The vibrant food scene in these neighborhoods is undoubtedly one of the best things about living here. From hole-in-the-wall treasures to fine dining to the freshest market provisions—pick your place to become a regular, make a new special memory, cure a hangover, or impress an out-of-towner. And keep the senses open: there is always more for the palate to discover around here.
From husband-and-wife duo Felipe Donnelly and Tamy Rofe comes this inimitably cozy, charming, and community-cultivating neighborhood staple where you can expect to find perfectly charred, melty-cheesed, fresh and responsibly sourced Latin American food, an impressive and ever-changing list of natural wines, and mezcal, mezcal, mezcal.
Gage & Tollner
Walk into Gage & Tollner and you’ll know its walls have stories to tell. The iconically Brooklyn establishment first came to the neighborhood 137 years ago, and has been in its current location, on and off, for the past 129 years. From Day One, it was notable for its exquisite selection of liquors, libations, and fresh food, but really hit its stride in the 50s, when it was named “one of the world’s best seafood restaurants.” By 1975, it had garnered landmark status, granted by The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. It is the third-ever space in New York City to be designated an interior landmark (in the footsteps of New York Public Library and Grant’s Tomb) and the only standalone restaurant in the city’s history to hold both interior and individual landmark status. In a sad turn, the building was bought out in 2004 and its top floors converted to office space and ground floor cycled through various other restaurants and retailers. Finally, in 2021, Gage & Tollner makes a classy-as-ever comeback with restaurateurs Ben Schneider, St. John Fritzell, and Korean-born chef Sohui Kim partnering at the helm. Inspired by the flavors of its archives and reinvigorated with Executive Chef Sohui Kim’s inventive and meticulous approach, Gage & Tollner is back and better than ever. Eat up, Brooklyn.
Long Island Bar
For more than half a century, this classic neighborhood haunt will surely be in your heavy rotation for nights that call for meticulously crafted, no-frills cocktails. They also offer a small menu of elevated comfort food classics for lunch and dinner. The owners, Joel Tompkins and Toby Cecchini (fun fact: Toby invented the Cosmopolitan), recently opened The Rockwell Place, bringing their reliably ace libations right to center of the cultural corridor of BAM, BRIC, Barclay’s Center, and the Mark Morris Dance Center.
Rice & Miso
This radiant and peaceful hole-in-the-wall cafe was born from the inspiration of Japanese childhood. Founded by Mika Hatsushima in 2012—first as a market stand at Brooklyn Flea before settling in its current brick-and-mortar home two years after—the cafe offers Brooklynites the wholesome, quick, and flavorful food Mika grew up with. When she had her daughter, she found herself reminiscing on this food and wondering where its place in her neighborhood was. So, she created it.
Fort Greene Farmers Market
Stroll down the Washington Park Ave. edge of Fort Greene Park any Saturday of the year if you need to be reminded of this special neighborhood’s small-town feel—or if you need vegetables. Pick out your haul of farm-fresh produce, dairy, meat, eggs, and seafood, brought to you direct from the farmers in the tristate area (with majority of the stands repping upstate and Long Island). In Spring, Summer, and Fall, extend your walk down Dekalb Ave. to visit the Artisan Market, where nearly 20 local makers set up shop for a day to sell everything from handwoven baskets and kids’ toys to ceramics and watercolor artworks. The whole scene makes for great people watching any time of the year.
Fresh, responsibly sourced, and friendly is just about all you can ask for from your go-to fishmonger. John Addis, the owner of Fish Tales, is personally up every morning at 2:00 am to hand-select the freshest catches of the day from the Fulton Fish Market. The shop has always been family owned and operated since its opening in 1996, and you can tell in the customer service and the thoughtful selection of other provisions Fish Tales sells: prepared and ready-to-eat seafood (notorious for their chowder!), condiments and accoutrements, and specialty seafood serving utensils galore. This kind of quality and care only comes from the folks who know their customers, what they want, and where to source it over decades.
A block away from Fort Greene Park lives this humble, reliably vibey natural wine bar on track to be the first zero-waste wine bar of its kind. Casual conservas and tinned fish will accompany your low-intervention wine during evenings spent with old friends, new lovers, favorite neighbors, or just yourself and the quiet streets of Fort Greene. Cocktails are also served here, and they make a mean Old Fashioned.
“Sahadi’s is the best,” says anyone who’s ever set foot in this James Beard award-winning Middle Eastern specialty food shop. It first opened in Manhattan’s “Little Syria” in 1895 and moved to its well-rooted Atlantic Avenue home in 1948, along with the migration of much of the Syrian-and Lebanese-American community to the neighborhood in the early 1900s. Here, you’ll find an expansive selection of bulk snacks, coffee, and spices along with cheeses, prepared foods, oils, and other inspiring, specific, and top-quality pantry foods.
We may be living in a concrete jungle, but fresh provisions are plentiful—particularly in this neighborhood. Buying from local farmers (via Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or networks like Natoora) is a great way to reduce your food miles and directly support local agriculture—not to mention filling your kitchen with vibrant seasonal produce year-round. A few CSAs and farm networks that cater to local residents of the are:
This CSA partners with Sang Lee Farms, an organic specialty vegetable farm in the North Fork of Long Island, to bring neighbors fresh produce weekly. Their pickups take place Wednesday evenings throughout the summer and fall at First Presbyterian Church at 124 Henry St. in Brooklyn Heights. After each week’s pickup, volunteers bring any surplus to the FPC Food Bank to be distributed to financially in-need communities.
Weekly and Bi-weekly oysters, mussels, littlenecks, and seasonal surprises such as uni, scallops, and razor clams. All oysters are sustainably grown and harvested in wild coastal waters—not farmed. With multiple pickup locations around the city, our neighborhood has two, conveniently in Cobble Hill and Fort Greene.
Natoora started by first sourcing farm-fresh produce for many of the city’s best restaurants. In the beginning of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, they expanded to offering home delivery, bringing straight-from-the-farm vegetables, dairy, and charcuterie to your doorstep. Their ethical standards for their farmers are top-notch and packaging materials remain utmost minimal. It tastes good to be in good hands like these.