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✈ Keeping Kosher in Brooklyn, NY

Contributed by: Arielle Singer Klein | Last Date of Travel: [Author grew up in Brooklyn and often visits her parents who live there.]

Kosher Info: Ahh Brooklyn the proverbial mecca for the Jewish foodie. Although I no longer live in Brooklyn I still dream about all the myriad food choices that exist some open till the wee hours of the morning. I usually don’t mind a visit because I know I’ll end up with a juicy burger or delicious sushi on my plate things I rarely if ever complain about. In Brooklyn you can eat for a lot or a little it all depends on your tastes and your budget. Here my rundown of good eats.

Flatbush:

Flatbush is a mix of Ashkenazim, Sephardim and now even Chassidim. In Flatbush can be found some of my favorite restaurants.

Avenue J

Looking for a cheap breakfast? Hit Bagel Hole on Avenue J. For around $3.99 you can get a complete breakfast; eggs, coffee, bagel, home fries. You can get a bagel with cream cheese for about a $1.50. The bagels taste great and are always fresh. They also have an array of flavored and regular coffees, the best iced cappuccino’s, the best tuna and other fresh tasty salads. They also offer wraps and twists and baked goods.

For a sit down breakfast, lunch or dinner where you can take the family check out Garden of Eat-In. They offer everything from pancakes, omelets and french toast, to soups, salads sandwiches, pasta, even sushi. Everything is delicious and a meal there won’t break the bank.

If it’s pizza you crave you can definitely find it in Brooklyn.

Most of us from Brooklyn will agree that Pizza Time has the best pizza in Brooklyn. The founder of this blog will argue otherwise. Pizza time has a variety of pizza toppings and the most delicious square cheese-less tomato slice.

Jerusalem 2 Pizza has the best mushroom slice around. They also make great personal pies.

If it’s a deal you’re after, head over to Natanya near the subway station. You can get a cheap special for with a slice, fries, and can of soda; and they give the best free pickles. I spent every Friday afternoon there after school with my dad and most of my Saturday nights throughout high school.

Looking for a meaty sandwich? Head over to a kosher Subway (based on the non-kosher chain) on either Avenue J or Kings Highway. There are a variety of bread and meat combinations topped with fresh vegetables and a large selection of sauces.

Subsational is also a great choice for a sammy. They have two locations one on E 15th street off of Avenue J, the other on Coney Island Avenue near Avenue P. They have mouthwatering sliced steak, grilled chicken, salami, meatball subs, turkey etc. all served on club bread. There are burgers, tacos, burritos and really great pastrami egg rolls.

Want a burger that’s juicy, flavorful and phenomenally good? Check out Burger’s Bar (an Israeli chain) on Coney Island Avenue (near Subsational). They serve tantalizing burgers, spicy burgers, chicken sandwiches, grilled chicken and steak sandwiches and delicious home-style French fries. The best part is you choose what goes on your burger. When your order is ready you stand at a counter and tell the counter help exactly what you want on your burger. There’s lettuce, tomato, pickles, fried and raw onions, chimichurri sauce, pesto, BBQ sauce, garlic mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish sauce, sweet and hot chili and quite a few more. If you didn’t guess yet this is one of my favorite places to eat!

When you are looking for a place that has slighly more ambiance, or a touch more elegance, check out these places:

