by Patrick Heig - 324 Reviews - 95 List
Williamsburg, once home to starving artists, now feels like an extension of Manhattan, and though its residents still appear emaciated, you can be sure they want Manhattan-level cuisine. Check out our list of the Williamsburg's best restaurants, many of which rank among the best in any of the five boroughs. (Photo: Traif)
Updated: June 30, 2010
Before hordes of hipster-chic New American eateries invaded Brooklyn, the borough's most famous dining destination was this legendary steakhouse, opened in 1887. It almost goes without saying that the dry-aged porterhouse steak is the only way to go.
This is by far the most romantic restaurant in Williamsburg, with its dimly lit private booths, complete with buttons to summon the waitstaff. But the restaurant doesn't thrive on atmosphere alone; the inventive Japanese small plates make it worth the trip even without a date.
This tiny ramshackle Mexican diner has plenty of Williamsburg cool (kitschy Spanish-language posters, indie rock on the stereo), but that doesn't mean the food isn't authentic. In any neighborhood, exquisite tacos, a BYOB policy and low prices are a winning strategy.
Williamsburg's most popular brunch spot is no secret. Breakfast items like farm-fresh eggs and homemade buttermilk biscuits keep this tiny, casual restaurant packed in the morning, but don't overlook lunch and dinner items like the juicy fried half-chicken and fried-oyster sandwich.
This perfectly charming Italian restaurant has wide appeal, drawing everyone from large families to cozy dates to grown-up hipsters. The draw? Chef and co-owner Riccardo Buitoni's handmade pastas; although the leafy garden is reason enough to pay this restaurant a visit.
Of the increasing number of arepa joints popping up in the city, this unassuming Latin American restaurant, tucked near the less-than-scenic entrance of the Williamsburg Bridge, just might be the best. Opt for the pabellon arepa, a heavenly mix of shredded beef, plantains, black beans and cheese stuffed into a cornmeal cake.
Faux-vintage par excellence. This tiny triangular treasure is hidden under the JMZ tracks, packed with worn and weathered decor for an ambience reminiscent of a 1920s speakeasy. Musicians often pack a cramped corner of the restaurant to provide a live soundtrack for diners enjoying hearty American cafe fare.
Bacon. Lobster. Flat iron steak served with king crab bearnaise and potato latkes. Named after the Yiddish term for unkosher foods, Traif and its edible blasphemy are an outrage for the local Hasidic community and an outrageously delicious addition to the Williamsburg restaurant scene.
Williamsburg waited two long years for this ramshackle restaurant to re-open, and hasn't been disappointed--critics and locals alike can't get enough of the fried chicken, catfish and pie, and in its new incarnation the restaurant is much more comfortable.