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My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

You're never without a fresh hot flatbread at Yemen Cafe.

By my estimate, there are at least 15,000 restaurants in Brooklyn, and I love about 200 of them at any given time. So this list reflects ephemeral choices, what I want to eat now as I sit at my desk, breakfast-less, and dream about climbing on the train and heading to neighborhoods like Bath Beach, Bed-Stuy, and Bushwick.

Here are my 13 favorite places to eat in Brooklyn. Ask me tomorrow and the list will be different.

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

13. Yemen Café - Bring a crowd, because a meal at Yemen Café is a communal experience, from the charred humongous pitas that arrive throughout the meal, to the creamy baba ganoush, to the smoky kebabs at bargain prices, to the bubbling pot of meat, vegetables, and goo called saltah, shown above. Dip away! 7130 Fifth Avenue, Bay Ridge, 718-745-8000

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

12. BrisketTown - What could be better than a big fatty hunk of beef cooked 14 hours or more at low temps over hardwood, then served with nothing but bread, pickles, and onions? And now Austin breakfast tacos during the day. 359 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, 718-701-8909

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

11. Pete Zaaz - Since when did pizza become so much fun? The zany pies fly from the oven at this Crown Heights maverick (including the baked potato pie shown above), and there's nothing better in the summer than chowing down in the breezy back yard. 766 Classon Avenue, Crown Heights, 718-230-9229

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

 

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

10. Chick P - Hidden around the corner from the new Barclays Center, this vegetarian Israeli takes all of Middle Eastern and North African Sephardic cooking as its purview, and the vegetarian platter would make even meat lovers swoon. 490 Bergen Street, Prospect Heights, 718-783-1525

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

9. Café Nargis - Who doesn't like Uzbeki food, with its combination of over-charcoal lamb and chicken kebabs, tart composed salads, Korean borrowings, and kick-ass fresh breads, including toki, which is something like a parabolic matzo. 2818 Coney Island Avenue, Brighton Beach, 718-872-7888

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

8. Rama's Roti Shop - The slogan of this Trinidadian café is "The Taste of a Mother's Love," and who could resist the curry laced rotis (goat and pumpkin shown below) with plenty of scotch bonnet hot sauce, or the bakes and doubles that make the nicest breakfasts? 2831 Church Avenue, Flatbush, 718-287-7262

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants
My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

 

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants
Calvin Godfrey

7. Vanderbilt - The Vanderbilt explores the potential of Brooklyn charcuterie, turning out diverse sausages like weisswurst and bangers in profusion, then switching gears to drinking snacks that include Brussels sprouts with honey and Sriracha and scrumptious deviled eggs, finally turning out exemplary main courses including one of the borough's best burgers. Shown above: pork loin. 570 Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights, 718-623-0570

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

6. Roman's - Eating at Roman's requires a leap of faith, because the menu is different every day, determined by a conference among chef and line cooks. The results are often fresh and spectacular, from market-driven salads, to second course pastas, to third courses such as the wood-oven roasted goat with frybreads shown above. 243 Dekalb Avenue, Ft. Greene, 718-622-5300

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

5. Mitchell's - This ancient and venerable soul food spot has flourished despite the gentrification of the neighborhood all around it, a palace of great fried chicken, mac and cheese, ribs, smothered pork chops and, yes, chitterlin's. The reason? The food is excellent and the prices cheap. 617A Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights, 718-789-3212

 

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

4. Parish Hall - This offspring of Egg makes cunning and creative use of unexpected ingredients - a tartare of lamb instead of beef, duck breast intertwined with watercress and leeks in a paradoxically light warm salad, or sustainable pollock with cranberry relish and garlic cream - to create a menu that never ceases to amaze and satisfy. Shown above: soft-boiled egg in parsnip puree. 109 North 3rd Street, Williamsburg, 718-782-2602

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

3. Yun Nan Flavour Snack - One of only three Yunnan restaurants in the city, this tiny shop delights diners with its rudimentary menu of Southeast-Asian-leaning rice noodles in soups and stir-fries, with a broad choice of ingredients that can, at your request, include offal. 775 49th Street, Sunset Park, 718-633-3090

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

2. Oasis - This Palestinian restaurant is simplicity itself, feeding generations of 'Burgers with fresh vegetable salads, spit-roasted meats, bread dips, and falafels so big, they'd break your toe if you dropped one. And cheap, too. 161 North 7th Street, Williamsburg, 718-218-7607

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

 

My 13 Favorite Brooklyn Restaurants

1. Totonno Pizzeria Napolitano - My favorite pizza parlor in the world, and one of the few coal-oven places remaining in the city, is still shuttered following Hurricane Sandy. Attempts to secure recovery financing have been unavailing, according to a piece in the Daily News, but the owners vow to reopen anyway by Valentine's Day. 1524 Neptune Avenue, Coney Island, 718-372-8606

Check out My 10 Favorite Queens Restaurants, from 2010.

Follow me on Twitter if you dare -- @robertsietsema

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Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
Yemen Cafe

7130 5th Ave.
New York, NY 11209

718-745-3000

www.yemencafe.com

miles
Briskettown

359 Bedford Ave.
New York, NY 11211

718-701-8909

www.briskettown.com

miles
Pete Zaaz

766 Classon Ave.
New York, NY 11238

718-230-9229

www.petezaaz.com

miles
Chick P

490 Bergen St.
New York, NY 11217

718-783-1525

www.chick-p.com

miles
Nargis Cafe

2818 Coney Island Ave.
New York, NY 11235

718-872-7888

www.nargiscafe.com

miles
The Vanderbilt

570 Vanderbilt Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11238

718-623-0570

www.thevanderbiltnyc.com

miles
Roman's

243 Dekalb Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11205

718-622-5300

www.romansnyc.com

miles
Mitchell Soul Food

617A Vanderbilt Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11238

718-789-3212

miles
Parish Hall - Closed

109 N. 3rd St.
New York, NY 11211

718-782-2602

www.parishhall.net

miles
Yun Nan Flavour Snack Shop

774 49th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11220

718-633-3090

miles
Totonno Pizzeria Napolitano

1524 Neptune Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11224

718-372-8606

www.totonnos.com

miles
Oasis

161 N. Seventh St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211

718-218-7607


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