A Pay-What-You-Want Restaurant Grows in Brooklyn

Image: Rethink Cafe

We wrote previously about a restaurant that fit this description before, but to dine there, you’d have to travel to Australia. Last year, a pay-what-you-can restaurant opened a little closer to home, in Clinton Hill. Its name is Rethink Café, it is one manifestation of a larger non-organization profit known as Rethink Food, and to say you can eat well at the restaurant is no exaggeration. One of the outfit’s partners is Daniel Humm (yes, that Daniel Humm), who so far this year has served up to 2,000 nutritious meals weekly to Rethink Food community partners in various New York neighborhoods.

Rethink and its affiliates operate on the principle that no New Yorker should go hungry and no uneaten restaurant food should go to waste. Since its launch in April 2020, Rethink has partnered with over 100 food establishments in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Nashville, Washington D.C., and Miami.

All the dishes at the Brooklyn shop carry a modest “$5 suggested donation” price tag, although patrons are free to pay only what they can afford. There is no set menu (for obvious reasons), though what there is would whet any foodie’s appetite. How about a healthy serving of duck confit pilaf with raisins, caramelized onions, sautéed cabbage and leeks? Other offerings have included beef sirloin tacos, a coconut chicken dish given zip with harissa, and penne à la vodka with a side salad.

Rethink Cafe, 154 Clinton Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-500-4664.

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