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A spread of barbecued meat and sides on a butcher’s block at Hometown
Hometown barbecue
Nick Solares/Eater

19 Standout Restaurants and Bars in Red Hook

The city’s best barbecue, key lime pie, and mini-golf await

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Hometown barbecue
| Nick Solares/Eater

Once hyped as Brooklyn’s next yuppie playground, Red Hook has settled into being something more modest and pleasant. While it’s a bit of a trek from the subway, the waterfront neighborhood is a sight to behold and, more importantly, teeming with secretly sublime food and drink. From a storied dive bar and South Florida-reminiscent key lime pie to marbled brisket and Korean-inspired American fare, here’s what to eat and drink across Red Hook.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Red Hook Winery

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175 Van Dyke St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(347) 689-2432
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New York City is not exactly known for its wineries, but Red Hook Winery, created in 2008 and restored after Hurricane Sandy, crafts surprisingly delicious juice sourcing grapes from all over the state. Get acquainted with an $18 tasting of four wines in two-ounce pours, which can be accompanied by a cheese platter, and enjoy waterfront views in the expansive space. Or skip straight to a bottle of the funky Cabernet Franc, an ideal way to while away an afternoon.

Red Hook Winery Photo via Sam J./Yelp

2. Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies

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1011, 185 Van Dyke St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 858-5333
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Without being too obvious, key lime pie is all about the key limes, and Steve’s takes them seriously. The citrus fruit commonly found in South Florida is shipped to this tiny and mostly to-go shop, for a properly tart rendition of the dessert that would make the Sunshine State proud. Skip the more gimmicky bites for the pie itself, a minimalist mix of crunchy graham cracker and smooth filling with just the suggestion of sugar.

Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies
Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies
Steve’s

3. Sunny's

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253 Conover St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 625-8211
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Days and nights in Red Hook often start and end at Sunny’s, a multi-room dive bar that doubles as a live-music venue, hosting a regular bluegrass, folk, and country night on Saturdays. The hodgepodge artwork, holiday lights, and outdoor space form an ideal backdrop for hangouts. Cash only.

Sunny’s Bar

4. Brooklyn Crab

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24 Reed St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 643-2722
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The tri-level, rowdy Brooklyn Crab is at least as much about festivity as food. While raw oysters and crab steam pots are fairly standard and pricey, the real draw is the bar atmosphere. Play games of mini-golf and cornhole while shooting molluscs and taking in the wide-open water views. Kids welcome.

Brooklyn Crab Photo via Brooklyn Crab/Facebook

5. Hometown Bar-B-Que

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454 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(347) 294-4644
Visit Website

New York City’s best barbecue is here in Red Hook, where the perfume of animal fat smoked over hours and the long lines are the only indication of the prizes waiting inside. Served from a counter on butcher paper in the warehouse-like setting, meat offerings at Hometown including the fast-selling lamb belly and a standout brisket that can also be tucked into a roll for a sandwich. Lines tend to be long, especially when the weather’s nice, but the music and vibe makes it a party just waiting for food with a beer in hand.

The dining room at Hometown Bar-B-Que, with an American flag mural on the wall
Hometown Barbecue
Nick Solares

6. Ample Hills Factory and Museum

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421 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Nationwide ice cream company Ample Hills has expanded over the years, and now, it has a flagship shop and factory, too. Ice creams include the signature Ooey Gooey Butter Cake and the decadent PB Wins the Cup, utilizing peanut butter cups that are made in-house. The factory portion is ideal for children, offering an interactive museum about neighborhood history.

7. The Good Fork

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391 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 643-6636
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From husband-and-wife team Ben Schneider and Sohui Kim, the Good Fork has been delivering reliably flavor-packed, Asian-accented dishes to locals in its vaguely nautical dining room for more than a decade. Dig into homemade pork and chive dumplings or Korean-style steak and eggs, whose beef can be swapped for crispy tofu. For dessert, the purveyors cart in key lime pie from nearby Steve’s. There’s also a pleasant, tree-shaded back garden.

The interior of the restaurant the Good Fork with wooden ceilings, banquet seating, brick walls, and paintings on them
The Good Fork
The Good Fork

8. Fort Defiance

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365 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(347) 453-6672
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Fort Defiance is a coffee shop, bar, and restaurant in one that manages to excel on all fronts. The food rotates from a biscuit-and-egg sandwich in the morning to a roasted Berkshire pork chop at dinner. Enjoy cocktails under the guidance of owner and bartender St. John Frizell, formerly of drink destination Pegu Club, at one of the tables or at the bar in the endearingly homey interior.

Fort Defiance’s exterior Photo by by Jen Mitchell via Fort Defiance

9. Baked

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359 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 222-0345 ext. 1
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Baked is a narrow bakery with big ambitions, settled among Van Brunt Street’s strip of neighborhood joints, including Fort Defiance and Kevin’s. The shop sells lavishly designed cakes alongside smaller bites like fudgey brownies and brown sugar blondies. There’s an additional location in Tribeca.

