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.
99 Scott Ave., Bushwick
You can’t go wrong at this vibrant Vietnamese street-food restaurant that serves incredible banh mi, pho, and mouthwatering meat, fish, and veggie vermicelli plates.
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.
17 Ingraham St., Bushwick
Tasty Mexican food and tiki cocktails meld seamlessly at El Cortez, a casual, laid-back spot that’s perfect for a one-on-one date or a pack of friends.
Momo Sushi Shack
43 Bogart St., Bushwick
The lighting is dim (great for date nights), the vibe is casual (the long communal tables are a striking flourish with lots of room to stretch out), and the sushi, hand rolls, and maki are out-of-this-world.
374 Johnson Ave., Bushwick
Known throughout Japan for its delicious tonkotsu (a Japanese broth made from eight- to twelve-hour simmered pork marrow), Ichiran opened in Bushwick with lines around the block.
152 Driggs Ave., Greenpoint
Nestled along a busy street in Greenpoint, Selamat Pagi is Indonesian by way of the Van Lueewen brothers (those of ice cream fame).
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.
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