The birthplace of my parents, the place where my Italian immigrant grandparents decided to reside. A place that I always have amazing childhood memories of, and heard so many stories about. The beautiful/best borough, of the greatest city in the world New York, New York. My family has a deep past with Brooklyn, with my Mom being from Midwood and my Dad being from Bensonhurst. I always said I grew up in the wrong era because of all the amazing stories I would hear from them going out to a club or just going out to eat at a place that is now a delicacy. Aside from my parents being from BK, I truly love all of the history in this borough: from the Brooklyn Dodgers to the first Nathan’s Hot Dog, to all of the amazing restaurants that are still lasting, the clubs, the music, the melting pot of cultures, and of course the attitude that “Brooklynites” carry with them. This is my DJ Cookbook.
Lucali Brooklyn (575 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231)
One of the many homes for a proper wood-fired NY pie, and BYOB vibe. Lucali’s only offers (5) choices of Pizza pies to choose from, which are all to die for! Arrive early because getting in is harder than some after-hours in Brooklyn, but well worth it! I love coming to Lucali as it’s a true Brooklyn staple even before the hype! I love the ambiance and true simplicity of quality ingredients and never changing.
FARO (436 Jefferson St, Brooklyn, NY 11237)
Faro is a neighborhood restaurant in Brooklyn and right up the block from ‘The House Of Yes’ which focuses on handmade pasta using local grains and utilizing NY farms to create off-the-radar, rustic Italian dishes. There’s something about a wood-fired oven in a restaurant that makes the atmosphere just right, so for me, I was hooked the minute I walked in. I can’t leave here without having the Fazzoletti and you shouldn’t either!
Aldama BK (91 S 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249)
Fairly new to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and already known as a neighborhood gem for a new wave twist on Mexican food. Also, their selection of Mezcal is to die for. My go-to drink and dishes are the Sagra de Mezcal, pork belly tacos, and Vegan Mole.
Cecconi’s Dumbo (55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201)
A modern-day classic Italian restaurant located in Dumbo with waterfront views of the Manhattan Skyline. One of my favorite dishes here is the Multi-Layered Fried Eggplant with Cecconi’s signature sauce that’s baked until the top is golden brown and the inside is melty and pure perfection!
L&B Spumoni Gardens (2725 86th St, Brooklyn, NY 11223)
Known for their Square Sicilian Style Pizza, what separates their square pies from others is that they place an ample amount of mozzarella cheese under their signature sauce, rather than on top. Another specialty of L&B is their Spumoni icey, a combination of chocolate, pistachio, and almond. I think L&B leaves such a special place in my heart because my family is from that area of Brooklyn, and they tell me stories from when they grew up eating there and it’s one of those places that I am always craving and excited to eat. It’s iconic, to say the least!
Villabate Alba (7001 18th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11204)
The best Cannoli you could ever have outside of Sicily. Villabate’s cannoli has a distinctive design, reliably sweet, creamy, the garnish also gives the Brooklyn classic, a citrusy twist, which you would find in a Sicilian Pasticceria. Villabate is another 18 Ave. staple and I’m happy to still see that building hold its ground for these many years. I could never not stop by when I’m in Bensonhurst.
Joe’s Of Avenue U (287 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY 11223)
If you are a Sicilian from New York and haven’t had “Joe’s of Avenue U’ you’re missing out. I HIGHLY recommend their panelli special with ricotta on a toasted sesame roll, a Gravesend classic that has left its mark in the area for years. Every year my family makes Italian cookies to be had on Christmas day and then we order a handful of Panelle and Sicilian Arancini specials.
Nowadays (56-06 Cooper Ave, Queens, NY 11385)
This club is a safe place to dance for all music lovers of any race, creed or religion.
I would highly recommend Justin Carters and Eamon Harkins Mr Sunday Night! Bring your dancing shoes and expect to dance right out of them.
Petes Candy Store (709 Lorimer St Brooklyn, NY 11211)
On any given night you could see tomorrow’s indie music stars today at this live music joint while having specialty cocktails that bartenders throw together from fresh ingredients harvested in the area. Also one of the only places that I know where you get quality live music for no cover charge and that all donations go straight to the artist(s) performing.
Teksupport (63 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205)
Some of the biggest events of the underground world are put on by Teksupport in Brooklyn. I’ve played many Teksupport parties and am super proud to work them regularly, as their attention to detail and production is always on point. One event in particular with them that I’m excited for is Time Warp, as the venue is massive and I can’t wait to hear that DnB audio sound system shake those walls.
Captured Tracks (Used vinyl, tapes etc) (195 Calyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11222)
Always love digging at Captured tracks as it is mainly used vinyl so you can find some old school gems. I personally shop for a lot of Funk, Disco, and Soul while I’m there.
Human Head NYC (Vinyl New) (289 Meserole St Brooklyn, NY 11206)
Whether it is underground techno or rock, Human Head NYC is bound to have something you can pull. Extremely affordable usually, and very easy to sort through records here, I always have a great experience.
Second Hand Records NYC (Vinyl New) (23 Lawton St, Ground Floor
Brooklyn, New York 11221)
Second Hand Records is super proper for a guy like me. They are always “in the know” when it comes to proper underground techno/house. I love shopping here when they restock or get new shipments in. They turn over pretty quickly so it’s always good to check the website or call before heading in.
Archivio Records (Vinyl New) (247 Water St Suite 401, Brooklyn, NY 11201)
Archivio Records is another shop that has an amazing ear for buying records. They are super proper, and you can tell they take their jobs seriously, as I always come out with a few records when leaving here. Love digging here as it’s in the heart of Dumbo, Brooklyn and there’s always so much going on down there. They nailed the aesthetics too 🙂