Cops know the ins and outs of every neighborhood in Brooklyn — so it’s no surprise they know where to find the best grub.
All that time driving patrols and walking their beats clues police officers in to the most filling meals, the best deals, and the greatest bites in each precinct across the borough.
“If you want to eat good, ask a cop,” said 76 Precinct community affairs officer Vincent Marrone. “That’s what they do.”
Fine dining isn’t something cops can indulge in all the time — the pressures of the job make it hard to sit down and enjoy a meal when the call to hit the streets could come in at any time.
But there’s no reason you can’t eat like the boys and girls in blue.
After a weeks-long investigation by this newspaper, we compiled this list of the top cop joints in Brooklyn.
Park Slope, Gowanus,
and Prospect Heights
El Gran Castillo
It’s hard work collaring Brooklyn’s crooks — enough work for even the skinniest cops to work up an appetite.
For gut-busting meals of home-cooked Dominican food, this 26-year-old eatery is the chief.
“It’s a seasoned place,” said one of New York finest. “It’s cheap and you can get a good lunch for under $10.”
Most wanted: Pernil — roasted pork — with sweet plantains.
345 Flatbush Ave. near Park Place in Prospect Heights, (718) 622–8700.
Fish & Sip Cafe
This Mediterranean joint is good for an $8-lunch filling enough to keep you energized on the job, but just light enough to stay on the beat.
“It’s a healthy alternative,” said an officer. “It pretty much has everything.”
Most wanted: Avocado salad or the “classic” panini with turkey, swiss, and pesto mayonnaise.
216 Flatbush Ave. near Bergen Street in Prospect Heights, (718) 636–2256.
Purbird’s antibiotic- and hormone-free poultry makes the precinct’s officers sing like canaries.
“It’s expensive, but it’s so good,” said one cop.
Most wanted: Boneless chicken and jalapeno mashed potatoes.
82 Sixth Ave. near St. Marks Avenue in Park Slope, (718) 857–2473.
Everyone loves diners and police are no different.
“This diner does everything with good food,” said an officer, who enjoys the joint’s “Healthy Sloppy Breakfast” of egg whites, broccoli, peppers, onions, turkey bacon, potatoes, and cheddar cheese on the grill. “It’s sloppy — that’s about all.”
Most wanted: Healthy Sloppy Breakfast.
82 Seventh Ave. near Berkeley Place in Park Slope, (718) 369–0082.
Fort Greene and Clinton Hill
This restaurant is not your average pizza place; its wood-burning brick oven churns out perfectly charred pies that draw cops all the way down to the Navy Yard from the stationhouse on DeKalb and Classon avenues.
“That’s the best pizza in the whole area,” confirmed one neighborhood cop.
Most wanted: Al Diavolo pizza with broccoli rabe, sausage, hot cherry peppers and mozzarella.
37 Washington Ave. at Flushing Avenue in the Navy Yard, (718) 624–0954.
When you’re on duty, you never know when the call might come, so sometimes you need to grab something quick and go.
Bergen Bagels has the best bagels around, perfect for munching on the move, said an officer.
Most wanted: Poppy seed bagel and cream cheese, coffee.
536 Myrtle Ave. at Grand Avenue in Clinton Hill, (718) 789–9300.
Farmer in the Deli
Good sandwiches are easy to throw in the car and eat in portions throughout the day.
Just don’t leave ’em in the back seat.
“The line is always long, but they have good sandwiches at a nice price,” said a cop.
Most wanted: Cracked pepper turkey and pepperocini sandwich.
357 Myrtle Ave. between Adelphi Street and Clermont Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 875–9067.
Foodies come here in all kinds of outfits — and that apparently includes police blues.
This bakery and gourmet food market serves up the type of French pastries and savory entrees a previous generation of men and women in uniform might have eschewed as effete.
But these days, it’s just an issue of price.
“This place is very big with officers who are not cheap,” said a cop.
Most wanted: Steel-cut oatmeal, lentil and couscous salad, white bean and kale soup.
318 Lafayette Ave. at Grand Avenue in Clinton Hill, (718) 230–5234.
Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Red Hook
If you’re already dressed up in your blues you might as well go to a classy joint if you have a moment or two to kill.
Marco Polo Ristorante is just the spot.
“It’s fancy, this place, but it’s not too expensive,” said Marrone.
Most wanted: Veal milanese, linguine fini alle vongole — angel hair pasta and clams.
345 Court St. between President and Union streets in Carroll Gardens, (718) 852–5015.
Water’s Edge Diner
There is something innately right about cops eating at diners, a tableau that is part Norman Rockwell, part Edward Hopper.
The women and men of the 76th Precinct say this new diner down by the water takes the (cheese) cake for good food.
“It’s diner food, so they have everything,” said Marrone. “And it’s clean, it’s new — and that’s always a good thing.”
Most wanted: Meatloaf sandwich, buttermilk pancakes.
214 Columbia St. between Union and Sackett streets at the Columbia Street Waterfront, (718) 855–1400.
Williamsburg and Bushwick
Sal’s has been making pies since 1967, making even the most veteran officers feel like rookies at the joint.
It’s the neighborhood’s go-to spot for slices — which says a lot considering cops choose it over much-hyped pizza joints in the precinct, including Roberta’s and Fornino.
Most wanted: White pizza.
544 Lorimer St. at Devoe Street in Williamsburg, (718) 388–6838.
Another old-school restaurant, Sazon Perez serves up mighty portions of Latin American staples, like pollo a la brasa, ribs, and plantains.
“They’ve been around longer than I’ve been here and I’ve been here 19 years,” said community affairs officer Juan Roman.
Most wanted: Fried chicken, baked pork chops.
417 S. Fourth St. between Union Avenue and Hewes Street in Williamsburg, (718) 218–7993.
Bensonhurst and Bath Beach
It can be a cold, hard world out there when you’re pounding the pavement day in and day out on the beat — but there’s nothing like some homestyle Italian food to restore your belief in humanity and help you stomach the challenges of the job.
The chicken parmigiana at this place is enough to send officers from the precinct’s crime analysis department to this red-sauce joint in droves, according to sergeant Steven Riggio.
Most wanted: Chicken and eggplant parmigiana.
8611 18th Ave., between 86th Street and Benson Avenue in Bath Beach, (718) 837–8811.
This pizza place is tops in the area, and good for getting a quick meal on the beat, according to precinct cops.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Riggio. “It’s really, really good.”
Most wanted: Barbecued chicken pizza.
7810 20th Ave. between 78th and 79th streets in Bensonhurst, (718) 758–5988.
— with Will Bredderman, Danielle Furfaro, Jaime Lutz, and Natalie Musumeci