Brooklyn and Queens Offer Cultural Cuisines and Hopping Scenes


When it comes to dining in New York City, Manhattan isn’t the only borough with a marvelous mix of delectable dishes.

Brooklyn and Queens also offer culinary plates that are as varied and sumptuous as are the world’s most extraordinary cuisines. Whether you’re in the mood for fine dining, a trend-topping restaurant or an impromptu stop at an ethnic eatery, these boroughs have it all.

The first stop is Brooklyn, where food fanatics will be sure to return again and again.

In Williamsburg, Oleanders at160 North 12th Street is headed by Joe Carroll and Francesco Panella, where a retro menu features dishes like clams casino and a Waldorf salad, along with past-perfect drinks like grasshoppers and Harvey Wallbangers. Head down to the neighborhood’s south side for The Four Horsemen at 295 Grand Street, the place to be when it comes to wine bars. With a winning wine list, tasty small-plate menu and the prestige of James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem in the mix, the place promises good times for all.

Nearby, in East Williamsburg, Kings County Imperial at 20 Skillman Avenue has earned starred reviews for its Chinese cuisine, with named favorites including mock eel and yeungshau egg fried rice. Among the other delights are radish cakes with sausage, marinated duck and garlic chicken. Another neighborhood favorite is Moku Moku at 43 Bogart Street. Now bigger than ever with an expanded space, more diners can enjoy the restaurant’s izakaya Japanese dishes, like skewered selections, salads, ramen and grilled foods.

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A bit further east in Bushwick, cultural cuisines include Japanese fare at Okiway, 1006 Flushing Avenue, for specialty meat-and-vegetable-filled savory pancakes, plus menu items like tempura, gyoza and clams steeped in sake broth. Visit El Cortez at 17 Ingraham Street for Mexican food thanks to the joint efforts of restaurant notables Stephen Tanner, Chris Young, Dennis Spina and Yvon de Tassigny. Expect Mission-style burritos and cheeseburgers along with taco salads and frozen, tiki-type drinks. Faro, at 436 Jefferson Street, serves rustic Italian dishes made from fresh pastas with locally sourced ingredients. Among the offerings by Chef Kevin Adey are spaghetti alla chitarra with little neck clams, white wine and Calabrian chili, along with homemade bread and baked dishes from the restaurant’s wood-fired oven.

Over in Bedford, Willow at 506 Franklin Avenue shares its chef, John Poiarkoff, with The Pines restaurant in Gowanus. Look for farm-to-table fare such as potato pierogi with oxtail and onions, and boar belly with asparagus. Local beer, natural wines and cocktails also are served.

Crown Heights is the home of newcomer The Food Sermon at 355 Rogers Avenue. While less than a year old, this Caribbean eatery already is earning top reviews. The affordably priced menu’s tasty dishes include mini rotis and curry goat, along with vegetarian meals and personalized Island Bowls.

Just to the west in Prospect Heights is Rose’s at 295 Flatbush Avenue, the new iteration of Marco’s trattoria. Highlights on this tavern’s menu are cheese toast, fried olives, spit pork, and a bodacious burger, along with beer, wine and cocktails. Foodies, take note – the kitchen is open Wednesdays through Sundays, only.

In Boerum Hill Grand Army at 336 State Street is the latest eatery from local restaurateurs Noah Bernamoff, Julian Brizzi and Damon Boelte. Come for cocktails, a raw bar and seafood dishes. And to the far west in Red Hook, Chiang Mai Restaurant has taken up residence at Home/Made, 293 Van Brunt Street, where dishes from Northern Thailand star, such as sausage plates, kicked-up soups and papaya salads.

Queens also counts when it comes to delicious dining.

New in Astoria is Burnside Biscuits at 3207 30th Avenue, courtesy of the crew from Bareburger. Munch on fried chicken and biscuits, along with wood-fired veggie sides cooked in the place’s wood-fired oven, and watch for a second location, rumored to be in the offing. Not far is Mamu Thai Noodle at 36-02 36th Avenue, which has gone from its food truck to a restaurant where choices include an eleven-course Thai tasting selection, noodle and rice dishes, plus soups and salads. Lunch special, Moo Yang features Thai barbecued pork or chicken served with sticky rice. Tucked into 34-21 34th Avenue is Mar’s, a pub-plus that offers dishes like grilled Portuguese octopus, steak tartare and spicy gazpacho with heirloom tomatoes.

In Hunters Point Station LIC at 10-37 Jackson Avenue, which has an International variety of appetizers, including cubano mac n’ cheese, bulgogi beef skewers, and polenta with mushrooms and cheese. A handful of Bloody Mary recipes round out the brunch menu, which also features sweet dishes like crème brulee French toast and savory smoked salmon hash. Remember, too, to stop by Mu Ramen at 1209 Jackson Avenue for a selection of ramen dishes offered with toppings like roasted corn, seasoned bamboo, pork jowl and egg. The menu also includes such fancy fare as foie and brioche stuffed fried chicken wings.

Over in Sunnyside is I Love Paraguay at 43-16 Greenpoint Avenue, which has expanded beyond its bakery beginnings into a casual restaurant where soccer fans can enjoy televised games at the bar. Traditional Paraguay dishes are on the menu plus pastas, sandwiches, empanadas, hot dishes, salads and daily soups.

Woodside’s stand-out, Cumbre at 67-03 Woodside Avenue, is one of NYC’s select few Bolivian restaurants. Traditional dishes are offered, such as stuffed sandwiches, empanadas and savory pies. Among the house specialties is thimpu, boiled lamb chops with onion sauce and potatoes, rice and chuno. Just a few streets over is Papa’s Kitchen at 65-40 Woodside Avenue. Known for its Filipino food and the dining room’s free karaoke, this place offers roasted pork shank, fish soup and chicken adobo, as well as the restaurant’s variety of vegetable dishes.

Venture into Jackson Heights for the Sake Bar by Zabb at 7128 Roosevelt Avenue has been opened by Thai chef Palm Tangjantuk, who’s serving up izakaya dishes featuring – what else – sushi and sake.

Don’t forget Flushing, where Gui Lin Mi Fen at 135-25 40th Road offers a menu with noodles galore paired with meat, vegetables and broth. The restaurant also serves dishes of skewered foods, vegetables and chicken. And at Iki, 33-42 39th Avenue, modern Japanese cuisine is offered as (relatively) affordable omakase meals consisting of 18 to 20 courses for $100 per person, along with a la carte selections, rice and noodle dishes, along with sushi bar delights like monkfish liver with scallion ponzu sauce.

In South Richmond Hill, get your fix of food from Trinidad at Trini Gyul, 112-16 Liberty Avenue, where diners can indulge in fried swordfish sandwiches and the steam table’s plantains, callaloo greens, and shredded chicken, peas and rice dish made with coconut milk. Come late for drinks and daring dishes like stewed tripe and gizzards.
Happy dining!

Faith Hope Consolo, Chairman of Douglas Elliman’s Retail Group, writes the "Faithful Food" column for Total Food Service. Ms. Consolo is a leading retail broker and advisor who covers the national market. She is a specialist ranging from fine restaurants to fashionable fast foods. "To find the best retail space, You Need Faith." Email her at