'Garden' of good eats
Carroll Gardens is home to an artisanal food scene reflected in its restaurants and markets. Eateries here often have a rustic feel, and highlight their buildings’ original features, such as exposed brick and embossed metal ceilings.
Menus feature fresh, local ingredients and traditional preparations.
Court and Smith streets are the main thoroughfares, with the Sunday Greenmarket nestled between them.
192 Union St.,
You may never have thought you’d crave something called Lard Bread ($5.50), but chances are you’ll be hooked on the soft loaf, peppered with bits of salami, in one bite. Locals also recommend the chocolate loaf bread ($4.50), as well as the fresh-brewed coffee and croissants ($1.50).
187 Columbia St.,
Begin with a tasting of tequilas (three shots start at $12) while taking in the Manhattan skyline from the rooftop deck of this Mexican eatery. Guacamole ($9.75) and fajitas from the grill ($16-19) round out a spring or summer feast.
457 Court St.,
Spuntino is Italian for “bite” or “snack”, which is just what diners find at this casual spot, which focuses on the “lighter side of Italian cooking.” Try the shaved brussels sprouts with lemon and castelrosso ($10) or a sausage and broccoli rabe sandwich ($9.50). Run by the same team, Prime Meats (465 Court St., 718-254-0327) is just down the block and offers pretzels and spatzles inspired by German alpine cuisine. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means: there’s a glossary there.
Park Natural Foods
350 Court St.,
Behind its unassuming store front, this natural grocery stocks the finest in organic produce, dairy products and prepared foods, as well as baby foods and products for discerning members of the stroller set.
Carroll Gardens Fish Market
359 Court St.,
Seafood lovers can find whole and filleted fish, shellfish and in-season lobsters and crabs at this well-kempt market. The fish is fresh and the prices affordable. Frozen seafood is also available.
272 Smith St.,
It’s hard to go wrong at a place where the words “no cerveza, no trabajar” are painted on the wall. Attentive waitstaff serve up stiff mojitos ($8) and authentic Cuban sandwiches ($7.50) in this inexpensive eatery.
288 Court St.,
This upscale, gourmet market is a perfect one-stop shop on the way home, offering everything from fresh bread and pastas to prepared salads and gourmet chocolates.
283 Smith St..
Go beyond hummus and falafel at this corner cafe, with dishes such as Fatoosh Salad ($4-6), Moroccan-style couscous ($10.50) or the leg of lamb sandwich ($7). On the other hand, the hummus ($4-6) is delicious, as is the fresh baked pita bread (75 cents). BYOB.
On Carroll Street at Smith Street
This Sunday, Greenmarket will open for the season. It features award-winning cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm in Vermont, heritage duck from Hudson Valley Duck Farm and a selection of fruit and vegetable farmers. It runs from from 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
But be sure to visit the ATM before dinner; many spots are cash only.