Home to hip families, charming brownstones, clean, tree-lined streets, and friendly neighbors, Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood is quickly becoming a hot spot for boutiques, bars, and restaurants. From five stars to fresh donuts, here’s a list of the 10 best restaurants in Clinton Hill.
Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
One of Clinton Hill’s most popular corner delights, Alice’s Arbor delivers seasonal American fare with a emphasis on local, farm-to-table ingredients. Alice’s Arbor offers meals for every part of your day, with a to-go market in the process of being built next door for those that wish to cook at home. Dinner favorites include the oysters (when they’re available), the charcuterie plate, and the mac and cheese. Alternatively, the prix fixe option comes highly recommended if it’s available (Sunday and Monday nights, and Saturday and Sunday brunch), as the portions are large, and the drink pairings are ideal. This restaurant is also a popular brunch spot for locals, so make a reservation for dinner or just stop by for a delicious meal.
Lunitas is one of those little neighborhood gems that’s always packed no matter what. With a small boutique full of artisanal children’s items such as clothing and toys, Lunitas largely caters to families, but it’s also great for small groups of friends, a coffee date, and students on the go. Its quaint, cozy setting offers a limited but delightful selection of light bites from empanadas to sandwiches and baked goods, as well as selection of caffeinated beverages.
Tilda All Day is the perfect stop for students and freelancers who sidestep the typical ‘9 to 5’ office day. Tilda All Day offers delicious bites, from vegan baked goods to classic egg sandwiches, alongside a selection of coffees and teas. Filled with light, the space is charming and comfortable and perfect for lunch or a coffee stop.
It’s no surprise that a relaxed, beer hall-style space with great food is a hit in Brooklyn. Mekelburg’s is acclaimed for craft beer selection first, Italian-inspired snacks and bites second. The menu isn’t entirely conscious of your waistline, but that aside, this is a great spot for lunch or a weekend meal with a group of friends. Mekelburg’s also has a mini-market with snacks and niche groceries that pair well with some of the craft beer options from the menu.
Stumble upon The Finch, and it’ll likely be your new favorite restaurant. An upscale restaurant serving seasonal American Nouveau dishes like squid ink spaghetti, The Finch was recently awarded a highly coveted Michelin star. The wine menu is highly selective, but beers and cocktails are in abundance. The space is quaint, with backyard seating in the warmer months, and it goes without saying that this is the Clinton Hill go-to for special dates and celebrations.
Featuring twists on classic soul food, Marietta is the go-to place for quality southern food in Clinton Hill. Marietta offers delicious fried Memphis chicken, liver mousse that melts in your mouth and melts your heart, fried green tomatoes, and surf and turf. To add to the Americana experience, Marietta also plays old Westerns in the background. It’s a great spot for brunch on the weekends, so plan ahead and make a reservation, or come early and prepare to wait in line. We promise it’s worth it.
Clinton Hill staple ICI Restaurant serves French/New American meals guaranteed to make your mouth water. The farm-to-table selections and cozy aesthetic will keep you coming back for more. In addition, the space welcomes large parties, private events, and even weddings. Dubbed ‘the French country kitchen,’ some of its best plates include apple cider panna cotta, eggs and grits, chicken pot pies, and the lamb shank. Prices are in the mid-range, so you’re free to splurge if you’re okay with loosening your belt buckle.
Locanda Vini e Olii is nestled in a century-old corner drugstore amid the cozy old-world brownstones. This Northern Italian, Michelin-star restaurant is a fantastic spot for a late lunch or dinner. Try the house-made pasta, chicken liver, totelli, or the rabbit ragu. If you are thirsty, there are too many Negroni options to count. If you’re in Clinton Hill, craving incredible Italian food, and have a little cash to spend, this place is a must.
One of the hottest dining spots in Clinton Hill, SISTERS is an all-American restaurant with a chic, wooden interior, and life-giving skylights to keep you visually occupied until your food arrives. When it does arrive, it packs a punch. Try the huevos Benedict or the chicken and waffles for brunch, and opt for the burger and fries, the veggie burger, or the grilled cheese for dinner. Aside from being delicious, the food is also Instagram-worthy. SISTERS is also a great spot for a late-night drink and a dance as it’s open late and fully equipped with DJs and an extraordinary cocktail selection.
A relative newcomer to the Clinton Hill restaurant community, Hill Café has been dubbed ‘the petite café.’ By night, the space transforms from café casual to candlelit, ideal for dinner with a date or a friend. The menu offers a range of vegetarian selections, meats, and seafood options. The space is cozy but not as small as it looks. There’s a dining room in the back that accommodates additional guests. Come for dinner, breakfast, or brunch, but note that the brunch menu isn’t full, so don’t come too hungry before 5pm.