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NYC

Guide

The NYC Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In NYC

We checked out these new restaurants - and loved them.

38 Spots
Launch Map
38 Spots
Launch Map
Updated November 22nd, 2021

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 nyc@theinfatuation.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.

THE SPOTS

Giada Paoloni

Ci Siamo

$$$$
$$$$ 385 9th Ave

“You might often find yourself around Penn Station for commuting or sports torture needs. (The Knicks may actually be good when you read this, but chances are they’re not.) If so, the latest opening from Union Square Hospitality Group should be welcome news. Ci Siamo is an Italian restaurant in Manhattan West where the starters and pastas will make you consider ignoring the rest of the menu. I recommend you temporarily suspend any no-carb program you may have joined and order the pizza bianca with anchovies, peppery gnocco fritto stuffed with goat gouda, or the torta with plenty of caramelized onions and pecorino cheese baked into a rich and crumbly crust. (Get this torta as soon as you sit down.) The expansive dining room has a live-fire cooking station in the rear with unsubtle flames that reminded me of a recent disaster involving my toaster oven, and the whole space looks like it could be in a modern Italian hotel. You get the impression that a chipped piece of wood or a stain on a chair won’t go unaddressed for long.”

- Kenny Yang, Staff Writer

Agi's Counter

Agi's Counter

$$$$ 818 Franklin Avenue

“If we lived in Crown Heights and had the metabolic endurance of a college sophomore, you’d find us at Agi’s Counter twice a week picking up pastries and an Alpine cheddar egg sandwich on a buttery Hungarian cheese biscuit. This new daytime cafe takes inspiration from the owner’s Hungarian-Austrian grandmother - who you’ll see pictured in a very cute frame by the kitchen. Much of the salad-and-sandwich-dominant menu here is dedicated to luxurious takes on Jewish-American classics (Agi’s tuna sandwich comes with horseradish and parsley salad, for example), while other dishes feel more like a distinct ode to Hungarian and Austrian food. Assuming you aren’t intending to race a Labrador in Prospect Park afterwards, try the cheese-stuffed palacsinta crepes or the towering Leberkase breakfast sandwich with an exploding over-easy egg, thick griddled pork pate, and a sweet pear mostarda to round out all that richness. Agi’s certainly feels like a place for grabbing and going, but there are still plenty of places to sit once you’ve placed your order at the counter. Just make sure to get a couple of pastries on display by the register before you take a seat, and keep an eye out for special Hungarian doughnuts on Sundays.”

- Hannah Albertine, Senior Staff Writer

8282

8282

$$$$
$$$$ 84 Stanton St

8282 might just be the most exciting new restaurant on the LES. This is what I thought as I sipped vinegary persimmon and plum hongcho and ate fork-tender pork tenderloin with homemade ssamjang during a recent meal at this Korean restaurant on Stanton Street. There are a few other Korean spots in the neighborhood, but 8282 serves anju and banju that operate in a different, more upscale lane. Yellowfin tuna tartar gets tossed in sesame oil, showered with grated egg, and served alongside puffed nori chips that feel like the equivalent seaweed Tostitos scoops. The dakgalbi kimchi-bap is one full crock of cheesy rice and tender chicken thighs, and it’s mighty filling for something under $20. Portion sizes run a bit small, so the plates here should be split between two people max — but sometimes things are best shared with just one other person anyways. Scalding hot gossip, for example, and all the exciting dishes from 8282.”

- Carlo Mantuano, Staff Editor

Gouie

$$$$
$$$$ 115 Delancey St

“There are always new omakase options in NYC, but it’s harder to find sushi openings that focus on high-quality, relatively affordable stuff (read: under $50 per person). Gouie falls into this bucket, and it’s a spot anybody should try if they like raw fish. Their sweeping counter in The Market Line on the LES not only fills a large, sushi-related hole in said market, but they also have a $30, seven-piece-and-half-roll special that’s just that: special (and not only because of the price point). All the fish you’ll try here is buttery, the rice is seasoned with just a kiss of vinegar, and the roll that accompanies the special comes filled with a crunchy braised gourd that tastes kind of funky and sweet. The service here is excellent as well — you might even get an impromptu sake tasting while you wait for a seat.”