  • EstihanaLocated on Ave J; has a variety of Asian fusion fare. They serve Japanese, Thai and Chinese food. If you can sit at the tucked away booth and if you really want to impress her (and she likes sushi) order the sushi boat for two.
  • Moshi Moshi- Another great place that serves Japanese and Chinese food. Make sure you try all things Tempura. The tempura vegetable appetizer is pure cholesterol joy as is the tempura banana dessert. Located on Coney Island Ave between Ave P and Quentin Rd.
  • Fuji Hana- One of the original kosher sushi places in Brooklyn. Their sushi is superb, as is the ginger chicken – a Thai specialty served sizzling hot. Don’t forget to try the tollhouse cookie or hot apple cobbler for dessert. Located on Ave U between E 9th & E 10th streets.
  • Sunflower- The Israelis have invaded Brooklyn and with them they have bought fabulous salads, paninis, fruit shakes, and pasta. This is a great place to go with the girls or a date but not a first date. Located on Quentin Rd. & E 13th (& Kings Hwy).
  • Amazon- One block over from Sunflower is Amazon on E12th st. Similar in fare to Sunflower but with soft lighting, less noise, and a lot more ambiance. Try the haloumi salad, deep fried cheese on lettuce, tomato, cucumber and saute’ed mushrooms with pesto dressing or the panini caprese made of mozzarella, tomato, and pesto on delicious club bread served with salad. Don’t forget the pasta and if you need a drink there’s a full bar with all sorts of fun tropical mixed drinks.
  • Tea For Two- A great place for a date. They have pasta, fish and really great sushi a bar with all types of wine, soft lighting and a well heeled crowd. Located on Kings Highway & E 4th st.
  • Cafe Renaissance- This is a nice place to go with the family, your friends, or a date. They always have great specials, like pumpkin soup, or walnut blue cheese and pear salad – not typical kosher cuisine and not too pricey. They also offer sushi, pasta, fish and salads. Located on Kings Highway & E 8th st.
  • Cafe K- Delicious grilled fish can be found here. Along with fresh salads, amazing chocolate soufflé, and good but pricey sushi. In the winter enjoy sitting in the heated sidewalk cafe. 2 locations: Ave K off Coney Island Ave & 18th Ave near Borough Park.

Another great place for breakfast is Dunkin Donuts (luckily Brooklyn has tons of kosher ones!). Get ice cold coffee or coffee drinks and the best donuts in the city. I recommend the jelly and the Boston cream. they also offer breakfast sandwiches, bagels, hot coffee, and often are combined with Baskin Robbins so if its ice cream you want and donuts he wants you can get it all at one stop shopping. There are many kosher Dunkin’ Donuts throughout Flatbush. A few listings:

  • Avenue M next to the train station on East 16th street
  • Avenue L and Flatbush Avenue (This one has a huge parking lot and is quite the Saturday night hangout)
  • Avenue I and Nostrand Avenue
  • Kings Highway: and E 19th, and E 15th, and E 10th, E 16th & Quentin Rd.
  • Coney Island Ave. & 18th Ave. (closer to Borough Park)

Borough Park

Borough Park is filled with mostly chassidim today with large families, so great cheap eats are abound.

Check out Amnon’s on 13th Avenue, for about $5 you can get a heaping mixed salad, a scoop of Tuna and a pita enough for two to share. They also have great pizza and ooey gooey cream cheese sticks.

For a little ambiance head to the corner of 47th st and 13th Avenue and sit down at Spoons. The best sushi in Borough Park, they also have great pasta and sandwiches.

Looking for a real deal head across the street from Amnon’s. In the middle of the block is a place that’s such a hole in the wall it doesn’t even have a name. It’s smack dab in the middle of 13th Avenue between 46th and 47th street. A bagel with a shmear of tuna or cream cheese is $1. A Coffee is $0.50. Definitely a place to check out.

  • China Mehadrin– Delicious Chines on 12th Avenue / New Utrecht Ave. where on either Tuesdays or Wednesdays 4 ladies the 5th eats free. You can find the ad in the Jewish Press.
  • Dave’s Luncheonette-Located on 16th Avenue and 45th street you can get a great breakfast or lunch here. An egg sandwich on a kaiser roll with coffee shouldn’t run more than 3 dollars with veggies on the sandwich. They also have delicious salads and sandwiches for lunch. A good heimish type of place.
  • Mendelsohns Pizza- Although in High school we were not officially allowed of 16th Avenue to get Lunch, we used to make detours to Mendelsohns located on 18th Avenue near McDonald avenue to get some of Borough Park’s freshest pizza. When ordering fries be aware that one is enough for the table as they give you a giant plateful. They also have great soups, hot dishes and a delicious Israeli style salad bar.
  • Big Fleishigs- located on 16th Avenue and 55th street they used to call this place McFleshigs until people made a gantze megilla that it sounded too much like McDonald’s. They have burgers, french fries, hot dogs and all the other carnivorous things meat eaters love.

Williamsburg- Welcome to the home of the “Saint Mary” Chassidim otherwise known as Satmar. You won’t find too many places in “Willie” but there are a few.

