02/06/17 3:15pm
Date night on a budget: A comprehensive list of Brooklyn's best BYOB restaurants

Enjoy the shinobi ramen at Shinobi Ramen with your own hand-selected booze. via Facebook

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could go out to dinner and be certain that your favorite alcoholic beverages were available, for around $3 per drink? Have we got news for you: Brooklyn has some awesome BYOB restaurants, so going out to eat and drinking cheap doesn’t have to exist only in your dreams.

A BYOB restaurant is a beautiful, cost-effective option often overlooked in a city where you’re constantly stuck $12 for something you already have in your fridge and could’ve poured into your own mason jar. We’re obviously not taking any kind of anti-bar stance here, but if you have a few odd beers at your apartment and want to get rid of them, why not take them out for a night on the town at at one of Brooklyn’s best BYOB restaurants? (more…)

01/04/17 1:50pm
Via Brooklyn Brewery Facebook.

Via Brooklyn Brewery Facebook.

The best of all worlds will collide this month as the first ever Best of Brooklyn Food and Beer Festival gears up to take over Industry City on Jan. 28! Brokelyn readers get a special discount, so for just $25 you can enjoy unlimited beer tastings and discover more than 30 of the best restaurants in the borough.

The foodie-friendly event – which will showcase the best of the best in both food and drink – comes on the heels of this year’s Best of Brooklyn competition, hosted by Brooklyn Media Group, publisher of BrooklynReporter.com, Brokelyn, The Home Reporter, Brooklyn Spectator and Spectator News and several other local outlets. 

In the competition, now in its fifth year, more than 45,000 voters crowned more than 100 winners in categories such as Best Bar, Best Burger, Best Happy Hour and more in a borough which is now known worldwide for the quality and originality of its culinary offerings.

Now, you’ll have your chance to see those winning vendors – and taste their wares – in one place, Sunset Park’s Industry City. (more…)

10/19/16 4:00pm
Illustration by Shaylyn Berlew.

Illustration by Shaylyn Berlew.

Yelp, Google Maps, that imperious Zagat: none of them truly know Brooklyn as well as you do. This is why we’re putting the intoxicating power of direct democracy in your hands. The election may still be a few weeks away, but one election is already on. Through Friday (Oct. 21), you can cast your vote for the Best in Brooklyn, weighing in on your favorites in restaurants, food, bars and nightlife. Along with our sister publication The Brooklyn Home Reporter, we are canvassing Brokelyn readers for their picks of the top spots borough wide. Got a pick for best vegan bakery? A go-to first date spot? A concert venue that’s always fire emoji or an authentic Italian spot that out-sauces the trendy new spots? Show it some love!

Hundreds of businesses are nominated and thousands of readers vote each year, but there will only be one first-place winner in each category that gets Best of Brooklyn. Voting ends at midnight Oct. 21, so be sure to cast your ballot! Click HERE to cast your votes. We won’t even make you sit through weeks of attack ads first. (more…)

10/06/16 3:50pm
Union Hall is for indulging your inner Belle's library fantasies.

Union Hall provides ales and ambiance, perfect for getting lost in a novel.

We often can’t help ourselves from buying a book whenever we pass a bookstore. We’ll save money for beer, of course, because we want to devour our literary haul with some lagers in one of our favorite reading venues: a bar! Not all bars are equal in the eye of the reader, naturally. Who wants to read where jaeger bombs are the norm? To save you the time searching, we compiled a list of fifteen places we think are the best Brooklyn bars to read in, along with suggestions on what to read.

Since most normies converge on pubs when night falls, these places are best read in during the day. But a good number of them remain quiet enough on weeknights to take in some text. Just remember to take care of your bartender if you’re going to spend a lot of time there.  (more…)

08/02/16 1:40pm
Illustration by Shaylyn Berlew.

Illustration by Shaylyn Berlew.

You know the best of Brooklyn: It’s the places you bring your out-of-town friends when they want to experience the actual Brooklyn you can’t see from the top of a double decker bus; the friendly bagel shops and authentic pizzerias that remind you constantly why you decide to keep living here despite the endless rent hikes; the places you check in on every few weeks with mild panic, making sure they haven’t been replaced by a Subway sandwich shop yet.

Now you get your chance to have your opinion heard: Today we’re launching the Best of Brooklyn competition to find the most outstanding restaurants, venues, businesses and date spots in Brooklyn! (more…)

05/03/16 3:52pm
The 5 best spots for Haitian food in Brooklyn, and how to order like a local at each one

Chiktay herring at La Caye. Thank me later.

I grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and I never really felt like I “fit.” The neighborhood was largely Caribbean, but the only people I had interactions with were my fellow Haitians. Most of the kids in my school were either Irish or Italian, and I was one of three black students in my class. It’s safe to say I didn’t identify with any of my peers on a cultural level — especially where food was concerned. New York is America’s little melting pot, and there are dozens of restaurants that represent each respective country. But this has never been the case with Haitian restaurants.

