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NYC

Guide

The NYC Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In NYC

Whether you’re looking for in-person dining or takeout and delivery, the NYC Hit List is here to help you find a great new spot to support.

50 Spots
Launch Map
50 Spots
Launch Map
Updated April 21st, 2021

It’s been a tough year for restaurants and bars, but that hasn’t stopped the spots on this guide from opening, pivoting, popping up, collaborating, and finding more ways to support their communities. In one way or another, they’re all doing something new - and we’re excited for you to discover 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, either in-person or for takeout.

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 and delivery, or at-home meal kits, The Hit List is here to help you find a great new spot to support - while taking a much-needed night off from your kitchen. Read on to find your new favorites.

THE SPOTS

Ruta Oaxaca

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

Open for indoor dining, outdoor dining, takeout and delivery

“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.”

- Staff Writer, Hannah Albertine

Threes @ Franklin + Kent

$$$$
$$$$ 113 Franklin St

Open for outdoor dining, takeout and delivery

“Threes Brewing was already one of the best places to drink beer in Greenpoint. Now that The Meat Hook’s Burger Shop has taken over the kitchen, it’s also one of the best places to eat a burger in Greenpoint. Theirs is a smashburger (single or double) draped in cheese on a squishy potato roll - the kind of burger you have to stop yourself from eating too quickly, lost in a trance while ignoring all conversation going on around you (or is that just me?). There’s plenty of outdoor seating available on their sidewalk and street side patio, and if you encounter a wait, you can always take a couple of beers to-go and enjoy them at Transmitter Park two blocks away. The Burger Shop at Threes is open 7 days a week and is walk-in-only, making it a great place to keep in your back pocket for when you spontaneously decide you need to eat a burger outside tonight.”

-Katherine Lewin, Editorial Director

Nikko Duren

Dacha 1946

$$$$ 81 Pulaski St

Open for takeout

“Much like the city’s vegetation right now, Dacha is in full bloom. What started as an Eastern European pop-up out of a Bed-Stuy apartment has now become a Russian-style “Banya Brunch” takeout series inside the former MeMe’s Diner space in Prospect Heights. The married queer couple running the show are both chefs who worked at places like Red Hook Tavern and Rezdora before the pandemic hit. Now, the duo is responsible for making plump pork pelmeni, hazelnut-mocha kievsky, and a new take on piroshki filled with American breakfast staples like eggs, potatoes, and bacon every weekend. All of the fresh-baked, soft, and savory dishes I picked up last Sunday were downright impossible to put down, and I am currently drafting on a strongly worded email urging the Dacha team to fully flower into a permanent restaurant.”

Nikko Duren, Staff Writer

Katherine Lewin

Chikarashi Isso

$$$$ 50 Bowery

Open for outdoor dining

“One silver lining of the pandemic: incredibly unique outdoor dining spaces, comprised of bubble tables, lean-tos, tents, and yurts. Chikarashi Isso - the upscale Japanese restaurant from the people behind fast-casual poke spot Chikarashi - has an outdoor dining setup that’s on another level entirely: a 10-seat chef’s counter inside a heated open cabin, currently located on the quiet second-floor terrace of Hotel 50 Bowery in Chinatown. The meal is a 13-course yakitori omakase, grilled over Binchotan charcoal, right in front of you. And while the menu highlights seasonal ingredients, the dish I’m still thinking about is a chicken breast skewer that’s easily the best bite of chicken breast I have ever eaten. If you have a special occasion coming up, this would make for a great date spot, and there’s also a section of the cabin designed for small group dinners.”

-KL

Ashley Solter

Stretch Pizza

$$$$
$$$$ 18 E 16th St

Open for takeout

“Like me, Chef Wylie Dufresne spent the last year baking an inordinate amount of bread products at home. But after I tried the pizza at the new pop-up from the former chef and owner of WD-50, Alder, and Du’s Doughnuts, my own under-proofed carbs seemed a lot sadder by comparison. At Stretch Pizza (operating out of Breads Bakery), the thin-crusted and modestly sauced 12-inch pies mimic a true New York slice - inexplicably floppy middle, crispy-puffy crust, and all. They’re available in four different varieties, including a classic cheese, a delicate Everything Bagel pizza with a thin layer of cream cheese and mozzarella, and a spicy romesco pie topped with grilled ramps. The only non-pizza item is a breakfast calzone, which also shouldn’t be ignored. It’s stuffed with piping hot scrambled eggs, creamy muenster and american cheeses, and scallions. You can preorder your pizza online ahead of time here, exclusively for pickup at Breads Bakery by Union Square. To no one’s surprise, there’s already a waitlist. Hop on it.”

