The Best Restaurants In Greenpoint
photo credit: Kate Previte
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 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 (and drink, see our guide to the area’s best bars). Besides the steady influx of buzzy new spots on Greenpoint Ave.’s emerging restaurant row, it’s the neighborhood classics—an old Polish market, the city’s juiciest tacos—that keep us coming back. The next time you're in Greenpoint, here’s where you should eat.
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 taquerias, this counter-service place has colorful plastic plates, as well as a choricera and comal custom-made in CDMX. Tacos cost around $5 each and range from velvety, shredded suadero and al pastor to longaniza with bright orange porky juices.
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 candlelit, 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. If you just want to get a slice, head to their grab-and-go sibling, Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop, just a couple blocks away.
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.
Chez Ma Tante is no longer the underrated, understated restaurant on a quiet corner in Greenpoint. This is a destination restaurant—and it deserves every bit of attention it gets. While the celebrity dish here is the pancakes at brunch, dinner at Chez Ma Tante is just as impressive, if not more. Always order the caesar salad, the stracciatella, whatever charcuterie is on offer, and save some room for dessert.
Bernie’s is Greenpoint’s version of Cheers. It’s intentionally retro, as if it’s trying to conjure the suburban spirit of TGI Fridays, with red-checkered table clothes and vinyl booths that suck you in so you never want to leave. It feels like everyone knows your name here, and a meal involving their cold martinis, chicken parmesan, and massive brownie sundae has the power to turn any bad day into a good one.
Wenwen is a Taiwanese restaurant in Greenpoint where you'll find a disco ball hanging in the dark bathroom and something called the BDSM chicken (only five available nightly). The sister restaurant to 886, Wenwen serves hearty dishes that taste like they're coming straight out of a 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.
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 that everyone will be excited to eat. The tacos, tostadas, and tlayuda are all great—but the sleeper hit is the pollo a las brazas, a chicken dish that comes with tortillas and crispy rice. Oxomoco also has a greenhouse-like covered patio that’s exceedingly pleasant.
Greenpoint couples who fall somewhere between “getting serious” and “not Chez Ma Tante again” should consider the tomahawk steak for two at Mitica. The people behind one of our favorite casual mariscos spots ditched their cartoon lobster decor at this more grown-up Mexican restaurant in favor of mood lighting and a pretty back patio. Duck risotto and adobo mashed potatoes sit comfortably on the menu alongside numbing aguachile negro and cheesy tlacoyo. And that tomahawk steak is a good shareable option with a date or two friends.
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 platter if you're feeling ambitious. They also have a daily Happy Hour.
Part bar, part restaurant, Achilles Heel is a place that makes you feel like you’ve found a momentary escape. In the summer, the sun sets across the East River right behind this small 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 only thing that’s changed over the years is the menu. They’ve rebooted their former New American menu with Korean-inspired dishes like gochujang candied squid and corn cheese.
From the same folks behind Ridgewood favorite Rolo’s, Radio Bakery specializes in exciting riffs on classic bakery items. Their spicy ‘nduja croissants have turned us into morning people (they run out early), and the chocolate croissants have chocolate inside but also mixed into the dough. Despite having just a few counter stools and sidewalk tables, this is a great spot to romanticize your morning coffee and pastry ritual.
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 miss it. A small part of us wishes we could keep this place all to ourselves, but you should know that Salsa makes some truly special Neapolitan pies. The crust is charred but fluffy, the margherita is gooey heaven, 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.
Frankel’s only opened in 2016, but this new-school take on an old-school Jewish deli has already achieved Greenpoint icon status. Their bagel sandwiches are instantly recognizable, sort of like Bill Murray or the Pope. Our go-to orders are the Combo #1 (lox, scallion cream cheese, and cucumbers), the egg sandwich on brioche, and the turkey reuben. If you want to skip the line, order online ahead of time, then pick up your food and take it to McCarren Park for the perfect picnic.
There 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, 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.
An instant bright spot for the neighborhood when it opened in the spring of 2020, this Japanese coffee shop and cafe has become an essential Greenpoint lunch option. Their colorful bento boxes include purple rice, fermented veggies, and pork katsu or chicken karaage. And when you’re ravenous at noon on a Wednesday, their egg sandwich on a brioche bun is the ideal thing to sink your teeth into.
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 that someone else cooked for us. Their pierogies are the best in Greenpoint, and the kitschy space (it’s 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.
This Mediterranean restaurant opened in 2013 and, despite an influx of shiny newer 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. They’re planning to open a new spot with a radio theme inspired by Transmitter Park’s history, and we’ll definitely be checking it out.
Fulgurances is a French restaurant concept with three locations—plus a magazine—in Paris. The first American outpost is in a former laundromat space on Franklin Street. It functions like an artist’s residency for chefs, inviting one at a time to serve a seasonal tasting menu of their own design. Dinner is $89, plus wine options, but if you’re interested in experiencing a chef incubator, make a reservation for an intimate, special-occasion meal.
You’re never going to see a fishing boat pull up to Greenpoint from the East River, and that’s probably for the best. There’s no telling what kind of creatures are in there. But Greenpoint Fish & Lobster feels like it’s right on a pier, with piles of raw, sustainable fish on ice that you can eat right in the shop. An amazing lobster roll, solid fish tacos, fish stew, and freshly shucked oysters are all on deck if you’re dining in. People are always in and out buying fish for home, but the crowded eating area with hightops and bar seats is a fun little scene of its own.