Everywhere You Need to Eat in NYC Right Now

If it’s your first time dining out in a while, put these restaurants at the top of your list.

As You Are
As You Are | Photo by Jordan Strong
As You Are | Photo by Jordan Strong

Now that it’s been months since NYC’s COVID-related dining mandates have been lifted, chances are, if you haven’t yet already, you might be hankering to go eat in an actual dining room again. And after what felt like an eternity of quarantining due to the pandemic, know that you’re not alone—because restaurants all over the city are bustling more than ever.

With autumn here and the holidays fast approaching, we’re absolutely in support of going out to live it up at restaurants. In addition to celebrated favorites like Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, and Momofuku Ssam Bar returning to life, against all odds, an exciting new crop of eateries continue to help maintain NYC’s standing as one of the best dining destinations out there. But take note, many restaurateurs continue to face challenges like a shortage of employee applicants and rising food costs, so expect smaller and more curated menus at some places, along with incremental price increases at others.

When dining out, we ask that you always be kind, tip generously, and be respectful of regulations that can differ by each establishment. No matter your price point or preferred ambiance, there’s a gem for everyone here on this list. Here are the 30 best restaurants to eat in NYC right now.

Due to the mandated Key to NYC program, proof of a single dose of a vaccine for COVID-19 is required to dine indoors at NYC restaurants. Please be ready to present your documentation upon entering an establishment.
As You Are
Chicken liver | Photo by Jordan Strong

As You Are

Boerum Hill

The gist: After opening its doors in Boerum Hill this past summer, the Ace Hotel Brooklyn debuted its all-day ground-floor restaurant just last month. Located at the nexus of several neighborhoods, at As You Are, chef Ryan Jordan (John Dory, The Breslin) uses the locale as inspiration to offer a new American menu saluting the culinary flair of its home borough. Pastry chef Daniel Alvarez (Dominique Ansel New York, Daily Provisions) oversees the desserts program at this stylish eatery and also offers his baked goods in the mornings at 7:30 am daily with a bakery counter that includes must-trys like a black & white donut and pastel de nata. A breakfast service with Old Fashioned pancakes and brown rice porridge is set to launch on November 1.
The food: New American cuisine with a Brooklyn twist within a stylish hotel restaurant. Starters include chicken liver and onion on sweet bay leaf and almond madeleines; crispy brussels sprouts with sauce gribiche; baked claims with a house hot sauce; and Maplebrook burrata with verjus poached pear. Mains include the signature octopus mezcal ragu with house made radiatore; pan roasted skate with blood orange; confit lamb ribs with chili crip; and a short rib burger made on a house made english muffin. Desserts include toasted oat ice cream with toffee hot sauce and a chocolate layer cake with raspberry hibiscus sorbet. Choose from signature cocktails like the Love, Brooklyn (basil vodka, sherry, almond) and No Sleep Tonight (tequila, spiced pear liqueur).
The cost: Starters are $8-19, mains are $16-36, sides are $9-12, and desserts are $9-12. Signature cocktails are $16-18, wines by the glass are $12-17, and beer is $8-12.

Sereneco
Grilled prawns | Photo by Briana Balducci

Sereneco

Greenpoint

The gist: This all-day restaurant in Greenpoint is just shy of being over a month old and serves new American fare by executive chef Dennis Hong (Lincoln, Le Bernardin). While Sereneco is located in the historic Pencil Factory building that dates back a century, the space inside is modern, airy, and bright and boasts gorgeous 20-foot ceilings with skylights and a 25-foot white-oak bar that also has outlets to charge any gadgets. When it comes to the menu, it too features contemporary elements through hearty seasonal dishes that highlight vegetables and familiar classics in offerings like whipped ricotta, ratatouille, and braised short rib. In the mornings and throughout the day, go for pastries, sandwiches, and more that can be ordered via a special take-out window. A special happy hour runs Tuesday to Friday from 5:30 pm-7 pm, and their much anticipated brunch service launches this weekend.
The food: Hearty new American fare with contemporary elements highlighting vegetables and familiar classics. Smaller plates include whipped ricotta with honey and house-made focaccia; veal meatballs with romesco sauce; and grilled prawns with salsa verde. A dedicated vegetable section includes garnet yams with pistachio and mint; and ratatouille with squash, eggplant, and basil. Large plates include the braised short ribs with glazed baby carrot and pearl onions; roasted chicken crispy fingerling potatoes; and seared arctic char with English peas and chorizo. Signature cocktails from owner/beverage director Billy Van Dolsen include the Pencil Pusher, an homage to its locale made with mezcal, vermouth, and espelette pepper.
The cost: Smaller plates are $8-20, vegetable dishes are $9-14, and larger plates are $19-34. Signature cocktails

Available for Reservations
Intersect By Lexus
Striped bass escovitch | Photo courtesy of Compère Lapin at Intersect By Lexus

The gist: The rotating restaurant-in-residence program at Intersect By Lexus recently just welcomed their seventh participating talent: the James Beard Award-winning chef Nina Compton of the famed Compère Lapin in New Orleans. Here in the Meatpacking District, chef Compton’s menu delivers Big Easy flavors rooted in her Caribbean heritage with a menu featuring ingredients from the Gulf Coast. Inside the sleek second floor space with a drinking destination named The Lounge downstairs, opt for the Taste of Two Creole’s tasting menu or order dishes a la carte that include offerings like deviled eggs, crispy pig ears, and hot fire chicken before ending your meal with the must-try beignets for dessert.
The food: New Orleans-inspired dishes created by a distinguished NOLA chef. Snacks include buttermilk chive biscuits with honey bacon butter; deviled eggs; hush puppies with cilantro crema; and crispy pig ears with smoked aioli. Small plates include Louisiana barbecue shrimp with chervil; guava tamarind glazed pork belly with pickled mango; and the stuffed crab with uni butter. Large plates include spice roasted duck with foie butter and sour cherry jus; black bass escovitch with carrot beurre blanc; curried goat with sweet potato gnocchi; and hot fire chicken for two with red beans and rice. Choose from desserts like beignets with pecan buttercream and rhum caramel; and soursop semifreddo with coconut. Signature cocktails include the Chairman’s Nightcap (banana, Creole bitters) and the Macondo (tequila, aperol, mango).
The cost: Snacks are $8-13, small plates are $18-29, and large plates are $35-88. Desserts are $13-14, signature cocktails are $17-19, $15-25, and beer is $7-10.

