You Travel, You Eat: South Brooklyn

In the second installment of our two-part Brooklyn lovefest, we are dishing up the borough's southern half (earlier: North Brooklyn). From Dumbo's cinematic cobblestones to the farthest reaches of Red Hook, South Brooklyn claims some of New York City's best restaurants, bars and culinary attractions. As with all destination guides, this compilation is but the tip of the hand-carved iceberg (we're talking about Brookyn, after all). Consider these our top picks for eating very, very well, South Brooklyn–style.

RESTAURANTSChef's Table at Brooklyn Fare

The borough's only restaurant with three Michelin stars is the ne plus ultra of Brooklyn fine dining. Locals, chefs and in-the-know out-of-towners jockey for the 18 seats at Cesar Ramirez Boerum Hill tasting table. Plan to call at least six weeks in advance for a reservation, and steady yourself for the steep prices ($255 per person for 20+ courses). Trust us: it's worth it. Stay tuned for Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare-Manhattan, slated to debut in Hell's Kitchen later this year. 200 Schermerhorn St, 718-243-0050,


Sleepy Park Slope comes alive at Dale Talde's energetic, Asian-American restaurant. Pretzel-coated pork and chive dumplings, Korean fried chicken, and oyster and bacon pad thai keep things swinging during dinner service, and the breakfast ramen, made with buttered toast broth and honey-glazed bacon, makes for a bright-eyed brunch. 369 Seventh Ave., 347-916-0031,


Friends and co-chefs Walker Stern and Joseph Ogrodnek worked together at Alain Ducasse, and separately at Blue Hill and Gramercy Tavern, before opening this intimate tasting room in Cobble Hill last year. Their shareable, seasonal plates include curried zucchini, beef daube ravioli, and roast duck with peaches and chanterelles. The duo recently debuted a companion restaurant, the seafood-centric Dover, a few blocks over on Court Street. 255 Smith St., 718-852-8321,

French Louie

Despite an impressive pedigree – it's owned by the Buttermilk Channel team – this 50-seat spot remains something of an insider's secret. In warm weather, sample the excellent French-American menu (think rabbit pappardelle, flounder Grenobloise and goat cheese pot de crème) in the tree-lined rear garden; in colder temperatures, belly up to the bar for mussels and a first-rate French wine list. 320 Atlantic Ave., 718-935-1200,

Pok Pok Ny

Last year, Andy Ricker's phenomenally successful Portland, OR, import moved to larger digs and opened an adjacent drinks den, Whiskey S  oda Lounge. The expanded capacity and smoother service better accommodate the hungry masses still queuing on the South Brooklyn Waterfront — and the fragrant Chiang Mai sausage and fish sauce chicken wings remain insanely addictive. 117 Columbia St., 718-923-9322,


Accept no substitutions. This legendary pizza parlor has spawned countless offshoots and imitators, but the Coney Island original is the real deal. The occasionally cranky pizzaiolos have been slinging thin-crust, coal oven-fired pies since 1924. Magnifico! 1524 Neptune Ave., 718-372-8606,

Nightingale 9

Chef Robert Newton and Cherry Bombe co-founder Kerry Diamond opened this modern, Vietnamese-American spot on leafy Smith Street last winter. The sleek interiors and clever use of Southeast Asian and southern American ingredients (try the crispy quail with fresh cherries and lychee) recently relocated to a new spot to make room for the duo's newest venture, Wilma Jean. 329 Smith St., 347-689-4699,

Frankies 457 / Prime Meats

Hammered tin ceilings, exposed brick walls and convivial service are hallmarks of Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo, co-owners of both Frankies 457 and Prime Meats. The former is a neighborhood joint serving reliable Italian fare, while neighboring Prime Meats tackles dry aged steaks and Central European flavors. Frankies 457: 457 Court St., 718-403-0033,; Prime Meats: 465 Court St., 718-254-0327,


Everyone looks good at Roman's, a candlelit spot in Fort Greene. The Italian-inspired menu changes daily, and amiable staffers ask if you're enjoying your pappardelle with mushrooms like they really, truly care. (And you know what? You are. It's really, truly good.) In the summer months, al fresco tables bring the restaurant's breezy la dolce vita to a bustling stretch of DeKalb. 243 DeKalb Ave., 718-622-5300,

Hometown Bar-B-Que

Brooklyn native and former bodyguard Billy Durney opened this Red Hook barbecue joint last fall. His Texas brisket, Caribbean-style jerk baby back ribs and house-made sausages make fast friends in the expansive space, which has a charmingly earnest, all-American honky-tonk aesthetic. 454 Van Brunt St., 347-294-4644,


