The Hit List is where you’ll find our favorite new food and drink experiences in NYC. We track new openings across the city, and then visit as many as we can. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of every good new spot, one thing you can always rely on is that we’ll only include places that we have genuinely checked out.
Our goal is for this list to be as diverse as the city itself—inclusive of a wide range of cuisines, price points, neighborhoods, chefs and owners of all backgrounds, and the multifaceted communities within the industry. If you think we missed a great new place, we want to hear about it. Shoot us an email at [email protected].
Whether you’re looking for in-person dining, takeout, or delivery, The Hit List is here to help you find a great new spot to support. Read on to find your new favorites.
Lucky for us New Yorkers, we live in a city where even the most hard-to-find food is only a subway ride away. Now that Zhego exists, that includes Bhutanese cuisine. Your order must include Ema Datsi, the national dish of Bhutan, as well as some cheese-filled momos, and hot, salty butter tea. Fans of the numbing effects of Szechuan peppercorn can try the hand-pulled noodles, which have a pleasantly analgesic effect. The atmosphere is casual and colorful, with a giant green wall juxtaposed with photos of Bhutan. There are only a handful of tables, so come early or be prepared to wait if it’s busy—it’s worth it.
Decades in Ridgewood is making some of NYC’s best new pizza. The room feels like a Pizza Hut that got a high-fashion glow up, and the combination of neon green accent lighting and a playlist of ’80s radio hits strikes just the right balance of nostalgia. Most of the tables are two tops, and there’s plenty of seating at the bar, so this is better for catch ups and date nights than big groups. Pizza is the main attraction, and we can’t stop thinking about how the crust manages to be thin, crisp, fluffy, and charred in all the right places. There’s no wrong answer when it comes to toppings, but we love the Big Cheese with added pepperoni. Save room for a slice of tiramisu layer cake at the end of your meal.
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photo credit: Max Lemoine
Come to Principe in Soho for their impossibly pillowy ndunderi and a scene filled with people who treat every week like it’s Fashion Week. This spacious seafood-focused, Italian-inspired spot looks like it used to be a stylish boutique, with concrete walls, dramatic glass chandeliers, and a raw bar station set up like a DJ booth. Start with the marinated tuna on a daikon disc or the creamy king crab, followed by the colatura-dressed sucrine salad and the big crispy chicken cutlet that tastes like a McNugget.
Bar Mario is a new Italian spot in Red Hook that’s about to be your new favorite date night spot. This place is small, but they make the most out of every square inch, from the single large corner booth in the back tucked beneath a dazzling avant-garde chandelier to the ample two-tops and spacious bar. We already have a go-to order here—negroni, Caesar salad, agnolotti, and cheesecake. The spaghetti hangover, described by the server at “puttanesca on steroids,” is not to be missed. Most things on the menu here are under $30, and you won’t feel like you’ve been served a kid’s portion of pasta.
Gong Gan in Flushing is a dessert cafe by day and a wine bar by night, and you should bookmark it for the next time you want to lowkey impress someone by picking an extremely cool place to meet up. The downstairs is bright, airy, and has lots of mirrors and avant-garde sculptural elements that mirror the zany designs of their signature cakes. Upstairs, the atmosphere is a little darker, more date-night adjacent. We can’t stop thinking about the warm croffle topped with vanilla ice cream and a pile of grated brunost, but the black tea cheesecake decorated with a garden of colorful meringue mushrooms is very good, too.
photo credit: Jean Schwarzwalder
It’s always pleasantly disarming to find food that’s actually good in the middle of Times Square. It’s doubly surprising when you find a slice of pizza that reminds you why NYC is the pizza capital of the world (sorry, Italy) in the middle of Time Square—but that’s exactly what you’ll get at Zillions. This slice shop is run by the same people behind Steak Frites, and we’re starting to see a pattern because these folks do small, focused menus very well. The cheese pizza is our favorite thing here, but you should also try the Zillionaire slice, which comes with sausage, pepperoni, and banana peppers.
The vegan Mediterranean food at Anixi is shamelessly over-the-top. From the team behind Coletta and Beyond Sushi, this Chelsea restaurant embraces a “meat”-heavy menu with impressive fake-meat dishes like comically long kebab skewers, lamb cigars, and arak-cured salmon. You eat all of this in an opulent dining room lit by a succession of crystal chandeliers. Come here on a Saturday night with a plant-based crowd that wears fabulous faux furs and loves to party.
photo credit: Christian Harder
This new spot by the team behind Don Angie, Zou Zou’s, and Quality Italian might be in the weird mallscape of the Deutsche Bank Center (formerly the Time Warner Center) in Columbus Circle, but we’re pretty sure it’s about to be your new favorite place for over-the-top Italian food. The space offers a whimsical take on a Roman feast, complete with animal statues wearing neon collars and actual fountains. Start with a pepperoncini-laced dirty martini and an order of roni cups and ranch, get one of their signature filet mignons, and finish with a slice of unreasonably good tiramisu ice cream cake.
