menu is refined, yet taps into some soft of nostalgic memory, whether it be their kale crab rangoon or creamy frozen yogurt with lavender honey. While dinner in this cozy space is magical, their newly launched brunch service is just as noteworthy.
Contrary to their name, Sunday in Brooklyn is indeed open for brunch and dinner every day of the week. The rustic three-story space offers cozy vibes with warm wood interiors and an outdoor patio. While you've probably seen their malted pancakes with hazelnut-maple praline on Instagram (they’re just as good as they look) from their brunch, chef Jaime Young is bringing the same innovation and attention to detail to dinner. Don't miss the pastrami black cod with sour cream, pickles and toasted sourdough or the fried togarashi chicken with fancy ranch.
Much has changed in Williamsburg since 1950, but stalwart steakhouse Luger’s remains satisfyingly the same. The porterhouse for two (or three … or four) is the house specialty: dry-aged in-house and seasoned only with salt and clarified butter. But you would be remiss not to begin a meal here with the bacon: extra-thick, extra salty and rightfully famous on its own.
Much-heralded chef Missy Robbins delighted Williamsburg when she opened Italian stunner Lilia early in 2016. While Robbins is rightfully famed for her pasta (you’ve probably seen the mafaldini with pink peppercorns on Instagram a few hundred times), the sleeper hit is the soft-serve gelato, sprinkled with your choice of toppings like walnuts preserved in lemon syrup.
Inside the 50-seat, casual-sleek parlor—where overalls-clad Brooklyn moms juggle a newborn with one arm and a slice with the other, and off-duty chefs in snapbacks unload with on-tap rum punch—Matt and Emily Hyland serve six-slice rectangles that have all the hallmarks of the Detroit pan-baked style: air-pocked, puff-and-fluff dough that’s thicker than the New York slice but thinner than deep dish; cheese baked right into the crust until the buttery, barely risen dough takes on an addictively crispy frico texture; and sauce that’s Pollack-splashed on top rather than pooled in the center.
No, Miss Ada isn’t the name of some chef’s grade-school teacher. Rather, it’s a playful twist on the phonetic pronunciation of misada, the Hebrew word for “restaurant.” At this Fort Greene spot, Israeli-born chef Tomer Blechman (Bar Bolonat) combines his Latvian heritage with Mediterranean cooking. While you’ll be tempted to fill up on the incredible pita and silky whipped ricotta with brown butter and sage, be sure to save room for their warm hummus with lamb shawarma, falafel with green tahini and harissa-drizzled brick chicken.
While the team here might not fly by the seat of their pants as much as in years’ past, this kooky kitchen is still creating some of the most innovative and oft-copied dishes in all of Brooklyn. The pizza remains the crowd pleaser due to its perfectly-chewy crust and addictive topping combinations like the Speckenwolf: mozzarella, crimini mushrooms, speck and onion or the Lil’ Stinker: tomato, mozzerella, parm, pecorino, garlic, onion and pepperocini.
Is it a bar with superlative food or an oyster joint with superb cocktails? It doesn’t really matter once you’re here. Featuring as many as 30 varieties of bivalves and the largest collection of absinthes in NYC, this regal Williamsburg spot is jam-packed nightly with good reason. The New Orleans-inflected menu shines brightest with the seafood: don’t miss the crudos or any of the crustaceans on ice.
Looking for more amazing food in Brooklyn?
McGarry's is a popular pre- and post-game spot for Rangers and Knicks games.
Venue says: “Join us for Happy Hour food and drink specials - Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm! Make sure to check out our $30 Bottomless Brunch Sat & Sun 11am-4pm! 🍳🥓”