Summer is officially here, but before you throw your phone in the ocean or go on some sort of summer-long road trip, make sure you take care of doing the one truly important thing every New Yorker has to do before getting down with summer: eating and drinking at all 18 of the best restaurant and bar openings of spring.
Making everything to order, this spot from the lord of pastries gets outside the cronut comfort zone, creating new cravings for your sweet tooth like three-layered fluffy, flaky mille feuille, lemon yuzu butter tart, and non-sweets like the EGG-clipse, which is squid ink brioche, two confit egg yolks, garlic mashed potatoes, and mushroom béchamel.
This beauty of a spot features a massive oval bar, around which summery Portuguese eats get served, including Manila clams (with vinho verde, garlic, and cilantro), grilled green asparagus (with dried sea urchin, sorrel, and walnut), and shrimp porridge with a soft hen egg, parsley, and chili pepper.
It's an all-breakfast sandwich restaurant. It's. An. All-breakfast sandwich. Restaurant.
With an invigorating indoor/outdoor feel thanks to the corner position of this (sometimes) windowless Mexican spot, you’ll feel great about starting your night here with pitchers of margaritas, guac, and all manner of regional Mexican eats.
Lower East Side
Mathieu Palombino’s new spot on the Bowery is keeping it classic bistro with the likes of steak frites, steak tartare, hanger steak, and, um, probably some other great non-steak things, but we totally got distracted.
Korean shared plates -- including slow-cooked pork belly with kimchi and buttery rice with braised beef shank, pickled daikon, mushrooms, and shishito peppers -- are on hand at this bright spot from two Seoul restaurant scene vets.
Get only-great cocktails like the Surfliner (navy-strength rum, allspice dram, blue Curaçao, orgeat, fresh lime juice, pineapple juice, and bitters) and next-NEXT-level bar bites like smoked shrimp at this buzzy new cocktail bar.
This Latin-inspired spot from Ivy Mix and Julie Reiner is bringing it with cocktails like the Tia Mia (with mezcal, rum, lime juice, orgeat syrup, Curaçao liqueur) and eats that include tequila shrimp arepas (!) and Colombian papas rellenas.
Brooklyn Navy Yard
Due to a change in NY laws they can ply you with cocktails at the distillery now, and even better, they have 11 picnic tables, those string lights that you always like, and a rotating selection of food partners, cornhole tournaments, and music. It’s difficult to get to, but it’s worth it.
This outdoor restaurant from the team behind L’Apicio and dell’anima opened up at the Highline Hotel and it’s rocking some rustic Italian like fluke crudo with mint, pineapple, and aleppo and meatballs Amatriciana with polenta, plus delicious aperitivo drinks like a frozen Negroni and the Isola Privata with tequila, watermelon, Cocchi Rosa, and Dolin Blanc.
The Franny’s folks come in hot (in the same space as their former Marco’s) with Rose's, which is less Italian and more classic American bar & grill, with options like a simple, excellent cheeseburger, spit-roasted pork, and egg sandwiches.
Long Island City
The fact that this physical space was the setting for some of the final scenes of Cocktail should be reason enough to head here for a drink (I can’t be the only Cocktail fan, come on!), but, no, it's giving you EVEN MORE reasons, including solid neighborhood bar food like “secret recipe” meatballs, Cubano mac ’n cheese with roast pork, pickle, and ham, and a “Ponzi” burger with pepper Jack and bacon that you’re supposed to buy for someone else every time you get one. Most. Delicious. Scheme. Ever.
The DJ team behind Mister Sunday (Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin) just opened this massive backyard heaven on the Queens/Brooklyn border. There will be ping-pong and bocce ball. There will be beer-braised brats and pulled pork sandwiches. You will be there.
Lower East Side
This second effort from the team behind the renowned Contra is doing things a la carte, and by things we mean pork shoulder Milanese with gribiche, radishes with seaweed butter, and littleneck clams on toast with spinach and lardo.
This classically styled Sicilian joint gives you pretty much everything you want from an Italian spot including quartinos of red or white wine and plates of Sicilian street food like arancina and sausage meatballs, plus entrees like lamb loins with fava beans and gnocchi with cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and sage.
