Fort Greene and Clinton Hill are perhaps best known for attractive houses of a plethora of architectural styles and eras on quiet, leafy side streets (and, in the latter’s case, for being home to Pratt Institute). While neither are major eating destinations, they’ve got a strong selection of quintessential, high-quality neighborhood joints, like Roman’s, Olea, and Locanda Olii e Vini. The sit-down pizza game is pretty strong, thanks to Emily and Speedy Romeo, and for a superior no-frills slice experience, don’t sleep on Luigi’s. There are also quite a few reliable pitstops for to-go orders, picnic provisions, or quick and casual meals out. Ahead, 18 worthy options in Clinton Hill and Fort Greene for a Michelin-vetted special meal out, seriously good deli sandwich, and everything in-between.Read More
Where to Eat and Drink in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill
From especially great Italian fare to Japanese izakaya served in a speakeasy, here’s where to eat in the neighborhoods
The beloved pizza place fires up pies divided into red, pink (vodka sauce), green (tomatillo), and white sauced combos. It’s become equally as famed for its Emmy Burger (named after co-founder Emily Hyland who started the place in 2014 with husband Matt Hyland), a cult-adored burger crafted from Pat LaFrieda dry-aged beef blend, aged Vermont Grafton cheddar, caramelized onions, and a housemade special sauce, piled on a pretzel bun.
2. Miss Ada
The creative Middle Eastern menu at this Fort Greene spot comes courtesy of Lupa, Bar Bolonat, and Maialino alum chef Tomer Blechman. The shakshuka is excellent, with a piquant tomato sauce topped with goat cheese and lots of parsley. The menu has a uniformly strong selection of share-friendly plates, including highlights like the hummus with chicken liver and caramelized onions and tender zataar-crusted salmon served with Japanese eggplant and labne. Make sure to order Miss Ada’s unconventional take on kanafeh for dessert, a delicate goat cheese-stuffed pastry laced with honey lavender syrup.
3. Habana Outpost
The Cuban-Mexican spot has a delectable Cubano sandwich, alongside satisfying tacos and burritos. Most seating is situated in the expansive outdoor area with picnic tables. It’s dog-friendly, and much of the time, kids are plentiful too, so strollers can often be spotted — many of them covered for shade on super sunny days. The affordable frozen Margaritas are a nice touch in the summertime, too. Cash only.
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4. Dosa Royale
After getting its start as a Smorgasburg vendor, Southern Indian spot Dosa Royale opened in 2014 in Carroll Gardens and eventually moved to Clinton Hill. Besides dosas, choose from fried lentil cakes, thalis, and kothu parotta, a flatbread topped with onions, eggs, and yogurt. The curries are great, too — and possibly even better.
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5. Bar Bolinas
The Northern California-inflected fare at Bar Bolinas is an ode of sorts to the shared homestate of founders Sophie Kamin and Nate Smith, who are also behind Williamsburg’s Allswell. Expect bright, flavorful veggie dishes and a range of seafood options, like grilled shrimp tacos and roasted trout. Brunch skews less Mexican and more towards classic morning offerings, such as a German pancake and biscuit with gravy.
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6. Farmer in the Deli
Brooklyn, NY 11205
Head here for really great bodega sandwiches and other picnic-worthy items. Meats are sliced paper thin and piled high. Or, opt for the distinctive “chopped sandwich,” not to be confused with the cheesesteak-esque chopped cheese creation that originates from Harlem: Order any combination of ingredients and condiments, and then everything gets thoroughly hacked into oblivion and piled on a roll.
With big windows, warm terra cotta flooring, and lush indoor plants, mellow Mediterranean restaurant Olea works for all sorts of casual dining situations. Easily shareable plates include tapas like falafel-crusted artichoke hearts, goat cheese croquettes, and marinated white anchovies, plus a range of pita-dip combos and shrimp served in either Spanish, French, or Greek seasonings. Breakfast and brunch are strong, with options like Parmesan French toast, lamb hash, and polenta with eggs.
Karasu, the Japanese restaurant behind Walter’s, whips up a tasty izakaya menu along with a standout cocktail selection from Thomas Waugh, formerly at Major Food Group. The snug spot, which got a great New York Times review back in 2016, serves up dishes like grilled squid, pork tonkatsu, and a beautifully charred rib eye for two.
