Jacques Torres Chocolate has something for even the most discerning sweet tooth. (Kate Warburton)
Fresh and local food is the focus of the eateries and specialty food shops in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood. Innovative chefs and purveyors take cues from the neighborhood’s artistic community, with eclectic and creative cuisine.
Dumbo is a perfect weekend afternoon destination. Most restaurants offer great brunch menus, and candy shops and bakeries satisfy sweet lovers. While there, be sure to browse its galleries and hip shops.
1. Brooklyn Flea
Under the Brooklyn Bridge, near the corner of Water and New Dock streets
From June to November, the weekend-only flea offers lobster rolls from the Red Hook Lobster Pound, McClure’s Pickles and Salvatore Bklyn ricotta. There’s a farmers market on the other side of the park.
2. Jacques Torres Chocolate
66 Water St.,
Across the street from this fashionable chocolatier’s factory, the shop offers handmade truffles, caramels, chocolate bars, hot chocolates and chocolate croissants and cookies. Take home a bag of chocolate-covered cereal ($5) or a tin of hot-chocolate mix ($18).
3. Almondine Bakery
85 Water St.,
From baguettes to almond croissants ($2-$4), locals are lucky to have this bakery, which also has a lunch menu with fresh soups and sandwiches (from $5.50). Cash only.
4. ñ and Rice
81 Washington St., 718-222-9880
Downstairs, ñ serves excellent, old-style cocktails in a dark, romantic setting (drinks are two-for-one from 5 to 7 p.m). Upstairs, Rice offers a flavorful Asian menu, including Thai beef salad (small, $6) and tea-smoked salmon ($10).
5. Foragers Market
56 Adams St.,
Try a homemade ginger ale while browsing fresh meats, cheeses and local foods at this specialty market. Organic and seasonal treats are available for free at the store’s Tuesday Tastings, every Tuesday from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
126 Front St.,
Weekend brunch at this spacious joint features live music, green chili imported from New Mexico (only on Sundays) and strong Bloody Marys. The lunch menu offers a grass-fed beef burger ($11). There’s a great bar scene and a pool table, too.
71 Jay St.
Sip coffee and check out evening bags at this lush cafe and boutique. The menu offers tilapia, homemade hummus and delicious pastries, such as a layered chocolate and phyllo dough cake ($5.50). Vintage clothes and furniture are part of the decor, and, luckily, most of it is for sale at reasonable prices.
8. Vinegar Hill House
72 Hudson Ave., 718-522-1018
This open, clean restaurant offers innovative American cuisine made with local foods and sustainable ingredients. Try the oven-roasted octopus ($12) or the cast-iron chicken ($15). There’s also a substantial wine list.