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Eat List
Photograph: Courtesy Adam Friedlander

The 50 best restaurants in NYC right now

Including Korean skewer sets, a dazzling new Indian restaurant and erstwhile favorites.

By Amber Sutherland-Namako
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Running a restaurant in New York City in any era is a herculean task. We tend to love any place willing to feed us, but some simply stand out for their excellent ingredients, well-crafted cocktails, booze pairings, concept, ambiance, and occasionally an X factor that gives a place its spirit. And these are those: our favorite places to eat and drink, and our favorite places to tell everyone else to eat and drink, at this very moment. Some are old, some are new, some are finally getting their due, and each one is worth your time, money and attention.  

Note: Many of the city’s best chefs, restaurants and concepts have been welcomed into the Time Out Market. Because that is the highest honor we can award, establishments related to the market have not been ranked in the EAT list, but you can see them below. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best dishes and drinks in NYC

The best of the city under one roof

Jacob's Pickles at Time Out Market New York
Photograph: Courtesy Nitzan Rubin

Time Out Market New York

Restaurants Food court DUMBO

We really like eating around the city, and we're guessing you do, too. So lucky for all of us, we've packed all our favorite restaurants under one roof at the Time Out Market New York. The DUMBO location in Empire Stores has fried chicken from Jacob’s Pickles, pizza from Fornino, inventive ice cream flavors from Sugar Hill Creamery and more amazing eateriesall cherry-picked by us. Chow down over two floors with views of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline. 

 

Best restaurants in NYC

Kochi
Kochi
Photograph: Courtesy Kochi /Melissa Hom

1. Kochi

Restaurants Korean Hell's Kitchen

What is it? Per se alum chef Sungchul Shim’s seven-course tasting of skewers inspired by Korean royal court cuisine. Kochi first opened in 2019 and was recently awarded a Michelin star. A ten-course menu, as well as supplements like caviar and sea urchin, are also available. 

Why We Love it? Ordering everything on the menu is usually relegated to daydreams, but at Kochi, it’s possible. Here, every course is a joy, without an afterthought in the bunch. And Kochi’s $85 prix-fixe price tag is more attainable than that of many of its contemporaries. 

Photograph: Courtesy Natalie Black

2. Crown Shy

Restaurants American Financial District

What is it? A collaboration between James Kent, longtime chef de cuisine at Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park and executive chef at NoMad, and Jeff Katz, managing partner of Del Posto. Crown Shy turns out excellent food and beautiful cocktails in an elegant environment that’s equal parts special occasion destination and nicer-than-normal evening whim.  

Why we love it? Crown Shy feels important without being intimidating. It’s a this-must-be-the-place kind of spot that manages to remain warm and inviting.  

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Photography: Kathryn Sheldon

3. Rezdôra

Restaurants Italian Flatiron

What is it? Having previously cooked at Osteria Francescana, the Modena, Italy restaurant that was ranked 2018’s best in the world, chef Stefano Secchi went on to open one of NYC's best restaurants the following year. At Rezdôra, he offers up a stealthily breathtaking array of pastas, using the highest quality cheeses and seasonal ingredients from farmers’ markets.

Why we love it? Dinner at Rezdôra feels like a new culinary experience even for people who grew up on pasta night. 

Atoboy
Atoboy
Courtesy Atoboy/Diane Kang

4. Atoboy

Restaurants Korean Flatiron

What is it? Chef Junghyun Park’s array of modern Korean small plates are presented in five courses for a set price of $75. Fried chicken with spicy peanut sauce and gochujang sauce is available as an add-on for $27. 

Why we love it? Tasting menus are one of the best ways to sample as much as possible, but some are too rigid and prohibitively expensive. Park’s prix-fixe is more affordable than most, and you’ll get to choose from a few options for most courses. 

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Sushi Nakazawa
Sushi Nakazawa
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

5. Sushi Nakazawa

Restaurants Japanese West Village

What is it? Incredible and slightly more accessible omakase from Jiro Dreams of Sushi’s chef Daisuke Nakazawa.