Available for Reservations

Café Salmagundi

Irving Place

The gist: Opened last summer, the Victorian vibes of Irving Place in Gramercy Park have an exciting dining destination from the team behind Korean gastropub Osamil. Highlighting new American cuisine with accents of Korean flavors, Café Salmagundi is a self-proclaimed love letter to its historic neighborhood—and especially for anyone who endured the pandemic while in town—and features seasonal ingredients from the nearby Union Square Farmers Market. Here, enjoy quality food along with a cocktail program designed by Gelo Honrade (Osamil, Jeepney) inside the dining room or at one of the covetable sidewalk tables that’s ideal for people-watching to anyone again braving the dating game.
The food: New American with accents of Korean flavors. Expect starters like crispy calamari with house made tartar sauce; the signature double-fried wings; an oyster pancake with chives; and gambas with piquillo pepper, bamboo shoots, and bird’s eye chili. Oh, and don’t sleep on the hand-cut Korean sweet potato fries with jalapeno mayo dip. Large plates and mains include a steak platter with kalbi gravy and truffle aioli; slow roasted pork belly with apricot and mustard sauce; calamari and clams with lemongrass; and an uni bowl with quinoa, kimchi, and perilla. Signature cocktails include The Irving (scotch, vermouth, and local honey), in addition to favorites like a penicillin, mezcal negroni, and Pimm’s Cup.
The cost: Small dishes, appetizers, and salads are $8-24, and shared dishes and bowls are $25-32. Cocktails are $17, draft beers are $9, and wines by the glass are $14-16.

Available for Reservations
Carne Mare
Photo by Nicole Franzen

Carne Mare

Seaport

The gist: On those days when you want to go big with a decadent meal—which we are all deserving of right now—head to Carne Mare. This two-story Italian steakhouse in Seaport opened this summer and is the latest restaurant from chef Andrew Carmellini and his NoHo Hospitality Group (Locanda Verde, Bar Primi, The Dutch). With a menu from chef de cuisine Brendan Scott (Lafayette), go for drinks or to eat solo at the ground floor dining room’s gorgeous horseshoe bar, or work your way up the grand spiral staircase to the second floor for banquettes and views of the East River. But no matter where you’re planted, prepare yourself for a full-throttle chophouse experience with an array of steaks and meat along with Italian specialties.
The food: A swanky Italian steakhouse with an abundance of steaks, chops, and luxury. Choose from chophouse snacks like grilled oysters, King crab lettuce cups, and a signature pairing of mozzarella sticks and caviar, in addition to tartare and carpaccio dishes like yellowfin tuna or Spanish octopus. Salads and pasta include the house wedgini and tableside farmer’s salad. Steaks and chops include prime boneless ribeye, pasture-raised rack of lamb, 30-day dry aged tomahawk, 45-day dry-aged porterhouse, wagyu, and a special porchetta-spiced roast prime rib. Additional mains include Italian specialities like salt-baked black sea bass wrapped in fig leaves; Milanese cowboy veal chop with charred lemon; spicy lobster spaghetti; and whole roast duck d’Ivan with mustard fruits and roasted potatoes. Pair it with signature cocktails like the Granita (Campari, grapefruit, limoncello, prosecco) or Alpino (vodka, blackberry, alpine amaro, limonata).
The cost: Raw bar and starters are $4-28, salads are $16-20, and sides are $13-17. Steaks for one are $36-68, selections for two are $180-215, wagyu cuts are $65-110, and Italian specialties are $39-95. Signature cocktails are $18, beer is $8-11, and wines by the glass are $16-38.

Casa Ora
Courtesy of Casa Ora

Casa Ora

Williamsburg

The gist: Casa Ora’s story is what NYC dreams are made of: Ivo Diaz, a hospitality industry veteran of over 18 years (The Nomad Hotel, Eleven Madison Park, One Hotel Brooklyn Bridge) opens his own restaurant. He bases the menu off childhood Venezulean dishes he loved and appoints his mother, Isbelis Diaz, as executive chef, and his partner, Rachel Diaz Pirard, as pastry chef. A portion of proceeds go to Venezulean families seeking asylum, and the restaurant remains a neighborhood stalwart. Recently, the space was also broken into and damaged with property destruction from three separate break-ins in a single month—a special Violence Relief fund is currently open for donations.
The food: Upscale Venezuelan American cuisine made with a mother’s love. Offerings include varieties of arepitas like shredded beef & cheddar; shredded pork; and curry mayo and tomato black beans. Table snacks and appetizers include bollitos pelones with ground beef & spicy tomato sauce; hallaca; and ceviche with grapefruit, orange, papaya, ginger, and pickled red onion. Entrees include scallops with bursting tomatoes; pabellon with sofrito, and refried rice & beans; and charcoal seared octopus with english peas and a chimichurri vinaigrette. A creative cocktail menu provides plenty of pairing options with signature drinks like the Cantinero (dark and white rum, passion fruit) and Purple Banana (tequila, blue pea tea, banana)
The cost: Snacks and appetizers are $12-$20, and entrees are $26-$38. Cocktails are $15-$17.

Available for Reservations
Chick Chick
Chick Chick | Photo courtesy of Chick Chick

Chick Chick

Upper West Side

The gist: This Upper West Side eatery from owner and chef Jun Park (also of Jun-Men Ramen) doesn’t just limit itself as a Korean fried chicken restaurant, but instead, considers itself as a fried chicken destination in general. At Chick Chick, Korean-inspired items cooked with a batter of 15 spices are crunchy and juicy sans an overtly greasy flavor, and additional menu options include classic American-style dishes along with choices like chicken ramen (are you also seeing the theme here?). If you’re too hungry to share your food, grab one of their counter stools that offer a primetime view of their open kitchen.
The food: Korean fried chicken and more. Korean fried chicken is available in half/whole chicken, wings, and tenders with the option for sauces like Korean sweet gochujang and hot honey. Sandwiches selections include a Nashville hot chicken option; a chicken & French toast item with apple chips and maple bourbon; and the signature Chickwich with Chick Chick sauce. Add on homemade biscuits, truffle fries, salads, ramen, kimchi fried rice, and their latest menu addition: crispy chicken bites in sweet & spicy or honey garlic. Fried chicken sets that go as big as 50 wings with 3 sides are also available. Drinks include soda, draft beer, and bottled beer.
The cost: Korean fried chicken is $8-20, sandwiches are $13-16, sides are $4-10, ramen is $19-23, salads & fried rice are $17-19, and sets run $60-85. Sodas are $3-5, and beer is $8-10.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Dagon
Dagon | Photo courtesy of Dagon

