Sure, Brooklyn is now where the trendy, experimental food scenes are but look closely, and one will discover that the borough always had a rich culinary heritage that hops back at least two generations.
Some of the prominent eateries such as Peter Luger's have been dishing out the scrumptious stuff for decades and continues to do so even before the occasional flannel wearing, giant glasses crowd.
When in Brooklyn, take a walk around and experience the traditions and support what was to help retain Brooklyn’s historic personality. To make it easier make it a mission to patronize these six culinary establishment that'll be the cornerstone of Brooklyn's gourmet legacy for the many years to come.
Defonte’s Sandwich Shop379 Columbia Street (Luquer st. & Coles st.), Red Hook
Some meat, veggies and cheese between two slices of bread was the best invention ever, am I right? And when it’s done perfectly, you know you’ve struck gold, such as at Defonte’s. Decades ago Nick Defonte, originally from Italy, bought a small shop from a man ironically named Brooklyn. Today, the heaping sandwiches of roast beef, sausage, eggplant and more served here are great for lunch and dinner, as many take home the other half to munch on later.
178 Broadway (Across from HSBC Bank), website
When a steakhouse has been around since the late 1800s, they must be doing something right. Peter Lugers is one of the best places for carnivores to sink their teeth into some amazing cuts of beef which includes rib steak, pot roast and even juicy burgers. Not to mention that the meals can be paired with amazing desserts like the classic cheesecake with homemade whipped cream.
Till today, Peter Lugers is a still a family run business and the critical task of selecting only the highest quality meat is still done by members of the family today and that involves careful scrutiny for conformation, color, and marbling and texture.
While the legends behind this pie joint are a little grey, their pizza certainly is not and might be, arguably, the best pizza in town.
Grimaldi's flagship shop can be found right under the Brooklyn Bridge and when you go, bring your appetite and your friends, as they only sell whole pies at this establishment loaded with fresh cheese, sauce and sticking with classic toppings like Italian sausage, pepperoni and basil. Everything is cooked in a massive coal-fired oven as it has been for the past five or more decades.
Acme Smoked Fish
Gourmet seafood not cooked on the grill or wrapped as sushi might have you tilting your head sideways, but this fine spot does things a little differently and deliciously.
Acme Smoked Fish's product is more well known in display cases and between bagels from shops like Russ & Daughters, Zabars and Barney Greengrass. But every Friday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., regular folks can stop by at their warehouse store and stock up on smoked and pickled delicacies at a fraction of retail right at the factory. We're talking prepackaged cuts of smoked salmon, mackerel or tuna; tubs of fish salads, including the tart, chunky whitefish; even whole chub, trout, and whiting.
The fish business started by Harry Brownstein who emigrated from Russia in 1905, and settled at its' current Brooklyn home since 1954. Smoked salmon is worshiped here and bought by the filet and New Yorkers loves it in classic lox bagel sandwiches.
No other places in Brooklyn has reached the worldwide success as Nathan’s. Besides the Hot Dog Eating contest, what's so special about a hot dog you may think? Oh, just about everything American - and this business has pioneered it with soft buns, juicy meat and tons of the classic toppings in addition to menu staples like crinkle-cut fries and thick-battered corn dogs for over a hundred years.
151 Union Street (Columbus st. & Hicks st.), Cobble Hill
Immigrants from Italy flocked to New York for new opportunities, and bless us with their amazing culinary skills. For nearly one century Ferandino’s has offered top notch Sicilian comfort eats to Brooklynites from all walks of life. Golden brown rice balls stuffed with spiced ground meat covered in ricotta and tomato, burrata with tomatoes and grilled eggplants or get a hearty meatball parm and panelle special and feel full all day.