Food & Drink

21 Fall Restaurant Openings in NYC to Get Excited About

Indoor dining is back and just in time with all these great new places to try.

Milu food spread
Milu | Evan Sung
Milu | Evan Sung

Starting in March, NYC restaurants have been in a state of constant flux thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic: From takeout/delivery only (March-April) to the addition of in-person outdoor dining (all this summer), to newly announced plans to resume indoor dining this fall (albeit at very limited capacity). Many have also permanently closed since then, with more being added to the list every week. So many operators were not able to bear the burden of massive financial losses compounded by loss of staff and inflexible landlords. And yet, the city’s relentless restaurant industry soldiers on; further proof that this city is far from “dead.”

There have been a handful of restaurants that bravely opened during the pandemic, and the fall will bring many more. While the number of openings has certainly dwindled compared to years past, we’re no less excited about this season’s fresh crop, with spots from seasoned stalwarts  to promising upstarts. And with indoor dining in NYC finally set to resume later this month on September 30, going out to eat this upcoming season might be slightly closer to “normal” than we’ve experienced in months. Here are the fall restaurant openings we can’t wait to check out.

o.d.o.
o.d.o. by ODO at The Westerly | Phil Wu

o.d.o by ODO at The Westerly

Address: East 13th Street, Union Square
Opening Date: September
Michelin-starred chef Hiroki Odo, who runs the Flatiron kaiseki hideaway, o.d.o, and all-day restaurant HALL, is launching a new whiskey bar concept inside a penthouse in Union Square. Located on the seventh floor of a prewar building, it features an interior designed by award-winning Philip Wu Architects with a terrace for outdoor seating of up to six guests (indoors, when allowed to open, will seat 12). Jordan David Smith, head bartender and spirits director for o.d.o (previously of Le Coucou and Atomix), has developed a whiskey-based cocktail menu featuring seasonal highballs with ingredients like husk cherries and donut peaches. Guests can also expect a menu of rare Japanese whiskeys by House of Suntory paired with small bites (often whiskey infused) by Chef Odo.

Rosella food
Courtesy of Rosella

Rosella

Address: 137 Avenue A, East Village
Opening Date: September
Jeff Miller and Yoni Lang from James Beard Award-winning Texas restaurants Uchi and Uchiko (Miller also helmed Mayanoki here in NYC) have teamed up with beverage director TJ Provenzano (previously of Rooftop Reds and Mayanoki) to open this environmentally friendly sushi spot emphasizing locally sourced, sustainable fish. Rosella, which held several August pop-ups, will offer omakase and a la carte menus, including seasonal crudo and ceviche, sushi and sashimi, and rolls, alongside a selection of local wine, cider, and small-batch sake.

Ursula
Ursula | Noah Fecks

Ursula

Address: 724 Sterling Place, Crown Heights
Opening Date: September
Although Bushwick cult favorite The Awkward Scone is no more, founder and head chef Eric See is launching this New Mexican-inspired spot in the long-vacant location of Pelzer’s Pretzels. See, originally from Albuquerque, will be offering stuffed sopapillas filled with carne adobada (New Mexico red chile braised pork), pinto beans, and Hatch green chiles, as well as pastries like biscochitos (anise and cinnamon shortbreads), conchas, and apple pastelitos with green chile and cheddar. The Awkward Scone fans will be pleased to hear that Ursula will offer the wildly popular New Mexican-style breakfast burritos served at The Scone, as well as house-blended herbal tea lattes with infusions of rose petals, hibiscus, cinnamon, and palo santo. Ursula’s kitchen will also house the production of Lani Halliday’s gluten-free bakery, Brutus Bakeshop, with some of her favorites (like the miso chocolate chip cookie endorsed by Yoko Ono) will be available daily as well. 

Creamline sandwiches
Courtesy of Creamline

New Dekalb Market Hall stalls

Address: 445 Albee Square West, Downtown Brooklyn
Opening Date: September
One of Brooklyn’s busiest food halls gets two exciting new purveyors this fall: a third location of Eyal Shani’s popular sandwich spot, Miznon, and a second location of fast-casual favorite, Creamline, with this new outpost focusing on fried chicken sandwiches and milkshakes. Pulkies, a new Jewish-style barbecue spot, from Creamline’s Harris Mayer-Selinger that originally launched out of Creamline’s Chelsea Market kitchen this summer, will also join the Dekalb Market Hall lineup in October.

Rolo's building exterior
Rolo's | Drew Heffron

Rolo’s

Address: 853 Onderdonk Avenue, Ridgewood
Opening Date: October
Four Gramercy Tavern alums (Ben Howell, Howard Kalachnikoff, Rafiq Salim, and Paul Wetzel) are bringing their talents to Queens with this restaurant focused on unfussy, seasonal dishes cooked over a wood-burning grill. The menu will change often and the eatery will also have a small grocery shop with prepared fresh and frozen foods, charcuterie, cocktails, and wines to-go, as well as locally sourced produce and select packaged items.

