The Brooklyn Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Brooklyn
Two places next to each other on Greenpoint Avenue, a Sunset Park spot that specializes in Hainanese chicken, and more new restaurants to check out.
Brooklyn isn’t the biggest borough in the city, but it has the most people. Consequently, there are a lot of great places to eat, and that’s exactly why the birthplace of Busta Rhymes deserves its own Hit List. Scroll down for our favorite new Brooklyn spots, and check out our NYC Hit List for all the other new places we like in the whole city.
photo credit: Andrew Bui
Lingo fits right in with its neighbors: a row of buzzy restaurants next to Transmitter Park that serve great cocktails, and food that’s a lot more interesting than wagyu sliders. At this particular restaurant, Japanese ingredients liven up classic cocktails—think sazerac with sakura bitters—and otherwise predictable New American fare. The breezy, spa-like space is a muted backdrop for inventive dishes like bite-size smoked tamago sandos, and a savory pie stuffed with Hokkaido-style curry beef. Bring someone you like drinking with, and try all six of the house cocktails.
photo credit: Sam Hillman
Inspired by Mexico City, Panzón is a little spot on the far western edge of Greenpoint serving small plates, interesting cocktails, and a lot of mezcal. The dining room has concrete floors, some homey decor, and a sound system that looks like it belongs in a Bushwick nightclub, and there are only around 10 items on the menu. They include a pair of chorizo gorditas and a simple mushroom quesadilla with a blistered tortilla, as well as a few snacks like a tuna tostada. Grab a seat at the bar, drink a margarita, and have a few small bites while you listen to funk, cumbia, house music, and more.
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Hainan Chicken House
Hainan Chicken House is a modern Malaysian spot on the Sunset/Borough Park border, and you should make plans to go ASAP. They’re making some of the best Hainanese chicken and rice in the five boroughs, wrapped up in a big square of butcher paper to evoke the feeling of a Hawker stall. The space has a modern farmhouse aesthetic, with wall tiles and decorative plates showcasing different chicken breeds. You’ll want to get some classics like their namesake dish and the excellent curry laksa, but there should be an order of their schmaltzy Hainanese chicken liver mousse on your table, too. On the weekends they rotate through some worthwhile specials (recently, it was Singapore Chili Crab) so pay attention to the whiteboard behind the counter.
It’s not uncommon for the host at a tasting-menu restaurant to give a little speech before each course. But at House—a French-Japanese spot in the back of a Greenpoint marketplace—you'll also hear the staff recapping their weekends or teasing the chef. While you eat your $180, nine-course meal, you'll feel like you’re in someone’s home, drinking wine in their kitchen while they make you a midnight snack. The menu consists of chic, minimalist dishes that are equal parts fancy and playful. Expect things like a delicate duck liver monaka and dehydrated strawberry burrata.
At first glance, Dashi Okume is a store. This Greenpoint spot (in the same building as House) is an outpost of a dry goods seller that’s been at the Tokyo Central Market since 1871. But if you can tear yourself away from the DIY dashi bar and the stunning selection of ceramics, high-end rice, and over a dozen varieties of miso, you can also have an exceptional meal here. Snag a seat at the counter in the back of the store and order the Teishoku set. It comes with grilled fish, rice, a few sides, a cup of tea, and the best miso soup you’ve ever had.
photo credit: David A. Lee
This tiny, subterranean Fort Greene restaurant served a beloved five-course tasting menu for the first few years of its existence, but they recently relaunched as completely à la carte. The new dishes are a little different from your typical Paris-inspired natural wine bar in Brooklyn, and thankfully, they're also bigger than most. Options like a poached skate salad and a clam pasta are both entrée-sized and delicious. The energy here remains great, as does the wine list, and we're delighted to be able to enjoy both in a more informal way.
Baby Blues Luncheonette
Baby Blues is a Greek/American spot in Williamsburg that feels like a mashup between a neighborhood coffee shop and an old-school diner. Appropriately, most of the decor is baby blue, including the huge shelf by the entrance that’s stocked with enough VHS tapes to qualify as a Blockbuster. The food isn’t anything fancy, but it’s exactly what you’ll want as you drink some coffee and sort out your plans for the day. Get a plate of buttery scrambled eggs with pita and halloumi, or pair some baklava banana bread with a banana date smoothie.
photo credit: Emily Schindler
K’Far’s dining room is a leafy, makeshift jungle in the lobby of Williamsburg's Hoxton Hotel, and it’s our new favorite place to luxuriate with some borekas and a cup of coffee. The Israeli restaurant is from the same team behind Laser Wolf and switches from cafe food during the day to a full dinner service in the evening. The daytime menu is light, but it does have a few bigger breakfast plates, and long, flat Jerusalem bagel sandwiches. Mostly, we love starting our day surrounded by the calm, low hum of the hotel lobby.
photo credit: Nick Johnson
If you think you’re too cool to drink an appletini, you’re wrong. No one’s too cool for an appletini. Also, the version at Bar Americano is fantastic. This little Greenpoint spot was inspired by the aperitivo bars of Spain and Northern Italy, but the menu doesn’t always stay on theme. In addition to anchovies and a variety of European wines, they serve a burger, a house margarita, and the aforementioned appletini (which actually tastes like apples). Bring a date, and spend an hour or two in the candlelit room that features stucco walls, brass accents, and a few leather booths.