The Best Restaurants in Kensington

Kensington is a residential neighborhood that borders Windsor Terrace, and it’s a great place to find some of the city’s best Bangladeshi food.
The Best Restaurants in Kensington image

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

A quiet residential neighborhood at the end of the G line in Brooklyn, Kensington is home to diverse, exciting food. The main stretch along Church Avenue is officially known as Little Bangladesh, and you’ll find both sidewalk paan vendors and outstanding fuchka here—yet Kensington is anything but one-note. You’ll also find excellent options for Thai, Mexican, Afghan, and Uzbek food on our list of the best spots to eat when you’re in the neighborhood.


photo credit: Carina Finn



$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerCheap EatsLunchSerious Take-Out Operation
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Ghoroa is a lively counter-service spot, where locals hang out at a handful of tables, chatting over chai. Just steps away from the Church Ave. station, it’s a convenient option for people to grab a quick breakfast of roti and curried potatoes before hopping on the subway to work.The best thing here is the beef teheri, which is made with nutty kalijira rice. Order it with a side of chicken roast, and top everything with fresh green chilis.

Sonia Cafe is a cozy snack shop with a few tables, where you can sit and obsess over the extra crispy fuchka with perfectly spiced filling. The samosas and piyaju are also great, and this place makes the best chai in the neighborhood. Sonia doesn’t open until 5pm, so it’s best to visit for an evening snack.

Another Bangladeshi snack shop, Shingara specializes in all things fried. Though there’s no seating, it’s a popular neighborhood stop to grab a shingara or pakoras to eat on a walk, or an order of fuchka to take home. The potato filling they use is spicy, dense, and delicious.

The halal cart on the corner of Church and McDonald Avenues is one of the best in NYC, mostly because of the bright red, tandoori-style marinade used on the chicken, which is spicier than most (the lamb is also excellent). A chicken pita is only $5, making it the best value in the neighborhood for lunch or dinner. The flavor varies a little depending on who is on the grill, and that’s one of the things we love about this spot.

On weekday mornings, you’ll find a tamale vendor parked just across from the entrance of Foodtown, right outside of the subway entrance. Do yourself a favor and get some tamales—there are usually a few different varieties on rotation, but if you come early enough you can score an Oaxacan-style tamale, which is steamed in banana leaves and has a rich, spicy chicken filling. We like the mole and jalapeño cheese varieties, too. The champurrado and arroz con leche are perfect on a chilly morning.

Abdullah is a longtime neighborhood fixture that serves an all-day savory menu of curries, rice dishes, and flatbreads. But the main attraction here are the Bangladeshi sweets. Most people grab a box to go, but there are two or three tables across from the pastry case where you can sit and enjoy sweet rasgullas or bright, fudgy laddus. A box of mixed cham cham is another great option if you want to try a few different kinds of sweets.

You can find some of Brooklyn’s best naan at Madhuban, a little counter-service spot on Church Avenue. It strikes the ideal balance of fluffy and charred, and is the perfect pairing with all of Madhuban’s curries and stews. The garlic naan in particular is good enough to be a satisfying snack on its own. Beef stew is the go-to order here, and even without the addition of fresh chilies, the dish has some heat. They also serve rice dishes, including teheri, biryani, and pulao, as well as a variety of traditional sweets.

Thai Farm Kitchen is a bright, colorful restaurant with a really nice outdoor seating area, and it’s a great spot for a lowkey date night in the neighborhood. The tom yum soup and papaya salad here are both especially good, and don’t shy away from ordering things like brussels sprouts, because local produce is at the heart of the menu here.

This casual, friendly Uzbek cafe has two locations in South Brooklyn, but we like the one in Kensington more. Shashlik House is the kind of place where you get a pot of tea to linger over while you take your time coming to an agreement about which kebab to order. Try a bunch of different ones: We’re especially fond of the lula kebab, made from deeply spiced ground meat that’s shaped around the giant metal skewer it’s cooked on, but we also love the simple but flavorful chicken and the rich lamb chops.

Korner Pizza has been around for decades, and it’s a classic Brooklyn slice shop in every sense. The pizza here is extra cheesy, with a fluffy yet crisp crust and sauce that’s a little on the sweeter side. Besides the regular and Sicilian options,we’re also into the white slice, which has huge gobs of ricotta and lots of gooey mozzarella. The interior has half a dozen retro orange booths, and there are a few outdoor tables, too.

Mexican Deli & Grocery is exactly what it says it is: a bodega packed full of Mexican snacks and groceries with a deli counter in the back—except instead of sandwiches, they make tacos. Those tacos are excellent. Our favorite is the carne asada, but order whatever sounds good to you, especially if there’s a handwritten special posted near the counter. There’s no seating inside or outside, so be prepared to eat your tacos on the street or take them home.

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