This is the InnBox’s first list that’s exclusively about food and boy, is it personal. I hesitate to even say these are “the best” places to eat at in Bed-Stuy, it’s more like these are the places which I often frequented during my time living in the neighborhood (so don’t be surprised if you notice a disproportionate amount of Asian restaurants featured here). Bed-Stuy is also a very big neighborhood and many of these eateries are located on the west side, closer to where I’m based and near the Bedford-Nostrand G stop as well as the Franklin Avenue C stop.
I’m also not going to talk too much about already very popular Bed-Stuy establishments like Speedy Romeo’s, Peaches Hothouse, and Dough. These spots are all wonderful and have been featured extensively on several lists about the neighborhood’s dining.
750 Myrtle Diner Japanese
I actually found this place because I was looking at nearby cafes with free wifi and their name popped up on the list. I assumed 750 Myrtle Diner was a diner in the traditional American sense but it turned out to be a lovely Japanese diner that’s only open for dinners. Their menu changes daily although fan favorites like the Pon-Kara (their take on karaage) seem to be frequently available.
Moloko is run by the team behind Dynaco, a more popular bar further south in Bed-Stuy. But unlike Dynaco, Moloko offers both drinks and food. It’s a true neighborhood bar and a great place to go for a low-key dinner with friends. They have great happy hour specials and a simple, mostly stable menu, the highlights of which are their burger and the seared tuna sandwich. It is, however, cash only.
Eva Jean's New American
This place is literally on my block and according to Foursquare I’ve been there twelve times… which is, probably the most times I’ve ever been to any restaurant in New York. Eva Jean’s is basically my go-to for any occasion: date night, special occassions, catching up with friends, brunch, happy hour (which they dub ‘magic hour’), coffee… It’s the kind of like the room of requirement. The cuisine is New American which kind of means anything goes, and my some of my favorite dishes have been their pastrami eggs benedict and white bean soup.
Swell Dive Filipino & Tex-Mex
Swell Dive serves filipino tacos and tiki-style drinks. It’s the newest venture from the owners of another Bed-Stuy establishment, Brooklyn Kolache Co. If you’re from Texas you may be putting two and two together right about now… tacos… and kolaches? Yep, they’re from Austin. And every weekend Swell Dive serves breakfast tacos until 3 p.m. They offer both classic Tex-Mex style breakfast tacos as well as Filipino breakfast tacos— I usually order one of each. When visiting in warmer weather, don’t forget to also check out their backyard patio.
Golda Mediterranean & American
I actually just went here last week on my neighborhood bucket-list tour and fell in love. Not only were the staff exceptionally kind and attentive, it’s hard to decide what to order from the experimental and mediterranean-inspired menu because everything looks so good. I settled on the eggplant menemen— a delicious mix of tomato sauce, eggs, saffron yogurt, and vegetables served with toast— and was not disappointed.
Pilar Cuban Eatery Cuban
Pilar was actually the first restaurant I ever ate at in Bed-Stuy, long before I lived here. It’s got one of the most beautiful bars in the neighborhood, generous portions (the cuban sandwich is huge), and the best dessert— guava cheesecake. Almost all the entrees are under $20 with the exception of a seafood paella.
Captain Dan's Good Time Tavern Southern & American
Affordable, southern-inspired brunch. Need I say more? I mean, technically it’s a bar so you can drink here too but honestly I’ve mostly come here when I’m nursing a hangover and desperately need fried, carb-loaded food in my stomach stat. Pretty much everything on their brunch menu is good but the best value is the chicken biscuit sandwich for around $7.
Civil Service Cafe American
Civil Service is sort of my go-to weekday cafe to work from. It’s usually not too crowded (emphasis on “weekday” because the weekends are a different story), they make a great chai latte, and a mean breakfast sandwich with avocado and hot sauce. The team behind Civil Service also recently opened Trade Union cafe on Malcolm X Blvd further east in Bed-Stuy.
Nostrand Cafe Korean & American
Nostrand Cafe is an unpretentious and spacious coffeeshop that also serves really good, and simple Korean food. They also offer standard American breakfast and brunch fare with the option to add Bulgogi for an extra fee. Disclaimer: I’m not Korean but I think their bibimbap is pretty solid and the portions are generous. They also serve Korean-fusion items like bulgogi tacos and burritos, and the staff are always super friendly.
Samurai Papa Japanese
Samurai Papa isn’t my favorite ramen place in New York City by any means, but it is the closest ramen spot to my apartment and it’s more than decent. They have great lunch specials, really affordable appetizers (we’re talking in the $6 and under range), and a simple ramen menu. I’ve tried both their curry ramen— yum— and their bukkake vegan tomato ramen which was less good, but I’m glad there’s an option for the vegans in the neighborhood. Samurai Papa used to be a lot emptier when it was standing-room only, but now that they’ve added seating you can expect it to be a little more crowded at dinner time.