David Chang’s entry into the fast-casual world comes in the form of a solid chicken sandwich; lines are likely to be a buzzkill here, but we encourage you to give it a go anyway. Maybe download these to your phone while you wait?
Opened by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, this wine bar focuses on natural wines and has a huge number of them available. It also has a nice selection of eats including a pork shank to share, charcuterie, or toasted almond ice cream.
Past the various shelves stocked with rustic knickknackery like snakebite kits, knives, and old books about cooking, foraging, and NYC is a very serious pastrami operation and sandwich shop doing some crazy-cool stuff like smoking eels from its live eel tank, coldsmoking the shit out of everything (get the smoked butter and cockles), and curing its own meats. Also, don’t sleep on the pastrami hot dog.
You don’t know how to surf, and flying on a plane for a billion hours is a nightmare, so opt instead to snatch just a little bit of Hawaii that doesn’t involve any of the other crap at this spot with bites like Spam agnolotti, bigeye tuna poke, and pineapple-braised pork belly.
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1. Dominique Ansel Kitchen137 7th Ave S, New York City
2. Lupulo835 Avenue of the Americas, New York
3. BEC148 8th Ave, New York
4. Rosie's29 E 2nd St, New York
5. La Gamelle241 Bowery, New York
6. Oiji119 1st Ave, New York
7. Leyenda221 Smith St, Brooklyn
8. Alta Linea180 10th Ave, New York
9. Rose’s295 Flatbush Ave, New York
10. Station LIC10-37 Jackson Ave, New York
11. Nowadays56-06 Cooper Ave, Queens
12. Wildair142 Orchard St, New York
13. Sessanta60 Thompson St, New York
14. Fuku163 1st Ave, New York
15. The Four Horsemen295 Grand St, Brooklyn
16. Harry & Ida’s Meat and Supply Co.189 Avenue A, New York
17. Noreetuh128 1st Ave, New York
18. Grand Army336 State St, Brooklyn
Known for being king of the cronut, Dominique Ansel's West Village branch mixes sweet and savory. Try the mille feuille or the lemon yuzu butter tart, if you have a sweet tooth. For something more savory, the restaurant offers the fancy squid ink brioche as well as classic garlic mashed potatoes.
The first thing you notice about Lupulo is how gorgeous it is -- there are blue tile-lined walls, hardwood floors, and a huge U-shaped bar serving craft beer, Portuguese wine, and speciality cocktails until close. The rustic Portuguese restaurant from Chef George Mendes' (the chef behind Michelin-starred Aldea) is inspired by Lisbon's cervejarias (breweries), and though the beer list -- featuring domestic and international varieties -- is obviously excellent, the food is something else. The menu is seafood-heavy with understated but impressive dishes like spicy chicken Piri Piri, squid ink rice with clams and blood sausage, and wood-grilled sardines.
Here, you can get your hands on all kinds of breakfast sandwiches, including a "fresh take" on the classic bacon, egg, and cheese.
Housed in the bright window-walled corner of 2nd and 2nd, Rosie's centers around a central grill and serves up authentic, regional Mexican dishes like tlacoyo (fava-filled masa cakes), brisket tostadas, Veracruz-style octopus salad, and pork ribs stew with plantain, pineapple, olives, raisins, and almonds. The margaritas are equally worth your attention, particularly the namesake version, which is made with mezcal and serrano-infused tequila.
In the space that once housed his Bowery Diner, and then the pop-up/prelude to this restaurant Chez Jef, Mathieu Palombino has now unleashed this French brasserie with all the goods you’d want in something like that, including pot au feu, steak frites, and duck confit with sweet garlic mashed potatoes, mushroom jus, and frisee. Okay, almost all the goods you'd want (sorry, frisee).
From two Seoul restaurant scene vets, this intimate East Village spot serves seriously impressive Korean fare. The small plates formats means you can try a little bit of everything, like warm honey butter chips and slow-cooked oxtail and pork belly. You won't really know what you're eating but you won't care because it's so good.
