New York Despite what the cool kids would have you believe, you don't have to live in Brooklyn to enjoy the lobster rolls, ricotta pancakes, and pulled pork found within its borders -- all you need is a guide to show you the way. Like, say, this guide to the 15 greatest places to eat in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. Note: Yes, for the purposes of this article we've rolled the adjacent 'hoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint together into one big foodie paradise. More Stuff You Will Like
Best burger: Juniper112 Berry St (Williamsburg) While the rest of the menu’s stacked with excellent options (a steak & cheese sandwich!), Juniper’s claim to fame is its brioche-bound burger. With beef and chorizo both on deck, it’s no wonder this is one of our favorite burgers in the entire city -- get it with the seasoned fries, because life’s too short for unseasoned fries.
Best spot for a sugar rush: Handsome Dan's218 Bedford Ave (Williamsburg) This diminutive candy shop in the Williamsburg Mall might be a tight squeeze, but the candy lineup featured within is totally worth it. Gummies, jawbreakers, chocolates, and Big League Chew are just some of the sweets on offer, and you can even fill up a mason jar with your preferred candy (because Williamsburg). Continue Reading
Best brunch: Five Leaves18 Bedford Ave (Greenpoint) Waiting in an hour-long line for brunch might sound completely foolish, and it is -- unless of course it’s followed by ricotta pancakes, house-cured arctic char, or a sage scrambled egg panini. For these reasons, as well as the fantastic avocado toast, don’t be surprised if you find yourself back on the exact same line the following weekend.
Best Mexican/Taiwanese fusion: Lucky Luna167 Nassau Ave (Greenpoint) Can’t decide between tacos and steamed buns? Thanks to the blended menu at this Lucky Luna, you can get both -- along with kimchi, huevos Mexicanos, scallion pancakes, and pozole. The duck confit bao is a crowd favorite here, so even if you don’t get it yourself, you should make it a point to steal some from your dinner companion.
Best Southern comfort food: Pies 'n' Thighs166 S 4th St (Williamsburg) With mouthwatering mains like chicken and waffles, fried catfish, and classic grilled cheese, this local favorite serves stick-to-your-ribs victuals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And then, of course, there are the pies: think pumpkin, apple, and bourbon pecan, then stop thinking and start ordering.
Best pizza: Best Pizza33 Havemeyer St (Williamsburg) No, that’s not a typo: the place serving Williamsburg’s best pizza is actually called “Best Pizza.” The pies here are bursting with fresh mozzarella and tangy sauce flavors, and whether you get a thin-crust white slice or a crispy grandma pizza, you won’t be disappointed -- provided you can get past the relatively high price point, that is. If you can't splurge on pizza, though, what can you splurge on?
Best seafood: Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.114 Nassau Ave (Greenpoint) In addition to the formal sit-down area in the back, you can grab to-go fare from the fish market and commissary behind the marble-topped bar up front. Order some fried fish tacos, pick up some oysters for waterside shucking, or tuck into one of the freshest lobster rolls in town. Better yet, do all three!
Best bar food: Spritzenhaus33 Nassau Ave (Greenpoint) The food menu at this craft beer hall features 10 different kinds of brats, ranging from the traditional (krainerwurst and kielbasa) to the unusual (duck and rabbit). The variety extends beyond the sausage selection, as well: you can choose between eight different dipping sauces for your side of Belgian fries or a soft pretzel, including peanut teriyaki and mustard jalapeño aioli.
Best donut & pastry shop: Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop727 Manhattan Ave (Greenpoint) For more than 50 years, Peter Pan's been frying up donuts and topping them with everything from apple crump to toasted coconut. Grab that thimble and fly your ass over here, then dig into a red velvet crumb donut that'd make a crocodile weep.
Best non-sushi Japanese place: Zenkichi77 N 6th St (Williamsburg) If you’re on the hunt for a cheap, unlimited sushi, this is not your jam -- there are plenty of other spots for that. If, however, you’re in the mood for high-class Japanese fare that isn’t sushi (think waygu beef, grilled black cod, and Jidori chicken), this most definitely is your jam. Don’t let the semi-expensive prices dissuade you from getting neck-deep in tempura.