Dagon

Upper West Side

The gist: The menu at restaurateur Simon Oren’s (Nice Matin, Bouillon Marseille, 5 Napkin Burger) latest spot, Dagon, is helmed by executive chef Ari Bokovza (Claudette). Here, Nokovza takes inspiration from his Israeli roots for Mediterranean offerings served inside a dining room with beautiful interiors and ‘70s vintage wallpaper that transports guests to a relaxing seaside home. The extensive wine list includes over 100 varieties from the Mediterranean and head over to their recently launched lunch service for dishes like schnitzel or Dagon Burger made with a blend of brisket and short rib.
The food: Mediterranean-inspired offerings including the flavors of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, and Turkey. Signature mezze includes whipped eggplant, labneh, chicken liver mousse, and Moroccan carrots. Small plates include shish barak (dumplings) with warm yogurt, pine nuts, and spicy herb sauce; and flash fried cauliflower with shishito peppers, olives, and lemon-feta aioli. Entrees include crispy roasted lamb with cucumbers, dates, walnuts, and wild rice; whole charcoal grilled black bass; harissa BBQ chicken with potato sumac puree; and dry aged beef kebabs with creamy stone ground polenta. Desserts include silan; lemon tart; labneh cheesecake; and the Malabi Panna Cotta with rose water and pistachio ice cream.
The cost: Mezze is $10 each or 3 for $25/6 for $36, small plates are $15-25, breads and salads are $4-18, entrees are $31-43, and desserts are $14. Wines by the glass are $14-19, beer is $7-16, cocktails are $15-17, and limonadas are $8.

Available for Reservations
Dante West Village
Dante West Village | Photo by Giada Paoloni

Dante West Village

West Village

The gist: Last summer, the team behind the beloved negroni spot and Greenwich Village bar, Dante, opened a second location further west on Hudson Street, dubbed Dante West Village. As the younger sibling to the MacDougal Street stalwart (that has origins dating back more than a century), Dante West Village differs from its predecessor in its nod to coastal traditions of Southern Italy and Northern Spain. Expertly concocted aperitivos and martinis served in elegant glassware are listed on the menu in categories such as martini hour, spritz selections, and a cosmopolitan collection featuring eight selections like a coconut cosmo or Cosmotini. Pair everything with a seafood-focused straight from a wood-fired grill and charcoal oven, and check out their recently launched breakfast service beginning at 10 am daily.
The food: Mediterranean-inspired dishes with a focus on seafood invoking Northern Spain and Southern Italy. Offerings include small dishes like salmon scottato with endive; Calvisius Oscietra Imperial caviar with traditional garnishes and blinis; and heirloom beet, butternut squash, and baby kale salad. Mains include a dover sole with Calabrian chilli; a signature burger with smoked bacon, gruyere, and beets on a housemade brioche bun; fire roasted organic chicken; and black angus sirloin steak with horseradish cream. For dessert, choose from chocolate mousse, apple galette with vanilla ice cream, or keep the party going with the signature boozy affogato.
The cost: Small plates, salads and raw dishes are $8-36 (and $225 for the caviar), mains are $18-75, sides are $12-14, and desserts are $12-16. Cocktails are $16-18 with a special tableside martini service for 2-4 guests at $64.

Available for Reservations
Dhamaka
Dhamaka | Photo by Peter McDonough

Dhamaka

Lower East Side

The gist: By highlighting dishes from underrepresented regions of India, Dhamaka aims to transform the experience that many New Yorkers have when it comes to eating Indian cuisine. Located just off the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge, this restaurant from chef/partner Chintan Pandya and restaurateur Roni Mazumdar, the duo behind lauded spots Rahi and Adda Indian Canteen, declares itself as an “unapologetic Indian” destination and offers vibrancy in all that they do. From the menu and hand-painted murals inside the dining room, to the dish presentations and colorful cocktails, the restaurant name’s Hindi translation of “explosion” says it all.
The food: Indian cuisine with dishes unlike anywhere else in NYC. Through traditional cooking methods like pressure cookers, clay pots, open fire cooking, and grills, expect snacks like ragda pattice with potato patty, white pea, and green chili; and gurda kapoora with goat kidney & testicles, red onion, and pao. Grilled items include goat belly seekh with coriander and garam masala; and tiger prawns with roasted garlic and black pepper. And for mains, choose from macher jhol made with baby shark, turmeric, and tomatoes; goat neck dum biryani with basmati rice and saffron; or the Rajasthani Khargosh, a whole rabbit special that must be ordered 48 hours in advance.
The cost: Snacks are $11-18, grilled items are $9-21, pulao & biryani are $29-39, mains are $29-34 (and $190 for the rabbit special), and breads/rice/sides are $3-9. Cocktails are $16-18, and beer is $8-12.

Available for Reservations

Don Angie

West Village

The gist: Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito fell in love in the 2010s while working together at restaurants like Park Avenue Summer and Quality Italian in Midtown. Their union eventually led to marriage and working together on projects as a chef-duo at endeavors that include a pasta omakase pop-up and even a speakeasy concept called dinner table, before they returned to the Quality Branded family to open and helm this smash-hit homage to Italian American fare that originally debuted in 2017. Believe it or not, it’s still a notoriously tough table to snag even four years later, and held strong even throughout the industry’s roughest days of the pandemic. And with the recent debut of their first cookbook, Italian American, the West Village eatery continues to be one of the most popular reservations in town.
The food: You’ve likely seen their viral lasagna rolls dish all over your IG feed—and handmade pasta is definitely what Don Angie does best. But you won’t want to miss creative starters like the stuffed garlic flatbread; chrysanthemum salad; and BBQ calamari with pepperoni fried rice and herbed labneh. For pasta, must-trys include the stracchino gnocchi with broccoli rabe; garnarnelli giganti with broken meatball ragu; and sourdough pasta cacciatore with mezcal-braised chicken and nduja. For mains, scope the veal “da Pepi” and chicken scarpariello in addition to the famed lasagna for two.
The cost: Starters and appetizers are $14-20, pasta is $26-29, mains are $29-110, and desserts are $8-12. Wines by the glass are $14-33, signature cocktails are $14-17, American maros are $9, and sweet wines are $15-24.

