Little Piglet List: The Best of Bococa

{One Girl Cookies, my favorite place in Bococa}

When Daniel and I moved four years ago, I wrote a post about my favorite places in Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, a group of neighborhoods known as Bococa. Since some spots have closed and I've found many new favorites, it's time to update the list. I've added categories to make it easier to read and included a few recommendations that aren't food-related. If you've never been to Brooklyn, I hope my list inspires a trip.

Cafe Pedlar
210 Court Street (at Warren), Cobble Hill
Most people go for the Stumptown coffee. It's where I stop for chai tea and snacks before movies at Cobble Hill Cinemas or trips to Cobble Hill Park. The olive oil cake and blackforest bread are good for breakfast and I could eat their pretzel knot with brie and butter  any time of day.

One Girl Cookies
68 Dean Street (between Smith and Boerum Place), Boerum Hill
By far my favorite bakery in Brooklyn. I love the light blue walls, the swirly brown wallpaper, the buttery cupcakes and the cookies with pretty names. I'm addicted to their homemade yogurt and granola, too.

Nunu Chocolates
529 Atlantic Ave (near 3rd Ave), Boerum Hill
A lovely couple and self-taught chocolate makers, Nunu's owners use a single origin cocoa bean from a family farm in Colombia to make hand dipped caramels, ganaches and and other treats in their small shop. A big window encourages visitors to watch. Unlike other sweet shops, they serve beer and wine and are open till 9pm every night.

Betty Bakery
448 Atlantic Ave (between Bond and Nevins), Boerum Hill
When Daniel and I got married, we met with Cheryl Kleinman in a commercial kitchen on Atlantic Avenue to design our cake. A few years later, she and another cake designer added this bakery to the space. They have a big selection of sweets, but I usually lean toward the lemon bundt cake.

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain
513 Henry Street (at Sackett), Carroll Gardens
I'll always think of Brooklyn Farmacy as the place that introduced me to egg creams and Early Bird granola. It's one of those neighborhood sweet shops that everyone wants and kids of course are more than welcome. On my first visit, the owner treated me and a friend to some samples while our boys ran laps around the place. Oh, and the the back room is stocked with boardgames.

Blue Marble
196 Court Street (at Wyckoff), Cobble Hill
I was disappointed when a Tasti D-Lite opened on Court Street and not surprised when it closed and Blue Marble took its place. Best ice cream in Brooklyn, hands down. The sorbets are always tempting, but the strawberry ice cream makes me weak in the knees.

Sweet Melissa
276 Court Street (between Butler and Douglass), Cobble Hill
Before Cafe Pedlar opened up, I'd always stop by Sweet Melissa for six gingernsaps (crispy with an extra spicy kick) and a cup of milk before movies at Cobble Hill Cinemas. Now, I can rotate between the two.

140 Smith Street (between Bergen and Dean), Boerum Hill
For a special occasion, Daniel and I favor Saul, one of a few restaurants in Brooklyn that has a Michelin star. It used to be a stone's throw away from our apartment, and though it felt funny to walk so little for a fancy meal, we did it any way.

Bar Tabac
128 Smith Street (on corner of Dean), Boerum Hill
A Boerum Hill fixture, Bar Tabac was also steps away from our apartment. The food is standard French fare, but you know what I really miss? The live jazz and bluegrass bands they have on the weekends. During the warmer months, the music would sneak through our windows.

409 Atlantic Ave (at Bond), Boerum Hill
A French bistro that holds a place in my heart for two reasons. My friends Mark and Allison had a lovely wedding there and it was where I celebrated my 26th birthday (or was it my 25th?) with a big group of friends. The food is good, but the backyard garden is better.

575 Henry Street (at Carroll), Carroll Gardens
Inspired by Di Fara and way better than Grimaldis, this is one of my favorite pizza places in Brooklyn.

Prime Meats
465 Court Street (at Luquer), Carroll Gardens
Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli are building a mini-empire on Court Street. With Prime Meats, they focus on German-influenced food, old-fashioned cocktails and local ingredients. I love the big, messy salads that are perfectly dressed and homemade soft pretzels. If only they took reservations and the wait on weekends wasn't so brutal.

329 Smith Street (between President and Carroll), Carroll Gardens
I love Seersucker for many reasons. They've brought solid southern food to Smith Street (not another French or Italian place). It's where I discovered Red Hook rose and that scallops and watermelon make a surprisingly good combination. They're steps from the subway and are for open breakfast at 8am during the week. Parents take note: Trips to nearby Carroll Park are best with buttermilk biscuits.

271 Smith Street (between Sackett and Degraw), Carroll Gardens
I love the huge hidden garden and it doesn't get much better than homemade chocolate chip scones and poached eggs with wild mushrooms, toast and caramelized shallots for brunch.

Frankies 457
457 Court Street, Carroll Gardens
Frankies 457 is best with a bunch of friends because the bigger the group, the more Italian small plates you can sample. I'm partial to the pork braciole (make sure to get a side of gnocchi) and butternut squash ravioli. For a no-fuss dessert you'll never forget, their wine-soaked prunes are perfect. No reservations, lines are long and for warmer months, they have a wonderful garden.