-HA

Nikko Duren

Chef Katsu Brooklyn

$$$$ 143 Greene St

Open for indoor dining, outdoor dining, takeout and delivery

“When I lived in Clinton Hill in 2019, I would have done unspeakable things for a spot like Chef Katsu Club. The newest Japanese restaurant in the area serves the kind of excellent pork and chicken katsu that makes me want to say “F*ck it, I’m getting takeout!” in the middle of a garbage week. The specialty here is katsu burgers stacked high with crispy chicken cutlets and topped with creamy mayo and housemade tartar or curry sauce. If you’d rather have katsu comfort in the form of a rice bowl, they’ve got those too - I recently paired one with their brioche donut sandwich filled with azuki bean paste and green tea ice cream and felt an instant rush of dopamine. And while the food is the primary reason you should eat here, the love story behind this new katsu restaurant in Clinton Hill is a strong second.”

-ND

Dr. Clark

Dr. Clark

$$$$
$$$$ 104 Bayard St

Open for indoor dining, outdoor dining, takeout and delivery

“For anyone wondering what’s cool in Manhattan right now, here’s our update: go to Dr. Clark in Chinatown. This Japanese restaurant - located in the home of former Cool Spots like Lalito and divey karaoke bar Winnie’s - focuses on Hokkaido specialties that go nicely with shochu sour cocktails and natural wine. Build your meal around their thinly-sliced, marinated lamb jingisukan, which is grilled tableside and served with a mixture of crunchy marinated onions and bean sprouts. We’d recommend bringing a small group and supplementing the lamb with fresh seafood, like some chewy squid stuffed with uni-laced rice and a bowl of kaisen featuring assorted salmon and tuna sashimi, roe, cucumber, radish, uni, and steamed egg. Beyond the excellent Hokkaido meat and seafood, part of Dr. Clark’s charm is that you get to eat beneath a sparkling disco ball on Bayard Street, surrounded by half-a-dozen Dimes Square denizens and someone who possibly starred on an HBO show in 2012.”

- HA

Katherine Lewin

Van Da

$$$$
$$$$ 234 E 4th St

Open for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery

After a pandemic hiatus, Va Da has reopened in its original location on Avenue B in the East Village - and I am so happy it’s back. Sitting outside in the tented parklet is the perfect setting for catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in a year while making your way through a variety of regional Vietnamese dishes. I’d highly recommend you take advantage of their current set menu for two, which includes the Hue sampler (two different types of dumplings and one of my favorite dishes, the banh beo), plus your choice of two mid-course dishes - like a grilled eggplant salad, or the extremely delicious pho short rib grilled cheese - and one entree (we went with the turmeric branzino). The set menu is priced reasonably at $35 per person, and makes ordering with a third-tier friend about as easy as it gets.

-KL

Dhamaka

Dhamaka

$$$$
$$$$ 88 Essex St

Open for indoor dining and outdoor dining

“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

Guide:

Where To Eat, Drink, & Shop At Essex Market

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Winona's

Winona's

$$$$ 676 Flushing Ave

Open for outdoor dining, indoor dining, takeout, and delivery

“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

Edith's

$$$$
$$$$ 495 Lorimer St

Open for takeout and outdoor dining

“After running a pop-up at Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint, this Jewish-American takeout spot recently moved to their own space in Williamsburg. I expected my Friday morning bagel run here to be pretty straightforward: I’d walk up to a friendly person with an iPad, order whatever looks good, and whisper sweet nothings to a devastatingly gorgeous shiba inu while waiting for my food. In reality, Edith’s tested my patience - the line was so long, you’d think Marina Abramović was staring into the eyes of whoever made it to the end. All things considered, I’m glad I stood it out. The NY Classic (lox sandwich with cream cheese and arugula) on a sesame bagel, and the spicy shakshuka morning bun, are two of the best things I’ve ever eaten before noon. The bagel was doughy and warm, the freshly smoked fish had a tinge of sweetness, and the cream cheese was the light and fluffy kind. And if a brioche challah bun with a runny egg, spicy tomato sauce, and crumbly cheese baked in the middle doesn’t make you want to squeal, we have nothing in common.”

-ND

Carlo Mantuano

Bánh

$$$$ 942 Amsterdam Ave

Open for indoor dining, outdoor dining, and takeout

“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.”

- Staff Editor, Carlo Mantuano

Nikko Duren

Pecking House

$$$$
$$$$ 18523 Union Turnpike

Open for delivery

“Pecking House’s chili fried chicken is the best dish I’ve gotten delivered to my apartment in 2021. I was on the restaurant’s waitlist for two months before I could enjoy it, but it was all worth it once I got into the crunchy meat, covered in Tianjin chilis and Szechuan peppercorn. Every bite felt like some kind of Taiwanese hot chicken-fueled transcendental meditation. It reminded me of Hattie B’s Nashville hot chicken - just crispier, more mouth-numbing, and dripping with juice from the inside. I didn’t even mind that I was getting bright red stains from the slippery hot sauce all over my white shirt. All three pieces were gone in a matter of minutes, and if I ever need a reminder of how legendary fried chicken can be, I’ll hop right back on the waitlist.”