Available for Reservations
Electric Burrito
Photo courtesy of Electric Burrito

Electric Burrito

East Village

The gist: This fast-casual eatery on St. Marks opened in May and specializes in a local Southern-California style burrito with a signature element: they’re stuffed with French fries (a San Diego specialty). Electric Burrito was born out of the pandemic when Alex Thaboua and Will Wyatt of nearby cocktail spot, Mister Paradise, originally started selling the items from their bar during COVID-19. With a limited number of counter stools and seats on the sidewalk at this brick and mortar now dedicated to the popular fare, the spot has also become a destination for homesick San Diegans.
The food: Southern-California style burritos stuffed with french fries. Go for a California burrito (fries, cheese, pico de gallo) or a conga burrito (beans, rice, crema) with carne asada, carnitas, or pollo asado as the base. A selection of breakfast burritos include egg n’ cheese, veggie, or chorizo; and specialty burritos include shrimp, portobello, and bean n’ cheese. Additional items include tacos, nachos, and carne asada fries. For beverages, inquire about a must-try housemade salsa soda that has limited availability.
The cost: Burritos range from $9-16, tacos are $4-5, and additional items are $11-14.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Gage & Tollner
Gage & Tollner | Photo by Lizzie Munro

Gage & Tollner

Downtown Brooklyn

The gist: After a 13-month delay due to COVID-19, Gage & Tollner in Downtown Brooklyn made its highly anticipated debut this April. The legendary oyster and chop house’s origins date back to 1879, and its revival is brought to you by veteran restaurateurs Sohui Kim and Ben Schneider (the wife-and-husband duo behind The Good Fork and Insa), and St. John Frizell (Fort Defiance). Inside a space that stuns with its Gilded Age glory, use an evening here as a reason to get dressed up for a night out and prepare for some prime people-watching of your fellow diners within the intimate dining room—all the while enjoying a menu of seafood platters, steaks, and much more.
The food: Classic steakhouse fare with modern touches and an old-school opulence (and a stellar martini menu) to match. Think raw oysters, chilled Maine lobster, and towering seafood platters as starters, followed by oysters Rockefeller, crab cakes, chicken liver pate, pillowy house rolls, and a wedge salad. Mains include seafood like roasted skate and hearty options such as pork pot pie, fried chicken, and shrimp scampi. Steaks and chop include t-bone sirloin, bone-in ribeye, NY strip, a braised pork shank, or roasted honeynut squash for plant-forward eaters. Add on sides like creamed spinach, cornmeal fritters, and the butter roasted hash brown before finishing it off with desserts like coconut cake; malted milk and dark chocolate torte; or the baked alaska from pastry chef Caroline Schiff.
The cost: Raw bar and appetizers are $8-$85 (and $255 for the seafood royale), sides are $7-16, entrees are $27-42, steaks are $32-MP, and desserts are $6-17. A dedicated martini selection comes in at $18 each; and stirred cocktails, smashes, sours, cobblers, and long drinks are $16. Beer is $5-8, and wines by the glass are $13-30.

Available for Reservations
Golden Diner
Photo by Marcus Lloyd

Golden Diner

Two Bridges

The gist: At this spot from chef Sam Yoo (Torrisi Italian Specialties, Momofuku Ko), nostalgic diner classics with an Asian twist and renditions inspired by its Chinatown neighborhood are served up in a picturesque location below the Manhattan Bridge. Known for its casual atmosphere and especially popular with a stylish young crowd, Yoo’s talents made it a James Beard Award semifinalist in 2020 for Best New Restaurant, and in addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, check their IG on the regular for special collabs with different eateries and industry talent. Also, the restaurant suffered a setback this past summer due to a fire in its kitchen and was forced to temporarily close. While Golden Diner has since reopened, a special Fire Fundraiser is currently open for donations.
The food: An “Asian Diner” rooted in NYC classics with influences from its Chinatown neighborhood. Offerings include breakfast items like the popular (and must-try) honey butter pancakes; Chinatown egg and cheese sando with soft scrambled eggs; Thai tea tres leches coffee cake; Matzo ball soup; and a breakfast burrito with pico de gallo. Mains for lunch and dinner include a vegan caesar salad; Korean fried chicken wings; a chicken katsu club with bulldog sauce; vegan nachos; and the signature Golden cheeseburger with mushroom gochujang sauce. Rotating chef’s specials for dinner service are often available with the current selection being a blood sausage salad with perilla leaves, honey crisp apples, and gochujang vinaigrette. Pair everything with cocktails based on Korean liquors like a bloody mary with soju or a makgeolli horchata; wine, beer, and Korean spirits.
The cost: Entire food menu is $7-17 with chef’s specials priced at $22. Coffee, freshly squeezed juices, and soft drinks go up to $6; cocktails are $12-13, beer is $5-9, and Korean spirits and wines by the glass are $12-40.

Available for Reservations
Jolene
Photo by Eric Medsker

Jolene

NoHo

The gist: The latest addition to restaurateur Gabe Stulman’s esteemed portfolio of NYC restaurants is Jolene in NoHo. Located on Great Jones Street (in the former space of his previous eatery, The Jones, in addition to the iconic Great Jones Cafe), this spot’s name is similar to Stulman’s other restaurants inspired by matriarchs (Perla, Fedora) and pays homage to awesome human being, artist, and philanthropist: Dolly Parton. Here, partner and executive chef James McDuffee serves a menu of American bistro dishes with influences of Parisian cafes. Like other Stulman restaurants, expect a fashionable crowd of fellow diners and take in the beautiful views of its Downtown Manhattan street. Friday lunch service and weekend brunch are also now available.
The food: American bistro dishes with the charm of Parisian cafes. Snacks include creamy arancini with taleggio and calabrian chili; and country style pate. Vegetables and appetizers include roasted carrots with crispy chickpeas; lamb tartare with preserved egg yolk, capers, and warm toast; and head-on whole shrimp with fresno chili butter. Entrees include chicken milanese with artichokes and lemon aioli; brisket and short rib steak frites; tuna crusted with pesto and breadcrumbs; and the signature cheeseburger with crispy shallots and tomato jam. Pair everything with natural wine, beer, and cocktails like the Dirty Jolene, a play off a dirty martini.
The cost: Snacks are $6-16, vegetables and appetizers are $15-19, and entrees are $20-32. Cocktails are $15-19, wines by the glass are $13-18, and beer and cider is $6-8.