Why we love it? This city’s full of expensive omakase, and Sushi Nakazawa has all the exquisite quality and reverent ambiance of its tip-top price peers for a slightly less account-clearing sum. It is not unexpected to see $300+ chef’s selections at NYC’s best sushi restaurants, but reservations at Nakazawa’s counter are $150 for about 20 palate-changing courses like fatty tuna, sea urchin and yellowtail. It’s $120 in the peaceful dining room, and perfect sake pairings are $90.

Chicken breast with peas
Chicken breast with peas
Photograph: Courtesy Liz Clayman

6. Gramercy Tavern

Restaurants American creative Flatiron

What is it? An NYC classic you can dress up or down(ish)

Why we love it? Big night out atmosphere crackles under a dizzyingly high ceiling with a bar that that feels like the place to be. The back dining room’s $148 five-course tasting, which presently includes poached lobster and roasted duck breast, is splendid for a splurge, and you can also order à la carte up front in the (also lovely) tavern section, where everything’s $35 or less.

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Adda
Adda
Photograph: Courtesy Adda/Noah Fecks

7. Adda

Restaurants Indian Long Island City

What is it? The kitchen at Adda stays true to its roots without imparting gimmicky modern touches on Indian dishes. Whether you order butter chicken or a kale pakoda, the flavors sing. The heat of peppers and warmth of cumin are just two examples that keep you coming back for more

Why we love it? For a convivial dining experience where the food is as electric as the vibe. The menu feels exciting each time we've visited, with a nice balance between creativity and tradition.

Ugly Baby
Ugly Baby
Photograph: Time Out / Ali Garber

8. Ugly Baby

Restaurants Thai Carroll Gardens

What is it? Booming on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens since 2017, Ugly Baby is a Thai restaurant that will test the limits of your heat tolerance. Whether you’re ordering the “stay-away spicy Udon Thani’s duck salad” or the khao soi, do not shy away from the spice. Instead, tack on an order of soothing tue ka ko and let the coconut slake any palate fires. 

Why we love it? Ugly Baby’s use of spice is a master class in heat that novices and aficionados alike will appreciate. 

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Oxomoco
Oxomoco
Photograph: Gabi Porter

9. Oxomoco

Restaurants Mexican Greenpoint

What is it? From the team behind Speedy Romeo, Michelin-starred Oxomoco focuses on wood-fired dishes. Our favorites are the beet “chorizo" tacos, and a better bavette than you’ll find at a lot of famed NYC steakhouses. 

Why we love it? The food is serious and the atmosphere is buoyant and the whole place is a lot of fun. Case in point: Oxomoco has frozen drinks on its cocktail list, which many restaurants of this caliber can’t even. 

Rangoon
Rangoon
Courtesy of Rangoon

10. Rangoon

Restaurants Burmese Crown Heights

What is it? What began as a Burmese cuisine pop-up by chef Myo Moe in 2015 became a brick-and-mortar restaurant in 2020. 

Why we love it? This southeast Asian cuisine is rare in the city, and Moe’s menu offers a tasty primer. The sleek, all-white space is an excellent foil for colorful dishes, including lemongrass fish noodle soup and tamarind pumpkin stew.

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Claro
Claro
Photograph: Gabi Porter

11. Claro

Restaurants Mexican Gowanus

What is it? Everyone loves a good taco, but at Claro, your notion of New York Mexican food is expanded. This aguachile is not your run-of-the-meal ceviche: scallops (or another seafood of the day) marinate in a bath of bright citrus and also have a hit of heat. The tortillas are house made and make a perfect vehicle for complex moles that feel traditional and modern at once.

Why we love it? Oaxacan cuisine gets a New York touch in a sprawling backyard.

Photograph: Courtesy Van Da

12. Van Da

Restaurants Vietnamese East Village

What is it? A Vietnamese restaurant that lit up the neighborhood when it first opened in 2019 and earned accolades like a star in the New York Times and a Michelin Bib Gourmand nod in short order. 

