Best Restaurants in Brooklyn Heights/Dumbo

July 3, 2018
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by Zagat Staff

Restaurants with good views tend to serve food that’s not quite as impressive. That’s not the case in these neighborhoods, where there are a few places you can watch the sunset over Manhattan while also having an excellent bowl of pasta. And if you’d rather eat without a waterfront view, there are some great spots to do that, too.

Fornino At Pier 6
Pizza · Brooklyn Heights · $
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

In the eternal “NY pizza wars” , these Brooklyn “favorites” are “strong players” thanks to “decadent” toppings and “perfectly done” wood-fired crusts; “price-is-right” tabs enhance their “can't-go-wrong” reputations.
Grimaldi's Pizza
Pizza · DUMBO · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.2 · Service 3.5

Brace yourself for “endless crowds” at this Dumbo pizzeria–cum– ”tourist” magnet where the payoff is “delicious” “thin-crust” , coal-fired pies; the other branches can usually be accessed “without the wait” , but they share the mother ship’s no-plastic, no-reservations, no-slices rules.
Noodle Pudding
Brooklyn Heights · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.3

An “enduring favorite” that “never gets old” , this cash-only Brooklyn Heights “winner” is a hit with locals thanks to its “sublime” traditional Italian cooking and “wonderful energy” ; the “crowds never cease” and regulars “wish they took reservations” , but “moderate” tabs are the payoff.
Colonie
Brooklyn Heights · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.1

“Vibrant atmosphere meets inspired menu” at this Brooklyn Heights New American, where a seasonal lineup of “exceptional locavore” dishes pairs with “top-notch” service in a space sporting a “lush garden” wall; it's an acknowledged “keeper” , though the “energetic” crowds and “tight” quarters can make it “hard to snag a table.”
Juliana's
Pizza · DUMBO · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.1

From “pizza legend” Patsy Grimaldi, this “old-school” joint turns out “premium” pies via a coal oven ( “it’s the char!” ) in “casual” digs beneath the Brooklyn Bridge; since it “looks like everyone knows” , don’t be surprised to see lines “down the block.”
The River Café
DUMBO · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.5

“Is there a more beautiful setting in NYC?” swoon fans of this Dumbo waterfront “classic” whose “romantic” dining room offers “unbeatable” views of Manhattan, as well as a fairy-lit “Garden of Eden” just outside; “elegant” prix fixe–only American cuisine and “exceptional” service complete the “high-end” experience – for which an “expensive” price tag is “to be expected.”
GRAN ELÉCTRICA
DUMBO · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.3

“Simple but super-delicious” , the Mexican eats at this “pleasant” Dumbo denizen under the Brooklyn Bridge pair well with its extensive list of mezcals, tequilas and “killer” margaritas; Day of the Dead–inspired wallpaper adds to the “festive” vibrations, while the “fun patio” provides a “civilized respite from the noisy interior.”
Atrium DUMBO
French · DUMBO · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

An “airy, modernist-rustic” space and “locavore” fare “with flair” have locals declaring this “très chic” French-influenced New American “so completely Dumbo” , especially with its “lively” downstairs bar and outdoor seating; despite “hit or miss” results and somewhat “high” prices, fans like that it’s “blessedly close” to St. Ann’s Warehouse.
Vinegar Hill House
American · Vinegar Hill · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

On a “charming cobblestone street” in “remote” Vinegar Hill, this “comfortable” hideaway stands out with “inspired” seasonal New American fare and “solid” cocktails; the “pleasant” , rustic digs with a “fun garden” work equally well for date night or “casual” brunch, but reserve ahead or risk a wait.
Celestine
DUMBO · $$$

Mediterranean, North African and Middle Eastern dishes (some prepared on a wood-burning grill) are joined by cocktails, beers, wines and sherries at this upscale DUMBO eatery by vets of Grand Army and Mile End. Done in clean woods with floor-to-ceiling windows, the indoor/outdoor space offers prime waterfront views.
Westville Dumbo
American · DUMBO · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.2 · Service 3.7

Popular with “young 20s and 30s” , these “local hangouts” dish out “New Wave” American “diner food” with an emphasis on “heavenly” market-fresh veggies that make them a “vegetarian’s paradise” ; they’re often “crowded” with “elbow-to-elbow” seating, but “value” prices keep the appeal high.
SUGARCANE raw bar grill
DUMBO · $$

Along with a raw bar, sushi and seafood crudos, there's a range of eclectic small plates and meaty dishes from the open-fire grill at this sizable Miami export in DUMBO. Expect cushy booth, table and bar seating in a Cuban-accented space with lots of rum drinks, a patio and skyline views.
VHH Foods
DUMBO · $$

From the Vinegar Hill House crew, this all-day Dumbo cafe is counter-serve by day, full-service by night, with elevated breakfast items and coffee drinks, sandwiches and dishes like smoked chicken (half or whole). While the indoor/outdoor setting has water views, you can also order family-style meals to take to the park.
Cecconi's
Italian · DUMBO · $$$

With a stunning waterfront view, this DUMBO branch of a refined global chain provides Italian pastas, wood-fired pizzas and both moderate and high-end mains in a space outfitted with brick walls, black-and-white tiled floors and chandeliers, as well as a marble bar. Cocktails (including different types of Negronis), weekend brunch and a weekday aperitivo menu add to the appeal.