The Best Restaurants in Williamsburg

Sunday in Brooklyn’s brunch menu offers many savory options.
Sunday in Brooklyn’s brunch menu offers many savory options. | © Evan Sung

Williamsburg has a foodie scene that easily rivals most Manhattan neighborhoods. From date-night spots you’ll want to linger at to fast-casual joints that don’t compromise flavor for efficiency, our list of the best restaurants in Williamsburg will satiate your every craving.

St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club

St. Mazie in Williamsburg offers many enticing options, including bowls of mussels.

You’ll probably hear the music pouring out of St. Mazie before you step through the door. Live jazz – a regular fixture Thursday through Sunday – is a fitting accompaniment to strong cocktails and oysters in the intimate bar area. When you’re ready for conversation and a meal, grab a table in the back garden (temperature permitting) or the ambient downstairs dining room for hearty dishes such as mussels linguini, slow-cooked short rib, and creamy Portabello mushroom and parmesan risotto.

1. Williamsburg Food Tasting & Walking Tour

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Explore the vibrant neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, renowned for its cultural richness and culinary delights, on this guided walking tour. Join your knowledgeable foodie guide and a small group as you uncover the hidden gems and local favorites of this hip district. Wander through charming streets lined with trendy shops and street art, pausing at acclaimed eateries like Pie & Thighs and Joe’s Pizza to indulge in iconic New York dishes such as bagels, dumplings, and more. Taste up to six different dishes, including local specialties, and gain insider insights and recommendations from your guide along the way. Whether you’re a visitor or a local looking to discover new flavors, this tour offers a delectable journey through Williamsburg’s food scene.

Shelter

This huge warehouse space somehow still manages to be extremely cozy thanks to the cabin-esque decor – shearling throws, tartan blankets and rustic wooden tables with a smattering of decorative deer antlers. Shelter’s giant wood-fired oven cooks bubbling pizza and more-ish empanadas, plus an assortment of lightly charred meats.

Casa Pública

Bottles of liquor line the wall at Casa Pública in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York.

Authentic Mexican dishes you’d find at a mercados (food market) inspire the menu at Casa Pública. There are seven different taco fillings on offer, including exotic octopus with fingerling potatoes and avocado, plus an extensive mezcal and tequila cocktail list to wash them down. The citrusy Mi Corazon with mezcal, blood orange and hibiscus salt is delicious.

Lilia

This Italian restaurant resides in a cavernous space once occupied by an auto shop. Lilia chef Missy Robbins creates silky homemade pasta dishes that will spoil you for life. Some dishes are elaborate (think agnolotti stuffed with sheep’s milk cheese, cooked in saffron, dried tomato and honey), while others keep it simple but incredibly flavorful, like spicy rigatoni with San Marzano tomatoes, chilies, oregano and a dusting of pecorino.

Llama Inn

The Llama Inn bills itself as “part urban hacienda, part charming corner barrio bar.” This airy corner restaurant has a menu of Peruvian favorites including lime-drenched ceviche and beef tenderloin stir fry, as well as unique additions such as quinoa served with banana, avocado, bacon and cashew, and palo santo ice cream (yes, that fragrant wood burnt in yoga studios). Don’t forget to order a pisco cocktail – there are two mixtures on tap.

Pies-n-Thighs

Homemade Southern chicken is delicious with a waffle and syrup

Perfectly executed comfort food is what makes Pies-n-Thighs so adored by customers. This no-fuss restaurant has won a slew of awards for its satiating, salty fried chicken, fluffy biscuits, crispy-edged donuts, and classic apple pie.

Emmy Squared

The margarita pizza at Emmy Squared in Williamsburg is one must-order.

In a borough full of classic slices Emmy Squared’s doughy, angular Detroit-style pizzas, oozing with excess mozzarella, feel special. The Colony² (sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, pickled jalapeños and drizzled honey) is deservedly popular, and the Emmy (mozzarella, banana peppers, red onion, ranch, side sauce) is the antithesis of traditional but totally delicious. Remember the rule for deep-dish pizzas like these: one pie between two is plenty.

Diner

Everything about Diner has an old-school feel, including its setting inside an old sleeper train carriage. Waitstaff scribble the day’s menu on your paper table cloth – a list of grass-fed meat dishes with a few appetizers and a selection of hard-to-resist desserts. The food isn’t overly pretentious (no ingredients you have to Google), but it’s always reliably delicious, which is probably why the restaurant is still going strong decades after it first opened.

