I’ve lived — and eaten — in Brooklyn for the past five years. Five years in one borough has been just enough time to pinpoint my go-tos and, unfortunately, see some of my favorite restaurants shutter. By this point, I’ve had plenty of time to return, try new menu items, and see if they continually impress.
Ahead are the restaurants that I’ve gone to on multiple occasions — for after-work drinks, birthday dinners, and brunches — and they’ve never let me down. While all of my favorites are located in northern Brooklyn, it’s no disrespect for the rest of the borough, which I’m now beginning to explore as part of phase two in my Brooklyn explorations.
My top picks are all also within a relatively low price range — the highest is a pizza for $25. I suggest you split that with good friends.
Best burger: Blue Collar in Williamsburg
It’s at Blue Collar where I first fell in love with peanut butter milkshakes. One of those, along with a cheeseburger, make for a perfect late-night snack after going out in Williamsburg. You won’t find any frills at this place — it’s just a simple burger and hot dog joint. Prices range from $3.25 to $7.25.
Best pizza: Speedy Romeo’s in Bed-Stuy
Speedy Romeo’s pizzas are prepped in a wood-fired Italian pizza oven and have the perfect crust consistency. Their signature pizza, The Speedy Romeo, is made of grilled dough, green tomatoes, house-made ricotta, basil, and lemon.
If you’re a fan of s’mores, their “chocolate cake” dessert — made almost entirely of a massive, fire-branded marshmallow — is to die for. Prices range between $6 and $78.
Best pasta: Eva Jean’s in Bed-Stuy
Eva Jean’s interior doesn’t feel like it should be in Brooklyn — its colorful decor, plants, and fireplace ring more West Coast to me, but Brooklynites seem to love it.
Since the menu changes seasonally at this farm-to-table restaurant, I’ve tried multiple dishes, including the chicken breast with rutabaga purée and Swiss chard, but I will never forget the cacio e pepe pasta dish I had there twice in 2015. Prices change seasonally.