Nomination Thread: Best Eats in Brooklyn Heights

Travel & Leisure magazine’s latest issue lists its recommendations for where to nosh after a walk on the Brooklyn Bridge. On the Brooklyn side – Jacques Torres Chocolate, Vinegar Hill House, Shake Shack, The River Café, and Henry St. Ale House made the cut.

Which reminds us here at BHB, we should revive our nomination thread for best eats in Brooklyn Heights, first posted in 2012 by BHB’s beloved, late publisher “Homer Fink.” It’ll be a pleasant, fun break from all the Pier 2 drama. Don’t you agree?

In Homer’s own words — “The first step – nominate all of your favorite spots in the neighborhood (eat-in, takeout, breakfast, lunch, dinner) in the comments below. All types of eateries apply, we’ll break ’em down into categories for voting.”

We’ll add a new rule for 2016: Brooklyn Heights OR within walking distance.

We’re also looking to pick a winner for best newcomer. Which will it be – Friend of a Farmer? Kogane Ramen? Beasts & Bottles? Brado? Any others?

Comment away!

Share this Story:
  • Concerned

    Pinto should win for best newcomer. If we’re including Dumbo, Almondine is the best pastry around. Fascati is best pizza.

  • AEB

    Higher end: Sociale, which has the virtue of a good price-satisfaction ratio.

    Lower: Park Plaza diner.

    Newest: Kogane Ramen.

    Within walking distance, if you welcome something of a trek: Frankie’s 457 Spuntino in Cobble Hill.

    Unspeakable: Great competition here–and I haven’t exactly “explored” the Montegue Street dining options, most of which shout “trayf.” But for reliably bad Chinese (or Chinese-American): Fortune House. One keeps going back there out of some form of optimism–the soups are passable, some appetizer-y things too, but….


    My palate is very simple: between coffee at Cranberry’s and pizza at Fascti’s.. I am a happy camper.
    For special occasions I make the voyage to Butter Milk Channel, Frankie’s or Prime Meat.

  • Remsen St Strollin

    My favorites, in no particular order:
    Best newcomer and best ramen: Kogane Ramen (Brado and Maison keyser honorable mention)
    Best Italian: River Deli (sociale honorable mention)
    Best pizza: Julianna’s (honorable mention to all of table 87, Brado, luzzos, fornino, and dellaroccos)
    Best outdoor dining: fornino
    Best burger: Shake shack
    Best finer dining / American: Henry’s end, jack the horse tavern, and river cafe
    Best breakfast/brunch: Teresa’s

    I’ll add one more unwelcome category. Most disappointing newcomer: friend of a farmer. For such a nicely designed place with so much potential, the service is awful and the food is middling at best.

  • Remsen St Strollin

    I limited my original post to the hood itself, but adding walking distance and a few other categories, I’d add the following:
    -best sushi: iron chef
    -best Thai: Pok Pok
    -best Jewish/Spanish (only Jewish/Spanish): la vara
    -best Jewish deli: Mile end (honorable mention: juniors)

  • Roberto

    I’m surprised that no one mentioned Noodle Pudding, a classic trattoria run by Antonio Migliaccio and Bevacco’s creative mutation into two separate, well-crafted spaces from one.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Having no connection to a gas line (by choice), I eat out every day for lunch and dinner. Love a latte in morning with my NYTimes at Le Pain on Montague. Lunch is very inexpensive at Iron Chef (sushi special replacing California roll with spicy tuna) less than $10. If need a lox and bagel with tomato, capers, onion, I walk to Mile End on Hoyt. Sushi at Hibino on Pacific and Henry Street is comparable to Nobu and Blue Ribbon in Manhattan. For dinner, my comfort zone is sitting at the bar at Noodle Pudding and ordering some excellent fish selections. My favorite Italian dish in the Heights is Chicken Parmigiana at Queen on Court. Been eating that dish for 30 years. Henry’s End, of course, makes the cut with Steak au Poivre and the Veal Scallipine with wild Morel mushrooms.
    One last note, I have eaten tons of Pizza in the nabe and I prefer Fascati’s over Juliana’s or Grimaldi’s or Ignazio’s.

