When it comes to eating in New York City, it’s easy to assume Manhattan is the master of cuisine. But could Brooklyn be surpassing its more famous sibling with its ever-evolving food scene? From rustic Italian in Williamsburg to Latin brunch in Fort Greene, these are the places to eat—and things to do nearby—in what may just be NYC’s tastiest borough.
With a James Beard Semi-Finalist for Best New York City Chef, Blanca delights diners with its high-end prix fixe menus of New American cuisine. The 12-person-capacity restaurant is hidden behind a pizzeria on graffiti-adorned Moore Street and boasts an intimate atmosphere with a sleek, open kitchen. Dinner is served at 2 set times each day between Wednesday and Saturday and typically features somewhere around 20 tiny tasting courses. The menu changes daily and can’t accommodate allergies or restrictions, but adventurous eaters continue to flock to the East Williamsburg eatery. Make reservations far in advance and arrive at least 15 minutes early, as service begins promptly and latecomers will join the meal in progress. Before your reservation, explore the intricate and colorful street art that fills East Williamsburg and nearby neighborhoods such as Bushwick on a walking tour with a local guide.
Set in the charming Brooklyn neighborhood of Fort Greene, Colonia Verde serves up fire-grilled Latin fare with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients and time-tested cultural techniques. After a devastating fire that destroyed the restaurant in 2015, Colonia Verde is back and better than ever with revamped menus featuring to-die-for brunch offerings like duck confit chilaquiles, churro doughnuts, and perhaps the best steak and eggs that money can buy in NYC. On top of its food, the restaurant’s rustic dining room, reclaimed-brick floors, and cozy backyard earned a nomination from the James Beard Foundation for best restaurant design in all of North America. Come here for brunch or dinner before a concert or basketball game at the Barclays Center, just a quick 15-minute walk away.
Vinegar Hill House
Tucked away on a quaint cobblestone street in Vinegar Hill, the Vinegar Hill House boasts a menu of refined New American plates that work equally well for a date night or casual brunch. The salvaged-décor setting and outdoor garden lend a welcoming vibe while an enticing cocktail menu encourages guests to linger for a while. Come for the shrimp and grits with mimosas in the morning, and then return at night for the butter-basted pork chops served with crispy sage. You can work off the food in between with a bicycle tour of the Brooklyn waterfront. Starting in Williamsburg, pedal your way past gorgeous brownstones and gorgeous parks as you make your way north into Greenpoint. Loop back around and cruise your way south along the river until you reach DUMBO, soaking in views on Manhattan from Bowery to Battery Park.