-CM

David A. Lee

Pecking House

$$$$
$$$$ 18523 Union Turnpike

“Pecking House has been on the Hit List since early 2021 when we first tried their delivery-only chili fried chicken after getting through the eight-week waitlist. And now, after months of very limited poultry drops, Pecking House has a full dine-in menu with dishes like duck drumettes, orange wet pepper wings, a killer chicken sandwich, and that excellent sought-after fried chicken. It’s only available at the Fresh Meadows location on weekends from 5-8pm, but this is a must-try dining experience right now in NYC. The chicken sandwich is a huge, crunchy masterpiece with cabbage that’s cooked down and packed with dark soy sauce flavor, the orange wet wings drowning in citrus butter sauce are probably making WingStop nervous, and the fried chicken meal with all the sides make for a great centerpiece to the meal. Bring a group, order the whole full menu, and never wait to get this chicken delivered again.”

-CM

Runner Up

$$$$
$$$$ 367 7th Avenue

“Is Runner Up a permanent restaurant? A bakery’s outdoor-only pop-up that’s serving more impressive food on a Park Slope side street than most indoor restaurants? We don’t know exactly, and that’s part of why we love it - this place could never have existed before the pandemic. The popular bakery Winner is now running a pretty serious restaurant on the street outside its shop, serving things like rotisserie chicken, scallop crudo, little gem salad, and sardine toast (on their highly popular sourdough). They’re certainly not the first place in town to present any of these dishes, but each one was better than any we can remember having recently. There’s a fantastic wine list and helpful sommelier too.”

-Hillary Reinsberg, Editor In Chief

David A. Lee

Semma

$$$$
$$$$ 60 Greenwich Ave

“Aside from Oscar Isaac and Michelle Zauner from Japanese Breakfast, few of us are having as triumphant a year as the team behind Semma. After opening Dhamaka on the LES, they recently unveiled an exceptional new West Village spot in the narrow space where their restaurant Rahi used to be. Semma focuses on South Indian regional specialties typically found in rural home settings rather than in big city restaurants, and the dishes I’m most jazzed about here are the ones no other NYC places offer. Try the soft snails taken out of their shells and mixed with fiery tamarind and ginger, for instance, or a vat of tender venison drenched in a dark brown sauce that tastes like clove and smoke. If you’re someone who prioritizes seafood and using crustacea to coerce your date into falling in love with you, call ahead and secure a $115 whole Dungeness crab for the night of your dinner. Semma serves only three to five crabs a night, and I can’t think of any recent restaurant experiences that made me happier than putting on a bib, getting a little violent with crab joints, and eating the incomparable combination of buttery meat and cardamom-heavy chutney over coconut rice.”

-HA

Carlo Mantuano

Hawksmoor NYC

$$$$
SteaksBritish  in  FlatironGramercy
$$$$ 109 East 22nd Street

“While the popular London spot can’t compete with the history of Keens, Peter Luger, and Delmonico’s, Hawksmoor on Park Avenue and 22nd Street is poised to become NYC’s next great steakhouse. The whole front bar area is first come, first served, and even though I had booked a 9:15pm table (reservations are hard to come by), I slid up to the bar around 6:45pm without a problem. What followed was an ice-cold martini doused in droplets of lemon oil, crispy Yorkshire pudding with potted beef and bone marrow gravy, and a strip steak with a side of creamed spinach. Yes, that could be considered a rich lineup for a casual weeknight dinner, but every dish is executed so well it’s hard not to indulge. While the larger dining room seems like a great place to celebrate closing the deal of a lifetime, the Hawksmoor bar area feels like a perfect addition to the neighborhood - a place where you can walk in with a friend or date, glare at everybody who comes through the door, and then waddle home full of beef.”

-CM

One White Street

One White Street

$$$$
American  in  Tribeca
$$$$ 1 White St

“One White Street is very, very good-looking. As far as the eye can see, there’s a luxe surface: marble, suede, fancy wood, glossy ceramic tile. But this two-part restaurant located in a Tribeca townhouse is more than good looks: the food is very impressive as well. On the upper floors, One White Street serves a reservations-only, six-course, $148 set menu, while the ground floor and outside are a la carte, and mostly left for walk-ins (they release some a la carte reservations for before 6pm and after 9:30). Most of the produce here comes from a single farm upstate, and outside the restaurant on Thursdays, you’ll find a farmers’ market selling whatever’s in season. The place is run by a former chef de cuisine at Frenchie, the restaurant that has been on every list of Paris restaurants for the past decade, as well as the master sommelier who was in the documentary Somm and now also runs the wine shop Verve. We say all that to convey that this place is run by pros, and it shows. If you’re doing a downstairs walk-in, don’t miss the scallop skewers and the focaccia with onion jam.”

