Curtain Call: 5 Places Around the Barclays Center to Grab a Bite to Eat Before NYC's Last Circus

After almost 50 years, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will be hosting its final performance this May. 

Since the court-ordered phasing out of the elephants last year, ticket sales for The Greatest Show on Earth haven’t been quite the same.

“Meaning it may be time to re-think that joining-the-circus career move you’ve been planning.”

While the annual elephant walk through the Midtown Tunnel may not be announcing the circus’ arrival to the city this year, you can still catch the acrobats, clowns and big cats one last time in Brooklyn at Barclays Center February 23 through March 3.

If you’re planning a night of it, there are plenty of great places to eat and drink near Barclays. Here are some of our faves:

1. Bedouin Tent (405 Atlantic Avenue – Brooklyn)


You won’t find a striped tent here, but you will find delicious and reasonably-priced Middle Eastern dishes at this charming restaurant on Atlantic Avenue. Most plates are perfect for sharing, including their Lambajin, a popular ground lamb pizza.


They also have fresh, cold salads like tabouleh and baba ghanoush, as well as warm dishes like falafel and chicken plates. To finish off the meal, they have a tasty Turkish coffee, but be forewarned—it’s strong and bitter (like New Yorkers come spring).

2. Berg’n (899 Bergen Street – Brooklyn)


From the founders of Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg, Berg’n is a beer hall in Crown Heights with long picnic tables and trendy food offerings that pair well with their long list of stouts, IPAs, and sours. This is a lively spot perfect for a group of friends to meet up at (or those looking to make friends).

For sustenance there’s Lumpia Shack, a Filipino-inspired restaurant, serving spring rolls, rice bowls and chicken wings, Dub (Down Under Bakery) Pies, offering savory Aussie pies including minced ground beef, steak and cheese and Thai chicken curry, and Landhaus, an American joint slinging burgers, waffle fries, and maple bacon sticks

They also have a little barbecue spot called Mighty Quinn’s you may have heard of.

3. Chuck E. Cheese’s (139 Flatbush Avenue – Brooklyn)


If you’re taking your munchkins to see the show, then Chuck E. Cheese’s may be the most fun they can have outside the actual circus, and it’s conveniently located across from Barclays inside Atlantic Terminal.

It’s not exactly haute cuisine, but the place serves kid-friendly fare like pizza, wings, chicken nuggets and tater bites with the added attraction of arcade games and a giant furry mouse (in case they didn’t get to see any big rodents on the subway ride in).

Another family-friendly option inside Atlantic Terminal is Applebee’s—it will be packed. If you’re attempting to eat here, bring your patience.

4. Colonie (127 Atlantic Avenue – Brooklyn)

If you feel more like adulting before the circus, Colonie is a perfect date spot with scrumptious food, fancy cocktails, and low lighting. They have so many inspired dishes—like squid ink spaghetti with rock shrimp or dandelions with anchovies and walnuts—choosing can be tricky.

The restaurant has an open kitchen, so guests can watch their grass-fed burgers, pork chops and rigatoncini being prepared while nibbling on crostini and sipping Plum Rose Fizzes or Blood Orange Chili Margaritas.


This stretch of Atlantic is also a great place to bar hop; there’s college-y spots like Roebling Inn and Floyd, classy joints like Long Island Bar and Le Boudoir, and a great dive called Montero’s that shifts from a sleepy local hang to a lively karaoke spot on certain magical nights.

5. The Chocolate Room (51 Fifth Avenue – Brooklyn)


If you somehow failed to fill up on popcorn and cotton candy at the circus, The Chocolate Room may have something equally gluttonous to make you feel like a kid again. The cafe offers a variety of tempting sweets to stay and pretty confections to go.

In addition to homemade ice cream sundaes and a variety of cakes and cookies, there are drinks to choose from like hot chocolate, milkshakes, and a Black Chocolate Stout Float—something that sounds like all my favorite sins found each other and went for a naughty swim in a soda fountain glass. 

[Feature Image Courtesy The New York Times] 

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