Barclays Center is basically Brooklyn’s transit equivalent of Times Square, making it a central meeting point for group dinners. It’s also the obvious hub for Nets and Islanders games, concerts, book tours, and other events, and though concession options in the arena have improved, sometimes a full-service operation in the neighborhood is in order. Ahead, here are 17 great places to dine within close walking distance of the arena and transit hub.Read More
17 Restaurants for Dining Well Near Barclays Center
Topnotch tacos, solid ramen, a great bar burger, and other options near the transit hub
Expect Yucatan-style tacos at this NYC taqueria chain, which serves up a beachy ambiance and excellent fresh corn tortillas and is good for groups. Start off with appetizers like Yellowfin tuna tostada and corn esquites before digging into a wide array of tacos, which includes Acapulco shrimp, al pastor, and seared rockfish, to name just a few.
This chain from Danny Meyer is a very reliable burger option, regardless of the location. Shake Shack’s Flatbush Avenue outpost is strategically located right across from Barclays Center, perfect for grabbing a Shack Stack and a shake before the show or game. Lines can unsurprisingly be lengthy during big events, but the well-oiled, efficient service usually moves things quickly. There’s some outdoor seating, too, though traffic on Flatbush can be cacophonous.
This compact, counter-serve takeout and delivery operation is located just a block and a half from the event venue and a solid option for quick, excellent Middle Eastern fare. Vegetarian and Kosher options like light, crispy, and flavorful falafels abound. There are a handful of seats, or head a block or two south to find a picturesque brownstone stoop to perch and devour a quick, hummus-slicked meal. Kulushkat, open since 2011, delightfully means “shut up and eat” in Hebrew.
This restaurant licenses out the name of the iconic East Harlem pizzeria that dates back to 1933, and though it doesn’t share the same ownership as the original, it also serves a fine menu of coal-fired pies. The spacious location is around the corner from Barclays Center, and besides pizza, it serves up hearty pasta dishes like lasagna and classic entrees like veal parm and chicken marsala.
5ive Spice Tacos & Banh Mi
This low-key counter-serve joint serves up some interesting twists on Vietnamese dishes, like tacos constructed from savory crepe Bánh xèo shells and fillings such as braised pork belly and grilled lemongrass chicken. 5ive Spice’s menu covers more familiar territory with its pho, summer rolls, and banh mi options; there are also colorful, crunchy salad and vermicelli bowls, and barely anything exceeds $10 at the affordable Park Slope spot.
This Japanese restaurant opened on a leafy, peaceful stretch of Bergen Street in 2015, serving creative small plates, like a coarsely cut, shisho-laced Waygu beef tartare, along with a range of sushi rolls and sets. It’s pricier than most other Barclays Center-adjacent dining choices, but a good bet for a special but unpretentious ambiance devoid of sports bar vibes or TV screens everywhere.
This Prospect Heights favorite does excellent bowls of ramen, which err on the slightly lighter side and can all be made vegetarian, which isn’t usually the case at most pork-centric ramen joints. Don’t miss the non-ramen offerings on the tightly edited menu either, like the crispy Brussels sprouts with fish sauce and peanuts or the salt and pepper wings. Chuko closes at 10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and is a longer trek than the rest of these Barclays Center-convenient spots, making it better for a lunch or early dinner option.
SkyIce Thai Food & Ice Cream
Head to this casual counter-serve Thai spot for affordable, satisfying dishes that rarely top $15 apiece and are served more speedily than at a full-service restaurant. SkyIce’s menu focuses on Northern specialties from the Chiang Mai region, with plenty of familiar noodle dishes to choose from, along with a good rendition of chicken larb salad and mushroom dumplings filled with five types of funghi, both of which are worth ordering. The ice creams are made in-house, too, with hard-to-find flavors like black sesame seaweed, white miso almond, and durian; order a five-scoop sampler or 12-scoop palette to eliminate the need to narrow it down to just a flavor or two.
