Downtown Brooklyn's best lunch bites
Nicky's Vietnamese serves great banh mi sandwiches and pho soups.
Between the cool austerity of civic buildings and the fast-food kingdom that is the greater Fulton Street Mall area, Downtown Brooklyn isn’t known for a wide array of lunch options. But that doesn’t mean good spots don’t exist; the key is to look outward. Here are our picks for a week’s worth of lunches for $10 or less.LOOK WEST
151 Remsen St.,
Tucked away on a lonely block west of Cadman Plaza, this new Indian restaurant is one of the neighborhood’s best prospects. The food is adeptly seasoned, and all veggie entrees and most of the meat curries slide in under the $10 mark. A side of basmati rice is included.
LOOK SOUTHLOOK EAST
Pacifico, Cafe Bueno, Since 1963
102 Smith St., at Pacific St., 718-237-3141
There is something unusual happening on the northwest corner of Smith and Pacific streets. What used to be a single restaurant has become a cluster of restaurants with a faux-ramshackle vibe. You have plenty of options, including Pacifico (Mexican) and Café Bueno (Euro bistro), but one of the best might be Since 1963, a new barbecue joint that offers a trio of sliders ($8) — chopped brisket with sauerkraut, pulled chicken with coleslaw and pulled pork with pineapple salsa.
311 Atlantic Ave., 718-855-8838
A short walk east along Atlantic Avenue will take you to this eatery, which was selling banh mi sandwiches in the same fresh, Vietnamese flavors long before this trend swept the city. In addition to classic meat and veggie sandwich options ($5-$5.50), the menu includes hot entrees, salads and pho soups.
405 Atlantic Ave.,
The smell of fresh-baked pita bread will stir up hunger pangs as soon as you walk into this eatery, a few blocks farther east along Atlantic. The hot-from-the-oven pita is omnipresent, in the form of “pitzas” — pizzas made with pita bread ($7-$9) — as well as stuffed pita sandwiches and generous salads and meat plates.
158 Lawrence St.,
For every rule there is the exception, and in the case of the Fulton Street Mall area, the exception is this old-fashioned, counter-deli-style restaurant in the middle of it all. For more than 37 years, this spot has been serving souvlaki (gyro) meat pita sandwiches ($6) and platters — as well as kabobs, burgers and piping hot fries. Hey, if you’ve got a good thing, don’t change it.