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Archie’s
Archie’s pizza
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Bushwick’s 19 Standout Restaurants

Stellar Mexican, tasty vegetarian, and wood-fired pizza reign supreme here

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Archie’s pizza
| Archie’s/Facebook

As Williamsburg reaches rent prices that would make Manhattanites blush, it’s no surprise that ambitious restaurants and bars are fleeing for the slightly more accessible confines of Bushwick. Gone are the days when Roberta’s was the only exciting restaurant east of Bushwick Avenue. Now, new dining hot spots are popping up all the time alongside old local favorites — just make sure to bring cash. Here is a list of 19 places worth seeking out in the neighborhood.

Note: This is an updated version of a map originally published in 2017.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Bunker Vietnamese

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Bunker transformed Asian food in Ridgewood, Queens when the tiny restaurant opened in 2013. It’s since moved to a larger, vibrant space in Bushwick and continues to serve thoughtful, locally-sourced renditions of Vietnamese classics like papaya salad dotted with beef jerky and a beautifully cooked lemongrass pork chop.

Bunker Serena Dai

Bushwick got a new neighborhood favorite in Faro, an Italian restaurant that opened in 2015 inside a renovated warehouse space that’s warmly lit and somehow never too loud. The menu from chef Kevin Adey is sparse and mostly dedicated to pastas, which are by far the standouts, even rivaling the best in the city. It also has a Michelin star.

Faro Interior
Faro Interior
Daniel Krieger

Ichiran

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For ramen straight from Japan, head to Ichiran, the outpost of the chain that touched down on an industrial stretch of Bushwick in 2016. The roomy restaurant offers group table seating, but the closed-off solo booths are more charming. Checklist menus allow for virtually limitless customization of the tonkotsu bowls. At $18.90 a bowl, prices are high for the area, but the experience is worth it. Note: Reservations aren’t accepted, and lines can get long on the weekends.

Los Hermanos

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A taco is nothing without a fresh tortilla, and Los Hermanos ups the freshness factor considerably by serving food in the delivery dock of its tortilla factory on fresh corn wraps. Its BYOB cantina space doesn’t disappoint in the fillings either, especially the spicy enchilada and chorizo. Cash only.

Strange Flavor

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Roadside-style griddled burgers and Sichuan spice are two dining trends that could be terrible bedfellows, but Strange Flavor executes both with sophistication and heaps of flavor. The unassuming joint off the Jefferson L stop laces its burgers and fish sandwiches with tingling chili, and the spicy, tempura-battered long beans make fries a distant memory.

Bogart Taco Truck

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Anyone who lives off the Morgan L stop knows about “the taco truck” — the one on Bogart Street right outside of the subway entrance that serves locals and wanderers late into the night. It’s run by two Mexican twins, Sergio and Felipe, who are often chatting about the latest soccer match and sharing a drink with customers. Get the cemita, a torta from the twins’ native Puebla region that’s piled high with avocado, sauce, and cheese; try it with lengua. Cash only.

Bogart Taco Truck Paul Schrodt

Heavy Woods

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There’s a taste of true Cajun cooking inside Heavy Woods, a bar that doubles as Tchoup Shop chef and New Orleans veteran Simon Glenn’s restaurant. Clever takes on NOLA dishes include a fried catfish po’ boy with Creole “dijonaisse” and gumbo with duck. The stylish bar’s stiff cocktails like the Smoke Bomb (with Maker’s Mark and coffee-infused Carpano Antica) stand up to all that fat and flavor. 

Roberta's

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The restaurant that first got Manhattanites to dine out in Bushwick when it opened in 2008 hasn’t faltered since. The wood-fired pizzas have become legendary, but don’t overlook the specials, along with the rest of the menu and an especially underrated brunch. Reservations are only for large parties, and waits on Fridays and Saturdays can get unbearable. Try the takeout spot next door to bring pies to the outdoor space in better weather, or go for a non-pizza brunch. To experience a more upscale version of the team’s fare, score a reservation at the 12-seat sister restaurant Blanca, tucked behind Roberta’s jovial beer garden.