When you feel like you’ve seen, done, and eaten all that NYC’s overwhelming omakase scene can offer, go to The Office of Mr. Moto. This St. Mark’s speakeasy requires you to decode an email before your visit to get the entrance code, and is filled with eclectic Japanese antiques. The 21-course meal ($180) is focused on hyper-seasonal ingredients flown in daily from Japan, so expect pieces like shirako or the rare red gurnard that you don’t get at other sushi spots in this price range. Stop by the lounge for a drink after your dinner and listen to the vintage player piano.
It’s not uncommon for the host at a tasting-menu restaurant to give a little speech before each course. But at House—a French-Japanese spot in the back of a Greenpoint marketplace—you’ll also hear the staff recapping their weekends or teasing the chef. While you eat your $180, nine-course meal, you’ll feel like you’re in someone’s home, drinking wine in their kitchen while they make you a midnight snack. The menu consists of chic, minimalist dishes, and it’s equal parts fancy and playful. Expect things like a delicate duck liver monaka and dehydrated strawberry burrata.
photo credit: Steak Frites
Steak Frites is serving French bistro classics in Hell’s Kitchen, and they’re doing them very well. The space here is like a movie set designed to look like a neighborhood spot in Paris, with black and white tiles, distressed gold-framed mirrors, and vintage cartoon postcards on the wall. The room gets packed, and it stays that way until closing time. Appropriately, the hanger steak and thin, crispy fries are great, as are the gnocchi à la parisienne and panzanella-like escargots served with pieces of bread soaked in parsley-garlic butter sauce.
There’s no pizza at this East Village wine bar by the Roberta’s team, but you won’t miss it. Foul Witch feels like a stylish tavern, filled with elegant taper candles, terracotta tiling, and Byredo products in the bathroom. We are very, very into it. The Fire and Ice starter, a pile of stracciatella served on a bed of ‘nduja, is a plate you’ll wipe clean with hunks of warm ficelle, and the uni and polenta is one of the freshest takes on uni we’ve had in a while. Order a thing or two from every section of the menu: nothing is too big, so you won’t over-order. The wine list is good, but the beer list is even better—get the slightly sour Historical Saison.
Chalong is a district in Phuket, but it’s also the name of the place you should go when you want some exciting Thai food. This Hell’s Kitchen spot has a spacious, earth-toned dining room that works well for almost any occasion, and their menu features a lot of rarely-seen seafood dishes like shrimp and crab stuffed in crispy tofu skin and a spicy herb salad with raw oysters. Similar to the one at Fish Cheeks, the crab curry is a must-order, and you can get it without a horrendous wait because it’s easy to get a table here (for now).
Olle is a Korean restaurant in the Flatiron that serves homestyle food in an elegant space—an unexpected pairing that works. This is our new favorite place to linger over a bottle or two of soju with a group of friends, which is what everyone here seems to be doing. The minimalist space has black and gold accents, warm lighting, and trap music plays softly in the background. Choose a centerpiece for your meal, like the outstanding Galbi Jjim or one of three Jungol options, then round out your order with a few smaller dishes like Bossam, Gamja Tang, and Honguh Jjim, skate steamed in a delicately spicy soy vinaigrette.
At first glance, Dashi Okume is a store. This Greenpoint spot is an outpost of a dry goods seller that’s been at the Tokyo Central Market since 1871. But if you can tear yourself away from the DIY dashi bar and the stunning selection of ceramics, high-end rice, and over a dozen varieties of miso, you can also have an exceptional meal here. Snag a seat at the counter in the back of the store and order the Teishoku set. It comes with grilled fish, rice, a few sides, a cup of tea, and the best miso soup you’ve ever had.
Mama Yoshi Mini Mart brings the konbini experience to Ridgewood, and it works. Come here to stock up on a small but expertly-curated selection of Japanese pantry staples (you’ll find a few different kinds of furikake, kewpie mayo, and the like) and excellent food. There are smaller bites like onigiri and kurobuta skewers as well as full meals, like oyakodon. The chicken katsu sandwich is especially worthwhile. We love the spicy version, and while we can’t confirm this, it almost tastes like it’s coated in a Buldak ramen flavor packet.
photo credit: NYCRestaurant.com
Located in the residential part of the South Street Seaport, Casa Tulum is a Mexican spot with a space that makes you feel like you’re steps away from sand and ocean. You’ll see hanging greenery, blue and white decor, and nautical touches like portholes and sconces that look like they belong on a ship. Although the vibe is casual, the pricing is semi-upscale—crab guacamole is $20, and entrées like pork shoulder, branzino, and chicken hover around $30 and above. Your primary focus should be the seafood dishes and tacos like the aguachile with meaty clams and flawlessly-grilled shrimp and steak wrapped in flour tortillas.
