Where To Get Dinner On New Year’s Eve
photo credit: Emily Schindler
With the new year approaching, you’ve probably started planning out all of the ways you’re going to become a better person next year. But first, you need to figure out where you’re going to undo your entire life the night before, and what you’re going to eat while doing it.
There are plenty of great places to have your last meal of 2023. You’ll find a mix of early seatings and spots that are open extra late on this list of ticketed, prix-fixe meals, as well as a whole lot of champagne toasting. And because tickets can sell out fast, we've also given you options for regular, a la carte dinners at cool restaurants that will actually be open.
Ticketed Events & Prix-Fixe Menus
In a world where the mere mention of “small plates” induces involuntary eye-rolls, Place des Fêtes still manages to get us excited about their particular brand of petit dining. From December 28 to midnight on the 31st, the Clinton Hill wine bar is cooking up some decadent specials—things like grilled carabineros, lobster with sauce américaine, ribeye with perigord truffle—and an extra-fancy selection of wine. They’ll have seatings as late as 10:30pm on the night of, so you can ring in the New Year with an abundance of champagne and caviar. Reservations open on 12/6.
Are you the sort of person who welcomes the New Year by doing a bunch of shots? Or a new kind of person we made up—who welcomes 2024 by slamming a celebratory scotch egg before the clock strikes 12? Lord’s will be serving their incredible lamb scotch eggs, as part of their a la carte menu of British classics, alongside some festive specials. The Greenwich Village restaurant feels like a cross between a Hogwarts professor’s office and a trendy bar, so it’s one of your coziest options for the night. Reservations are live, with details on Instagram. If you’re more into seafood, Lord’s sister restaurant Dame is also hosting a dinner (info here).
If your resolutions involve going greener next year, consider starting things off early with Avant Garden’s $125 prix fixe. The East Village vegan restaurant is known for things like artichoke toast, and big, meaty chunks of roasted hen of the woods, so we’re sure their six-course, special occasion menu won’t disappoint. And the space, with a hodgepodge of suede, shrubbery, antique wood and vintage fixtures, looks like a speakeasy for fairies and elves. All guests get tickets to their after-party at the Poison Ivy Club until 2am, so your whole night is covered. Reserve a spot in the bar or main dining room here.
If you want to have dinner on the earlier side, Artesano is doing one 5pm seating for their $150 prix-fixe menu. Before you get to party-hopping, stop by for beautiful plates of Peruvian food, decorated with purees, sauces, and other accouterments that each provide a new layer of flavor. With some live music and plenty of pisco sours on hand, you can get your evening started somewhere lowkey before ramping it up for the rest of the night. Make your reservation here.
A good New Year’s Eve involves unabashed hedonism, and that includes everything you put into your body that night. Indulge in it all at Le Crocodile, which has plenty of foie gras, truffle, and lobster in its $165 prix-fixe menu. Located at the bottom of a Williamsburg hotel, the space is borderline palatial, with high ceilings, arched windows, and waiters strolling around in white jackets serving champagne. It’s the perfect place to go all-out with a sparkly outfit. Seatings are from 5-10pm, in either the Cellar or the Dining Room. More info here.
KBBQ restaurant Cote is well-versed in throwing a good party. At $275 for the 5pm seating, and $295 for the 8pm, it’s one of the pricer prix fixes on this list. But with its fancy grills, high-quality meat, and sharply dressed servers, you’ll be getting your money’s worth. The bar will be open later, and you should reserve in advance. The Flatiron space already looks like a nightclub, so it’s the ideal setting for your midnight champagne toast.
There’s been a lot of fanfare around Foxface Natural lately, thanks to their quirky small plates of things like kangaroo tartare and “reassembled eggs.” We don’t know what the East Village restaurant is cooking up for New Year’s, but we’re betting it’s going to be a conversation starter. Tickets are $200 (champagne toast included), and wine pairings are extra. Grab tickets here.
You can get your Gatsby on at a 1920s speakeasy themed party at Grimm Artisanal Ales in East Williamsburg. This spacious tap room has plenty of room for dancing to live music all night, and one of the best rooftops in the neighborhood. And they obviously know a thing or two about drinking, so expect a great selection of beer, cocktails, and Physica wines, as well as light bites provided by their in-house, Connecticut style pizza joint, Lala’s Brooklyn Apizza. Follow their website or Instagram for prices and tickets.
A La Carte
Potluck Club is a Cantonese-American spot that sits on the border of Chinatown and the LES. The fun dining room has faux movie theater displays that also dispense fortune cookies, and a bar lit-up with a sign that says “Here for a good time, not a long time.” Dishes like salt-and-pepper chicken served with chive biscuits and chili crisp jam are special enough for a night out, while also being the kind of things you want to eat every day. As you enjoy the Dole Whip soft serve topped with a bolo bao crumble for dessert, smile about the fact that you're nowhere near Times Square.