- ND

Hannah Albertine

Yun Cafe & Asian Market

$$$$
$$$$ 73-05 37th Rd Store 2

Open for takeout & delivery

“When Yun Cafe opened in the fall of 2020, it became one of only two self-identified Burmese restaurants in New York City (the other being Rangoon in Crown Heights). Every dish I tried here counters sour with bitter, and umami funk with something sweet, especially in the laphet thoke. This cold salad with fermented tea leaves is mixed together in a citrusy fish sauce with thin strands of cabbage and refreshing hunks of red and green tomatoes, then topped with a blanket of puffed soy nuts, crunchy peanuts, and sesame seeds. In case you need a reason to be any more intrigued or impressed, Yun Cafe prepares all of their incredible takeout food in a small space on the lower level of Jackson Heights’ Roosevelt Avenue subway station. Since going here, I’ve caught myself inspecting every subway station for similarly wonderful stalls (to no avail so far).”

- HA

Carlo Mantuano

Ace's Perfect Pizza

$$$$
$$$$ 637 Driggs Ave

Open for indoor dining, outdoor dining, takeout & delivery

“I already know that my go-to summer 2021 activity will involve walking the Williamsburg bridge and meeting friends at Ace’s Perfect Pizza. When I bit into the Detroit-style pizza from this spot on Metropolitan and Driggs, it reminded me of my first time trying Emmy Squared in 2016 - an experience filled with pure joy, light and airy dough, and crispy cheese-studded crust. While Emmy Squared has become somewhat of a chain restaurant, Ace’s has all the magic of a new, delicious pizza place. Not to mention the fact that a small Detroit-style pepperoni pizza costs under $15, and is the perfect size to share with a friend or takedown yourself if you’re really hungry. They’re also about to start selling beer and have a jukebox sitting in the corner, as if I needed another reason to get excited for the summer.”

- CM

Carlo Mantuano

Sushi Hatsune

$$$$
JapaneseSushi  in  Chinatown
$$$$ 50 Eldridge Street

Open for takeout and delivery

“I’ve been on a chirashi kick lately, especially after seeing the Infatuation LA team put together a luxurious-looking guide to the dish. I appreciate the versatility of the chirashi - it gives you the option to taste sashimi on its own, or get a mouthful of both the fish and the vinegar-seasoned rice. So when I found out that Sushi Hatsune, a new spot in Chinatown, had one on the menu with loads of ikura, pleasantly sweet cubes of tamago, and two different kind of pickles, I was in. Not only did I get a bowl chock-full of buttery fatty toro, salmon that was slightly cured, and rich-and-sweet unagi over perfectly-seasoned sushi rice sprinkled with sesame seeds, my chirashi expectations have been permanently raised AND I found a new go-to sushi spot in my neighborhood that I think everybody living in lower Manhattan should know about. Especially if you’re like me and you get as hyped for an excellent bowl of chirashi as you do watching old Dunk Contest highlights.”

- CM

Hannah Albertine

Chinelos Birria Tacos

$$$$ 4-09 Center Blvd

Open for takeout

“Instead of getting haircuts or going to an allergist, I’ve been eating birria tacos and consomme every couple of weeks as part of my self-maintenance routine (I’d encourage you to do the same, as long as you enjoy tender, stewed beef). So naturally I was excited to try this recently-opened, birria-focused truck parked on the waterfront in Long Island City. Their deliciously cilantro-forward tacos and consomme give off heavy hints of warming spices like clove, star anise, and cinnamon, which was a welcome experience in 21-degree winds. Stop by and order 3 for $10 sopping birria tacos, or get a $4 mulita, which has crispy cheese layered between the nixtamal corn tortillas, plus a bunch of cotija sprinkled on top.”

-HA

Hannah Albertine

Sushi Kai

$$$$
$$$$ 322 E 9th Street

Open for takeout and delivery, and indoor dining

“Before the pandemic, eating at Sushi Kai would likely have involved a tasting menu of 12-ish pieces of nigiri in a small room in the East Village. But in the current life and times, they instead focus on serving a la carte rolls, nigiri, and sashimi for a takeout and delivery format. That means you get all of the quality of a high-end sushi omakase, but in your own home and for less money. I recently ordered three tightly-wrapped, taller-than-average rolls and a nub of Hokkaido uni to my comparatively-unimpressive apartment. Of the three maki varieties I tried (a smoky yaki tuna that had been seared just slightly, buttery medium fatty tuna with scallions, and arctic char), the arctic char stood out because of its bright, yuzu-layered flavor. Including the uni over rice, which was served in a tiny container that might typically be reserved for ketchup to dip fries into at a Nets game, everything came out to around $70. That price is certainly more expensive than a bill from my go-to neighborhood sushi takeout place, but the quality was about three times higher.”

-HA

Nikko Duren

Open for takeout, indoor dining, and outdoor dining

“I first heard about this Prospect Heights spot in October 2020 when the head chef and owner was still in the midst of renovating the entire restaurant himself. Now, Leland Eating & Drinking House is officially open with a few private, heated outdoor shacks they’re calling “cozy cabins.” While I chose to dine at a patio table instead, I’d eat their creamy seafood chowder and vegan hot buns out of a mildly-used bucket in the middle of a cornfield if I had to. The chowder made me feel like I was dining at a mountain lodge run by Julia Child when in reality I was at a corner restaurant in Brooklyn run by an ex-Fedora chef. And the cinnamon buns showered in a healthy amount of orange zest has changed my perspective on vegan baked goods for the better.”