Franny's, co-owned by Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg, in Prospect Heights is a family-friendly, neighborhood institution for thin-crust pizzas made with fresh-from-the-Greenmarket ingredients.  Franny's: 348 Flatbush Ave., 718-230-0221,; Marco's: 295 Flatbush Ave., 718-230-0427,

BARSClover Club

This sultry Smith Street spot is the sort of retro-styled cocktail bar that feels atmospherically smoky despite New York's 10-year-old smoking ban. Sip a seasonal punch, cachaça lime juice swizzle or perfectly balanced Vieux Carre while grooving to live jazz in the wee hours, or come on a weekend afternoon for a brilliantly boozy brunch. 210 Smith St., 718-855-7939,

Fort Defiance

Drinks at Red Hook's Fort Defiance range from classic sazeracs to house cocktails like the Motorcycle Diaries, which Pegu Club ex-pat St. John Frizell created from pisco, amaro and mezcal. Make a day (and night) of it by ordering from the far-better-than-it-needs-to-be kitchen, which serves deviled eggs with fried capers, pâté with bacon-onion jam and pan-seared dorade with sugar snap peas. 365 Van Brunt St., 347-453-6672,

Montero's Bar

Do all these craft cocktails and retro-fabulous flavors leave you thirsty for a no-frills palate cleanser? Grab a Budweiser and a shot of whiskey – and, on weekend karaoke nights, the mic – alongside boozehounds of a certain age at this friendly dive, where the vaguely maritime aesthetic harkens back to its original, 1947 seafaring clientele. 73 Atlantic Ave, 646-729-4129

Brooklyn Inn

Drink to history at the Brooklyn Inn, whose exposed brick walls have housed thirsty New Yorkers since the 19th Century. The welcoming wooden bar was brought over from Germany in the 1870s, and the classic rock-, soul- and jazz-heavy jukebox makes the $5 beers taste even sweeter. 148 Hoyt St, 718-522-2525


This South Slope wine bar is equal parts second-date spot and friendly neighborhood watering hole. If you try something you like on the well-priced list of vino, head across the street: owner Aaron Hans also runs the nearby wine shop, Big Nose Full Body. 381 Seventh Ave, 718-768-9463,


Narrow in size but not in scope, this Fort Greene café serves La Colombe coffee, Balthazar pastries and house-made salads and sandwiches of the brie-and-apple variety. Try to nab one of the few counter stools, or brown bag it over to nearby Fort Greene Park. 180 Dekalb Ave., 718-852-2556,

Brooklyn Roasting Company

Dumbo's cinematic streets are filled with comely gallerists, selfie-taking tourists and start-up techies in $300 hoodies. All convene at Brooklyn Roasting Company, an expansive coffeehouse with artfully scattered seats and earnest dedication to all things fair trade, organic and Rainforest Alliance certified. It feels a little like you're in a moviemaker's version of nouveau Brooklyn, but that's sort of the point, right? 25 Jay St., 718-855-1000,

Gorilla Coffee

The ape has been keeping Park Slope percolating since 2002. Passionate baristas at two locations prepare every pour-over to order, and will eagerly discuss the benefits of single-origin or blended beans with interested imbibers. Sustain the conversation with a Doughnut Plant pastry, or settle into one of the coveted chairs and take advantage of Gorilla's delightfully fast and free wifi. 97 Fifth Ave., 472 Bergen St., 718-230-3244,

Hungry Ghost

A refreshingly unpretentious neighborhood spot, Hungry Ghost brews Stumptown beans roasted in Red Hook, and serves Serendipitea teas, Bagel Hole bagels and spooky-good sandwiches on Il Forno ciabatta. There are three locations across Prospect Heights and Fort Greene, including an outpost at non-profit arts center BRIC House. 253 Flatbush Ave., 781 Fulton St., 647 Fulton St., 718-8666,

Smith Canteen

For Smith Street's caffeinated connoisseurs, this 14-seater is housed in a renovated, turn-of-the-century pharmacy. In addition to Counter Culture brews, Smith Canteen serves sandwiches and Greenmarket-fresh vegetable sides created by the Nightingale 9 crew. 343 Smith St.,

Blue Bottle Coffee

Opened in early 2014 on a quiet corner in Boerum Hill, the Oakland-Brooklyn brand's newest spot is small but mighty. Neighborhood yogis cool down with cold brew and New Orleans-style iced drinks, and the designer stroller set swing through for house-made pastries and single-origin drip coffees. 85 Dean St.,


