Best of the Best: Brooklyn's Hardest to Get Restaurant Reservations

Fine Dining in Brooklyn for Special Occasions

The best of the best restaurants in Brooklyn are a hotly debated topic, but at any of the top eateries in the outer borough's restaurant scene, it can be tough to snag a reservation. 

For Mother's Day, Valentines Day, a special birthday, anniversary occasion, or any event worth celebrating, here's a list of five of the most coveted restaurant reservations in Brooklyn.

Are they worth it? Yes! All have caught the attention of the food gods, and have won at wide acclaim from critics and food lovers. 

As for reservations, some of these restaurants are tougher to crack than others. For instance, tiny Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, with just 18 seats, turns out to be much tougher to book than, say, the much larger River Cafe.

So don't despair of getting a table — but do plan ahead!

01 of 05

Peter Luger Steak House (Williamsburg)

Can't get into Peter Luger for Mother's Day? Give Mom some of their steak sauce with future rezzie
178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA
Phone +1 718-387-7400

Is a loved one a carnivore? Don't miss the steaks at this award-winning Williamsburg classic—the meat is cured on-site and cooked to beyond-perfection.

Located at the Brooklyn base of the Williamsburg Bridge, the restaurant drew fans for years before the surrounding area even dared dream the word "gentrification." The atmosphere is all business; Peter Luger's retains the patina of a very old-fashioned steak house and has been around since 1887

As for the steak? It's beyond delicious. It sizzles at the table and melts in your mouth, an experience that's hard to describe. This is the meal that may make all but the most ideologically committed vegetarians reconsider.

Reservations are required; book well in advance.

02 of 05

The Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare (Contemporary American)

431 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018, USA
Phone +1 718-243-0050

Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare is something of a legend in its own time. You have to work very hard to get a reservation at this teeny, 18-person restaurant, tucked in the back of an otherwise unassuming food store named Brooklyn Fare.

The Chef's Table—named for Chef Cesar Ramirez—was an upset award winner in the 2009 Michelin Awards, stealing a coveted three stars from right under the noses of locals who were barely aware of the haute cuisine being cooked up in the back kitchen.

The prix fixe dinner consists of over twenty small plate courses.

Call early and often to get your preferred time and date. Per their website "We advise calling earlier in the week to ensure availability."

03 of 05

River Cafe

1 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201-1343, USA
Phone +1 718-522-5200

Classy. Incredible service. Fabulous views from Brooklyn to Manhattan. The River Cafe is one of Brooklyn's most elegant restaurant, making it the perfect venue for a special night (or day) out. See if you can get a reservation well in advance. Note: Men are required to wear jackets after 5 p.m., and if you don't, they will provide one for you.

For reservations, the River Café accepts reservations from the same day to as far out as one year in advance.

04 of 05

The Norm (Prospect Heights)

200 Eastern Pkwy Ground Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11238, USA
Phone +1 646-656-0368

Michelin-starred Chef Saul Bolton opened this eclectic eatery after closing his self-named restaurant in Carrol Gardens. Located just inside The Brooklyn Museum, the setting with a rotating display of priceless art and the food (utilizing fresh ingredients and inspiration from Indian, Mexican, Japanese, and Middle Eastern cuisine) merge to delight both the eyes and the mouth. 

You can make a reservation by calling the restaurant.

Tip: And, if you can't get into the Norm, then try the sister Prospect Heights restaurant, also by the same chef: The Vanderbilt. Located at 570 Vanderbilt at the corner of Vanderbilt & Bergen Street, it's open for dinner nightly and weekend brunches.

Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05

Westlight (Williamsburg)

111 N 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249, USA
Phone +1 718-307-7100

An evening out at the Westlight won't disappoint. The view from the floor-to-ceiling windows or outdoor balcony offer an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline—but the food is what will really make your jaw drop. 

Located atop the William Vale Hotel, the Andrew Carmellini eatery pays homage to global influences by offering tasty bites like empanadas, shrimp dumplings, hummus, Japanese cheesecake, and more. 

Arrive early for a more mellow night, as once the DJ's starts going the venue gets into party mode.  

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Brooklyn's 5 Hardest to Get Restaurant Reservations