Billed as Taiwanese-American, Win Son has been called one of the most thrilling meals of the moment in NYC. The food at Win Son is playful (sloppy bao with stew pork, chili and peanuts, anyone?) but it also packs a serious punch in terms of technique and homage to its Taiwanese roots. Though Win Son looks like any low-key neighborhood joint, the word's out that it's one of the best places to grub down, so reservations are recommended unless you arrive on the earlier end. In terms of a breeze on your face, there's outdoor seating when the weather cooperates, making it the perfect spot for a casual weekday dinner.
Recommended for Brooklyn's Best Restaurants because: It's unassuming, which makes it even more delightful when the food knocks your socks off.
Andrea's expert tip: Win Son's set up to do events with family-style menus, so consider it for any casual get-togethers.
This charmingly dark and just a little bit ruckus pizza joint in Greenpoint, Brooklyn is the perfect old-world-meets-new pie combination. The interior is built from salvaged materials with the help of Build It Green NYC, and a wood-burning oven adds to the cheery ambiance. Craft beers pair well with cheekily named pies (Red, White and Greenberg, or the Ricotta Be Kiddin' Me), and creative toppings like dried sour cherries, fennel sausage, lemon juice and Mike's Hot Honey. During dining, friendly mastermind-owner Paul Giannone - hint: that's Paulie Gee - works the dining room, meandering from table-to-table chatting up delighted guests and divulging secrets on the art of New York pizza.
Recommended for Brooklyn's Best Restaurants because: Paulie Gee takes pizza very seriously and it shows. These are some of the best slices you'll find in the country.
Andrea's expert tip: Try the Cherry Blossom (with prosciutto, dried Bing cherries and orange blossom honey) or the Rooftop Red (with marinated baby kale and Aleppo chili oil).
Ready for some romance? Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and straight into a dream called the River Cafe. From the sweeping skyline views to the delicious food, this is one spot that's earned its stripes over the years. Dinner is served as a fixed price affair for $145 or as the six-course chef's signature tasting menu for $175. While the menu is subject to changes, you can expect new American bites such as smoked salmon with sturgeon caviar, créme fraîche, pumpernickel, herb leaves, or the Colorado rack of lamb with Swiss chard cannelloni, Sicilian pistachio, arugula pesto, whipped ricotta.
Recommended for Brooklyn's Best Restaurants because: You come for the best skyline view at sunset and stay for the solid service and top notch food.
Maria's expert tip: You'll need to step up your dress game here. Jackets are required for gentlemen for dinner and anytime after 5 PM. Ties are preferred.
Claro is one of the hottest and most exciting restaurants to open in New York in recent memory, which makes it perfect for impressing that certain someone. In 2018, they were awarded a Michelin star for their take on Oaxacan cuisine mixed with a refinement that's all NYC. The corn for Claro's menu comes from farms that hand-pick the non-GMO heirloom varieties, and the restaurant makes everything by hand, including the masa, cheeses and moles. The meats (chorizo, beef cheek, heritage pork rib) and produce (dandelion, spring onion) are local and organic, and the mezcal list is one of the best in town.
Recommended for Brooklyn's Best Restaurants because: It's hyper-focused on a specific regional cuisine of Mexico and it executes everything flawlessly.
Andrea's expert tip: Ask the bartender for a brief history lesson on the magic of mezcal.
Kings Co Imperial is a small spot tucked onto a nondescript side street in Williamsburg but the kitchen is arguably pumping out some of the best Chinese food in the city. They're best known for the mock eel, a vegetarian marvel that's fashioned out of mushroom and doused in addicting soy. Don't stop there though. The tea smoked mu shu duck comes ready to wrap in a handmade pancake, the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of hot and sour soup, flecked with lily flower, shrimp, chicken, white pepper and red vinegar. You also shouldn't hesitate to order a round (or three) of cocktails - in true Brooklyn fashion, they're pulling negronis, mai-tais and a rye/green tea treat called The Powder Keg on tap.
Recommended for Brooklyn's Best Restaurants because: It could be the best new age Chinese coming out of New York at the moment.
Andrea's expert tip: Make a reservation on the weekends or you're likely not getting in.
