While nobody was truly happy about moving from Uniondale to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, I think one of the major upgrades fans received in the move were a plethora of dining options before home games. No offense to the Marriott, and Champions in particular, but there were basically no great, and certainly no diverse, places to eat before a game. If you’re yet to venture outside of the one block radius surrounding the Barclays Center, I suggest you do so AT LEAST for dinner, and try one of the next five places I’m about to mention:
The best part about Miriam is that while it is an Israeli/Middle Eastern restaurant, it isn’t Kosher. That’s right, no longer will you yearn for the days of eating your falafel without shrimp. While it has dim lighting and a hipster vibe, you’ll see other fans before a game toting their jerseys with pride. They have a great beer and wine selection (from over 8 different countries) and the service was fast. We only arrived a little over an hour before game time, and made it to the Barclays Center for puck drop. We asked them to rush the order as we were running late, and they accommodated us well – you can tell they are embracing hockey in Brooklyn.
If you’re looking for great pizza before the game, Roberta’s is your place. The borough favorite boasts communal seating (how Brooklyn of them), thin airy crust, and beer to go along with everything. If you want to pregame a night at the Barclays with pizza and beer, this is your place. The main complaint is the service, but that is more of an indictment of how crowded this place gets on the weekends. You’ll probably end up having to take a cab from here to Barclays, but it won’t be very expensive.
A hole in the wall gastropub very close to the Barclays Center. Their happy hour is 4-7, which is perfect for grabbing a few beers before the Islanders game. Think of this place as a much nicer Champions. Burgers, calamari, short rips, wings, etc. It’s perfect game day food, but also keep in mind that it’s a tavern. They have a nice outdoor patio in the back, but Islanders fans won’t really be able to enjoy that until playoff time.
Another place right around the corner from Barclays. If you want real BBQ, and I mean REAAAAL BBQ, this is the place for you. I’m talking about 12-hour smoked pulled pork, brisket, St. Louis style ribs, and hot dogs topped with pulled pork. Be sure to take your Islanders jersey off before you eat this, unless of course you have no sense of style and own a black third jersey. That shouldn’t really leave a stain.