Why We Love it? Van Da still has some items from its opening menu—a good thing since it was never easy to nab a table. Early hits like the short rib grilled cheese with a shot of pho, shaking beef and shrimp and pork tapioca dumplings are as wonderful to return to as they are to taste for the first time. 

 

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Carrot crepe at Olmsted
Carrot crepe at Olmsted
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

13. Olmsted

Restaurants Contemporary American Prospect Heights

What is it? An inventive, seasonal stunner from Greg Baxtrom in Prospect Heights. On paper, Olmsted’s partiality for hyperfresh produce isn’t exactly a distinctive quality, but its dedication to freshness sets it apart. An urban minifarm behind the restaurant provides the kitchen with herbs, and they’ve been known to keep bird coops and claw-foot tubs of crayfish back there, too. 

Why we love it? These are fine-dining ambitions wrapped in neighborhood-spot environs, where the most expensive entrée doesn’t exceed $32.

 

DIRT CANDY carrot waffles
DIRT CANDY carrot waffles
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

14. Dirt Candy

Restaurants Vegetarian Lower East Side

What is it? Chef Amanda Cohen’s Dirt Candy was dishing out creative, satisfying, wildly popular vegetarian food long before going plant-based became headline news. 

Why we love it? Cohen’s frequently updated “vegetable party” prix-fixe is so enticing that even cynical carnivores can’t pass it up. 

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Dhamaka
Dhamaka
Photograph: Courtesy Will Ellis

15. Dhamaka

Restaurants Lower East Side

What is it? NYC’s dazzling best new Indian restaurant with dishes seldom seen on local menus. 

Why we love it? This second act from the Adda team spotlights what they refer to as “the forgotten side of India,” including gurda kapoora (goat kidney, testicles, red onion and pao) doh khleh (pork with lime, cilantro, onion and ginger) and champaran meat (mutton, garlic, red chili). Cocktails like the Gulaabo with gin, rose water, dragon fruit, lemon and aquafaba are also worth a sip trip to Dhamaka’s kaleidoscopic bar.



Photograph: Courtesy of The Freakin Rican

16. The Freakin Rican

Restaurants Puerto Rican Astoria

What is it? What first came into existence as a street fair staple, executive chef/owner Derick López’s The Freakin Rican gained critical acclaim shortly after going brick and mortar. 

Why we love it? The plantain and pork pasteles alone are worth the trip to Astoria if you aren’t a local.

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Gage & Tollner
Gage & Tollner
Photograph: Courtesy Lizzie Munro

17. Gage & Tollner

Restaurants Downtown Brooklyn

What is it? Long the stuff of legend, Gage and Tollner had a previous iteration as one of Brooklyn’s most glittering restaurants before its gilded space ceased operation in 2004 after more than a century. A trio of Brooklyn hospitality pros got to work reviving it a baker’s dozen years later and, after a pause in 2020, Gage and Tollner is finally open for business once more.

Why we love it? Gage and Tollner’s previous projected opening date of March 15, 2020 was plenty buzzy back then, and the wait has only further tickled anticipation. The space is as lovely as we thought it would be, and its hearty, decadent menu offerings, repete with occasional throwbacks, seem just right for the first proper summer of the roaring (20)20s. 

Usha Foods
Usha Foods
Photograph: Emma Orlow

18. Usha Foods

Restaurants Indian Queens

What is it? A vegetarian Indian food haven in Queens specializing in fast casual bites, savory snacks and colorful desserts. 

Why we love it? Usha is one of Queens’ best vegetarian destinations for generous portions and combo platters that allow you to try a little bit of everything. It's just down the road from a Patel Brothers grocery location, one of our favorite spots for hard-to-find Indian pantry staples.

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Photograph: Gabi Porter

19. Pata Paplean

Restaurants Thai Elmhurst

What is it? A noodle bowl destinarion (we’d recommend the boat variety) where you’re sure to be satisfied.

Why we love it? You’ll taste noodle soups that make you feel like you’re in Bangkok.

