The Best Restaurants in Bed-Stuy

Fish pepper soup, fried catfish, and oxtail pizza are all waiting for you in one of Brooklyn’s biggest neighborhoods.
The Best Restaurants in Bed-Stuy image

photo credit: David A. Lee

Bed-Stuy is one of the largest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and one of the most strollable. Beautiful brownstones, big shady trees, and a bunch of bars and restaurants line the streets. Walk up Thompkins or Lewis on a weekend, and you’ll see people spilling out of soul food brunch spots and seafood markets. If you’re planning an evening out, try a wine bar in an art studio, or a late-night Nigerian spot. Or, try some Oaxacan memelas and oxtail pizza. An area this large, with this many options, can make it hard to choose a place. Use this guide to find our favorite ones. 

The Spots

photo credit: David A. Lee



$$$$Perfect For:Special OccasionsDate NightUnique Dining Experience

Eating at Dept. of Culture, a Nigerian restaurant that serves a $75, four-course meal, is one of the best nights out you can have in Bed-Stuy. Turns out, sitting at the communal table, drinking (complimentary) white wine out of tiny Ikea glasses, and talking to strangers might be the best way to do a tasting menu. Between each course of regional specialties from Kwara, the chef will tell stories about his personal connection to the spicy pepper soup or homemade Nigerian cheese you’re about to eat. You'll always hear a record spinning, and there’s a BYOB policy in addition to that free wine.

photo credit: Adam Friedlander


For All Things Good runs on masa. They focus 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 spot also makes the best tortillas we’ve had anywhere in NYC, and you can pick up a dozen of their colorful heirloom corn creations for $7. Stop by this spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and read all about the different corn varieties they keep in rotation here. And check out their bar, Bar Birba, across the street.

photo credit: Noah Devereaux

$$$$Perfect For:Date Night

This tiny spot under the Franklin Avenue C stop feels very much like a dinner party at a friend’s house. For starters, the whole operation is about the size of a studio apartment, and the playlist reliably includes Ja Rule and Ashanti. Whether you’re seated at one of the two-tops, the long communal table, or on one of the five bar seats, a dinner here will inevitably involve some eavesdropping and elbow-bumping by candlelight. But once the clam toast, pork milanese, and lamb burgers hit the table, you won’t be focused on anything but good food and great company.

The Fly does rotisserie chicken, and they’re extremely good at it. So good that the menu consists almost exclusively of rotisserie chicken, a chicken sandwich, and some sides. (There’s also a veggie sandwich for that one person who forgot to ask their date about their dietary restrictions. But don’t be that person.) The skin on their birds is crispy, the meat is perfectly cooked, and it comes carved up on a big metal plate, so you won’t have to roll up your sleeves and start performing surgery. The Fly is walk-in only and occupies an attractive space with a big, U-shaped bar and moody lighting, so it’s the perfect place for a date, or loitering solo with a glass of wine while looking refined and mysterious.

The family-run cafe is our go-to spot when we need a moment of reprieve in the middle of the day. They serve sandwiches, smoothies, and baked goods, and, in a nod to the name (a beach in Montego Bay), you’ll find some Jamaican flavor on the menu. Our go-to combo here is the jerk chicken sandwich, topped with tangy chimichurri on sourdough, and Jamaican iced coffee with coconut condensed milk—but they also have a ton of vegan options, and a rotating menu of hot plate specials. They’re open from 8am-4pm on weekdays, in a cavernous space that’s half kitchen and half tables-for-two. Just don’t bring your laptop with you. There’s no wifi or outlets, so the friendly cafe functions better as a break room than a WFH station.

We can’t count the number of times Chilo’s excellent tacos have been there for us. This taco truck is parked permanently in the back of a divey bar, which means you never have to worry that the driver decided to try his luck on a different street, and you can double fist your smoked beef with margaritas all night. Order your fish, carnitas, and duck tacos by three, and table dance to a soundtrack ranging from opera to Michael Jackson deep cuts.

photo credit: Noah Devereaux

$$$$Perfect For:Cheap EatsQuick Eats

A&A does Trinidadian specialties like bakes, doubles, and aloo pie. Their doubles are especially popular, thanks to a thoroughly spiced chickpea filling, so you should get here early in case they run out. Just know that this place is tiny, old-school, and cash-only. You won’t need to bring much—you can get a full meal here for $15 or less.

Long lines snake outside the door for pizzas inspired by chicken and waffles, black truffle alfredo shrimp, and lasagna. Cuts & Slices sets itself apart from other slice shops by offering a bunch of uncommon toppings, and while varieties like curry shrimp and jerk salmon are interesting, the real reasons to come here are the oxtail pies. There are three different kinds, but our favorite is the sweet chili, which turns the tender oxtail into a rollercoaster of sweet and spicy flavor. Most people get their food to go, but there are a couple of tables and a counter for standing.

