Compared to the long-flourishing food hub of adjacent Fort Greene, slow to rally Clinton Hill has been traditionally considered a bit of a restaurant desert. But that’s certainly not the case today—while you’ll still find unbroken rows of brownstones in the thickly residential neighborhood, they’re circled by numerous edible arteries, from Mekelburg’s and Marietta on Grand Street, to The Finch and Aita on Greene, to Speedy Romeo and Alice’s Arbor on Classon. But they still don’t hold a candle to the bustling scene on lively Fulton Street, which is why it’s next on our list of drink-to-dessert neighborhood mini crawls, where we tackle one gastronomically blessed BK strip at a time by spreading the love (and your dollars) among some of the tastiest eateries within it!
Before Dinner Drinks at Hops Hill (886 Fulton St.): As the name indicates, the craft beer lineup is quite impressive, encompassing 15 rotating drafts (such as Alesmith Tart Devil, Other Half Forever Simcoe, and Half Acre Vallejo IPA), plus 142 bottles and 8 assorted cans besides. The whiskey selection is similarly nothing to sneeze act (take advantage of Happy Hour from 2pm-6pm, when a pilsner and a Dunsmore shot is only $8), and the best part is, they’re generally dog friendly, so you can grab a final pint with your pooch before dropping him off for the night.
Small Bites at Sisters (900 Fulton St.): While you can certainly keep the party going at this HOME-designed bar/restaurant, which abandons coffee service midday in favor of cocktails like the Leering Abbess (gin, salers, blackberries, lemon) or Gruner Veltliner and Cotes du Rhone on tap, best to ease into the evening with a few shareable nibbles, such as burrata oozing cream over Brooklyn-sourced greens, an antipasti platter of fennel, manchego and chickpeas, or spikes of fried pickles doused in buttermilk ranch.
Dinner at Buka (946 Fulton St.): While Clinton Hill has been more recently colonized by slick New American joints, Fulton Street has reliably harbored some of the best Nigerian restaurants in the city. And this 7-year-old “eating house” is one of the notable holdouts, featuring appetizers like pof pof (a spongy, savory donut) and igbin (West African land snails), as well as goat and pepper soup in a tripe-buoyed broth, and beef, chicken or red snapper-enriched stews sauced with ground melon seeds, crushed red beans or okra, meant for scooping up with starchy fistfuls of fufu.
Dessert at Emily (919 Fulton St.): Needless to say, Emily is currently the neighborhood’s premiere dining destination. But (especially since surrounding bakeries and sweet shops tend to close early), it’s also a totally viable option for dessert—namely, a molten s’mores calzone—i.e., a wood-fired pizza dough pocket encasing marshmallow fluff, hot fudge, and toasty flecks of graham cracker.
Nightcap at Hanson Dry (925 Fulton St.): After a marathon evening of drinking and dining, the blessedly low lit, low key, and open ‘til late Hanson Dry is an excellent place to unwind. There isn’t much by way of menus, but don’t bother over-thinking your order: just grab a beer, a glass of red, or some slow-sipping cocktail with whiskey in it.