General Deb's

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General Deb’s is the Sichuan restaurant Bushwick was missing. Backed by the Michelin-starred team from Italian favorite Faro, General Deb’s serves traditional renditions of Sichuan classics, like dan dan mian, a noodle dish with minced pork, chili, sesame, and peanut; and la zi ji, stir-fried chicken with chili peppers. The menu is noodle heavy, with most dishes shareable and in the $13 to $18 price range. “As far as Sichuan restaurants go, this one is likely to make you very happy: reverent toward its models, with a few interesting tweaks,” says Eater critic Robert Sietsema.

La zi ji, or deep-fried chickens surrounded by a mountain of chili peppers, from General Deb’s Photo via General Deb’s

Bunna Cafe

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A semi-secret gem of the neighborhood, the meat-free Bunna Cafe is paradise for vegetarians and vegans looking for exciting dining options. But it also won’t scare away even the most ardent of carnivores. Aromatic stews like shiro (split peas simmered with tomato, spices, garlic, ginger, and onion) and the spicier, red lentil-based misir wot are refreshing, healthy, and most importantly, tasty. The warm lighting and live steel drum music are perfect for lingering with friends, so order one of the feasts for groups, to be scooped up with spongy, slightly sour injera bread. Save room for baklava and original cocktails like the “CuCumba!” (gin, celery and grapefruit shrub, and muddled cucumber). Cash only.

Injera with lentil stew, one of several sides presented on the plate at Bunna. Sue Rissberger Photography/Bunna Cafe

Arepera Guacuco

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Arepera translates to a place that sells arepas — a popular Venezuelan dish where a fluffy white corn cake is stuffed with cheese and different meats. The low-key space has a beach-shack feel, and owner Leonardo Molina and his mother Carmen’s arepas are well-executed and affordable. Try the fish or chicken versions, but also come to experience other Venezuelan favorites like cachapas, empanadas, and Polar beer. Larger dishes are also offered, all under $15.

Arepa pabellon at Arepera Guacuco by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/37601286@N06/5512517158/in/pool-eater/">gsz</a>.
Arepa pabellon at Arepera Guacuco by gsz.

Amaranto

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One thing Bushwick doesn’t lack is great Mexican food, whether it’s street-style bites or chef-driven dishes. Amaranto leans toward the latter, with artful dishes like the tostada (topped with crab, fennel salt, and dehydrated olives) and the tamale (made with the fungus huitlacoche and submerged in tomato-chipotle sauce). The vibe inside the family-run restaurant, however, is laid-back, friendly, and fun. Cocktails go well beyond the typical tequila and mezcal options, as in the tamarind-laced Michter’s Rye concoction.

At Ops, a compact menu offers worthy Neapolitan(ish) pies — the sourdough crust, made from a custom flour blend that includes whole wheat from upstate New York and durum from Sicily, is the main draw here. The restaurant began serving wood-fired pizzas paired with a long natural wine list in 2016. Go for the “close to perfect” marinara pie, the fantastic bread program, or the Pops, which features tomato, guanciale, onions, and pecorino. Pies range from $15 to $28, and service is already included. The calzone is considered one of the city’s best as well.

The marinara pie at Ops Ryan Sutton

Santa Ana Deli & Grocery

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Santa Ana’s burrito Santanero — smothered in three sauces with your choice of filling — is so good that Eater food critic Robert Sietsema considered it one of his best dishes of 2017. Other notable options include the chipotle-sauced tacos Arabes and the quesadilla, not the bar-food staple, but a giant makeshift corn tortilla flopped over a variety of ingredients to make a sort of super-taco. The long-running taqueria has spawned a full-service restaurant a couple of blocks east called New Santa Ana.

Santa Ana

BK Jani

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Compliments to the chef are plastered on the wall of this colorful counter-service space, which feels slightly cheesy — but they’re all correct. Chef-owner Sibte Hassan’s tight, eclectic menu of Pakistani dishes are all halal and grilled with expertise. The burger in particular, which is blasted with spices, is a signature pick, and the spiced chicken is worth ordering, too. Nearly everything is under $20; the exception is the lamb chops, served with grilled vegetables and worth the cost. Hassan also has a location in DeKalb Market. Come with a crew.

