Affordable Extravagance: Park Slope Spots For A Leisurely Lunch

Affordable Extravagance: Park Slope Spots For A Leisurely Lunch
al di la

Park Slope is a destination in itself for food connoisseurs, and home to some of New York’s most celebrated and publicized restaurants. But savoring a lavish meal out doesn’t have to come with an exorbitant price tag; given the right combination of ambiance, delicious fare, attentive service, and reasonable pricing, enjoying an affordably extravagant meal in the Slope is not impossible—especially if you know where to find the best lunch spots. Whether it’s beautifully crafted sushi, Austrian comfort food, juicy grass-fed burgers, or delicate seafood ceviche, here are some of our favorite places to enjoy a decadent and leisurely lunch in the Slope—without a hefty price tag.

benchmark burger

Benchmark Café, 339 2nd Street (4th & 5th Avenue), (718) 965-7040
If you’re looking for an escapist afternoon of pampered elegance, Benchmark is the ticket. A hidden gem tucked away behind wrought-iron gates at the end of a quaint brick walkway, Benchmark’s tent-like entranceway reveals a rustic and elegant dining room (formerly a 1920’s icehouse and way station) complete with white linen covered tables, cozy exposed brick walls, arched windows, and a creative menu boasting pasture-raised steaks and local produce. The 2-course prix fixe lunch ($14) includes plates ranging from delicate Maine Lobster Bisque and decadent Braised Beef Short Ribs, to Pan-seared Crab Cakes, or the “life-altering” Benchmark Burger for the main course. An unforgettable afternoon of exquisitely prepared food and top-notch-service, this is the spot to enjoy a lavishly decadent, yet affordable meal.

(Photo via Facebook)

ten sushi

Ten, 440 7th Avenue (15th Street), (718) 768-9888
Ten isn’t your average sushi experience; every item–from a cup of green tea or simple tossed salad, to a plate of handcrafted specialty rolls or Chirashi–is carefully presented with appetizing ingredients and intricate edible garnishes. Lunch consists of beautifully constructed, colorful plates of freshly prepared Sashimi or Sushi rolls (2 rolls + Shumai, Edamame, and choice of Miso Soup or Salad $8.50), as well as an abundant selection of combination boxes, including: Teriyaki, Tempura, Hibachi, Sashimi, or Katsu (includes Shumai, Edamame, California Roll, and Miso Soup or Salad $9). Relaxing over lunch is especially enjoyable while people watching from one of their breezy window tables overlooking 7th Avenue. With accommodating service, consistent top-notch sushi, and a sleek and comfortable ambiance (with outdoor seating), lunching at Ten leaves you feeling pampered and contentedly full, without spending a fortune.

steinhof paprikash

Café Steinhof, 422 7th Avenue (14th Street), (718) 369-7776
Lunching at Steinhof is never disappointing. Set in a wood-paneled, homey space reminiscent of an alpine lodge (or what we would imagine one to be like), Steinhof offers satiating, lip-smacking, and hearty Austrian comfort food at reasonable prices. Lunch specials include traditional favorites like Chicken Paprika, Beef Gulash, Weiner Schnitzle, or Bratwurst with potatoes and sauerkraut (platters $13, sandwich versions for $11), or lighter salads and platters ranging from Roast Chicken Salad with sour cherries ($10) to a Cod Salad Sandwich on pumpernickel ($11). In addition to offering a mouth-watering, delicious, stick-to-your-bones lunch, the unassuming but attentive staff lets you linger over coffee without feeling rushed. Raise your stein to Steinhof!

song

Song, 295 5th Avenue (1st & 2nd Street), (718) 965-1108
A popular, edgy, and notoriously busy Thai spot on 5th Avenue, lunching on Song’s outdoor patio is more like spending an afternoon lounging at a friend’s garden party. Song’s already affordable menu offers a generous lunch special (appetizer and entrée for $8.95) leaving plenty of room in your budget to indulge in a Mango Martini while lounging on one of their cushioned deck chairs. Tantalizing starters include refreshing Rice Paper Summer Rolls, light Mango Salads, or piled-high plates of perfectly crisp and tender Fried Calamari with spicy dipping sauce. The second course features traditional favorites, like Pad Thai, and Mixed Vegetables in Spicy Basil Sauce, or lighter choices like a Grilled Spicy Beef Salad or Tofu & Mixed Vegetables in Coconut Curry. Song’s laid-back lunch vibe, oversized portions, and affordable prices leave you with a full belly and happy wallet. Bring cash; Song doesn’t accept credit cards.