-HR

David A. Lee

Taqueria Ramirez

$$$$
MexicanTacos  in  Greenpoint
$$$$ 94 Franklin St

“From the lines on the sidewalk, you’d think Taqueria Ramirez in Greenpoint was selling coveted chunky sneakers or square footage to add to your bathroom. It’s better: they’re serving the city’s best new tacos. This taqueria models itself after Mexico City’s legendary spots, complete with colorful plastic plates, as well as a choricera and comal custom made in CDMX. Their tacos - which all cost $4 - range from velvety, shredded suadero and al pastor, to longaniza with bright orange porky juices. The suadero stews for long enough, around three hours, so the lower belly cut of beef can break down. But my favorite taco remains the tripa, which has such little chewy toughness it might be unidentifiable as a cow’s stomach lining save for the iron-forward taste. The restaurant’s space only holds about ten people, most of whom will get to watch the action in the open kitchen from courtside seats at the counter. Otherwise plan on finding a spot to stand outside, while you already scheme the best possible time to come back for more tacos.”

-HA

Hannah Albertine

Lodi

$$$$
Italian  in  Midtown
$$$$ 1 Rockefeller Plz

“The daytime Italian food at Lodi, Ignacio Mattos’ new cafe in Rockefeller Center, is all recommendable. It’s a restaurant particularly perfect for people who freak out about high-quality ricotta and olive oil with creeping bitterness, or anyone smitten with the excellent but simple-seeming cooking style of Cafe Altro Paradiso or Estela. Lodi works equally well for Midtown citizens who have begged the NYC gods for a place to eat a trio of anchovies, butter, and peppers, or fennel-pollen-sprinkled porchetta on a crusty baguette made with grains milled in-house. You should know, though, that the hybridized cafe concept feels sort of like an Au Bon Pain for the 1% - somewhere that’s billed as a place to retrieve a market salad even though the majority of the menu necessitates a sit-down experience with a napkin splayed across your lap. I suspect the energy of the gold-and-marble art deco office cafe space might change once they get their liquor license. Wait until then, or go for the meat platters and bread products, and sit on Lodi’s outdoor ‘terraza,’ which is a nice name for a covered front patio with about a dozen tables and full-service.”

-HA

Hannah Albertine

Sushi On Me

$$$$
$$$$ 71-26 Roosevelt Ave Bsmt

“If there was a Venn diagram with sushi omakase restaurants on one side and ‘I can’t-believe-this-exists’ debaucherous party hubs on the other, Sushi On Me would exist in the tiny middle zone. It’s an eight-person sushi spot behind an unmarked basement door in Jackson Heights where you’ll be greeted with statements like, ‘Are you okay with wasabi?’ and ‘I’m Lucas, and it’s my job to get you drunk.’ If there’s one thing to know about Lucas and his co-pilot and sushi chef Woody - the two-person Thai-born team with a fondness for the song ‘Mambo No. 5’ and keeping your sake cup full - it’s that they don’t kid around. For $89 in cash, you’ll get 15 pieces of nigiri, a couple of appetizers, and unlimited sake. In four years of writing about restaurants for this website, I haven’t had a night that combines sparklers in eel-toro handrolls, torched white tuna topped with chili garlic crisp, and this level of drunken fun. Find a friend celebrating a birthday and go ASAP.”

-HA

David A. Lee

Mariscos El Submarino

$$$$
$$$$ 88-05 Roosevelt Ave

“Mariscos El Submarino could serve their aguachile negro in the middle of traffic on the GW Bridge and we’d still implore you to seek it out. Fortunately for you and tri-state area commuters at large, all you need to do is stop by this Mexican seafood spot in Jackson Heights. Served in a molcajete as large as a classroom clock, the aguachile negro gets its color (and name) from a blend of smoky-charred green and red chiles that you’ll see flecked in the loose water-and-lime based sauce. After a couple earth-shattering bites straight from the bowl, build your own tostada with acidic tilapia, shrimp, and octopus, topped with creamy avocado slices - all swimming in pleasantly throat-punching sauce. Although this is my favorite dish, the seafood specialties don’t stop at aguachile (there’s everything from a sweet shrimp cocktail and a burger with shrimp on top, and several different kinds of ceviche). Order at the counter, and seat yourself at a stool next to a relatable sign that reads ‘el amor puede esperar el hambre no.’”