Julie Reiner -- the mastermind behind Clover Club and Flatiron Lounge -- and her protégé Ivy Mix, bring you Leyenda, a “pan-Latin” cocktail spot that specializes in spirits from Central and South America: mezcal, rum, tequila, pisco, cachaca, sotol, and raicilla. The menu offers both traditional cocktails and creative concoctions that are legendary -- which is what Leyenda translates to in Spanish. Alongside the cocktails, they have standard Latin food on the menu, cooked up by the acclaimed Chef Sue Torres. With its gold tin ceiling adorned with crosses and cathedral-pew booth seating, the decor matches the overall authentic vibe.
From the team behind L’Apicio and dell’anima, Alta Linea takes al fresco dining to the next-level in the garden courtyard of the High Line Hotel. The emphasis is on Italian aperitivi, aka pre-dinner cocktails and appetizers, so expect an all-Italian wine list, negronis, and aperol spritz. The food menu revolves around small bites like bruschetta, burrata, and grilled vegetables, but there are also a few entrées.
In the same space as the former Marco’s, the team that brought you Franny's has now created Rose's, a less Italian and more classic American tavern and cocktail outfit. Simple and excellent cuisine like cheeseburgers, spit-roasted pork, and egg sandwiches are all on offer, and they pair perfectly with inventive takes on traditional cocktails like the Burro of Brooklyn, a Moscow Mule made with house-cured "cranberry moonshine."
This trendy neighborhood bar has a vague 20th century train station theme going on that we're totally into. Plus it has a solid casual bar food menu with “secret recipe” meatballs, Cubano mac ’n cheese with roast pork, pickle, and ham, and a “Ponzi” burger with pepper Jack and bacon that you’re supposed to buy for someone else every time you get one. Most. Delicious. Scheme. Ever.
The DJ team behind Mister Saturday Night (Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin) opened up this HUGE outdoor space just over Bushwick's border in Queens. There's pingpong, good food (for carnivores and vegans alike), beer, wine, sangria, open space... It's basically like being at a backyard party. Except the backyard is huge and more awesome than any backyard you've ever seen.
From Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske of Contra, Wildair is a sophisticated wine bar/eatery featuring polished slate countertops, vintage bottles, cocktails, and artisanal spirits. Get comfortable, grab a seat at one of the high tables, and be sure to order the bread and olive oil, which goes perfectly with the beef tartare complete with smoked cheddar and chestnuts.
Sessanta serves up southern Italian food in an impeccably designed space inside the SIXTY Soho Hotel. Look out for well-executed pasta dishes, like a beautifully al dente and tangy spaghetti pomodoro, alongside larger mains like pork chop and branzino. To top off, quartinos of red or white wine, or a weekly sommelier pick, will ensure you have the luxe coastal Italian experience with none of the jetlag.
David Chang’s fast-casual chicken sandwich shop features one of the county's best fried bird numbers, featuring chicken thighs brined and marinated in a habanero puree that’s later coated in buttermilk and spices, then fried crispy, and finally, served in a Martin’s potato roll with pickles and house-made butter.
This wine bar, which was opened by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, focuses on natural wines and has a huge number of them available. It also has a solid selection of eats to pair with your vino like pork shank to share, charcuterie, or toasted almond ice cream.
This is a very serious pastrami (and just sandwiches in general) operation semi-masquerading as a knickknack shop. They're doing some crazy cool stuff like smoking eels from their live eel tank, cold smoking the shit out of everything else (try the smoked butter and cockles), and curing their own meats.
Noreetuh is casual in atmosphere but serious in its Hawaiian inspired cuisine. Like the fare you would find on the islands, the menu here is a coming together of Filipino, Japanese and Korean influences, and the result is fantastic.
Take the unpretentious attitude of a neighborhood bar, New York food and drink veterans, a cocktail-and-seafood focused menu, and the result is Grand Army in Boerum Hill. The team, which includes heavy hitters from Prime Meats, Rucola, Mile End, and Alder, delivers a reliable roster of oysters and out-of-this-world cocktails that, unsurprisingly, taste best at happy hour.