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Latest restaurant reviews in NYC

Restaurant critics review NYC restaurants, from fine-dining temples to pop-in-anytime neighborhood spots

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Hanoi House
Photograph: Cayla Zahoran

Want to find out if that new Mexican restaurant is really all it’s cracked up to be, or if the hottest sushi counter is worth the price? Check out Time Out New York’s restaurant reviews in NYC, detailing everything from highbrow fine-dining restaurants to destination-worthy holes in the wall.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Latest restaurant reviews in NYC

Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber
Restaurants

Claudia's

East Williamsburg
3 out of 5 stars

There's a common bias that street food, especially if its origins are non-Western, should be cheap. But when you order a doblada ($7) from Claudia’s, paying a few dollars more is no problem (nor should it be). What arrives is a perfectly fried masa empanada enveloping shredded brisket that’s been cooking for 24 hours. It’s topped with an avocado mash and wisps of fermented cabbage, adding a nice zing. This well-prepared pastry—we dare you to eat just one—is just a single example of how Claudia Lopez and her brother, executive chef Mario Lopez, are showcasing Guatemalan cuisine, a rarity in New York’s dining scene (they're also working with the team behind Williamsburg bar Midnights). While you can also find a decent burger and a commendable fried-chicken sandwich on the menu, we favored the traditional choices. After all, this East Williamsburg restaurant, which started as a daytime-only café called C. Lo’s, draws on family recipes. To start your meal, be sure to order a tamal ($7). A dish steeped in tradition, it’s comprised of a banana leaf holding a fluffy rectangle of corn flour filled with your choice of pork, beef or vegetables. Another item,  perfect for winter: sopa de gallina ($10), a generous portion of chicken soup that’s stuffed with succulent chicken, root vegetables and macaroni noodles that just might cure a cold. A more complex dish is the pepian de gallina ($14), one of the most popular stews of the Guatemalan kitchen. The poultry is slow-cooked in a sauc

HiHi Room
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber
Restaurants

The HiHi Room

Boerum Hill
3 out of 5 stars

For almost a decade, Eric Finkelstein and Matt Ross’s beloved sandwich shop Court Street Grocers has maintained its scrappy, art-school ethos (signs in bubble lettering and playful menu names like “Uncle Chucky”), even after opening multiple locations. Now, they’ve evolved with a first-ever, full-service restaurant that’s shockingly not about deli meat stuffed in bread, save for muffuletta. Their knack for reviving quirky regional specialities (as they did with the kaiser onion rolls and celery soda at Court Street) can be seen in the hush puppies ($6). They were a bit dry, though the honey butter made them better. We preferred the thinly sliced, salt-baked celery root over faro ($15), which had a tart punch of vinegar.Brooklynites may flinch at the idea of Cincinnati chili, which is dumped atop spaghetti and often comes with oyster crackers. Chef Walker Stern’s adaptation ($22) is elevated with handmade noodles and duck bolognese but stays true to the Ohioan delicacy’s origins with raw onion and ajwain, here, an approximation of the original’s near-mythic spice blend. Overall, it felt like the kitchen was afraid to use the heavy-handed seasoning this dish needs for more dimension. Beans do not often get their proper due, but at HiHi, they pull their weight in the menu’s two best offerings: Steen’s cane-syrup–glazed chicken ($22) with baked-style butter beans and the perfectly crispy trout ($32), which comes with a cascade of Sea Island red peas, replicating pebbles in a stre

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Public Records
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber
Bars, Lounges

Public Records

Gowanus
4 out of 5 stars

We first encountered chef Daniel Bagnall a few months back at Short Stories, a clubby restaurant on the Bowery that initially seems easy to write off as basic due to its millennial-pink interior and influencer-heavy clientele. But the food—we tasted a pasta with ramp pesto and pickled strawberries—was memorable. Bagnall left for Public Records, where he’s whipping up more impressive, plant-based offerings.More than a restaurant, Public  Records is also a music venue, a bar and a zine shop stocked with printed matter on niche topics, like the aesthetics of football culture, next to lingonberry gummy candies. No matter what mood you’re in, the spot has something to offer: a morning cortado, an energetic yet mature group hangout where you can feel like you’ve “gone out” but still make it to bed by 10pm, and food that’s flexible to dietary restrictions. Located on an industrial block, it feels like a secret passageway into one of the  laid-back restaurants that are currently hot in Mexico City, with a touch of  hypnotic, austere Berlin nightlife. Grand ceilings,  skylights and a spacious gravel patio feel like a blessing in a city known for cramped quarters. And the entirely vegan menu is a nod to the building’s history as a former ASPCA. Dishes are ambitious and surprising (and not just because the dim lights don’t do justice to the Technicolor ingredients). The outstanding but vaguely named Fermented Bok Choy ($13) was a thick-cut sourdough toast topped with  kimchi–bok choy an