-HA

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Nikko Duren

KIT

$$$$ 657 Washington Ave

“I first learned about KIT when I stopped by Dacha 46’s ‘Banya Brunch.’ Now, the mixed-used Prospect Heights restaurant in the former space of Meme’s Diner hosts a wide range of queen-run pop-ups every week. On a recent visit, I tried some dishes from the HAGS team that made me want to bombard my group chat with photographic evidence. The tender pork po’boy served on a soft and chewy hero from Partybus Bakeshop was like a succulent sandwich masterpiece. And the creamy banana pudding had several sweet layers of wafers that held their own alongside their light and fluffy surroundings. You might not be able to eat the same dishes I had, but with all of the exciting things happening at KIT you’ll definitely have a great experience of your own. So stop by for coffee and pastries in the morning, a basket of fries and some natural wine curated by Black Cat Wines in the evening, or a sculptural jelly cake from Solid Wiggles on your birthday.”

-Nikko Duren, Staff Writer

David A. Lee

Rosella

$$$$
$$$$ 137 Avenue A

“Much of the sushi-grade fish we eat in NYC has to take a Greek-myth-level journey before making it onto our plates. (Restaurants often fly in fish every day from Japan, for example.) But Rosella, a sushi spot on Avenue A in the East Village, sources nearly all of their ingredients from within the United States. I can’t remember a time when I’ve ever nerded out over bigeye tuna from North Carolina, miso paste made in Pennsylvania that smells a little like hay, and a subdued Hudson Valley steelhead trout that’s smoked in-house. Rosella’s focus on sustainable fishing and celebration of American agriculture is the reason to get yourself in the door (or at least sit outside where servers offer dog patrons pieces of fish skin to chomp on). The reason to keep coming back, though, is the quality of their fish given its unsuspecting origins. Rosella offers an $150 omakase inside, but we’d also recommend coming with a friend or a date for an excellent a la carte dinner around $40-50 per person. Order the spicy avocado roll with a funky fermented cabbage sauce, an arctic char-studded chirashi bowl, and a couple of nigiri that will blow you away.”

-HA

David A. Lee

Old John's Diner

$$$$
$$$$ 148 W 67th St

“The quintessential UWS restaurant Old John’s Luncheonette reopened in the same 67th Street location, but now with a new name, a spruced-up dining room, and amazing homemade ice cream. This is a great place to eat a thick, dripping cheeseburger and drink a martini with someone near Lincoln Center, but we’d also recommend bringing some children in your life for grilled cheese and ice cream sundaes. Despite its newness, Old John’s has old -chool charm - jazz playing over the speakers, staff who have been working there for years, and egg creams at the ready.”

- HA

Kyle Nunez

Shukette

$$$$
$$$$ 230 9th Ave

“Shukette in Chelsea is one of the many restaurants in NYC right now where it’s impossible to walk in. Even three weeks in advance, you might only be able to score a 9pm reservation. Don’t let that discourage you. The breads and dips here are worth messing up your body’s circadian rhythm for a night. I arrived for my 9:15pm reservation an hour early, and was seated just before 9 at the bar. The bar stretches across the entire restaurant and gives you a great view of the whole kitchen, hearth and all. From there I ripped through slightly crispy frena bread, dunked deep-fried kibbeh with spicy tahini, and swiped heirloom tomatoes through potent whipped garlic that almost makes me want to become a Jersey farmer. Stick with more small plates than large ones - the gyro with the spiced Moroccan fries makes for a hearty entree, but you’re better off filling your table with as many breads and small plates as possible.”

-CM

Michael Tulipan

Sarashina Horii

$$$$
$$$$ 45 E 20th St

“Now that Sarashina Horii has joined NYC’s Japanese noodle scene, this city has become even more of a soba destination. This high-end soba restaurant is a Tokyo transplant, and was even featured on Anthony Boudain’s No Reservations. The handmade noodles here are served either chilled or in a hot noodle soup, and considering the hype around this place I had to order both. The cold ‘mori’ soba made with a mix of buckwheat and wheat flour had a smooth, chewy texture and lightly salted dipping sauce. But the massive bowl of hot sarashina soba in bonito broth topped with several thick pieces of roasted duck was my favorite dish of the night. Every single noodle was exactly the same size and cooked to the perfect degree of firmness, while each slice of tender duck was just crispy and salty enough to let the soba shine. If you need to impress someone over dinner, Sarashina Horii will get the job done.”

