Shortly after moving to New York with only a backpack in tow, Nick Subic landed in Bushwick. He trailed in kitchens across the city and eventually met other Brooklyn-based chefs working at restaurants like Roberta's and Do or Dine. The Sussman brothers and Angelo Romano are only some of them. Now that he runs the kitchen at King Noodle in the neighborhood, he's become part of growing dining scene in an area that boasts one of New York's most popular restaurants as well as a place where young chefs are opening their own businesses. He says Bushwick has become more diverse over the years—just like the number of places to eat.
Pizza: Obviously, you can't talk about pizza in Bushwick without mentioning Roberta's. My favorite slice joint is Tony's. There are two on Knickerbocker. The good one is the one on Knickerbocker and DeKalb. I usually get a Sicilian (it's just like a big rectangular pizza with a really super-thick layer of cheese and herbs). The sauce is really, really good. That slice of pizza brings me back to the first time I visited New York.
Burger: My favorite right now is Fritzl's. That's a really good spot. Everything is a surprise on the menu when you bite into it. Dan Ross, the chef, is doing his own little thing with everything. For the burger he brines short ribs for a few days. I usually get my burger medium; I find there's a lot of range in how people cook a burger, so medium is safe. I love American cheese, iceberg lettuce...everything on it.
Sandwich and coffee: My go to sandwich is at Cafeteria La Mejor. I always get the Cubano or one with guava jam and sliced ham. It's has a kick to it. They have a good café con leche there, too. That's my go to spot. It's like an espresso drink with sugar, butter and salt. It's like a meal in itself. They're from Miami and are very sure about how it's done.
Breakfast: Tina's. It's the diner in the neighborhood. It's really straightforward, eggs and stuff like that. Breakfast is still pretty sparse around here.
Bagels: I eat them every day at Swallow. I'll order the everything bagel, toasted with butter and cream cheese. I get coffee there, too. I drink a lot of coffee.
Pastries: There's a good Dominican bakery on Knickerbocker called Angela's. They had a bunch of crazy pastries, even savory ones that I like a lot. The coffee there reminds me of being in Central America.
Latino: Everyone talks about how New York doesn't have good Mexican food and what not. What New York doesn't have, they have here. There are tons of Dominican and Ecuadorian places that do yellow rice dishes. For Salvadorian, you get really fantastic pupusas for $1.50 at Amanda's. I also go to Taqueria El Paisa. They do an al pastor taco with big chunks of pineapple. The cemitas are great, too.
Vietnamese: Bunker is really popular right now, and though it's in Ridgewood, it's close. I've only been once, I haven't tried the pho, but I had their curry chicken with some roti. I'd definitely go back.
Dive Bar: Pearl's Social & Billy Club is the best dive bar. It has a nice vibe. It's not excessive or doesn't smell weird. The music choices are all over because people play whatever they want. It's a fun, dark place to drink. A lot of people in the industry go there.
Date spot: Roberta's is up there. I'd go to Momo Sushi. It's in an industrial space, well let, well put together, the fish comes from Haikado and you're surrounded by a crowd but have your own space.