Buttermilk Channel
524 Court Street (at Huntington), Carroll Gardens
Daniel and I like to go here on dates. The food is always top-notch and past meals have included duck meatloaf, fried chicken with waffles and a delicata squash tart. Maybe some day we'll bring the boys for brunch and see what they think of the $10 children's menu.

268 Clinton Street (at Verandah Pl), Cobble Hill
Formerly Cafe on Clinton, a place where my friends Marie and Joe had one of the most intimate weddings I've ever been to, this landmark building is now home to Breuckelen, a restaurant with innovative food and a rustic fruit tart that my friend Olivia compared to those her French mother makes. Don't forget to check out the pretty row houses and adorable Cobble Hill Park next door. 

Henry Public
329 Henry Street (between Atlantic Ave and Pacific Street), Cobble Hill
Many people go for the old-fashioned cocktails. I prefer the humongous turkey-leg sandwich with fries.

234 Court Street (at Baltic), Cobble Hill
A casual Italian restaurant and market that's good for a big group of friends or a quick meal at the bar. The space is warm and funky with mason jars covering light bulbs and cool tiles along one wall. I love Eataly in Manhattan, but would be just as happy with any of Brucie's prepared foods.

Cafe Luluc
214 Smith Street (between Butler and Baltic), Cobble Hill
I've had many long lunches at Cafe Luluc. I love the bright red leather booths and for a French bistro, they make some pretty good fish tacos.

Los Paisanos
162 Smith Street (at Bergen), Cobble Hill
The first year I lived in Boerum Hill, I begrudgingly bought my meat at Key Food. Then a co-worker told me about Los Paisanos. In the neighborhood for over 40 years, this is a place that seems so Brooklyn. After a few visits, I felt like family. I'm a sucker for their specialty sausage, grilled olives and pumpkin ravioli.

187 Atlantic Ave (between Court and Clinton), Cobble Hill
A Middle Eastern market that's great for olives, coffee, dried fruit, cheese, sacks of spices, nuts, grains, and fresh loaves of bread, Sahadi's just might be the place I've missed most since leaving the neighborhood. I'd always go in for a few things and leave with a cart full of stuff. Go during the week, if you can. Weekends are a nightmare.

Fish Tales
191 Court Street (at Bergen), Cobble Hill
When I lived in Boerum Hill and Brooklyn Heights before that, I would buy my meat at one shop, my cheese at another, and for seafood, I'd go to Fish Tales. The fish is by far some of the freshest you'll find.

Smith & Vine
268 Smith Street (at Degraw), Cobble Hill
I always make a beeline for their $12 and under table, the perfect place to get a good bottle for cheap.

261 Smith Street (between Douglass and Degraw), Cobble Hill
Opened by the owners of Smith & Vine, Stinky is conveniently located across the street. Cheese is the star here, but they carry all sorts of other gourmet stuff. I like to give their Stinky onesies as baby gifts.

109 Smith Street (between Atlantic and Pacific), Boerum Hill
This quirky shop has everything from plants to armchairs. Our apartment in Boerum Hill didn't have air conditioning so we picked up a few vintage fans that I'm sure we'll have for years. Their selection of Bklyn shirts and sweatshirts is good, too.

A Cook's Companion
197 Atlantic Ave (between Court and Clinton), Cobble Hill
Whenever Daniel and I had big dinner parties, I always found myself running to Cook's Companion for a tablecloth or a ramekin and on one occasion, a 9-quart Le Creuset.

323 Atlantic Ave (between Smith and Hoyt), Boerum Hill
Full of handmade and wooden toys that don't blink or make noise, this is my favorite place to buy gifts or new foods for Nico's play kitchen.

Dear Fieldbinder
198 Smith Street (at Baltic), Cobble Hill
Overall, I don't like shopping for clothes, unless I'm at Dear Fieldbinder. The owner and her staff help, but don't hover and I always end up wearing everything I buy again and again. It's where I always go when I need a new dress or something special.

185 Smith Street (at Warren), Cobble Hill
My three pairs of shoes that get the most compliments are all from Soula, including La Canadienne winter boots that my friend Karlyn loves to tease. Looks can be deceiving. They might be suede with a wedge heel, but they're unbelievably warm and waterproof.

103 Hoyt (between Atlantic and Pacific), Boerum Hill
At our old apartment in Boerum Hill, we had a lavender tree, roses, hydrangeas and grass that Daniel had to mow. For the three years that we could garden, we splurged on plants and other outdoor essentials here.

Element Natural Healing Arts
518 Henry Street (at Union), Carroll Gardens
I started going to Element for acupuncture in 2002. Those days, the owners were working out of a doctor's office in Brooklyn Heights. Now they're in a much bigger space. Acupuncture is still their specialty, but they offer yoga, massages, other holistic therapies and even occasional dinners with local chefs on their roof deck as well. My midwife recommended acupuncture to kickstart labor with Leo. I went to Element for a few visits and wouldn't you know, he arrived right his due date.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...