9 Reasons Why Greenpoint Is NYC’s Best Food Neighborhood Right Now
Unless you live there, it’s possible you find yourself in the Brooklyn neighborhood sandwiched between Long Island City and Williamsburg only a few times a year. But you’re going to want to change that: Over the past year, a spate of new restaurant openings has turned Greenpoint into a full-fledged destination for food lovers. Here are nine that have us jumping on the G train practically every weekend.
Can’t swing a trip to Indonesia this winter? Well, you can still grab a table at Selamat Pagi for Balinese cuisine. The dishes mesh Thai and Indian flavors (think tempura fish curry and crispy rice salad with tofu, peanuts and sriracha vinaigrette). There are plenty of plant-based options, which isn’t surprising since the restaurant is owned by the people behind the equally vegan-friendly Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. Between the food, the palm-print wallpaper and the tropical cocktails, a meal here feels a bit like a vacation.
152 Driggs Ave., Brooklyn; selamatpagibrooklyn.com
We had mixed feelings when Oxomoco earned a Michelin star just months after opening its doors. On the one hand, the restaurant got the recognition it deserved, but on the other, it meant getting a table became even harder. Inside, the bright and airy space feels more L.A. than North Brooklyn. There’s Mexican tradition in the homemade moles and masa tortillas, alongside inventive takes like tamales filled with charred carrots and topped with green mole, and blue corn tacos piled high with beet chorizo and crispy potatoes or tempura-battered shrimp.
Di An Di
Di An Di translates to “let’s go eat,” and should you find yourself anywhere near this cheery, greenery-filled restaurant, you should probably do just that. The Vietnamese menu is equal parts traditional and modern, spotlighting complex dishes that, until now, have been hard to find in NYC. You’ll find fried chicken over turmeric rice drizzled with fish sauce and grilled rice paper drizzled with egg, little necks and sweet chili sauce—a take on clam pizza, if you will. Just make sure to save room for the rich Hanoi beef pho made with fatty brisket and a runny egg yolk.
68 Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn; diandi.nyc
Chez Ma Tante
Step into this quiet corner restaurant with whitewashed brick walls and you might confuse it for a café in Montreal’s hip Mile End neighborhood. Chez Ma Tante has Canadian roots (it got its name from a popular Montreal hot dog stand), but its menu is inspired by British pubs and French bistros. There’s airy chicken liver mousse served with chewy sourdough and kedgeree, a dish of buttery cod over curry rice. But perhaps the most compelling reason to visit is brunch, to sink your fork into the melt-in-your-mouth skillet-fried pancakes.
90 Calyer St., Brooklyn; chezmatantenyc.com
FRANKEL’S DELICATESSEN & APPETIZING
Unlike Sadelle’s or Russ & Daughters Cafe, there’s nothing fancy about Frankel’s. Owned by two brothers who hail from the Upper West Side, this old-school-meets-new Jewish deli has about a dozen seats, which works out just fine, since you can take your pastrami, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich to nearby McCarren Park. Pro tip: The scallion cream cheese and Scottish salmon filled bagels taste best paired with a side of delightfully greasy potato latkes.
631 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn; frankelsdelicatessen
This retro American eatery (from the team behind Frankel’s) looks like the kind of place our grandparents took us when we were a kid. Think red-and-white checked tablecloths, vintage lamps and long, pleated booths. Even the menu offers a strong dose of nostalgia. The wedge salad, drizzled with blue cheese and topped with a slab of thick-cut bacon, and the French onion soup bubbling under a thick layer of Gruyère are pretty much guaranteed to make you feel good.
332 Driggs Ave., Brooklyn; berniesnyc.com
Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop
The Original Paulie Gee’s, now over eight years old, is a Greenpoint mainstay that still draws in crowds. And as of last year, there’s a counter-service spot just around the block on Franklin Street. Unlike the original location, which is known for its wood-fired Neapolitan pies, the slices here are classic New York style. While you should never underestimate the power of a simple cheese slice here, the Freddy Prince—an upside-down Sicilian slice—has officially won us over (and yes, there is plenty of mozzarella hiding beneath that top layer of tomato sauce).
110 Franklin St., Brooklyn; pauliegee.com
One of the newest additions to Greenpoint’s restaurant scene, this French cocktail bar and bistro opened its doors in late Novermber. The interior decor is a nod to Paris in the Roaring ’20s: Vintage Citroën posters sit above the white-tiled walls, and diners eat on reclaimed-wood tables. The menu is made up of French classics like cheese, charcuterie, coq au vin and steak frites. And while you might not be familiar with some of the ingredients on the cocktail list, you won’t mind after a sip of the Kick It Root Down (cachaça, carrot, ginger lemon and dill) in your coupe glass.
931 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn; citroengreenpoint.
Just when you thought New York had enough splurge-worthy (but also affordable!) omakase options, Chiko stepped into the picture. For $158, you can take a seat at the sushi counter and delve into 13 courses of artfully crafted plates of seafood and sushi, such as uni topped with truffle and raw scallop, and fatty tuna garnished with black olive and garlic.
954 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn; chikonyc.com