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Olmstead
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

The best restaurants near Prospect Park

Eat greasy-spoon comfort food or locally grown fare at the best restaurants near Prospect Park in NYC

Written by
Time Out contributors
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Whether you’re spending a day on scenic running routes, tanning on the grassy banks or even just visiting the zoo, make a pit stop at one of the best restaurants near Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s answer to Central Park. There’s a mouth-watering range of gastronomic options in the neighborhoods that surround the park, like creative Asian plates in Park Slope, or international soul food in Prospect Heights. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Best restaurants near Prospect Park

Olmsted
  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Prospect Heights
  • price 2 of 4

You'll find some truly mind-blowing dishes, like the clam-packed carrot crepe, at Olmsted. That’s the case with much of the Prospect Heights blow-in from Baxtrom (Per Se, Blue Hill at Stone Barns) and farmer Ian Rothman, who met while working together at haute-forage dining room, Atera. (Baxtrom was a chef; Rothman was the restaurant’s horticulturist.) On paper, Olmsted’s partiality for hyperfresh produce isn’t exactly a distinctive quality, but its sheer dedication to freshness sets it apart. Rothman oversees an urban minifarm behind the modestly dressed restaurant: garden beds provide Baxtrom’s kitchen with radishes and lovage; a bird coop coos with quails laying eggs; and a repurposed claw-foot bathtub sloshes with crayfish.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Prospect Heights
  • price 2 of 4

Franny's devotees can breathe easy—husband-and-wife team Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens have reincarnated their pioneering farm-to-table pizzeria two blocks down on Flatbush. Executive chef John Adler oversees a menu identical to the original's (yes, that means those beloved clam-and-chili pies), while the decor gets a refined face-lift with mosaic tile floors, antique bone mirrors and steelwork throughout. The key difference is that this pizza joint has more of, well, everything—not one but two brick ovens baking up those blistered crusts; 100 seats total, almost twice that of the original; and large-format entrées (wood-fired poularde, salt-baked whole fish) available exclusively in the 30-seat private dining cellar. Also on offer: expanded lunch (served Friday through Sunday), takeout and, finally, reservations (for six people or more), which should decrease the long lines the hot spot routinely attracts—fingers crossed.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Prospect Heights
  • price 1 of 4

Denisse Lina Chavez, known around these parts at the Queen of Carnitas, moved her cramped bodega–cum–taqueria from the south Bronx to central Brooklyn with this 32-seat Prospect Heights successor. Inside the cheery space–decorated with bright-green stools and pineapple-painted walls–find the central Mexican specialties that Chavez built her reputation on: The chef nixtamalizes blue corn via a Jalisco-imported custom masa machine to make tortillas, which hug everything from chicken tinga to chorizo to, yes, those juicy, immensely porky carnitas.

Talde
  • Restaurants
  • Pan-Asian
  • Park Slope
  • price 2 of 4

We expect a lot from our junior celebrity chefs—all those young guns chasing the spotlight on reality TV. But Dale Talde's first foray is so understated, it’s as if he’s hoping his fans don’t notice it’s there. With its dark-wood booths and mahogany carvings depicting dragons, foo dogs and samurai swords, the place feels like an old-school bar and grill crossed with a 1970s Chinese restaurant. Luckily, the playful, genre-busting menu is much more successful than the space as an Asian-American mash-up. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Diners
  • Prospect Heights
  • price 1 of 4

Not much changes at the perfect pre–Brooklyn Museum eatery, Tom’s: The lemon-ricotta pancakes slathered in a medley of butters are still heavenly, cherry-lime rickeys maintain an old-soda-shoppe allure, and on weekend mornings, a line of hungry diners of all ages—munching on cookies and orange slices proffered by friendly staff—stretches around the block. Get here early for a timely eggs and coffee fix.

Glady's
  • Restaurants
  • Caribbean
  • Crown Heights
  • price 1 of 4

Starting off as a sandwich shop, this restaurant’s chef and owner, Michael Jacober, was inspired by Crown Heights’ culinary ethnicity and switched his epicurean gear to create a Caribbean menu. The result: a cozy, aquamarine-colored eatery that’s all about Jamaican fare with brunch, lunch and an extensive island-sourced spirits menu. A wood-burning oven slow-cooks jerk chicken, pork and lobster, and entrees like whole fish and curry goat also get their due. As for drink choices, consider the rum-flavored Dark N’ Slushie or the Painkiller cocktail.

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  • Restaurants
  • Greek
  • Park Slope
  • price 2 of 4

This cozy Greek restaurant set in a windowed brownstone near the park’s Grand Army Plaza, serves Mediterranean favorites like spinach-and-feta-filled spanakopita in a house-made filo crust and hirino souvlaki with grilled and marinated loin of pork over rice pilaf.

Fonda
  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Park Slope
  • price 2 of 4

Fonda is a dimly lit spot from chef Roberto Santibanez (Rosa Mexicana). Packed with locals since it opened, Fonda has become a South Slope hit. The spare room is mercifully devoid of South-of-the-Border kitsch: red paint on one wall, exposed brick on the other, and a bar wrapped in multi-colored fabric. If the decor is restrained, the food—contemporary, upscale Mexican—is comparatively indulgent. Try the duck zarape, carne asada (roasted beef) and fish salpicon—a mixture of fish and spices meant to be spooned into tortillas.

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Sunshine Co.
  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Prospect Heights
  • price 2 of 4

Julian Calcott (Corton) serves upscale American plates at this glassy, modern eatery, from the owners of beloved neighborhood café Milk Bar. Lunch and brunch menus offer upgrades on standard midday fare (chicken-liver terrine, salted cod hash and poached eggs), while dinner (salmon crudo with pickled beets, grilled duck and root vegetables) touches on contemporary seasonal trends. Bar vets Jeremy Oertel (Donna) and Natasha David (Maison Premiere) consult on a herbaceous cocktail menu, including drinks like the Viking Culture, made with carroway-infused Cocchi Americano, lemon, peach preserve and sparkling wine. Beer drinkers can choose from among six taps behind the thick concrete counter, where bartenders pour craft brews like Green Flash IPA and St. Bernardus Abbey Ale.

  • Restaurants
  • Soul and southern American
  • Prospect Heights
  • price 2 of 4

As the name implies, Cheryl’s Global Soul is full of international dishes, but chef Cheryl Smith seems stuck in Scandinavia. Her 28-seat Prospect Heights restaurant, near the Brooklyn Public Library, looks like a sauna, with wooden boards overhead and on the walls. A self-taught chef, she worked her way up from dishwashing to cooking in the kitchens of Tocqueville and Match, spent some time as executive chef at Marion’s and hosted her own show (Melting Pot) on the Food Network. Her short menu references cultures from around the world—Thai curried mussels and Moroccan vegetable tagine, for example.

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