Prospect Heights makes up the area south of Crown Heights and north of Flatbush. Look at a map. It’s almost a parallelogram filled with lots to eat, like soul food, sushi, Caribbean food, and more. Much more, actually. But if we listed every type of food you could find out there, it would be a long, boring list, and you’d resent us for making you read it. Read this guide instead. It has 25 places where you’ll like what you eat and have a good time.
The Nuaa Table is one of the city’s best new Thai restaurants, serving dishes like crunchy papaya salad, Jasmine tea-smoked ribs that any pitmaster would fall for, and a sour sausage and crunchy rice salad on the menu. These account for the most memorable things we’ve ever eaten on astroturf - the Thai spot has a bright green artificial turf patio with about five or so tables that work great for a small group dinner or a first date. Split a bunch of dishes to share and soak up the energy reverberating off Vanderbilt Avenue.
KIT is a mixed-used restaurant in the former space of Meme’s Diner that hosts a wide range of queer-run pop-ups every week. We first learned about it when we stopped by Dacha 46’s “Banya Brunch,” but each time we’ve doubled back there’s been something new to check out. And that’s exactly what makes this incubator for up-and-coming chefs and wine experts so special. From tender pork po’boys on a soft and chewy heroes from the HAGS team to a basket of fries and a glass of chilled Pinot Noir curated by Black Cat Wines, the lineup here never disappoints. So check out KIT’s Instagram for the latest on its month-long residency with Ha’s Đặc Biệt, and more of the exciting series you won’t want to miss.
There aren’t many places in NYC where you can find incredible New Orleans-style food like seafood étouffée or a perfectly crunchy po boy. But Lowerline is one, and Prospect Heights is extremely lucky to have it. We like to come here for dinner at the bar featuring oysters and a half shrimp po boy, or for a casual date night at one of their little marble tables. There are only about twelve seats inside, but the tightness only adds to the charm.
Walk inside this Jamaican place and you’ll see pans of undisclosed foods simmering behind the counter. We like to get jerk chicken or oxtails - whatever you get, it’ll be large, hot, and you’ll want to cuddle it on a winter’s night. The Islands works well for a quick takeout meal, but you can also hang out inside with your own wine or beer (it’s BYOB) and claim one of the tables. Be sure to order your own personal side of plantains.
Sofreh is one of the few Persian restaurants in Brooklyn, and it’s also one of our favorite places to have opened in the neighborhood within the last couple years. So, if you live nearby, consider yourself a lucky duck. Come here for smoky roasted eggplant with flesh that falls apart in the middle, a hulking lamb shank in a dill and dried lime broth, and saffron rice that goes well with everything else you’re eating. The minimalist space feels chic and comfortable simultaneously (an ideal balance in all facets of life), with tall, white brick walls and exposed ceiling beams. We typically reserve Sofreh for special date nights or a catch-up meal with a friend visiting from out of town, but you could happily have a solo dinner at the bar, too.
If you’re looking for a breakfast sandwich good enough to inspire a new poetry section in your diary, head to Ciao Gloria in Prospect Heights. Their PEC (prosciutto, egg, and cheese) comes on a brioche bread roll with provolone, greens, and a calabrese aioli, and it’s one of the reasons we get out of bed on Saturday mornings. They also have great pastries and toast options with things like ricotta and avocado on top. You can order at the counter to-go, but you might as well take a seat and look out of the big windows onto Vanderbilt ave.
If you want to metamorphosize from an average New Yorker to an average New Yorker who has tasted seared salmon that was flown in from Tokyo the night before and topped with fried onions, come to this little spot on Flatbush. The sushi omakase experience at Sushi Lin is incredible - and reasonably priced compared to other restaurants like it ($60 for 10 very special pieces). The whole experience feels like you’re in on a secret. Don’t leave without trying the salmon nigiri topped with sauteed tomato, or the bluefin tuna with mushroom.
