Eat to the Beat: Galapagos / Music Hall of Williamsburg

Two of Williamsburg’s main rock venues, Galapagos and the soon-to-open Music Hall of Williamsburg (formerly NorthSix), are conveniently located right next to one another on N. 6th Street. There are loads of great chow choices for before or after the show. Note, these are not necessarily the best places in all of Williamsburg, just the best ones closest to the show.


CHEAP-BUT-GREAT: In the back of Matamoros Puebla Grocery is a zero-frills taqueria offering some of the best, authentic Mexican food in the neighborhood. Skip the burritos and head straight for the tacos and the sopes (both $2 each) which you can get with a variety of fillings. The latter are thick, homemade tortillas filled with meat or vegetables, salsa, onions, crema and crumbly cotija cheese. There are non-meat options, but everything’s cooked on the same griddle…so vegans might want to head to the branch of San Loco on N. 4th.
193 Bedford (between N. 6th and N. 7th) | 10AM – 10PM (ish) daily.

EVERYONE LOVES PIZZA: Fornino opened two years ago and has been a pizza destination ever since. Using homemade moz and herbs grown in the backyard greenhouse, this is upscale pizza that will still leave you with money for beer. And the pie is pretty great, with plenty of options for carnivores, vegetarians and vegans alike. Whole pies only. For a slice, Anna Maria’s is on Bedford, just north of North 7th.
187 Bedford Ave | 718-384-6004 | Noon to 11PM daily.

THAI ONE ON: While it’s North 6h location makes it seem ideal, SEA is overrun with B&T/Sex & the City types and should be avoided at all costs on the weekends. Instead try Chai or Thai Thai. Chai scores with it’s deft mix of culinary finesse and atmosphere to match; Tai Thai is the cheapest in the area, with better than average food. It’s the only place you can find the extra-spicy Northern Thai specialty Jungle Curry in the neighborhood.
Chai: 124 N. 6th St (at Berry St) | 718-599-5889 | Noon to midnight daily
Tai Thai: 206 Bedford Ave (at N. 6th) |
718-599-5556 | Noon to 11PM daily

MORE: Sparky’s is a fast food concept with a slow food heart, using  organic and local ingredients; Miyako is the WB’s best sushi option; For a non-sushi Japanese fix in a transportive setting, Zenkichi offers luxe izakaya favorites… at a price; Oasis has your Middle Eastern options covered; Bliss is decent vegetarian; and Monkeytown is a destination in its own right.


SNACK ATTACK: When your starved but want to keep the party going, few places in Williamsburg fit the bill as well as Snacky. As the name implies, it’s menu is full of little bites, drawn from Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisine. But it’s Snacky’s spin on American classics that really satisfy the munchies. Hot dogs are topped with kimchee and a tangy, spicy sauce; and the Popsie Burger is their take on the slider, which is one of my favorite non-traditional burgers in the city. Kitchen stays open late…especially on weekends. There’s a nice selection of beer, sake and soju (distilled Korean rice wine that packs a vodka punch), the decor is hip and funky, and the stereo often plays mixes from yours truly.
187 Grand St (at Bedford) | 718-486-4848 | 6PM – 1AM (or later) Mon-Sat

IT’S THE BOMB: Further east on Grand St. is Bozu. Like Snacky, Bozu is essentially an izakaya joint — a place to drink with little items to nosh on while getting sloshed — but the two places have a totally different vibe. It’s very Japanese, and you feel like you’re walking into some secret den (kind of like Decibel in the East Village). There’s a full bar, but the emphasis is on beer (Hitachino on draft!), sake, and especially shochu — the Japanese equivalent of soju. The food is great. Their sushi bombs are made in muffin tins, the result are little pucks of raw fish and rice. Sushi rolls too — with many vegetarian/vegan varieties — and a nice selection of salads, cooked dishes and other little treats. The star, however, is the Pork Betty: slow-cooked pork belly, sliced thin into little medallions of fatty goodness.

296 Grand St. (btwn Havemeyer and Roebling) |
718-384-7770 | 6PM – 1AM (3AM on weekends)

BURGER ME: Open for less than a year, DuMont Burger has become one of the most popular spots on the South Bedford drag. During normal dinner hours, you have to fight for one of the 25 stools in the small place. But after 10PM, snagging a spot is pretty easy and the kitchen stays open till 2AM most nights. Their signature eight ounce burger uses top-quality, house-ground ground beef, and it’s served on a buttery brioche bun, which can be a bit much. The better option is the DuMont Mini — five ounces (still big) on a ciabatta bun. The fries and onion rings are excellent. You can also get DuMont’s famed Mac and Cheese (a portion big enough to feed four), a decent grilled chicken sandwich, and a veggie burger made with chickpeas. (It’s dry.) There are also daily specials, nice draft beer choices, plus more wines by the glass than you might expect. Still, my favorite menu item is the fish sandwich.
314 Bedford Ave (btwn S. 1st and S. 2nd) |
888-895-2668 | 11AM – 2AM

NO TIME: Despite it being open very late and located basically across the street from Galapagos and NorthSix, Anytime should be avoided at all costs. You can do much better.

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