Available for Reservations
Kimika
Photo by Evan Sung

Kimika

Nolita

The gist: Well-executed Japanese-Italian mashup dishes are the focus at Kimika, a Nolita restaurant led by executive chef Christine Lau. Bringing over 15 years of industry experience and opened by Rivers and Hills Hospitality Group—the team behind places such as homestyle Thai spot, Wayla—the dishes here successfully captivate with a delicious approach to an oft-attempted (and oft-failed) cuisine hybrid. When enjoying your meal, don’t be surprised if one of their signature dishes, the crispy rice cake lasagna, looks familiar, as it’s been an IG hit since the spot opened last summer. And don’t miss out on must-try desserts like Yakult soft serve and Baked Alaska from pastry chef Clarice Lam.
The food: The focus here is Japanese-Italian dishes made with locally sourced and seasonal produce. Offerings include a pizzette fritte section of dedicated flatbreads with toppings like burrata, mortadella, or prosciutto. Small plates include the signature tuna tartare with spicy mayo or stuffed shishito peppers with pickled onions. Choose from various pasta and rice dishes like soy butter bigoli with baby leeks and shallot gremolata; cavatelli with pork ragu and buffalo ricotta; and the crispy rice cake lasagna with sweet Italian sausage and provolone. Large plates include eggplant katsu; porchetta with crispy pork belly and miso mustard; and ribeye with sesame ponzu and wasabi chutney. Signature cocktails include the Eastside Haiku (vodka, italicus bergamotto, butterfly pea flower) and Vertical Dream (citrus liqueur, sherry, cherry liqueur).
The cost: Snacks, small plates, and sides are $5-29, pizzette fritte and pastas/rice are $21-27, and mains are $24-52. Cocktails, beer, wine, and sake by the glass are $8-16.

Available for Reservations
Kokomo
Photo courtesy of Kokomo

Kokomo

Williamsburg

The gist: Wife-and-husband duo Ria and Kevol Graham have created a tropical paradise of sorts near the Williamsburg waterfront with Kokomo, a restaurant focused on Pan-Caribbean flavors. Since opening last summer, the spot’s bright energy and vibrant menu items have made it a popular addition to its local dining scene. With Ria’s industry background in Caribbean restaurants and Kevol’s hospitality experience in events of over 13 years, from decor to menu, the culinary destination they’ve created continues to be a much needed (and appreciated) place of celebration for New Yorkers.
The food: “A tasting tour across the Caribbean” with Latin, French, Asian, and African influences. Starters include seafood fritters; crispy fish tacos; and gochujang wings with a sweet heat glaze. Choose from signature wood-fired flatbreads in five varieties like wild roasted mushroom along with mains like slow braised oxtail; chicken & waffles with house made syrup and coconut whipped cream; Koko’s Island Pasta with island cream sauce; jerk chicken; a signature burger with guava BBQ and cilantro sauce; and seafood dishes like salmon filet or snapper. Dedicated vegan selections include jackfruit tacos; lentil meatballs in coconut curry; and a spicy portobello burger. Pair it with cocktails like the Rude Gyal (rum, coconut cream, nutmeg), a special good juice mango rum punch, or the Good Vibez (tequila, passion fruit, egg white).
The cost: Starters are $12-16, flatbreads and main courses are $17-32, vegan dishes are $12-25, sides are $8, and desserts are $12-14. Cocktails and wines by the glass range from $12-17.

Available for Reservations
Leland Eating And Drinking House
Mussels available in the Cozy Cabin menu. | Photo by Belathée Photography

The gist: Walk one block over from the busy-ness of Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights and you’ll find the oasis that is Leland Eating & Drinking House. As industry veteran Randi Lee’s (Del Posto, Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk) first independent project that opened last December, the spot that was formerly known as the Dean Street Tavern space has been transformed into a new neighborhood favorite with plenty of natural light and a modern aesthetic. In addition to the Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, the eatery’s takeaway options include goods from a “boutique bakery” and booze from its wine and liquor shop. For their first Thanksgiving this year, a special pre-fixe menu includes turkey alla porchetta made with a whole rolled turkey and turkey hot links; cranberry mostarda; vegan stuffing and gravy; pumpkin pie, and more.
The food: Mediterranean-inspired cuisine by chef Delfin Jaranilla (Fedora, Quality Eats) featuring nose-to-tail butchery and seasonal ingredients from local farms. Starters include chicken jook porridge with rice, egg, ginger, and scallions; trout rillette with fennel, mustard seeds, and potato chips; radishes with ramp butter and sea salt; smoked pollock fritters with potato and horseradish tzatziki; and charred lemon-skillet mussels with toast. Mains include a whole fried fish with fennel salad; roasted chicken with a salt-citrus brine; and a rendition of pork & beans comprised of a grilled pork chop and gigante beans. Baked goods from head baker Angela Reid include focaccia and sourdough loaves along with sourdough cinnamon buns, cheddar jalapeno biscuits, and zucchini bread available during brunch.
The cost: Baked goods and snacks are $5-9, plates are $11-18, and mains are $26-34. A selection of five cocktails are $10-12, beer is $5-9, and wines by the glass are $13-15.

