NYCGuide

New Asian-Owned Restaurants In NYC

The newest Asian-owned spots to check out all around the city.
New Asian-Owned Restaurants In NYC image

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

It’s an exciting time for Asian-owned restaurants in the city, with a lot of firsts in the past year or so. New York’s first Bhutanese restaurant opened in Elmhurst, a Singapore-style hawker market landed in Midtown, and we even got a Korean-Cajun restaurant from a former Top Chef contestant. Here are all the new Asian-owned places you need to know about.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Okiboru House of Tsukemen

Ramen

Lower East Side

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerDining SoloLunchQuick Eats
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If you see a line of people on the sidewalk around Orchard and Delancey, it’s probably for Okiboru. After training in Japan and finding success in Georgia, the owners opened a 20-seat counter in New York where they serve only two items: tsukemen with thick, cold noodles and a gravy-like broth, and tontori ramen with thin noodles and a fatty pork and chicken broth. Both bowls are worth the line, and the line moves fast. Everything about this place seems designed to get you in and out as briskly as possible. You’ll get your food minutes after you order it on your phone, and there’s no alcohol or dessert to stick around for. Stop by Okiboru when you’re eating solo—these noodles and broth deserve your undivided attention.

photo credit: Kate Previte

Lucky for us New Yorkers, we live in a city where even the hardest-to-find food from around the world is only a subway ride away. Thanks to the three owners of Zhego, this now includes New York’s first Bhutanese restaurant. Order ema datsi, the national dish of Bhutan, as well as some cheese-filled momos, and hot, salty butter tea. The atmosphere is casual and colorful, with a giant green wall and photos of, you guessed it, Bhutan. There are only a handful of tables, so come early or be prepared to wait if it’s busy—it’s worth it.

At this casual, BYOB Filipino restaurant in Woodside, you can order any dish and then immediately start dreaming of ordering it again on your next visit. That’s rare. Start with the crispy lumpia, get a sizzling platter of crunchy, creamy milkfish sisig, and a huge portion of deep-fried pork knuckles with thick, crackly skin. Finish with the halo halo, which involves ube ice cream piled with things like beans, gelatin, chunks of banana, and slivers of coconut. Bring a few friends to help you try a bunch of different dishes, and also serve as your backup singers. ​​Familiar pop songs are always playing from the speakers, but you’ll quickly realize this version of “Toxic” is not Britney. (They’re all karaoke covers.)

Husband-and-wife team Junghyun and Ellia Park have added yet another uber-trendy Korean restaurant to a roster that already includes the excellent Atoboy and Atomix. Seoul Salon takes the concept of a Korean sool-jib and transforms it into a sceney pregame spot fit for Koreatown, New York. Like your typical sool-jib, this Koreatown spot pairs drinks with the ideal drinking foods—think big bowls of spicy beef with ramyun, and salted octopus over rice. Whether you spend your night in the back dining room or buzzy bar up front, this place is a great option for food and drinks before an after-hours karaoke session.

A group of childhood friends opened Potluck Club in 2022 with the explicit goal of preserving Chinatown’s legacy. Growing up in New York, they soaked in whatever bits of Hong Kong culture they could through their parents and the movies—which might explain why there’s a marquee in the middle of the restaurant above a bar that could double as an old-timey theater snack counter. But instead of popcorn and nachos, you can get salt and pepper chicken on a scallion biscuit, jellyfish tiger salad, and Dole Whip with bolo bao crumble. Don’t sleep on the whip. The Potluck Club team also owns Milk and Cream Cereal Bar on Mott Street, so you can trust them with your dessert course.

photo credit: The Office of Mr. Moto

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High-end sushi restaurants have a habit of naming themselves after the head chef, but there is no Mr. Moto behind this sushi speakeasy. This omakase counter is actually owned by the people behind East Village restaurants TabeTomo and Tomokase. They created the Mr. Moto character as a 19th century bon vivant, and you’ll receive an email from him with a code to crack before you arrive. The 21-course meal ($180) is focused on hyper-seasonal seafood that you won’t find at other spots in this price range. After dinner, take your date to the lounge for drinks. There’s a vintage player piano there that we suspect is being played by the ghost of Mr. Moto himself.

It took a few hundred years, but this city finally has the Cajun spot it deserves. So why is it on this guide? Because Kjun serves Cajun dishes with a subtle Korean twist. Top Chef alum Chef Jae Jung cooked in some venerable kitchens in the Big Easy before opening up this small, super casual restaurant in Murray Hill. Apart from the colorful beads on every table, this place looks like a fairly generic lunch spot where you’d eat at a high-top with your headphones in, but the fusion dishes feel like Mardi Gras in your mouth. You’ll see Chef Jung  walking around the room, mingling with guests like she’s hosting a dinner party. Ask her about the inspiration behind the seafood jjajangmyun. The fried seafood and noodle dish is the best mashup on the menu.

At first glance, Kru might seem like a run-of-the-mill “cool” restaurant in Williamsburg. It’s got all the mood lighting and tasteful botanical details you’d expect around these parts, but this is more than just another trendy Thai place. Kru specializes in show-stopping reinterpretations of centuries-old Thai recipes, landing them a top spot on our list of must-try Thai restaurants. Kru’s success isn’t surprising—the restaurant was opened by Fish Cheeks co-founder Ohm Suansilphong and his wife Kiki Supap, a third-generation dessert maker. Their combined expertise is evident in signature dishes like a beef head curry with the kind of heat that’ll send you on a psychedelic trip, and its delightful antidote: an icy peach melba served with fermented rice ice cream.

photo credit: Jacob Williamson

Urban Hawker image

Urban Hawker

$$$$

Midtown is now home to Urban Hawker, NYC’s first Singapore-style hawker food hall. The project was initially conceived in part by Anthony Bourdain, who enlisted entrepreneur KF Seetoh to help pursue his dream of delivering Hainanese chicken rice and spicy chili crab to New Yorkers who don’t have their own travel TV shows. The food hall hosts 17 vendors, many of whom came straight from Singapore. Check out our list of favorites, then eat your way through Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and the rest of Southeast Asia.

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