NYCReview

photo credit: Kate Previte

Zhego image
8.5

Best New Restaurants

2023

Zhego NYC

Bhutanese

WoodsideQueens

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerImpressing Out of TownersLiterally Everyone
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Zhego is a little restaurant with a big heart. There are just a few tables, and the kitchen is tiny, but this Bhutanese restaurant is proof that a whole lot can happen in a small space. There's the infectious enthusiasm of the staff, the flavors that buzz in your brain for weeks, and the way you can bond with strangers because their table is only two feet away from yours—we imagine it's all a little like being in Bhutan, the small Himalayan country that’s often ranked the happiest in the world by people who rank these things.

There's no doubt everyone in the photos on Zhego’s walls looks relaxed in a way that New Yorkers can only dream about, maybe because Bhutan makes policy decisions based on its Gross Happiness Index. A meal at Zhego will instantly improve your Gross Happiness Index, so if a trip to the mountain kingdom isn’t in the cards, this is the next best thing.

Zhego image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Zhego image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Zhego image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Zhego image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Zhego image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Zhego image
Zhego image
Zhego image
Zhego image
Zhego image

Get an order of ema datsi, a pan-fried tangle of chili peppers and cheese that is the country's national dish. If you’re feeling indecisive about the rest of your meal, Zhego's staff will help you put together an optimal order of momos, stir-fried, stewed, and cheesy dishes. Hearing them talk about the food makes its arrival all the more exciting. While you wait, get a round of hot butter tea, which is more like a sipping broth than a sweet milk tea. 

Because Zhego is so small, you might have to wait for a table during peak dinner hours, so come early. It's worth it, even if you have to hang out on the sidewalk watching other people emerge blissed-out and full of cheese momos.

Food Rundown

Zhego image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Ema Datsi

Zhego’s version of the national dish of Bhutan is a melange of hot green chili peppers and gooey melted cheese. Get a couple orders if you’re with a crowd.

Zhego image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Cheese Momo

Cheese is a central ingredient in a lot of Bhutanese cuisine, and that includes momos. The round vegetable-and-cheese filled variety here come with an especially spicy dipping sauce that complements the milder filling.

Shakam Paa

Beef jerky aficionados: this dish of air-dried beef cooked with red chili, vegetables, and lots of aromatics is the kind of thing you won’t be able to stop eating.

Zhego image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Goep Paa

Thick, honeycombed sheets of beef tripe are cooked with chili, ginger, garlic, and numbing sichuan pepper. The overload of textures and flavors make this one of our favorite tripe dishes in NYC.

Zhego image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Puta

This egg-and-buckwheat noodle dish might look mild, but it gets a serious kick from sichuan peppercorns. It’s subtle with a spicy side.

Hand-Pulled Noodles

Sichuan pepper shows up in a few places on Zhego’s menu, but really shines in this rustic, hand-pulled noodle dish. Save this one for last, because it will blast your palate—but you’ll enjoy every minute.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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