Often included in it’s tri-neighborhood complex: BoCoCa, Carroll Gardens is the “Ca” in its medley with Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill (yes, I’ve heard “BoCoCa” more often than you’d think). This quaint area is full of brownstones, gardens and quiet streets. Restaurants in Carroll Gardens gear towards trendy, modern eateries with customers who would probably describe themselves as “very Brooklyn.” This historically Italian neighborhood still has some of the most delicious Italian eateries in the city, as well as new, more experimental and fusion restaurants, making Carroll Gardens a true dining hub.
Honoring Carroll Gardens’ rich history of Italian restaurants, Frankie’s Spuntino definitely helps give the neighborhood its good name. Old school Italian food is made from fresh, local ingredients with 100-year old recipes from Frankie’s Italian family. The salads and sandwiches are great, but you can’t visit without trying the homemade pastas. The Lemon Fettuccini with Vegetable Bolognese ($18) is a fantastically flavorful vegetarian dish as is the Gnocchi Marinara with fresh ricotta ($15).
457 Court St, frankiesspuntino.com
If there were ever a place to break up with a vegetarian (cruel), or just try and convert one, Prime Meats is the place to be. Certainly one of the best restaurants in Carroll Gardens, omnivores will easily make themselves at home with the carnivorous menu here. Owned by Frankie of Frankie’s Spuntino, everything here has that special Carroll Gardens Italian touch. For dinner, Pickle Brined Amish Chicken ($18) is the perfect unique spin on a classic dish, or go all-out meats with the Steak Frites ($30) made from Wagyu beef and served with hand-cut fries.
465 Court St, frankspm.com
This creative Vietnamese restaurant led by Brooklyn chef Rob Newton helped put Carroll Gardens restaurants on the map. The best way to eat here is to share as many plates as possible. Started with salads or fried finger foods like chicken wings or frogs legs. Be sure to get a bowl of pho ($12-14), the aromatic Vietnamese noodle soup that comes in vegetarian, chicken, and pork varieties. Finish your meal with a skirt steak over fried rice ($15) or the spicy Carolina shrimp ($15). And don’t forget their delicious cocktails!
329 Smith St, nightingale9.com
No, you’re not eating in a supermarket, but one of the best restaurants in Carroll Gardens shares the name. The grocery is an upscale, fresh American eatery with a gorgeous dining room and back patio iconic to Brooklyn. To get the most variety of tastes, opt for the $85 prix-fixe menu, but ala carte also offers plenty of excellent options. Dishes change with the seasons, but you can be sure to enjoy fresh salads, including their tasty French Fry Salad ($14) with fresh fried potatoes on vegetables, as well as freshly grilled seafood and meats.
288 Smith St, thegroceryrestaurant.com
Named after the mile-long waterway between Brooklyn and Governors Island, Buttermilk Channel is a throwback to a time when both areas had more farmland than hipsters. Put your name in for brunch on a weekend morning and be prepared to take a long neighborhood stroll as you wait, but it’s well worth it! The brunch menu includes their tasty egg scrambles ($12), homemade breakfast sausage ($5), and an excellent Bloody Mary list with toppings like oysters ($11). For dinner, heartier options like their signature buttermilk fried chicken with cheddar waffles ($25) or the duck meatloaf with corn pudding ($26) are the best bets.
524 Court St, buttermilkchannelnyc.com
Rumored to be a favorite Carroll Gardens restaurant of Beyonce and Jay-Z, this spot is constantly packed, and can afford to have a no reservations policy. Put your name in early and grab a happy hour drink at one of the many bars in the neighborhood nearby while you wait. While you’re waiting, don’t forget to grab a bottle of wine to drink with dinner –the restaurant is only BYOB (for better or worse depending on your preference). Something else important to note, Lucali serves pizza and only pizza. You can pick your toppings and be sure to dip your crust in the extra sauce provided!
575 Henry St, lucali.com
This Brooklyn-themed ramen shop serves some of the best soup noodles in the city! Enjoy traditional ramen styles or branch out with their international themes, such as duck confit ramen ($16) or brunch ramen with smoked salmon and cream cheese ($13). In addition to noodles, Dassara serves up some great chicken wings, that go perfectly with their cocktail list.
271 Smith St, dassara.com
Carroll Gardens may not be known as one of the trendiest New York neighborhoods, but its certainly worth exploring! Diverse, international, and classic cuisine thrives here, and with the right stops, you surely won’t go hungry after a vist to the area.
Any we missed? Add them in the comments below!
David is the resident nerd around these parts. Running a popular tech blog (TheUnlockr.com) for the past 6 years, he’s taken his over-analytical mind and made the transition to food.