Brooklyn's Best Old School Restaurants

Take a Trip Back in Time at These Authentic Spots

With new restaurants opening up all over Brooklyn, and many others closing, it’s time to pay tribute to these old school restaurants that have been open for years. In a city filled with constant change, these restaurants offer a peek at Brooklyn throughout the past decades. Many of these ​old-school haunts evoke charm from a previous generation. Get schooled in Brooklyn history at these landmark restaurants. From pizza pies at a historic Coney Island restaurant to roast beef sandwiches at a Sheepshead Bay fast food joint, get a taste of Brooklyn's food history at these eight spots.

  • 01 of 08

    Junior's Restaurant

    Junior's
    ••• Junior's, Facebook

     Junior's Restaurant

    Since 1950, Brooklyn folks have been devouring Junior's signature cheesecakes and overstuffed sandwiches at this Brooklyn deli. Located in the heart of downtown Brooklyn, Junior's is a landmark restaurant. The walls are filled with historic pictures of Brooklyn and other memorabilia. 

  • 02 of 08

    Ferdinando's Focacceria

    Ferdinando's Focacceria

    Ferdinando's Focaccia, located on Union Street, in the Carroll Gardens waterfront district, is a classic. The restaurant opened in 1904 and serves some of the tastiest Sicilian food in NYC. Order their famous panelle sandwich (fried chickpeas) or a rice ball in their atmospheric old fashioned family-owned restaurant. 

  • 03 of 08

    Roll n Roaster

    Roll n Roaster

    Located in Sheepshead Bay, this kitschy old school fast food restaurant is a must-visit. Dine on roast beef sandwiches, pizza and wash it down with a lemonade. If it's your birthday, they let you spin a wheel (very similar to the one on Wheel of Fortune) to win free food. Afterward, stroll on the foot bridge over the bay, which is right across the street. Warning, you might need to pop an antacid after dining here, but it's totally worth it. An added plus, they have a parking lot.

  • 04 of 08

    Nathan's Famous

    Nathan's Famous

    A trip to Coney Island isn't complete without ordering a hot dog shop that has been open for over a hundred years. Head there on July 4th to watch their annual hot dog eating contest. 

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Totonno's

    Totonno's

    This restaurant on Neptune Avenue in Coney Island, just an avenue from the beach, with walls crammed with old photographs has been serving some of the best thin-crust coal oven pizza in Brooklyn since 1924. If you want to taste authentic NYC pizza, you must head to Totonno's.

  • 06 of 08

    Monte's

    Monte's

    Monte's, in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn, has a menu of classic Italian food and pizza. The restaurant opened in 1906 and truly evokes authentic old world charm. 

  • 07 of 08

    Brennan & Carr

    Brennan & Carr

    Order a hot roast beef sandwich or a Gargiulo burger at Brennan & Carr. This beloved rustic Brooklyn restaurant opened in 1938 and is still al local favorite. Although located a bit off the beaten path in Midwood/Sheepshead Bay,  it's definitely worth the trek on the subway.

  • 08 of 08

    Peter Luger Steakhouse

     Peter Luger Steakhouse

    Meat lovers should indulge in a steak dinner at Peter Luger Steakhouse in Williamsburg. The historic Brooklyn restaurant, which started as" Carl Luger's Café, Billiards, and Bowling Alley" in 1897 has had quite a history. The Michelin star restaurant is one of NYC top-rated steakhouses.