With a growing population and sweeping changes to the food landscape, Brooklyn’s Crown Heights is, now more than ever, becoming a must-stop in New York City. These top restaurants should be added to your rotation.
Diner, American, $$$
Named after the famous soul singer Curtis Mayfield, the Mayfield brings New American cuisine with a down-home twist to Crown Heights. With a tinted atmosphere that evokes an almost haunted-house atmosphere, Mayfield is one of the most popular restaurants in the area. It’s known for its consistency of flavor and menu offerings such as cornmeal fried oysters, boar belly, spoon bread, and buttermilk fried quail. No diner will go unsatisfied.
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
A staple of any neighborhood is a great place to get a slice (or whole pie) of pizza. At Barboncino, opened in 2011, the pizza goes without a competitor in Crown Heights. With a wait on Friday and Saturday nights for a prized table, this intimate setting serves pizza straight out of the Neapolitan, tiled-brick oven. Barboncino has more than 10 distinct kinds of pizza, from classics to new creations, using locally sourced ingredients.
Restaurant, Cajun, $$$
Catfish is a Creole-inspired restaurant in an area that does not typically see New Orleans-inspired flavors. Opened in 2013 by three partners, it was their intention to bring authentic Cajun cuisine to Brooklyn. Items on the menu include shrimp ‘n grits, crawfish macaroni and cheese, filé gumbo, and two kinds of po’ boy sandwiches. Guests have a great selection of items, all of which are affordable and well portioned. A treat for those dining, the menu has a completely New Orleans-inspired cocktail menu. When weather allows, Catfish has a lovely backyard patio and garden for patrons to enjoy.
Bistro, Diner, Restaurant, Caribbean, $$$
If you are not looking for Puerto Viejo, there is a good chance you will not find it. Located off the main roads in Crown Heights, this corner restaurant may be small in size, but it is large in Dominican flavor. With affordable prices and desire for sustainability (materials used in the restaurant are recycled), this restaurant is a laid-back, diner-friendly location. The menu includes empanadas, mofongo, oxtails, yellow rice and beans, and a strong sangria.
Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
Opened in 2007, Chavela’s has been Crown Height’s absolute, must-eat-at Mexican restaurant. The chef behind this popular restaurant is Arturo Leonar, who was born and raised in Mexico City. When he came to New York City, he brought the bold flavors of the country with him. Classic Mexican dishes and flavors, including guacamole, tostados, ceviche and seven kinds of tacos, delight diners again and again. Save room for the churros.