BK Jani BK Jani/Facebook

Archie's Bar & Pizza

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Bushwick has grown into a wood-fired pizza destination, but Archie’s Greek New England-style pies stand against favorites like Roberta’s and Ops in their own way. The late-night favorite, where food is ordered at the bar, puts its focus on a thicker, breadier pie cooked in a pan. This is the place to go at the end of a night after a few beers, or perhaps to order for delivery to a friend’s rooftop. It’s the deeply gratifying, casual pizza experience that sitting in a full-service restaurant won’t accomplish. Get the pepperoni, which are little cups.

Archie’s Archie’s/Facebook

Lucy's Vietnamese Kitchen

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Lucy’s is a tiny nook on Irving run by chef Johnny Huynh, who grew up in Bushwick with his grandmother Lucy. He’s now serving a slim menu of banh mi and pho, the latter made with a vegan broth that’s surprisingly robust and complex. The brisket, smoked in a pho broth, is particularly tender and satisfying. The space doesn’t fit many people, so expect to wait or get takeout and delivery.

Lucy’s Vietnamese Kitchen Lucy’s Vietnamese Kitchen/Facebook

Santa Panza

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On the border between Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, Santa Panza’s wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pizzas hold their own against Roberta’s and its many other competitors in the city. The crust is neither too thick nor cracker-thin, and perfectly crunchy on the outside while chewy inside. Toppings are for the most part sparse, with the exception of the meaty, pungent salame picante. Cash only.

Father Knows Best

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A comforting neighborhood cafe with a name to match, Father Knows Best excels at simple fare like loaded — if questionably named — “macho nachos” with chorizo, black beans, jalapeno cheese sauce, and pico de gallo. At brunch, an egg sandwich filled with a fluffy chorizo omelette and tomatillo avocado sauce is the order. There’s a limited beer and wine list along with cocktails that lean heavily on garden produce. The industrial space offers plenty of natural light for hanging out or working, and on sunny days the wood patio is an ideal escape.

Bunker Vietnamese

Bunker Serena Dai

Bunker transformed Asian food in Ridgewood, Queens when the tiny restaurant opened in 2013. It’s since moved to a larger, vibrant space in Bushwick and continues to serve thoughtful, locally-sourced renditions of Vietnamese classics like papaya salad dotted with beef jerky and a beautifully cooked lemongrass pork chop.

Bunker Serena Dai

Faro

Faro Interior
Faro Interior
Daniel Krieger

Bushwick got a new neighborhood favorite in Faro, an Italian restaurant that opened in 2015 inside a renovated warehouse space that’s warmly lit and somehow never too loud. The menu from chef Kevin Adey is sparse and mostly dedicated to pastas, which are by far the standouts, even rivaling the best in the city. It also has a Michelin star.

Faro Interior
Faro Interior
Daniel Krieger

Ichiran

For ramen straight from Japan, head to Ichiran, the outpost of the chain that touched down on an industrial stretch of Bushwick in 2016. The roomy restaurant offers group table seating, but the closed-off solo booths are more charming. Checklist menus allow for virtually limitless customization of the tonkotsu bowls. At $18.90 a bowl, prices are high for the area, but the experience is worth it. Note: Reservations aren’t accepted, and lines can get long on the weekends.

Los Hermanos

A taco is nothing without a fresh tortilla, and Los Hermanos ups the freshness factor considerably by serving food in the delivery dock of its tortilla factory on fresh corn wraps. Its BYOB cantina space doesn’t disappoint in the fillings either, especially the spicy enchilada and chorizo. Cash only.

Strange Flavor

Roadside-style griddled burgers and Sichuan spice are two dining trends that could be terrible bedfellows, but Strange Flavor executes both with sophistication and heaps of flavor. The unassuming joint off the Jefferson L stop laces its burgers and fish sandwiches with tingling chili, and the spicy, tempura-battered long beans make fries a distant memory.

