Best Oysters in New York
298 Bedford Ave, between S1st and S2nd
It's almost heresy to claim that the Grand Central Oyster Bar isn't the best oyster spot in New York, but once you've slurped down a few of the 30 available oysters (including an amazing selection of West Coast varieties) at Maison Premiere, you're sure to be a convert. (Photo Joe Hume)
Best Meatball Sub
33 Havemeyer St, between N7th and N8th
Yes, this tiny pizza shop makes an excellent pie. The real star of the menu, however, is the meatball sub ($9), which features Pat LaFrieda beef, aged pecorino Romano and a savory, anchovy-rich sauce all stuffed into a crispy roll (baked fresh at Roberta's.)
Best Manhattan Restaurant That Should Be in
162 Avenue A, between 10th and 11th
Seeing as Portland is basically Brooklyn West, you would expect transplants from some of the Rose City's top restaurants to set up shop in Kings County. No such luck; to taste the restaurant's magnificent, foie gras-and-cheese-filled half-chicken ($25) and the meticulously crafted cocktails, you're going to have to cross the East River into Manhattan.
Do or Dine
110 Bedford Ave, between Lexington and Quincy
Fuck gourmet mac and cheese! These Bed-Stuy mavericks ditch the tired comfort food trend and go for broke with bizarre concoctions like fried gyoza smothered in nacho toppings ($6), tempura deviled eggs ($5) and, most controversially, foie gras doughnuts ($11). Even more impressive? All of it actually tastes pretty good.
355 Metropolitan Ave, at Havemeyer
Joe Carroll of Fette Sau and Spuyten Duyvil moves on from barbecue and beer to open the best grill in Williamsburg. For $15, the price of a gourmet hamburger in this town, you can get a beautiful hangar steak, grilled to a tender pink and served with a generous slathering of garlic butter. (Photo Joe Hume)
1073 Manhattan Avenue
Best lobster roll? Not quite. Best crab roll? Definitely. Lightly seasoned piles of sweet, shredded blue crab and tartar sauce stuffed into a buttery, griddled bun ($14) make for one of the best sandwiches in Brooklyn, especially when paired with vodka-spiked lemonade.
Neapolitan Pizza in Brooklyn
485 Lorimer, between Grand and Powers
This title belonged to Motorino before the Department of Buildings shut the place down. Now that honor belongs to Giulio Adriani's Forcella, a restaurant so authentic that almost everything, from the ingredients to the wood-fired oven, are imported from Italy. Two words that should convince you to visit: fried pizza.
Best Dinner and a Movie
163 Metropolitan Avenue
What's more Williamsburg than an independent theater? How about an independent theater that serves a gourmet menu concocted by Saul Bolton, owner of the Michelin-starred restaurant Saul. Expect inventive small plates, snacks and casual entrees, plus special movie-themed meals such as the country paté and cognac cocktail served during Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris.
Best Burger-and-Fries Combo
Rockaway Beach Boardwalk, at 86th St, Queens
Maybe it's the ocean view, but we just can't enough of both the cheeseburger ($6), made with two savory patties of Meat Hook grass-fed beef on a soft potato roll, and the peppery, thin-cut fries ($4), dusted in seasoned flour and sprinkled with seasoning salt, at this Roberta's-backed burger stand.
Most Fun Brooklyn Restaurant
645 Manhattan Ave, between Nassau and Norman
Cheap, boozy and loud: these are the ingredients for a wild night out. Welcome to Calexico, where, amidst a throng of clamoring young Greenpointers, you can get one of the best carne asada burritos ($9) in Brooklyn along with a growler of Sixpoint's El Barrio Brown Ale ($20), made especially for the restaurant.
Best Use of a
33 Nassau Ave, at Guernsey
Every beer hall has pretzels and sausages. Only this one, the sister establishment to the Lower East Side's Spitzer's Corner, combines the two into one heavenly dish, stuffing a hot, snappy bratwurst, beer-smothered onions and Dusseldorf mustard into a warm, salty pretzel roll ($7), perfect for soaking up a Pilsner or six. (Photo Joe Hume)