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Dec 11, 2008 03:13 AM

Should I visit Brooklyn for a meal?

Hi me and my girlfriend are in New York in January and considering heading across Brooklyn Bridge for some food. Any good restaurants near the Brooklyn side of the Bridge that could be walked to or would it be too cold to walk across the Bridge that time of year??

Been to Manhattan a few times from Scotland, but never ventured into the boroughs so any recdommendations/tips would be great.



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  1. As a partial respondant, I'd have to say yes! With the weather we've been having (warm, cold...warm, cold) you never know...maybe you will catch a warmer day while you're here.
    A few places close to or within a 10-15 minute walk from the Bklyn side of the bridge:
    River Cafe (upscale, perfect classic NY "view")
    Grimaldi's (pretty famous pizza joint, though most will argue there's better...still a very decent pie)
    Noodle Pudding (above- average neighborhood Italian)

    If you take a 10-15 minute walk there are a few pockets of areas which afford quite a selection of different restaurants and cusines. Take a stroll and you will find some good eats on Smith Street, Court Street or Atlantic Avenue.

    1. Of course you should venture out of Manhattan. New York is made up of 5 boroughs--not just Manhattan. If you have time, you should not only try to visit Brooklyn, also try to get to the Bronx, Queens, and yes even Staten Island. You should try to experience the city as a whole. Go through the Outer Borough board for some great places to visit.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MrsT

        Totally agree. Love Manhattan, but you could spend your life eating great food in the other boroughs.

      2. Nice day would be to take the subway to Atlantic/Pacific and walk down 5th Ave from Flatbush. Shops, bars and restaurants abound. Stop for dinner at Al Di La or Stone Park and follow up with beers at the Gate.

        1. I highly recommend that you visit Brooklyn during your stay. Near the bridge I would say you should go have real NYC pizza at Grimaldi's. Also nearby is a great chocolate shop called Jaques Torres -- great for truffles and for hot chocolate.

          8 Replies
          1. re: DeeDee

            Second Jacques Torres, would also recommend Hecho en Dumbo if you're there at night for Mexico City-style antojitos. A little further afield is the new and trendy Vinegar Hill House; it's Dumbo adjacent. Similar to a gastropub and in Brooklyn Heights is Jack the Horse Tavern, which is also good. (Ignoring what the space looks like, it reminds me of The Devonshire House in Chiswick pre-Gordon Ramsay.)

            1. re: lambretta76

              defintely Jacques Torres, but I'd stay away from Grimaldi's - totally overrated, and if there's a line, you'll be waiting outside in the January cold for a long time... Instead go to Franny's on Flatbush Avenue. No view, but amazing brick oven thin crust pizza and delicious pastas. Of course, if you want what is considered "the best" - Di Fara's in Midwood - but hard to get to by subway and the wait is often 45 minutes for a pie.

              Note that Al Di La, Stone Park, River Cafe, Vinegar Hill are all quite expensive if you are on a budget. but heck, if you can afford those places, you should go to Peter Luger's for the best porterhouse ever (make a reservation though - and make sure to order the bacon appetizer) - it's right over the Williamsburg Bridge. There's a diner right there called Marlow and Sons which is good too. Or the Dresden.

              Sea in Williamsburg has amazing Thai food - it's been touted alot, and for good reason, it's absolutely NOT overrated.

              I like the poster above's suggestion of beer at the Gate, but it's really only fun in the summer when you can sit outside. Instead try Draught Barn on 3rd Avenue and 12th Street - it might not look like a great neighborhood, but the beer selection cannot be beat in the city.

              1. re: secondbecky

                Just to make a correction so not to confuse our out of town guests, across from Peter Lugar is Dressler (highly recommended). About 3-4 blocks down from that is Diner and next to Diner is a very nice restaurant called Marlow & Sons. As mentioned, all of these are very good suggestions (my faves in fact) but are located at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge and very far by foot from the targeted area.

                1. re: malibu

                  thanks for the clarification. I type too quickly for my brain to catch up sometimes.

                  1. re: malibu

                    I've lived in NY (Brooklyn) for just over a year, and dinner at Marlow & Sons (williamsburg) has been one of my best meals ever. Simple, seasonal food prepared perfectly. Dinner with 4 foodie friends in October and we're all still raving.

