Central Brooklyn’s pride and joy, Crown Heights is home to a vibrant Hasidic Jewish community as well as black Americans primarily descending from the West Indies and American South. The influences of these populations shape the culture of the neighborhood, which is no more evident than in the abundance of Crown Heights restaurants offering delicious and unforgettable meals to each and every new patron. Take a dive into these must-see restaurants in the area that will keep you coming back for more.
Flavor reigns supreme at this Hatian-American shop! Lakou’s Cafe is well-known for its vegan-friendly and authentic meals, not to mention its commitment to providing patrons with a space for community and camaraderie. Lakou offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and other tasty options such as sweet or savory crepes and baked goods.
Ras Plant Based
One of the few Ethiopian plant-based restaurants in the city, Ras delights in providing customers with a truly unique and tasteful dining experience. Service is friendly and professional, complimenting the diverse array of vegan cuisine coupled with imaginative cocktails and a vibrant ambiance. This is the perfect spot for a casual outing with friends or a lowkey first date.
Puerto Viejo’s off-the-beaten-path location suits its modest, laid-back interior and intimate vibe. This long-standing Dominican establishment is praised as one of the best around, with affordable and fresh fare like sancocho or mofongo and the inside being reminiscent of an aged but fashionable shipping container. Puerto Viejo offers outdoor seating and does not take reservations.
The Crabby Shack
This beach-themed hotspot may not be subtle in its specialty, but The Crabby Shack is a beloved community staple nonetheless. Fresh seafood graces just about every item on the menu and the selection is straightforward but incredibly well done. Heated outdoor seating is offered during colder months and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner every day but Tuesday.
Fast-casual bowls reimagined, Brooklyn Suya puts a new twist on standard Nigerian food by adding a Western twist. The inside is small and offers a few stools for seating, but the bowls here are definitely worth the squeeze! Patrons can pick their choice of protein or vegetable/tofu, then add a rice or kale base to their order. Be sure to top things off with your desired spice level and add in anything else to your bowl that you’d prefer.
Cafe Rue Dix
A Franco-Senegalese locale decked out with West African decorations makes this Bedford Avenue staple of the neighborhood lineup. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating, accepts reservations, and provides an all-day menu with popular entrees like beef mafe and attiéké- a West African couscous dish. Cafe Rue Dix offers breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner options.
The Islands is Jamaican food done so right! The restaurant has stayed on top of its game since relocating and has only gotten bigger and better with time. Guests will never go wrong with a classic and delicious plate of fiery jerk chicken or oxtail alongside a generous helping of steamed rice and vegetables. The Islands is open every day until 10:30 p.m.
Izzy’s Brooklyn Smokehouse
This kosher barbeque delivers explosive flavor in every bite of food, with meat so juicy and tender you can eat it with a plastic spoon. Succulent chicken and beef options abound, but one of their signature dishes the Dino Ribs, a hulking one-and-a-half-ounce rack of masterfully smoked beef is to die for. Izzy’s also offers a generous selection of tacos and sandwiches to choose from.