-ND

Xilonen

Xilonen

$$$$
$$$$ 905 Lorimer St

Open for takeout, delivery, indoor dining, and outdoor dining

“After eating Xilonen’s Mexican brunch in Greenpoint, you’ll notice stunning vegetables in places you don’t expect. You’ll think, ‘Is that a traffic light turning yellow, or is it a tender root vegetable with impeccable char?’ Or possibly, ‘Those piano keys have an incandescent orange hue and look delicious, should I eat them?’ Don’t worry, you’re not hallucinating. You’re experiencing the aftershock of coming face-to-face with impossibly tangy queso that’s been made from honeynut squash or a crispy corn tortilla softened by navy bean mash. This restaurant from the Oxomoco team serves vegan and vegetarian Mexican food that’s thrilling to eat, mainly because of Xilonen’s commitment to letting vegetables be the stars of every bite. Prepare to spend a little more here than you might at breakfast or lunch elsewhere (for instance, a single purple potato taco will cost you $9), but know that it’s well worth the money for a special-occasion brunch.”

-HA

Hannah Albertine

Medan Pasar

$$$$
$$$$ 102 E 7th St

Open for takeout and delivery

“Medan Pasar is a gift to anyone looking to spend $10 on a full, excellent meal. It’s also the only restaurant in the East Village with a menu solely dedicated to Malaysian food, including nasi lemak with beef rendang that will convince you that dried anchovies and stewed meat deserve a couples retreat. At $10, the curry laksa is the second most expensive dish on the menu, and one of our favorites. It’s served in a double-layered takeout tub that ensures the thin spongy noodles, fried tofu, shredded chicken, and tail-on shrimp stay fresh by layering them in a platform just above the orange sea of spicy coconut curry at the bottom of the bowl. It’s essentially a takeout bunk bed deserving of several design awards. Medan Pasar now appears first on my mental list of restaurants anytime I want really good takeout without spending a ton on dinner, and I highly suggest it appears first on yours too.”

-HA

Nikko Duren

Guevara's

$$$$
$$$$ 39 Clifton Place

Open for takeout and outdoor dining

“No shade to Skittles, but I could actually taste the rainbow at Guevara’s. Every one of the fresh vegetables (like avocado, red cabbage, tomato, and jalapeno) packed into the Cuban torta here tastes like its purpose in life is to express its individuality. The real MVP of this dish, however, is its crunchy slab of eggplant milanese that’s the best meat substitute I’ve had at any vegan restaurant in the city. This excellent torta is exactly the kind of fully-loaded sandwich I’d expect from a vegan cafe run by the people from Mekelburg’s, who tend to be generous with porchetta and crumbled bacon. As for the space, this Clinton Hill spot has at least 50 potted plants inside, and a heated outdoor patio with pastel pink arches and checkered flooring. I felt like I was dining in Betsey Johnson’s backyard, and in honor of this, I plan to wear a tulle gown whenever I return.”

-ND

Zanmi

Zanmi

$$$$ 1206 Nostrand Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, indoor dining, and outdoor dining

“According to Zanmi’s Instagram bio, its name means ‘friends’ in Creole. Fittingly, I’ve walked past lots of friends seated outside of this Haitian restaurant in Prospect Lefferts Gardens since it opened in February 2020. Eating burgers, meat platters, and fried plantains to the beat of a live DJ, these turnt, socially-distant groups made me wonder what I was missing. Until one day, I finally ordered Zanmi’s tasso cabrit (fried goat) for delivery and realized I was sleeping on a new Brooklyn gem. Each tender chunk of goat meat tasted like it had spent the afternoon in a spicy lime juice hot tub, and yet I still found myself dunking them in vegetable relish for a boost of garlic and vinegar in every bite. I’ll be dining solo here at least once a week, and in the future, Zanmi will be the first place I’ll invite my friends for a group lunch date.”

-ND

Matt Tervooren

Santo Brúklin

$$$$ 548 Court St

Open for takeout, delivery, indoor dining, and outdoor dining

“Pão de queijo is tough to screw up, but it’s rare that it blows you away. Then there’s Santo Brúklin, a Brazilian spot in Carroll Gardens that opened literally one day before the citywide shutdown. Add a dollop of guava paste and ground, spicy ’nduja on the baseball-sized version here, and you have the best PDQ in the city. Phenomenal cheese bread is enough of a draw for me, but keep in mind the excellent caipirinhas, which you should enjoy with a steaming cauldron of feijoada in the spacious, heated backyard.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Blue Willow

$$$$
Chinese  in  Midtown
$$$$ 40 W 56th St

Open for indoor dining, outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery

“Blue Willow’s mapo tofu reminded me of the city’s best versions. Its silky tofu cubes hold up against prodding chopsticks and gravity, and you can taste the fermented black beans hiding in the tingling, mala-spice sauce. While this new upscale Hunan and Szechuan restaurant in Midtown has outdoor seating, their food travels well for pickup and delivery too. Order some garlic green beans and Chengdu pork wontons to coexist in the same bowl as your mapo tofu, and I promise you’ll find it easier to stay home and still eat really well.”

