Bed-Stuy is huge, so obviously there’s a lot of food. Haitian, Trinidadian, Mexican, French - take your pick. There’s everything here, and it’s all spread out across the neighborhood. So rather than walk a mile in search of dinner, use this guide to figure out exactly where you need to be.
No other spot in Bed-Stuy does Southern food like Peaches. It’s a solid choice for a casual weeknight dinner, a celebratory weekend brunch, and every other outdoor meal in between. From shrimp and grits to catfish and ribs, all of the dishes here are good enough to calm your anxiety about ordering “the right thing.” If you’re at one of the tables on the back patio, you’ve already made the right decision.
At the moment, this chicken bar on the border of Clinton Hill and Bed-Stuy isn’t offering table service. But you can order a platter of incredibly juicy rotisserie chicken with white sauce from the bar, and enjoy it at one of the restaurant’s new sidewalk tables on their expanded deck. In addition to some of our favorite dishes like their roasted potatoes in chicken jus, you can also get their excellent pulled chicken on a fluffy potato roll with pickled radish and slaw from 5 to 10pm, Tuesday through Saturday.
Spending time in Bed-Stuy without trying any Caribbean food is like going to Little Italy and not eating Italian food. Actually, it’s worse. Because Little Italy is for tourists. The point here is that you should go out of your way to eat crispy pork and fried plantains at Grandchamps. It’s a casual Haitian spot, and it’s great those nights when you just want a platter of meat and rice for dinner.
For All Things Good runs on masa, but you won’t find any tacos on the menu. The restaurant focuses on Oaxacan-style Mexican dishes like giant memelas topped with avocado and a fried egg, tetelas filled with everything from hibiscus flower to black bean, and tlayudas covered in a ridiculous amount of mushrooms. This Bed-Stuy spot also makes the best tortillas we’ve had anywhere in NYC, and you can pick up a dozen of these colorful heirloom corn creations for $7. Stop by this outdoor-only spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and read all about the different corn varietals they keep in rotation here.
Golda is a bright and airy brunch spot right next to Hart’s where you’ll probably end up waiting in line before 10am. And even though this tiny cafe right near the Franklin Avenue C train station in Bed-Stuy serves an all-around exciting Middle Eastern menu for brunch, we always get the same breakfast sandwich. Their signature version is stacked tall on an onion and poppy seed challah bun with melted kashkaval cheese, bright sumac onions, a heap of scrambled eggs, and nutty muhammara that kind of acts like a meat substitute. It’s delicious without anything added, but you can throw in some avocado for creaminess, too.
Greenberg’s is more than just an excellent bagel shop. It’s the place to be on a weekend morning in Bed-Stuy. Walking by this spot any time after 8am on Saturday is like passing Pier 59 during NYFW - from microscopic Telfar bags to sunglasses bigger than ski goggles, trends are on full display. Other than to people-watch, come to Greenberg’s for thin and soft bagels that taste like they were baked a few moments before they reach your mouth. The sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich is excellent with an added hashbrown - the crunch from both the crispy bagel and fried potatoes combination will likely pop up every once in a while in your daydreams.
This natural wine bar doubles as an all-day restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. So Winona’s could be a solid choice for everything from a platonic breakfast date with an old friend to a date night with someone who can ramble off five fizzy pet-nat producers on the spot. It’s on the Williamsburg/Bed-Stuy border, standing in as the light wood-covered homebase for a range of pop-ups and community events like gumbo nights with Chef Kia Damon and dinners by Ediciones every Sunday and Monday night. Between the comfortably heated patio and a nice mix of natural wine options from small producers based in New York, France, Mexico, Austria, Germany, Spain, and beyond, this place has it all going on.
Fan Fan Doughnuts is the newest doughnut spot in Bed-Stuy from Chef (and sugar healer) Fany Gerson, who’s also behind Dough and the now-closed La Newyorkina. She’s named the small sweets shop on Lafayette Avenue after her signature fan-fan doughnut (a mashup between a Long John and an eclair) that usually comes in a rotating list of flavors like guava & cheese. But you can also get a bunch of other excellent specialty options like salted brown butter caramel to mango-cardamom glazed doughnuts at Fan Fan. If it’s been a while since you’ve last eaten something that made you want to burst into song, prioritize coming here.
Pilar Cuban Eatery
Pilar Cuban Eatery is good for a lot of situations. There are healthy options, relatively unhealthy options, and it’s also moderately affordable. Stop by and have a Cuban sandwich or a plate of shredded steak with black beans and avocado. This is an ideal weeknight dinner spot, and it’s also nice enough for a casual date. Just know that your mouth will smell like garlic by the end of your meal.
For Venezuelan tostones, arepas, empanadas, and frozen margaritas in Bed-Stuy, head to Guacaco. This neighborhood spot best known for its incredibly creamy pink sauce, is a great option for a casual weeknight dinner that you actually want to remember after a few days go by. They’ve got some sidewalk tables set up where you can grab lunch, dinner, or brunch on weekends.
Nashville-style fried chicken is hard to find in NYC, but you can get a solid plate of it at Peaches Hot House. This place is owned by the same people who run Peaches, but it’s a little more casual. The food is similar, but here there’s more of a focus on comfort food. They do stuff you want to eat with a beer - like barbecue shrimp, fried green tomatoes, and a burger. Although if you don’t order the fried chicken, you’re doing it wrong.
Working from coffee shops is slowly becoming a thing again, and if you live in Bed-Stuy, Corto is the perfect place to do it. This small coffee shop just one block south of Peaches Hot House has an excellent backyard, crispy focaccia sandwiches, and free wi-fi that won’t cut out on you every 20 minutes. The only challenge you might face is finding a table since every up-and-coming model and amateur DJ within a two-mile radius is probably already treating this casual counter-service spot like an office. If you can manage to get one of the first-come, first-served tables here, celebrate with a handheld lunch involving prosciutto and burrata.
