A Brooklyn family friendly neighborhood, Carroll Gardens sits right next to Cobble Hill, Red Hook, and Gowanus. Along with the quaint central park and eye catching brownstones, Carroll Gardens is the perfect place to stop for lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch. As the name of the neighborhood suggests, many of these restaurants have backyard gardens to make you feel right at home. Here are our 10 favorite spots in the area.
La Cigogne is the perfect spot to escape to the French province of Alsace. They serve traditional Alsatian cuisine, a mix of French and German influences. Try their special flammeküeche, thin bread dough baked in flames with a variety of toppings, and spätzles, traditional egg noodles, with beef stew, cream sauce, or salmon. They also offer brunch with standard dishes like eggs Benedict and special dishes like the Alsatian omelette with bacon crème fraîche. Cuddle up next to the fireplace in the back, or sit at the bar and pick from their selection of Alsatian beers and wines.
For those looking for authentic South American food, El Mate is the ideal place to visit in Carroll Gardens. Their dishes combine the best of Brazilian and Argentinian cuisine. Meat lovers will want to try one of their many cuts of beef, served with a salad, fries, signature potato salad, or rice and black beans. Also try their empanadas or a vegetarian option like kale salad, sweet potato fries, or canelones (crepes). For drinks, try one of their fine wines from South America.
For a date in Carroll Gardens, Bergen Hill is a great option. All of their dishes are visually impressive but decently priced. Seafood dishes make up most of their menu, but they have other options as well, such as loaded open toast sandwiches and kale salad. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the octopus with onion purée and broccolini or their signature calamari. The atmosphere is romantic and inviting, and they also have outdoor seating in the front. Bergen Hill offers a variety of specialty cocktails that customers rave about along with a selection of wine and beer.
Ideal for weekend brunch, Buttermilk Channel’s menu is filled with mouthwatering dishes like short rib hash, fried pork chop and cheddar waffles, and, of course, signature buttermilk pancakes. For dinner, Buttermilk Channel offers two courses, starting with appetizers like maque choux or ribs. The second course includes an array of entrées with the buttermilk fried chicken and waffles being a customer favorite. Be sure to check out their dessert menu for classic desserts like the chocolate icebox cake. Buttermilk Channel has a spacious, low-lit dining room and outdoor seating as well.
Neighborhood favorite Frankies 457 offers a spread of Italian-American food. Their menu is filled with classic Italian dishes and scrumptious house made pasta. The cavatelli with sausage and brown sage butter is a customer favorite. Also try the gnocchi marinara and fresh ricotta. Their large backyard welcomes guests and feels like a home. Frankies 457 is a great spot for a date, but they also can accommodate large groups if you’re looking for a place to have a family outing.
Featured on Bobby Flay’s Top 10 Restaurants, Brooklyn Farmacy specializes in made-to-order sodas, scrumptious ice cream sundaes, and fresh, locally sourced baked goods. Set inside an old apothecary, Brooklyn Farmacy’s atmosphere has vintage charm without feeling stuffy. Try their classic egg creams — whole milk, sparkling water, and chocolate syrup — for a taste of old New York. If you’re looking for a dessert spot for a date, the Farmacy’s sundaes are perfect for sharing. For a sweet and salty combo, try the Mr. Potato Head, which combines vanilla ice cream, peanut butter, potato chips, and a drizzle of warm caramel.
Aperture, another Italian restaurant, serves a unique brick oven pizza — the upside-down pizza comes with the sauce on top of the cheese — and a variety of seafood. Seafood dishes range from calamari to scungilli to mussels, all fresh and served with a biscuit and sauce. For brunch, Aperture offers 90-minute bottomless drinks for just $15, including all the standard brunch cocktails. The owners are very personable, and the service is excellent. They have an enclosed dining room in the back, perfect for dining in summer, winter, or any time in between.
Mama Maria’s will make you feel right at home in Carroll Gardens. This local favorite serves simple dishes with quality ingredients. Start with an antipasti dish like prosciutto and cantaloupe, and finish with a hearty pasta dish or a personal pizza. Mama Maria’s has a friendly wait staff and good service. With brick walls and strings of twinkling light bulbs hanging in the main dining room, Mama Maria’s eclectic and classic décor combines perfectly.
La Slowteria serves fresh Mexican food with modern twists. This colorful and quirky spot is great for both lunch and dinner. You will definitely want to sit in the backyard, where they have picnic-style dining and shelves lined with Mexican candles and multicolored milk crates. They have a unique beverage menu, including their house lemonade and Orangina combination. Be sure to check out their events — La Slowteria sometimes does film screenings with a projector in the backyard.
One of the more upscale restaurants in Carroll Gardens, Dover is the perfect place to settle down and enjoy a luxurious meal. The menu offers a selection of appetizers and main courses that deliver on presentation and flavor. Start with a sampling of seafood, from broiled oysters to crab cocktail, and savor one of their delectable entrées, like the duck breast with grilled peach or the pork chop with heirloom beans.