Thanks to Sami’s, Astoria can claim some of NYC’s best Afghan food. Their lamb and beef kofta kebabs are worth a trip, and the vinegary leek aushak is a must-order. (You can get a vegetarian version without the lamb gravy.) With large parties sharing big platters of food, you might feel like you're crashing someone's family function here. This place is perfect for all your friends who would rate "putting on a bowtie" dead-last on the list of things they'd want to do on New Year's.
The quintessential UWS restaurant Old John’s Luncheonette reopened in the same 67th Street location, but with a new name and a spruced-up dining room with tons of booths. Come here when you don't feel like changing out of whatever loungewear you're in and want a thick, satisfying burger and a few martinis. This is also a perfect choice if you're looking for a place to bring your children on New Year's because there's a kids menu with grilled cheese and lots of desserts (including homemade ice cream). Despite its revamp, Old John’s has old-school charm—jazz playing over the speakers, staff who have been working there for years—and egg creams at the ready.
The Ops team is behind Leo, a casual and spacious restaurant in Williamsburg, which stands out because it’s not only one of the best pizza spots in the city, but it’s also easy to get into. Granted, New Year's isn't just any day of the year, so we'd recommend that you make a reservation instead of trying to walk in. Leo's tangy sourdough crust is somewhere between a flatter, slightly crispy New York style and a poofy, chewy Neapolitan, and they also have a great caesar salad and soft serve.
You could eat at a "fun" spot that has strobe lights and blasts music, but maybe you're in the mood for something more relaxing. If so, head to Smith & Wollensky, a fixture in Midtown East for over 40 years. It isn’t trying to be anything other than a classic and reliable steakhouse, and that’s exactly what it is. You’ll see white tablecloths, wine bottles stored everywhere, and servers wheeling out plates on carts throughout the large, two-story space. We love the massive juicy prime rib with an intense beefy flavor, but the bone-in, picture-perfect dry-aged filet is even better.
Hwa Yuan is a reboot of a popular Chinatown restaurant that opened in the '60s and closed in the '80s. There are multiple floors with lots of big tables covered in crisp white tablecloths, so it's an ideal choice if you want to ring in the new year with almost everyone you know. Share a whole crispy Peking duck, and don't forget to start with some pork soup dumplings and cold sesame noodles.
Instead of kissing a stranger in front of other strangers, celebrate the year that was 2023 with olive oil cake at L’Artusi in the West Village. Unlike a lot of rustic downtown Italian spots, the decor is modern, with upholstered seating and gray tile floors. Eating here on any day of the year feels special, so it’s a good choice for meals on actually special occasions. Get one of their top-notch pastas, a crudo, and the roasted chicken in a sauce that tastes like pure brown butter.
This Thai restaurant is a Woodside classic, and, after all these years, it’s still a good place to share a large plate of softshell crab with a table of your very best friends (or a few people who you just kinda like) for a very casual, and early New Year's Eve. The large menu doesn’t stick to one region of Thailand, and you should order a bunch of seafood as well as fragrant, fall-apart tender pork leg. Keep in mind that this place is cash-only, and it closes at 8pm.
Nonono is owned by the same people as Ariari, but instead of Korean seafood, this place specializes in Japanese food—specifically yakitori. With exposed pipes and ducts, this Nomad spot feels like eating in someone's industrial loft. Order a ton of different skewers and a few larger plates from the binder-sized menu. Everything comes out quickly, so don’t be surprised when your meal suddenly starts to look more like a banquet. It is New Year’s Eve, after all.
Get a table at this charming Cobble Hill spot with lots of exposed brick for a New Year's feast of Moroccan-Spanish tapas. We love the pine nut almond gazpacho with raw scallops and Galician octopus submerged in citrusy olive oil, but you’re bound to have a memorable meal here whatever you order. Just know that the portions aren't huge, so it can get a little pricey if you're very hungry. Good thing your new year’s resolution to spend less money won't start until the next day.
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 two types of skewers: hanger steak and chicken thigh, both marinated in a sweet-and-smoky sauce. Get them with a side of sticky rice—the garlicky chili sauce 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, which we suspect you might be doing a bit of on New Year's.
We're into the cornbread and fried chicken at this Harlem restaurant, and there are other Southern staples like fried catfish and shrimp and grits on the menu. But you come here mainly because few restaurants in this city feel as alive. The bar area is mobbed, the DJ is spinning funk and soul, and people generally appear to be having a blast. You basically have a ready-made New Year's Eve party as soon as you step in the door.
Cafe Spaghetti serves simple, quality Italian food, and the look of the restaurant fits right in with every other place in Carroll Gardens—there's a very nice backyard with a garden and a baby blue Vespa. Start with the cacio e pepe arancini (their best appetizer), then get the spaghetti pomodoro with tomato-and-basil sauce on handmade pasta. It tastes like your everyday spaghetti if it went through an episode of Rustic Rehab on HGTV.