Cobble Hill

The 5 best restaurants in Cobble Hill

December 11, 2019 Scott Enman
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Cobble Hill is primarily known for its quiet streets lined with brownstones, but it should also be recognized for the world-class dining and cozy haunts scattered around the neighborhood.

In the span of just a few blocks, hungry residents or visitors have a huge range to choose from — from Ethiopian to French to Spanish to Middle Eastern.

With so many great options, we’ve put together a guide with five of the area’s top restaurants (chosen by a lifelong resident of the neighborhood). In addition to delicious food and drinks, you’ll find an unpretentious and welcoming atmosphere in each of these places.

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Long Island Bar

The Long Island Bar. Photo: Al Rodriguez Photography

When the windows fog up in the winter and the lights from the outside create a glow on the frosted glass, you’ll feel like you’re in a scene from “The Catcher in the Rye.” The old clock above the bar, checkered ceiling tiles and vintage stools will transport you to a bygone era when Long Island Bar, which opened in 1951, was a hang out for longshoremen.

Start the evening off with a White Negroni Sbagliato — made with Carpano Bianco Vermouth, Suze and Prosecco — before moving to a beer to complement the forthcoming savory treats. For dinner, the fried cheese curds and cooked-to-perfection L.I. burger are a must.

Pro tip: Try to snag a cozy booth along the inner wall, complete with its own coat rack.

110 Atlantic Ave. Visit website.

Bar Tabac

Photo: Bar Tabac

There’s nothing more blissful then sitting at one of Bar Tabac’s sidewalk tables on a warm summer afternoon. Sipping an Aperol or St. Germain spritz while playing a round of backgammon will have you feeling like you’re in Paris. The place also has its charm in the winter, as waiters dance their way through the restaurant holding warm bowls of French onion soup.

This unpretentious neighborhood staple serves amazing escargot, steak frites and mussels. Get a corner table or one in the back room, and you’ll feel like you have the entire restaurant to yourself.

Pro tip: They serve dinner until 11:30 p.m. every night, so it’s perfect for a late-night bite. And there’s live music on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays.

128 Smith St. Visit website.


Photo: Lobo

If you’re a fan of Tex Mex, Lobo is the place for you. Its walls are covered with cowhides, saddles, longhorn skulls and other Southwest artifacts.

This neighborhood joint serves some of the best margaritas in the borough, and you get bottomless free chips and salsa. Any of their combo platters will do the trick, plus you’ll want to order a round of chile con queso. Sip your drink and listen to the bartender croon to songs on the overhead speakers. Also, this is one of the few watering holes where you can order Lone Star beer.

Pro tip: Go on Wednesdays for $5 margaritas.

218 Court St. Visit website.


Photo: Awash

Awash is home to not just amazing Ethiopian food, but amazing service, too. Always smiling and always wearing a fedora, the owner Romeo will greet you enthusiastically before seating you at the table.

Order a crisp Meta beer or a bottle of honey wine to offset the spiciness of the food. Order a sambusa to start and then mix and match a combo with assorted vegetables and two types meat. The food comes on top of injera, a spongy sourdough bread, which Ethiopians use in lieu of silverware, but don’t be shy to ask for a fork — as you’ll fill up fast with all that bread.

Pro tip: Request an ice bucket to keep the honey wine cold.

242 Court St. Visit website.

La Vara

La Vara. Photo: Lauren Volo

No list would be complete without La Vara, a Michelin-starred Spanish restaurant from the husband and wife team of Alex Raij and Eder Montero. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu at this eatery hidden on a residential street, but my favorites are the stuffed rabbit loin, fried artichokes and fideuà — think paella but with noodles.

Pro tip: If you can’t get a table at La Vara, try Saint Julivert next door, which is equally delicious and also owned by Raij and Montero.

268 Clinton St. Visit website.

Follow reporter Scott Enman on Twitter.

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