Sunday Brooklyn, New York

Sunday in Brooklyn, in Williamsburg, New York, USA.

Warm fall vibes are what’s on the menu at neighborhood haunt Sunday in Brooklyn. Let the wood-burning ovens – and welcoming staff – at this Williamsburg hotspot warm your heart and stomach as you dig into an unexpected fall dish of pumpkin soft-serve ice cream with bourbon caramel and spiced pumpkin seeds.

Maison Premiere

With its horseshoe bar, leather booths and trellised back patio, Maison Premiere is the kind of spot that makes you want to dress up for the evening. Start with an absinthe cocktail and a tray of oysters, and then move on to the seafood gumbo. It’s the best you’ll taste outside of New Orleans.

Cafe Colette, New York

Cafe Colette is best known for its brunch. Go healthy on the main, with a salmon bowl or green falafel with shiso cucumber quinoa, beet hummus and fresh pita, and then get a “small sweet” dish, like the dark chocolate ganache toast with whipped cream and sea salt, to satiate your sugar hankering.

The Four Horsemen, New York

The primary reason to visit the Four Horsemen (which, incidentally, is owned by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem) is its extensive variety of “natural wines” produced by smaller vineyards and containing minimal chemicals and preservatives. The food menu features raw and cured fish with fancy toppings, and yummy small plates made for sharing.

Okonomi

One restaurant, two incarnations. By day, Okonomi serves a set menu of ichiju-sansai – a platter of complementary small servings including a protein, rice, soup and veggies. By night, it turns into a ramen joint with light, flavorful noodle soups made from local ingredients and seafood broths.

Peter Luger Steak House, New York

The original Peter Luger opened in Williamsburg in 1887. Since then it’s gone on to garner a reputation as one of the best steakhouses in the city, with a Michelin star under its belt to boot. The restaurant only selects USDA Prime beef, which is then dry-aged on-site using tightly controlled conditions. Book a tour of the dry-aging facilities before dinner to see where the magic happens.

Fette Sau, New York

Fette Sau, which translates as “fat pig” in German, is one of New York’s most celebrated barbecue restaurants. Smother the best pieces of meat, from pulled pork to half a chicken, in your choice of four house sauces: vinegar barbecue, spicy barbecue, spicy mustard or the homemade rub containing espresso, brown sugar, salt, cumin and garlic powder.

2. The Original Best of Brooklyn Half-Day Food and Culture Bus Tour

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Discover the diverse flavors and vibrant culture of Brooklyn on this half-day food and culture tour, where you’ll delve into the hippest borough of New York City. Led by a knowledgeable guide, embark on a culinary journey that spans traditional ethnic eateries to trendy culinary hotspots that set national dining trends. Begin in the Polish enclave of Greenpoint, savoring kielbasa and pierogis while immersing yourself in the local culture. Indulge your sweet tooth in DUMBO, known for its picturesque views and delightful treats. Then, experience farm-to-fork freshness in Williamsburg, a hub of creativity and innovation. Vegetarian options are available to accommodate all dietary preferences. Travel seamlessly between neighborhoods by air-conditioned coach from a convenient meet-up point in the West Village, with luggage storage included for added convenience. This tour offers a fantastic value with food tastings, guided exploration, and panoramic views of the NYC skyline, making it a top choice for travelers seeking to taste their way through Brooklyn while soaking up its rich culture and history.

Marlow & Sons, Brooklyn

The front room of Marlow & Sons has more of a café/store feel – a casual space for coffee, biscuit sandwiches and conversation. In the back, a low-lit dining room serves reliably delicious meals that begin with briny oysters and orange wine and invariably involve the restaurant’s signature brick chicken – a chicken cooked under the weight of a brick.

Best Pizza

In New York, you don’t have to go far to find a slice shop, but quality ones like Best Pizza are more difficult to come by. Owner Frank Pinello combines influences from his Sicilian heritage and upbringing in Bensonhurst (a Brooklyn neighborhood with a large Italian-American population) to create flavorful pizzas, cooked in a 100-year-old wood-burning oven until the base crisps up.

Cafe Mogador

Cafe Mogador has been serving award-winning Moroccan cuisine to patrons since the early ’80s and offers one of the more interesting brunches in the city (when you’re bored of avo toast, try eggs with hummus, tabouli, arabic salad and zahatar pita). The tagines – lamb or chicken stewed with apricots, prunes, chickpeas, raisins, preserved lemon, olives and spicy green herbs – are particularly memorable.

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