The Williamsburg section of Brooklyn has gotten, not unfairly, a reputation for odd, twee, archly idiosyncratic food -- "hipsterish" if you will, although everyone there protests that they hate hipsters. Here are some great Williamsburg restaurants where you will find nary an old-timey beard nor a pair of square architect glasses.
It doesn't get any more old-school than Bamonte's, which could basically serve as a movie set for Italian American restaurants before they became mainstream.
The most famous steakhouse in America delivers on its promise of incomparable atmosphere and unique character. It's the template of all other steakhouses, and you are almost guaranteed to have a great time there, especially if your pockets are deep. The steak is not, in fact, that great anymore, but they're still very good for the most part, and their dressing of butter and kidney suet could make a steak-umm good. The hash browns, cake, bacon, and the other sides are wonderful too.
DuMont is a popular high-end comfort food restaurant in Williamsburg. It has a very good, but not great hamburger and some other B+ / A- dishes, all served in enjoyably rowdy surroundings and with the prototypical uneven Brooklyn service. It absolutely is what it is, and if you are cool with that you will have a great time there.
One of the city's most formidable Italian-style pizzerias, Fornino serves up an especially faithful version of La Vera Pizza Napoletana, the official designation of Naples. The pie is made thin, cooked hot, and has minimal toppings. These include fresh mozzarella, and, here anyway, some very high-quality artisanal ingredients. But the best is the simple margarita. These pizzas are too good to dilute, and anyway they're not really meant to have toppings.
Brooklyn's best, more or less, Dressler is a full-on restaurant, complete with a gorgeous, dramatic room, refined greenmarket cooking, and the kind of service you rarely see in the 718. While the Michelin star it received might be a bit of a stretch, there's no question that it's worth the money, given the (non-) competition in Brooklyn. At the very least, you will get service far beyond the borough's famously shitty standards.
Brooklyn's let-it-roll style works well in the case of barbecue, which is best served in dressed down, funky environments. Unfortunately, it also requires a lot of precision, which Fette Sau doesn't always lay down. The food is excellent, and there are meats smoked here you won't find elsewhere, but they sometimes sit around too long. Go early when they first open, and look for the pork belly if they have it.
Rye is in many ways the archetypal New York gastropub. (Fans of The Spotted Pig may disagree.) It's dark and loose-limbed and friendly and it has a delicious meat-heavy menu whose crown jewel is a supercharged meat loaf that puts every other to shame. But the beers are good and the prices low, and it avoids hipster coyness almost entirely.
1 or 8 is one of the very few first-rate sushi restaurants in Brooklyn, and like most of the best sushi restaurants, it is spartan and plain almost to the point of austerity. While you can get a dragon roll there if you insist, this is a place for omakase sashimi and sushi, to the exclusion of anything else, and like all good sushi it comes at a price.
Everybody loves The Meatball Shop. Why? Because everybody likes meatballs, cheap good food, and restaurants that are open very late. The Meatball Shop provides all these things, and in addition, its meatballs are really good. There are pork, veal, beef, chicken, and even some form of vegetarian "meatballs" all in a choice of sauces. You get in, you get out, and you have just enough on your stomach to ground all the beer you had (or are planning to have. )