-HA

Star Chefs

Back Alley Bread

$$$$
$$$$ Ditmas Park

Open for delivery

“While most people were making utterly depressing loaves of sourdough last May, the owners of Back Alley Bread started a delivery-only bakery. Their journey began with a few thick, flakey, beignet-like dough balls covered in honey and powdered sugar. They’re called angel donuts (probably because they’re made of such heavenly ingredients) and without them, I couldn’t have made it through 2020. Back Alley Bread was opened by two chefs who worked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and The Grill respectively before the pandemic hit. And in addition to life-changing and genre-defying donuts, this chef couple makes incredible honey buns, brown butter chocolate chip cookies, and angel biscuit kits with apple ginger jam, and homemade butter. If you live in Brooklyn, stop reading this and find out if your zip code is within this bakery’s delivery zone here.”

-ND

Nikko Duren

Fan Fan Doughnuts

$$$$ 448 Lafayette Ave A

Open for takeout

“I’m pretty confident that Chef Fany Gerson is some kind of sugar healer. Judging by her success with La Newyorkina and the Dough doughnut chain, everything she makes turns to gold. Fan Fan Doughnuts, her newest sweets shop in Bed-Stuy, is no exception. The chorus of Diana Ross’ “A Brand New Day” played in my head as I took a bite of her signature fan-fan doughnut (a mashup between a Long John and an eclair) filled with guava and cheese. Since then, I’ve stopped by this takeout-only spot to try everything from salted brown butter caramel to mango-cardamom glazed doughnuts, and nothing ever disappoints. If it’s been a while since you’ve last eaten something that made you want to burst into song, head to Fan Fan.”

-ND

NYC

Guide:

The Best New Doughnuts In NYC

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Adam Friedlander

Saigon Social

$$$$ 172 Orchard St

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

“I’m not going to pretend like any restaurant can conceivably make me forget we’re all wearing masks. But only places as fantastic as this Vietnamese restaurant on the LES made me feel temporarily at peace with 2020. While you’re eating bún chả Hanoi, bún bò Huế, and a spicy fried chicken sandwich, you won’t mind sorting out how to equitably share soup without spreading germs, ordering at a window, paying via QR code, or even sitting on the sidewalk in the rain. This is my absolute favorite new restaurant of the year.”

-HA

NYC

Guide:

The Best Vietnamese Restaurants In NYC

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Adá Supper Club

Adá Supper Club

$$$$ Your Apartment

Open for delivery

If you still haven’t learned how to turn your apartment into a restaurant, turn off the knife skills YouTube videos and order Adá Supper Club’s A Night In instead. This rotating dinner series features three-course meals from Black and female chefs focusing on foods of the African diaspora. On an early fall night, Chef Kia Damon’s Southern creole menu was delivered to my door: rosemary lemonade (which made for an ideal bourbon cocktail), a pickle platter with pimento cheese, a comforting chicken creole with cured egg yolks, and my favorite dish of the night - calas, sweet rice fritters served with chicory powder and caramel sauce. Between the exceptional packaging, the thoughtful instructions for plating, and a special playlist and video message from the chef, everything about this meal felt personal - in the way that only the best restaurant meals do.”

-KL

For All Things Good

For All Things Good

$$$$ 343 Franklin Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

“I hate to break it to you, but Mexico’s native corn varieties are being genetically modified into one boring race of sweet yellow corn - the same one many of us buy at Foodtown when summer hits. But For All Things Good, a very lovable new Mexican cafe in Bed-Stuy, uses only heirloom corn that they nixtamalize themselves to make masa. These are the best tortillas I’ve had in NYC, and you can enjoy the masa in breakfast and lunch bites like the tetela trio and squash blossom quesadilla - or my favorite, the mezcal mushroom tlayudita. I hope to start another day soon with this crispy tortilla layered with beans, cheese, and a fistful of hen of the woods mushrooms. For All Things Good is also open at night, when they crank out tacos, quesadillas, and volcanes, which you can take to-go or eat on the sidewalk outside of the subterranean corner spot.”

-Arden Shore, Senior Editor

Farra

Farra

$$$$
Wine Bar  in  Tribeca
$$$$ 71 Worth St

Open for indoor dining and outdoor dining

“Literally days before quarantine hit New York City, the Tribeca tasting menu Atera restaurant opened a wine bar next door, serving small plates. They’ve stuck it out through the pandemic, and have a great outdoor dining situation with tables scattered down Worth Street. The menu is made up of small-ish plates that range from a scallop fried rice to a duck leg to one of the better salmon tartares I’ve ever eaten. Farra is keeping things upscale even on the sidewalk - dishes are served on real plates, and from a service perspective, it’s not surprising that this place is connected to a fine dining establishment. I live nearby, and went to Atera once (the tasting menu is $298, so...), but can see going back to Farra quite regularly.”

