The roof garden at French bistro Juliette awaits forlornly the return of summer.
The growth of Williamsburg restaurants in the last dozen years has been meteoric, and, where once there were a dozen or so places that might be worth trying, now there are probably 200 or more.
There are high-flown places where you can easily blow $100 per person, and plebian places where $5 gets you a filling meal–with leftovers! There are mediocre joints that cynically cater to clueless tourists, drawing them in with neon and strong drink, and joints known principally to locals, where the food is every bit as good as it needs to be to bring them back again and again. Some establishments are conveniently located, while others reside on streets you’ve probably never heard of. While the loss of Matamoros Puebla Grocery in the Bedford Avenue tenderloin was a very low blow, other great cheap places have leapt into the breech. Indeed, newcomer Doner–situated on the selfsame block–promises to be one of the brightest culinary stars in the neighborhood.
Take my hand as I lead you through Williamsburg’s maze of streets, some of which recall the colonial history of Brooklyn, and the Dutch occupation before that, others of which reflect an Italian, Dominican, or German-Jewish heritage. Hungry? Let’s get started.
Think of the avocado fries at El Almacen as a sort of crisp and squishy warm salad.
Next: The runners-up to our 10 best list
Somewhat paradoxically, you’ll receive a warm welcome at Frost Restaurant.
Runners-up to Our 10 Best Williamsburg Restaurants
Doner (Turkish), 189 Bedford Avenue, 718-218-7900; La Superior (Mexican), 295 Berry Street, 718-388-5988; El Almacen (Argentinian), 557 Driggs Avenue, 718-218-7284; Saltie (new wave sandwiches), 378 Metropolitan Avenue, 718-387-4777; Fanny (American bistro), 425 Graham Avenue, 718-389-2060; Dressler (American bistro), 149 Broadway, 718-384-6343; Cono & Sons (Italian-American), 301 Graham Avenue, 718-388-0168; DuMont (American bistro), 432 Union Avenue, 718-486-7717; Diner (updated diner), 85 Broadway, 718-486-3077; Gottlieb Restaurant (kosher deli), 352 Roebling Street, 718-384-6612; Bamonte’s (Italian-American), 32 Withers Street, 718-384-8831; Radegast Beer Hall (Czech-German), 113 North 3rd Street, 718-963-3973; Raymond’s Place (Polish), 124 Bedford Avenue, 718-388-4200, Taco Santana (Mexican), 301 Keap Street, 718-388-8761; Juliette, 135 North 5th Street, 718-388-9222
Next: Numbers 6 through 10
The wood-oven roasted mortadella is like manna from heaven at Motorino.
Numbers 6 through 10
10. Baci & Abbracci (Italian, pizza), 204 Grand Street, 718-599-6599
9. Qoo Robata Bar (Japanese), 367 Metropolitan Avenue, 718-384-9493
8. Fette Sau (Texas-style barbecue), 354 Metropolitan Avenue, 718-963-3404
7. Egg (Breakfast and more!), 135 North 5th Street, 718-302-5151(*)
6. DuMont Burger (well, duh!), 314 Bedford Avenue, 718-384-6128
(*) – Check out brooklynbased.com for some news concerning Egg.
Next: Numbers 1 through 5
If it weren’t for Luger, Oasis would be the finest restaurant in Williamsburg. The Palestinian fast-food joint over the L stop at Bedford continually produces Middle Eastern fare of the highest quality.
Our Top 5
5. Marlow & Sons (American bistro), 81 Broadway, 718-384-1441
4. Motorino, (wood-oven pizza), 319 Graham Avenue, 718-599-8899
3. Frost (Italian-American), 193 Frost Street, 718-389-7190
2. Oasis (Middle Eastern), 161 North 7th Street, 718-218-7607
1. Peter Luger ( the world’s best steakhouse), 178 Broadway, 718-387-7400
Don’t see your favorite Williamsburg restaurant? Let us know and we’ll add it to the Reader’s Suggestions section that follows.
Roebling Tea Room, 143 Roebling Street, 718-963-0760
Zenkichi, 77 North 6th Street, 718-388-8985
Bozu, 296 Grand Street, 718-384-7770 (*)
Fiore, 284 Grand Street, 718-782-8222
Aurora, 70 Grand Street, 718-388-5100
Nha Toi, 160 Havemeyer Street, 718-599-1820
Oak Cafe 361 Graham Avenue, 718-387-1245
Fratelli Brick Pizza Joint, 159 Grand Street, 718-599-5600
Sui Ren, 302 Metropolitan Avenue, 718-218-7878
PT, 331 Bedford Avenue, 718-388-7438