Park Slope, Brooklyn is one of the 6 gayborhoods you should definitely know about. This long, thin area, located immediately west of Prospect Park, is filled with street after street of cheery brownstones and the families who live there. At the following restaurants, expect to see a few strollers and tots (and maybe some screaming), particularly during weekend brunch. Kiddos notwithstanding, Park Slope boasts some of the best restaurants in the borough, which come with Brooklyn-esque perks like backyard dining and less waiting time. Visit a few of these 10 restaurants whether you live in the area or traveling.
On this list, Rose Water is challenged only by Bricolage for the title of Best Patio. This one, set streetside, has the wildness of an English garden. You’d want to sit here no matter what the restaurant served, but luckily Rose Water presents seasonal, sustainable, organic ingredients in winning dishes for dinner and brunch. From the complimentary bread to herbed fettuccine with pork to the chocolate cake, it’s a feast for all senses at Rose Water. 787 Union St., 718-783-3800, rosewaterrestaurant.com
Although Katsuei on 7th Avenue gets all the hype, we’re partial to Taro. It’s the perfect blend of affordable neighborhood sushi spot and quality ingredients. Have a platter of sushi for two and a bowl of miso soup, and don’t forget a carafe of sake. Grab a seat by the large street-side windows, and watch busy Flatbush Avenue as you devour your sushi. 244 Flatbush Ave., 718-398-5240, tarosushibrooklyn.com
Cocktails and banh mi make a pretty great combo, especially in summer. Come to Bricolage for very good Vietnamese food in an adorable, plant-filled patio out back. Split some sriracha butter chicken wings as an appetizer, and go vegetarian for the banh canh noodle as a main. The Unshaking Beef is a signature main worth trying as well. As for your drink, order the Pink Soda Chanh Muoi Salted Lemonade: a mouthful to say but pure pleasure to drink. 162 5th Ave., 718-230-1835, bricolage.nyc
Convivium Osteria gets an A+ for presentation. This Italian restaurant embodies the word rustic, with copper pots hanging on the distressed walls, exposed brick in the cellar downstairs, and plenty of dark wood to complete the magically antique atmosphere. But enough about the looks; the food is phenomenal. From apple-cinnamon ravioli with duck to rack of lamb crusted with pine nuts, this is one menu you’ll want to come back to when Pride 2020 rolls around. This is also a great pick if Al Di La is too crowded. 68 5th Ave., 718-857-1833, convivium-osteria.com
You won’t find a Brooklyn brunch much better than Miriam’s. This lovely Israeli restaurant serves organic egg dishes, French toast, and Israeli treats like the bureka, a puff-pastry stuffed with feta and olives. Miriam gets mobbed during weekend brunch hours. In case you’d like to skip the crowds, we recommend stopping by on a weekday (daily brunch until 4!) or coming for an equally delicious dinner. 79 5th Ave., 718-662-2250, miriamrestaurant.com
Calexico has literal street cred, since it started as a single food cart in downtown Manhattan. Now the company has 5 brick-and-mortar locations in the city, including the pleasant and lively one in Central Slope. Come to this Mexican spot for a relaxed meal of al pastor tacos or a quesadilla. Margaritas are not mandatory, but they’re encouraged. This one’s a popular pick for weekend brunch as well (read: breakfast burritos with Calexico “crack sauce”). 278 5th Ave., 347-254-7644, calexico.com
Al Di La Trattoria
If you like Italian pasta (and who doesn’t?), Al Di La should be the first restaurant you visit in Park Slope. This trattoria on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Carroll Street has attracted lots of attention since it opened in 1998, and it’s so well-known that you might spot some Manhattanites vying for a table on weekends. This is home-cooked Northern Italian cuisine prepared with excellence, from the tripe appetizer to the beet-ricotta ravioli to braised rabbit with polenta. There are no wrong orders, and no reason not to visit Al Di La for date night, with a group, or for a relaxed brunch. No reservations available for parties under 6, so come early. While you wait, visit the wine bar Al Di La Vino right around the corner. 248 5th Ave., 718-783-4565, aldilatrattoria.com
Stone Park Cafe
Stone Park is a safe pick for a group that doesn’t know what it wants. Dishes here run the gamut from bone-marrow tacos to pasta to grilled branzino to a burger. All are well-prepared in slightly upscale environs, perfect for a relaxed dinner with a glass of wine or a brunch al fresco on the patio. Make a reservation, as Stone Park Cafe can get congested (particularly on weekends). 324 5th Ave., 718-369-0082, stoneparkcafe.com
A block away from the Barclays Center, Patsy’s is another reliable pizza pick. Serving thin-crust pizza since 1933, Patsy’s excels in every flavor from margherita to bianca. There’s also a back patio for pleasant days, and we hear the happy hour’s not too shabby either. 450 Dean St., 718-622-2268, patsyspizza.nyc
As you head farther south, Park Slope gets more residential, and restaurant offerings start to thin out. That’s why Camperdown Elm is such a gift. It’s a neighborhood bar that manages to feel casual and refined at once. At happy hour, get $1 oysters on the half shell with a cocktail. For dinner, start with a seaweed/rice cracker topped with mackerel pate, followed by grilled octopus and hamachi with Asian pear. The double cheeseburger is also excellent, but only available at the bar. If you’re skipping the burger, get a table on the leafy patio if you can! 441 7th Ave., 347-294-4786, camperdownelm.com
Want to receive Metrosource LGBTQ content notifications? Sign up for MetroEspresso.
Read Next | Find LGBTQ-Friendly Real Estate Agents in NYC
Last modified: August 13, 2019