With dozens of neighborhoods, each boasting a distinct personality of its own, Brooklyn offers a never-ending tour of tastiness. Perhaps the most exciting New York City borough to eat in, Brooklyn is filling up with culinary innovators and influencers, from Bushwick to Fort Greene. But that doesn't mean the old-school, mainstay restaurants have been forgotten: even in its trendy new era, many of the eateries that built up Brooklyn's dining reputation from the very beginning manage to keep guests coming back for more.
Whether it's that old New York character or something totally new and different you crave, when in Brooklyn, venture out to a neighborhood you haven’t seen yet to eat at one of these unique local spots.
436 Jefferson St.
This laid-back, Michelin-starred restaurant is known for its homemade pastas created from local grains milled in-house. To hit all the highlights, visit for Friday or Saturday night dinner for an $85 eight-course tasting menu centered around the pastas.
575 Henry St.
This dim-lit, cash-only pizza joint (rumored to be a Beyoncé and Jay-Z date night spot) serves only one thing: whole pizza pies. But they do that one thing right, and perhaps better than anyone else in the borough. Nearby bars and a small park make the notoriously long wait time more manageable, and when you finally earn a seat, the thin crust, fresh basil topped pies are certainly worth it.
649 Vanderbilt Ave.
Named for landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed nearby Prospect Park (along with Central Park and many more iconic green spaces), this farm-to-table eatery with a spacious backyard books up weeks in advance, with Brooklynites crowding in to munch on seasonal fare like English pea falafel, radish top gazpacho, dandelion crab rangoon, and more whimsical creations.
88 Scott Ave.
Recently relocated from a roadside shack in an industrial section of Queens and given a tony makeover, this beloved Vietnamese restaurant serves a steady roster of banh mi (go for the fried catfish), pho, and small plates, along with heartier, flavorful entrees like a surf and turf platter stacked with grilled shrimp and short ribs on vermicelli, with peanuts and a spring roll for extra crunch.
454 Van Brunt St.
It may be at the farthest end of Brooklyn, but a trek out to this southern-style smokehouse is a must for any barbecue brisket enthusiast. Slow-smoked meats sold by the quarter pound are all served cafeteria style, piled on a paper-lined tray for you to devour with your hands.
150 Ainslie St.
Though made famous on Aziz Ansari’s "Masters of None," this restaurant-in-a-restaurant was a local favorite long before its Netflix debut. For lunch, Okonomi serves a seasonal, chef-selected menu, featuring a daily rotation of fish, served family style, with rice, soup, vegetables, and an egg. Feel like indulging? At night, the restaurant transforms into Yuji, which doles out mazemen bowls of sauce-glazed noodles, fragrant and glistening and totally tempting to scoop into your mouth in a matter of minutes.