Runner Up: Northeast Kingdom
Roberta’s single-handedly transformed a barren wasteland of Boar’s Head trucks in Bushwick into a discrete little hipster village. While the brick-oven pizzas and rustic Italian dishes are legit, just as important are the ways Roberta’s has gone above and beyond what a restaurant is: it houses backyard and rooftop gardens, a beer garden, a podcast radio station, and now, a tiny, chef’s tasting menu-only restaurant, Bianca, accessible by a side alley.
Fort Greene: Roman’s
Runner Up: iCi
The food here is something Italian, something Greenmarket-improvised, and 100 percent Brooklyn New Cuisine. An ever-changing menu that’s fine to eat every day and seasonal yet classics-inspired cocktails make this restaurant what you’d like to have in your living room. (Apparently it’s working, as our readers named it the borough’s best restaurant.)
Williamsburg: Marlow & Sons
Runner Up: Dressler
The quintessential market-meets-eatery in Brooklyn, this restaurant may have evolved over the years into a destination but still hasn’t lost its emphasis on good, local ingredients prepared simply. With a rockstar alumni of chefs who’ve moved onto further improving the borough’s food (e.g. Caroline Fidanza of Saltie), it’s an institution embodying the food philosophy here.
Runner Up: Five Leaves
Sister spots Calyer and Bellwether are also tops, but this earthy and intimate Greenpoint eatery is definitely the crown jewel. Extra points for homemade bread baked and served in a flowerpot.
Park Slope: Talde
Runner Up: Al Di La
Delightfully cross-referencing dishes are as tasty as they are inspired (pretzel and pork potstickers, crispy oyster and bacon pad thai), taking the cheesy, Chinoiserie connotation out of Asian-fusion fare.
Bay Ridge: Petit Oven
Runner Up: Grand Sichuan House
This diminutive, French-leaning boite threw off its red-sauce shackles and set the stage for a local/seasonal neighborhood food revolution.
Carroll Gardens: Buttermilk Channel
Runner Up: Prime Meats
New American restaurants tend to revamp their menus as often as they change out their silverware, so it’s refreshing that delicious dishes like duck meatloaf, hamwrapped brook trout, and fried chicken with cheddar waffles are reliable BC mainstays.
Gowanus: The Pines
Runner Up: Littleneck
The skanky Gowanus Canal doesn’t scream good eating, but this gracious, grain-embracing restaurant absolutely does! Hand-cranked pastas are a must-order: we love that maltagliati with bouchon mussels and burrata!
Boerum Hill: Rucola
Runner Up: Char No. 4
Boerum Hill never has to go hungry again—this Northern Italian restaurant serves delectable, market-inspired fare three meals a day, seven days a week, using fresh produce from nearby Feedback Farms.
Clinton Hill: Locanda
Runner Up: Cochinita
This old-school (circa 2001!) Tuscan eatery serves decidedly new-school fare (tuna salami!) in a gorgeous historic pharmacy.
Cobble Hill: Battersby
Runner Up: La Vara
Honestly, though not as hyped as other spots in the borough, Battersby really is the best of New American cooking... (And holy crap, that kale salad!)
Prospect Heights: Franny’s
Runner Up: Chuco
Whether you’re a self-professed locavore, lover of authentic Southern Italian food, brick-oven Pizza fanatic, or wine connoisseur, you can find your happy place at Franny’s. And it’s a very happy place.
Crown Heights: Chavella’s
Runner Up: PeteZaaz
A humble Mexican restaurant that’s not simply a taqueria but also isn’t some banal, overpriced gringos-only affair, Chavella’s turns out some of the best tamales, salsas, and rotating nightly specials (chilaquiles!); once a closely held neighborhood secret, it’s grown from its previous smaller location and attracts visitors to the area.
Red Hook: Good Fork
Runner Up: Fort Defiance
Still packing in crowds (despite the advent of Pok Pok just a little ways away) and serving Korean-fried goodness like steak and eggs with kimchee rice.
Dumbo: Vinegar Hill House
Runner Up: The River Cafe
Situated on the first floor of a small house in a quaint little seaside village called Vinegar Hill, “homey” is one word you could call Vinegar Hill House, but its serious chops in the kitchen belies its rustic facade.
Ditmas Park: The Farm on Adderley
Runner Up: The Purple Yam
A changing, seasonal menu of comfortable New American fare and elegant setting makes this restaurant stand out in Ditmas Park—and has spurred more food destinations in the area. While this “farm” is far from the heartland, it focuses on New York-grown food and beverages, presented at their best.