Bo Ky
Bo Ky
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

20. Bo Ky

Restaurants Chinese Chinatown

What is it? One of the few restaurants in Manhattan’s Chinatown specializing in the cuisine of the Chaoshan region of China, Bo Ky’s menu showcases a mix of Cantonese and Southeast Asian flavors. The noodle menu is long, and you'll find roasted duck and rice dishes too.

Why we love it? One of the best noodle shops in Chinatown where you’ll find comforting dishes for a taste-to-cost ratio unlike most others.

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Sofreh
Sofreh
Photograph: Gabi Porter

21. Sofreh

Restaurants Persian Prospect Heights

What is it? In one of New York's few Persian restaurants, the incredibly fragrant cuisine of Iran is finally getting the spotlight it deserves. Dine on roasted eggplant dip, beef kebab and rosewater sorbet at this Prospect Heights favorite. 

Why we love it? One of the best and only representations of Persian cuisine in town.

Bunna
Bunna
Photograph: Bunna/Theodora Johnson

22. Bunna Cafe

Restaurants Ethiopian East Williamsburg

What is it? A vegetarian Etheopian charmer where you’ll get a whole spread in one sitting, including red lentils in berbere sauce, ground split peas simmered with tomato, and sauteed crimini mushrooms. Cool the heat of spicier bites with a bit of injera.

Why we love it? Orders are like a buffet on a plate. And Bunna’s sharable quality makes it a delightful date spot.

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Don Angie
Don Angie
Photograph: Ashley Sears

23. Don Angie

Restaurants Italian West Village

What is it? An Italian spot where everything feels timeless yet modern. Exhibit A: the lasagna for two hits all the nostalgia of a nonna-approved recipe, and the pinwheel presentation of its pasta with robiola cheese makes us desire another bite.

Why we love it? Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli have set a new standard for red sauce restaurants. Their modern take on Italian food still maintains all the comforts we all love about Italy's cuisine.

White Bear
White Bear
Photograph: Ali Garber

24. White Bear

Restaurants Flushing

What is it? Dumpling aficionados trek to this tiny eatery specifically for the No. 6: A dozen pork wontons doused in roasted chili oil and topped with a smattering of diced pickled vegetables all served on a Styrofoam plate. There are oodles of other menu items, but this, is the one that keeps people coming back time and again. 

Why we love it? These are destination dumplings in a city with no shortage of options. 

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Noreetuh
Noreetuh
Photograph: Courtesy Noreetuh

25. Noreetuh

Restaurants American East Village

What is it? Spam’s bad reputation in pop culture is unearned. And at Noreetuh, Spam is among the menu’s specialties. Plates like spicy Spam musubi, invite you to reconsider the canned meat. 

Why we love it?  Few restaurants in New York handle Hawaiian cuisine. Noreetuh does so with gusto, leaving clichés at the door (no lei decor here).

26. Lillo

Restaurants Italian Cobble Hill

What is it? Excellent neighborhood pasta worth visiting in spite of its caveats. 

Why we love it? Maybe it's because we first started visiting when Lillo still had a de facto BYOB policy and before it became almost impenetrably popular, but we keep recommending this tiny pasta shop even though it doesn’t have booze, a bathroom, hardly any seats or take credit cards. We’re just so fond of Lillo’s no-nonsense meatballs, fettuccine with speck and zucchini, branzino, broccoli rabe and lasagna that we’re willing to wait for one of it’s smattering of tables and pay cash for the pleasure. Head to Henry Public next door for great drinks after dinner.

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Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson; Regular pie
Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson; Regular pie
Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

27. Di Fara Pizza

Restaurants Pizza Midwood

What is it? A favorite among favorites in a city with plenty of pizza. 

Why we love it? Ask any new or old pizza-maker about their inspiration, touchpoint, or simply their favorite pie, and Di Fara will come up again and again. Dating back to 1965, original owner Domenico DeMarco still spins dough into gold today. Toppings include all the hits–sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and so on–in addition to extras like soppressata, broccoli rabe and artichokes all atop thin, crispy crust.