-ND

CheLi 浙里

$$$$
$$$$ 19 Saint Marks Pl

“CheLi serves decadent Shanghainese food in a second-floor space on the most chaotic block of St. Marks Place in the East Village. If you didn’t look up for building number 19, you may not realize such a place exists amongst all the scaffolding and NYU juniors eating at T Swirl Crepe. But once you’re in, none of that will matter - CheLi’s sticky pork ribs in a sweet and sour sauce, lanterns hanging from thatched roofs, and clinking Tsingtao bottles will be your focus. The dishes I ordered (including buttery wine-soaked Atlantic blue crab, thick-skinned crab and pork xiao long bao, garlic shrimp steamed and butterflied over slippery glass noodles) made my Monday night feel like a special celebratory dinner. Bring a couple friends for your next group dinner - just be aware that this place gets busy and only takes reservations for groups larger than five people. I happily passed my 30-minute wait-time at Angel’s Share around the corner.”

- HA

Hannah Albertine

Porcelain

$$$$
$$$$ 880 Woodward Ave (& Catalpa Ave)

“This Ridgewood all-day spot first opened as an Austrian cafe back in 2019. Before that, the director responsible for that snoozefest The Irishman (Martin...something?) used the space as a film set. Now, Chef Kate Telfeyan has taken over the operation with an all-day menu featuring everything from a Korean breakfast set to nori-fried pork chops and wine and cocktails in the evenings. After trying brunch, I especially recommend the panko-fried fishcake katsu with biting white kimchi on a milk bun, and the sweet tofu pudding with black boba and stone fruit treasures mixed in. There’s also an excellent MEC (mortadella, egg, and kashkaval cheese) made with an egg steamed to perfection for anyone craving a sloppy chili mayo breakfast sandwich in the neighborhood. This is the kind of place you could post up with your laptop for a couple hours, or meet a date for a casual meal while you admire the collection of funky ’70s wallpaper, Civil-war era spooky portraits, and the fact that there’s also a piano in the corner. I’ll be back for dinner and drinks soon.”

- HA

Nikko Duren

Baby Luc’s

$$$$
$$$$ 387 Court St

“As incredible as Lucali is, it’s not the kind of place where you can stay and hang out for a while. But that’s the beauty of Baby Luc’s, the new slice shop from Mark Iacono and his team of pizza professionals. During its opening week, this new counter-service place in Carroll Gardens had hour-plus wait times. But I recently stopped by on a Wednesday at 5pm and waited just over 30 minutes to pick up my new favorite Sicilian-style pizza in the city. The best thing here is the margherita pie - it’s got a creamy, dense layer of mozzarella and sweet tomato sauce on top of a thick focaccia-style crust that makes a crackling sound with every bite. Pair it with one of their homemade bottled negronis, and lounge on the sidewalk patio like the jolly host of a grown-up pizza party.”

-ND

Teddy Wolff

Aldama

$$$$
$$$$ 91 South 6th Street

“I first went to this new late-night Mexican spot in Williamsburg for (several) copitas full of sweet-smoky mezcal. That experience was recommendable - albeit hazy - in itself. But now this tiny basement bar is serving a six-item menu of grilled head-on shrimp, crispy tacos filled with smoked tuna and refried beans, chunky guacamole topped with salsa macha, and other dishes that make me feel closer to Mexico City than I geographically am. These two visits have given me no choice but to tell all of my friends to come here for a night cap or Happy Hour as soon as possible. It’s not quite a bar, it’s not quite a full restaurant, but Aldama is entirely worth your time. Especially for a sultry-adjacent date night or a friend catch-up where you both look hot (and know it).”

-HA

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Tacos Güey

Tacos Güey

$$$$
MexicanSeafood  in  Flatiron
$$$$ 37 W 19th St

“Raw seafood and summer are a perfect match. And you’ll find the most exciting new raw fish options at Tacos Güey in Flatiron. Focus on the tuna crudo with dollops of avocado crema and some heat from the sliced serranos, the scallop aguachile that sits in a shallow pool of cucumber and finger lime sauce, and their best mariscos dish: the sea bass ceviche. Served in a clam shell with crunchy chips on the side, the combination of gooseberries, chile oil, and diced sea bass is tingly and sweet and pairs well with one of their frozen cocktails (the ‘That Güey’ is nice and tart). Order this spread of raw things, and a larger main like the salsa verde-lathered pork ribs that fall off the bone, so you can briefly forget that NYC personally texted us not to use our microwaves in order to conserve energy.”

