5. Bamonte’s (1900)
Bamonte’s at 32 Withers Street in Williamsburg is a real Brooklyn institution, serving Italian fare since 1900 amidst deliciously old-school decor. A wooden bar, hanging chandeliers, a working jukebox, velvet curtains, kitchy celebrity headshots, and servers in tuxedos make for a great experience, not to mention all the Italian classics you might expect.
One of our favorite remnants are the side-by-side wooden phone booths. They were installed more than fifty years ago and originally worked as the house business phones––that is, if you called Bamonte’s, one of these very phones would ring. The proprietor told us they still work but Bell Telephones went out of business years ago, of course.