To call Stinky a cheese shop is like saying LeBron James is a pretty athletic guy. In addition to a globetrotting collection of cheese and charcuterie (wild boar cacciatorini, anyone?), the Cobble Hill store stocks gourmet foodstuffs like Saucy by Nature's Polish kimchi relish, and draughts six beers, including unusual brews from local hop heads Other Half and Kelso. Manhattanites recently celebrated the opening of Stinky's second location, a 1,000-square-foot spot in Chelsea. 215 Smith St., 718-522-7425,

Brooklyn Flea

While "flea market" might not be the best way to describe a weekly bazaar of artisanal crafts and $100 antique cigar boxes, the Flea is a summertime standby for stellar culinary wares. Taste locally made halva at Brooklyn Sesame, kiss swimsuit season goodbye with Dough's irresistible dulce de leche doughnuts, or bite into a kimchi-topped tube steak at Asia Dog. 176 Lafayette Ave., 718-928-6603,


This Park Slope shop stocks more than 1,000 beers, including 12 seasonal brews on draught and 2 cask lines. Get hoppy in the adjoining tasting room, where beer geeks and their long-suffering significant others pair rare pours with house-made sandwiches and charcuterie boards. 191 Fifth Ave., 718-230-7600,

Bklyn Larder

The proprietors of Franny's also own this sleek Park Slope shop, whose Spartan design philosophy belies the breadth of its culinary wares. Shelves are stocked with the likes of Plowshares coffee and Jacobsen sea salt, and the prepared foods counter contains nouveau-Brooklyn comfort foods like broccoli rabe sandwiches, couscous salads and braised short ribs. 228 Flatbush Ave., 718-783-1250,

Empire Mayonnaise

A storefront devoted to artisanal mayo may sound comically twee, but Empire Mayonnaise is serious about quality condiments. Founded by chef-about-town Sam Mason and Brooklyn native Elizabeth Valleau, Empire produces small-batch jars in flavors like black garlic and bacon, and sells them in-house, online and at retailers like Dean & DeLuca and Murray's Cheese. 564 Vanderbilt Ave., 718-636-2069,

Court Street Grocers

This Carroll Gardens shop is a fantasy bodega, stocked with La Quercia prosciutto, straight outta Carolina Cheerwine sodas and homemade raspberry rugelach. Don't miss the signature sandwiches, so popular they recently launched a spinoff, Court Street Grocers Hero Shop, in Red Hook. 485 Court St., 718-722-7229,

Picada Y Vino

Named for the small bites and wine shops prevalent in Argentina (but not allowed here due to complex liquor laws), PyV is a boutique wine shop that concentrates mainly on finding under-the-radar wineries producing unusual but highly drinkable wines. The Park Slope stalwart rightfully pinpointed a niche for discerning oenophiles in a neighborhood that surprisingly lacked such choices (though South Slope's Slope Cellars serves a similar crowd) and ran with it. The result? Great wines and knowledgable service. 327 Fifth Ave., 718-499-2392

COOKING SCHOOLSPurple Kale Kitchenworks

Chef Ronna Welsh takes a holistic approach to cooking, teaching time-saving mise en place techniques, CSA produce management and kitchen improvisation from her South Slope studio. Classes range from 90 minutes to 5 hours, and from $100 to $325. 221 20th St., 917-297-9709,

Brooklyn Homebrew

Thirsty beginners learn the art of brewing at Brooklyn Homebrew, which recently relocated to larger digs with dedicated class space on the border of South Slope and Gowanus. The 2.5-hour classes include brewing, bottling and takeaway treats, all for $45 a pop. 164 20th St., 718-832-2739,

Mukti's Kitchen

Home cook Mukti Banerjee is dedicated to demystifying Indian cooking. She teaches three-hour, $75 sessions on spice blends, basic botany (Banerjee is a former molecular geneticist with a killer backyard garden), at-home frying and rice cooking techniques from her Kensington apartment. 816 Beverly Rd., 917-703-3998,


NU Hotel

Employees Only's Milos Zica created the cocktails for the onsite bar, Misdemeanor, but the best culinary attraction at this sleek, 93-room hotel is its location. Near the neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, the modish lodge is just minutes from the restaurant rows of Smith and Court Streets, and the six complimentary loaner bicycles put all of South Brooklyn within reach. 85 Smith St., 718-852-8585,


Starwood's junior-W brand made its Downtown Brooklyn debut in 2011. The 172-room hotel has free wifi, 24-hour room service and a sundeck that connects to the Sheraton pool next door. What the neighborhood lacks in independent eats, it more than makes up for in proximity to culinary destinations in Carroll Gardens and Boerum Hill. Also, a little island called Manhattan is just two subway stops away. 216 Duffield St., 718-256-3833,

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