The NYC Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In NYC guide image

photo credit: Marcus Nilsson

NYCGuide

The NYC Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In NYC

We checked out these new restaurants—and loved them.

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

photo credit: Marcus Nilsson

Jupiter review image

Jupiter

$$$$

620 5th Ave, New York
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

Lodi used to be the obvious choice for Italian at Rockefeller Center, but now it has some competition with Jupiter, a new restaurant from the King team that's located on the concourse. As soon as you’re seated in their warm and lively dining room, order the zucchini fritti. The tempura-like batter will make you forget about all the soggy fried zucchini you’ve ever had. Other strong starters include the peekytoe crab toast and a winter leaves salad with poached quince. But pasta is the main reason to come to Jupiter. Get the housemade agnoli stuffed with slow-cooked, shredded rabbit.

Hav & Mar is a seafood restaurant in Chelsea from Marcus Samuelsson. The name reflects Samuelsson's Ethiopian and Swedish roots ("hav" means ocean in Swedish, while "mar" means honey in Amharic), and the inventive menu pulls from both countries with a range of other influences. For a handy tutorial on what to expect, start your meal with the “Swediopian.” You’ll get a buttery piece of berbere-cured salmon topped with a mustard seed caviar and sour buckthorn. Sometimes, the menu will stray from Sweden and Ethiopia altogether and give you something like a waffle with rock shrimp and uni butter. No matter what they do with the loose theme, eating here is exciting.

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You might know Kwame Onwuache from his DC restaurants or his run on Top Chef, but you’re about to know him for being the guy who single-handedly made Lincoln Center cool again. Tatiana, located inside David Geffen Hall (the one with the Philharmonic) feels like a quiet nightclub and serves food that blends Afro-Caribbean flavors with iconic New York dishes. Think: egusi dumplings and a mizuna caesar salad with Trini green seasoning. The one thing you must order is the Wagyu short rib pastrami suya, served with little caraway-laced coco bread buns. It’s the best new pastrami sandwich in Manhattan.

If you see a line of people on the sidewalk around Orchard and Delancey, it’s probably for Okiboru, a noodle shop with a few other locations in Georgia. Only counter seating is available, so you’ll get to hear everything going on in your neighbor’s life as you eat one of the two types of ramen offered here. The tsukemen comes with udon-like cold noodles that you dip in a warm, concentrated chicken and fish broth, and the soupy ramen is made with a super rich, milky broth that'll immediately conjure images of pork bones in your head. We overheard someone ask their friend: “How was it?” Response: “It was bomb.” We agree.

We always hope that restaurant reboots are as good as the one the Court Street Grocers team has pulled off in the old Eisenberg’s space. S&P Lunch combines everything you want in an old-school Jewish deli (counter-style seating, exceptional pastrami, life-affirming matzo ball soup) with modern touches like the option to swap meat for broccoli in your reuben. We particularly love the Dinkelburger, which is like if a burger and a reuben had an illicit child. The menu also has tons of Ashkenazi homestyle classics, including matzo brei, bananas and sour cream, and kasha varnishkes.

Maialino is back and, thankfully, nothing has really changed—except for the name (with the addition of “vicino”) and the location. Now housed in a cozy space in the bottom of a Nomad hotel, Maialino continues to serve the same Roman-style food that it became known for. You’ll still be thinking about their spaghettini alle vongole the morning after your visit, but you’ll remember the veal smothered in tonnato and fried capers for the rest of the year. The dining room would be pitch-dark if not for some candles that dot the room, so bring that person who would be your co-star in a Nora Ephron movie for a romantic night out.

Founded in the 1930s, Monkey Bar has changed hands a few times over the years (such as in 2009, when it was bought by Graydon Carter). The newest iteration—from the team behind Au Cheval and 4 Charles Prime Rib—feels especially promising. This old-school Midtown restaurant still has a big sunken dining room that features plush red booths and a wraparound mural of Jazz Age celebrities, but the menu is brand new. The food includes everything from pasta and fried chicken to steakhouse staples like a dry-aged porterhouse. They also serve the same cheese-smothered burger that you’ll find at Au Cheval, and you should eat one in the walk-in-only tavern area.

Masalawala & Sons is the new Park Slope restaurant from the team behind Dhakama and Semma. At this point, they know their brand: inventive, hyper-specific regional food you’ll have a hard time finding elsewhere in the city. This time, the focus is on Bengali food, which means fish is king. Get the one wrapped in banana leaves, or try the fried fish with a tangy mustard on the side. The food is on par with their other restaurants, but you’ll stay longer because the bigger space is a better hang. You’ll see home goods for sale and a wedding party’s worth of colorful gajras hanging from the ceiling, and there’s a roomy patio out back.

Despite the incredible amount of restaurants in the East Village, you’d be hard pressed to find any goat pepper soup or edikaikong there, let alone anything as good as the stuff at Buka. The only Nigerian restaurant in the neighborhood, this second location of a classic Bed-Stuy spot is serving the same fragrant stews, pepper soups, and large plates of goat and fish as the original in a charming little space with brick walls and small tables. No matter what you order as a main, you must get the suya appetizer.

You better hope it’s not cloudy when you come to this Danny Meyer restaurant on the 60th floor of a FiDi skyscraper. Manhatta just started serving dinner again after a two-year pause, and the views are still spectacular, so do your best to get a table by a window. But this place isn’t just about the scenery. The food now leans New American, and the kitchen combines ingredients in unexpected ways. Chilled cherry tomatoes and whipped sesame tofu make complete sense together, and bone marrow provides a rich, slightly sweet contrast to barbecued freshwater eel.

You can order every dish at this Filipino restaurant in Woodside and still want to get each one again during your next visit. That’s rare. Start with the crispy lumpia, then get a sizzling platter of crunchy and creamy milkfish sisig and a huge portion of deep fried pork knuckles with thick crackly skin. Finish with some halo halo that comes with ube ice cream and various ingredients like beans, gelatin, chunks of banana, and slivers of coconut. Bring a few friends so you can try a bunch of different things at this casual BYOB spot while you listen to a playlist of karaoke versions of pop songs.

What started as a delivery operation with weeks-long waiting lists now has a permanent home in Prospect Heights. Pecking House’s new counter-service location looks a bit like a small cafeteria at a trendy tech company, but it’s a perfectly fine place to consume large amounts of poultry. Your priority should be the chili fried chicken with thick, crunchy skin covered in a firecracker dry rub, which you can get in a huge sandwich or as a meal with sides. You won’t be disappointed by any of the sides, but make sure to include the rich, flavorful duck heart gravy mashed potatoes.

Lord’s is a modern British bistro from the team behind Dame, so it should come as no surprise that you’ll find a menu filled with excellent takes on classic fare like scotch eggs, pig’s head terrine, and a rotating daily meat pie. The space feels like a cross between a Hogwarts professor’s office and a trendy bar, making it the perfect choice for cold-weather date nights. 

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

Koloman review image

Koloman

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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