The cold weather is settling in but New York’s restaurant scene is heating up. The best new restaurants that debuted in NYC this month included a sibling to dim sum icon Nom Wah Tea Parlor, a Gotham outpost of solo-dining ramen spot Ichiran and a brick-and-mortar location of frozen dessert favorite La Newyorkina. From an Italian joint at one of the best museums in NYC to a hotel restaurant operating out of an Airstream, these are the best new restaurants that debuted in New York this October.
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Best new restaurants in NYC
The menu was born from a ventilation issue. When taking over the basement level of the Upper East Side’s Met Breuer museum, restaurateur Thomas Carter and chef Ignacio Mattos—the pedigreed duo behind Obama-fave Estela and its Soho sequel Café Altro Paradiso—faced some heating constraints, meaning many of the seafood dishes coming out of Mattos’s kitchen are of the raw sort: scallop with plum and onion, Spanish tuna tartare with toasted flax seeds, and snow crab with yuzu kosho mayonnaise. There are, however, cooked items as well, from lobster ravioli with greens to steak bearnaise with potatoes and chicory.
After nearly a century on Chinatown’s Doyers Street, New York’s oldest dim-sum parlor gets a little bro with this counter-service Nolita offshoot from second-generation owner Wilson Tang and partner Zhiyu Lai. Regulars of the original can find Nom Wah staples like pork soup dumplings, shrimp siu mai and scallion pancakes, but the menu expands with vegan ho fun noodle soups laced with Chinese vegetables, rice boxes with options like smoked chicken leg or steamed ribs, and a kohlrabi salad with sesame-peanut dressing from Tang’s Lower East Side restaurant, Fung Tu.
As part of his three-prong culinary takeover of the William Vale Hotel—which also includes rooftop bar Westlight and upcoming southern Italian concept Leuca—Andrew Carmellini and his Noho Hospitality Group roll out this burger and soft-serve stand operating out of a 1974 Airstream trailer parked on the hotel’s elevated promenade. Manned by executive chef Anthony Ricco (Spice Market), the retro RV offers four griddled burgers: a single or double with aged cheddar, a Swiss-topped veggie burger and a rotating special, with the opening option fixed with hatch chilies and Monterey Jack cheese. Beyond the bun, there are waffle fries and “dairy dips,” ice-cream cones in flavors like Jacker-Crax (buttered caramel popcorn with salted peanuts).
Calling all solo diners: Ramen chain Ichiran, which combats the social stigma of eating alone with individual “flavor concentration booths” at its 60 locations in Asia, brings its introvert-friendly service system stateside with a Bushwick outpost. The dining process consists of filling out an order form—the kitchen concentrates on pork-bone tonkotsu ramen, but you can specify preferences like “flavor strength,” “noodle tenderness” and “fat content”—and pushing a call button in the partitioned solo booth. A server lifts the bamboo shade in front of you and delivers your ramen with nary an attempt at small talk before leaving as quietly and quickly as they arrived.
Paying homage to his native Mexico City—the restaurant is named after a bohemian neighborhood in the country’s capital—chef Ivan Garcia diverges from the traditional Mexican fare he cooks at Mesa Coyoacán for more modern interpretations at this 80-seat Bushwick cantina. Among the offerings are beer-battered squash blossoms with queso fresco and dark plum mole, charred cauliflower ceviche with avocado and tomato, and fish carnitas with onion and key lime. The accompanying drinks bill is unsurprisingly focused on tequila and mescal, with classic cocktails given similarly Mexican twists: At the 16-seat, copper-inlaid bar, a tequila-charged Fall Fashioned is flavored with applejack and spiced pear.
They’re a familiar summer sight—Fany Gerson’s brightly hued paletas, or Mexican ice pops, have been a boardwalk regular and street-fair staple for the past six years. Now the roving pushcarts are finally getting the brick-and-mortar treatment with this Greenwich Village storefront. Inside the shop—decorated with hand-painted murals and tiles imported from Mérida, Yucatán—Gerson serves her trademark pops along with ice cream and sorbet (in flavors like mole, horchata and tres leches, which you can trick out with toppings such as Oaxacan-chocolate hot fudge) and Mexico’s custardy, wood-paddle–churned nieve de garrafa. The pastry chef also whips up traditional Mexican confections including chocolate-scribble garabato cookies and fruity, shaved-ice chamoyadas.