Cadence

Address: 122 E 7th St., East Village
Opening Date: October
Cadence will be one of many restaurant overhauls this fall from Ravi DeRossi, a restaurateur known for his portfolio of East Village restaurants and also as a co-founder of legendary bar, Death & Company. As part of his newly rebranded vegan restaurant group, Overthrow Hospitality, this project will be led by chef Shennari Freeman and offer plant-based interpretations of soul food classics.

Court Street Tavern

Address: 449 Court Street, Carroll Gardens
Opening Date: October
Chef John DeLucie (Lumaca, Ainslie, Empire Diner, Bedford & Co) is teaming up with Matt Shendell (owner of the multi-location Ainsworth) to serve seasonal tavern fare at this neighborhood joint in Carroll Gardens. While details are scarce, don’t be surprised to find ingredient-driven tavern classics like French onion soup, a wedge salad, a custom-blended burger with aged Gouda, and a NY strip steak with Cambozola cheese and twice cooked potatoes on the menu.

Operation: Falafel

Address: 230 7th Avenue, Chelsea
Opening Date: October
Dubai-based food and beverage group AWJ Investments is gearing up for an ambitious global expansion that will eventually reach London and Paris, but begins in the U.S. with Operation: Falafel. The Middle Eastern street food spot, which will start with takeout and delivery until indoor dining resumes, will serve breakfast dishes like the sujuk, egg, and cheese, which combines sujuk beef sausage with scrambled egg, tomato, onion, pickles and cheese, while at lunch and dinner there are pitas filled with falafel or kofta meatballs, in addition to bowls including vegetable moussaka and shakshuka. Treats include jars of pistachio cream, baklava, and rice pudding.

Hütte

Address: 1652 Second Avenue, Upper East Side
Opening Date: October
As the third-generation owner of Schaller and Weber, a butcher shop offering German-style sausages and smoked meats for more than 80 years, Jeremy Schaller is bringing the Alps to the Upper East Side with his latest project. The new backyard eatery will have the feel of an Après Ski Lounge and serve a menu of Austrian comfort foods. Hidden behind Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar, Hütte will be tented and decorated with string lighting, electric heaters, farmhouse wooden tables, and chairs and couches draped with cozy blankets. The menu will include game meats and charcuterie, fondue, and venison goulash. Guests can pair it with Glüwein, a German and Austrian take on mulled wine made with cinnamon, herbs, and spices. A selection of Austrian wines and beers will also be available.

Chote Miya

Address: Time Out Market, 55 Water Street, Dumbo
Opening Date: October
Bombay House Hospitality owner Jimmy Rizvi (GupShup) and head chef Satinder Vij bring a modern menu of casual Indian dishes like vada pao, samosa chaat, dal makhani, butter chicken, mushroom galouti kabab, and Magic Masala Fries to the popular Time Out Market food hall in DUMBO. Indian beverages like rose lassi, Thumbs Up cola, and Limca lemon-lime soda will also be available. The name Chote Miya, which means “a regular, approachable guy” in Hindi, is an homage to Mumbai’s famous eatery, Bademiya.

Brooklyn Dumpling Shop
Brooklyn Dumpling Shop | Daniel Kwak

Brooklyn Dumpling Shop

Address: 131 1st Avenue, East Village
Opening Date: October
Will the automat make a comeback because of the pandemic? The restaurateurs behind Brooklyn Chop House, Stratis Morfogen and Robert “Don Pooh” Cummins, are betting yes, with the debut of this 24-hour, zero-human-interaction eatery. The one-of-a-kind QSR (quick service restaurant) will have a special Dumpling Lab in the front window for all to see and customers will place an order on their phone or via one of the restaurant’s touchless kiosks. Executive chef Skinny Mei will be cooking 32 dumpling varieties, including pastrami, bacon cheese burger, lamb gyro, French onion soup, Philly cheesesteak, and peanut butter & jelly.

Leland Eating and Drinking House
Leland Eating and Drinking House | Belathée Photography

Leland Eating and Drinking House

Address: 755 Dean Street, Prospect Heights
Opening Date: October
Randi Lee, a 25-year industry veteran, is opening his first independent project (donate to its GoFundMe here) in the former Dean Street Tavern space of Prospect Heights. Lee, formerly of Del Posto, the Smile, and Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk, has spent months renovating the space with the help of friends and family in an effort to make it feel like an extension of his home. He will be serving a cuisine he calls “New York Mediterranean,” with plans to feature food and beverage from farms within 100 miles of Brooklyn, including nose to tail butchery, a fermentation program, a bakery, and his version of a pre-dinner cocktail party called “vinyl hour,” where he’ll feature cocktails and specials while he spins records from cover to cover. Lee even made his own wine for the project, a 2018 Pinot Noir under the label Break Jar.

Dhamaka pumpkin curry
Courtesy of Dhamaka

DHAMAKA 

Address: 88 Essex Street, Lower East Side
Opening Date: October
Indian power team Roni Mazumdar and Chintan Pandya of Rahi and Adda Indian Canteen are finally opening this COVID-delayed project inside the new Essex Crossing complex. Dhamaka, which means “burst of emotions” in Hindi, will focus on regional Indian home cooking.

