Enduring Eats: 5 Brooklyn Restaurants That Have Stood the Test of Time

Al Di La, Braised rabbit and creamy polenta.
Al Di La, Braised rabbit and creamy polenta.

It’s one thing when you’re a big fish in a small pond, which is what many of Brooklyn’s seminal restaurants were when they took a chance on the borough 70, 15, 10, hell, even just five years ago. But how do certain establishments manage not just to survive but also thrive when rents are negligibly cheaper than they are in Manhattan, diners as we know them are a dying breed, wood-burning pizza places are reaching critical mass, and it seems like at least one creative, locally minded eatery pops up every day?

To answer this million-dollar question, we’ve turned to enduring game-changers like Tom’s Restaurant, which ignores the bottom line in order hand out free snacks to the patrons that invariably line up each weekend; al di la, which learned long ago which dishes must never be removed from the menu; Franny’s, which, despite recently celebrating its 10-year-anniversary, vows to make service better than before; Vinegar Hill House, which continues to draw crowds to its tucked-away carriage house, even though it’s a good half-mile hike from the nearest subway; and even hot young newcomer Fritzl’s Lunch Box, which is already thinking about how to keep the momentum going once the media frenzy and buzz inevitably begin to die down.


  1. How has Fritzl’s stood the ‘test of time’ when it’s only been open for 1 year? Not to mention it’s just not a very good restaurant. I smell a pay-off Brooklyn Magazine.


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