Park Slope might as well be an island. Not because it’s far away from other neighborhoods, and not because it’s surrounded by a body of water - but because it’s a self-contained oasis of brownstones, strollers, and more grocery stores than you ever thought anyone needed.
If you don’t live in the neighborhood, a quick lay of the land: Park Slope is the giant area bordering the west side of Prospect Park. Should you find yourself there without a plan, head for 5th or 7th Avenues, the two major streets that run down the length of the neighborhood, where the majority of restaurants and bars are. Everything in between them is mostly residential.
Park Slope is filled with a mind-blowing number of restaurants - we’ve narrowed down this list to the 41 places most worthy of your time, organized by North, Center, and South Slope.
Park Slope lost a long-time neighborhood favorite when Franny’s closed, but it gained one of Brooklyn’s best new Italian spots when Fausto opened in the same space. With its leather booths and fancy light fixtures, Fausto feels like a West Village date spot where you go with someone you’re at least a little serious about. Most of the updated Italian classics here are very good, and the pastas, like the orecchiette with pork, are some of the best you can find in Brooklyn.
The typical internal monologue when you don’t have dinner plans and don’t want to cook usually plays out like this: I want something easy. And fast. And delicious. But also kind of healthy? And maybe with a side of mac and cheese? Purbird is the ideal delivery or super casual eat-in joint because it delivers on all fronts. The thing here is perfect, juicy grilled chicken and awesome sides. And possibly the best mac and cheese in the city.
Miriam is the holy grail of Park Slope brunch. Whether you want your usual french toast and benedicts, or you’re bored of all that and want something next-level - Miriam is here for you. The Israeli spot makes some truly excellent Mediterranean brunch dishes (get the burekas), and the environment is homey but still lively. If you’re looking for a party, get a pitcher or three of sangria.
Generally, we’d take a bagel or a cinnamon roll or a croissant over a muffin any day. But not Blue Sky Bakery muffins. These things are unbelievably good, stuffed with amazing fruits, and never too sugary or sweet. Get there early - they close at 2pm and the best muffins sell out by late morning.
If it takes you five minutes to decide whether you want American cheese or pepper jack on your burger, then you’re going to have a tough time at Burger Bistro, a place where you build-your-own burger (that isn’t as cheesy or corporate as other chain spots where you do this). In case your bison burger on garlic bread with grilled pineapple and jalapeno mayo isn’t everything you thought it’d be, make sure to get a side of the very good buffalo tater tots.
If you don’t want to deal with the hour wait at Al Di La, Convivium is a great consolation. Though from the outside it might look like a weird antiques shop, the interior is quite pleasant, and the rustic Mediterranean-tinged Italian food is very good. Best seats in the house are on the back indoor/outdoor patio.
Cafe Regular feels stuck in a long-gone time and place where people congregated over coffee to discuss important intellectual matters. There’s a definite coffeehouse culture here, with people posting up on the chairs inside and out front on the sidewalk, newspapers and cappuccinos in hand. For that reason, and the excellent cold brew, this is our favorite coffee shop in Park Slope.
Park Slope has it all, and excellent Ethiopian food is no exception. The combo platters are the best way to try everything Ghenet has to offer.
From the same people behind The Slanted Door (the very popular San Francisco Vietnamese spot), Bricolage is one of the better options for slightly elevated food and cocktails, in a nice-but-not-too-nice environment. Use it for date night or girls’ night out, but just make sure you take advantage of the incredible back patio.
Every neighborhood has their go-to casual sushi spot, and Taro is exactly that. Very fresh, reasonably priced, and a nice enough environment that you could go to meet a friend or date but not so nice that you couldn’t wear gym clothes.
Bogota is what you would call a “fun” restaurant. There are bright colors everywhere, the drinks are tasty and tropical, there’s a mural-covered back patio, and it reads like an extensive Greatest Hits of Latin food (with everything from empanadas to arepas to churros). If you’re planning an affordable group dinner, Bogota is an excellent bet.
Probably thanks to Park Slope’s thriving child population, the neighborhood is home to three of NYC’s biggest names in pizza: Patsy’s, Artichoke Basille’s, and Two Boots. Out of the three, our move will always be Patsy’s, but to each his own.
Palo Santo is the slightly more refined, upscale Latin/Caribbean counterpart to Bogota’s colorful, casual, party atmosphere. It’s on the bottom floor of a brownstone, and its wood-covered, low-key interior lends itself well to anyone who always complains about loud restaurants.
Al Di La should be your first choice for date night in Park Slope. This is some of the very best Italian food in all of New York, with an extremely charming environment to eat it in. But you don’t just need a date to justify coming to Al Di La - bring your parents, bring your friends, or if you’re dining solo and a pasta craving hits hard, head for Al Di La Vino - their overflow space right around the corner with a bar that’s perfect for a party of one.
You can get beef pho (the house specialty) at Saigon On 5th for takeout on your way home, but the bright space is also a good place to bring a few people and try some other dishes too, like the pork chop with fish sauce and vermicelli noodles. We recommend the crispy shrimp spring rolls, and make sure to ask for samples of all of their sauces on the side.
You know that familiar feeling at busy brunch spots that your eggs were scrambled for a little too long, or your waffle might have been reheated in the microwave? Brunch at Rose Water couldn’t be farther from that. The menu changes weekly, is super seasonal, and despite the fact that it’s always packed, every plate looks and tastes like a lot of creativity and care went into it. Dinner at Rose Water is just as awesome, but know that it’s slightly more formal then. Bring your parents, and get the fried goat cheese and proscuitto if they have it.
