Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights are two of Chowhound's favorite neighborhoods. They have a distinct flavor and mythos that you'll feel as soon as you hit the cobblestone streets. Let me put it to you this way: If Williamsburg is the full-bodied Syrah that sits on your tongue and kinda won't be ignored, Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights are the emerging orange blend that has a color, acidity and sweetness you didn't anticipate but are enjoying. Thoroughly. Though Willyburg is sometimes referenced as the "go to" for Brooklyn dining, we've set our sights here.
Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights are storied neighborhoods on the up-and-up of the NY food scene; they're remarkable for their elegant and eclectic mix of restaurants and dishes, from hole-in-the-wall bistros to Caribbean eats to the best bowl of bucatini ya ever had.
These neighborhoods are so distinct (not to mention delish) that Walt Whitman once described them as “an escape from the closeness of city life". And so, to make dear Mr. Whitman proud (and to satisfy our hunger pangs, which are numerous), we did what any good food fiend does: we hit up every restaurant on our wish list. And we chatted with the chefs who are transforming Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights into best-in-class culinary destinations through incredible eats.
First up: Emily. This cozy eatery on Fulton Street is run by husband and wife team - Emily and Matt Hyland - and features red and white thin crust pizzas, and an absolutely insane burger (which, to be honest, is sometimes overshadowed but is a miracle in its own right). We ate 3 pies of wood-fired delight and chatted with Chef Matt about how his burger came to be. And though picking a favorite pizza is a lil like picking a favorite child...we will stoop that low. Order the Colony with pepperoni, pickled chili and honey.
We skipped across the street to Sisters for a sampling of seasonal delicacies. With an emphasis on organic and farm-fresh ingredients, this local joint reflects the best of Brooklyn. Sisters is the perfect destination for a rainy night and a phat glass of wine; if you're going for the hard stuff (no judgment), the Fugue State is a fave (del maguey vida mezcal, genepy, maraschino, lime). Little gem salad, anyone?
Yeah, yeah, yeah - your ancestor was on the Mayflower. We can one up ya. We had a drink at Mayflower Social and it was lit. Dimly. This Greene Ave bar is ideal for a late night tanqueray & tonic with your homies. Two words: hangover lighting.
The Chowhound crew loves many things -- race horses, reinvention and ridiculously delicious cuisine. Speedy Romeo has all three. This 100-year-old bar, turned liquor store, turned auto shop, turned restaurant is a pure breed. The pizza is heavenly and they make their ricotta and mozzarella in-house (which is also dreamy af). Don’t miss it.
The Finch is located in an 120-year-old brownstone and serves up dishes that are equal parts seasonal, magical, and delectable. We chatted with Chef Gabe about his inspirations (the same night that he received a Michelin star for a second year in a row!) And after watching his team in the kitchen, it's no surprise that diners and critics are enamored with this Clinton Hill restaurant.
Hops Hill -- a place for tried and true beer lovers to kick their feet up and savor speciality brews. With 12 taps and truly “of the moment” selections, we had to see (sip!) what all the fuss was about. The Industrial Arts Night School is a new favorite but we'll be back for more -- just like the Terminator said.
Our first spot in Prospect Heights was Faun -- a homey restaurant in the center of Brooklyn, with an emphasis on beautifully straightforward dishes. Swoon. We kicked it with Chef Brian, and fell in love with sitting at the bar counter. Welcoming, cozy, with an expertly executed menu...what more could you want from a neighborhood haunt?
5 words for you: meat, cheese, bottles, cans, drafts. One more word: paradise. Prospect Heights can thank Josh Van Horn for bringing beer bliss to the neighborhood. Gold Star Beer Counter is our favorite post-park, pre-dinner stop -- especially if you're looking for a good growler of beer.
A surf shop serving up modern Korean eats? Yolo. We may be miles from the ocean in Prospect Heights, but the guys behind Tygershark are rolling with the tide. Plus, their seafood-centric take on revamped Korean dishes is the perfect way to wrap up a long day -- or kick off your weekend adventures.
Chuko Ramen is an instant classic. Their dishes combine traditional and novel ingredients for ramen as thought provoking as they are tasty. Slurrrrrp. We loved chatting with chef Jamison (who, it should be said) opened his restaurant years before ramen took over BK. Take yourself on a date to Chuko; we suggest a late Sunday afternoon, post-stroll and pre-nap.
Named after the father of landscape architecture, this seasonally-driven spot re-contextualizes and reasserts “farm to table”. Experience the best of Brooklyn at this romantic resto, and make sure to take advantage of their idyllic patio during balmier days.
We put our bibs on and had some finger lickin’ good BBQ with Meat Master Mark. If you’ve been searching for some truly tangy, Texas-focused BBQ, this is the Southern transplant we recommend. The smokey queso, pulled pork and bourbon pecan pie are smoke shows.
Alrrrriiiiiight, we're finally full. But we're looking forward to more culinary excursions in Clinton Hill & Prospect Heights. With enviable brownstones, pools of golden leaves and some of the best eats in Brooklyn, we're keeping our eye on the prize. Ooh, is that a new deli across the street?
Hi! I'm a writer, producer and storyteller. I'm the creator behind Yum Yum Fun - an experiential food blog at the intersection of adventure, memoir, and delicious eats. I've lived in Chicago, Baltimore, Rome, San Francisco and New York - and have used food as a means to explore them all. V excited to be part of the Chowhound editorial crew and for the #YYF trips ahead. Peep the adventures on IG: @rcpatrizio