After several months of exclusively selling pantry staples, Hart’s has reopened for outdoor service just in time for spring. You can still pick up your labneh and swiss chard here, but the restaurant also has some patio tables where you can drink a glass of natural wine and eat chicken salad on ciabatta or something else from their rotating sandwich menu. If you like to watch well-dressed people walk down busy streets like Franklin Avenue stop by between 11am and 6pm, Wednesday-Sunday.
Much like your nephew in Fort Worth who just got rid of all his action figures, Calaca has scaled things back and reinvented itself over the last year. In fact, what was once a tiny, cash-only Mexican restaurant and tequila bar, is now a neighborhood coffee shop. Along with its new name, Cafe Calaca also has a new location just a few steps from the Franklin Avenue–Fulton Street subway stop. Show up on a weekday morning for a conchinita empanada and a cortado, or over the weekend for brunch dishes like avocado egg toast. There isn’t much seating indoors, but Cafe Calaca does have a few sidewalk benches that could work for a low-key coffee meet-up.
Since this is a guide about Bed-Stuy, it’s time you learn the golden rule of the neighborhood. If it’s nice out and you’re in the mood for pizza, go to Saraghina. You will never be disappointed at this neighborhood Italian spot with plenty of sidewalk tables on Lewis Avenue and a secret back patio. The Neapolitan-style pies here are topped with things like mint-lemon ricotta and prosciutto, and since they make their own gelato you’d be remiss to leave without ordering a scoop.
Samurai Papa has two locations - one in Bushwick and another in Bed-Stuy. And if you live in Bed-Stuy, this is where you should be getting your ramen. Their broth is extra-concentrated, and it comes with some stock on the side (so you can dilute it to your mouth-preference). The space is pretty small, however, so don’t bring all of your friends. Unless you only have one or two friends. In which case, your inability to make friends works out perfectly.
These guys do Trinidadian specialties like bakes, doubles, and aloo pie. If you don’t know what these are, think of them as sandwiches with fried bread and fillings like chickpeas and salt fish. Their doubles are especially popular (and even a little famous), but you should get here early to make sure they don’t run out. Just know that this place is tiny, old-school, and cash-only. Although you won’t need to bring much cash. It’s very inexpensive.
Ali’s is another option for quick Trinidadian take-out in the area. They also do doubles and aloo pie, but if you want something a little bigger, you can have a roti. Order one, and you’ll get a flatbread wrapped around some chicken curry or goat or oxtail stew. Or if you’re a vegetarian, you can get the chickpea version. Just know that this place is cash-only, and there isn’t a ton of seating.
Toad Style is a vegan place with a kung fu theme. They do things like a veggie burger, an eggplant parm, and pizza fries (with almond cheese). It isn’t the healthiest vegan food, but it’s fun, and vegans need junk food the same as everyone else. Try the banh mi or the veggie hot dog on a baguette. You can get your food to go or sit at one of the little tables and appreciate the old kung fu movie posters. They’re open until 11pm every night.
In Paris, there are probably a million places like L’Antagoniste. But you don’t live in Paris. You live in New York, and you’re reading this right now at your desk in Midtown. Or on a subway. Or at your apartment that’s smaller than you ever dreamed it would be. So maybe you should appreciate L’Antagoniste. It’s a nice little French place in Bed-Stuy where you can get some steak frites or duck l’orange. It isn’t especially affordable, but it also isn’t stuffy or formal, and you can come here with a date the next time you feel like spending a little cash.
This surf-themed bar has a nice back patio where you can eat spam tacos and drink tiki cocktails until 11pm. Or, you can enjoy Swell Dive’s small menu of Filipino/Tex-Mex food for breakfast or weekend brunch. No matter what you choose, keep this spot in mind for a low-key meal that involves an almost too-large can of frozen margaritas.
We can’t count the number of times Chilo’s excellent tacos have been there for us. This taco truck in the back of a bar is one of the few great Mexican spots in the neighborhood, and it’s open everyday, and till 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. You can order your fish, carnitas, and smoked beef tacos online and eat them at one of the outdoor picnic tables here with up to four people - just keep in mind that you may be asked to give up your spot after 90 minutes.
Chez Ozskar is a neighborhood French bistro with plenty of outdoor sidewalk seating and just enough charm to make you want to be a regular. They serve everything from quiche lorraine to escargot all day long, and you can enjoy them while seated below an exterior wall mural of a burlesque dancer in a giant martini glass. From a lazy Sunday to a date night under string lights, this casual spot works for essentially every occasion.
We aren’t sure what the theme of Fancy Nancy is, although we want to say early-90’s-high-school TV show. They have a cocktail called the “Jebroni,” they do tater tots covered in cheese, and they appear to have based their color scheme on 90’s ski wear. And the food is indeed just a little bit fancy. Instead of chicken wings they do duck, and you can stop by for dinner and have a nice piece of fish. But you can also get deviled eggs or a burger or a deviled egg stuck on top of a burger (at lunch). This place is fun and casual, and it’s great for a night out with friends.
Pretty much every neighborhood has a bodega where you can get good, inexpensive tacos. You just have to know where to look. In Bed-Stuy, your option is Chinantla. It’s a little restaurant/grocery store, and they actually do a lot more than just tacos. You can get a torta or a burrito or some huevos rancheros. They have pretty big menu, and it’s all pretty affordable. And while there are some tables inside where you can eat your Mexican food, it’s best for a casual weeknight meal with your roommate.