  • MaryT

    Thanks for the recommendations and caveats. Most times, I’m cooking. If not, on the north side:

    Asian – Iron Chef House for sushi. It’s more reliably moist and plump lately, I’m happy to say. The newish techno music is a drag, though not horribly loud nor scratchy. The new Thai-style place on Henry is tasty – alas, I had a bad reaction. Forget the Lantern on Montague. Go south on Court to Lemon Grass Grill or Joya.

    Pizza – Fascati’s is always good. Boy, have the prices gone up. I used to love Grimaldi’s, but the atmosphere has changed (bring back Frank, Tony and Ella!), Take-out is an uphill schlep with a big, hot pizza box. I do it once in awhile.

    Dining, sandwiches, treats – Jack the Horse is an adult oasis (mac and cheese, pork chops and flatirons are favorites and the bar is, too). Heights Cafe is a nice place with OK food. Pan Quotidian’s good for sandwiches and bites. Cranberry’s for bakery anything, especially the black and whites.

    Burgers – Once in a blue moon. Five Guys for a yummy Baltimore grease burger. California-style burgers at Shake Shack are respectable.

    Diners – Last, but certainly not least, good old Teresa’s for soup, some entrees, all the sides, and swift, no-nonsense service. Park Plaza is mostly not good, but the Caesar salad is OK. I miss Grand Canyon..

    P.S. The new ice cream place on Montague isn’t as good as a Ben and Jerry’s anything.

  • CassieVonMontague

    Best: Jack the Horse
    Best: Colonie
    Best: River Deli
    Best: Pok Pok
    Lunch: Hibino
    Breakfast: Iris Cafe
    Breakfast: Theresa’s
    Pizza: Juliana’s
    Burgers: Bareburger

    I haven’t been to any of the new restaurants. I’m looking forward to hearing your recommendations.

  • Jorale-man

    My favorites:
    Best Breakfast: Friend of a Farmer
    Best Lunch: Tazza on Henry, Almondine in Dumbo
    Best Pastries/bread: Maison Kaiser
    Best Dinner: River Deli and Sociale (tie), Tripoli
    And a general vote for the Middle Eastern restaurants that survive amid the gentrification on Atlantic.

  • Cascascas

    Shout outs here for Gallitos Mexican – a relative newcomer but seem to have some staying power. Their chopped salad is really delicious.

    Also happy so far with Pinto – hope they get their liquor license soon

  • peterbrooklyn

    Most taste per dollar spent: Tutt Cafe.

  • AbeLincoln

    This is such a fun post. I’m going to stick strictly in Brooklyn Heights for my votes.-

    Best Breakfast: Clark’s

    Best Lunch: Hanco’s

    Best Sushi – Iron Chef but Sushi Gallery would win if they would just open up when they say they will!

    Best Pizza: Della Roccos

    Best Dinner: Colonie

    Best Coffee: The deli on the corner of Montague and Hicks

    Best Bagel of Discontent: Hot Bagel and Deli

    Best Newcomer: Kogane Ramen

    Honorable Mentions: The Indian place on Henry and all the Middle Eastern places on both Hicks and Henry.

  • AbeLincoln

    And they’re always so friendly there too.

  • Grace Court Jester

    I will try not to repeat any I have seen nominated in other comments which leaves me with:
    Yemen Cafe

  • Grace Court Jester

    A few more:
    That Halal Cart on the corner of Joraleman and Court has great lamb.

    Hill Country BBQ has great brisket

    Ample Hills has the best ice cream

  • CHatter

    Best Sushi: Ani (proper Japanese and yes, even better than Iron Chef)
    Best Tushy: sorry, wrong list
    Best Northern Italian: Noodle Pudding
    Best Southern Italian: River Deli
    Best Cocktails: Jack the Horse
    Worst Entrails: Happy Days Diner
    Best in Winter: Henry’s End (game menu!)
    Best in Summer: Emack & Bolio’s
    Biggest Bummer: Cash-only policies
    Best Pizza: Table 87 and My Little Pizzaria (sorry Fascati)
    Best Newcomer: Pinto
    Best Comfort: Teresa’s
    Best Hangover Cure: Chip Shop Full English Breakfast
    Best Sandwich: Brooklyn Heights Deli Pastrami Triple Decker (oh my….)

