Little Black Book

The Neighborhood Restaurateur's Guide to Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn

by Tamy Rofe
Photo courtesy of Colonia Verde.

Before we knew about Tamy Rofe, we knew (and loved) her vibrant Latin American restaurants — Colonia Verde in Clinton Hill, Disco Tacos in Williamsburg, and Comodo in Gramercy — for their terrific food, design, and neighborhood atmosphere. It’s no surprise that Rofe is as cool as her homemade haunts (she moved from Mexico City to Manhattan, studied to become a sommelier while working in advertising, ran a pop-up dinner party series with her husband Felipe out of her apartment, and opened her first restaurant on a leap of faith). These days, you can find her holding court at Colonia Verde’s seasonal Sunday Asado Series, where she invites chefs and natural winemakers from all over the world barbecue in the restaurant’s charming backyard, or exploring her neighborhood with her kids. These are the spots in her Little Black Book:

For All Things Good
343 Franklin Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant; +1-929-204-4154
We love these guys! They make their own tortillas with heritage corn and offer top-notch quesadillas and tlayulas. You are bound to run into a neighbor here. Take a seat in the outdoor area and watch people mingle while having lunch or a mid-day snack.

216 Greene Ave., Clinton Hill; +1-914-573-7545
Greene Avenue is such a nice walk. You get to see the stoop life of the neighborhood. People just hanging with neighbors, kids and dogs running around. You can take it all the way from Bedford, with a pit stop for a snack at For All Good Things and a stop by the Sujuk rack of vintage finds. The store is also great, but the outdoor rack is just wonderful.

486 Halsey St., Bedford Stuyvesant; +1-718-513-0339
This is my ultimate favorite spot in my hood — a small music bar started by three musicians. It is quite intimate, and they bring really great acts, not to mention top-notch cocktails, wines, and bites. A real listening room. Neighbors are there for the music. Sometimes dancing, when it merits it.

Sincerely, Tommy
343 Tompkins Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant; +1-718-484-8484
Great coffee shop showcasing emerging female designers from Europe and beyond. The clothes, jewelry, and objects for the home are inspiring.

The outdoor rack at Su'juk. Photo courtesy of Su'juk.
Lunch at For All Things Good. Photo courtesy of For All Things Good.
A cozy stage show. Photo courtesy of LunÀtico.
Summer play and ceramics. Photo courtesy of ArtShack.
Luring in bookworms with new and pre-loved titles. Photo courtesy of The Word Is Change.

The Word Is Change
368 Tompkins Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant; +1-347-441-0048
After browsing through Sincerely Tommy, walk down the block to this wonderful bookstore showcasing diverse voices. A real community bookstore, they sell new and used books and host meetings and readings.

1131 Bedford Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant; +1-917-242-8133
The non-profit ceramic studio was started by two parents who are artists. They offer drop-in pottery classes for kids of all ages, also for adults! The space itself is open, beautiful, and artistic. There is usually a theme and small exhibit carried through the work of the students of all ages.

Herbert Von King Park
670 Lafayette Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant
A great place to go after ArtShack, with playgrounds and a big, ol’ outdoor stage where kids and their friends can put on their own theatrical performances.

504 Franklin Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant; +1-718-484-7065
Another post-Art Shack activity: a flavorful and easy lunch. On the way over, kids get to visit the house on the corner of Monroe and Franklin to see the chickens in the front yard. Golda is casual — you order at the counter and seat yourself — and the quality is great.

1069 Bedford Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant; +1-718-676-6293
A wonderful collection of natural wines. The owner is super into music, so you will mostly find a really good record playing in the store while you are shopping. They have a table in the middle for wines that are less expensive. The owner goes above and beyond in finding gems that are not too pricey. There’s no going wrong with wine here.

Fan Fan Doughnuts
448 Lafayette Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant; +1-347-533-7544
Artisanal doughnuts — super yummy and special — inspired by traditions and flavors from around the globe. The baker borrows a lot from her Mexican-Jewish upbringing.

1112 Bedford Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant; no phone
Dark and intimate with cocktails that are thoughtful, strong, and well made. Great for a sexy hang.

Colonia Verde
Latin American fare in Fort Greene served in an airy, rustic space with a light-filled greenhouse and quirky Brooklyn backyard. Our seasonal Sunday Asado Series begins April 24, 2022 — it will be our sixth season. We invite chefs from all over the world to take over the grill and throw a bbq in our backyard. We also have someone in wine pour a fun and wild selection.

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