Best oyster happy hour: The Bounty131 Greenpoint Ave (Greenpoint) Admittedly, there’s more to this Greenpoint bistro than just oysters -- the cocktails are delicious, the burger’s one of the best in the borough, and the back patio is great for dates. The siren call of $1 oysters overrides all of this, however, and it should absolutely be your move if you can get here between the hours of 5pm and 7pm.
Best sandwiches (and bacon sticks!): Landhaus at The Woods48 S 4th St (Williamsburg) If you’re not lucky enough to catch the Landhaus folks doing their “farm-to-sandwich” thing at Smorgasburg, just head over to The Woods and hit up their full-service kitchen out back. You'll have access to the same excellent steak sandwiches and bacon-on-a-stick goodness, but with happy hour beer specials to sweeten the deal!
Best ramen: Yuji Ramen at Okonomi150 Ainslie St (Williamsburg) Despite relocating to Williamsburg, Ramen wizard Yuji Haraguchi’s eponymous noodle shop still offers the same exemplary omakase menu we fell in love with on the second floor of Whole Foods. Be careful what time you show up, though, as this place actually has a split personality: it's Yuji Ramen after 6pm on weekdays, but it switches to Okonomi (and a different menu) for the rest of the week.
Best barbecue: BrisketTown359 Bedford Ave (Williamsburg) All the barbecued meats served up at this Dan Delaney flagship are worth sinking your fangs into, from the hot link beef sausage to the pork ribs. That said, the brisket’s definitely the strongest move you can make here, as alluded to by the fact that it’s in the freakin’ name. Also, the place’ll give you free meat on your birthday, which is a way better present than nana’s peanut brittle.
Best Italian date spot: Milk & Roses1110 Manhattan Ave (Greenpoint) Eating fresh pasta and drinking wine is generally frowned upon in libraries, but with its bookshelf-lined walls and traditional Italian menu, this popular date spot is the exception. No, you can't actually borrow any books here, but tortellini and panna cotta are infinitely preferable to card catalogues and late fees. Sign up here for our daily NYC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun New York has to offer. Gianni Jaccoma is an editor for Thrillist, and he's naming his firstborn "Ricotta Pancakes." Follow him to brunch/court @gjaccoma.
1. Juniper112 Berry St, New York
2. Handsome Dan's218 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn
3. Five Leaves18 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn
4. Pies 'n' Thighs166 S 4th St, Brooklyn
5. Lucky Luna167 Nassau, Brooklyn
6. Best Pizza33 Havemeyer St, New York
7. Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.114 Nassau Ave, Brooklyn
8. Spritzenhaus33 Nassau Ave, Brooklyn
9. Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop727 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn
10. Zenkichi77 N 6th St, Brooklyn
11. The Bounty131 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn
12. Landhaus48 S 4th St, Brooklyn
13. Okonomi150 Ainslie St, Brooklyn
14. BrisketTown359 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn
15. Milk & Roses1110 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn
This bare-bones Williamsburg restaurant is celebrated for its sandwiches (the steak & cheese is excellent), but its claim to fame is the burgers, which are made from a blend of beef and chorizo, cooked to juicy perfection, and served on brioche buns. It's a small cash-only spot, so plan ahead.
Tucked into Bedford Avenue's Mini Mall, Handsome Dan's is filled with all kinds of awesome vintage candies, plus cotton candy and Snocones in all different types of flavors.
This chic Greenpoint eatery offers up gourmet, healthy food with Aussie flair. Set up in a cozy nook adjacent to McCarren Park, Five Leaves is a solid choice for weekday breakfast or after work drinks. While its digs may be pint-sized, on the weekends Brooklyn brunchers regularly line up down the block for top-notch fare (such as truffle fries, ricotta pancakes, and Moroccan scrambles).