Milu food spread
Milu | Evan Sung

Milu

Address: 333 Park Avenue South, Flatiron
Opening Date: October
This much-awaited casual Chinese spot from longtime Eleven Madison Park chef Connie Chung and partners Vincent Chao and Milan Sekulic, finally arrives this fall in a chic space inspired by “cha chaan tang” (Hong Kong style cafes). The menu will be an exploration of Chinese regional cuisines in an accessible format, with affordable rice bowls highlighting protein and vegetable mains like Yunnan brisket, Mandarin duck, soy roasted chicken, ginger scallion salmon, and Sichuan spiced cauliflower. Offerings will also include wontons; vegetable sides like charred broccoli with cilantro & yuzu; tofu seaweed salad with bean sprouts & snow peas; and marinated cucumbers with chili & roasted garlic, as well as sweets like chocolate malt cookies and soft serve in creative flavors like egg tart and milk tea.

Soda Club

Address: 155 Avenue B, East Village
Opening Date: November
This next restaurant opening from Ravi DeRossi sees him teaming up with Chef Amira Gharib, who was his executive chef at the now-closed HoneyBee’s. Soda Club’s concept will be a natural wine bar with trattoria-style food like pastas and Italian bites -- but plant-based -- in a play on the great wine bars of Rome.

PLANTA Queen Rainbow Roll
PLANTA Queen | Courtesy of PLANTA Restaurants

PLANTA Queen

Address: 15 West 27th Street, NoMad
Opening Date: November
Restaurateur Steven Salm and chef David Lee will bring their Toronto and Miami plant-based dining experience to NYC. PLANTA Restaurants’ eighth location, PLANTA Queen, will celebrate the spirit and flavors of Asia with dishes like bang bang broccoli, XO tofu, General Lee cauliflower, and a selection of inari, maki, and sushi rolls made with ingredients like ahi watermelon and unagi eggplant. Non-alcoholic beverages like their signature Free Spirits (anti-intoxicant tonics), cold-pressed juices, kombuchas, and teas round out the beverage menu, while the bar program presents cheekily named cocktails such as Herb Your Enthusiasm.

Sarashina Horii soba hamaguri with clams
Courtesy of Sarashina Horii

Sarashina Horii

Address: 45 East 20th Street, Gramercy
Opening Date: November
Japan’s historic soba restaurant comes to NYC for its first location outside its home country. Overseen by ninth generation soba maker and owner Yoshinori Horii, the restaurant has a history that dates back to 1789 and is known for its unique white soba, made from using just the core of buckwheat seeds. Although the menu is still being finalized, offerings will feature more than a dozen cold and hot soba dishes, as well as a full section of appetizers and entrees, with a promise of the signature sobas in options such as clam or duck & leeks.

Spider in the Garden

Address: 511 East 5th Street, East Village
Opening Date: Late Fall
The final new restaurant planned by Ravi DeRossi this upcoming season is this Mexican venture with chef Xila Caudillo. There will also be an extensive array of agave-based spirits and cocktails led by Amor y Amargo’s Sother Teague.

Penny Bridge

Address: 28-07 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City
Opening Date: Late Fall
Chef Dan Kluger's new spot will be located in The JACX, a new live-work-play development by Tishman Speyer. Penny Bridge’s menu is inspired by American diners and simple comfort food, with the seasonal ingredients and playful techniques Kluger’s fans have grown to know and love. The menu will feature his take on mozzarella sticks, made with herbs and four different kinds of cheese; baked clams; spicy chicken wings; a turkey club made with house smoked turkey and bacon, layered on Bien Cuit bread; a lobster burger; and a filet mignon inspired by Kluger's dad’s meatloaf. 

Iris

Address: 1740 Broadway, Midtown
Opening Date: Late Fall
Many New Yorkers mourned the pandemic closure of beloved vegetarian restaurant the Nix, but now they can look forward to this new project from acclaimed restaurateur and chef John Fraser. Iris draws upon his Greek heritage and admiration of Turkish cuisine to create an Aegean-inspired menu with his signature vegetable-forward style. The all-day menu includes mezze, a raw fish section, and Turkish-style flatbreads. As indoor dining becomes a reality, this 5,000 square foot dining room will seat 104 and there’s room for 32 diners outdoors.

Francie

Address: 134 Broadway, Williamsburg
Opening Date: Late Fall
Located in a limestone-clad former bank building, Francie is the first independent collaboration between chef-owner Christopher Cipollone (Piora, Cotogna) and owner-operator John Winterman (Bâtard, Daniel). The space, designed by architect Glen Coben, will feature an open kitchen, where a menu focusing on European flavors offers dishes like lobster agnolotti and côte de boeuf for two with maple hollandaise served in a setting of a local brasserie.

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Devorah Lev-Tov is a Thrillist contributor.