Baked
Baked
Baked

10. Court Street Grocers Hero Shop

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116 Sullivan St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(347) 529-6803
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This outpost of Court Street Grocers, a mini-chain that offers a hip take on the old hero shop, fixes up creative sandwiches in a no-frills environment. The Droopy nestles roast beef, fried onions, arugula, herbs, and horseradish mayo in a seeded Caputo’s roll. Interesting vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available, here and at additional locations in Carroll Gardens, Williamsburg, and Greenwich Village.

Court Street Grocers Hero Shop
Court Street Grocers Hero Shop
Kristi H./Yelp

11. Rita

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293 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(347) 223-4135
Visit Website

Chef Mary Ellen Amato departed local favorite Court Street Grocers to bring her sandwich bona fides, also developed at Williamsburg’s shuttered Saltie, to her own restaurant Rita in 2018. Daytime fare in the white brick-walled shop ranges from all-day breakfast, including customizable egg sandwiches and oatmeal with fancy toppings, to a $12 lunchtime concoction of sardines and soft-boiled egg packed on pizza bianca with anchovy-oil spread. Coffee from Ninth Street Espresso and numerous vegetarian and vegan options are also available.

Rita Photo via Rita

12. Brooklyn Ice House

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318 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 222-1865

Cheap beers and shot specials might be the main players at Brooklyn Ice House, which with Sunny’s rounds out the neighborhood’s dive scene, but the food is at least as notable. Cheap eats including chili cheese fries, onions rings, and a blistering grilled hot dog help extend rounds of drinks, especially in the Instagram-worthy back patio. Cash only.

Brooklyn Ice House
Brooklyn Ice House
Peter D./Yelp

13. Kevin's

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277A Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 596-8335
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Seafood pervades Red Hook’s food culture, and while to New York outsiders it can feel a bit overpriced for what it is, Kevin’s outdoes the competition in thoughtful preparation. The cozy restaurant feels like someone’s apartment and turns out dishes worthy of a seaside dinner party, including Basque-style paella and eggs Benedict on crab cakes at brunch.

Kevin’s
Kevin’s
Shelley G./Yelp

14. Grindhaus

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275 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 909-2881
Visit Website

This 20-seat spot, which emerged from the wreckage of Hurricane Sandy, feels uniquely Red Hook. A lively mix of regulars and visitors order from the constantly changing, unorthodox, and vaguely American menu. Small, shareable dishes might include Everything Tacos laced with house-cured gravlax and scallion cream cheese, or a market fish selection poached in duck fat.

Grindhaus Daniel Krieger

15. Red Hook Lobster Pound

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284 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 858-7650
Visit Website

Red Hook Lobster Pound brings Maine vibes and lobsters shipped from the state to its picnic table-lined room decorated with nautical flags. Fresh lobster rolls are rightfully popular and available in traditional Maine and Connecticut styles as well as the unconventional BLT and Tuscan. For a more lasting impression, dig into the full lobster dinner or a New England seafood boil, and share the robust selection of other seafood-shack staples. There’s an additional location in the Urbanspace Vanderbilt food hall and a food truck with limited menus.

Red Hook Lobster Pound
Red Hook Lobster Pound
Red Hook Lobster Pound

16. Edward

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56 Lorraine St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 260-8284
Visit Website

The barebones lunch-counter trappings of Edward belie wonderfully executed Dominican food, and at a merciful price. Under the bright lights, scan and grab specialties like tostones (fried green plantains) and chicharrones de pollo (fried chicken chunks).

Edward
Edward
Josue C./Yelp

17. Defonte's Sandwich Shop

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379 Columbia St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 625-8052

Defonte’s, opened in 1922, was once slinging heros stacked with cured pork to dockworkers in the area. Now the secret of the counter-service joint’s top-notch sandwiches is out to a wider audience. Gorge on the Nicky Special, a mammoth sub containing ham, salami, and capocollo, plus fried slices of eggplant, provolone, and hot peppers mixed with oregano and pickled vegetables. Cash only. There’s an additional Staten Island location.

Defonte’s Sandwich Shop
Defonte’s Sandwich Shop
Wendy F./Yelp

18. El Olomega Pupusas

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Clinton St & Bay St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

The food trucks near the ballfields have dwindled along with their customers as a result of the fields’ cleanup project, but the Vendy Award-winning El Olomega persists. The Salvadoran stalwart draws lines for its pupusas, thick corn-based tortillas stuffed with any number of fillings from pork to zucchini. Cash only.

