If you’re headed out to the Brooklyn Book Festival this Sunday to catch Chuck Klosterman, Rob Sheffield, Susan Choi, or Tom Wolfe, you may as well make a day of it. The immediate vicinity of Borough Hall is heavy on chain fast food, but there’s plenty of gastronomic adventure nearby. Here are a few spots where you can grab a bite to eat before or after getting your literary fix.
Queen Italian Restaurant, 84 Court Street, Brooklyn
This old school Italian spot has been a neighborhood staple for 55 years, and it’s still going strong. Portions are huge, and the pastas scratch a homey itch (we’re fans of the a’matriciana and marinara in particular). Don’t skip the mozzarella, which is made in-house daily, and and be sure to peruse the daily special menu–which is larger than the regular list.
The Atlantic Chip Shop, 129 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
One of our favorite cheap ways to kill a hangover in the city, this fish and chips joint is an ideal pre-festival stop if you’re regretting Saturday night’s decisions. Pop in for a full English breakfast and bloody mary that’ll put you out less than $15.
Mile End, 97 Hoyt Street, Brooklyn
Back from an end-of-summer remodeling hiatus, this deli turns out inventive sandwiches, shmaltzed hot wings, and indulgent platters of gravy-and-cheese-curd-smothered poutine. The recent menu revamp focused on making the food more beer-friendly, so be sure to grab a pint to go with your platter.
Henry Public, 329 Henry Street, Brooklyn
Our real motivation for stopping into this unassuming neighborhood bar is to toss back a killer martini, but the spot also turns out a worthy menu of tavern fare. The supper menu is burger-centric (though we’d start with a half-dozen oysters); the brunch list deals in staples like an egg sandwich and sweet and savory French toast.
Juliana’s, 19 Old Fulton Street, Brooklyn
Skip the line in front of Grimaldi’s and head to Juliana’s–we pitted the rivals against each other, and Juliana’s, owned by Grimaldi’s founder Patsy Grimaldi, emerged the clear winner. The coal-fired pizzas here pair nicely with both beers and egg creams.
You might also hit the patio for margaritas at Gran Electrica or, if you’ve got a bit more time, trek about 20 minutes to either Pok Pok NY on the Columbia Waterfront or the Vinegar Hill House in Vinegar Hill. Or, you know, head to Shake Shack right across the street.