-CM

David A. Lee

Nat's on Bank

$$$$
$$$$ 51 Bank St

“When I walked into Nat’s On Bank in the West Village for dinner on a Saturday night, I saw a wide range of dining experiences. There were couples on celebratory dates sharing seafood towers, diners getting tipsy and eating burgers at the bar, and a big group birthday dinner crowded around a baked Alaska in the back. Initially the loud scene overwhelmed me, but when a plate of sea urchin bucatini and a bottle of herbaceous orange wine hit my table, I eased right into the madness. The excellent uni-topped pasta was cooked al dente and topped with breadcrumbs and pickled chilis, which gave the dish a nice crunch and a kick of spice. And I would gladly return to this vibrant seafood restaurant from the people behind The Fat Radish immediately just to eat this pasta all over again.”

-ND

Kelewele

Kelewele

$$$$ 445 Albee Square Wets

“I caught a glimpse of how truly special plantains can be at this new vegan spot inside Brooklyn’s Dekalb Market Hall. Kelewele doesn’t just serve them as a simple side dish, but instead uses the starchy fruit as a foundation for every single item on the menu. From a massive black bean burger with a fried plantain ‘bun’ to an open-faced veggie taco with a soft plantain shell, this takeout-only restaurant is the only place I’ve been to where plantains shapeshift from dish to dish - proving that the fruit has the universal range often attributed to potatoes and yucca. So if you want to join the plantain movement for a quick lunch break or picnic in Fort Greene Park, order the “Placo” with a plantain brownie on the side. The pillowy soft sweet was so moist that it stuck to the roof of my mouth between bites, leaving me lots of time to consider why more people don’t make desserts with plantain.”

-ND

Contento

Contento

$$$$
$$$$ 88 E 111th St

“It’s a small miracle when a restaurant runs like a well-oiled machine a mere three weeks after they open. But that’s the experience I had at Contento, the newest exciting dinner spot to check out in East Harlem. Beyond the delicious Peruvian dishes like mahi mahi ceviche with a leche de tigre that made me pucker in a good way and a jenga tower of crispy pork katsu with vinegary slaw, almost every member of the staff checked in on me throughout the night, offering backstory on the wine producer of my $35 bottle of rosé from North Fork, and making sure I was well hydrated in the near 100-degree heat. It’s also worth mentioning that the restaurant was built with accessibility in mind, with a lowered bar counter and a bathroom with a wide door, lower sink and toilet, angled mirror, and handle by the toilet.”

-CM

Salsa Pizzeria Napoletana

$$$$
Pizza  in  Greenpoint
$$$$ 40 Cliford Place

“You have to go looking for Salsa Pizzeria - it’s on a mostly-residential street, in a converted space that feels like someone put a pizza oven in a garage. If it weren’t for the strong pizza fragrances wafting from the doors, you could easily walk by and miss it. And while a small part of us wishes we could keep this place all to ourselves, you should know that Salsa is making some truly special Neapolitan pies. The crust is charred but exceptionally fluffy, the margherita is the platonic ideal of a margherita, and they are generous with toppings like broccoli rabe, sausage, and burrata. There are only a few tables inside and on the sidewalk - so this is a spot for an efficient, semi-religious solo pizza experience.”

-Katherine Lewin, Editorial Director

Antithi Indian Cuisine

Atithi Indian Cuisine

$$$$
$$$$ 159 Grand St

“After walking by all of the rowdy cocktail bars and chic coffee shops on Grand Street in Williamsburg, I felt right at home at Atithi Indian Cuisine. The waiters treated me like they’d known me since the third grade, the BYOB policy made it easy to unwind, and the $18 three-course dinner option felt like a friends and family dinner discount. After taking my first bite of their spicy lamb vindaloo, I knew I’d be a regular at this newish neighborhood spot. The stewed lamb meat was fall-off-the-bone tender and the creamy curry left me brainstorming ways to profess my love for vinegar-based sauces. On a quick call with the owners, I learned that the name Atithi comes from an ancient Sanskrit verse, ’Atithi Devo Bhavam,’ which translates to ‘consider the guest as god’ - and I must admit, feeling like a pseudo-deity for a few hours isn’t half bad.”