Bogart Taco Truck

Bogart Taco Truck Paul Schrodt

Anyone who lives off the Morgan L stop knows about “the taco truck” — the one on Bogart Street right outside of the subway entrance that serves locals and wanderers late into the night. It’s run by two Mexican twins, Sergio and Felipe, who are often chatting about the latest soccer match and sharing a drink with customers. Get the cemita, a torta from the twins’ native Puebla region that’s piled high with avocado, sauce, and cheese; try it with lengua. Cash only.

Bogart Taco Truck Paul Schrodt

Heavy Woods

There’s a taste of true Cajun cooking inside Heavy Woods, a bar that doubles as Tchoup Shop chef and New Orleans veteran Simon Glenn’s restaurant. Clever takes on NOLA dishes include a fried catfish po’ boy with Creole “dijonaisse” and gumbo with duck. The stylish bar’s stiff cocktails like the Smoke Bomb (with Maker’s Mark and coffee-infused Carpano Antica) stand up to all that fat and flavor. 

Roberta's

The restaurant that first got Manhattanites to dine out in Bushwick when it opened in 2008 hasn’t faltered since. The wood-fired pizzas have become legendary, but don’t overlook the specials, along with the rest of the menu and an especially underrated brunch. Reservations are only for large parties, and waits on Fridays and Saturdays can get unbearable. Try the takeout spot next door to bring pies to the outdoor space in better weather, or go for a non-pizza brunch. To experience a more upscale version of the team’s fare, score a reservation at the 12-seat sister restaurant Blanca, tucked behind Roberta’s jovial beer garden.

General Deb's

La zi ji, or deep-fried chickens surrounded by a mountain of chili peppers, from General Deb’s Photo via General Deb’s

General Deb’s is the Sichuan restaurant Bushwick was missing. Backed by the Michelin-starred team from Italian favorite Faro, General Deb’s serves traditional renditions of Sichuan classics, like dan dan mian, a noodle dish with minced pork, chili, sesame, and peanut; and la zi ji, stir-fried chicken with chili peppers. The menu is noodle heavy, with most dishes shareable and in the $13 to $18 price range. “As far as Sichuan restaurants go, this one is likely to make you very happy: reverent toward its models, with a few interesting tweaks,” says Eater critic Robert Sietsema.

La zi ji, or deep-fried chickens surrounded by a mountain of chili peppers, from General Deb’s Photo via General Deb’s

Bunna Cafe

Injera with lentil stew, one of several sides presented on the plate at Bunna. Sue Rissberger Photography/Bunna Cafe

A semi-secret gem of the neighborhood, the meat-free Bunna Cafe is paradise for vegetarians and vegans looking for exciting dining options. But it also won’t scare away even the most ardent of carnivores. Aromatic stews like shiro (split peas simmered with tomato, spices, garlic, ginger, and onion) and the spicier, red lentil-based misir wot are refreshing, healthy, and most importantly, tasty. The warm lighting and live steel drum music are perfect for lingering with friends, so order one of the feasts for groups, to be scooped up with spongy, slightly sour injera bread. Save room for baklava and original cocktails like the “CuCumba!” (gin, celery and grapefruit shrub, and muddled cucumber). Cash only.

Injera with lentil stew, one of several sides presented on the plate at Bunna. Sue Rissberger Photography/Bunna Cafe

Arepera Guacuco

Arepa pabellon at Arepera Guacuco by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/37601286@N06/5512517158/in/pool-eater/">gsz</a>.
Arepa pabellon at Arepera Guacuco by gsz.

Arepera translates to a place that sells arepas — a popular Venezuelan dish where a fluffy white corn cake is stuffed with cheese and different meats. The low-key space has a beach-shack feel, and owner Leonardo Molina and his mother Carmen’s arepas are well-executed and affordable. Try the fish or chicken versions, but also come to experience other Venezuelan favorites like cachapas, empanadas, and Polar beer. Larger dishes are also offered, all under $15.

Arepa pabellon at Arepera Guacuco by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/37601286@N06/5512517158/in/pool-eater/">gsz</a>.
Arepa pabellon at Arepera Guacuco by gsz.

Amaranto