  • Gottlieb’s Restaurant- Before my family moved to Brooklyn we lived on the upper west side and did a lot of Brooklyn shopping. We frequently shopped in Billyburg and Gottlieb’s was always a place to get a good greasy, schmaltzy, heimishe meal. They have things like roast chicken with farfel and kasha, kishka, cholent, Brisket and other Jewish delicacies. Located at 352 Roebling Street.
  • Itzu’s Kosher Restaurant- Located at 45 Lee Avenue. I have never eaten here but apparently it’s one of the few kosher places in Willy. If you eat here let me know what it’s like.
  • Landau’s Glatt Kosher Deli is located at 65 Lee Avenue. Come here for a tasty deli Sandwich.
  • Flaums Appetizing- Located on Lee Avenue. Come here for all types of herring, smoked fish, appetizing and even pickles. Opened in 1918 by Jewish polish immigrants if you’re in Williamsburg you must go. You can also find Flaums Appetizing products in many of the kosher markets around the NYC area.
  • Green’s PizzaLocated at 216 Ross Street come here for Pizza and Separate seating they offer family seating as well.

Crown Heights – home of Lubavitcher Chassidim. I have not tried any of the restaurants here but I will provide a brief listing anyway.

  • Mendy’s Steakhouse and Grill- 792 Eastern Parkway located in the Children’s Museum. Mendy’s in the city was always great. I imagine you can get good meat dishes here.
  • Boulevard Cafe- 510 Empire blvd.
  • Empire Grill and Deli- 597 Empire blvd. between Kingston and Albany.
  • Esther Grill and Deli- 463 Albany between Montgomery and Empire.

For more info check out the Beth Din of Crown heights that certifies these places: http://www.chkosher.com/

—> Kosher Markets:

All neighborhoods mentioned above have kosher markets large and small, some even super.

There’s a massive Shoprite on Avenue I and McDonald Avenue that carries all sorts of kosher goodies. There’s also a Mountain Fruit on Avenue M and East 16th street that has everything from fruits and veggies to meat, takeout and baked goods.

Tourist Info:

Places to see :

  • Brooklyn Bridge- Take a walk across and enjoy the views.
  • Brooklyn Botanical Gardens – see how beautiful Brooklyn really is.
  • Coney Island and New York Aquarium – walk along the famed boardwalk; at the aquarium see the dolphins and sea lions.
  • Avenue J – a mecca for the Jewish shopper
  • 13th Avenue – everything a Jew could want and more
  • The main library at Grand Army Plaza (take the 2 or 3 train to Grand Army Plaza).
  • Prospect Park – a beautiful oasis in an urban landscape.
  • Shopping in Williamsburg, DUMBO, and Park Slope.

Obviously I’m sure there are any restaurants I have missed and places to see.

For a comprehensive restaurant list check out: http://www.nachas.org/BethYehuda/kosher.html

For places to see in Brooklyn: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g60827-Activities-c7-Brooklyn_New_York.html

Jewish Info: Brooklyn is full of Jewish history, synagogues and all things relating to Jewish life. For some older Jewish synagogues and to see how the Chassidim live check out Williamsburg or Borough park. Head over to Flatbush to see how the Yeshivish live; you can also check out the kosher Syrian markets, mansions and grandiose shuls on Ocean Parkway and Avenues S, T, and U.

To see the Mitzvah Men (Chabad’s street soldiers) in action, head to Crown Heights. There you can see the famous 770 and have a look at the new Jewish Children’s Museum.

If you need a minyan, one can always been found at Landau’s on East 9th and Avenue L in Midwood. In terms of Mikvaot, The Buzz on Coney Island has a keilim mikvah for when you purchase items that need to be toveled. In terms of Women’s mikvahs there is a stunning mikvah on Avenue S and East 7th, as well as a very nice mikvah on Avenue N and Ocean Ave.

For More information check out: http://www.brooklynonline.com/bol/neighborhoods/

About the author

Arielle Klein

  • Essex on Coney is a great deli place on Coney Island Ave. right off of Ave J.
    It is based on the famous (now non-existent) Shmulka Bernstein’s on Essex St. in Manhattan.

  • Esther

    Comprehensive review! Nice! A couple of updates: Subway on Kings Highway has closed (alas!) and Syrian grocery shopping is abundant on Kings Highway between McDonald Ave. and Ocean Parkway, with a few butchers between Ocean Parkway and Coney Island Avenue. Also, T for 2 on Kings Highway has closed, but I believe they opened a new location on E. 19th st. off of Avenue M. Btw, you have lots of really good suggestions. Thanks!

  • Silky

    Time to update this information. Natanya hasn’t been there in a number of years.

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