-ND

Teddy Wolff

Dame

$$$$ 85 MacDougal Street

“When it’s 91 degrees outside, I want fish and two showers a day. So, based on the satanic start to summer thus far, Dame couldn’t have opened at a better time. This new MacDougal Street spot serves a menu exclusively dominated by seafood - sometimes with inspiration from England, like in the case of a luxurious Eton mess with macerated strawberries, and fish and chips beer-battered and fried so that the flaky white fish basically disintegrates in your mouth. After only a couple weeks of service, Dame is running like a restaurant that’s been busy for years (complete with outdoor speakers blasting “Come On Eileen,” warm service, and a long wine menu with categories based on what James Bond and Austin Powers would drink). It’s undeniably hard to get a reservation right now - in part because of the community they’ve already built from a successful pop-up last year - but if you like inventive seafood, eating here is worth switching on a couple Resy notifies.”

-HA

David A. Lee

Native Noodles

$$$$ 2129 Amsterdam Ave

“Eating honey-roasted pork laksa inside Native Noodles’ tiny Washington Heights shop while sweating was certainly not the most comfortable dining experience I’ve had recently. Especially considering their AC wasn’t working and it was 90 degrees out. But I’d go out of my way, even in the driest of deserts, to dip their pipping hot deep-fried buns into chili crab sauce or appreciate how well their perfectly cooked laksa noodles and sweet roasted pork go together. One of their tart calamansi lemonades wouldn’t hurt either. This is a spot that I wish I had in my neighborhood, as I’d be here probably weekly picking up any of their spicy noodle dishes (which are all under $15) and swiping their large puffy tofu chunks through the dried shrimpy and creamy laksa.”

-CM

Bark Barbecue

$$$$
BBQDominican  in  Ozone ParkQueens
$$$$ N Conduit Ave

Bark Barbecue will be stationed at Bridge & Tunnel Brewery on Saturdays and Sundays

“NYC’s best barbecue place doesn’t even have an address. Bark Barbecue started in summer 2020, serving freshly smoked meat by the pound, Dominican specialty sides, and luscious arroz con leche on Saturdays in South Ozone Park, Queens. It’s run by Ruben Santana - a Queens-born pitmaster who parks his smoker directly on 149th Avenue, across from Vito Locascio Field. There’s no website, no iPad, and definitely no designated seating area. Instead, you’ll get Central Texas-style smoked brisket that you’ll likely devour in a nearby overgrown baseball field, like a cave person who has found their way to the present day.”

-HA

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Katherine Lewin

Fradei

$$$$
$$$$ 99 S Portland Ave

“Most of us are not traveling to France just yet - but in the meantime, you should try to eat at Fradei. This tiny spot (there are a handful of tables inside, with a few more tables on the sidewalk and patio) serves an $80, regularly changing five-course menu that is kept secret until the dishes arrive to your table. Beyond drinks, there are no options when ordering, and the food is seasonal, with an emphasis on local ingredients. The chefs are both American, but met while working in France, and you can feel and taste that influence in the dishes. A few highlights from a recent dinner included an incredible play on sour cream and onion chips, white asparagus with spruce, pistachio, and egg yolks, steak tartare with togarashi, and broiled cucumbers blanketed in a delicate sheet of lard. Add to all that a perfect dining room playlist and a wine selection you’ll want to explore, and this is one of the best places to have a date night in Brooklyn right now.”

-KL

Nikko Duren

Francie

$$$$
$$$$ 134 Broadway

“Francie is the new buttoned-up Williamsburg restaurant you should visit when want to feel cool and casually spend $100 on dinner. But on a recent visit, I was surprised that this glitzy brasserie in a converted bank on Broadway felt so laid-back. Sure, waiters in white blazers carry around platters of dry-aged duck on beds of purple flowers, but it’s also the kind of place where you can drop in for a martini and a snack at the bar. Between bites of fluffy soufflé cakes topped with caviar and seaweed butter, I was distracted by a cheerful toddler going HAM on a banana sundae, and several couples having a weeknight date over some oysters. But once the whole roasted duck arrived for its glamour shot (a regular practice before they slice the roasted bird), all I could think about was how good it felt to be back inside an exciting restaurant again.”