Pies ‘n’ Thighs is Williamsburg’s premier outpost for fried chicken, with Southern comfort favorites that will easily make you forget you’re sitting in a shabby space under the Williamsburg Bridge. Enjoy expertly fried birds and dough (the old-fashioned doughnuts are big in both size and flavor), and flaky, house-baked biscuits. There are chicken buckets reserved for take-out, but no matter if you stay or go, complete the experience with a side trio of smoked pork collards, burnt end baked beans, and mac & cheese. The batter is buttermilk, the hot sauce is Frank’s, the butter is honeyed, and the pies -- including banana cream, bourbon pecan, and apple -- are traditional.
This Greenpoint Taiwanese/Mexican cocktail bar (yes, really...) is one for the Brooklyn books. The beef noodle soup is anything but plain, a couple of duck confit buns will do you in just right, and vegans -- they've got a pozole that'll blow you away.
Opened by Roberta's alum Frank Pinello, Best Pizza is paper-plating thin-crust and grandma-style pies with toppings like LaFrieda shortrib/brisket meatballs, chicken, anchovies, and bacon. Sometimes, however, simplicity is key, so we recommend giving the plain white slice a try as well. Best Pizza utilizes a century-old wood-burning oven, but the joint's other accents are decidedly no-frills -- the walls are covered in paper plates that are adorned with crazy drawings by customers, and the space in general is very reminiscent of an old-school pizza shop.
At Greenpoint Fish and Lobster Co., you can expect to find only the highest quality of sustainably sourced seafood. This narrow spot -- awash in white tile and blonde wood with a seating area surrounding a marble bar and open kitchen -- is nothing short of a seafood haven. Head to the market in the front and do some grocery shopping of your own, where you'll find plenty of options on the ice.
Aside from the sausages and Belgian fries on their mouthwatering menu, this huge watering hole boasts ciders, lagers, gluten-free options, wheats, and sours, in addition to 20+ drafts and an exhaustingly badass whiskey selection.
This donut shop in Greenpoint is over 60 years old, having opened its doors in the 1950's. They offer all kinds of pastries, egg sandwiches, and more than 20 varieties of donuts, like French crullers and creme-filled and crumb-topped yeast varieties -- but the signature is the lightly glazed red velvet cake donut, which they start turning out at 4:30am. During the hotter summer days, you can get it split open and get it filled with cherry amaretto ice cream.
This intimate Japanese brasserie in Williamsburg is perfect for dates with its romantic, private booths, dim lighting, and impressive menu of sharable items. Zenkichi's lack of sushi rolls allows it to focus on a range of less popular -- but arguably more delicious -- Japanese fare, including takenoko (marinated bamboo shoots), roast Washugyu beef, and the chef's eight-course omakase tasting menu for two.
This is the best oyster happy hour spot in Greenpoint, which means you need to get there pronto.
This Williamsburg joint serves up maple bacon hunks served by the handful, in addition to sandos like slow braised pork shoulder w/ cheddar sauce & pickled peppers.
For breakfast and lunch, this quaint Williamsburg spot specializes in ichiju‑sansai, a traditional Japanese set meal consisting of grilled fish, rice, miso soup, and vegetable sides. On weeknights, it turns into a casual à la carte ramen-ya where the seafood broth is made from the daytime meal’s leftovers. The 12-seat space gets more intimate and upscale on Saturdays and Sundays, when the chef unveils his weekend ramen tasting menu.
This pop-up-turned-brick-and-mortar serves up classic Texas-style brisket, ribs, and BBQ. Its fatty cuts are especially memorable, but the tender bite and peppery bark of most of the meats will have you coming back for a ton more. Your taste buds could be satiated with a carnivorous entree alone, but sides like tangy collard greens and creamy mac 'n cheese round out the savory, umami-ful experience.
A romantic date spot with a stress-free vibe, eating and Milk & Roses feels like being inside a beautiful garden, and the seasonal menu mimics that -- focusing on super-fresh ingredients that pair nicely with an impressive wine list and unique cocktails.