Head to this extremely casual Mexican spot near Pratt Institute with stellar tacos offered in a myriad of options. The ambiance is very bare-bones, but it’s perfect for mellow birthday dinners, thanks to the fact that it’s BYOB, cheap, and delicious.
10. The Finch
The Finch is a Michelin starred-spot from chef and owner Gabe McMackin, who did stints at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Gramercy Tavern, and Roberta’s. Even the bread course is topnotch: warm Bien Cuit sourdough, with homemade butter, raw honey, and sliced radishes. The sophisticated menu spans the gamut from lamb tongue confit to pork belly with peaches and basil, and smoked bluefish with chanterelles, tomatoes, and shishito peppers.
11. The Smoke Joint
Don’t miss the excellent, smoked chicken at this casual, topnotch barbecue option in Fort Greene. Chef-owners Craig Samuel and Ben Grossman, who previously worked together on Picholine, Cub Room, and City Hall, dole out delicious smoked meats that don’t adhere strictly to any one regional barbecue style. In addition to the must-try poultry offering, choose from pulled pork, beef brisket, and St. Louis-cut spare ribs. Note: Smoke Joint is currently closed for renovations but will apparently be reopening soon, per the restaurant’s Facebook page.
12. La Caye
This Haitian restaurant right near BAM serves up dishes from the Caribbean country, like grilled conch with spicy mango sauce (Lanbi Boukannen), stewed goat, or broiled Red snapper in a Creole-seasoned sauce. Look for tangy lime and tomato-based sauces, punched up with habañero peppers and thyme, throughout the menu. Opt for the sweet back garden on warm nights.
13. Petee's Café
Pop by for well-made pies. Look for the exemplary sour cherry if it’s available, but it serves a wide range of stellar pie styles. Traditional pie options include double-crusted fruit versions, meringue-topped ice box flavors, and chess pies. But Petee’s also excels at original confections like the black sesame option or the Lavish Chocolate Cream, which contains a bittersweet pudding filling, hefty mound of whipped cream, and gold leaf chocolate flakes. There’s also coffee, plus a quaint, ‘50s soda shop vibe; the original store location is in the LES.
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The menu is tightly edited at this tasty Italian spot with a focus on sustainably sourced produce, and it shifts daily. From the team behind Marlow & Sons and Diner, the restaurant might offer house-made ricotta with almonds and caponata, pork Milanese with sour cherries and goat cheese, and wide tube-shaped pacheri pasta in amtriciana sauce. In colder months, don’t miss the delightful white ragu papardelle. Consider rallying the full table to go family-style, with selection of dishes for $75 per head, service included.
15. Choice Market
At this low-key Pratt staple, find satisfying sandwiches and baked goods for a casual breakfast or lunch, or a good to-go option. Highlights include the chocolate croissant, BLT with rosemary mayo, with a handful of solid soups and salads available, too.
16. Speedy Romeo
The wood-fired cuisine at this pizza-focused spot garnered a 2018 Michelin Bib Gourmand nod. The pies feature Neapolitan-style crust, whimsical names, and exciting permutations of toppings like bechamel, smoked eggplant, and grilled scallions. Wood-fired land and sea options, like garlic chicken and branzino with fennel, are worth trying alongside a pie or two with a group. There’s also an LES outpost.
17. Locanda Vini & Olii
Housed in a former pharmacy dating back over a century and still bearing its antique Lewis Drug Store signage, Locanda Olii e Vini serves up stand-out Northern Italian cuisine. Inside the wood-filled space, options include chilled calamari salad, roasted lamb casserole, and a long list of distinctive pastas, like sage pappardelle with herb-braised rabbit.
Sisters is a beautiful all-day choice with a gorgeous, oft-Instagrammed white bar. Find lots of natural light in the front and a cozier, dimmer bar in the back. The house cocktails are solid and so is the food menu, namely the veggie burger cloaked in smoked mozzarella, fried chicken sandwich, and small plates like beet-avocado tostadas and sweet potato fries with maple creme fraiche. Sisters is also great for big groups.
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