Old vs New: Brooklyn’s Best Iconic Foods

A classic pie from Di Faras in Midwood.

  • c/o demianrepucci.com
  • A classic pie from Di Fara’s in Midwood.

Philly’s got the cheesesteak. San Francisco is known for sourdough (and rather unfortunately) Rice-A-Roni. Boston’s claim to fame is cream pie, chowdah, and baked beans. But it’s hard to find another city in America quite as indelibly intertwined with its food culture as Brooklyn. From the red sauce restaurants in Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst to the dim sum palaces of Sunset Park to the Guyanese steam tables in Flatbush, each established cuisine serves as an edible timeline of its individual neighborhood, encapsulating not only the immigrants that passed through, but also the communities that reside there now…and every cultural, geographical, political, architectural, and economic shift in between.

But Brooklyn’s most iconically recognizable contributions to the American food canon are undoubtedly these following four dishes—hot dogs, pizza, cheesecake, and bagels. And what’s old is definitely new again in the local dining scene, with tried and true warhorses like DiFara’s, Totonno’s and Grimaldi’s (pizza), happily co-existing alongside young guns like Roberta’s, PeteZaaz and Motorino. So whether you prefer to take your taste buds on a tour of old-world Brooklyn this summer, or would rather indulge in a little haute cuisine, one thing’s for sure, the borough’s best bites have never been on better display.


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