Eating + Drinking

Eating Your Way Around BAM

Hitting up the Next Wave Festival this fall? Make it a true Fort Greene night with the best neighborhood eats.

Photo courtesy of Cafe Habana

As we inch closer toward sweater weather, the city’s summer festival lineup comes to—sigh—a close. But wait! The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2017 Next Wave Festival, running from mid-September to December, extends the good vibes with multimedia and multigenre performances you won’t want to miss. If you’re planning on checking out a show or two, grab food and drinks in the neighborhood before or after. Fort Greene is known for its international mix of eateries, so fill up on some of our favorite eclectic bites. 

For an authentically Israeli feast…Miss Ada

Israeli-born chef Tomer Blechman serves up a delicious blend of Middle Eastern flavors at his inviting eatery, whose name was inspired by the Hebrew word for restaurant, misada. Head here while it’s still warm and grab a seat on the artsy patio, right next to the urban garden where the restaurant grows its fresh herbs. The interior atmosphere is equally as appealing, relying heavily on reclaimed wooden decor, natural lighting, and plant fixtures. Middle Eastern staples, such as tahini, peppers, and spice-tinged sauces, are combined with European flair and delicate preparation. The end result? Notable dishes including a hummus with chicken liver and caramelized onions, octopus smothered with eggplant puree, and a traditional shakshuka with a poached egg floating on top. 184 Dekalb Avenue 

For shareable Latin-American eats…Colonia Verde

Sharing is caring! That’s certainly the motto at this sleek and spacious Latin-American neighborhood gem. Chef Felipe Donnelly (of Soho’s recently departed Cómodo) combines local ingredients with practiced cultural techniques for made-to-share dishes. Try one of the restaurant’s five steak renditions served with house-made salsas, or go for handheld favorites like duck confit tacos doused in Chihuahua cheese or pork belly arepas complete with a hint of maple syrup. Save room for dessert; the classic “gringo churros” with hot chocolate for dipping are too tempting to pass up. 219 Dekalb Avenue

For eccentric African delights…Madiba

With its tribal decor, converted garage location, and cleverly named dishes such as the Codfather for Two, Mark Henegan’s authentic South African eatery has been bringing street food flavors to Fort Greene since first opening in 1999. The unconventional fare may seem a bit daunting at first—think: oxtail crostini, ostrich tartare, and various Durban curries—but it is all absolutely delicious, so be prepared to nibble outside your comfort zone. It’s worth it. Also worth it: Helping improve education and living conditions in South Africa through Henegan’s frequent partnerships with charities there. 195 Dekalb Avenue


For a little Havana flair…Habana Outpost

Whether you’re dining alone or turning a night at BAM into a group outing, this low-key destination caters to parties of all sizes. Run by Sean Meenan, the culinary mind behind Nolita’s ever-bustling Cafe Habana, all of the food is prepped and cooked in an attached food truck, adding some street fare edge to every dish. The solar-powered eatery (the first of its kind) is adorned with vibrant decor, booth tables, string lights, and rainbow umbrellas—and the food is just as fun. Its Cuban sandwich was voted best in the city, and we are obsessed with the specialty grilled corn, served Mexican style with Cotija, chili powder, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Habana Outpost also hosts movie nights on the patio every Sunday until the end of October, making it the perfect spot to catch a post-BAM flick. 757 Fulton Street

For when you’re missing the soon-to-be-dearly-departed Franny’s…Rose’s

With Franny’s impending closure, Rose’s is now the only way to get your fix of co-owners Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg’s crafty dishes. The Brooklyn bar offers elevated American grub, hand-selected craft beers, and classic cocktails in a chic space (and bright garden when the weather is nice). With a strict commitment to seasonality, the ever-rotating menu includes items such as pickled eggs, whipped ricotta toast, and strawberry rosewater pie. But it’s Rose’s classic burger—complete with melted Gruyère and a buttery, toasted bun from artisanal bakery Orwasher’s—that steals the show. 295 Flatbush Avenue

For something delicious and close…Olea

If the sprawling, delightful Olea isn’t already on your radar, it needs to be. Just steps away from BAM, this modern taverna is influenced by a unique blend of Spanish, Greek, and Italian flavors, making it satisfying for a wide range of diners and appetites. The neighborhood go-to offers a simple, European feel with stucco walls, a wood-paneled ceiling, and tiled floor. Not sure where to start? Order the falafel-crusted artichoke hearts, traditional Greek meatballs, and “Spanish Pitza” for Olea’s version of the Italian mainstay with Manchego and toasted garlic. 171 Lafayette Avenue


Need help deciding? Get in touch; we can help you pick the perfect spot.