This painstakingly curated market and prepared-foods shop on Flatbush was opened by the Franny’s team in 2009 and since sold to new owners. While it’s pretty expensive for grocery shopping, it makes for an affordable pre-show or -game early dinner option that costs $10 to $15 a dish. Try one of the excellent sandwiches, filled with quality meats and cheeses, the provenances of which are proudly name-checked on the menu, and served on Grandaisy or Bien Cuit bread. Entrees include meatballs, Buttermilk fried chicken, and a couple of interesting salads, like a Himalayan red rice salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, and Caciocavallo cheese. It closes at 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 8 p.m. on Sundays.
Miriam is perpetually crowded at brunch, but the Israeli-focused Middle Eastern restaurant and Park Slope go-to is usually far less packed around dinnertime. For $27, combine three meze dishes out of a diverse selection that includes grilled eggplant salad, turmeric-fried calamari, and roasted cauliflower with tahini, Make a meal out of that, or share some meze and an entree or two, like a tagine or chicken shawarma platter.
This Mexican restaurant is helmed by Akhtar Nawab, a relatively under-the-radar industry talent who was a protege of Tom Colicchio and a mentor to David Chang. Alta Calidad opened on Prospect Heights’ bustling Vanderbilt Ave. in March 2017, serving up really creative, appealing dishes like saffron-seasoned skate wing tacos topped with onions, pumpkin blossom quesadilla, and lamb ribs marinated in Mexican Coke. The queso is a delightful, fancy treat worth ordering.
Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue
This Texas-style barbecue spot is known for its brisket. Don’t miss the queso and cheddar-filled Texas red chili, either. The Morgan’s team previously ran a mac and cheese offshoot next door, Elbow Room, which has shuttered, but luckily, the selection of carb and cheese-packed combos is still available on the Morgan’s menu. Try the Mushroom Mac or Chicken Tinga Mac.
As the name hints, this place is all about one thing and one thing only: juicy, high-quality chicken, served in a variety of mostly healthy permutations. Purbird’s flame-grilled poultry is offered at its original Park Slope location plus a Carroll Gardens outpost, in wraps, sandwiches, or salads, as well as in Dig Inn-esque protein-plus-sides format, with options like mac and cheese, jalapeno-topped mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, and mac and cheese.
Rose’s is nostalgic-feeling neighborhood bar and grill, originally opened by the team behind beloved but now-shuttered Franny’s. The popular wood-grilled burger here is comprised of dry-aged beef and served simply with bread and butter pickles made in-house and mayo, with optional Gruyere. Other fancified bar food options included broccoli and cheddar grilled cheese, tater tot nachos, and fried zucchini with spiced tomato jam and minted goat cheese ricotta.
Nargis Bar & Grill
This popular Uzbek restaurant, which serves dishes that meld Turkish and Central Asian flavors, originated in Sheepshead Bay; in August 2017, chef and owner Boris Bangiev opened a Park Slope offshoot. Order a few juicy charred kebabs, plus a round or two of manti dumplings, lagman, a hand-pulled noodle soup, and plov, a riff on rice pilaf. It’s great for groups; settle a crew into one of the big booths.
Antonio's Pizzeria & Restaurant
Antonio’s has been around for over half a century, popping out some of the best slices not only in Park Slope; it’s one of the top spots in NYC’s expansive neighborhood slice joint landscape. Go for the liberally garlic-spiked Grandma pie, topped with a generous shower of torn basil leaves and a sweet tomato sauce.
Housed in the former Franny’s space, Fausto is also Italian, but sans the pizza focus. It’s helmed by restaurateur Joe Campanale and chef Erin Shambura, who was formerly at one of Campanale’s West Village spots, L’Artusi. The lengthy list of appetizers rotates seasonally and might include arancini, scallop crudo, and octopus, and the pasta selection is strong, with options like orecchiette with fennel-braised pork and wilted greens and bucatini nero with rock shrimp and soppressata. It’s a good pre-Barclays Center choice for when having a reservation is preferable. Go for a glass of wine and an after-dinner amaro — Campanale’s known for his selection.