Café Tibet, a Hidden Gem in Flatbush

Café Tibet, a Hidden Gem in Flatbush

During the holidays, a friend came to town for a visit from Vermont. I’ve mentioned this friend before—her food demands are very broad but extremely specific at the same time…if that makes sense. Let’s put it this way, when I asked her where she’d like to dine while in NYC a few summers ago, she responded with “Anywhere is fine, but if you can find an Ethiopian restaurant or some other type of North African cuisine in DUMBO, that would be great.” Yep.

When I found out she was coming back to the city in mid December, I knew our culinary adventures would be interesting.

This time around, another dining companion picked the restaurant: Café Tibet (1510 Cortelyou Rd., Brooklyn 11226; 718.941.2725) in Flatbush, BK. The place is literally right around the corner from the Cortelyou Rd. Q train station. Once I saw the tiny establishment, most comparable to the size of a studio apartment, I knew the food must be good. I mean this place is a neighborhood fave, and who would sit in a cramped space for bad food, right?

The folks at the restaurant were very accommodating to our party of five, shifting a few tables and chairs so we could all sit together in the colorful restaurant, complete with Kermit green-painted walls and Tibetan wall decorations.

If you haven’t tried Tibetan cuisine, a few staples include dishes with noodles, goat, yak, and cheese from goat’s milk, as well as dumplings and soups. While perusing the menu of Tibetan specialties—from succulent Sha-Baklap (beef patties) and Thukpa (Tibetan-style egg noodle soup) to spicy curries and rice-based entrées—we warmed up with a few hot beverages, including creamy Chai tea (aromatic and better than anything you’d find at a café) and hot butter tea, a Tibetan specialty.

While most members of our party opted for the Lamb Thali, which includes lamb curry, greens, rice, beets and more served in a metal tray with individual compartments, I opted for a spicy noodle dish with beef while my friend had a creamy curry.

The restaurant is BYOB, but patrons can just pop next door to the corner store and shop a wide selection of bubbly brews. 


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