Davelle
Davelle
Photograph: Time Out/Ann Sullivan

28. Davelle

Restaurants Japanese Lower East Side
What is it? In the morning, we’re as mesmerized by the berries-and–cream-cheese breakfast toast as we are by the space, which is spare yet warm. And come evening, Davelle transforms into an izakaya (a Japanese bar with small plates) that’s ace for lingering over curry and glasses of sake.
Why we love it? No matter the hour, this pint-size Japanese café—which specializes in comfort food like toast with natto or egg, tofu smoothies with matcha and uni spaghetti—has a lot to love.
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Via Carota
Via Carota
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

29. Via Carota

Restaurants Italian West Village

What is it? This cozy Italian restaurant, run by the chef power couple of Jody Williams and Rita Sodi, is a rustic, sophisticated and heart-swelling gem.

Why we love it? The simple food—towering insalata verde, hearty chopped steak and any of the soul-satisfying pastas—makes this Village favorite a place where everyone wants to be a regular.

Ho Foods
Ho Foods
Photograph: Courtesy Ho Foods/Dan Ahn

30. Ho Foods

Restaurants Taiwanese East Village

What is it? Al-dente noodles and braised beef swirl in bowls of slow-cooked broth, and it’s easy to want to slurp it all up in seconds. Instead, try to savor each bite alongside plates of pork belly radish cakes.

Why we love it? Wait times have seldom subsided since Ho Foods first opened in 2018, but it’s worth it for one of the city’s best bowls of Taiwanese beef noodle soup (or any soup for that matter).

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A&A Bake & Doubles
A&A Bake & Doubles
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

31. A&A Bake and Doubles

Restaurants Bedford-Stuyvesant

What is it? This small, stellar Caribbean joint in Bed-Stuy has three specialties: bake, doubles and roti. The first is a handheld fried-dough bun stuffed with salt fish or fried sand shark and topped with a tangy-sweet tamarind sauce.

Why we love it? Doubles are the real hit. The Trinidadian snacks, which start at $2-a-pop, are built on a base of bara (fried dough) wrapped around a savory potato-channa curry. Napkins are a must. 

Photographs: Courtesy Con Poulos for Levant Cookbook
Photographs: Courtesy Con Poulos for Levant Cookbook
Con Poulos for Levant Cookbook

32. Tanoreen

Restaurants Mediterranean Bay Ridge

What is it? Since 1998, this Middle Eastern destination in Bay Ridge has been a standard-bearer in its category. Palestinian-born chef-owner Rawia Bishara deftly captures the flavors of her Nazareth childhood—charring eggplants in charcoal, rolling out pita, hand-making savory yogurt. Her efforts pay dividends in a variety of silky spreads like lemony labna and smoky baba ganoush.

Why we love it? Tanoreen’s staying power alone is evidence of its excellence. 

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Com Tam Ninh Kieu
Com Tam Ninh Kieu
Photograph: Courtesy Com Tam Ninh Kieu

33. Com Tam Ninh Kieu

Restaurants Vietnamese The Bronx

What is it? There's a share of great Vietnamese restaurants in NYC, but not a ton of traditional dishes. For a more home-style version of the Southeast Asian cuisine, we head to this no-frills restaurant in the Bronx, once an enclave of New York's Vietnamese population.

Why we love it? Two Hanoi House alums have taken over this neighborhood spot and given the menu a few updates while staying true to the kitchen’s comforting Vietnamese recipes.

Joes Steam Rice Roll
Joes Steam Rice Roll
Photograph: Noah Fecks

34. Joe's Steam Rice Roll

Restaurants Chinese Flushing

What is it? Cheong fun—the wide, translucent rice noodles that are often filled with pork, beef or shrimp—to fall in love with, because Joe’s does it so well. 

Why we love it? Not only is Joe’s an essential primer to New York dining, each cheong fun doused in sweet soy sauce is one of the city’s best values. Few restaurants are this comforting. 