Oxalis looks like a casual neighborhood restaurant where you’d go for roast chicken and cold sauvignon blanc after a sh*tty day at work. But what you’ll actually get at this seasonal American spot in Prospect Heights is a nightly seven-course tasting menu with flavors that are like Rorschach tests for your mouth. From scallops that dissolve when you bite into them to chuck steak as tender as filet mignon, the tasting is always fantastic, and available for $105 per person in their dining room. If you’re looking for something a bit more casual (or for less money), Oxalis offers a la carte in their back courtyard that’s worth checking out for a spontaneous Friday dinner when it’s breezy outside.
Natural wine is not unlike abstract art. Everyone has an opinion on it, even if they have no idea what it is. But whether you have thoughts on how minimal-intervention winemaking fosters a true expression of terroir, or you have the urge to slap anyone who says the word terroir out loud, you’ll enjoy LaLou. The long bar and private backyard are places you’ll want to hang out for hours, which is exactly what you should do while ordering rounds of small plates and drinks with a date or friend. Treat this place more like a wine bar where you have some snacks than a spot for a full-on dinner, and you’ll have done LaLou right.
Maison Yaki is from the same people behind Olmsted, but it’s very much doing its own thing. This place is blends French and Japanese cooking techniques, nothing on the menu costs more than $10, and if you look up when you walk inside, you’ll see a bunch of mushrooms growing in a long, glass planter. It feels kind of like a vintage diner crossed with a wine bar, and the main thing to order here is yakitori. You can get everything from pork belly with dijonnaise to duck a l’orange and lobster meatball with sauce american - and you should absolutely order those last two things. Bring a friend for a relatively casual meal, and cover your table in delicious food impaled on sticks.
The Dominican food at El Gran Castillo de Jagua rivals what you’ll find in Washington Heights and Inwood, like pernil that’s been cooked in its own flavorful pork fat for days and juicy rotisserie chicken. Come here for dinner on a casual weeknight and watch whichever sport they’re playing on the TV, or for their special sancocho on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.
Two good rules to keep in mind when you’re in Prospect Heights: 1) first Saturdays are always free at the Brooklyn Museum and 2) you should eat in the twinkly-lit backyard at Look By Plant Love House whenever it’s warmer than 50 degrees. This Thai spot has one of the absolute best backyards in the neighborhood, and food that’s great for sharing with a bunch of people. Bring friends or a date, and make sure to get the pork and crab noodles and the giant papaya salad tray that comes with Isan sausage and chicken wings. A note: we sometimes have hit or miss dinners here. Keep at it. When the food is good, it’s great.
Leland Eating & Drinking House is the kind of place you should come with a big group of people who love seafood and sourdough. This Mediterranean spot sits on a quiet corner in the neighborhood serving everything from a whole fried fish and anchovy toast to pollack fritters and lemon-soaked mussels. It’s got two hand-painted outdoor structures that stand out like a gospel song on a Lil’ Kim album. And during weekend brunch, Leland serves a mind-blowing sourdough cinnamon bun that’s topped with orange zest to balance every sweet bite with just the right amount of citrus.
Every neighborhood needs a couple of places where you can take all of your first dates, pretend you’ve never been before, and act surprised by the secret patio with string lights and always-available tables. In Prospect Heights, one such destination is Ogliastro, a neighborhood pizza place with candlelit marble tables and a full bar that we wouldn’t mind going to once a week. We always order the classic margherita, but everything here is relatively reliable so go forth and explore.
Another bakery we love in the area. R&D Foods on Vanderbilt is somewhat of a jack of all trades for neighborhood people. In the morning they serve coffee and petite-but-powerful breakfast sandwiches featuring fried eggs and kale on homemade English muffins (we like the vegetarian option with avocado most). You can also pick up a quick salad for lunch, or delicious dried pastas and other speciality groceries to make for dinner at home. Use it often, especially for a casual meet-up with a friend or picnic provisions for Prospect Park.
