Foodie Delights: Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Over the last few years or so, Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights has transformed into the neighborhood’s own restaurant row. On any given night, the street is lined with residents, choosing the eatery that suits their appetite—and luckily, they have a lot of options.

But what’s best is that, even off Franklin, Crown Heights not only has a litany of cuisines to choose from, but also, prices that can fit everyone’s budget. You just have to know where to look.

Here are our suggestions:

Date-Night Table: Cent’Anni
742 Franklin Avenue
Entrees: $9 to $17
When you think of Crown Heights for food, Italian is not the first thing that comes to mind. But with Cent’Anni as an option, it should. This snug eatery truly emphasizes the idea that pasta is, and will always be, a comfort food, with relatively inexpensive design-your-own options, which, no matter what you make, can never fail. If you’re not in a creative mood, the restaurant has more than enough entrees to satisfy. And then, of course, there’s the dolci.

Weekend Brunch Spot: Chavela’s
736 Franklin Avenue
Entrees: $4 to $22
The line to get a table at this trendy Mexican restaurant for brunch is a common sight in Crown Heights almost every weekend. But if you get one — and, we admit, this can take a while — you’ll be in good hands. The margaritas are what this place is known for, and the ceviche is some of the best around. They also have a $8 lunch special, where a torta or a trio of tacos can get involved. So actually, waiting doesn’t sound too bad.

Serious Eats: Mayfield
688 Franklin Avenue
Entrees: $10 to $25
During brunch hours, this New American restaurant on Franklin Avenue offers a Bloody Mary with Old Bay seasoning riding its rim. And at nights, next to the long list of cocktails and prosecco, you can even order a can of Labatt for less than $5. That’s the kind of place Mayfield is: it has something for everyone, and the New American label doesn’t mean ‘overpriced’ here. So if that’s enough to get your reservation, try the stacked Cuban sandwich for lunch, or dinner. Oh, and the oysters. Yes, definitely the oysters.

Best Place for a New York Slice: Rosco’s
685 Franklin Avenue
Entrees: $3 to $25
The truth is, what would a New York neighborhood be without a solid pizza joint? Crown Heights, of course, is no exception, and that’s why it has Rosco’s to feast on. This longtime late-night establishment offers pizzas of all shapes and sizes (we recommend anything with ricotta or escarole) and even draft beers. Actually, the dinner special, as it stands, is a large pizza pie, with one topping of your choosing, and a growler. What more do you need?

Southern Comfort: Catfish
1433 Bedford Avenue
Entrees: $12 to $18
Stepping into Catfish is like stepping into a late-night New Orleans hot spot. The dim ambience and deep South aesthetic, both inside and outside, on the patio, matches the food here, which consists of everything that has made Louisiana a worthy destination for cajun-seeking foodies. Yes, they have Jambalaya and gumbo. And yes, the po’ boys are delicious. Just don’t forget to order the grits.

Neighborhood Speciality: Gloria’s
764 Nostrand Avenue
Entrees: $6 to $13
Eating at this Anthony-Bourdain-approved Caribbean corner shop is almost like a rite of passage in this slice of Brooklyn. The awards displayed on the wall are no joke: this place offers some of the best (and affordable!) island dishes around, with everything from oxtail that falls off the bone to over twenty types of delicious roti to choose from. Amongst hard-hitting reggae soundtracks, a line usually forms around lunchtime, and doesn’t peeter off until after dinner. But luckily, for cumin’s sake, it moves fast. And when you make it to the end, take a peek at what they’re cooking up in the back. It’ll never disappoint.

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