Brooklyn bubbles to it’s own rhythm, separate to the sleek steel rises of Manhattan, it pops with vibrant pockets of culture, diverse groups, styles, fashions and, of course, foods.
The best food in Brooklyn is found spread across the entire borough, with everything from modern takes on pizza to deep bowls of Caribbean flavour, fancy wine bars to donuts, Indian flat breads to refined French croissants, Brooklyn really does burst with goodness.
Unfortunately, many visitors to New York never leave Manhattan to sample the food of Brooklyn, but a quick hop across the bridge and a whole new side of the city awaits. With this in mind, we’ve decided to create a guide for the more courageous food visitors, for those who want to step out of the city and head to some of the neighbourhoods of New York in search of serious delicious.
You can’t really come to New York without sampling pizza, however, where to do this can be a contentious issue. The best pizza in Brooklyn? Well, that’s a debate to be had with the locals, and many will be happy to partake. For us, one of the must visit spots is Emmy Squared, a place where they prefer the chunky deep slices over thin style. The bases at Emmy Squared are fluffy, crispy in all the right places and layered with a tangy tomato sauce that’s so moorish many people order extra on the side. It can get pretty packed so be prepared for a little wait at busy times, their delivery is also top quality and a must try is the Colony² - tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, pickled chilies and a sweet dash of honey.
364 Grand St
Brooklyn NY 11211Website
For a kick of spice you really have to set out towards Crown Heights to visit chef Rawlston Williams at The Food Sermon. The charismatic chef knocks out a small selection of perfectly crafted Caribbean food bowls that deliver delicious on a level that’s hard to beat anywhere else in Brooklyn. Choose from lamb, chicken, salmon or tofu and get ready for a mix of spices that will take your tongue to levels you didn’t know existed. Our personal favourite is the lamb, it’s coated in a homemade spice mix and cooked to the point of sliding off the bone - the bowls also deliver well, with the sauces kept separate for people to add themselves at home.
The Food Sermon
355 Rogers Ave
Brooklyn NY 11225Website
For a sit down tasting from one of Brooklyn’s hottest young chefs, you have to visit Olmsted and dine on the cuisine of Greg Baxtrom. Baxtrom has created a wonderful space and menu where you can slip away from the hustle of the city and instead travel the world on a plate. The menu is global with fun, delicious, smart combinations that consistently deliver. The back garden is where the night turns magic thanks to a selection of desserts made to be enjoyed camp fire style, which is why we suggest saving room for the homemade S’mores.
659 Vanderbilt Ave
Brooklyn NY 11238Website
Missy Robinson is back in action at her newest restaurant, Lilia, nestled between Williamsburg and Green Point. With some of the best pasta dishes New York has to offer inside a redone auto-body shop, the place carries all industrial grit of Brooklyn alongside the deep delicious of Italy. You have to be quick to snag a reservation but they do have a bar and will serve walk-ins, it’s even worth popping in before service for coffee at the bar as you’ll often see the team in the back crafting fresh pasta for the evening’s menu.
One of our favourite Indian spots in Brooklyn is Dosa Royale in Clinton Hill. This is because they do proper paratha: flat, fatty, fried Indian bread that takes a lot of skill to craft in the perfect spirals you see on display at Dosa Royale. Curries are well balanced and not too oily, the butter chicken is a must thanks to the wonderful tomato sauce, there’s also a really solid mix of South Indian snacks that will please every taste at the table.
258 Dekalb Ave
Brooklyn NY 11205Website
You’re spoilt for choice for donuts across Brooklyn, but one of the must visit places at the moment isDu’s Donutsby chef Wylie Dufresne. There’s all sorts of wonderful creations and flavour combinations on offer at Du’s, with Dufresne employing his trademark flavour genius to whip up some of the finest donuts Brooklyn has to offer. Current menu items include: Mexican hot chocolate, peanut butter and yuzu and kaffir corn cruller. Our personal favourite is the Banana Graham which you should really take with a creamy shot of coffee milk.
107 N 12th St
Brooklyn NY 11249Website
For Brunch in Brooklyn we go for buttery saltiness with a visit to the French Louie restaurant on Atlantic Avenue. They cook up a good mix of breakfast items but their croissant with crab and poached eggs with hollandaise is a Sunday meal we love to savor slowly. This place also offers good lunch and dinner but it seems brunch is where they really excel. Get a booking as it’s busy on weekends, and keep some digestive time free so your system can work through all that butter.
320 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn NY 11201Website
Saturdays in Williamsburg and Sundays in Prospect Park are both filled with the smell of food vendors from across New York as the Smorgasburg Markets open for thousands of hungry revellers. There are around 100 local and regional food stands on offer with everything from Lobster to Long Island Ice Tea. For those who want to taste a good selection of New York’s gastronomic offering this is a great place to stroll and sample.
From 28-30 October, join Fine Dining Lovers for a celebration of young culinary talent, when 12 global finalists will battle it out in Milan for the title of best young chef in the world - plus, join our first edition of Brain Food forum. See what's on.
Fine Dining Lovers teams up with the Culinary Institute of America, James Beard Foundation and Black Food Folks on the Better Business project to build stronger, more sustainable business practices for the industry.