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Sep 5, 2009 10:06 PM

Recs for lunch spot near Brooklyn Botanical Gardens?

I'm planning a special day for my boyfriend and am completely unfamiliar with the area. We love all types of food and have a liberal budget. I would liketo avoid places with tons of kids. Thanks in advance!

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  1. In Prospect Heights you have a few options - Tavern on Dean, Dean and Underhill, Gamin on Vanderbilt and James on Carlton, there are quite a few places on Washington but I do not know that block to well, you can also head over to Park Slope on 7th Ave and 5th Avenues. Please be are very abundant in this 'nabe especially in the afternoon and early evening. On another note - I am not sure when you are planning your visit by Labor Day Monday is the West Indian Day parade which is a blast (great food too) but the neighborhood gets pretty crazy!

    5 Replies
    1. re: roux42

      I think those are a pretty long walk from the Botanic Gardens. And James (which we like a lot) is not open for lunch. Except for dinner service it is open only for Sunday brunch.

      Tavern on Dean is fun, but I think they also only serve brunch, not lunch?

      A lot closer is CHERYL'S GLOBAL SOUL ,at 236 Underhill Avenue
      btw. Lincoln Place & Eastern Parkway,

      or Tom's (classic -or historic by now- diner):
      TOM'S RESTAURANT BROOKLYN, 782 Washington Avenue, corner of Sterling Pl.

      But, maybe for a special day, those two are way too casual. Personally, I am not impressed by Cheryl's lunch. (very dry chicken on my chicken sandwich, slow service).

      Tom's definitely is more fun and more interesting. Very friendly. Actually, depending on your tastes and/or style that could be a great place to experience.

      1. re: FoodWine

        Actually, Brooklyn Milk Bar on Vanderbilt Avenue and Sterling Place is lots of fun (although not as close as the above mentioned two restaurants.)
        Here is their menu:

        Yes, it is very casual, but it is also a very popular / buzzing spot, even during weekday lunch hours. They truly hit the spot. Lots of "hip" youngish adults seem to gravitate to this place. The first times I had lunch there, I was thinking: " Who ARE all these people, I have never seen them in Prospect Heights -or Park Slope- before!"

        Milk bar has a casual menu, with a slight Australian twist, and they serve some of the best coffees in the area. (Yes, I know it is a matter of taste, but I love their cappuccino). They also serve wine and beer and they have a nice little patio.
        We love their salads and sandwiches, including the avocado toast, sprinkled with hot pepper, which is a great accompaniment to one of their salad or egg dishes.

        Last but not least: both the owners and the staff are very friendly and now that they have added some staff, the service flows much faster, even during very busy hours (like today's lunch for the large Labor Day crowd


        1. re: FoodWine

          Milkbar seems very nice, with excellent coffee and nice seervers but its crowded and definitely not reliably childfree, not a place for a special meal, maybe for a snack.

          you didnt say weekend or weekday but for lunch Al Di La in Park Slope and General Greene in Clinton Hill are both open. Neither is very close to the botanic garden, but either would be a good hunger inducing walk to a good meal.Closer, both Sushi Gen and Ortine on Washington Ave offer lunch. Ortine is a tiny simple place with a nice garden which a friend of mine touts - I havent been to either, maybe others have a view

          The food at the Botanic Garden is quite good if they are serving and you might want to look into this- another alternative in nice weather would be taking a piicnic into Prospect park which adjoins the garden - there are some lovely spots to sit and walk.

        2. re: FoodWine

          I always go to The Islands on Washington Ave, half a block away from Eastern Pkwy. It's teeney tiny and looks like a takeout only place, but there's a little dining room upstairs. Likely as not you will be alone up there. The jerk lamb is fabulous.

          If you want an old timey diner, Tom's for sure.
          If you want Special, Al Di La in Park Slope (5th Ave and Carroll) serves lunch Weds - Sunday. The pasta dishes are spectacular, and it's way easier to get a table at lunch than at dinner. The B71 bus goes directly from across the museum/BBG to 5th Ave/Union St, two blocks from Al Di La. Although it would take you all of 20 minutes to walk there, and it's downhill...

          If you want good coffee and a delicious baked good, try Joyce Bakeshop on Vanderbilt Ave @ Park Place . . .

          The Islands
          803 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

          Al Di La
          248 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

          Joyce Bakeshop
          646 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

          782 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

        3. re: roux42

          OMG, I read your post too late. The parade was nuts AND the gardens were closed, and my romantic plans turned into Nathan's at Coney Island. Thanks for the suggestions, though.