Available for Reservations
Maki Kosaka
Photo courtesy of Maki Kosaka

Maki Kosaka

Flatiron District

The gist: Mihyun Han and Key Kim, the couple behind the acclaimed West Village omakase spot, Kosaka, offer a more casual, hand-rolled sushi restaurant in Flatiron with Maki Kosaka. With the flower shop, Kinka, also located inside the front space, here, executive chef Sho Boo, originally born and raised in Osaka, serves up sushi in a multitude of forms with a menu inspired by her native Japan. In addition to fresh seafood and seasonal vegetables, Maki Kosaka offers an array of combinations and sets, allowing diners one less hurdle to consider when it comes to curating a first-rate sushi meal.
The food: Japanese seafood and hand-rolled sushi, maki, temaki, onigiri, and playful “grab hand rolls” with the protein resting on the rice. Offerings include toro uni caviar; seared scallop with scallion; red snapper kizami wasabi; yellowtail jalapeno; snow crab with ikura; king salmon; and more. The kitchen menu also includes non-sushi items like shishito peppers with garlic chili sauce; agedashi tofu; shrimp balls with crispy roe; and fried Chilean sea bass with ginger tartare sauce. The restaurant exclusively uses nori from the island of Kyushu in Japan, and additional specials like a Hokkaido uni cup with caviar can be paired with beer, wine, and sake. Desserts by La Pâtisserie de Lauren are as minimal as the food, with options like matcha almond toffee or hazelnut cookies.
The cost: Single items are $6-20, sets and combos are $32-53, kitchen dishes are $10-24, and desserts are $20. Wines by the glass are $15-30, sake by the glass or bottle is $12-400, and beer is $10-16.

Available for Reservations
Mark's Off Madison
Photo by Alex Staniloff

The gist: Variety is key at Mark’s Off Madison, and the restaurant has plenty to offer when it comes to dishes considered to be local NYC favorites. Here, Queens-born cookbook author and chef Mark Strausman takes 30 years of experience from places like legendary eatery, Freds at Barneys New York, and Italian spot, Campagna, to offer some of his greatest hits like Belgian fries and lasagna at this all-day spot and New York-style bagel bakery located off Madison Square Park. Whether opting for a warm homemade soft pretzel or a rib eye steak, expect a level of expertise that any New Yorker would approve of.
The food: Quintessential NYC dishes of Italian, Jewish, and European roots made with sophistication. Offerings include artisanal breads, pizza, soup, salad, meats, desserts, and bagels that are available through the Bagel Take Out Counter. Expect sauteed chicken liver with port wine sauce served over sourdough crostini; Palm Beach salad salad with Green Goddess Dressing; pumpkin and ricotta tortelloni; and Peruvian-style grilled octopus “escabeche.” Signature items include Estelle’s Chicken Soup and the Belgian fries. Hand-rolled bagels, cream cheeses, smoked fishes, pastries, bialys, black and white cookies, and more are also available.
The cost: Appetizers are $9-28, pasta is $25-28, pizza is $24-29, and mains are $25-49. Bagels with toppings and baked goods range from $4-15.

Available for Reservations
Mother Duck
Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

Mother Duck

Lower East Side

The gist: Since closing his iconic Union Square restaurant, Republic, in 2017, restaurateur Jonathan Morr’s latest opening, Mother Duck, marks his latest addition to the local dining scene (on top of running BondST). Located in the former Pizza Beach space, even with plenty of nearby eating and drinking options to choose from, this unfussy spot that’s open until midnight from Thursday to Saturday is worth checking out for a meal or a quick bite before hopping to your next spot. The space can accommodate up to nearly 130 guests within their dining room, bar, and sidewalk seating.
The food: Asian-inspired noodles, rice bowls, and more with the familiar quality of the now-closed Republic in Union Square. Starters include spicy salmon crispy rice with gochujang and Anaheim chili; cauliflower tempura with green curry and lemongrass vinaigrette; mis eggplant or duck confit bao; and karaage with Japanese mustard mayo. Noodle dishes include selections both with and without broth like pad thai; veggie dumpling noodle soup; and chicken shrimp yakisoba with soba noodles. Entrees include chili smoked skirt steak with coconut rice; chicken katsu; and mushroom crispy rice donabe. Pair everything with punch concoctions available both with or without alcohol or sangria.
The cost: Starters, bao, skewers and sushi are $9-26, noodles are $19-23, and entrees are $21-26. Signature cocktails and punch go up to $12.75 and sangria is $10.75.

Available for Reservations
Native Noodles
Native Noodles | Photo courtesy of Native Noodles

Native Noodles

Washington Heights

The gist: Focusing on Singaporean cuisine, Native Noodles was initially born out of a successful 2019 run as a vendor at the Queens Night Market. A signature laksa dish by founder and Singapore native, Amy Pryke, helped make it a hit, and her plans to open a Washington Heights storefront in 2020 were delayed to February of this year because of the pandemic. Operating in partnership with executive chef Joseph Medina (co-owner of Hawaiian restaurant, Makana), the super casual uptown eatery initially launched through counter service, takeout, and delivery only, but now also offers indoor seating for 12 and an outdoor table for four on a first come, first served basis.
The food: Singaporean street food that’s become a NYC mainstay. Expect the traditional influences of Chinese, Indian, Malay, and other ethnic flavors showcased through dishes like the signature laksa with a slow-cooked coconut shrimp-based curry and thick rice noodles; wok-fried thin rice noodles with mixed vegetables and shredded egg; and the Roti John Sandwich Omelette, (an item not easily found in NYC) with ground beef, caramelized onions, and spicy ketchup on a toasted hero. Be sure to add on an order of pork & shrimp wontons and the chili crab pasta with egg drop sauce, linguine, and spring onions—in addition to new items like crispy mashed potato patties and sayur lodeh, a a vegan dish with coconut and turmeric gravy that originated in Indonesia. Desserts like kaya butter toast or fluffy waffles are available during tea hour from 2 pm-5:30 pm.
The cost: Snacks go up to $8, mains are $9-14, desserts are $5-6, and beverages are $2-4.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Saint Theo’s
Photo by Evan Sung

Saint Theo’s

West Village

The gist: When you spot the luxurious shades of deep green on the block of Bleecker St. between West 10th and Christopher, you know you’ll have arrived at Saint Theo’s. This Italian-inspired restaurant from Kyle Hotchkiss Carone’s Grand Tour Hospitality (American Bar) and executive chef Ashley Rath (The Grill, Santina, Dirty French) opened in June and serves a menu highlighting flavors of Venice and the Italian coast. In addition to housemade pasta and seafood, scope out a dedicated section of Venetian cicchetti as snacks to enjoy with your first round of drinks. Also, get ready for some celebrity sightings given Carone’s extensive rolodex (he worked for the likes of hoteliers André Balazs and Sean MacPherson).
The food: Seafood-centric dishes and housemade pasta spotlighting the flavors of Venice and the Italian coast. Varieties of cicchetti include breaded beef meatballs with fig jus; funghi fritti with anchovy emulsion; and fried sardines with raisins and pine nuts. Appetizers include hamachi crudo, beef carpaccio, and the signature roasted oysters in parsley-pesto broth with charred bread. Choose from pasta like the popular ricotta gomiti with Calabrian chili oil; nodi marini with squid; and pappardelle with boar ragu. Entrees include branzino with salsa verde, mint, and basil; lamb chops with pickled mushrooms and onions agrodolce; cuttlefish; and butter chicken with garlic and parsley.
The cost: Cicchetti is $11-15, appetizers and vegetables are $22-32 and $125 for caviar, pasta is $22-33, and entrees are $37-58. Signature and classic cocktails are $18-19, beer is $9-14, and wines by the glass are $16-34.

