A special note: There are SO many incredible places to eat across Brooklyn and by no means does this list encompass all of them. This is just a teeny, tiny list of some of my favorite places and they just so happen to be in semi-close proximity to my apartment (I’m a lazy eater y’all)!
ANY OCCASION: Cafe Mogador (Williamsburg)
As one of my all-time favorite restaurants in all of New York, I frequent this Morrocan-inspired establishment on a monthly basis. Cafe Mogador’s menu is nothing short of superb and its venue is suitable for any occasion – meals by yourself, family visits, casual friend lunches, and late-night dates. I guarantee that you will enjoy yourself with whomever and whatever you eat here.
GO-TO ORDER: Moroccan Eggs (Brunch), Falafel & Hummus Plate, or Lamb Shank Tagine
BODEGA: TK’S Deli (Bed-Stuy)
There are many occurrences where I’d go out of my way to get something from TK's Deli. This 24-hour food mecca welcomes the hungry, hungover, and everyone in between to eat from its incredible deli counter. Never am I disappointed by anything from the boys at TK’s Deli, and I don’t expect you will be either!
GO-TO ORDER: BEC with Grilled Onions and Hot Sauce or a Chopped Cheese with a side of Curly Fries
BRUNCH: Shalom Japan (Williamsburg)
Combining Jewish and Japanese influences, Shalom Japan brings a new and refreshing perspective to the beloved brunch menu. Instead of serving an array of utterly boring egg dishes, Shalom Japan presents options like Okonomiyaki (a Japanese savory pancake) with wagyu pastrami, sauerkraut, and bonito flakes, or a Lox Bowl outfitted sushi rice, avocado, Japanese pickles, fried capers, and chili mayo. If you’re looking to expand your horizons on brunch, this is most certainly the place to go.
GO-TO ORDER: Okonomiyaki or Matzoh Ball Ramen
DATE-NIGHT: Maison Premiere (Williamsburg)
Now I may have special sentimental ties to this restaurant, but I stand firm in saying Maison Premiere is one of the most magical places in all of NYC. After being shuttered by COVID-19, it has recently reopened with patrons lining up in droves to get a seat. If you’re lucky, you’ll snag a chair at the bar where you get a front-row seat to watch bow-tied waiters orchestrate cocktails with techniques you’ve likely never seen before. Maison Premiere is definitely cost-prohibitive, but the experience and ambiance make the money you spend very worthwhile.
GO-TO ORDER: Oyster Selection with any Absinthe Cocktail
FAST CASUAL: Xi’an Famous Foods (Greenpoint)
There is never an instance where I will say no to a meal at Xi’an Famous Foods. Although there are no locations near me, *cough* please build one in Bushwick *cough,* I will travel in any weather to grab a plate of hand ripped noodles or a bowl of spicy dumplings in soup. Fortunately for the NYC population, there are eight locations you can find throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.
GO-TO ORDER: Mt. Qi Pork Hand-Ripped Noodles or Spicy & Sour Lamb Dumplings in Soup
HAPPY HOUR: Sea Wolf (Bushwick)
Wait times during Sea Wolf’s happy hour are almost always a guarantee and for good reasons! If I died tomorrow, I hope an afterlife welcome committee greets me with my Sea Wolf happy hour order – oysters, wings, shoestring fries, and a frosty Painkiller. And if you’re one of those people who typically miss the discounted 4-7 PM window, no need to worry! Sea Wolf’s happy hour happens every day of the week!
GO-TO ORDER: Wings, Oysters, Shoestring Fries, and a Painkiller
HIDDEN GEM: Taqueria Cocoyoc (Bushwick)
In a desperate attempt to find nachos during the pandemic, I stumbled upon Taqueria Cocoyoc – a small yet bustling restaurant conveniently within walking distance from my old (and new) apartment. I will note that I am infamously picky about the delicate craft of crispy chips and their accouterments but I have yet to discover ANYWHERE in the five boroughs that have nachos as good as Tacqueria Cocoyoc’s.
GO-TO ORDER: Carnitas Nachos with extra Salsa Verde
Greenberg's Bagels (Bed-Stuy)
Le Garage (Bushwick)
Lucy's Vietnamese Kitchen (Bushwick)
Birds of a Feather (Williamsburg)
Pies 'n' Thighs (Williamsburg)
Bahnmigos (Park Slope)