Brooklyn’s artsy, homespun vibe is the perfect backdrop for an amazing breakfast or brunch. Whichever neighborhood you choose, you’ll find the loving warmth of fresh-baked biscuits, over-easy eggs and farm-fresh vegetables to cure all ails.
By Jenny Adams
WILLIAMSBURG | Lighthouse
Just try to find another place that will at once satiate your desire for Mexican chilaquiles and your buddy’s craving for Israeli shakshuka. Owned by a brother/sister duo from Israel, Lighthouse features giant windows overlooking a busy Brooklyn thoroughfare. Inside, there’s the warmth of food with true soul. The Everything Burger—with bacon brioche, pickled tomatoes, Benedictine, fried leeks and an optional fried egg—is a top order. But the shakshuka sets this spot apart: It’s a nod to the owners’ heritage with poached eggs swimming in a thick guajillo tomato chili stew, served with toast, tahini and spicy harissa. The creative bar does morning duty: Order The Highlander (Scotch, Galliano Ristretto Irish cream, coffee and cream) and re-buzz to the fullest of definitions. 145 Borinquen Pl., lighthousebk.com
CARROLL GARDENS | Seersucker
Owner/chef Robert Newton will likely leave the kitchen at some point to wander through the restaurant and shake hands with diners; he’s known as much for his hospitality as his Arkansas family recipes. His Biscuit Box, a stack of fluffy, fresh-from-the-oven goodness, arrives with tiny jars of seasonal jams and salted molasses butter. The classic fried chicken is legendary, and you can’t go wrong tacking on sides like the collards with country ham potlicker, stone ground cheddar-chive cheese grits or the Berkshire pork sausage. Newton’s approach to Southern food also hinges on celebrating fresh vegetables at every part of the day, sourcing what’s in season from the Carroll Street Greenmarket nearby. 329 Smith St., seersuckerbrooklyn.com
RED HOOK | Fort Defiance
The greatest thing about Fort Defiance is the fact that it can cure a hangover with high-end craft cocktails; the funky New Orleans-meets-old-Paris décor doesn’t hurt, either. Top those two selling points with a killer brunch that includes house-made corned beef hash; crispy, salty hashbrown potatoes; and the option of a warm and homey Dutch pancake with crème fraîche, fruit and maple syrup served properly in a hot skillet. You can sip a perfectly balanced Manhattan, gazing over one of Brooklyn’s most picturesque waterfronts while digging into an omelet. How many places can boast that combo? 365 Van Brunt St., fortdefiancebrooklyn.com
LATE-NIGHT NOSH: There are literally hundreds of places to dine late in the city that never sleeps. Williamsburg newcomer Extra Fancy (302 Metropolitan Ave., extrafancybklyn.com) pokes a bit of fun with the name, which actually came from a seafood condiment bottle. The menu is fresh fish tons of ways: Feel like a dozen oysters, a surf ’n’ turf of diver scallops and pork belly, or a bowl of littleneck clam chowder at 2 a.m.? No problem; they serve it all till 3.