Neighborhood Guides

Locals' guides to New York neighborhoods.

Chef Dan Silverman's Favorite Restaurants in Ditmas Park

View Dan Silverman's Ditmas Park in a larger map.

A resident of Ditmas Park since 2000, Dan Silverman (the executive chef of The Regency Bar & Grill in the Loews Regency Hotel) likes to ride a bike around his Brooklyn neighborhood and other areas of the borough. He's a five-mile ride away from Coney Island and not far from Rockaway Beach. But in the past few years, he's noticed more and more restaurants—often more upscale—opening in Ditmas Park. Though it started with a trickle from the Farm on Adderly, these days "it's hard to not explore and find something new."

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[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Pizza: Di Fara in Midwood. If I'm buying, I always order a square pie with porcini mushrooms and baby artichokes. It never disappoints and is always worth the wait. It's definitely my favorite.

Burger: The opening of The Farm on Adderley was a sign things were changing around here—it set the tone of the neighborhood. It's been a favorite since they opened. They have a great burger served on a homemade English muffin. This place also serves an awesome brunch on weekends and is the perfect spot to take kids. I like that they're committed to using local products. They have a whole animal program, too.

Spicy Sausage Laffa at Olympic Pita ($11.95)

[Photograph: Carey Jones]

Falafel: Hands down my favorite falafel is at Olympic Pita. Every time I go I try something new, and I'm never disappointed! They make their own bread and do falafel to order. There's also a fantastic salad bar. They have a dining room, but I always order take out.

Bagel: I get great fresh bagels at Bagel Hole. On the weekends, we like to pick up half a dozen or so and make them up at home. We also send them as gifts and people always rave about them. They're not too big, and they're not too sweet. I reject the big, sweet puffy bagels that a lot of people seem to like.

Coffee: Qathra is my go-to spot for a large black coffee.

Take out: Yen Yen is your typical New York Chinese food. It's always a take out staple for us.

Bar: Sycamore Bar & Flower Shop has a great whiskey selection. Plus, where else can you get a beer on tap while picking up flowers for the house?

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[Photograph: Ben Fishner]

Filipino: Purple Yam opened up a few years ago and has been a great addition to the neighborhood. The chicken adobo and kimchi fried rice are staples, but they also serve a dish called sisig, which is chopped up pig's head (cheeks, ears and snout) braised in limes and chilies that's awesome! We've been going since they've been open.

Israeli: Mimi's Hummus has great Israeli food with a large selection of hummus that they make fresh every day. It's impossible for me not to try all of them! They also have a great market next door that has an impressive selection of cheese, charcuterie and gourmet condiments—it's a perfect one-stop shop.

Italian: Lea is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. They serve great wood-oven pizzas, fresh pasta, and nice salads. It's becoming one of our regular spots even though it only opened a few weeks ago. It's not a game changer, but it's great to have in the neighborhood.

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