Available for Reservations
Sami & Susu
Photo by Briana Balducci

Sami & Susu

Lower East Side

The gist: As former colleagues at the award-winning restaurant, Maison Premiere—Amir Nathan (Via Carota) and executive chef Jordan Anderson (Olmsted)—pull inspiration from each of their own family recipes at this casual Mediterranean eatery. After originally launching as a pop-up last summer, Sami & Susu’s Lower East Side brick and mortar restaurant is now officially running with a morning cafe featuring breakfast items beginning at 8 am, an all day menu from noon until closing at 7 pm, and an expanded dinner service from Thursday to Saturday at 5:30 pm-10:30 pm. Expect natural wines and beer to be added soon, and while there, stock up on domestic and international pantry staples before grabbing some prepackaged items and baked goods for later.
The food: Casual Mediterranean fare inspired by both Israel and American Jewish cuisine. Breakfast items include the BEC Bureka with bacon, egg, and cheese; and a mini Tunisian baguette with tuna, harissa, soft egg, and preserved lemon. Order all day dishes like pita sandwiches in three varieties (cauliflower, chicken, and cheeseburger); the signature beef tongue baguette; lamb stuffed cabbage with pistachio and eggplant caponata; Mom’s chicken soup with matzoh balls and chicken thighs; and chicken schnitzel with zhug and fresh lemon. New fall additions include a spinach boureka with a pecorino and ricotta filling; smoked trout baguette with creme fraiche; and apple tabbouleh with crisp mutsu apples. The sole dessert option is chocolate & hazelnut boureka.
The cost: Breakfast items are $4-6, spreads are $7-8, sandwiches and salads are $10-16, and plates are $11-23. Dessert is $10.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Sarashina Horii
Photo courtesy of Sarashina Horii

Sarashina Horii

Flatiron District

The gist: This Japanese soba restaurant’s storied history dates back to 1789, and the Flatiron location marks Sarashina Horii’s first branch outside of Japan. The signature dish here are the white soba noodles made from the core of buckwheat seeds, and is available either hot or cold in a refined dining room with design elements inspired by the shape of soba noodles. Additional menu standouts are the duck dishes, with one offering available in every category of the expansive menu. When it comes to the soba, we recommend going for the sets that can be paired with tempura, uni, clams, pork belly, and more. A special tasting menu is also available for both lunch and dinner.
The food: Soba noodles unlike anything else found in NYC. Starters include sashimi, sushi rolls, braised duck, salads, an egg omelet, and Japanese duck meatballs. Tempura options come in seven varieties like prawn, assorted mushrooms, lobster, and soft-shell crab. Choose from the signature “sarashina” white soba or traditional “mori” soba noodles either cold with a sauce for dipping, or hot in a broth, all available in sets paired with tempura and more. Additional mains include black cod, sukiyaki with trumpet mushrooms, and stone-grilled duck with seasonal vegetables. For beverages, choose from sake, Japanese whiskey, shochu, wine, or signature cocktails.
The cost: Raw bar, cold & hot appetizers, sushi rolls, and salads are $6-46. Tempura is $17-38, soba is $19-39, additional mains are $33-45, and desserts are $9. The tasting menu is $55 during lunch and $108 during dinner. Signature cocktails are $16-18, sake and wines by the glass are $13-27, and beer is $8-15.

Available for Reservations
Shukette
Photo by Clay Williams

Shukette

Chelsea

The gist: Longtime Village Mediterranean favorite Shuka gained a sibling in Chelsea this past summer. Brought to you by The Bowery Group (Cookshop, Rosie’s, Vic’s) and chef/partner Ayesha Nurdjaja, Shukette’s arrival had been long anticipated and was subsequently delayed due to COVID-19. With a focus on cuisine found in the Levant, it’s energetic yet laid-back vibe makes for a memorable outing. Here, the visuals of each dish pop—the design, interior, and plateware are bright and colorful; and different menu sections even have cheeky titles like “When You Dip, I Dip, We Rip,” (those are for spreads and dip, btw). The Mediterranean food here is too good to enjoy alone, so definitely go with your crew to catch up over lots of sharable items that include house-baked breads, small plates, charcoal grilled protein, and spritz-style signature cocktails from bar director, Tim Harris.
The food: Mediterranean dishes inspired by the Levant with a fun and convivial spirit. Spreads and dips include a labneh with crispy squash blossoms and colorful chive flowers; and the jobneh with Syrian string cheese, nigella seed, and aleppo. House-baked breads include frena, lafa, pita, and gozleme. Small plates include roasted delicata squash with charred red onion and mint; and tuna meatballs with preserved lemon yogurt and pickled chili. Choose from mains like the Fish In A Cage, a grilled whole porgy with vegetables; joojeh chicken with toum and shata; and kebab varieties in steak, grilled lab, or a lamb and beef combo. For dessert, end your night with the sole option: The Mic Drop labne soft serve candied butternut squash, halva floss, and hazelnut.
The cost: Breads, dips, and spreads are $5-11, small plates are $6-14, mains are $25-31, and the soft serve is $10. Spritz-style cocktails are $14, wines by the glass are $12-18, and beer is $8-10.