(Photo via Yelp)

Flatbush Farm

Flatbush Farm, 76 St. Mark’s Avenue (Flatbush & 6th Avenue), (718) 622-3276
Relaxing over lunch in Flatbush Farm’s pastoral outdoor garden gives Brooklynites a temporary respite from urban life without having to leave the neighborhood. With ivy-covered stone walls, minimalist wooden tables, old-fashioned wrought-iron chairs, and simple farm-to-table cuisine, the elegant a la carte lunch menu offers affordably priced breakfast plates, salads, sandwiches, and artisanal tapas. Options range from comforting classics, like Grilled Cheese with Amish Cheddar & Tomato Soup ($10) and the Bar(n) Burger with House Pickles and Fries on a Brioche Bun ($12), to the more sophisticated Rabbit Confit Sandwich with Shaved Carrot & Radish on Grilled Naan ($12) or Smoked Brook Trout Salad with Arugula, Egg Confetti, & Sauce Gribiche ($12). With fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients in a bucolic setting, the Farm delivers a relaxing, affordable, and tasty afternoon.

(Photo via Facebook)

al di la

Al di la Trattoria, 248 5th Avenue (Carroll Street), (718) 783-4565
Foodies from all over the world travel to Park Slope for Al di la’s critically-acclaimed, simple, traditional, and buttery Northern Italian cuisine. While dinner can involve long waits, crowds, and tight communal seating, lunch at Al di la gives patrons the chance to relax over an affordably elegant meal in their rustic dining room. The a la carte menu offers a healthy range of salads, paninis, pastas, and entrees, including the Insalata di Farro with peas ($10), an indulgent and tender Heritage Pork Belly Sandwich with pickled onion, tomato & salsa verde (served warm $9.50), Spaghetti Chitarra alla Carbonara with Guanciala, favas & pecorino ($14), and, my favorite–Funghi e Polenta & Poached Egg served with sautéed wild mushrooms over braised greens and creamy polenta ($14). Although portions can be sparing, lunching at Al di la is about savoring every flavorful bite. Bon appetit!

(Photo via Facebook)

coco roco ceviche

Coco Roco, 392 5th Avenue (6th & 7th Street), (718) 965-3376
If you haven’t tried Peruvian cuisine, lunch at Coco Roco is a must. In a light and spacious dining room overlooking 5th Avenue, the menu offers a diverse selection of delicately seasoned soups, salads, refreshing ceviches (not to be missed), and fish, steak, and rotisserie chicken platters—all at reasonable prices. Delight your palate with luxurious favorites, like the elegant and refreshing Ceviche Mixto with mussels, squid and snapper ($14), perfectly grilled Blue-potato Crusted Salmon Morado ($16), or juicy Rotisserie Chicken with salad ($10). For dessert, float away on a slice of creamy Coconut & Lime Flan or flaky Empanada de Chocolate with ice cream ($6). Ideal for anyone on a gluten-free regimen, Coco Roco offers a healthy, relaxing, and refined dining experience that won’t break the bank.

Giovanni's Brooklyn Eats

Giovanni’s, 157 8th Avenue (Prospect Ave), (718) 788-8001
A cozy neighborhood Italian joint situated on the corner of Prospect & 8th Avenue, Giovanni’s is known for its homemade pasta, generous portions, and fair prices. Although dinner and brunch get crowded at this popular eatery, lunch is an entirely quieter and more relaxed affair. With tall, bright windows, exposed brick walls, elegant white tablecloths, and outdoor dining, Giovanni’s offers an upscale and hearty 2-course (appetizer + entree) prix fixe menu for $10.95. Options range from a sweet and savory salad of Poached Pears, Walnuts & Gorgonzola, and Nonna’s Famous Meatballs (always a crowd-pleaser), to a Grilled Chicken, Portobella & Fontina Panini, or more traditional (and filling) Rigatoni al Formaggi (Four-cheese Cream sauce), and Penne alla Vodka. The cheerful service, outstanding Italian cuisine, and laid-back ambiance will keep you smiling and satiated.

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