Bring the whole party, over order, use your hands. The Ethiopian platters are fresh, delicious, and wildly affordable. The larger-than-life-size portraits of Ethiopian tribespeople hanging on the walls are by notable Brooklyn photographer Chester Higgins.
This humble-looking restaurant delivers big, bold dishes with painstakingly pretty presentation. If the wait for a table seems too long to bear (they don't take reservations), remember these three words: crispy kale salad.
This scoop shop stands out in the crowd for its super-premium, certified organic, crazy delicious ice creams; its sustainable initiative; and its non-profit arm, Blue Marble Dreams.
An old-fashioned pharmacy is now an old-fashioned-looking soda fountain and sundries shop. Soda jerks with cute paper hats delight kids of all ages with seasonal ice cream floats, shakes, sundaes, and classic egg creams.
A dining establishment with a Clark Kent-Superman complex. By day, a humble grocer. By night, a big-buzz, 18-seater for chef Cesar Ramirez's three Michelin-starred, avant-garde tasting menus. Reservations need to be made six weeks out.
This minimalist, sake box-size noodle shop slays it with spicy chicken wings, fried brussel sprouts, and incredibly rich bowls of ramen. If there's a wait, whet your whistle with a drink at Weather Up bar across the street.
The cult sandwich shop has been delighting mamas' boys since 1922. Arteries tingle with joy for scratch-made mozzarella and fried eggplant, sausage-and-pepper combos, and pickled veggies piled high on crusty loaves. Fraternize with good old Italian boys and make yourself a regular.
Home of one of the city's best morning meals. Caramelized grapefruit, country ham biscuits, hash, grits, and plenty of Grafton cheddar are served at nearly communal tables in an all-white space.
The Industrial garage space is very South Williamsburg. Everything else is finger-lickin' good: Ribs, sausage, pastrami, potato salad are served by the pound on wax paper from a buffet counter. A very large selection of rye and bourbon wash it all down.
A modern Italian restaurant that elevates the status of pizza by nearly scorching the paper-thin pies in a wood-burning oven and pairing them with a fine list of wines, amaros, and seasonal sides. They run a tight ship, are as environmentally responsible as possible in this concrete jungle, and deliver high quality every single time. The team also runs nearby BKLYN Larder, which sells sundries, provisions, and terrific sandwiches to go.
Neighborhood anchor in Brooklyn's wild west has a crafty, do-it-yourself feel and inventive, Korean-tinged American comfort foods.
A bustling taqueria/hip roadside diner serving delicious masa snacks (tacos, gorditas, spicy pork, tortas, top-notch condiments) with a casual cool (crowd, music, service).
Slavic homestyle cooking in a kitschy little joint where it's BYOB and you can practically pick up the tab for the whole restaurant (there are only nine tables). Everything on the menu — borscht, schnitzel, kielbasa, pierogi, and blintzes — hovers around $10 or less.
Just over the Williamsburg Bridge, this tenacious seasonal restaurant plays to a local, loyal fan base and inspired the New Brooklyn Food Scene. Bodega in front, saloon-style oyster bar in back. Menu is rotating cast of specials. Same goes for Diner, their lively spot next door.
It's small, cheerful, and well-designed; you'll feel like a houseguest. Mimi Kitani turns out incredible hummus, chickpea dishes, root vegetables, and more that nod to her family history in Israel, Morocco, and the Kurdish region of Iraq. Thankfully, her homemade provisions are available to-go (stock up!) at her market next door.
Back in the day, when Williamsburg was mostly an uninhabited industrial wasteland, and even before that (circa 1887), this steakhouse was still packed every night of the week. These days the hipster scene (including plenty of Luger clones) has developed all around it, but the ol' stalwart has kept its authentic old-school charm: incredibly bright lights, dressed-up gentleman servers, and the killer 1/2 pound Luger-burger at lunch.
There has been tons of hype surrounding this Portland import, a Thai-style eatery that seems to transport you to a food stall in Bangkok. Spicy chicken wings are the coveted menu item, to be washed down with a popular Thai-style jelly beer (frozen Singha with a straw).
Dining room channels 19th-century Bavaria and 21st-century Brooklyn simultaneously. Nearly everything is made on the premises (sausages, mustards, pates) with meticulous attention to flavor. The wait can be long, but mornings have a quiet European vibe.
Foodies flock to the perimeters of this soccer field, where dozens of food carts dish out gargantuan portions of the best Mexican, Guatemalan, Colombian, Honduran, Dominican, and Ecuadorian tacos, grilled corn, ceviche, pupusas, plantains, and horchatas. Dine at picnic tables and digest on the bleachers.
File this under "magical NYC experience," and dress to impress. The classic white-tablecloth restaurant is tucked under the Brooklyn Bridge and has million-dollar views of Manhattan. Order champagne in the garden and don't leave without ordering a chocolate rendition of the famed suspension bridge for dessert.
This cobbled-together pizza joint means many things to many people. Part farm lab, part Heritage Radio station (broadcast from a shipping container), part high-brow kitchen experiment, and all-around Bushwick community center.
Throw away all preconceived notions of what belongs between two pieces of bread — this small shop delivers everything you could ever ask for in a sandwich. Breads are homemade, veggies/meats/sauces are combined whimsically, taste sensations are savored sloppily, and everything is topped with a dollop of love.
The latest greenmarket finds get southern treatment at this casual neighborhood restaurant. The chef's fancy pedigree elevates Dixie standards: biscuits, po' boys, fried chicken, and bourbon pork chops.
This is the food-focused offshoot of the beloved Brooklyn Flea, where hobbyists, artisans, and local crafters sell their jarred, jammed, smoked, pickled, toasted, brewed, and always fresh goods to the hungry masses.
A mother-daughter team welcomes you home to their lively neighborhood spot where Arabic music, clinking glasses, and platters of mezze (stuffed grape leaves, Armenian sausage, fattoush) swirls around in one cacaphonous family reunion.
Off the beaten path (which is tough to say in well-trodden NYC), in the historical Navy Yard area, is a delightfully ramshackled little restaurant, perfect for cold nights and meals served in cast-iron skillets. Sure, the cocktails are carefully made and the mustaches carefully combed, but the style has substance to match.