Western Brooklyn

There Are No Decent Restuarants in Dyker Heights, According To Zagat

The 2017 Zagat's review guide, photo via Amazon. Top right, Sheepshead Bay's Roll-N-Roaster, bottom right Bay Ridge's Tanorren, photos via Zagat's
The 2017 Zagat’s review guide, photo via Amazon. Top right, Sheepshead Bay’s Roll-N-Roaster, bottom right Bay Ridge’s Tanorren, photos via Zagat

Renowned foodie guide Zagat has released their 2017 edition, and it lists 26 noteworthy restaurants in southern Brooklyn. This is the amount of restaurants listed in the print guide and searchable on the website, mind you. No southern Brooklyn restaurants actually ranked in the elite guide’s best of list.

While Zagat’s gets props for accurately locating restaurants in their respective neighborhoods (they even list L&B Spumoni Gardens as being in Gravesend, which is correct, if tough to admit for some locals) they lose points for listing majority Italian and American spots, for the most part completely ignoring southern Brooklyn’s impressive Russian, middle eastern, and Chinese eateries.

Of all the southern Brooklyn neighborhoods, Bay Ridge is apparently the most frequented by Zagat reviewers, with 12 area restaurants listed. That list includes classic Italian bakery Paneantico with a 4.5 out 5 rating, white tablecloth Areo with a 4.4, and middle eastern favorite Tanoreen with a 4.7. (In the world of the Zagat 1 to 5 rating range, a 4.6 to 5.0 means “extraordinary to perfection” and a 4.1 to 4.5 means “very good to excellent”.)

Bath Beach had two spots listed — Malaysian joint Nyonya and Italian eatery Tommaso.

Not a single Dyker Heights or Boro Park restaurant made the list. (In past editions, however, Papa Pasquale has merited a shout out.)

In Bensonhurst, Villabate Alba scored a 4.7 and Tenzan, a Japanese spot, also made the list with a 4.1.

Besides L&B (which scored a 4.4) Gravesend also got a mention for Pio Pio. Over in Flatlands, the Mill Basin Deli scored a 4.3, and in actual Mill Basin, La Villa Pizzeria got a 4.1.

Sheepshead Bay had six ranked restaurants — two Turkish spots (Sahara and Taci’s Beyti), two seafood joints (Jordans Lobster and Randazzo’s), and two sandwich places (Brennan and Roll-N-Roaster).

While the good turnout of restaurants for southern Brooklyn may make it seem as though Zagat has finally realized we’ve got tons of incredible food down here, they still pay inordinately more attention to eateries in artisanal heavens like Williamsburg, where close to 100 restaurants were ranked.

What do you think of these pics? Are these really the best restaurants in southern Brooklyn? Let us know in the comments.

UPDATE: Councilman David G. Greenfield has sent out a hilarious press release written in the style of a Zagat review, with the more sober critique that the guide includes “zero kosher options in Brooklyn”.

In the entire guide, according to Greenfield, there are only eight kosher restaurants.

“I urge the editors of Zagat to seek out a more diverse array of dining options in New York, and particularly in Brooklyn,” Greenfield said. “We have some of the finest restaurants in the world in Brooklyn, and many happen to be kosher. But you wouldn’t know that from reading the Zagat Guide. Update your Guide! Your customers – and your stomachs – will be glad that you did.”

Comment policy


  1. I judge the best of the best in Brooklyn as eateries which Manhattanites will leave the city to dine at, making the travel worthwhile. The only places that ever merited this status, to me, were Villabate and L&B. A close mention would be Roll-N-Roaster, but you can easily get something similar in the city if you search.

    Isn’t it ironic that some of the best places to eat around south Brooklyn are establishments that have been around for decades, and curated as of recent? What does that tell you about recent gentrification?

  2. I think Michael’s (of Avenue R) would rate highly, but I’ve never put too much stock in Zagat ratings. They were too exclusive and elitist for far too long to be taken seriously. Once they opened up to wider rating by consumers, and use of the Internet and apps, I find them about as useful (read “useless”) as Yelp.

  3. Yeah, that’s the way I feel too. I love Michael’s and like La Palina’s (often overlooked), most of the restaurant – and commercial – energy of late is in Park Slope or northern latitudes (downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg and the like). It’s just the way it is. What great restaurant in southern Brooklyn do you remember that opened in the past 10 years?

  4. Taci’s Beyti is in Midwood.

    But Sahara certainly is in Sheepshead Bay- or Madison. Whatever you want to call it, it is still SB.

  5. OMG! What? No Mama Rao’s in Dyker Heights? These people need to get in an Uber and head over to 64th and 11th pronto!

  6. In Sheepshead Bay we have lost our diners, our Thai, our Chinese, our Deli, our Italian, our luncheonette, our McDonalds, but we have loads of Japanese & Turkish restaurants. It’s so pathetic. This once great neighborhood is going to be the next Flushing.

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