-Hillary Reinsberg, Editor In Chief

Chez Nick

Chez Nick

$$$$
$$$$ 1737 York Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, indoor dining, and outdoor dining

“From walking your dog in Carl Schurz Park to picking up medical knowledge by osmosis, Yorkville on the Upper East Side has a lot going for it. What it doesn’t have, however, is a lot of restaurant options in the date night department. Enter Chez Nick, an American bistro where you can get a glass of wine and ricotta toast with someone who thinks your “two truths and a lie” are clever, or cucumber martinis and lemongrass pork steak over garlic fried rice with the only person who knows your social security number. There’s no seating at L-shaped bar in the middle of the dining room for the time being, but the small wooden tables near the window, in the elevated alcove in the back, or on the quiet sidewalk outside are all good places to share duck ragout-drenched pappardelle.”

-MT

Teddy Wolff

The Bun Hut

$$$$ 178 Stanton St

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

“The Bun Hut is the most exciting restaurant making West Indian and Bahamian food below 14th Street, which is partly why you should shout about it to everyone you know who lives in lower Manhattan. They serve steamed bao and roti wraps stuffed with various Caribbean fillings, like juicy jerk chicken, braised oxtail, and coconut shrimp. I suggest trying the lightly-fried crab cake bao and the chicken curry roti that’s creamy, subtly spicy, and filled with sweet plantains and julienned carrots. Bun Hut is open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining for lunch and dinner every day except Sunday.”

-HA

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Winner

Winner

$$$$
$$$$ 367 7th Ave

Open for takeout and outdoor dining

“Park Slope has a ridiculous amount of bakeries. French bakeries, vegan bakeries, muffin bakeries, cake bakeries, cookie bakeries, pie bakeries, bakeries that offer free-wifi — this neighborhood has them all. But Winner is the newest (and coolest) bakery in the area, and I’ve deemed it worthy of a medium-intensity bike ride, over and over again. That’s probably because their surprise “Saturday 3 o’clock drops” keep me on my toes. Or maybe it’s the fact that their daily bake schedule is available online, hour by hour. But mostly, it’s because the fluffy rosemary and grape focaccia, soft monkey bread, and crusty sourdough baguettes remind me that bread is more than just edible entertainment before a big meal. But in the event that you do want a meal, Winner also has pick-up only meal kits like a roast chicken dinner and everything from pork bánh mì to bass aguachile made by chefs from their rotating Friends & Family dinner series.”

-ND

Alex Muccilli

Thai Diner

$$$$
DinerThai  in  Nolita
$$$$ 186 Mott St

Open for takeout, delivery, indoor dining, and outdoor dining

“Even though Thai Diner’s iconic sister restaurant Uncle Boon’s closed, and the universe at large is pretty much going to sh*t, Thai Diner’s food has gotten even better since it opened just before the shutdown. They’ve impressively adjusted to the world of plexiglass and QR codes - all while serving their takes on Thai dishes you’ll gravitate to every time you’re near Kenmare Street. My favorites are the BEC on a roti, the creamy khao soi with rainbow chard, and an aggressively-delicious sandwich with chicken and banana blossom salad piled between sesame seed buns. Expect a slight wait during peak meal hours - that’s just what happens when a restaurant this special comes along.”

-HA

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Eric See

Ursula

$$$$ 724 Sterling Pl

Open for takeout and outdoor dining

“New York City needs more breakfast burritos like late night TV needs more female hosts. So when The Awkward Scone in Bushwick closed and then reopened in Bed-Stuy as Ursula, I felt the whole range of human emotion, and then showed up at this New Mexican cafe on opening day. They offer chorizo, bacon, vegan, and vegetarian versions, all of which come with either red or green New Mexican chile. But I have a hack for you, and it’s that you should ask for “Christmas,” which will get you both chile varieties, and respect from whoever is taking your order. If you’re there in the afternoon, try a stuffed sopapilla with pork or beef, and no matter what, add a side of chile. There are a few coveted benches outside, and I suggest eating right there for maximum enjoyment.”

-AS

Yellow Rose

Yellow Rose

$$$$
$$$$ 102 3rd Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

“Yellow Rose is filling a Texas-shaped hole in New York City’s restaurant scene. It’s run by a duo who make their own tortillas out of Sonoran flour (which is, fun fact, one of the oldest wheat varieties in North America). Over the summer of 2020, Yellow Rose hosted weekend pop-ups at places like Doris in Bed-Stuy, Dame in the West Village, and Trans Pecos in Ridgewood. But now Yellow Rose has their very own brick and mortar spot on 3rd Avenue in the East Village with a menu of spicy hominy soup with long fideo noodles, beef chili, and delicious bean and cheese tacos that temporarily made me angry to be an East Coaster.”

