Carroll Gardens, Fort Greene, and other Central Brooklyn neighborhoods are buzzing with new restaurant activity. If you like to be among the first to sample trendy restaurants after they open and you’re planning a visit to Brooklyn in the near future, this list is for you. All of the restaurants featured below have opened since spring and are within walking distance of the NU Hotel.
It’s a good thing Gerry Rooney’s new brewpub is a 6,000 square-foot operation because it’s already often filled to capacity. Chef Bruce Dillion’s satisfying pizza and beer from brewing mastermind Danny Bruckert (of Sixpoint fame) have earned Circa a stellar reputation. The stylish, open space is ideal for groups, as is the variety of beer represented in the 11 house brews on tap. Circa Brewing Co. is a seven-minute walk from the NU Hotel.
141 Lawrence St.; (718) 858-0055
This hip Oaxacan restaurant serves authentic fare in a stylish setting. Early patron favorites include tlayudas, memelas, and mole dishes. Another highlight is watching the grillmaster at work on Claro’s cool backyard grill. Claro is in Gowanus, a 20-minute walk or five-minute drive from NU Hotel.
284 3rd Avenue; (347) 721-3126
This long-anticipated Brooklyn food emporium opened to great fanfare in June. If your party cannot agree on a cuisine, head to DeKalb Market Hall for access to an array of affordable, quality eateries. At last count, 49 food vendors were operating in the 60,000 square-foot food court. New York’s iconic Katz’s Deli selected DeKalb Market Hall for its first outpost. Queens’ famous Arepa Lady is selling Colombian arepas in the hall. And they’re joined by dozens of other well-known local names and talented new chefs. DeKalb Market Hall is a 10-minute walk from the NU Hotel.
445 Albee Square W.; (929) 359-6555
All-day restaurants are a growing trend in Central Brooklyn, and Hudson Jane is one of the hottest at the moment. Visit for breakfast, and choose from a delicious selection of breakfast burritos and breakfast sandwiches. Drop in for lunch, and choose from more sandwiches and a selection of warm plates. Come dinnertime, the menu grows heartier and Hudson Jane’s vibe grows reminiscent of a wine bar. This sensational new restaurant is a pleasant 20-minute walk through beautiful Fort Greene Park, one of Brooklyn’s best fall foliage spots.
360 Myrtle Ave.; (347) 987-3881
Located on the same block as Hudson Jane, Norberto Piattoni’s Metta arrived on the Fort Greene dining scene in March. Metta serves savory Latin American fare in a chic setting that revolves around the restaurant’s open kitchen. A seven-seat chef’s counter offers diners close-up views of the wood-fired cooking action.
197 Adelphi Street; (718) 233-9134
This new Columbia Street Waterfront District restaurant serves northern and southern Italian dishes, some with a touch of American Southern flair. Clam bruschetta, nduja-ricotta cavatelli, and bourbon-molasses budino with candied pecans are all on the menu. In nice weather, Popina also has a pleasant garden with bocce ball kit. Popina is a scenic 20-minute walk from NU Hotel.
127 Columbia St.; (718) 222-1901
Wildly popular Miami restaurant Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill opened an outpost in DUMBO’s impeccably restored Empire Stores building in September. Sugarcane’s raw bar, crudos, sushi, and sashimi garner rave reviews, but so do its non-raw, non-seafood dishes. Chinese-Trinidadian chef Timon Balloo’s cauliflower tahini, goat cheese croquettes, and bacon-wrapped dates are among those early diners haven given the thumbs up to. This new DUMBO restaurant is a scenic, one-mile walk from NU Hotel.
55 Water St. Suite 1A; (718) 473-9555
Chef Sirichai Sreparplarn is no stranger to the Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill neighborhoods. His northern Thai restaurant Kao Soy was eminently popular in the neighborhood during its reign. His newest venture, Ugly Baby, has been hailed by food critic Robert Sietsema as one of “the most exciting Thai restaurants to hit [New York City] in a long time. If you wish to be among the first to dine at this Carroll Gardens restaurant, arrive early. Ugly Baby seats just 20 diners and doesn’t take reservations. The restaurant, a 15-minute walk from NU Hotel, is currently BYOB with no corkage fee.
407 Smith St.; (347) 689-3075