Do you like the Olive Garden? If you answered yes, either shamefully or proudly, then you will like La Villa. It’s basically the Park Slope version - there’s a huge menu of Italian-American food, and it’s a highly casual setting that would be especially good for people over 70 and people under 7. All that said, the food is actually decent, and if you’re someone who’s happy eating chicken parm and unlimited free onion focaccia (better than breadsticks) you will probably enjoy it. Take note: most entrees could easily be split between two people, and the pizza here is surprisingly good.
Park Slope is ridiculously stacked in all the major eating categories, with one exception: good, casual daytime spots to dine solo and/or get work done. Kos is one of the better options, with big windows (crucial for doing work enjoyably on weekends) and a lot of seating (though it does tend to fill up during peak times). For breakfast, we love the house-made granola and sausage & egg biscuit, and the salads and sandwiches are solid at lunch. If the basil lemonade Arnold Palmer is an option, do not miss your opportunity.
Naruto Ramen only has about 12 seats in a narrow space on 5th Avenue, and it’s almost always crowded, so keep it in mind for takeout when you want big portions of ramen for $10. They also have appetizers, like takoyaki (fried octopus balls), and if they’re offering the side of spicy french fries, definitely get them.
Our go-to Chinese spot in the neighborhood, we like Hunan Delight because it’s consistently fresh, and because delivery comes at record speeds. One good reason to eat there? The outdoor seating, right on Union Ave (for prime Park Slope people watching).
Without question the best casual Thai food in the neighborhood, Song is equally useful for nights when you need pad see ew on your couch and nights when you need to leave your apartment but don’t want to take off your sweatpants. Also, the prices are very affordable. Song has saved our life more times than we’d care to admit.
Life would be simpler if all restaurant names explained where they’re located and what they serve - like East Village Sushi & Sake or Chelsea Tapas & Tempranillo. And Brooklyn Burgers & Beer. This bright bar in Park Slope is a good compromise when you want to watch sports and eat a burger, but also need somewhere that would work for kids.
This is by far our favorite bakery in the neighborhood - it has the best croissant in Park Slope, along with some excellent cookies and cupcakes. It’s such a popular spot that they have two locations - the other is in South Slope.
Dumplings & Things is a cash-only takeout spot on 5th Avenue where almost everything on the menu is under $6. The dumplings come either on their own or added to noodle soups, and they also serve bao. We always order the pan-fried spicy beef dumplings.
Unsurprisingly, the best lobster roll in NYC also has a shop right along the busiest part of 5th Avenue. You know what to do.
There are better restaurants in Park Slope than Stone Park Cafe. And yet, probably because Yelp told them to, people mob this place every weekend for brunch. Wait times would have you think you had stumbled upon the trendiest restaurant in Brooklyn - but you didn’t. What is Stone Park, actually? Good, if unexciting American food, with white tablecloths, and a “nice” environment.
This is where Park Slope comes for all their bagel needs. Lox, deli meats, eggs, eight cream cheese flavors - they’ve got it all, and you really can’t go wrong.
Katsuei serves the best sushi in Brooklyn. For pretty reasonable prices. Don’t come here for any reason other than the omakase.
The Blue Ribbon owners jumped on the Park Slope boat back in 2001. And they were smart about it - Blue Ribbon food is already kid-friendly (if you don’t mind paying adult prices for that burger and sundae), but the environment here is a lot more laid-back than the original in Soho. And if you don’t have kids with you, this works just as well for a date night.
Yes, people in Park Slope like to get drunk at brunch too. And Scottadito is here to enable, with satisfying Italian brunch foods and $20 bottomless mimosas.
What we like about the Park Slope location of Calexico is that you can pollute your body with margaritas and burritos and “crack sauce” (spicy mayo) while in a bright, generally pleasant space. Just beware of the stroller brigade.
This old-school Italian deli is the kind of place that makes you want to stop what you’re doing and make some pasta immediately. But if you can avoid the tempting fresh pasta and sauces and cheeses and keep your eyes on the prize, the Italian deli sandwiches are excellent - get any that involve the fresh mozzarella and you’ll be happy. There’s also a second location in South Slope for your convenience.
As long as you go to Camperdown Elm knowing what kind of experience you want and order accordingly, it’s one of the best spots in the neighborhood. If you’re looking for something affordable and casual, then grab a seat at the bar and get a burger or some excellent fried chicken. If you want a slightly more formal dinner with a date or small group, then sit at a table and have the server tell you about the squid crackers and the 12 types of Japanese mushrooms served with the scallops. Either way, ask to try some natural wines and get an order of the octopus.
“Neighborhood spot” and “mind-blowing food” are two phrases that don’t really go together. The all-day spot at the very bottom of Prospect Park may not look like much at first look, but what’s happening in the kitchen here is big-time. There isn’t a situation for which Krupa wouldn’t be an excellent decision - take advantage of it for brunch, weekday breakfasts, or dinner any night you want something just a little more elevated than your usual go-to.
Gather is a nice, bright spot right at the 7th Avenue F/G station serving solid breakfast foods and lunchtime market sides that make for an excellent Prospect Park picnic situation.
Double date in South Slope? Can’t say we go down that road often ourselves, but all the parents definitely need to get together to blow off some steam (and all the young people that somehow ended up in Park Slope definitely need to join forces). But we digress. If you’re on a double date, or really any date, or you just want to eat some solid Mexican food, Fonda is a good move. The interior has brick walls, and there’s a good-sized back patio.