One of the greatest perks of being a New Yorker is the vast array of places we have to eat on any given night, even during a global pandemic--but during 2020, they did even more, banding together to feed those in need in their community and sending countless meals to frontline workers during COVID's darkest days here last spring.
Even though winter weather is inevitably forcing us to gather less frequently outdoors at our familiar spots, through Seamless we can keep the feeling alive with a great meal, made with love, delivered directly to our home. The choices of cuisine are staggering. The ordering couldn't be easier. And it's definitely the most delicious way to support your local favorites, or try something new, and help ensure they'll all still be around when springtime comes again. When you donate the change on your Seamless order, it supports restaurants, drivers and communities in need through the Seamless Community Relief Fund.
Gothamist and Seamless have teamed up to celebrate amazing restaurants over the next few weeks that, whether they’re two blocks from your apartment or a bike ride away, are NYC favorites that we think you’ll love too. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out our first installment, the food lovers guide to the Lower East Side, and stay tuned for upcoming guides coming at you in the next few weeks. Next up: Williamsburg and Bushwick.
You want energy? North Brooklyn neighboring locales Williamsburg and Bushwick give off plenty, with party-zone pockets of buzzy bars and restaurants mixing in nicely with residential, family-friendly areas, a renegade artistic streak running throughout. Throughout 2020, these neighborhoods saw an abrupt drop in destination diners and party people pouring in from the suburbs, and tourists from around the world. The relative quiet of the pandemic also gave space and time for locals to rediscover their hometown favorites, those neighborhood restaurants who have scrambled to bring vitality, sustenance, and a welcoming space to their community via outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery through Seamless. That's one of the great Perks of Being a New Yorker. All of this stuff that everyone else has to come from far and wide to experience, it's all right here in our backyard. There are countless good eating options in these two sprawling areas, but here are a few highlights.
Taqueria Al Pastor
There's no shortage of first-rate tacos being slung all throughout Bushwick, but my favorite right now is this newcomer on a bustling stretch of Wyckoff Avenue, Taqueria al Pastor. Opened about a year ago by several local restaurant folks, this colorful corner spot serves up exceptional tacos, burritos, quesadillas, gringas, and crisp volcánes, using fresh-off-the-grill corn or flour tortillas, and stuffed with your choice of juicy, spit-grilled al pastor, carne asada, pollo, or nopale, the bright and tangy Opuntia cactus. This stuff all travels well, too, especially the burritos, and it's cheap enough to get a feast for your whole pod. Don't forget the homemade horchata! Other very good Mexican options in the neighborhood include Gordo's Cantina on St. Nicholas Avenue, Cholula Deli on Dekalb, and Taqueria Acatlan on Irving Avenue.
Often overlooked amid the wealth of excellent pizza places in this part of Brooklyn, the friendly Santa Panza, located on Broadway under the elevated J/M/Z, makes one of my favorite personal-size Neapolitan-style pies in town. Get the Napoli with capers, kalamata olives, and anchovies, the Prosciutto e Funghi with parmacotto ham and cremini mushrooms, or the signature Santa Panza, starring mozzarella, some strong scamorza, crumbles of sweet sausage, and sage. The pasta, sides, and salads are all first-rate too, if that better suits your mood. Crack open a can or two of Santa Panza House Wine and it's almost like pre-pandemic times! Among your many other neighborhood pizza options: newcomer Leo on Havemeyer Street, the iconic Joe's on Bedford Avenue, the amazing Detroit-style pies at Emmy Squared on Grand Street, and, of course, the famous Roberta's on Moore Street.
Sitting right there across the street from community hub Maria Hernandez Park, Hills Kitchen has been serving the people of Bushwick platters of delicious Nigerian home cooking for nearly two years now. Owned and operated by Promise Eduro, who moved to Brooklyn from Nigeria not long before opening her restaurant, this no-fuss place features rich and deeply satisfying versions of classics like Egusi, Ogbono, and Edikaikong soups, all served with your choice of meat (if there's goat, get it) and starchy sides like Jollof Rice and Pounded Yam. It's all delicious and perfect for a cold winter's night, so cozy up and enjoy your favorite soup and rice dishes from the comfort of your own couch. Other ideas for big-flavored, belly-warming choices include the ramen at Ichiran on Johnson Avenue, and the plant-based Ethopian beyaynetu at Bunna Cafe on Flushing, now delivered in a pizza box and ready to tear into with your hands.
Native New Yorkers Nate Adler, Flip Biddemam, and Will Edwards opened this self-described "Modern Jew-ish Delicatessen" almost two years ago in Williamsburg, and have since made it a vital piece of the neighborhood, serving superb food for breakfast, brunch, and dinner, hosting events pre-pandemic and giving away tons of prepared food to those in need once COVID hit town. Everything is great at Gertie, from the Chocolate Marzipan Babka to the Patty Melt Rueben to the Whole Chicken Dinner, and they just added a whole new bagel program, courtesy of Melissa Weller. Plus: lots of cocktails to go! This is one of the city's great restaurants. Among the area's many other good, all-purpose neighborhood spots: Sunday in Brooklyn on Wythe Avenue, and the terrific vegan diner Champs on Meserole Street.
Noods n' Chill
Ignore the corny name: Noods n' Chill, from the Plant Love House family (literally, they're a family), is one of the best Thai places around, serving up an abundance of vibrant, country-style food ideal for takeout and delivery. During the week a porky bowl of Boat Blood Noodle, or the Mockduck over spinach noodles, or a platter of Pineapple Fried Rice with Chicken and Shrimp all really hit the spot. The south Williamsburg restaurant also has a terrific weekend brunch, starring Toasted Brioche with either dried pork or sweet, custardy kaya, and bowls of rice porridge thick with your choice of add-ons, including an excellent spicy salted duck egg salad. Fantastic stuff all around. Other Asian gems in the area include Lucy's Vietnamese on Berry Street, and the first-rate Sichuan spot, Birds of a Feather on Grand Street.
The motto of Mekelburg's spacious Williamsburg location is "Yummy Food. Cheap Booze." And yup, they definitely have plenty of both of those things at this essential restaurant/bar/grocery store/liquor store down by Domino Park. The menu here features such thrilling (and filling) concoctions like a Smothered Breakfast Burrito stuffed with bacon, egg, cheddar, and hatch green chili, then covered in salsa verde; the vegan Spicy Tofu Banh Mi; and the legendary Croque Meksieur, a grilled sandwich with an improbable amount of porchetta, gruyere, bechamel, and crackling pig skin. Very chill scene too -- easy to recreate at home by placing your order and putting on your favorite comfy outfit (judging by the deliciousness, you might want something with an elastic waistband). You can also get overloaded sandwiches around here at Sweet Chick on Bedford Avenue, if you want them with fried chicken, or Blue Collar on Havemeyer, if you're in the mood for cheeseburgers.
By ordering our favorite meals or branching out to explore new spots with Seamless, New Yorkers can support the institutions that have been there for us throughout the ups and downs of this year. As we continue to celebrate this holiday season, consider supporting a neighborhood business and treat yourself to some delicious food delivered right to your door.
This post is a sponsored collaboration between Seamless and Gothamist staff.