These days, Brooklyn is all the rage. Artists have fled SoHo for Bushwick; the wealthy have made Williamsburg a landmark; and some rents in Bed-Stuy are comparable to those in some of Manhattan’s historic neighborhoods. Yet, there’s a neighborhood, or a group of them, rather, which don’t get as much as fanfare. Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, recently termed BoCoCa, are arguably not as popular as the aforementioned, likely because they haven’t seen as drastic shifts in development or of the general populace, but the neighborhoods are home to some amazing eateries, some of which have been lauded by the likes of Beyoncé and JiaJia Fei. Check them out below:
This Brooklyn staple is the perfect example of why New York City is renowned for incredible pizza. Lucali uses the freshest ingredients and is the closest thing to Italy you will likely get in New York, and that’s saying something. While famous for pizza, this five-star restaurant also makes a killer calzone, wood-fired and oozing with amazing ricotta cheese. Top it off, it’s BYOB. No wonder The Carters chose to spend Grammy night here instead of at the actual awards show.
Named after an actual strait in the neighborhood which it inhabits, this restaurant is American comfort food at its finest. I’m talking fried chicken and waffles and delectable pecan pie. In addition these classics, Buttermilk does quite a bit of experimenting, like their amazing duck meatloaf (topped with onion rings), or their chilled asparagus soup, in exchange for grandma’s warm split pea offering. If you like food, you will like Buttermilk Channel.
Brucie is another Italian restaurant in the area, but it’s not just any other restaurant. This farm-to-table favorite has a menu that changes daily, using ingredients only as they’re in season and available. While it’s not your grandma’s lasagna or (beer can) chicken cacciatore, it’s not lacking in flavor nor heartiness. The house bread and butter alone are more satisfying than entrees at most places in the city. Be sure to try their house cocktails, which are just as inventive and exciting as the food.
This restaurant is not upscale or modern by any stretch of the imagination. That doesn’t keep dozens of New Yorkers from lining up outside for a seat on Saturday and Sunday mornings, rain or shine. The reason: pancakes. Cafe Luluc has the best pancakes one can get in Brooklyn and NYC at large. With a cake-like consistency and just the right amount of sweetness, the breakfast classic barely needs syrup. My only other recommendations: get there early and be sure to bring cash.
Ugly Duckling is one of the newest editions to the area’s food scene, and it embraces its novelty. Actually, its name was inspired by the building it renovated to create its current space, which was dubbed one of the ugliest in the entire city. Since then, it has garnered quite a following amongst American food lovers and beer purveyors. Ugly Duckling has so many beers on tap it has a separate a menu for them–about 30 in total. The burgers are the centerpiece here, as is the case at any respectable American establishment, but they also do exceptionally well with homestyle dishes like a brisket dinner with green beans, and mexican fare like ancho shrimp tacos.