Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, people lived in Brooklyn when they couldn't afford the high-dollar rents of Manhattan. In recent years, however, it's become almost as expensive to live across the East River. One of the biggest reasons? Williamsburg, Brooklyn's most hip neighborhood.
Even though rent prices are booming here, there are plenty of spots to grab an excellent meal out while still staying within your budget. Here's a look at a few of our favorites.
PIZZA: L'Industrie Pizza (South Side)
Average meal price: <$10
Though this little pizza joint's only been around for a little over a year, it's already made a huge name for itself among the locals. Whether you're a red or white pizza connoisseur, you can take your pick here, along with a whole host of fun, original toppings. Traditional Italian fare your cup of tea? Add freshly shaved parmesan, ricotta, and prosciutto di parma. Looking for a mix of sweet and savory? Pair any one of their fresh cheeses with a healthy dose of figs.
Traditional New York pizza aficionados will find their dream pie in the Sausage Pie, while hungry young Williamsburg dwellers might enjoy splitting a large Hawaiian, with epic doses of pineapple and Canadian bacon. L'industrie's pies are woodfired, but their crust remains soft and supple with just a touch of char.
BRUNCH: BeeHive Oven Biscuit Cafe (South Side)
Average meal price: $10 – $12
If you had a late night at any one of Williamsburg's dive bars or dance clubs, chances are you're waking up fiending for some deep-fried goodness to put in your gut to help alleviate your woes and begin the recovery process. If that's your situation—or you just genuinely love traditional Southern cooking—stop what you're doing and head over to BeeHive. This restaurant is serving up the most epic fried chicken and biscuit creations today.
Our personal favorite is The Moselle: a fluffy, gigantic, baked-from-scratch biscuit laden with a piping out fried chicken breast, a fried egg, collard greens and a generous portion of hot sauce. These flavors combine for the ultimate tasting experience that will satisfy you immediately, and the substantial portion will soon have you couch-side for a comfortable afternoon nap.
VEGETARIAN/GLUTEN-FREE: AWOL Eatery (East Williamsburg)
Average meal price: $10 – $15
This is a dinner destination for the health-conscious and the foodie snob alike. This brightly lit, modern-styled restaurant had a long bar-like seating area along one side of the room with plenty of elbow room for diners to spread out. Its geometrically shaped plates reflect the same patterns that adorn the walls. However, presentation is only half the key to success for AWOL, which stands for the far less contentious “All Walks of Life”.
Garden cream tacos (2 for $10) offer fresh, vegetarian takes, with roasted squash, carrots and peppers, feta cheese and fresh tortillas. Carnivores, fear not: a top-rated short rib mac and cheese will satisfy your protein craving. Regardless of desire, pair everything with an order of avocado fries for a decadent, and reasonably priced, evening.
DESSERT: Handsome Dan's Snocone & Candy Stand
Average price: $5/dessert; also, cheap candy!
Dessert is a luxury, especially for those on a budget, so for this category we've steered away from the crème brulees and tiramisus to bring you a good old-fashioned ice cream and candy shop. Walk into Handsome Dan's and take a step back in time. The little storefront is adorned with a blue and white awning, and the cotton candy maker basically beckons you to walk on over and re-live the joys of childhood.
If it's hot outside, grab a passion fruit sno cone; if nostalgia's more your thing, pick up a few packs of pop rocks and a big bag of atomic warheads (we know you can't wait to see if you can still withstand the sourness). If you've finally deemed yourself a grown-up, there's still a fine selection of top-notch chocolates to choose from. Regardless, you'll walk away from Handsome Dan's with joy in your heart and a nice dose of after-dinner sugar in your mouth.