No other sandwich spot in New York City makes an Italian hero quite like Defonte’s
. Nearly a century since it opened in Brooklyn in 1922, Defonte’s still draws crowds at its original Red Hook location (and newer branch in Staten Island). The menu lists nearly every permutation of Italian hero ingredient you can dream up, from salami to chicken parm, prosciutto, mozzarella, meatballs, potatoes, eggs and much more. Or you can simply invent your own combo. Stumped? Get the signature Nicky Special, which goes all out with its layers of salami, capicola, ham, provolone, fried eggplant, marinated mushrooms and assorted condiments. If you’re with a group, plan to split a few different sandwiches, and move your party to nearby Coffey Park. The recently renovated, compact eight-acre green space offers picnic tables, lawns, playgrounds for kids, and a relaxed place for soaking in the rhythms of Red Hook
, one of Brooklyn’s most tenaciously out-of-the-way neighborhoods.