BROOKLYN — It’s a maker’s matchup as the borough’s best go head to head for the title of Brooklyn’s top artisanal spot.
More than 2,400 people voted last week in DNAinfo’s March Madness elite eight bracket for local sellers, whittling down the specialty sellers to the final four.
Raaka Chocolate will battle it out with Twig Terrariums, and Ample Hills Creamery goes up against Kings County Distillery.
The results brought some surprises: Drinks won over doughnuts as Kings County Distillery beat out Bed-Stuy favorite Dough by 369 votes, and Empire Mayo’s unique, small-batch flavors were no match for bean-to-bar chocolatiers Raaka.
Prospect Heights ice cream makers Ample Hills took the lead over Williamsburg’s Mast Brothers, and fans of Twig Terrarium’s tiny botanical worlds outvoted the pickles at Brooklyn Brine.
Who will make it to the top two? Vote now for Brooklyn’s best artisanal fare and don’t forget to check back for our other March Madness categories, including Brooklyn's best burgers, best neighborhood bars and best desserts.
RAAKA CHOCOLATE — 64 Seabring St. Less than six months have passed since Raaka Chocolate moved its artisanal bean-to-bar factory to Red Hook, but the chocolatiers have already made an impression on the neighborhood with classes, tours and tastings. Raaka's "virgin" chocolate bars are made with unroasted beans and organic ingredients that are soy-free, gluten-free, nut-free and vegan. Its signature bars include Dark with Himalayan Pink Sea Salt, Vanilla Roobois and Coconut Milk.
TWIG TERRARIUMS — 287 3rd Ave. Gowanus-based Twig crafts tiny botanical worlds encased in glass jars. A popular terrarium at Twig is called "Piss Off" and has a tiny figure of a punk rocker flipping the bird.
AMPLE HILLS CREAMERY — 623 Vanderbilt Ave. Salted Crack Caramel, Ooey Gooey Butter Cake and Mexican Hot Chocolate are just some of the ice cream flavors churned out from scratch here. A Prospect Heights favorite for years, the ice cream makers now have locations in Gowanus and Manhattan, an ice cream cookbook and nationwide delivery.
KINGS COUNTY DISTILLERY — 63 Flushing Ave. This distillery in the Brooklyn Navy Yard pumps out gin, moonshine and whiskey. Booze — created in traditional copper whiskey stills, fermented in locally built wooden barrels and made with corn and barley grown on a small farm onsite — doesn't get more artisanal than this.
Reporting by Serena Dai, Janet Upadhye, Camille Bautista, Nikhita Venugopal, Rachel Holliday Smith, Leslie Albrecht. Graphic by Nigel Chiwaya.