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teranga
teranga
Photograph: Ali Garber

35. Teranga

Restaurants West African East Harlem

What is it? After first opening at the Africa Center in 2019, Teranga brought chef Pierre Thiam’s West African cuisine to the Dekalb Market Food Hall late last year. Many items are vegan and gluten-free. 

Why we love it? One of the leading chefs from West Africa offers a fast-casual concept unlike any other.

Cote
Cote
Photograph: Cayla Zahoran

36. Cote

Restaurants Korean Flatiron

What is it? Korean food has expanded locally in recent years, but none of it has seen a boost quite like Korean barbecue. Cote, a sleek effort from Simon Kim of the Michelin-starred Piora, is the premier example. Sitting 10 blocks south of K-Town proper, it’s deliberately billed as a “Korean steakhouse,” a distinction that reverberates through its swank decor. 

Why we love it? Watching beautiful cuts of meat cook right at your table is a satisfying way to spend an evening, and Michelin-starred Cote is a particularly stylish place to do so.

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37. Raoul’s

Restaurants French Soho

What is it? Soho’s most West Village-esque restaurant with Alsatian flair

Why we love it? Raoul’s romance feels thrillingly incidental; like a place that you and an as-yet affectionate associate can accidentally stumble upon and fall in love. The dining room’s a little moody, its art’s a little nudie and these rhymes must end now but the steak here is quite good. You can also get oysters, of course, and tartare, foie gras, moules frites and roast chicken. Even confirmed cocktail devotees will be tempted by Raoul’s deep French reds. 

Kiki's
Kiki's
Photograph: Time Out/ Ali Garber

38. Kiki's

Restaurants Greek Chinatown

What is it? Although the sign out front is written in Chinese, this Lower East Side restaurant serves Greek food with a gently-priced menu.

Why we love it? Kiki Karamintzas' namesake restaurant manages to be one of the neighborhood's hippest spots without maintaining much of an Instagram presence or aggressively photogenic interior design. Which is to say, Kiki's is cool and lively without feeling like it’s trying too hard.

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B&H Dairy
B&H Dairy
Photograph: Ali Garber

39. B&H Dairy

Restaurants Diners East Village

What is it? A kosher diner in the East Village serving up tuna melts, pierogies, kasha varnishkes and borscht.

Why we love it? The narrow space has a tremendous egg cream, and it's one of the last remaining old New York spots in the neighborhood

Victor Restaurant
Victor Restaurant
Photograph: Courtesy Ian Alvarez

40. Victor

Restaurants Gowanus

 

What is it? Newly opened in the old Freek’s Mill space by the Gowanus Canal, Mediterranean-leaning Victor arrives from the folks behind area favorites French Louie and Buttermilk Channel. 

Why We Love it? After a few seasons of almost exclusively outdoor dining, it’s fun to see a space looking so fresh inside. The colorful artwork on Victor's exterior carries into the dining room, and the menu, with items like smoked paprika prawns, a spiced half chicken, and a few fish dishes, is just as bright and perky. 

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Congee Village
Congee Village
Photograph: Ali Garber

41. Congee Village

Restaurants Chinese Lower East Side

What is it? A jubilant Chinese restaurant with book-length menus and brightly colored cocktails.

Why we love it? Congee's sprawling interior is ideally suited to boisterous nights filled with stories you may have heard before that still elicit sonorous laughter. Lines accrue fast, but the pretty bar area is a cozy place to wait if you can nab a spot, and the dining areas beyond have plenty of big tables to accommodate groups. The menu’s almost as large as the space, with several congee varieties and an encyclopedia of Chinese plates. 

Arepa Lady
Arepa Lady
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

42. The Arepa Lady

Restaurants Street food Jackson Heights

What is it? What began as a modest cart is now a brick-and-mortar restaurant specializing in arepas and other Colombian bites in Jackson Heights. Maria Piedad Cano and her family run the kitchen. 

Why we love it? Some of the best South American corn cakes found in New York.

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Kokomo take out
Kokomo take out
Photograph: Courtesy Resy

43. Kokomo

Restaurants Williamsburg

What is it? One of a few spots here that also appeared on our best restaurants of 2020 roundup, Kokomo is a Caribbean restaurant from husband and wife team Ria and Kevol Graham.

