150 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg
A tiny café in the heart of Williamsburg, Bakeri is one of the original neighborhood hangouts in this ever-evolving slice of Brooklyn. All of the bread and pastries are made in-house, but locals also swear by the breakfast items, like organic Eggs Provencal, baked in tomato sauce and served with a side of sourdough rye, and the lunch salads, like grapefruit avocado with kale, red onion, fennel, pepitas, and sea salt. Most people take their food to go, but the main dining room is small, cozy, and highly recommended in winter, while the backyard is a shady, cool escape in the middle of hot, humid NYC summers. There are also outposts in Greenpoint and the East Village in Manhattan.
348 Flatbush Ave., Prospect Heights
Fausto had big shoes to fill when it opened on a busy block of Flatbush Avenue in Park Slope last year. The space was formerly occupied by Franny’s, a much-loved neighborhood pizza place that had been a staple of the area for almost fifteen years. Luckily, Fausto was equal to the task. It quickly became a new favorite, thanks to chef Erin Shambura’s house-made pastas (like buckwheat rigatoni with shiitake mushrooms, dandelion greens, and Parmesan), and a clean-lined, sophisticated mid-century modern dining room. The wine list is as close to flawless as a wine list can be—which makes sense given that it was conceived by sommelier (and co-owner), Joe Campanale, the restaurateur behind popular NYC Italian spots Dell’Anima and Anfora.
Pier 6, Brooklyn
When Grand Banks opened on a 142-foot wooden sailing ship on the Hudson River in 2014, it became an instant warm-weather hit, as much for the novelty factor as for the oysters and lobster rolls. Last summer, the same team (brothers Alex and Miles Pincus) brought their concept to Brooklyn, on a 140-foot 1924 schooner docked just off Brooklyn Bridge Park, with views of the famous bridge and all Lower Manhattan. Like its sister ship across town, Pilot offers everything you’d expect: In addition to the oysters and the lobster roll, there is a softshell crab po’boy, a tomato and watermelon salad, and a big selection of refreshing cocktails. Try the Life at Sea, a house cocktail of vodka and bitter lemon syrup.
545 Lorimer St., Williamsburg
Do not leave without ordering Ginanjuice, an infusion of just-juiced carrot-beet-apple-ginger, gin, and Lillet that tastes healthy and bracing, but is also stronger than you think, so pace yourself.
522 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg
Half coffee shop, half wellness center, the End is known for its incredible healthy lattes, like the healing Unicorn, which combines ginger, Blue Majik spirulina, and maca into a frothy, bright-blue tonic topped with organic flowers.
268 Clinton St., Cobble Hill
Go to La Vara with a few friends, because you’re going to want to order everything on the menu, starting with the fried chickpeas and working your way through everything that looks good—it all is. Chef Alex Raij serves up southern Spanish cuisine with Jewish and Moorish influences, so house-cured salt cod is served with citrus, olives, egg, and pomegranate, and a half chicken is served with spiced onions and cumin.
342 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg
Despite identifying as a primarily Israeli spot, the menu at 12 Chairs is fairly broad, meaning that you’ll always spot something you want. The Hummus is a must-order—smooth, tangy, garlicky and served in a giant bowl topped with even more chickpeas and a side of crunchy pita. On weekends, the chefs make Jachnun (a Yemenite bread spiked with complex date honey, cooked overnight, and served with a jammy boiled egg), the stuffed cabbage is available every day, as are the pillowy pelmeni—overall, really good comfort food that feels light and fresh. The wine selection is a thoughtful list of several Israeli labels amongst others. The place does pack out daily without fail, but the wait is never too long.
Sunday in Brooklyn
5124, 348 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg
This is the closest you’ll come to SoCal in BK. The avocado toast, the breakfast sandwich, the quinoa bowl—they’re all here. There are also malted pancakes served with brown butter and seared mushrooms and ramp kimchi atop flaky grilled flatbread, so something for everyone. The interior is minimalist Scandinavian with blonde wood, pretty ceramics, and lots of greenery, but warmed up by a terra-cotta tile floor, chic marble-topped tables, and a wooden bar that wouldn’t look out of place in a ski chalet. There’s not a bad glass on the entire (all natural, all delicious) wine list. If you can’t handle the weekend crush, pick up the perfect flat white from the to-go hatch out front.
The Four Horsemen
295 Grand St., Williamsburg
A passion project of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, the Four Horsemen is one of our favorite places for natural wine not just in New York but anywhere. Show up early for a seat at the bar or make a reservation ahead of time—this teeny spot packs out every night. The by-the-glass section is tightly edited, while the wine list itself is akin to a small leather-bound novel. The staff is really good about making suggestions if you don’t know where to begin. The food menu is short, concise, and unapologetic—they don’t do substitutions here, but you probably won’t want any. To warm up, split an order of the beurre-blanc-saturated carrots. Then get the pasta with Meyer lemon, bottarga, breadcrumbs, and parsley for yourself, and the budino for dessert. The good vibes are a testament to a loyal crowd of regulars who are comfortable in the space and enthusiastic about the food.
93 South 6th St., Williamsburg
Tucked right under the Williamsburg bridge on the patio space of its sister restaurant Loosie’s Kitchen, this is the perfect spot for morning freelancing, afternoon meetings, or relaxed happy hour cocktails.
You may also like