The 10 Best Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill Restaurants

Categories: Our 10 Best

Frankies Spuntino
It's been a slow, uphill battle, but more and more, Brooklynites are winning rounds over Manhattanites in the "my-place-or-yours" social gathering predicament. And while vaguely loftier apartments or fair neighborhood rotation might be at play, you can't negate the charming restaurants in the borough, some of which deem even the G line worthy of a transit swipe. While Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill have always had good cards to play on the eatery front -- the Italian-American neighborhoods are steeped in red sauce history -- you can thank lower rent, tree-lined streets, and a population of ex-Manhats with finely tuned palates for the proliferation of destination-worthy spots that now populate the history. So stay calm and trek on to Bergen Street to check out one of these top 10 Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill restaurants.


10. La Vara, 268 Clinton Street
Brownstone-lined Clinton Street gets a new kind of dinner party in this ode to Iberian cuisine from the same team behind beloved Manhattan tapas joints Txikito and El Quinto Pino. Start with a bowl of honey-drenched eggplant stalks and move on to a plate of robust and spicy migas -- hand-torn bread with a scattering of chorizo, grapes, and rosemary.


9. Frankies Spuntino, 457 Court Street
A long bar, narrow corridor, and line of Edison bulbs guide diners through this Italian staple to both indoor and outdoor dining areas, the latter of which is suitable for best man speeches and Friday night IPA toasts alike. Nearly 10 variants of crostini -- from cremini mushroom and truffle oil to ricotta with speck -- are quick appetite catalysts, but don't fill up too much on the house-made pastas -- the intoxicating aromas of cinnamon- and red wine-simmered prunes with a rich slathering of mascarpone might be winter's best dessert asset.


8. The Grocery, 288 Smith Street
The white tablecloths are the first indication that this isn't your average grocery -- though you still might want to come here on a weekly basis. Swiss chard pancakes of brown rice batter and soy are a savory and vitamin-packed Asian twist to the skillet outcome once reserved for breakfast only, while a semolina crust arms fall-apart skate with a grainy shell plays nicely with roasted cauliflower and curry-bursting aioli bites.

Location Info

La Vara

268 Clinton St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant


575 Henry St., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant

The Grocery

288 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant


234 Court St., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant


329 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant

Hibino Japanese Restaurant

333 Henry St., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant


127 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant

Buttermilk Channel

524 Court St., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant

Frankies Spuntino Restaurant

457 Court St., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant


255 Smith St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

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Nicole, I believe your account of Buttermilk Channel is a bit garbled. That body of water was never Never NEVER shallow enough to be traversed in anything but a boat. The name likely derives from the visual effect of wind and tide but whatever cattle and people ever got from Brooklyn to Governer's Island (later Fort Warren) to Manhattan assuredly did so by floating/sailing/rowing. 

Jules Katz
Jules Katz

my old hood! I doubt many of my favorites are still there, but I loved this one place that had awesome brunches on Court St. Harvest something I think. (this is from the late 1990's haha) Shakespeare Sister was a stationery store where I would go for a dessert and espresso (this was sort of across from the Cobble HIll Cinema (great theatre!) And then there is the old musty used book store that made no sense at all, but ask the owner about a book and he would have it within seconds. Community Bookstore? Sorry, I know this was supposed to be about eateries, current eateries, but when I saw my old hood pop up... I could not resist.