Yin Ji Chang Fen
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber
Restaurants, Chinese

Yin Ji Chang Fen

Chinatown
3 out of 5 stars

It’s not uncommon these days for chefs to concoct a recipe just in hopes of striking social media gold. They’ll artfully arrange grain bowls or trick you into thinking a grilled watermelon is a ham—at best, the results are often more show than substance. But Yin Ji Chang Fen’s cheong fun are popular, despite breaking a cardinal rule of internet clickbait: The delicate Chinese rice noodle rolls are white. The tissue-thin noodles won’t pop on Instagram like rainbow sprinkles or gooey, stretchy cheese dripping from a slice of pizza.Yet the Cantonese-style dish has taken over New York with the help of this Guangzhou, China–based chain, which has eateries around the world. Opened earlier this fall, the Bayard Street location in Chinatown still commands lines out the door. Once you’re finally seated inside the brightly lit corner space, you’ll find 16 varieties of cheong fun, ranging from $2.95 to $6.95 each. The steamed rice noodle rolls are bursting with fillings such as plump shrimp and crispy youtiao, a Chinese cruller. While we’ve tasted versions made from thinner noodles—a standard by which some people judge a kitchen’s expertise—the quality ingredients inside impressed us (think generous slices of sweet barbecue pork or fresh seafood). Unlike Joe’s Steam Rice Roll, perhaps the city’s best purveyor of cheong fun, Yin Ji Chang Fen also offers a variety of snacks and congee. For example, the fragrant curry fish balls ($5.50) add a nice counterpoint to the shareable rice porrid

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Red Hook Tavern
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber
Restaurants

Red Hook Tavern

Red Hook
4 out of 5 stars

There’s been much written about how Billy Durney’s Red Hook Tavern draws inspiration from New York institutions. The font used for the restaurant’s name could be mistaken for Minetta Tavern’s from afar, and there are two ales dedicated to McSorley’s. But once we secured a seat (if you manage to score a prime-time reservation, play the lottery), we quickly realized the experience here is its very own thing.After an affable employee leads you down the narrow dining room or to one of the 18 bar seats, your first priority is to order the Dry Aged Red Hook Tavern Burger ($24). This pub-style burger is hefty but manageable. The simple dish—a dry-aged patty cloaked in American cheese and topped with raw white onions, then sandwiched between sesame rolls—is cooked to a perfect temperature. This juicy burger is one of the best we’ve tasted in the city.It’s no surprise that the burger and the menu’s other meat options are also expertly executed. Durney showed off his expertise with proteins at Hometown Bar-B-Que, a popular destination despite its location in difficult-to-get-to Red Hook, that’s known for its ribs, brisket, sausages, pastrami and other barbecue dishes with global touches.Executive chef Allison Plumer interprets the nostalgia that Red Hook Tavern strives for with an unfussy approach that results in plates you’ll want to devour on a cold winter day. The country-ham croquettes ($10), which are filled with white cheddar and sit atop a swath of dijonnaise, can be popped into

Sahadi's
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber
Restaurants, Lebanese

Sahadi's at Industry City

Greenwood
3 out of 5 stars

Since its first location opened on Atlantic Avenue in 1948, Sahadi’s has become a New York institution. Expanded for the first time in 70 years, the Middle Eastern grocer opened a café at Industry City this August. The aisles are filled with the same high-quality, carefully sourced spices and dried fruits for which the store is known, but now the same team also offers a limited menu of bites and wines.The best is the chewy halloumi sandwich ($11), which showcases the vastly underrated cheese, followed by the bright, well-balanced curried chickpea ($9). Both are prepared on a saj, a dome-shaped griddle that’s used to create laffa flatbread—distinctly thinner than a pita and, when rolled up, perfect for takeaway.Next, we opted for the Moroccan-style hummus ($8), with preserved lemon and ras el hanout, which is made even heartier by a topping of chickpeas that are so perfectly crispy, they shatter into a powder when consumed. Meanwhile, the baba ghanoush ($8) contains smoked paprika and jewel-like pomegranate seeds, the latter of which provides a pleasant crunch. Less of a bargain is the falafel ($8), a small portion with only three of the fried orbs surrounded by crudité.Not only is it difficult to locate, but this Sahadi’s also has odd hours: On most weekdays, the restaurant closes at 7pm, and the sandwiches are only available at lunchtime, so we had to take a trip back to try them. Ultimately, we’d only visit the café again if we were already in the area.Sahadi’s has a few ki