Why We Love it? As we wrote at the time, Kokomo’s wood-fired flatbreads, slow braised oxtail and chicken and waffles are all bonafide comfort foods. The restaurant interior’s warm tones and florid design further set the mood. 

Smoked sardines at French Louie
Smoked sardines at French Louie
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

44. French Louie

Restaurants French Boerum Hill

What is it? Easy, local-favorite French fare 

Why we love it? Every neighborhood would be lucky to have a restaurant like French Louie, which serves as fine a special occasion spot as any fancy-address destination in the city. If for example, you happened to be nearby, and it was your birthday, and a sudden blizzard made even local travel inadvisable, you could still drift into French Louie’s dimly honey-hued dining room for a suitable fête. Its moules frites, duck au poivre and uncommonly generous portion of pȃté are priced decently enough to add to your regular weekend rotation, too.

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Astoria Seafood
Astoria Seafood
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

45. Astoria Seafood

Restaurants Seafood Long Island City

What is it? A choose-your-own seafood spot as close as many of us will get to fishing. 

Why we love it? Dining out and having fun are, shockingly, not always mutually inclusive. At Astoria Seafood, you’ll peruse and choose from uncooked tuna, octopus, sardines, branzino shellfish, scallops, snapper, fluke and all manner of sea creatures before you tell ‘em how you’d like it cooked. BYOB and a bubbly, casual environment make this popular spot worth its long lines. 

court street grocers
court street grocers
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

46. Court Street Grocers

Shopping Grocery stores Carroll Gardens

What is it? What began as an artisanal sandwich shop by Matt Ross and Eric Finkelstein on Court Street in Carroll Gardens has expanded, now with four locations across the city and a Smith Street restaurant called The HiHi Room. CSG still offers some of the city’s best sandwiches if you’re willing to shell out more than $12 for them.  

Why we love it? It’s the perfect hangover food.

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L&B Spumoni Gardens
L&B Spumoni Gardens
Photograph: Courtesy Melissa Sinclair

47. L&B Spumoni Gardens

Restaurants Pizza Gravesend

What is it? Order your grandma-style pie at the to-go counter and sit outside. There are two rules here: fight for that Parmesan shaker, and finish your meal with spumoni, a tricolor ice cream.

Why we love it? We can’t imagine a better way to spend a post-beach afternoon (or any afternoon) than snarfing down one of its saucy, pillowy squares in the sun.

Peppa's Jerk Chicken
Peppa's Jerk Chicken
Photograph: Courtesy Peppa's Jerk Chicken

48. Peppa’s Jerk Chicken

Restaurants Caribbean Flatbush

What is it? Peppa’s has a wonderfully fragrant goat curry and tender stewed oxtail, but it’s the smokey, perfectly grilled smoked chicken that keeps us coming back. You can easily pay over $50 for a roast chicken at some NYC restaurants, but we think this one is just as satisfying, if not more, than many of the best birds in town.

Why we love it? There are plenty of West Indian restaurants in New York, but for jerk chicken, Peppa’s is the hands down winner.

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Maya Bed-Stuy
Maya Bed-Stuy
Photograph: Courtesy of Maya Bed-Stuy

49. Maya Congee Cafe

Restaurants Sandwich shops Bedford-Stuyvesant

What is it? An East Asian general store with bites at the counter, Maya Bed-Stuy specializes in novel takes on congee.

Why we love it? Though Maya may not serve the single best congee in the city, it’s a noteworthy experience updated with quinoa, avocado and other tasty ingredients you see in fashionable grain bowls.

Cactus Taco at Los Tacos No 1
Cactus Taco at Los Tacos No 1
Photograph: Filip Wolak

50. Los Tacos No.1

Restaurants Mexican Chelsea

What is it? New York may not be like the West Coast when it comes to Mexican food, but with Los Tacos No. 1, we’re getting closer. Behind the taqueria-style counter, you’ll see cooks rolling masa and slicing spit-roasted pork as fast as they can to keep up with this popular eatery.  

