Serious Eats Neighborhood Guides: Shanna Pacifico's Williamsburg

Neighborhood Guides

Locals' guides to New York neighborhoods.

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For a chef who's spent the bulk of her career attached to a single restaurateur, Shanna Pacifico isn't afraid of a little adventure. She's lived all over New York, recently settling in North Brooklyn. She's recently moved on from the original Back Forty to the new Back Forty West with Peter Hoffman in the former Savoy space, but Shanna took a few minutes to guide us on a wild ride around her 'hood, with a stop for crispy pig tails along the way.

Shanna's Picks

Burger, cheap: The Anchored Inn is kind of in the middle of a bunch of warehouses. I discovered it while I was walking my dog around there once. It's a great, quick bar burger.


Diner's burger [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Burger, fancy: I go to Diner and get their big grass-fed beef patty.

Sandwich: I always go to Saltie and get something different, like the Scuttlebutt with chopped egg. I had one with chicken liver and pickled jalapenos, which was really good. I like grabbing sandwiches from there for road trips.

Coffee: Cup does lattes and iced coffees right.

Breakfast: I like the biscuits at Egg, and their menu always changes so it's good to see what's new.


Fried pig tails [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Late-night eats: Around 1 AM, I like to go to The Brooklyn Star for the crispy pig tails and the romaine wedge salad, which is really nice—they put a dash of Tabasco sauce on top.

Dive bar: Lady Jay's is a rock bar with a great outdoor space. The drinks are nothing fancy, but they have great pickle juice, which I drink to chase my Michter's bourbon on the rocks.

Cocktail bar: Huckleberry Bar is like five minutes from my house. I usually do one of their specialty cocktails, or a Manhattan on the rocks. They do wine on tap, and they have a really great outdoor space. I had my birthday there last year.


Duck breast with brussels sprouts, pistachios, and kumquat [Photograph: Alice Gao]

Date night: Gwynnett Street is really close to my house, and the food is fantastic. We like the monkey bread, the duck, and the steak. It's pretty chill, with really good service, a big bar and great cocktails. It's definitely nicer than a lot of the restaurants in the neighborhood.

Takeout: Sometimes I go to Momo Sushi Shack and get a salmon avocado roll to go; it's my guilty pleasure. They do a lot of fun, different sushi there too.


The Specken Wolf [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Can't-miss neighborhood spot: Everything at Roberta's is really good. The pies always change; it's pretty seasonal. Recently I went for brunch and had one with ramps that was great. I had that, plus a Bloody Mary and a Budweiser. I spent all of New Years Day hanging out at the Tiki bar; they had a bunch of Prosecco that was on sale from New Year's Eve. A gaggle of girlfriends and I sat outside by the heater, drinking $20 bottles of Prosecco all day.