                    Al Di La (park slope) is quite solid too and I don't find it very expensive (and I'm on more of a budget). There's some nice boutique shopping along 5th ave there too.

                    I quite like No. 7 Greene (dinner) or ICI (brunch) if you end up exploring Fort Greene, Brooklyn. You've also got Cake Man Raven here for red velvet cake if you're a sweets person (it's pretty sugary!)

                    To the OP: I'm a big fan of finding both a neighborhood worth exploring and a meal worth having in that neighborhood. So if it's too cold during your visit to walk over the bridge and hit Grimaldi's or one of the other recommendations, consider these other areas.

                  2. re: secondbecky

                    Please note that Franny's is not open for lunch (only dinner) in case you were planning to come to Brookly during the day. Sea in Williamsburg is NOT by any stretch of the imaginzation amazing Thai food. Very standard. Fun lively bar scene but not good food. The bar mentioned is actually called Draft Barn (not Draught Barn) and it has only been open a few weeks....there are MANY better beer selections -- in Manhattan -- try D.B.A., Bind Tiger Ale House and Gingerman.

                    Great beer places in Brookyn are mostly in Williamsburg -- Spuyten Duyvil, Spike Hill, Mug's Ale House. Brooklyn Brewery and Barcade.

                    1. re: DeeDee

                      Actually, Beer Table, my favorite, probably better than all the above. He has a bit of a Manhattan following now. Not inexpensive, though.

                      1. re: DeeDee

                        Actually if you go to the bar, the sign outside says DRAUGHT BARN. Blind Tiger is good, but the poster wants BROOKLYN information.

                        Having just honeymooned in Thailand, I can honestly say that Sea is a VERY good spot and not overrated.

                2. You asked for places that are close to the Brooklyn end of the bridge. While many of the suggestions are well intentioned I'll note that most of them are *not* in walking distance. This thread is beginning to read like "Best of Brooklyn" which is fine but not what you asked for. If you're in any doubt as to locations please Google the restaurants.

                  NY winter weather can vary. If the temperatures are in the upper 40s to low 50s the bridge will be a comfortable walk. Anything colder than that could be really unpleasant.

                  The River Cafe is lovely but pricey based on the range that you quoted in your Manhattan post. They also require a jacket, something that may be an issue.

                  In Brooklyn Heights Noodle Pudding would be a good choice. So would Queen. Note that NP doesn't take reservations. Best to show up no later than 6

                  A sleeper choice is Pete's Downtown. Solid food with an excellent view of the water.

                  River Cafe
                  1 Water St., Brooklyn, NY 11201

                  Noodle Pudding
                  38 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                  Pete's Downtown
                  2 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                    Thanks for that, trying to getabit ofthe whole New Yorkexperience so hopefully a night in Brooklyn can help towards that.

                    On another note - any of these restaurants have a particulary good view ofthe city?

                    1. re: Franko103

                      The view from Pete's Downtown is very good. (It's directly across the street from River Cafe.) Call ahead of time and reserve a table by the window.

                      While dinner at the River Cafe will set you back major bucks, a nice fall back is to have drinks at the bar. I mentioned above that they require men to wear a jacket. I don't say this lightly but this is one place that's worth putting a jacket on for. The view is one of the best in the world.

                      There's an auxiliary room for folks who don't have jackets but it doesn't have half the cachet of the main bar. (I know that because I once forgot the jacket requirement and had to sit there. You've go the same view but It's just not the same.)

                      If I were you I'd do drinks at RC and eat at Pete's. If the weather is brutally cold both places are easily reached by subway. (The A, R, or #2.)



                      1. re: Franko103

                        i really wouldn't be that concerned with views. Just walk on the boardwalk to get your view. otherwise you're going to pay MAJOR bucks.

                      2. re: Bob Martinez

                        If you're into walking, you'd have an awesome time crossing the bridge and heading into Brooklyn. If you want to search the boards, you're close to Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, and Cobble Hill. While you're on this side, you might want to check out the places on Atlantic, including Sahadis (if it were me, I'd plan on spending the entire day in the borough, starting with pub lunch on Atlantic, and ending with dinner at whichever place hits your fancy from the boards in those neighborhoods, followed by drinks and/or music. You're also 3 subway stops from Park Slope -- on the music side, Barbe's in PS can't be beat). Having just gotten an office in Dumbo (I live in Park Slope), I can't believe how walkable the F line is . . .