This neighborhood Japanese spot has been around since the ’80s, and it seems like not much has changed since then. You can get a big bowl of udon or soba for $6, one of the walls is covered in decades worth of scribbles and paint, and the sushi chefs might occasionally bob their heads to R&B slow jams while compiling spicy tuna rolls. There’s never much of a wait despite the fact that it’s often busy, so take a seat at the triangular sushi bar, and enjoy the D’Angelo.
Tom’s is a decades-old breakfast/lunch spot known for its old-timey feel, friendly service, and exceptional pancake selection. Try the ones that look like flat cinnamon rolls. And don’t be afraid to have crab cakes for breakfast. Theirs are deep-fried, and they work wonders for anyone who drank themselves silly the previous night. There might be a wait at brunch, but they also might be handing out free coffee or fries or breakfast sausage to people waiting in line. There are worse ways to wait in line.
If you enjoy eating food, you should like this place. It’s global soul, and that means stuff from a variety of countries. Korean, Moroccan, French, Creole - they do a little of everything. Come down and eat a burger or some sake-glazed salmon. You’ll find a good neighborhood crowd here at dinner, and you might have to wait for table on weekends. If you want something filling and reasonably priced, it’s worth the wait.
Come on a Friday night, and this place will be packed. Mostly, you’ll see young people who enjoy raw fish but don’t yet have as much disposable income as their parents. It isn’t top-tier sushi, but it’s always a good place to keep in your back pocket. Especially because of the friendly service and the fact that nothing on the menu costs more than $20. Come with up to three friends and order some sake. Groups larger than that usually have to wait for a table.
People continue to travel across the city just to eat Olmsted’s carrot crepe or have a cocktail in their backyard, and we understand why. The back garden is happily overrun with kale and cabbage, Brooklyn celebrities (we saw Ilana Glazer not too long ago), and the occasional quail chirping in their little quail home. Head over for a date night, an extravagant brunch, or really any special occasion when you don’t want anything stuffy. We often find ourselves wanting to come here for brunch more so than dinner, but either work.
Mitchell’s does soul food like fried chicken, fried fish, and black-eyed peas. It’s perfect for when you want something quick and fried. Fried chicken is our go-to order here. Just be aware that this place is cash only, fairly small, and extremely casual.
Even after years of opening, Chuko remains the consistent place to get a big bowl of ramen in Prospect Heights. Start your meal with pork buns if you want a little something extra in addition to the quintessential pork and kimchi ramen (we always get this with an egg on top). It’s worth noting that the vegetarian ramen is considerably more flavorful than other vegetarian versions we’ve tried around NYC. Also: This place gets busy, and you’ll probably have to wait for a table, but if you don’t mind eating at a bar, you should get seated faster.
James is a semi-upscale neighborhood spot where you can get a good burger made with short rib on a soft sesame brioche bun. Think of this as a viable option for a date-night American bistro. They have straightforward options like roasted seasonal vegetables, cavatelli, and kale salad - and they do these things well in a cozy space. They also run a reliable brunch on weekends if you’re on the hunt for lemon ricotta pancakes.
Morgan’s BBQ sadly closed in 2021 due to a fire. Keep an eye out for their upcoming reopening.
Morgan’s Texas-style brisket, pulled pork, and sausage make it one of the best barbecue spots in the city. If you want a meal of smoked meat and gooey macaroni & cheese finished off with some pie, come here. In the summer months, bring a group after a day in Prospect Park and eat at the picnic tables on their front patio.
Lincoln Station is a fairly large coffee shop in Crown Heights where you can get breakfast, lunch, or a very casual (early) dinner - they’re open until 9pm. You can sit at a counter with a coffee and your laptop, or you can grab a table, drink a beer, and eat a plate of rotisserie chicken. Even though this isn’t technically Prospect Heights, it’s still worth knowing about if you live in the area.