The Edible Guide

Our picks for where to eat, drink and shop in Brooklyn.

Neighborhood: Bushwick

Moku Moku

If you ever find yourself seeking an informal Japanese gastropub setting, Moku Moku is the place for you. Moku Moku is what’s called an…

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Cafe Ghia

Café Ghia, established 2011, is a neighborhood spot in the heart of Bushwick Brooklyn serving brunch seven days a week. They offer daily specials as…

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Twin Suns Deli

Should you find yourself in Bushwick with a hankering for a bite, you would do well to seek out sandwich shop and grocery extraordinaire…

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La Mesita

La Mesita makes this list because of its pork tamales. Many of the others offer only chicken or veggie, and none of the ones with pork did it this good. La Mesita’s red sauce had a good kick to it, the pork was incredibly tender, the masa moist, and — this is a bit odd — the tamale had really good ingredient distribution. The pork was threaded throughout the masa, rather than clumped up in pockets here and there — it makes a difference! Bonus: La Mesita has an inexplicably elaborate juice bar.

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Amaranto

Run by a father-son duo that hails from — you guessed it — Puebla, Amaranto is the fanciest spot on this list. Chef Fermin Teco makes a couple of variants on the tamale, neither of which is like anything else here. Their signature huitlacoche tamale comes in a complex sauce that includes crab juice, smoked chipotle peppers, tomatoes and a bit of oregano. This unwrapped tamale is also served with mussels and chorizo — it’s quite decadent. Their other version is the tamale chiapaneco, loosely rooted in Chiapas. This one has olives and cheese in the masa, is cooked in a banana leaf (like Oaxaca) and is served over a bed of mushrooms, diced squash, tomatoes and spinach, with a squash and guajillo sauce poured over everything. It also comes with a handful of jumbo shrimp. These tamales may not be traditional, but here’s the thing: Both versions are delicious.

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Taqueria Sofia

This place isn’t just one of the best tamale joints in Bushwick — it’s one of the best Mexican restaurants, period. The tacos excel, the tortas are superior… but let’s stay focused here. Namesake owner Sofia makes very traditional tamales, albeit without pork. (She started making only chicken and meatless because “that’s all anyone ordered.”) You can opt for the rojo or verde or try rajas (sliced poblano peppers) and cheese — they’re all solid. Sofia’s masa is dense and generously loaded with goodies. Bonus: Make sure to request some of their homemade hot sauce. It’ll singe your palate in the very best way.

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