New York's most stylish restaurants and bars

The scene is as good as the food at these fashionable eateries and drink spots

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The Dutch

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

It's been ages since a new restaurant captivated the city quite like the Dutch. The place has been packed since it opened, attracting a cross section of the downtown social scene. Like the diverse crowd, the food—from virtuoso Andrew Carmellini—is eclectic: His rollicking menu reflects loving homages to Chinatown, the barrio, Little Italy and the full range of midtown, from its oyster bars and old chophouses to its taquerias and noodle-shop dives. The Dutch's warren of intimate rooms with brass fixtures, cream brick walls and dark wooden beams on the ceilings are buzzy, not deafening, with conversations evaporating out of the big picture windows.

  1. 131 Sullivan St (at Prince St)
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Miss Lily's Favourite Cakes

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The downtown flock colonized this buzzy Caribbean spot from the day it opened its doors, and it's been radiating heat ever since. But it’s not all scene and no substance. The gorgeous staff is warm and accommodating, and chef Bradford Thompson, a James Beard Award winner, brings real chops to Jamaica’s trademark dishes. Bypass standard-issue party grub like “jaquitos”—bland mini tacos—in favor of spicy, shell-on Middle Quarters pepper shrimp. Satisfying main courses, like remarkably tender goat curry and tasty but subdued jerk chicken, showcase Thompson’s knack for elevating island comfort foods.

  1. 132 W Houston St (at Sullivan St)
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St. Anselm

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

As cooking methods go, grilling may be the ultimate American art form. But New York restaurants, hamstrung by tight urban quarters, rarely explore its smoky, greaseless, flame-licked potential. St. Anselm in Williamsburg may be the city's most impressive exception. The spot features a dust-bowl collection of rusty saw blades on the walls and light fixtures supplemented with banners from an old Masonic temple. But the draw, of course, is the well-rounded menu; heavy on veggies, it combines Mediterranean, Asian and all-American flavors, and grill cooking ties it all together.

  1. 355 Metropolitan Ave (between Havemeyer and Roebling Sts)
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Taproom No. 307

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

On first glance, this pub appears to be another noisy Murray Hill watering hole, but look beyond the loosened ties, and you’ll find there’s more going on than you would think: a glimmering lineup of 40 craft-beer taps and two casks behind the long oak bar; couples perched in elevated booths, sharing arugula-topped brick-oven pizzas and crocks of chicken-liver mousse; and groups in the back enjoying innovative suds tastings with beer sommelier Hayley Jensen. The well-curated brews make Taproom a serious draw for beer nerds, while the other upgrades—including better-than-usual sports-bar grub—boost its crowd-pleasing appeal.

  1. 307 Third Ave (between 23rd and 24th Sts)
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Tender Trap

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The New York dive bar is an institution in flux. While the old stalwarts like Mars Bar fade away, newcomers to the genre often come off as self-conscious replicas of their predecessors. What’s great about Tender Trap—a drinkery from nightlife vet Ryan Virag (APT, Santos Party House) and BMX pro Darryl Nau—is that it doesn’t try to be a bar for the Bowery in the ’90s. Instead, it’s a no-frills spot rejiggered for an era when it’s IPAs, not intravenous drugs, that get the kids going. The place looks like a skater’s crash pad after his mom came by to clean up, but the various refinements—graffiti-free walls, French-press coffee—don’t stop the Trap from embodying the spirit of a good dive.

  1. 245 South 1st St (between Havemeyer and Roebling Sts)
More info


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