Well before the current wave of food artisans flooded waterfronts with fleas, festivals and pop-up shops, our borough was a longtime destination for dining experiences that could only be found in Brooklyn.
Here we've compiled a list of the Top 5 Most Iconic Brooklyn Foods. Prepare to work up an appetite.
Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs – These brats born on Coney Island’s boardwalk are synonymous with summer, and have gained a national following through supermarket retail and a certain competitive-eating contest that occurs every 4th of July. Whether you can throw down 16 in one sitting or just a single dog, everyone can agree the all-beef franks have become a legitimate Brooklyn legacy.
Grimaldi’s Pizza – Despite lines around the block and decidedly surly service, this pie institution beneath the bridge has attracted pizza-lovers from all over the globe for years with its slightly sweet red sauce and super-thin crust—and it has launched at least 100 copycat joints.
Junior’s Cheesecake – This creamy, dreamy cheesecake with a tangy kick and a graham-cracker crust has been making people smile since 1950. The most famous location serving it sparkles on Flatbush Avenue. Sidle up to a booth, grab a cup of coffee and prepare to dive into heaven.
Peter Luger’s Steakhouse Porterhouse – If you’re looking for old-school porterhouse and potatoes with a side of greens and two fingers of whiskey, this Williamsburg gentleman's bar has long been the gold standard. Arrive hungry.
Tatiana’s Russian Buffet - Caviar crepes, kebabs, and pickle plates served with copious amounts of vodka are just a few of the traditional banquet options at this classic dining hall-meets-nightclub in Brighton Beach. Wearing fur and diamonds is a must. Plan to be out until sunrise.
What do you think, readers—are there other legendary Brooklyn foods that should have made the list? Tell us in the comments below.
Bonus question: What are the modern-day counterparts to these historic dishes and restaurants? Can Bark Hot Dogs in Park Slope compete for future top frank? What about Lucali in Caroll Gardens or Franny’s in Prospect Heights for new iconic pizza restaurant? Where is the best new steak?