-ND

NYC

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Hannah Albertine

Chick Chick

$$$$
$$$$ 618 Amsterdam Ave

“The combination of fat, salt, and spice make any fried chicken sandwiches at least some degree of delicious. But rarely are they as memorable as the Nashville Hot Chickwich version at this casual new Korean restaurant on the Upper West Side. Chick Chick’s play on Korean-Nashville Hot Chicken is crunchier than it is fiery, and we could write an entire review of this twice-fried, chili-dusted poultry production with pickles and creamy white sauce. But Chick Chick’s allure extends much further than one sandwich. From an unexpectedly light kale caesar salad to soy-pepper wings, and a beautifully-cooked kimchi fried rice with chicken sausage and rich egg yolk, order chicken in all its forms here. It’s a perfect place to pick up some takeout for your kids or a casual meal with a friend for around $20.”

-HA

NYC

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Dane Isaac

Ruta Oaxaca

$$$$
Mexican  in  Astoria
$$$$ 35-03 Broadway

“We could all be a little happier if we applied this Mexican restaurant’s maximalist approach to our own lives. Why make a habañero mango cocktail without torching a thick sprig of rosemary in it first? Why paint a patio muted pastel pink when a shade called “hot pink” exists? If there’s a vat of earthy mole negro in the kitchen, why not pour a pint of it onto a plate with chicken enchiladas or tender short rib? The portions of Oaxacan specialties at this new Astoria spot are massive, and the mole and Patrón flow like tap water. This fun new restaurant would be especially perfect for a group of friends who abandoned their Zoom book club after pretending to read Infinite Jest, or a date where splitting some gooey chori queso with warm corn tortillas is in the cards.”

-HA

NYC

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Dhamaka

Dhamaka

$$$$
$$$$ 88 Essex St

“When you think of visiting an NYC food hall, do you imagine yourself sitting on a covered patio, gnawing on a smoky lamb rib served in a tin-can grill? What about the idea of soaking up green-chile-laced dal with buttery chapati in between sips of gin, ginger liqueur, and betel leaf swirled together in a martini glass? No? Then you haven’t been to Dhamaka yet. This new Essex Market restaurant is from the chefs behind two of our favorite Indian restaurants in the city, Rahi and Adda, but the menu differs from those other spots. Dhamaka instead focuses on regional specialties you may not have seen elsewhere in New York City (the website says, “This is the other side of India, the forgotten side of India”). Try their version of chicken masala pulao served directly in a pressure cooker, or the tender lamb kidneys and testicles in a fragrant onion-tomato stew and pao shimmering with ghee on the side, and finish your meal with a rich, souffle-like chhena poda for dessert. After you eat Dhamaka’s food, your perception of NYC’s food halls - and the city’s range of Indian cuisine - will change. Plan ahead and make a reservation here for your next big night out, because it’s starting to get busy.”

- HA

NYC

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Teddy Wolff

Winona's

$$$$ 676 Flushing Ave

“Natural wine bars don’t usually double as all-day restaurants serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner - but that’s what makes Winona’s especially useful. There are tons of wines available by the glass or by the bottle at this spot on the Williamsburg/Bed-Stuy border, including a mix of natural options from small producers based in New York, France, Mexico, Austria, Germany, Spain, and beyond. During a recent visit, I paired a refreshing gamay with Chef Kia Damon’s smoky gumbo and flaky biscuits during the Ediciones dinner pop-up, which is happening here every Sunday and Monday night. And between the comfortably heated patio, helpful wine descriptions via QR code, and top-notch Southern dishes including exceptional cheese grits, this exciting wine bar is quickly becoming my go-to for a night out with a few friends.”

- ND

David A. Lee

Bánh

$$$$ 942 Amsterdam Ave

“After recently biking 13 miles around the city, I came away with two takeaways: there aren’t enough Citi Bike docks on the west side, and Bánh on Amsterdam and 107th street is somewhere I’d recommend to anybody who’s wading their way back into dining out. This UWS Vietnamese spot has a small, spaced-out outdoor setup, that’s perfect if you’re like me and have only dined outside a couple times, but are ready to get out there more. Especially when ‘getting out there’ involves bún bò bơ with sizzling butter beef, bánh mì filled with charbroiled pork belly that’s a top contender for the best one in the city, and the banh chung chien appetizer - a deep-fried rice cake brick made of ground mung bean that’s filled with pork and comes with a tangy soy dressing. It’s sticky, not too greasy, and a hefty appetizer that - with one of their entrees or bánh mì - makes for a filling meal that costs under $30.”

-CM

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