Whew, what a whirlwind summer! For those of you who managed to escape the concrete clutches of the city for a few months, the neighborhood might seem a little different now. There’s about a bazillion new places to get sloshed, and most of them serve food, too. Unfortunately, this summer also saw the demise of some neighborhood stalwarts. But in good news, there’s even more tasty new places coming our way!
#1 Boobie Trap @ 308 Bleecker St
Barbecue, beer, and boobs. What more could anyone ask for? How about a giant neon sign that just reads “fuck off” in cursive? Well, they’ve got that too.
#2 Sunrise/Sunset @ 351 Evergreen Ave
From Henry of Henry’s Wine and Spirit store comes a fresh, cozy little restaurant/wine bar on Evergreen Ave. They opened up shop about a month ago, and they’ve kept it pretty low key since then, but they’re easing their way into being a serious player in the Bushwick brunch game.
#3 El Cafecito @ 892 Wyckoff Ave
El Cafecito is that injection of caffeine and croissants that the Halsey Stop was waiting for. And they have some very refreshing juices that will knock the wind out of all but the most tenacious hangovers.
#4 Kings County Saloon @ 1 Knickerbocker Ave
The new iteration of Kings County is delightful. They’ve managed to maintain the cozy cave atmosphere that made the original so fun, and they’ve spiced it up with kooky events like a bloody burlesque show. They’ve still got the fishbowls and a more-than-decent happy hour that will guarantee you walk out of there at least a little tipsy.
#5 Forrest Point @ 970 Flushing Ave
With dizzying speed, Forrest Point has become such a party central. Any given night they are packed with revelers, and it’s not hard to see why. They’ve got that big yard, smores for desert, and a cocktail called The Bushwick.
#6 Central Station @ 84 Central Ave
Keep an eye on this place: every now and then they roast a pig in the backyard. But whether they’re doing that or not, the drinks are pretty inexpensive, the fish sticks are melt-in-your-mouth tasty, and the bartenders are always fantastic.
#7 Montana’s Trail House @ 455 Troutman St
Montana’s Trail House has been a polarizing restaurant. An Observer article gave them 0 Stars, for some really whack reasons. But Vogue gave them the nod of approval in a recent issue. And Vogue is right: the Trail House is fun, spunky, packed with interesting people and unique decor, and most importantly, delicious.
#8 Koda @ 985 Flushing Ave
2 for $5 pints of Hite!!! TWO for only FIVE dollars!!!
#9 Guacuco Hot Dogs @ 234 Starr St
Don’t get caught up on the hot dogs: their appetizers are super tasty, too. The mini cachapa (a sweet corn pancake with white cheese) will never disappoint.
#10 Champ’s Bakery @ 760 Bushwick Ave
Although it’s a little out of the way, if you happen to find yourself in the area, stop by Champ’s Bakery for an incredible vegan scone or a literally-to-die-for red velvet cupcake. I don’t know how they make those things so indulgent without any butter, but it’s some kind of incredible feat of scone engineering.
#11 The Diggs @ 26 St Nicholas Ave
Although the Bodega has an expanded and extremely tasty menu, don’t forget about their little food truck around the corner. Lobster poutine, bbq sliders, and all other kinds of tasty treats can be found there.
#12 Orleans @ 603 Hart St
Po’ boys galore across the street from Bossa Nova! It’s tucked into a quiet little corner on Hart St, and the picnic tables and hanging plants make you feel like you’ve left a little bit of New York behind for a moment.
#13 Pasta Shop @ 234 Starr St
The carbonara is amazing, and they’re still BYOB! Grab a beer at the Sampler (it’s Sour September over there!) and get yo’ pasta on.
#1 Wreck Room
The closure of the Wreck Room is, honestly, pretty tragic. Few other dives were quite so nasty. Rare is the bathroom that could rival Wreck Room’s level of disgusting. And no one could match its penchant for inducing the unseemly in an otherwise pleasant evening.
#2 Kings County
Kings County fell to the same grim reaper that many restaurants and bars know too well: the end of a lease and the accompanying skyrocketing rent hikes. Fortunately, this did not mean that Kings County shut down forever: they just moved down the street, following a New Orleans style funeral procession.
Alas, Bushwick just wasn’t ready for this place. The pig ears will definitely be missed, but Kings County Saloon has made its home in the cavernous restaurant, and it seems like a perfect fit.
#4 Olive Valley
Olive Valley shuttered its doors early this summer, which is a damned tragedy. But their sister-business, Oasis, is still in full bloom over in Williamsburg. Word on the street is that Momo will be expanding into the space, but that’s still an unconfirmed rumor at the moment.
Along with the demise of the Wreck Room went these tasty late night treats, the infamous rice balls. Although Arancini Bros can still be found at various fairs around the city, they can no longer be found in Bushwick.
Anticipatin’ These Eatz
#1 Amancay’s Diner @ 2 Knickerbocker Ave
Amancay’s Diner stirred up a fair amount of internet fuss last month, thanks to that one salient gimmick: a spin-the-bottle game will be available for patron’s usage. Will it foster a romantic arena for chance encounters that leave you believing in love once more? Or will it be a cesspool of drunken hookups and spitty kisses? Only time will tell…
#2 Arrogant Swine @ Morgan Ave
Summer may be swinging to a close, but that doesn’t mean BBQ season has to end. Tyson Ho has already firmly established himself as an authority on the fine art of whole hog cookin’ and there’s no doubt that he’ll be be bringing that delicious meat expertise to his beer-hall-esque pig paradise on Morgan Ave. Expect two dozen beers on tap and a whole lot of meat.
#3 Okonomiyaki @ Flushing Ave
Thus far, my diligent cyber stalking hasn’t yielded very much information about this new Japanese snack bar that’s coming ‘very soon’ to Flushing Ave. They’re playing hard-to-get, but that only makes me want them more. Stay tuned for updates…