The Hit List is where you’ll find our favorite new food and drink experiences in NYC. We track new openings across the city, and then visit as many as we can. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of every good new spot, one thing you can always rely on is that we’ll only include places that we have genuinely checked out.
Our goal is for this list to be as diverse as the city itself—inclusive of a wide range of cuisines, price points, neighborhoods, chefs and owners of all backgrounds, and the multifaceted communities within the industry. If you think we missed a great new place, we want to hear about it. Shoot us an email at email@example.com.
Whether you’re looking for in-person dining, takeout, or delivery, The Hit List is here to help you find a great new spot to support. Read on to find your new favorites.
photo credit: Dan Ahn
Food mashups don’t always make sense. However, the Korean-Cajun dishes at Kjun all work amazingly well. When you walk into this counter-service spot in Murray Hill, you might recognize Jae Jung, who had a stint on Top Chef and has worked at several restaurants in New Orleans like Dooky Chase's. From the crunchy okra kimchi that comes with the pleasantly nutty gumbo to the sausage made with galbi marinade that arrives over a bed of cheesy grits, every Korean element makes an already-great dish even better.
Some of the best pizza in Brooklyn is currently being made in an “off-brand home oven” in Bushwick. To get it, you’ll need to follow @chrissys.pizza on Instagram, wait for them to release some pickup dates, then turn on your notifications so you can slide into their DMs the moment orders go live. You might have to wait three weeks to actually eat that pizza, but we promise, it’s worth it. The crust is impossibly crisp, the sauce is rich and sweet, and the cheese ratio is ideal.
photo credit: Gary He
One of the best new restaurants we’ve been to this year, Koloman (in the old Breslin space) serves decadent, inventive Viennese food with a French twist. The open kitchen gives major Ratatouille vibes, the service is tight, and every dish has a surprising element, from starters like a celery root tartare to a duck egg creme brulee for dessert. Come hungry, and order at least two things from every section of the menu.
Kru seems destined to join the ranks of hyped up high-end Thai restaurants in NYC, and we support that. The food here is vibrant and vegetable-heavy, making liberal use of excellent produce sourced from Hudson Valley farmers. We love the Thai relish plates: The pork jowl version is mellow and creamy, while the nam prik almond variety is layered, floral, and packs some heat. You also can’t go wrong with any of the curries. Your server will probably warn you several times that the one with beef tongue is very, very spicy. It is, but it’s worth it.
If you want to eat a lot of inventive, delicious Korean food while drinking good cocktails, gather your friends and head to Pal Pal. The service is easygoing, and the space is sleek and industrial, making this Midtown spot the the perfect blank canvas for your next night out. Don’t skip the fresh cilantro kimchi, a tangy salad that’s not quite like anything else we’ve tried before.
Beloved Bengali street cart Tong finally opened their first brick and mortar store in Jamaica, so you no longer have to work through their delightful wreaths of fuchka standing on the street with a Tide Stick, hoping for the best. A permanent location also means an expanded menu, with A-plus luchi plates added to the roster alongside their fuchka, chatpati, and vorta, which are as good as ever.
Good Fork Pub in Red Hook has inviting barn doors, brick walls, and British pub food that features Korean flavors. We’re forever loyal to their veggie burger, a fried green mung bean patty that gets a slightly smoky flavor thanks to some Vegemite aioli. The menu also has other intriguing items like a Korean cheesesteak and a fried chicken sandwich with gochujang sauce. Stop by for dinner, or come with a group, drink some pints, and share a pot of the spicy-sweet kimchi beer cheese.
Little Flower Cafe serves excellent food and some of the best coffee in Astoria. We highly recommend the firni doughnut and the gochujang chicken sandwich with tart pickles, slaw, and a creamy mayo, all smashed inside of a pillow-soft bun. You could easily have a first date or an hours-long catchup with a friend here, or you could park yourself with a book and consume one excellent cup of coffee after another.
Located right next to the MoMA, 53’s space is fittingly contemporary and objectively gorgeous. The main floor looks like a mini airport hanger designed by a Pritzker Prize-winning architect, and you’ll see sweeping curvy, rainbow-colored blades in the opulent downstairs room. Start your meal at this modern Asian restaurant from the Marea team with the flawlessly-made chicken and truffle soup dumplings. Once you try them, you’ll know you’re in for a night of impeccable food—like skate covered in sambal and a unique mango pudding with greek yogurt ice cream.
photo credit: Teddy Wolff
Just when we thought it was physically impossible for a restaurant opened by Momofuku alumni and serving “European” food to excite us, Claud rolls in and upends our expectations. Eating here feels like hanging in the cozy-yet-chic East Village apartment of your chef friends who don’t make a big deal about how talented they are. The menu will change seasonally, but right now, you want to make sure you order the razor clams, tomato mille-feuille, and swordfish au poivre. Finish with a dish of ice cream and the devil’s food cake for two.
photo credit: Jason Varney
When José Andrés isn’t busy trying to save the world, he’s opening restaurants like this Eastern Mediterranean spot (from D.C.) in the Ritz-Carlton in Nomad. The spacious blue and white dining room makes you feel like you’re at a fancy seaside resort, and soon after you sit, someone will bring you puffy pita. Bring a group and share some subtly rich bone marrow kibbeh, sautéed shrimp in creamy mustard sauce, and spiced ground lamb hummus with pickled vegetables. Tables for dinner are tough to get, so give your boss a heads up about your “chiropractor appointment” this week, and plan a leisurely lunch here.