-HA

Justin Sisson

Rangoon

$$$$
$$$$ 500 Prospect Pl

Open for indoor dining and outdoor dining

“If I’m not at my apartment, there’s a good chance you’ll find me at Rangoon. Sure, it’s a cool spot with custom floral window shutters and rainbow-colored linen napkins, but it’s the sweet and sour Burmese dishes that keep reeling me back in. I first fell in love with Burmese food at Burma Superstar, one of the best restaurants in San Francisco, so I hustled over when this place in Crown Heights reopened last July with a new outdoor seating setup. That day I tried the crunchy tea leaf salad and a tamarind whiskey sour before floating home on a cloud. Every time I’ve been back since, dishes like the mohinga (lemongrass fish noodle soup) and fall-off-the-bone braised pork have made me push back from the table and nod in approval.”

-ND

Hupo

$$$$ 10-07 50th Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, indoor dining, and outdoor dining

“If neighborhoods could brag, Long Island City would have a lot of ammo (it has trains, the Noguchi museum, and a spiffy new library on the water). What it doesn’t have, however, is amazing Szechuan food. That is, until Hupo opened. This Chinese restaurant makes bright and crunchy pea shoots, wontons that should also come in freezer bags, and some of my favorite mapo tofu in the city. The mapo tofu is topped with a handful of ground Szechuan peppercorns, like a dollop of whipped cream on a sundae, and you won’t be able to order it just once. Stop by for their daily Happy Hour, or rotate Hupo into your regular delivery routine if you live anywhere in western Queens or north Brooklyn.”

-HA

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Sean Fagan

Edy's Grocer

$$$$
DeliLebanese  in  BrooklynGreenpoint
$$$$ 136 Meserole Ave

Open for takeout and outdoor dining

“When I’m feeling down or like I need a half-pound of muhammara to grace my fridge, I head to Edy’s Grocer. The pastel pink and green exterior of this Lebanese deli in Greenpoint would even make Daria feel slightly less miserable. You’ll find a bunch of different Middle Eastern and Polish comfort foods here, like a kale pesto grilled cheese, potato leek soup, pierogies, and shakshuka, but I go all in on the fluffy, fresh man’oushes. Crispy around the edges and doughy in the middle, these Lebanese flatbreads are perfect on their own, or with a few dips on the side. And if I lived closer to this corner deli with a lemon hanging from its shingles, Edy’s Grocer would probably also be my go-to coffee shop.”

-ND

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Gastronomy Underground

Gastronomy Underground

$$$$ Your Apartment

Open for delivery

“On a recent Tuesday night, I found myself sitting on my favorite side of the couch, listening to Los Zafiros with a carnitas taco spread on the table in front of me. It was a whole new level of luxury, and I have Gastronomy Underground, a delivery-only Mexican restaurant born out of the pandemic, to thank. My $45 feast came with a print-out detailing the pre-Hispanic roots of carnitas and ended with a few words about the lean, juicy meat slow-cooked with orange peels that I was about to consume. The order also came with a QR code linking to a curated Spotify playlist made by Gastronomy Underground’s chefs who have worked at places like Per Se and the Nomad - a personal touch that made this deluxe takeout experience feel relaxed and unpretentious. At the end of the meal, I had extra handmade tortillas to eat with beans and eggs the next morning, and a new outlook on delivery.”

-ND

Noah Devereaux

Lhasa Tibetan Restaurant

$$$$
$$$$ 177 1st Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

“The original Lhasa Fast Food is behind a cell phone store in Jackson Heights, and every New Yorker should absolutely make it a point to go there, just to try the momos doused in homemade Tibetan hot sauce. But in case you live closer to the East Village than Jackson Heights (like me), consider the new, second location whenever you’re looking for reliably excellent takeout for less than $20. The plump beef momos and comforting bowls of thenthuk are just as delicious across the East River. And if you’re having trouble making a momo decision, order the $14 combo to sample several. Also important, Lhasa set up a big tent on 11th Street so you and your momos won’t get rained on.”

-HA

Andrew Lam

The Tyger

$$$$
$$$$ 1 Howard St

Open for takeout, indoor dining and outdoor dining

“All I knew about The Tyger before finally managing to snag a table, was that it’s from the people behind Chinese Tuxedo, a party restaurant where the downstairs cocktail bar is the main draw. When I saw the big booths filled with groups drinking colorful cocktails in a more colorful dining room, I got the feeling that this place might be similar. So, I was surprised when my very first bite at this broadly Asian spot in Soho absolutely blew me away. That dish - Phnom Penh fried chicken with lime and white pepper dipping sauce - is just as good as any version I tried when I was making my way through NYC’s Best Fried Chicken Sandwiches. From spicy curry loaded with crispy confit duck, to a not-quite-liquid, not-quite-solid coffee egg tart, everything I tried was absolutely excellent. Bring a group, sit at a table near the retractable floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to Centre Street, and order as much of the menu as you can, colorful cocktails included.”

-MT

Evan Sung

Kimika

$$$$
JapaneseItalian  in  Nolita
$$$$ 40 Kenmare St

Open for takeout, delivery, indoor dining, and outdoor dining

“Kimika in Nolita falls into the category of Cool Downtown Restaurant To Be Cool At. This place is from the team behind another trendy restaurant on the Lower East Side called Wayla. But unlike many in the CDRTBCA category, both Wayla and Kimika have real substance, and serve inventive, delicious food. Practically all of the Italian-Japanese inspired dishes and drinks I had during my Kimika meal would be worth ordering again, especially the chamomile negroni and the wonton-like pizzette covered in onion jam and silky prosciutto. Bring a date or your check-out-cool-restaurants companion, and be prepared to spend upwards of $50 per person.”

