Great restaurants are not new to Greenpoint, but there have never been more of them than there are now. Which means that if you’re not already spending time in the neighborhood, you’re officially missing out. (Unlike all the tourists from France and Japan and Los Angeles.)
This is not a guide to every single place we like - it’s a guide to the ones we like best. Here are our 20 favorite restaurants in Greenpoint.
If you are reading this and you still haven’t been to Di An Di, we hope you’re having a nice day, and we also hope you stop reading this and go to Di An Di. This Vietnamese restaurant is incredible. We’d suggest you bring friends to tackle as much of the menu as you can, but we can also speak from experience when we tell you a bowl of their brisket pho at the bar is an excellent solo dining choice.
From the outside, this little spot on a quiet corner doesn’t do anything to grab your attention. But once you sit down and start eating, you’ll want to run around telling strangers about it. The food is simple, but incredibly well-executed - like the caesar salad, steak tartare, straciatella cheese with preserved lemon and grilled bread, and a grilled pork shoulder served with lentils that will make you want to run for President of the Lentil Fan Club. You should come here for your next date night - but you should also come back for brunch. We’ve never had a better pancake.
Frankel’s hasn’t been around for too long, but it feels like it’s been in Greenpoint forever. This new-school take on an old-school Jewish deli has constant crowds of people waiting for lox, pastrami, and brisket - but the line moves fast, the food comes out quick, and everyone working here is genuinely friendly. Our favorite orders are the combo #1 (lox, scallion cream cheese, and cucumbers) and the pastrami, egg, & cheese - but you truly can’t go wrong. If there isn’t a seat available once your order is called, take your food to McCarren Park for the perfect picnic.
Paulie Gee’s is one of our city’s greatest pizza institutions. If you can get a table (expect hours-long waits during peak times), you will be rewarded not only with unbelievably good pies, but also with a candelit pizza cavern in which to enjoy them - and most likely a visit from Paulie himself. Do not under any circumstances miss the Hell Boy.
The next time you’re planning a group dinner and someone suggests you go “somewhere fun!!”, remember Oxomoco. This white-walled, high-ceilinged, plant-covered Mexican restaurant has three elements that help fulfill that requirement: big round booths, an excellent cocktail list, and frozen margaritas the size of a child’s head. The menu is big, with options ranging from ceviches to tacos to a giant grilled ribeye - but don’t miss the corn tlayuda. It tastes like an open-faced popcorn quesadilla, and we keep coming back here just so we can eat it.
Over the past few years, Greenpoint has become a neighborhood where you can expect hour-long waits at tons of spots people have traveled across the city to try. Esme is our favorite place to avoid (most of) them. This place is filled with neighborhood people who come for the excellent blueberry pancakes at brunch, the rotating seasonal menu at dinner, and the patio whenever the weather’s cooperating. Esme’s burger is good, but if there’s a pasta on the menu, it’ll probably be better.
Achilles Heel feels a bit like the members-only Greenpoint Club. Come here pretty much any time it’s open and you’ll find cool neighborhood people hanging by the fireplace, drinking well-made cocktails and interesting wines. Achilles is from the same team behind Diner, Marlow & Sons, and Reynard - so you can expect the same type of elevated, excellent food, even though this place is the most low-key of the bunch. The menu is small but rotates often, so head here for dinner if you feel like a bit of an adventure, or just come for drinks and oysters before your meal elsewhere.
Sauvage looks like one of those classic Parisian bistros with the wicker chairs out front. Except, instead of looking out onto a charming Parisian Rue de something-or-other, Sauvage looks out onto Bedford Ave and McCarren Park. Not quite as charming, but still. It’s owned by the Maison Premiere people, and in addition to oysters and cocktails, they also serve breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner, with food that’s somewhere in between French and American.
The original Paulie Gee’s is a big, wood-covered space that’s home to some of the greatest Neapolitan pizza in the city. Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop, located a couple blocks away, is a totally different story. The pizza itself is much more traditional New York-style, and the space is retro, with bright orange booths, tiled floors, a vintage Nintendo set, and sports on TV. Is the pizza at the original Paulie Gee’s better? Yes. But this is the best slice in the neighborhood, and it’s also a great place to hang out for a while (thanks to the beer bar in the back of the space).
Do you love Cheers? Have you never actually seen Cheers, but think you like the idea of it? Go to Bernie’s. It’s Greenpoint’s very own place where, even if the waiters don’t know your name, they probably will by the end of your meal. Bernie’s feels like it was lifted from a different time, when a “cocktail list” wasn’t a thing (you should order a martini here, but you won’t see it on the menu), when red vinyl booths weren’t a novelty, and when a wedge salad covered in blue cheese and bacon counted toward your day’s vegetable requirement. Come here when you need moral support in the form of ribs or a burger or mozzarella sticks, washed down with a brownie sundae.
We wish there were more delis like Acapulco Deli. The tacos and nachos at this extremely casual Mexican spot are excellent, and the huevos rancheros at breakfast (only available until 11am) are a fantastic way to start any day.
The “Le” here is misleading. This is an Italian restaurant - and a very good one at that. The focus here is on housemade pasta, plus more things everyone wants to eat, like burrata and meatballs and tiramisu. There’s a round bar in the front of the space, plus a back patio and occasional live music - all adding up to a place that will make most people happy.
Greenpoint is full of Polish markets where you can pick up kielbasa to make at home, but Karczma is our favorite place in the neighborhood to eat kielbasa someone else made for us. Their pierogies are the best in Greenpoint, and the kitschy space (decorated like a barn) is a great place to gather a group of friends for an affordable feast. Especially an affordable feast in the dead of winter. Ordering a “Hunter’s Stew” just feels right when you’ve survived another Tuesday in February.
21 Greenpoint has two major claims to fame. One, it’s across the street from Paulie Gee’s. Two, the owner’s father is Bill Murray (he bartended there for a night when it opened). But this restaurant is worth a visit for reasons beyond being your backup plan when Paulie Gee’s is a two-hour wait, or a stop on your quest to meet Bill Murray. The space feels a bit like a neighborhood hideout, and the menu covers a lot of ground - you can have pizza and/or a burger, or mussels and steak frites. We like hanging at the bar here.
Glasserie sits at the very top of the borough (go any farther north and you’re in Queens), serving upscale Mediterranean food in attractive industrial space. You could now describe about 80% of restaurants in Brooklyn that way - but Glasserie has been a staple of the neighborhood for a long time. We prefer brunch to dinner here, because they serve a mezze feast for $20/person.
When you want a nice piece of fish, you go to Greenpoint Fish & Lobster. Either pick up some sea meat at the fish counter to cook at home, or sit down at a high-top or the bar and get something from the restaurant’s menu - the fish tacos, rice bowl, and lobster roll are all great. Bring a friend and eat at a high-top table or come by yourself for a solo meal at the bar.
This place looks like an incredibly stylish Swedish sauna, and also happens to be the best beer bar in Brooklyn. People make pilgrimages for it, but even if you’re not a beer person, you’ll be happy to spend some time here - especially because the food is good, too. The menu ranges from kanpachi crudo to gnocchi to a fried chicken sandwich, but the best thing here is probably the hot dog.