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Il Fiorista
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber
Restaurants

Il Fiorista

Flatiron
5 out of 5 stars

Snip, snip. The bartender’s scissors cut a velveteen rice flower for a cocktail garnish. Just a few short blocks from the Flower District, Il Fiorista serves blossom-accented plates in its restaurant and bouquets in its attached shop, for a memorable meal where the floral theme never feels overdone.Blooms aren’t just used to dress drinks but also act as main ingredients. Artichoke hearts ($18) appear in a tangy Italian appetizer: Sure, it doesn’t take many risks, but the edible buds, preserved lemon, flageolet beans, speck and smoked olive oil are incredibly pleasing. The corn tart ($16) with deconstructed buckwheat pastry shards looks nothing like its name. But no matter: The husk cherries are so sweet, and the corn pudding so rich and magnolia-yellow, that we’d eat it by the spoonful just as if it were ice cream. (Plus, when the waiter reminded us that corn is also a flowering plant, we got a little botany lesson.)The star entrée is the duck cappellacci ($29), in which discs of yellow beets are cloaked in Swiss chard that resembles a thicket of trees. The root vegetables here are as essential as the poultry confit that’s tucked inside the folded pasta. It’s exactly the kind of satisfying grub we’re always searching for.The heritage chicken ($36) is cooked just right, and its crunchy roasted broccolini (another flowering plant), wiggly foraged mushrooms and mustard-seed glaze are soul-warming. Frankly, there’s nothing on chef Garrison Price’s menu that we’d hesitate to try.I

Porcelain
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber
Restaurants, Austrian

Porcelain

Ridgewood
3 out of 5 stars

An Austrian restaurant without wiener schnitzel on the menu is like a corner bodega sans an egg sandwich. Porcelian doesn’t disappoint: Its take on the Viennese staple ($16) comes with a refreshing twist—not only is it affordable, but it tastes lighter, too.To accomplish this, the newly opened Ridgewood café nixes the traditional veal cutlet, which is typically pounded thin, breaded and lightly fried. Here, pork is instead sliced into strips that are served alongside potato salad, sauerkraut and a few leaves of lettuce surrounded by mustard dollops. The result? A perfectly fine take in which the crispy exterior of the meat pairs well with the velvety spuds and crisp greens. Say auf Wiedersehen to wiener schnitzels that are the size of enormous dollar pizza slices—and just as greasy.No less comforting is Porcelain’s welcoming space, with its vintage wall sconces, plush furniture and stenciled wallpaper. (A former store and a meeting spot for the nearby St. Matthias Roman Catholic Church, the eatery cameoed in Martin Scorsese’s recent film The Irishman).The laid-back, serene interior feels like a well-lived-in space where you can hang out all afternoon. So go ahead and order the Artisanal Local Sausage Plate ($14): The weisswurst, a Bavarian sausage usually made from minced veal and back bacon, is full of flavor, and the texture snaps like the best New York hot dog. Pair the hearty dish with a side of dill pickles ($6).We recommend sticking with the more classic cuisine here: O

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Llama San
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber
Restaurants, Peruvian

Llama-San

West Village
4 out of 5 stars

The meal could’ve ended right then and there. Our first course was one of the best dishes we’ve tasted in 2019: scallop ceviche ($22) arrived in a shallow pool of milky, subtly tart leche de tigre with hints of sweetness from the cherimoya (a tropical fruit) and the earthiness of Japanese black sesame. The purple borage petals on top only added to the plate’s allure. As we finished the last bite, my dining companion and I had the same thought: What did we just eat?We were tasting chef Erik Ramirez’s interpretation of Nikkei cuisine, which combines Peruvian and Japanese flavors. It’s not common in New York—yet—but in the past few years, some of Peru’s top restaurants, such as Maido and Sutorīto Māketto, have been recognized across the world for championing this exciting fusion.Now, the United States is finally being introduced to this relatively unknown style of cooking. At Llama-San, Ramirez’s follow-up to his popular Llama Inn in Brooklyn, the buzzy room is polished with neutral tones (think blond wood everywhere), with plants dotting the lively bar up front. The understated room and delicate-looking plates allow the food to shine.While nigiri is a kind of sushi that’s typically made of raw fish atop a bed of rice, this version features an unusual protein: aged duck ($26). While cumbersome to eat, the meat is full of flavor and complements the roasted banana and nasturtium leaf. One surprising combination was a block of soft tofu ($21) topped with delicate baby shrimp and pu