  • redlola

    friend of a farmer is great so is b.good. Pinto is awesome as well. Fascati is overpriced and not that great. The Oyster Room @ Jack the Horse is fantastic. Also loving the new coffee shop, Gregory on Montague almost by Court

  • St. Georgette

    Best pizza: Fascati’s and Table 87
    Best higher end: Henry’s End
    Best sandwich: Cranberry’s, Hanco’s
    Best sushi: Iron Chef House
    Best Chinese: Yaso Tangbao! Downtown Brooklyn
    Best place to eat AND hear great live music: Hill Country BBQ (good drinks too)

  • KXrVrii1

    Why do you have no connection to a gas line (by choice)?

  • NYC118

    It is not that far and Sottacassa on Atlantic has fantastic pizza. Chez Moi is very good for the price and you can eat at the bar. And please consider Queen for other than old-fashioned “red sauce” — I’ve had wonderful black (not squid ink) risotto with crab, great veal with mushrooms etc.

  • val

    We call Fortune House “Torture House.” No good Chinese in nabe, sadly. Atlantic Avenue has really stepped up. Beasts and Bottles in former Red Gravy (and for old timers, Mezcal’s) space is high end, but delicious for dinner. Have dessert at Colonie. Chez Moi for all shell creatures. We go for the $1 oysters and then have mussels. Brado is just a tragic reminder of Pete’s, the dearly, dearly departed. Tazza for breakfast, Swallow for lunch. Other new spots on Atlantic: Pair (wine and cheese), Sultan (Turkish), and all the best hookah places, especially Mocha Hookah.

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    Yeah, but Brado is actually a very good spot.

  • DIBS

    Sociale & Jack The Horse.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Hate washing dishes

  • StudioBrooklyn

    OK, Mary Kim, I’ll throw in the following noms:

    Japanese: Hibino (Henry, just south of Atlantic), go to Henry Public just north of there for cocktails first, it’s also excellent.
    Chinese: Nothing. Go to Flushing Queens and bring a friend who speaks Mandarin.
    Arabic: Yemen Cafe (!!!)
    I liked Kogane Ramen but Ganso on Bond & Livingston, walkable for most, is far superior.
    I like to buy the $0.75 burekas at Sahadi’s bakery counter every time I go. They’ll heat them up for you if you ask. Delicious and inexpensive snack to reward yourself during a grocery run.

    Five Guys makes the best hamburger in the United States and consistently employs friendly people who smile at you when you place an order. While Shake Shack uses a similar method, they aren’t even competing when it comes to volume, juiciness, and availability of excellent toppings, and for what you get at Shake Shack they’re probably overcharging you to cover their hasty expansion, and judging by the distracted indifference of the staff, they don’t seem to be enjoying the benefits of the price gouging.

    I’m sorry for what I’m about to say but while I respect the Fascati legacy I think their pizza is awful and don’t understand why everyone here is so nuts about them. We’re biased toward Delarocco’s because we’re friends with the manager so I can’t objectively offer an alternative.

  • neighboronhicks

    faves for us are: noodle pudding; jack the horse; tazza for breakfast sandwiches and salads; dellarocco’s for pizza; gallito’s for a mexican fix; lantern thai and lychee nut

  • Mary Kim

    I’m with you, SB, on Five Guys’ burger being superior to Shake Shack. Also, the fries at SS look and taste like the frozen Ore-Ida’s from my childhood, and not in a good way. The fries at Five Guys are always perfectly done. And yes, the nice folks who work there are a bonus.

  • KBells40

    Not sure what T&L was thinking with Henry St. Ale House, but critiques aside, and casting a wider net than formal Heights boundaries:
    Best Burger: 282 Burger on Atlantic
    Best slice pizza: My Little Pizzeria
    Best “fancy” pizza: Table 87 or Sottocasa
    Best Thai – Pinto has potential but still go for Joya
    Best cozy fave: Noodle Pudding
    Best Sushi: recently switched to Ani and won’t look back
    Ice cream: Van Leeuwen on Bergen

  • Andrew Porter

    The last time I ate at Fortune House, the chopsticks had the undeniable smell of insecticide on them.