Yoichi Akashi is pretty comfortable behind a sushi counter. His 25 years as a sushi chef include stints at acclaimed raw-fish temples like Sushi Yasuda and Sushi Nakazawa. For his eponymous solo debut, the chef is turning out a kappo-style omakase—kappo means, literally, “to cut, boil, stew and fry”—to a 10-seat hinoki-topped counter and an eight-seat dining room decorated with floor-to-ceiling bamboo surfaces and a century-old stone accent wall. The daily-changing lineup, around 20 dishes, may include plates like broiled Sicilian eggplant with white miso, murasaki uni with soy-marinated salmon roe, and Miyazaki beef with seaweed salt and cucumber.
Not every Williamsburg coffeeshop has a Michelin-starred pastry chef in the kitchen, but this one does. Overseen by Ryan Butler, formerly of Piora, the 750-square-foot bakeshop and espresso bar elevates your daily morning order with pops of global flavor: Breakfast items include a serrano chili scone, miso-toffee sticky buns and a local-egg–filled empanada topped with dukkah, while lunchtime options range from a Thai-spiced chicken pasty to a BLT tartine with avocado aioli. On the sweet side, diners can find a blueberry crumb cake updated with yuzu and chamomile, and Milo-ganache cupcakes with bitter cocoa. The high-ceilinged space itself echoes the elevated-café vibe, with wraparound leather banquettes, Carrera marble counters and brass tabletops.
Since launching two years ago, East Village jiaozi parlor Mimi Cheng’s has been a favorite among dumpling devotees for its fresh local ingredients and clever collaborations. (Cheeseburger dumplings, anyone?) Sister-owners Hannah and Marian Cheng follow that success with this bright Nolita spin-off decorated with seafoam-blue tables, potted plants and framed pineapple portraits. The from-scratch Taiwanese dumplings—served pan-fried or steamed, and born from a recipe passed down by the Chengs’ mother—remain on offer in varieties like chicken-and-zucchini and pork with bok choy, but the sisters have expanded the menu to include bento-box combinations like the Taipei Tapas (four dumplings, a scallion pancake, shaved red-cabbage salad, house-made pickles).
It’s an Italian-accented café by day, cocktail-fueled hang by night. From restaurateur brothers Tom and Anthony Martignetti (the East Pole, Pizza Beach) comes this Upper East Side hybrid concept dressed like a vintage Riva with a sailcloth awning, saddle-leather chairs and navy-blue lacquered walls. During the day, chef Joseph Capozzi (the East Pole) turns out dishes like poached eggs with whipped ricotta and pesto, burrata with black mission figs, and prosciutto-peach panini with fresh mozzarella and honey. At nighttime, the coffee and pastries are swapped for cocktails and crostini; negronis and spritzes are served from a 10-seat, marble-topped teakwood bar.
Japan’s complete-meal bento is the focus of this fast-casual West Village bodega offering modern box fillers like Japanese fried-chicken sandwiches and crunchy Parmesan-pesto tofu. (Traditionalists can also find more customary options, including onigiri, chirashi sushi and fried-rice omelettes.) On the beverage front, the 18-seat spot—decorated with waving-cat images and calligraphy tags from Brooklyn artist Bisco Smith—serves Japanese canned ice coffee, smoothies and a matcha program from In Pursuit of Tea.
Find 5-star restaurants in NYC
Over the years, Time Out New York has awarded the coveted five stars to just a handful of NYC restaurants, who have all achieved that damn-near-perfect balance of cuisine, decor and innovation. Among this select group are fine-dining titans, long-standing hotel restaurants and international imports running the gamut from Mexican to Korean cuisines. Say hello to the ten 5 star restaurants in NYC, as determined by our critics.