From their onsite gardening internships to their podcasts recorded at the Heritage Radio Network, pizza doesn't get any cooler than at Roberta's. But lest that dissuade you from trekking out to Bushwick for a nibble, let us ease your fears: while this hipster haven continually makes headlines with head-turning stories like the time they unrolled a weed-tasting menu, their drug-free food more than lives up its own hype. Wood tables and outdoor seating lend an air of casualness to the atmosphere here, and their wood-burning oven is prominently displayed. As for the pizzas? Carlo Mirarchi's pies feature produce grown onsite and have cemented themselves as a must-eat on any New York pizza tour.
Recommended for Brooklyn's Best Restaurants because: Roberta's is the OG of the neighborhood and they're still turning out fantastic pies all these years later.
Maria's expert tip: Roberta's does not take reservations, so come with a patient appetite. Head through the dining rooms to where bearded bartenders pull draughts and pour excellent cocktails while you wait. And wait. And wait...
Sunday in Brooklyn is what you hope your future apartment looks like when you have enough cash to actually decorate it well. And the food at Sunday in Brooklyn is what you hope your future spouse will be able to whip up in the kitchen. All in all, it's a highly pleasurable experience that'll make you wonder if you should move to Brooklyn immediately. The menu rotates with the seasons, but expect dishes such as asparagus with soft boiled egg, ricotta salata, basil, and mint, or the striped bass with flowering broccoli in pil-pil sauce. If it's a warmer day, grab a sidewalk seat for prime people watching.
Recommended for Brooklyn's Best Restaurants because: It's a comfortable neighborhood spot with down-to-earth cooking that's simply divine.
Andrea's expert tip: Brunch here is fantastic, featuring classics with a spin, such as the malted pancakes with hazelnut maple praline and brown butter.
Ever since Missy Robbins opened, restaurant reviewers have been raving that finally, she's finally cooking pasta again. Born into a family of hosts, travelers and cooks, Missy Robbins brings the best of Italy to Williamsburg where wood-fired seafood, hand-crafted pasta, classic Italian cocktails and warm hospitality come together to create a casual dining experience. Robbins says she found her Italian soul in her five years as executive chef at Spiaggia in Chicago and now, she's bringing her expertise to Brooklyn. While focusing her skills on fine dining Italian, she found her true passion for cooking a deeper understanding of regional Italian cooking. If you come here and don't get the pasta, you're doing it all wrong.
Recommended for Brooklyn's Best Restaurants because: There isn't a better place to eat pasta in Brooklyn - and maybe in all of New York.
Maria's expert tip: Don't miss Lilia's cacio pepe, a twist on the pasta that takes the cheesy goodness, rolls it into dough balls and fries it for a mouthwatering appetizer.
Is it touristy? Yes. Old school? Absolutely. But sometimes, things are popular for a reason. For over 125 years, Peter Luger has been serving up mammoth porterhouses and fried German potatoes on a nondescript corner in Williamsburg. The two-story structure has seen a lot of changes outside its doors but stepping inside, you'd never know it. The hyper-masculine interior and no-nonsense wait staff give the place an old-fashioned vibe, and the epic steaks keep customers coming back for more. Luger's has since opened a second location in Great Neck, Long Island, but come to the Brooklyn original for the full, meaty Monty.
Recommended for Brooklyn's Best Restaurants because: Voted NYC's No. 1 steakhouse for 30+ years in a row, this circa-1887 Williamsburg establishment is a time-honored tradition for locals and visitors.
Emily's expert tip: Don't bother to ask for a menu; only tourists do that. We recommend an order of the sliced tomatoes with house-made steak sauce, a slice of the popular thick-cut bacon, creamed spinach and a two-person porterhouse cooked no more than medium rare.
Located in an 1860's restored warehouse building at the edge of the Williamsburg Bridge, Aska is a modern Brooklyn restaurant run by Michelin-starred Swedish chef Fredrik Berselius. Take a culinary journey of Scandinavian flavors in a procession of specially sourced ingredients from the urban farm down the street to local producers across the Northeast. In its new spacious, yet intimate dining room, Aska offers 12-course dinners for $265 a person with the option to add beverage pairings. Looking for something more low-key? Under an open Brooklyn sky, the Courtyard Garden is where the neighborhood gathers for wine, beer, cocktails and a menu of small plates.
Recommended for Brooklyn's Best Restaurants because: With two Michelin stars under its belt, Aska sets the bar high for Brooklyn dining.
Maria's expert tip: A non-tipping restaurant, prices include service; Aska requires advance reservations, so plan your culinary journey in advance.