Once I got to college, I made it my duty to throw house parties for my friends whenever I came back home to Brooklyn between semesters. I would beg my mother to prepare a buffet of traditional Haitian food for my friends to try. Everybody loved those parties, and I’ve wanted to share the food with friends and strangers ever since.

Good Haitian food takes love and time— from cleaning the meat, to seasoning it using authentic imported spices, to ritual meals like soup joumou, a yellow pumpkin soup we eat on New Years’ Day. And while I’d love to have my mom cook you all some Haitian food, it’s much easier to share my secrets about where else you can get the good stuff. So here’s a list of the best Haitian restaurants in Brooklyn. If you’re feeling really adventurous, double down (get it?) with our Caribbean snack crawl picks along the way.  (more…)

04/28/16 1:19pm
Words, words, words. via Sundays at Erv's on FB

Words, words, words. via Sundays at Erv’s on FB

As we journey ever deeper into the world of digital publication, audiobooks ringing in our ears and e-readers clutched to our breasts, it seems as though big publishing houses might not be long for this world. These days, you’d think that an emerging writer’s only hope to get discovered would be through a clever tweet.

But you’d be wrong. First of all, even if print is dying, publishing is not. And secondly, here in Brooklyn there’s still a loving home for the literature enthusiast (or just for anyone who prefers to write in complete sentences). If you’re eager to meet other bookworms and discover new voices, the best way to do it is through any of BK’s local reading series. Lucky you, we’ve compiled a list of said reading series, all of which feature free admission and — arguably the secret of all great writers — proximity to alcohol. (more…)

04/21/16 1:34pm
Brunch at Forrest Point

Brunch at Forrest Point, via @SarahSandbach on Instagram.

If you’ve been good about budgeting on groceries and busting out your crockpot this winter, you deserve a little springtime splurging. Dare to deviate from your normal hang and head to these Bushwick brunch spots for some our favorite newcomers and oldies but goodies, to satiate all of your weekend (and weekday!) desires. We know brunch by nature is pricy, but read on to see where to get our favorite dishes (and still be able to afford eating the rest of the week). We broke it down by some of the best standbys in the neighborhood, some newcomers to the scene and where you can get brunch beyond usual brunch hours. Just make sure not to piss off your server.  (more…)

04/13/16 1:04pm
Renew your IRL music shopping at Rebel Rouser, Vinyl Fantasy, Human Head and more of the best record shops in Brooklyn.

Renew your IRL music shopping at Rebel Rouser, Vinyl Fantasy, Human Head and more of the best record shops in Brooklyn.

A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, by which I mean Baltimore circa 2007, I worked in a record store. It was one of those buy/sell/trade deals and we had mostly CDs, because 2007, but there was a special vinyl section. That’s how you knew someone was extra super cool: they were looking at actual records, and therefore presumably actually owned a record player.

Records have come back in full force since then, with vinyl sales making more money than free streaming services last year. Plus, more and more bands are producing their music on vinyl, so that’s a great way to help the musicians you love be able to, you know, eat and stuff.  Sure, Spotify and iTunes are really useful for listening on the train or the bus and drowning out the ramblings of the Evangelical preacher who’s chosen your train car as his soap box for the morning. But being able to instantly summon whatever you want to listen to kind of takes the fun out of searching for new music: there’s something really special about sifting through bins to find the record you really want, or the one you didn’t know you wanted; holding a record in your hands, putting it on your record player, seeing it on your shelf next to your other records.

There’s even this magical day called Record Store Day coming up on Saturday, which is the best possible day to go visit your local independent record store. Though not all these shops are participating, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t support them on all the days. So whether it’s Record Store Day or just a good ay for new music, here is a list of the best record stores in Brooklyn, plus an in depth bargain-bin analysis by us.
(more…)

02/12/16 3:00pm
It's a supermarket sweep!

It’s a supermarket sweep!

I like supermarkets. I really do. They often make their way into my dating life, and I’ve been asked more than once, “For our next few dates, can we go someplace that isn’t a supermarket?” It’s not like I want to go to every Key Foods or Met Food in the borough. And It’s not like I’m trying to map out every humdrum faux-organic-natural-food market full of overpriced kale and coconut smoothie supplements. I just really like going to supermarkets.

And I especially like going to ethnic ones. Often, I’ll try and find a restaurant nearby so that I can eat some ethnic food and then hunt down ingredients from that dish. I’ll get a little culture. I’ll ask some questions. Maybe I’ll find something questionable, like the place that sells pig uterus. Or the spot that has almost-expired dairy products for 50 percent off.

Either way, I’ve been to a lot of spots, and racked up a repertoire of gems that I’m ready to share with the world. So, here they are: the best ethnic supermarkets worth the train ride, and then some. (more…)