El Olomega Pupusas
El Olomega Pupusas
El Olomega

19. Pizza Moto

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338 Hamilton Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 834-6686
Visit Website

It may not get the press of Roberta’s, but Pizza Moto in the no man’s land bordering Carroll Gardens and Red Hook turns out wood-fired pies with smartly sourced ingredients. An Eggs in Hell pizza gets topped with a heaping amount of tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, bacon, soft-cooked egg, and chile oil. An abbreviated list of other dishes is available.

Pizza Moto
Pizza Moto
Pizza Moto

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1. Red Hook Winery

175 Van Dyke St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Red Hook Winery Photo via Sam J./Yelp

New York City is not exactly known for its wineries, but Red Hook Winery, created in 2008 and restored after Hurricane Sandy, crafts surprisingly delicious juice sourcing grapes from all over the state. Get acquainted with an $18 tasting of four wines in two-ounce pours, which can be accompanied by a cheese platter, and enjoy waterfront views in the expansive space. Or skip straight to a bottle of the funky Cabernet Franc, an ideal way to while away an afternoon.

175 Van Dyke St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

2. Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies

1011, 185 Van Dyke St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies
Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies
Steve’s

Without being too obvious, key lime pie is all about the key limes, and Steve’s takes them seriously. The citrus fruit commonly found in South Florida is shipped to this tiny and mostly to-go shop, for a properly tart rendition of the dessert that would make the Sunshine State proud. Skip the more gimmicky bites for the pie itself, a minimalist mix of crunchy graham cracker and smooth filling with just the suggestion of sugar.

1011, 185 Van Dyke St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

3. Sunny's

253 Conover St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Sunny’s Bar

Days and nights in Red Hook often start and end at Sunny’s, a multi-room dive bar that doubles as a live-music venue, hosting a regular bluegrass, folk, and country night on Saturdays. The hodgepodge artwork, holiday lights, and outdoor space form an ideal backdrop for hangouts. Cash only.

253 Conover St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

4. Brooklyn Crab

24 Reed St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Brooklyn Crab Photo via Brooklyn Crab/Facebook

The tri-level, rowdy Brooklyn Crab is at least as much about festivity as food. While raw oysters and crab steam pots are fairly standard and pricey, the real draw is the bar atmosphere. Play games of mini-golf and cornhole while shooting molluscs and taking in the wide-open water views. Kids welcome.

24 Reed St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

5. Hometown Bar-B-Que

454 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
The dining room at Hometown Bar-B-Que, with an American flag mural on the wall
Hometown Barbecue
Nick Solares

New York City’s best barbecue is here in Red Hook, where the perfume of animal fat smoked over hours and the long lines are the only indication of the prizes waiting inside. Served from a counter on butcher paper in the warehouse-like setting, meat offerings at Hometown including the fast-selling lamb belly and a standout brisket that can also be tucked into a roll for a sandwich. Lines tend to be long, especially when the weather’s nice, but the music and vibe makes it a party just waiting for food with a beer in hand.

454 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

6. Ample Hills Factory and Museum

421 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Nationwide ice cream company Ample Hills has expanded over the years, and now, it has a flagship shop and factory, too. Ice creams include the signature Ooey Gooey Butter Cake and the decadent PB Wins the Cup, utilizing peanut butter cups that are made in-house. The factory portion is ideal for children, offering an interactive museum about neighborhood history.

421 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

7. The Good Fork

391 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
The interior of the restaurant the Good Fork with wooden ceilings, banquet seating, brick walls, and paintings on them
The Good Fork
The Good Fork

From husband-and-wife team Ben Schneider and Sohui Kim, the Good Fork has been delivering reliably flavor-packed, Asian-accented dishes to locals in its vaguely nautical dining room for more than a decade. Dig into homemade pork and chive dumplings or Korean-style steak and eggs, whose beef can be swapped for crispy tofu. For dessert, the purveyors cart in key lime pie from nearby Steve’s. There’s also a pleasant, tree-shaded back garden.

391 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

8. Fort Defiance

365 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Fort Defiance’s exterior Photo by by Jen Mitchell via Fort Defiance

Fort Defiance is a coffee shop, bar, and restaurant in one that manages to excel on all fronts. The food rotates from a biscuit-and-egg sandwich in the morning to a roasted Berkshire pork chop at dinner. Enjoy cocktails under the guidance of owner and bartender St. John Frizell, formerly of drink destination Pegu Club, at one of the tables or at the bar in the endearingly homey interior.

365 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

9. Baked

359 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Baked
Baked
Baked

Baked is a narrow bakery with big ambitions, settled among Van Brunt Street’s strip of neighborhood joints, including Fort Defiance and Kevin’s. The shop sells lavishly designed cakes alongside smaller bites like fudgey brownies and brown sugar blondies. There’s an additional location in Tribeca.

