May 2019 Editor’s Note: since we first published this story, in July 2017, dining options on the DUMBO waterfront have expanded even further. See below for exciting updates to our original list.
Brooklyn Bridge Park has transformed into a waterfront oasis over the years, and the food is finally catching up.
Gone are the days when, visitors to the park had only a few options: dish out for dinner at River Café, brave the lines at Grimaldi’s or try to snag a picnic table at Fornino., Brooklyn Bridge Park is now one of the borough’s emerging neighborhoods for dining. Here, where to eat and what to order at the park’s most exciting spots.
55 Water St.
The first public restaurant in New York from the Soho House & Co. team, Cecconi’s debuted in June 2017 on the ground floor of Empire Stores, bringing with it modern Italian fare by chef Riccardo Bilotta (Lambs Club, A Voce Columbus Circle). Indoors, guests dine amid exposed brick, arched windows and glittering chandeliers, while, outdoors, they enjoy breathtaking views of downtown Manhattan. Start your meal here with a few cicchetti (Venetian small plates) and hamachi crudo, followed by the spaghetti with lobster, prime rib-eye or porchetta pizza, cooked in the wood-fired oven behind the bar.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
60 Furman St.
Further down the park, the swanky 1 Hotel houses a multitude of dining options. On the ground floor, Neighbors is a “picnic-fare café” with smoothies, pastries, salads, sandwiches and Brooklyn-made goods like The Salty Road taffy. Upstairs, the 4,000-square-foot Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge boasts expansive views, handcrafted cocktails, and seasonal bites like lobster rolls and backyard burgers. From 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Lobby Farmstand offers quick to-go snacks like fruits, granola and nuts. The Osprey, a signature restaurant from Matt Abramcyk (The Beatrice Inn), Eddie Bilowich (1 Oak) and chef Michael Oliver (Noho Hospitality) brings “market-driven comfort food” to the table every meal of the day: they’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day (brunch and dinner service on weekends).
334 Furman St.
Pilot, another boat-based bar from the Grand Banks team, arrived at Pier 6 last summer. Housed on a historic, 140-foot racing schooner, it offers New Orleans–themed fare like oysters and soft-shell crab po’boys, as well as seasonal cocktails like the Spirit Animal with Aperol, coconut and strawberries.
4 Water Street
When nothing but pizza will do, Ignazio’s on Water Street, right under the bridge, dishes up both classic and specialty pies like white clam or bacon, avocado and tomato. Grab a pie and a seat with a view of the bridge. Heads up though, they’re cash only.
SUGARCANE raw bar grill
55 Water St.
Already popular in Las Vegas and Miami, SUGARCANE opened to great fanfare in DUMBO last August, offering globally inspired small plates from a raw bar, open-fire grill and traditional kitchen, just steps from Jane’s Carousel. Inside, the space is sleek, sexy and ample—perfect for gatherings of all types and sizes. Outside, enjoy gorgeous views of Brooklyn Bridge Park and the city skyline paired with the Local Fluke Ceviche and a Frogroni—a frozen negroni.
5 Front Street
Order up a mezcal cocktail (the Oaxacan A.F. is a favorite), some guacamole (made with avocado leaves) and settle into the outdoor patio for a leisurely afternoon.
Smile to Go
49 Water St.
Located in the rear of the Shinola store, Smile to Go offers a rotating selection of healthy, Mediterranean-inspired fare, plus baked goods from The Smile’s pastry chef Rosanne Smith. The Market Items menu rotates daily.
1 John St.
Since its fall 2017 debut, Celestine has made a name for its creative and committed interpretation of “eastern Mediterranean” cuisine, which is influenced by flavors from Northern Africa, the Mediterranean coastline and the Middle East. Must try menu items include the Moroccan Doughnuts (brunch), the Za’atar Fried Chicken Sandwich (lunch), and the Chermoula Rubbed Branzino (dinner). Plus there’s a daily Mezze Hour between lunch and dinner, and kombucha on tap.
Is there anything better than eating ice cream on a humid, NYC summer day? Known for its made from scratch ice cream, Ample Hills’ Pier 5 location is seasonal, so take advantage of it when you can. You’ll find the coffee sorbet, The Coffee of Kings, here in addition to frequently rotating list of other whimsical flavors.
Bridget Shirvell contributed reporting.