photo credit: Alex Staniloff
If Dimes Square had a neighborhood bistro, what would it look like? Would it have bright red floors? And faux marble pillars? How about some funky ‘80s-esque light fixtures and a bust of the Virgin Mary? That sounds about right, and it’s exactly what you’ll find at Casino. This Lower East Side restaurant is all about ambiance—but the food isn’t an afterthought. Stop by for a cioppino packed with shellfish or a filet mignon served on brioche coated in duck liver mousse. The latter might sound fussy, but it isn’t. It’s satisfying, a bit messy, and weirdly nostalgic.
photo credit: David A. Lee
This tiny, subterranean Fort Greene restaurant served a beloved five-course tasting menu for the first few years of its existence, but they recently relaunched as completely à la carte. The new dishes are a little different from your typical Paris-inspired natural wine bar in Brooklyn, and thankfully, they’re also bigger than most. Options like a poached skate salad and a clam pasta are both entrée-sized and delicious. The energy here remains great, as does the wine list, and we’re delighted to be able to enjoy both in a more informal way now.
Before there were Carbones in Vegas and Hong Kong, there was a place called Torrisi Italian Specialties on Mulberry Street. That spot closed in 2015—but with the opening of Major Food Group’s Torrisi Bar & Restaurant, things have come full circle. Located a few blocks from the original Torrisi, this place feels like a victory lap. It has all the pageantry you expect from the people who brought you the Midtown duck press, and it’s in a huge space with sky-high ceilings and crushed velvet booths. The menu is mostly Italian, but some of the most worthwhile dishes—like a pastrami-style short rib—take inspiration from the surrounding neighborhood.
Ariari is another Korean spot from the team behind Palpal and LittleMad. Like a lot of their restaurants, this place in the East Village warrants a priority visit—especially if you love seafood. Start with the poached octopus with white kimchi followed by crispy rice that’s sweet and rich from uni cream. You’ll see groups around you sharing big simmering cauldrons of soup, as well as couples out for a casual date night. The noise level at this relatively small spot stays mellow, so you don’t have to shout when saying things like: “I wish more places like this would open up around me.”
photo credit: Emily Schindler
K’Far is an all-day Israeli cafe, bar, and full-service dinner restaurant from the team behind Laser Wolf. Like Laser Wolf, K’Far is a Philly import that lives in the lobby of the Hoxton, and it’s our new favorite spot for weekdays when we want to work in one place without having to leave the building for sustenance. In the mornings, grab kubaneh, boreka, and long, flat Jerusalem bagel breakfast sandwiches and after 5pm, slide into a brown suede booth between a makeshift jungle of green foliage in the dining room across the foyer. Reward yourself with some lamb tartare, grouper chraime, and a drink.
photo credit: Emily Schindler
Lodi used to be the obvious choice for Italian at Rockefeller Center, but now it has some competition with Jupiter, a new restaurant from the King team that’s located on the concourse. As soon as you’re seated in their warm and lively dining room, order the zucchini fritti. The tempura-like batter will make you forget about all the soggy fried zucchini you’ve ever had. Other strong starters include the peekytoe crab toast and a winter leaves salad with poached quince. But pasta is the main reason to come to Jupiter. Get the housemade agnoli stuffed with slow-cooked, shredded rabbit.
photo credit: Angela Bankhead
Hav & Mar is a seafood restaurant in Chelsea from Marcus Samuelsson. The name reflects Samuelsson’s Ethiopian and Swedish roots (“hav” means ocean in Swedish, while “mar” means honey in Amharic), and the inventive menu pulls from both countries with a range of other influences. For a handy tutorial on what to expect, start your meal with the “Swediopian.” You’ll get a buttery piece of berbere-cured salmon topped with a mustard seed caviar and sour buckthorn. Sometimes, the menu will stray from Sweden and Ethiopia altogether and give you something like a waffle with rock shrimp and uni butter. No matter what they do with the loose theme, eating here is exciting.
You might know Kwame Onwuachi from his DC restaurants or his run on Top Chef, but you’re about to know him for being the guy who single-handedly made Lincoln Center cool again. Tatiana, located inside David Geffen Hall (the one with the Philharmonic) feels like a quiet nightclub and serves food that blends Afro-Caribbean flavors with iconic New York dishes. Think: egusi dumplings and a mizuna caesar salad with Trini green seasoning. The one thing you must order is the Wagyu short rib pastrami suya, served with little caraway-laced coco bread buns. It’s the best new pastrami sandwich in Manhattan.