Why we love it? Three transplants from California and Tijuana, Mexico, dole out casual, south of the border eats (grilled cactus tacos, carne asada quesadillas) and homemade aguas frescas (horchata, tamarind).

Local chefs, restaurants and concepts we love so much that we welcomed them into Time Out Market

jacob's pickles
Photograph: Courtesy Jacob's Pickles

Jacob's Pickles

Bars Gastropubs Upper West Side

Jacob's Pickle helped the Upper West Side shed its sleepy restaurant reputation by offering gastropub fare we could get behind. The comfort food, mac and cheese to patty melt, pair effortlessly with the extensive beer list and whiskey cocktails.

Photograph: Courtesy Wayla

Wayla

Restaurants Thai Lower East Side

Wayla was already poised for stardom shortly after first opening its doors on the Lower East Side in 2019, when seemingly everyone in NYC was salivating over its noodle-wrapped meatballs, clamoring for tables and snapping selfies. Even now, years later, prime-time reservations for chef Tom Naumsuwan’s homestyle Thai food still aren’t easy to come by. His attention to ingredients, focus on fresh flavors and market-inspired menus have folks filling up Wayla’s tables night after night. 

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Sugar Hill
Photograph: Courtesy Evi Abeler

Sugar Hill Creamery

Restaurants Ice cream parlors Harlem

Sugar Hill Creamery owners Nick Larsen and Petrushka Bazin Larsen’s seasonal ice cream flavors are often inspired by their Midwestern and Caribbean backgrounds as well as their longtime home of Harlem. The husband-and-wife team has been crafting distinct ingredient combinations out of their Central Harlem store since 2017, and devoted fans hungry for frozen treats that you won’t find in the supermarket led the pair to open a second location in Hamilton Heights just a few years later. Stop by often—there’s always an innovative new flavor to try.

Clinton St. Baking Company

Restaurants American Lower East Side

Neil Kleinberg’s fluffy pancakes alone are more than enough reason to hit up this brunch favorite. But the rest of the menu, from biscuit sandwiches to a smoked salmon scramble, makes a case for why breakfast can be just as good for dinner. Some consider brunch a sacred experience in New York, and this Lower East Side classic doesn’t disappoint between its delicious bites and buzzy dining room.

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Fornino

Restaurants Pizza Williamsburg

Wood-fired brick-oven pies are sprinkled with herbs and vegetables grown in the restaurant's greenhouse. Freshly picked arugula, for example, might be combined with eggplant, bresaola and Parmesan, and locally grown figs may be matched with prosciutto and Gorgonzola. Too esoteric for your family? No worries: Try the basic marinara or Margherita. You can't go wrong with any of the pies here.

Felice

Restaurants Italian Financial District

The Tuscan-inspired dishes, wine-bottle-lined walls and leather banquettes serve as the perfect backdrop for comforting Italian fare. If there are two words that describe FELICE, we’d choose cozy and carbs. The bowls of pasta beckon us to this intimate restaurant no matter the time of year.

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Fornino
Photograph: Courtesy Fornino

Fornino

Restaurants Pizza Cobble Hill

The world-class pizzeria sets up shop at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Dig into wood-fired pies (classic Margherita, eggplant-and-ricotta) and sandwiches (roasted turkey, prosciutto) at one of the indoor picnic tables, or snag a patio seat overlooking the water. A rooftop beer garden pours selections from Peroni and Brooklyn Brewery, along with wines by the glass. One of our favorite spots for pizza in the city—you can't go wrong with any of the pies here.

Photograph: Courtesy of Mr. Taka Ramen

Mr. Taka Ramen

Restaurants Japanese Lower East Side

New York is teeming with ramen options, but this Lower East Side spot commands a loyal following for good reason: the overall quality and consistency of its broth, whether a hearty tonkotsu or spicy miso, is always on point. We can't get enough of the hearty tonkatsu and basically any dish from this kitchen.

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