Really good barbecued meat on a stick is hard to beat. At Dhom, a Lao spot in the East Village, they’ve pretty much mastered the form. They have three types of skewers: duck heart, hanger steak, and chicken thigh, all marinated in a sweet-and-smoky sauce. Get them with a side of sticky rice, served with a garlicky chili sauce that will make your lips buzz. Pad out your order with spring rolls and a crunchy coconut rice salad. The food here is snacky and designed for drinking, so avail yourself of their extensive list of beer, sake, and cocktails.
You might head to Rockefeller Center only once a year to glance at a very tall tree that was sacrificed to wear an outfit of colored lights. This brasserie is another reason to go there. Le Rock is from the Frenchette team, so it’s no surprise that the food here is French and the large Art Deco space is packed every night. If you’ve ever wanted to eat the Peter Luger burger like a steak, get the rich dry-aged steak haché. Grilled swordfish and pillowy agnolotti are cooked just right, and the whipped cheese and confit garlic on baguette is reason enough to keep coming back.
Potluck Club sits on the border of Chinatown and the LES, and the food is Cantonese-American. Dishes like salt and pepper chicken served with chive biscuits, pickled jalapeños, and a chili crisp jam embody the restaurant’s concept while also being the kind of things you want to eat every day. This spot was opened by the folks behind Milk & Cream bar, so it’s no surprise that dessert—Dole Whip soft serve topped with a bolo bao crumble—should not be skipped.
Eating at this tiny East Village spot—billed as “by queer people, for all people”—is like taking a walk through Alice’s looking glass and coming out the other side. After a meal here, you’ll have a new perspective not only on what fine dining can be, but what a restaurant can do for its community. Whether you choose the Omnivore ($155) or Vegan ($145) tasting menu (better yet, go with someone else, get both, and share), don’t skip the wine pairing, which features some of the most exciting options we’ve ever been served.
This Vietnamese spot (only open Friday through Sunday) has transitioned from pop-ups to a permanent location on Forsyth Street in Chinatown, and they specialize in bún đậu mắm tôm. Their “special” version comes with all the fixings: rice noodles, shrimp paste, crispy intestine, juicy tofu, silky pork belly, sausages both blood- and meat-based, and a pile of herbs worthy of a parfumier. But you shouldn’t stop there. Be sure to order the apple nails stuffed with a mixture of lemongrass-scented pork and the chả chem chép, a dill-y sliced sausage made from mussels.
Of all the things one can get at an Italian restaurant, we don’t know if we’ve ever been dying to order the spaghetti pomodoro. But if there’s anywhere to eat your rent-week favorite in public, it’s Cafe Spaghetti, where you can get a simple tomato-and-basil sauce on handmade pasta that tastes like your everyday spaghetti if it went through an episode of Rustic Rehab on HGTV. Cafe Spaghetti serves simple, quality Italian food, and it’s the perfect addition to the Carroll Gardens aesthetic. They have a super cute yard filled with small round tables under yellow umbrellas, and we’ll be returning for breezy summertime dinners of pasta, octopus salad, and tiramisu that deserves its own fan club.
The two-block stretch in Elmhurst that’s home to Khao Kang and Ayada is an intimidating place to open a Thai restaurant. But Zaab Zaab, a newer Isan Thai spot serving dishes packed with lots of chilies, herbs, and lemongrass, holds its own and then some. The menu is broken up into a bunch of different sections (grilled, fish, som tum, etc.), and you should treat it like an urgent checklist. Get the juicy larb with crispy duck skin, and be sure to have a hot pot in the middle of your table. We like the one with chunks of baby back rib that soak up the citrusy broth.
Nine Orchard, a new hotel on Orchard and Canal, is the Lower East Side’s biggest opening in a while. And that’s saying something, considering we struggle to keep up with the number of places that open around here on a weekly basis. The hotel’s main event, so far, is Corner Bar, an American bistro run by the chef behind Estela, Altro Paradiso, and Lodi. Here, you’ll eat caesar salad, oysters Rockefeller, steak au poivre, and some of the city’s best french fries. The food is less inventive than at its sister spots, but it's well-executed in every case. Plus, you’re also here for what’s quickly turning into a real scene—we sat next to someone who put sunglasses on during the meal.
The Noortwyck serves dishes you may have seen at other West Village establishments, such as kale, crudo, pasta, and roast chicken. But they make all of these things extremely well, and with some extra flair. The cacio e pepe, for example, has juicy white asparagus instead of pasta, and the crudo comes with a tart cucumber dashi mignonette. Reservations are tough right now, but the whole front area (a few tables, plus all the bar seats) is saved for walk-ins, so try this place for an impressive last-minute meal. The dining room is all earth-tones-and-leather, and the wine list is extensive, with everything from $55 options to bottles of vintage Dom.
At this Israeli place on 8th Street, the ever-changing menu is typed out daily in Comic Sans font, with dish names like “370 Pea & their pea shoots (don’t try to count them)” or “Veal cheek that reminds me that I am a genius.” There's also an all-absinthe cocktail menu (don’t worry, they have a full bar too), and on our first visit, our server pulled up a seat at our table to take our order. In other words, this place marches to its own drum. It’s from the same owner of the party restaurant HaSalon in Midtown, but with a more toned-down approach and less (actually, zero) dancing on tables. Breads and vegetables are a good place to start, but we like the bigger protein dishes best, especially the roasted lamb neck and whole mackerel served with a big chunk of challah.