There are a lot of reasons to spend time in Greenpoint. Head to Transmitter Park, and you can catch a downright ocean-like breeze off the East River. Walk down one of the neighborhood’s leafy streets, and you can pretend that you’re starring in your very own coming-of-age biopic set in North Brooklyn. Hang out on any corner for a few minutes, and you’ll experience unparalleled dog-watching.
But most importantly, you should be spending time in Greenpoint because it’s a fantastic place to eat. This is a list of the best restaurants—from exciting new spots to neighborhood standbys—in the area.
photo credit: Emily Schindler
Wenwen is a fun Taiwanese restaurant in Greenpoint where you'll find a disco ball hanging in the dark bathroom. This place is the sister restaurant to 886, and its menu is comprised of mostly-hearty dishes that taste like they're coming straight out of a home kitchen in Taipei. Try the cuttlefish with pork belly or the warming 886 noodles covered in fried garlic, and share a big flaming cocktail with your friends. You might come to Wenwen with plans to go elsewhere after, only to discover you’re having such a good time that this place becomes your whole night out.
Taqueria Ramirez pretty much only does one thing, and that’s make exceptional tacos you’ll want second and third helpings of while leaning against a bar rail on the sidewalk. Modeled after Mexico City’s legendary spots, this counter-service place has colorful plastic plates, as well as a choricera and comal custom made in CDMX. Tacos all cost around $4 each and range from velvety, shredded suadero and al pastor to longaniza with bright orange porky juices.
photo credit: Catherine Dzilenski
Nura is a Mediterranean-leaning Greenpoint spot located in a former auto body shop, and it has high ceilings, a huge skylight, and a bar in the middle that functions as the restaurant’s town square. Despite the big bar, this isn’t the sort of place where you’ll want to eat alone. The plant-filled space is massive and lively, and you'll want to share a bunch of things like the bread basket and charred prawns.
This Spanish seafood bar exudes “check out my graphic design portfolio” Greenpoint charm. In addition to a transistor radio playing indie music in the bathroom and a cartoon poster of a wine-drunk penguin, you'll find well-made cocktails and an impressive raw bar. Come for drinks and snacks with a date, and get a big seafood plateau if you're feeling ambitious. You should also keep El Pingüino in mind for Happy Hour, which takes place from 4-7pm every day of the week.
Chez Ma Tante is no longer the underrated, understated restaurant on a quiet corner in Greenpoint. This is a destination restaurant—and it is deserving of every bit of attention it gets. While the celebrity dish here is the pancakes at brunch, dinner at Chez Ma Tante is just as, if not more, impressive. Always order the caesar salad, the stracciatella, and whatever charcuterie is on offer. And you should absolutely save room for dessert, too.
Di An Di
If you're reading this and you still haven’t been to Di An Di, we hope you’re having a nice day, and we also hope you stop reading this and go to Di An Di. Ideally, you'll bring a few friends to this Vietnamese restaurant and tackle as much of the menu as you can. But if you don't have anyone who currently wants to eat with you, a bowl of the brisket phở at the bar is an excellent solo dining choice.
Part bar, part restaurant, Achilles Heel is a place that makes you feel like you’ve found a little escape. In the summer, the sun sets across the East River right behind this little corner spot, bathing everything in golden-hour light and making you feel like you’re drinking your spritz somewhere in Europe. In the winter, you can sit by a wood-burning fireplace and leave smelling like a campfire. The menu is short, and the kitchen is tiny—but you can confidently order whatever seasonal dishes Achilles Heel is currently making.
Bernie’s is Greenpoint’s version of Cheers. It’s the place where it feels like everyone knows your name, and the space has an intentionally retro feel, as if it's trying to conjure the suburban spirit of TGI Fridays. The tables are covered in red-checkered cloth, and the red vinyl booths suck you in so you never want to leave. A meal involving their cold martinis, mozzarella sticks, chicken parmesan, and massive brownie sundae has the power to turn any bad day into a good one.
Chiko opened in the fall of 2019 as a tiny chef’s counter serving an intricate, seafood-focused 13-course menu for around $160. After a pandemic-pivot, this Greenpoint spot is now carryout-only, and no dish is over $15. The menu rotates, and while there are only ever around six items, all of them are worth ordering again (and again and again). The care and thought that Chiko puts into its food is apparent in every dish—whether it’s mapo tofu, dan dan noodles, pork buns, or Hakka stir fry. While you’re there, pick up a jar of their homemade chili oil. You’ll end up slathering it on everything you cook at home.
photo credit: Kate Previte
The next time you’re planning a group dinner, remember Oxomoco. This high-ceilinged, plant-covered Mexican restaurant has big round booths, an excellent cocktail list, and shareable food everyone will be excited to eat. The tacos, tostadas, and tlayuda are all great—but the sleeper hit of the menu is the pollo a las brazas, a chicken dish that comes with tortillas and crispy rice so you can have a DIY taco station at your table. And, while the dining room is one of our favorites in the neighborhood, Oxomoco also has a greenhouse-like covered patio that’s exceedingly pleasant.