359 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

10. Court Street Grocers Hero Shop

116 Sullivan St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Court Street Grocers Hero Shop
Court Street Grocers Hero Shop
Kristi H./Yelp

This outpost of Court Street Grocers, a mini-chain that offers a hip take on the old hero shop, fixes up creative sandwiches in a no-frills environment. The Droopy nestles roast beef, fried onions, arugula, herbs, and horseradish mayo in a seeded Caputo’s roll. Interesting vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available, here and at additional locations in Carroll Gardens, Williamsburg, and Greenwich Village.

116 Sullivan St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

11. Rita

293 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Rita Photo via Rita

Chef Mary Ellen Amato departed local favorite Court Street Grocers to bring her sandwich bona fides, also developed at Williamsburg’s shuttered Saltie, to her own restaurant Rita in 2018. Daytime fare in the white brick-walled shop ranges from all-day breakfast, including customizable egg sandwiches and oatmeal with fancy toppings, to a $12 lunchtime concoction of sardines and soft-boiled egg packed on pizza bianca with anchovy-oil spread. Coffee from Ninth Street Espresso and numerous vegetarian and vegan options are also available.

293 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

12. Brooklyn Ice House

318 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Brooklyn Ice House
Brooklyn Ice House
Peter D./Yelp

Cheap beers and shot specials might be the main players at Brooklyn Ice House, which with Sunny’s rounds out the neighborhood’s dive scene, but the food is at least as notable. Cheap eats including chili cheese fries, onions rings, and a blistering grilled hot dog help extend rounds of drinks, especially in the Instagram-worthy back patio. Cash only.

318 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

13. Kevin's

277A Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Kevin’s
Kevin’s
Shelley G./Yelp

Seafood pervades Red Hook’s food culture, and while to New York outsiders it can feel a bit overpriced for what it is, Kevin’s outdoes the competition in thoughtful preparation. The cozy restaurant feels like someone’s apartment and turns out dishes worthy of a seaside dinner party, including Basque-style paella and eggs Benedict on crab cakes at brunch.

277A Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

14. Grindhaus

275 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Grindhaus Daniel Krieger

This 20-seat spot, which emerged from the wreckage of Hurricane Sandy, feels uniquely Red Hook. A lively mix of regulars and visitors order from the constantly changing, unorthodox, and vaguely American menu. Small, shareable dishes might include Everything Tacos laced with house-cured gravlax and scallion cream cheese, or a market fish selection poached in duck fat.

275 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

15. Red Hook Lobster Pound

284 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Red Hook Lobster Pound
Red Hook Lobster Pound
Red Hook Lobster Pound

Red Hook Lobster Pound brings Maine vibes and lobsters shipped from the state to its picnic table-lined room decorated with nautical flags. Fresh lobster rolls are rightfully popular and available in traditional Maine and Connecticut styles as well as the unconventional BLT and Tuscan. For a more lasting impression, dig into the full lobster dinner or a New England seafood boil, and share the robust selection of other seafood-shack staples. There’s an additional location in the Urbanspace Vanderbilt food hall and a food truck with limited menus.

284 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Related Maps

16. Edward

56 Lorraine St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Edward
Edward
Josue C./Yelp

The barebones lunch-counter trappings of Edward belie wonderfully executed Dominican food, and at a merciful price. Under the bright lights, scan and grab specialties like tostones (fried green plantains) and chicharrones de pollo (fried chicken chunks).

56 Lorraine St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

17. Defonte's Sandwich Shop

379 Columbia St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Defonte’s Sandwich Shop
Defonte’s Sandwich Shop
Wendy F./Yelp

Defonte’s, opened in 1922, was once slinging heros stacked with cured pork to dockworkers in the area. Now the secret of the counter-service joint’s top-notch sandwiches is out to a wider audience. Gorge on the Nicky Special, a mammoth sub containing ham, salami, and capocollo, plus fried slices of eggplant, provolone, and hot peppers mixed with oregano and pickled vegetables. Cash only. There’s an additional Staten Island location.

379 Columbia St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

18. El Olomega Pupusas

Clinton St & Bay St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
El Olomega Pupusas
El Olomega Pupusas
El Olomega

The food trucks near the ballfields have dwindled along with their customers as a result of the fields’ cleanup project, but the Vendy Award-winning El Olomega persists. The Salvadoran stalwart draws lines for its pupusas, thick corn-based tortillas stuffed with any number of fillings from pork to zucchini. Cash only.

Clinton St & Bay St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

19. Pizza Moto

338 Hamilton Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Pizza Moto
Pizza Moto
Pizza Moto

It may not get the press of Roberta’s, but Pizza Moto in the no man’s land bordering Carroll Gardens and Red Hook turns out wood-fired pies with smartly sourced ingredients. An Eggs in Hell pizza gets topped with a heaping amount of tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, bacon, soft-cooked egg, and chile oil. An abbreviated list of other dishes is available.

338 Hamilton Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Related Maps