Progression of Dining in Williamsburg
Williamsburg has become known for its food. Part of Williamsburg’s edgy and hipster vibe stems from significance of restaurants and food in the neighborhood. While traditional foods include Kosher Matzah Ball Soup and Challah Bread for the Jewish community in Williamsburg, the new community of Eateries around the neighborhood is prominent. Clams are often traditionally eaten in Williamsburg, due to the waterfront and Williamsburg’s industrial past. Now almost every restaurant competes to be the coolest place to eat; the architecture, decoration, and vibe of every restaurant is spectacular and “artsy.” There are many places to eat in Williamsburg at which people from all boroughs congregate to eat, creating crowds waiting for tables in restaurants all over the neighborhood.
Some of the most popular restaurants in Williamsburg include Egg, Fette Sau, Marlow & Sons, and Peter Luger Steak House, just to name a few. Some trends in restaurants in Williamsburg include locally raised foods and farm-to-table dining and independent entities that are cash only, and do not accept reservations.
Egg is a breakfast joint that gets packed because of its popular and delicious organic food. Breakfast is served from open to close, but there is also a lunch menu that begins at 11:30. The restaurant prides itself on its organic food, which comes from Oak Hill Farm, part of the restaurant entity. The owners take pride in having their own farm where the majority of the restaurants ingredients are harvested. The owners also agree with many Williamsburg residents that local food is better, and they like participating in all of the steps in the process of cooking, learning everyday more about the work that goes into farming. The restaurant is very down-to-earth with a simple menu, and only taking cash and walk-ins.
Fette Sau is a barbeque restaurant in Williamsburg that sells meat by the pound. Many consider this to be the best BBQ in New York City. The meats are locally raised and provided to the restaurant by farms near by, so the restauarant’s menu changes daily to accomidate for the meats that are available. Fette Sau does not accept reservations, so the wait is usualy long for this popular restaurant, ocated on Metriopolitain Ave.
Marlow & Sons is another restaurant with a daily changing menu. It was one of the first popular Farm-to Table restaurants in Williamsburg, opening in 2002. The restaurant has really taken off, selling its products at local bakeries, and taking orders online by season (They are currently taking orders for pies and turkeys, for thanksgiving). Down the street, you can find their general store, Marlow & Daughters, where some of the restaurants ingredients are sold.
Peter Luger Steak House is widely considered the best Steak in New York City. The restaurant is in its 126th year of being open, established in 1887. The meat served is all cattle graded Prime by the USDA and hand picked by members of the family. They pride themselves I tradition, steering clear of microbrews or “trendy drinks” and sticking with timeless wooden furniture, for the original 19th century feel. The Steakhouse does not accept credit cards, except for their own Pete Luger Card, which they offer an application for online.
There is a large number of restaurants that serve Mexican and other types of latin food in Williamsburg. Some local favorites are Dos Toros and La Burrito, both of which focus on the Mexican-American style of food, and both are very good. A personal
favorite is the very rustic Cuban restaurant, Cubana Social, located in a dark room, almost hidden between two popular music venues a few blocks from the waterfront. In vain of the offbeat dining atmosphere, Cubana Social has old black-and-white films playing on the wall for all to watch, and oftentimes a live band to play along with the films or their own music. On occasion, though, the tables are pushed to the walls and the restaurant turns into a dance club with a live band playing. All their food is traditional Cuban food with many vegetarian and vegan options, as they serve to the diverse crowd of customers from all throughout Williamsburg.
One of the main attractions of Williamsburg is Smorgasburg. This section of the Brooklyn Flea is currently open every Saturday from 11am to 6pm in Williamsburg at East River State Park. Lines form that are so long, people are waiting for hours, just to eat at certain vendors. Some popular vendors include Blue Bottle Coffee, the Milk Truck , Dan and John’s Wings, Lonestar Empire, and Butter & Scotch. One main attraction of the event is the Ramen Burger, apparently so good its worth getting in line at 8am. The burger is made with noodles replacing the bun on a typical burger, and is said to be a more delicious version of an Umami Burger, one of the most popular artisan burger restaurants in New York.
The Milk Truck is a popular Grilled Cheese and Macaroni and Cheese vendor that travels around NYC all days of the week, but is sure to be found in Williamsburg every Saturday. The milk truck’s sandwiches are the most delicately made Grilled Cheeses I’ve ever heard of, and the novelty of a name “Milk Truck” is enough to get me to stop there.
Butter & Scotch is a Craft Cocktail and Dessert bar that was started just this year. The creators hope to open a bar location in 2014, but currently appear every Saturday at Smorgusburg to sell there delicious “booze-laden” pies and cupcakes to the locals.
An obvious staple of modern culture is coffee. There is a Starbucks on nearly every street corner these days, but this is not so in Williamsburg. The number of small coffee shops is astounding to say the least. It is hard to walk down a city block and not pass a little cafe
full of well dressed people and surprisingly low prices. Modca Coffee is a popular coffee shop renown for it’s simplicity: 2$ cups of coffee and no immense list of variations. We even went to a fascinating and very unique cafe deep in Williamsburg called The Blue Stove. It was equipped with glass bottles of milk variations, appliances that look like they may be older than our parents, peculiar and surreal decoration, and delicious, cheap coffee. It was filled with people in their twenties, with laptops and books, discussing a variety of topics. The small coffee shop is a staple of Williamsburg food culture.
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