Little Tiffin opened in Greenpoint during the pandemic, and it’s quickly become the neighborhood’s best Thai restaurant. Try the pad see ew with perfectly cooked Chinese broccoli and the super fresh som tum that hits all the spicy, salty, sweet notes. In addition to running an excellent takeout operation, Little Tiffin’s casual, comfortable space has both indoor and sidewalk seating. Stop by for a great, low-key weeknight meal.
You have to go looking for Salsa Pizzeria. It’s on a mostly-residential street in a converted space that feels like a garage, and if it weren’t for the strong pizza fragrances wafting from the doors, you could easily walk by and miss it. A small part of us wishes we could keep this place all to ourselves, but you should know that Salsa is making some truly special Neapolitan pies. The crust is charred but exceptionally fluffy, the margherita is ideal, and they're generous with toppings like broccoli rabe, sausage, and burrata. There are only a few tables inside and on the sidewalk, so this is a spot for an efficient, semi-religious solo pizza experience.
photo credit: Noah Devereaux
Frankel’s only opened in 2016, but it has already achieved Greenpoint icon status. Their bagel sandwiches are instantly recognizable, sort of like Bill Murray or the Pope. Our go-to orders at this new-school take on an old-school Jewish deli are the combo #1 (lox, scallion cream cheese, and cucumbers), the egg sandwich on brioche with greens, swiss, and caramelized onions, and the turkey reuben. If you want to skip the line, order online ahead of time to pick up, then take your food to McCarren Park for the perfect picnic.
photo credit: Gary Landsman
Rule Of Thirds
There are are many things we like about Rule of Thirds, a beautifully-designed Japanese restaurant in a sprawling, industrial space. Their dining room is a lovely place to drink an excellent cocktail and eat some sashimi or large-format tonkatsu. Brunch is also a big draw here, in part because of their soufflé pancake. In addition to beer and cocktails, they also serve a bunch of sake and shochu, and you can book a big set-menu brunch or dinner if you have a party of eight or more.
A lot has changed about Greenpoint in the past few years, but Paulie Gee’s is forever. The Neapolitan-style pies here are still great, as is the candelit, cavernous dining room. If you're planning a casual group dinner, this place should be at the top of your list. There are plenty of vegan pizza options for anyone who doesn't eat dairy.
Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop—located a couple blocks away from the original restaurant—is, unsurprisingly, the greatest slice shop in the neighborhood. The Sicilian, with its pillowy crust and crunchy sesame-seed covered bottom, is the best thing here.
When Acre opened in the spring of 2020, it became an instant bright spot for the neighborhood. This Japanese coffee shop and cafe serves perfect bento lunch boxes (with pork katsu or chicken karaage, purple rice, fermented vegetables, and salad)—and their egg sandwich on a brioche bun is an ideal thing to sink your teeth into when you’re ravenous at noon on a Wednesday. This is an essential Greenpoint lunch spot.
Fulgurances is a French restaurant concept with three locations—plus a magazine—in Paris, and the first American location is in a former laundromat space in Greenpoint. The restaurant functions like an artist’s residency for chefs, inviting one at a time to serve a seasonal tasting menu of their own design. It’s pricey (the menu is $89, plus wine pairings, glasses, or bottles), but if you’re interested in experiencing a chef incubator, make a reservation for an intimate, special-occasion dinner.
Over the past few years, Greenpoint has become a neighborhood where you can expect hour-long waits at tons of spots that people have traveled across the city to try. Esme is one of our favorite places to avoid (most of) these of these people. This place is filled with neighborhood folks who come for the blueberry pancakes at brunch, the rotating seasonal menu at dinner, and the peaceful outdoor patio.
This Mediterranean restaurant opened in 2013 and, despite an influx of newer, “hotter” spots in the years since, it has quietly continued to serve some of the very best food in the neighborhood. We love Glasserie for a date night dinner, but it’s a fantastic choice for brunch, when they offer a mezze feast.
Greenpoint is full of Polish markets where you can pick up kielbasa to make at home, but Karczma is our favorite place in the neighborhood to eat kielbasa someone else cooked for us. Their pierogies are the best in Greenpoint, and the kitschy space (decorated like a barn) is a great place to gather a group of friends for a feast, especially in the dead of winter. Ordering a Hunter’s Stew just feels right when you’ve survived another Tuesday in February.
Greenpoint Fish and Lobster
During the pandemic, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster closed its restaurant operation and focused on being the neighborhood’s much-needed source for high-quality fish to make at home. Now, it’s back open with patio seating—and their lobster rolls, fish tacos, and crudos taste even better outside. Try this place for a leisurely, wine-soaked weekend lunch or casual weeknight dinner.
Anella is one of Greenpoint’s most dependable restaurants. It’s a true neighborhood hang, and you should stop by for a laid-back burger or bowl of pasta in the covered backyard patio. This place sticks to what it’s done for years, and we love it for that.