Available for Reservations
Sofreh
Sofreh | Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

Sofreh

Prospect Heights

The gist: Authentic and traditional Persian food takes center stage at Sofreh, a warm and inviting restaurant in Prospect Heights. Named after a Persian cloth and term that signifies celebration, sharing, and the cultural idea of spreading the fabric and blanketing it with food for everyone to enjoy, chef and owner Nasim Alikhani cooks with love while drawing inspiration from her mother and countless other strong women who’ve had an impact on her life. Here, showcased through gorgeous dishes are all of the wonderfully colorful and fragrant details featured in Iranian cuisine (rice based offerings, herbs, sweet and sour flavors, and tender meats). And be sure to check out their newly launched Sofreh Cafe in Bushwick for freshly baked breads and pastries, tea, coffee, and more.
The food: Warm and inviting Persian food showcasing the vibrancy of Iranian cuisine. Rice offerings include a take on classic tahdig (saffron rice with a crispy bottom); medjool dates & lentil rice; and herb rice with dill, leek, and fenugreek. Choose from starters like eggplant and whey dip; feta & herbs flatbread; and kofteh served in a tomato saffron broth. Entrees include chicken with ginger apricot sauce and barberries; the signature raised lamb shank with butter beans in a dill and dried lime broth; pomegranate beef ribeye kebabs with roasted campari tomatoes and grilled onions; and smoked eggplant with slow roasted tomato garlic sauce. Finish everything off with desserts like saffron rice pudding, butternut squash halva, Persian rosewater sorbet, and more. Signature cocktails include the Tehran Dirty (vodka, pickled almond brine) and Taste of Cherry (gin, sweet vermouth, sour cherry syrup).
The cost: Appetizers, salads, and rice options are $9-$16, and entrees are $24-$42. Cocktails are $15, wines by the glass are $9-$16, and traditional sparkling Persian coolers are $7.

Available for Reservations

The gist: For anyone still bummed out about the closure of Uncle Boons in Nolita due to the pandemic, the kid-sibling energy of nearby Thai Diner is sure to cheer you up. Opened in February of 2020 by wife-and-husband team Ann Redding and Matt Danzer, Thai Diner focuses on hearty dishes inspired by chef Ann’s Thai American background, all offered in a dynamic environment to match with plants, lacquered wood, and pops of color and excitement comforting from all sides. In thanks to its fun—and very approachable—vibes, this restaurant continues to be one of Downtown Manhattan’s most popular eateries, and was even name-dropped in an episode of the recent Gossip Girl reboot.
The food: Thai dishes with a mix of diner-inspired classics. Offerings include breakfast items (available until 5 pm) like the Thai Diner egg sandwich with cheese, Sai Oua sausage, and Thai basil; and Thai tea babka French toast with salty condensed milk syrup. House specialties include the stuffed cabbage tom kha; laab with options for mushroom, fried chicken, or lamb; and a signature Uncle Boons dish: khao pat puu of traditional crab fried rice with egg, cilantro, and lime. Additional items include wok-fired dishes; soups & salads; Thai disco fries smothered in massaman curry; a classic burger with an option to add American cheese; and a spicy lobster omelette with chu chee red curry sauce . The desserts here are a must-try and include the Uncle Boons Coconut Sundae, banana rum pudding, a Thai coffee cake in the shape of a monster, and more.
The cost: Breakfast, snacks, salads & soups, and sandwiches are $9-17; house specialties and mains are $18-29; and desserts are $9. Signature cocktails are $14 and also available in $54 pitchers, with wines by the glass and beer $9-14.

Available for Reservations

The gist: The Tyger is a Southeast Asian-inspired spot and the sophomore restaurant from owners Eddy Buckinham and Jeff Lam of Chinese Tuxedo and the cocktail bar, Peachy’s. Here, Buckingham and Lam once again replicate the distinct downtown stylish experience their projects are known for with a striking 3,000-square-foot dining room lined with yellow banquettes. This scene-y spot’s menu helmed by executive chef Paul Donnelly includes influences from his time spent cooking in Southeast Asia early in his career, in addition to stints in Sydney, Australia.
The food: Southeast and East Asian flavors with influences from Pakistan, India, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and more. Categorized into sections like raw items, small plates, vegetables, rice & noodles, and seafood & meats, menu highlights include a take on the traditional Vietnamese dish banh xeo as a crispy turmeric and coconut crepe; charred octopus with Thai herbs; Phnom Penh fried chicken with lime and white pepper dressing; a take on nasi goreng as crispy squid ink fried rice; Australian tiger prawns with turmeric; and slow-cooked beef short rib in red curry. For groups of 8 or more, a feast menu for $75 per person is also available. Signature cocktails include The Tyger Strype Slushie, a frozen tequila drink with a memorable orange and black aesthetic.
The cost: Raw items are $12-22, small plates are $11-$18, vegetables are $14-21, rice and noodles are $18-27, and seafood & meats are $29-$59. Signature cocktails are $17, wines by the glass are $14-$22, with beer ranging from $8-$12.

Available for Reservations
Xilonen
Photo courtesy of Xilonen

Xilonen

Greenpoint

The gist: Xilonen in Greenpoint is the latest project from the founders behind lauded Oxomoco, with chef/owner Justin Bazdarich and co-owner Chris Walton teaming up once again. Located at a bustling intersection at the northwest corner of McCarren Park, the restaurant’s plant-based offerings from chef de cuisine Yara Herrera focus on regional Mexican fare while centered on sustainability. Named after the Aztec Goddess of Young Corn, from the decor to its dishes, this is a stylish (and unfussy) destination for plant-forward folks and eaters of all types to enjoy. The food is separated into two menus: Dia in the day and Noche at night, and a cocktail program headed by Linds Moore (Hunky Dory, Studio at the Freehand Hotel) has a particular focus on mezcal, agave spirits, and additional Mexican distillates.
The food: Plant-based regional Mexican fare from award winning founders. Offerings in its succinct menu include a masa pancake with deep mountain maple syrup and salted butter; scrambled egg tostada with salsa macha, cheddar, and toasted sesame; the signature green chorizo taco with smoked pecans, roasted mushrooms, and salsa verde; and additional items like grilled corn with cashew crema or the tomato tostada with coconut sour cream and basil. Signature cocktails include the See No Evil (Charanda, watermelon, bitter orange), Double Life (jalapeño tequila blanco, pineapple, green chile), or Gato Rosado (mezcal espadin, hibiscus, canela, pimento).
The cost: All food items are $6-15, coffee drinks and oaxacan hot chocolate are $3-5, aguas frescas are $4, and beverages are $3-5. Cocktails are $13.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Tae Yoon was born and raised in Queens, and is the Editor of Thrillist New York.