-HA

Hannah Albertine

Mel

$$$$ 1 Ludlow St

Open for takeout on weekends

“Mel on the Lower East Side focuses on artisanally-milled flours and heirloom grain varieties - a sentence that could reasonably induce eye-rolls or outdated Portlandia jokes you make even though they aren’t funny anymore. But bread head or not, it’s easy to love this bakery whose owner spent spring of 2020 diagnosing the ailments of strangers’ sourdough on Instagram. Any of the loaves you try at Mel will be springy to the touch, crusty on the outside, and essential for your at-home lunches. The catch is that they’re only open to the public on weekends, and usually run out of loaves within a few hours of its 8am opening.”

-HA

Bolero

Bolero

$$$$
$$$$ 177 Bedford Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, indoor dining, and outdoor dining

“I recently wrote the guide to The Best Vietnamese Food In NYC, and after visiting dozens and dozens of spots during research, different versions of bánh xèo, bún bò Huế, and beef phở began blending together. And then I went to Bolero. From ’60s Vietnamese radio hits that play from the speakers and the greenery-filled backyard, to a shot and beer combo that comes with a boiled fertilized duck egg, everything about this new-ish spot in Williamsburg feels fun and low-key - except the food. The chefs came from two very high-end restaurants - Blue Hill At Stone Barns and Benu, and it shows in all the dishes. The crispy bánh xèo is topped with house-cured duck prosciutto, the bún bò Huế includes tofu skin torchon, and the Hanoi catfish salad has a thick sesame cracker sticking out of it like a birch tree in a botanical garden. Come here for excellent Vietnamese food with a group.”

-MT

Emily Schindler

Fat Choy

$$$$
$$$$ 250 Broome St

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

“I love vegetables, nuts, and beans, and yet I rarely plan my day around vegan food. Then I met Fat Choy, and that changed. This outdoor and takeout-only spot serves Chinese-inspired dishes, like some perfectly-fried salt and pepper cauliflower bites and rice rolls that leave me feeling like a bottle of olive oil gave me a smooch on the mouth. Stop by Fat Choy’s takeout window for some distinct punk-rock-but-make-it-produce energy, and an excellent take on a sloppy joe: a toasted sesame pancake sandwich filled with hearty mushroom ragu and crisp slaw.”

-HA

Tong

Tong

$$$$
Thai  in  BrooklynBushwick
$$$$ 321 Starr St

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

“Tong’s Thai food is meant to be eaten with drinks, but after two hours of nibbling, I realized I hadn’t even touched my wine. That’s probably because I’m a chronic snacker, and the abundance of small plates for around $15 on the dinner menu made me happier than a toddler with a carabiner full of keys. Sitting along the sidewalk patio at this Bushwick spot, I felt like I was near the ocean even though it’s just a couple of blocks from the Jefferson L. The restaurant’s sliding doors were wide open, and I could see floral print lawn chairs and huge monstera plants from my small wooden patio table outside. And each skewer of charred-octopus tasted like it had gone skinny-dipping in a pool of chili lime sauce the night before. When my short, overnight vacation came to an end, I promised myself I’d be back again for weekend brunch.”

-ND

Chiko

$$$$
$$$$ 954 Manhattan Ave

Open for takeout

“Chiko opened in the fall of 2019 as a tiny chef’s counter serving an intricate, seafood-focused 13-course menu for around $160. After a pandemic-pivot, this Greenpoint spot is now carryout-only, serving Chinese dishes that max out at $15. While I hope Chiko will at some point soon be able to return to its original form, in the meantime I couldn’t be more grateful that my apartment is a few blocks away from this incredible takeout. The rotating menu is tight - with only five dishes, two teas, and bottles of sake - but every single item is worth ordering again (and again and again). So for right now, I’m just trying to get my fill of pork buns, Hakka stir fry, and Sichuan noodle soup with some of the best tofu I’ve ever eaten.”

-KL

Emily Schindler

Soothr

$$$$
$$$$ 204 E 13th St

Open for takeout, delivery, indoor dining, and outdoor dining

“Soothr’s koong karee was the single best takeout dish I ate eaten in 2020. And, yes, you’re correctly assuming that there has been a lot of takeout. The specialty shrimp curry dish from central Thailand has a gooey consistency, and every bite tastes like shrimp paste just called curry powder to say ‘I love you.’ In addition to the koong karee, this Thai restaurant near Union Square makes dishes I haven’t seen elsewhere in Manhattan, like Sukhotthai tom yum noodles that are just as sour as they are meaty and sweet. If good Thai food makes you any degree of emotional, prioritize this East Village restaurant right near Union Square. You should also know that Soothr has a charming backyard that makes the world temporarily feel like one big gazebo.”

-HA

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