Everyone needs to eat. Brooklyn is lucky to have what seems like infinite options—you could get lost in the vast and varied dining scene. Every year, new restaurants crop up all over the borough, but not all of them are worth a visit. This is our list of the 10 that stand out from all the rest, the ones you need to visit as soon as possible. Everyone needs to eat, but not everyone gets to experience food at this level. Treat yourself.
10. Arthur on Smith
When Battersby is booked for the night, Arthur is your next best option. The log cabin elegance, delicate homemade pastas and popcorn-topped butterscotch budino make this Smith Street's best new date spot (that doesn't require a ridiculous wait for a table).
9. Maimonide of Brooklyn
For all our vegan brothers and sisters, MOB can't be beat. In a big airy room with a coffee shop vibe, friendly staffers serve warm, chewy, fresh-baked flatbreads that are topped with vegetables, fresh herbs and savory house-made sauces.
The Calyer crew deals out pitch-perfect cocktails and tasty small plates in a room that feels like the belly of an old-timey boat.
7. Gwynnett Street
Home of the whiskey bread that makes us weak in the knees, this spot promises a pitch-perfect duck breast, absolutely cuckoo desserts (i.e. chocolate with "rose hips and bulls blood") and some truly inspired vegetarian fare, too.
One bite of a juicy, pretzel-wrapped, butter-drizzled pork dumpling and Asian Fusion suddenly makes sense again. Top Chef alum Dale Talde warmly introduces Korean fried chicken, Szechuan sea bream and Vietnamese crepes to Park Slope.
A puffy Dutch pancake topped with hot pepper jelly, crispy fried oysters, creamy goat cheese and smoky chunks of bacon is just one of the unexpectedly delicious rib-sticking items at this Bedford Avenue bistro.
4. The Pines
We love this hearty, manly menu: its big ol' bread platem its rustic bowl of pasta with pork trotter ragu, its ever-changing and always-juicy meat-focused offerings. The fireplace-equipped backyard already has us dreaming of spring.
3. La Vara
Like a little slice of the Iberian Peninsula tucked away on a Cobble Hill side street, this spot promises real-deal Spanish specialties (think smoky little sandwiches dripping with paprika-laced bacon stew) and a fine selection of sherries.
2. Pok Pok
(Columbia Street Waterfront District)
At this Portland import, Andy Ricker's menu of home-style Thai fare, spicy-sweet chicken wings and unusual, deeply spicy street-food specialties never hit a wrong note. And, yes, it's worth the wait for a table.
From what may be the borough's tiniest open kitchen, chefs Joseph Ogrodnek and Walker Stern churn out some of the city's best farm-fresh fare. This place (and their now-famous crisp kale salad) deserves all the hype it gets.