Peaches has couples, families with kids, friends catching up, and every other dining situation we can think of. It's a perfect spot for a casual weeknight dinner, and if you come for their popular brunch, you can choose from both breakfast staples and Southern comfort food like blackened catfish and turkey meatloaf. No matter what you decide to eat, make good use of the Crystal hot sauce that's on every table. Portions are generous, noise levels are high, and you’ll see a lot of chair-dancing around the room. They also have a slightly more casual offshoot in the neighborhood called Peaches Hot House.

photo credit: Greedi Vegan

$$$$Perfect For:Vegans

Have your next brunch at Greedi Vegan, where you can eat life-changing soy fish and grits with country gravy in a chic dining room or on a cute back patio. They keep all kinds of dietary restrictions in mind in their takes on these comfort classics, so your whole crew can get an invite. Anything soy can be swapped out for something soy-free, the fried okra and cornbread are both gluten-free, and any of their house cocktails can become mocktails. Stop by for a signature soul bowl when you need a quick lunch, come for Happy Hour, or check their IG for things like Wine Wednesdays, when the neighborhood regulars come out for a mini-party.

OStudio is a creative co-working space and cafe where you’ll find artists making big beautiful ceramics and quilts. At 5pm, candles hit the cafe tables, and the room transforms into OStudio at Night, a super-casual wine bar with some of the best small plates in Brooklyn. The menu changes a lot, but we’ve had things like crispy maitake mushrooms in seaweed butter, and burrata with fermented black bean sauce. Come by for a chill weeknight date or catch-up. This isn’t the wine bar where you wear your little black dress— you could walk in with paint-stained overalls and fit right in.

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. But Greenberg’s isn’t just for people-watching—come here for thin and soft bagels that taste like they were baked a few moments before they reached your mouth. The sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich is excellent with an added hashbrown. The crunch from both the crispy bagel and fried potatoes will likely pop up in your daydreams.

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 a great Neapolitan-style pizza, go to Saraghina and sit on the secret back patio. There’s other stuff on the menu, but that isn’t why you come here. The inside feels like a very nice antique store, with white farmhouse furniture, vintage hotel signage, and an old-timey wall phone. Come for a weeknight dinner or stop by on a Saturday and drink a lot of wine.

photo credit: Noah Devereaux

$$$$Perfect For:Lunch

The best thing at David’s Brisket House isn’t the brisket, it’s the tender, juicy, halal pastrami stacked on seedless rye. The thin, smoky layers melt in your mouth like a Listerine strip, and it’s served on fresh bread and finished off with a slab of mustard and a bunch of pickles on the side. The other meat options are brisket and corned beef, and if you can’t decide between them, go hard with the triple decker sandwich that has all three. Be ready to part with $20 to $30, and grab a booth so you can eat your sandwich open-faced with a fork if you need to.

For Venezuelan tostones, arepas, and empanadas, head to Guacaco. This neighborhood spot is best known for its incredibly creamy pink sauce, and it’s a great option for a casual weeknight dinner that involves a lot of fried dough. Don’t be deceived by the fast-casual feel of the branded wall in the front. There’s a big bar in the middle, and once they switch up the lighting and turn some music on in the evenings, it’s a great place for groups to get a little loose on a weeknight with some frozen margs.

photo credit: Kate Previte

$$$$Perfect For:Dining Solo

At this beloved neighborhood seafood market, you can order some fried shrimp to eat for lunch, or pick up some raw shrimp to cook for dinner. It’s one of our favorite places to stop by for fried fish, lobster rolls, and po’boys, as well as freshly shucked oysters and clams. They have a couple counter seats inside, but when the weather’s good, you’ll see a steady crowd of people eating at the picnic tables out front. Whatever you get, order a side of their Old Bay-dusted fries. They also have a tiny takeout operation on Throop called the Wreck with a handful of tables and stools outside.

Buka is a casual Nigerian restaurant, and on weekends, people gather around the big central bar until 2am. Sometimes, there’s even live music. It’s a great place to come with a group and order a bunch of beer and food for the table, like suya skewers, red snapper, and a side of fufu. If you need to clear your sinuses, or just need a reason to buy more beer, order the goat pepper or fish pepper soup. You’ll get a whole tilapia in a hellfire habanero broth that’ll stare straight into your soul and ask you how it got here.

photo credit: Kate Previte

$$$$Perfect For:Brunch

A meal at Ursula is the closest you can get to New Mexican food in New York, with chile peppers and other ingredients imported directly from the Land of Enchantment. It’s open all day, serving sandwiches and their legendary hash brown-stuffed breakfast burritos until 2pm. At night, they switch over to small plates, like eggplant tamal and corn salad, and cocktails. The space is done up in vibrant pink and turquoise, with a few tables in the front dining room, and a long bar in the back overlooking an open kitchen. We recommend grabbing a seat here so you can watch the chefs drop battered chicken into a Dutch oven of hot oil before it goes into your green chile-smothered sandwich.

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