For two centuries, Grand Street in Williamsburg has been the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare, connecting Brooklyn to its sister borough, Queens. Over the years, this stretch of pavement has issued quite the siren song, calling hungry travelers, peckish fashionistas, and discerning locals to its brownstones and brick walk-ups. Restaurants on Grand Street repeatedly appear on Brooklyn’s must-eat lists, so we’re cutting to the chase—a slow chase in a straight line. Meander with us through Grand Street’s restaurants, cafes, and drink venues, and feel free to stop and stuff your face at any point along the way. Here’s our list of the hottest restaurants you must try during your time in Williamsburg.
Start the morning just a couple blocks from the East River at Aurora, an Italian-inspired restaurant with garden views. Order sausages made from scratch or try the vegetarian-friendly Frittata del Giorno. Prepare to fall in love with Italian food all over again.
For a French twist, head east to Le Barricou and treat yourself to a toasty croque madame and hand-cut fries. Yes, it’s totally acceptable to eat fries before noon.
Bread Brothers Bagel Café
Grab a quick bagel and fruit juice at Bread Brothers Bagel Café at Grand and Bushwick Avenue, which boasts an array of tasty spreads you can order by the half-pound, like bacon/scallion spread and lox in cream cheese. Um, we’ll take five tubs.
If a chill hipster vibe is more your scene and you’re up for tossing back raw oysters on the half-shell and noshing on French dip sandwiches, try Walter Foods at Roebling Street. Their new American eats are downright pretty and, we promise, no Mason jar water glasses in sight.
Grand Street Pizza
Grand Street is known for its vintage shops and up-and-coming designer boutiques. After a little window shopping, you’ll be ready to tackle the neighborhood’s favorite dish—meatball pizza—at Grand Street Pizza.
Caracas Arepa Bar
On the hunt for authentic Venezuelan delights? Pick up an arepa or three at Caracas Arepa Bar. What’s not to love about hot stuffed corn buns? You can order a vegetarian version of many of the traditional meat sandwiches with baked tofu instead.
To keep dinner light without skimping on flavor, dip your spoon into a bowl of soup at Samurai Mama near Driggs Avenue. Enjoy classic Japanese udon noodles swimming in a simple broth or dress it up with delicious accoutrements, such as tempura shrimp and pickled plums.
Take your mouth on a North African holiday at La Goulette, a Tunisian café that offers pita sandwiches brimming with lamb sausage merguez, falafel, and roasted veggies.
Save room for the loroco y queso pupusas at Bahía near Manhattan Avenue. Pupusas are the Salvadorian contribution to the world of hand-held dinners and the chefs at Bahía are famous for their take on this traditional dish, so please, step away from the Hot Pocket®.
As evening falls, be sure to stop for some palate cleansers. And by “palate cleansers” we mean drinks. For the posh java and tea-lovers among us, Café Devocion is a must-sip. You’ll find a new favorite blend, even if that means tasting all 17 coffee varieties offered at their location by Wythe Avenue.
Whiskey connoisseurs, you’ll feel right at home staring at the 400 bottles of fine whiskey behind the counter of local favorite Noorman’s Kil.
St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club
If you’re feeling fancy and a little sassy, run your finger around the rim of a specialty cocktail at popular St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club. Cheers, indeed.
Dokebi Bar & Grill
If you want to look like a Brooklynite, walk around in your dad’s leather jacket, talking about your favorite Korean barbecue joint. Dokebi Bar & Grill has become a household name, serving up steaming bibimbap in a hot stone bowl. Their spicy kimchee rice will wake you from your food coma in time to hit the local bar scene for some cold brews.
Looking for a bar that keeps it simple and pours strong? Lady Jay’s is your girl. This unassuming hot spot is a mouthful of local flavor. It’s a dive bar, sure, but if you want to truly taste Brooklyn, slip into a booth with exposed brick walls and old hardwood floors.
They say Brooklyn is the new Manhattan. We say Brooklyn is the new Brooklyn. Grand Street, first established in the 19th century, has evolved into a well-curated smorgasbord of international eats and craft drinks. So don’t pass up the opportunity to taste seasoned standbys and satisfy your most contemporary culinary cravings, all on one street.