Golden Diner
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber
Restaurants, Diners

Golden Diner

Two Bridges
4 out of 5 stars

Joining a growing number of restaurants whose chefs left behind their high-end pedigrees in favor of more fun, laid-back takes on comfort food—MeMe’s Diner and, arriving later this year, Soho Diner and Thai Diner—Sam Yoo has pivoted from Momofuku Ko and Torrisi to debut a greasy spoon of his very own. Unlike the real thing, Yoo’s version opens at 10am, too late for prework meetings, though its hours go till 11pm. While the new Two Bridges restaurant is decked out in the leather-covered swivel stools, doily-like curtains and stained-glass lamps of yesteryear, the menu offers all-day eggs, pancakes and other nostalgic classics that are updated with global accents, alongside more plant-based options than is typical of these retrofitted spots.Consider Yoo’s mushroom Reuben quesadilla ($14)—a gooey delight. The oily pressed tortilla’s flavor doesn’t stand out at first, but when it’s dipped in the pink Russian dressing, the oozing dish feels like a contender for the world’s best drunk food.The wontonini ($13) has pork dumplings in brodo, garnished with a cascade of shredded Parmesan and elegant mushroom slices, plus a dusting of nutmeg. It all feels just as soul-nourishing as minestrone or Yankee bean soup—we’d be lucky to have Yoo bring it to us the next time we come down with the flu. Diners aren’t exactly known for great pasta, either, but the sumptuous, curlicue-edged Taiwanese noodles ($18)—so striking they could be a dress strap in the next Gucci collection—will make you reco

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Night Music
Photograph: Maksim Axelrod
Restaurants, Indian

Night Music

East Village
2 out of 5 stars

While the term vegan was only coined in 1944, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Rastas have long maintained a meat-free diet. Now, many New Yorkers are coming around to the plant-based lifestyle, and restaurateur Ravi Derossi is leading the way. Since 2016, he has been revamping his existing restaurants and new concepts to be vegan. Night Music (in his former Fire + Water space) is focused on Indian cuisine, which already has a plethora of vegetable-forward dishes that Derossi can pull from his childhood.A yellow lentil dip ($7)  topped with sunflower seeds is complicated by the fermented notes of pickled mango and roasted pineapple purée—and it’s so good, we would buy it prepackaged at the supermarket. It’s best when combined with the house-made aloo paratha ($8), or stuffed potato bread.The maitake buns ($5 each) are sure to be a crowd-pleaser: The hearty mushroom is fried and covered in (way too much?) vindaloo aioli. While delicious, the maitake gets drowned out in such rich elements.For the saag ($19), brussels sprouts are employed in two ways—roasted and in a mixture of vegan cream cheese, vegan butter, ginger, garlic, Serrano Chile, onion and turmeric—but the result is much less creamy than the classic spinach recipe. An eggplant dish that’s usually served mashed, the bhartha ($18) here is roasted and sits in a spicy tomato chutney and eggplant purée—oddly, this rendition tasted Italian. Both of these misguided entrées are pricier than the environment warrants. Derossi is k

FieldTrip
Photograph: Courtesy FieldTrip
Restaurants

FieldTrip

Harlem
4 out of 5 stars

This summer, when chef JJ Johnson jumped into the fast-casual trend, who could blame him? The prices are more accessible at fast-casual spots than at fine-dining restaurants, and the business model is more nimble. That said, the food isn’t always better.But with the rice-bowl restaurant FieldTrip, Johnson has created a winner—and no item costs more than $12. Because everything looks so appealing, your most difficult decision will be figuring out what to order at the counter.For a first course, the Crab Pockets ($6.95) are a must. Everyone loves the Chinese takeout versions of these deep-fried appetizers; Johnson’s recipe is better, packing a generous helping of crab with garlic-herb cream cheese inside a perfectly crispy wonton skin. (Pro tip: Share this starter to save room for the filling rice dishes.)While Johnson was the chef behind Nomad’s much lauded, now shuttered pan-African restaurant Henry, he  first made a name for himself in Harlem at  Cecil and Minton’s. There, he  turned to the African diaspora to inspire his cooking, which drew upon Asian, Indian, Caribbean and American ingredients.  Many of FieldTrip’s bowls follow similar themes: With its green curry and sticky rice, the shrimp bowl ($12) reminds us of Thai flavors. Meanwhile, the braised beef bowl ($11) offers a hearty mix of tender meat, Texas brown rice and spicy black beans, all topped with a cooling turmeric yogurt. The hefty portion is enough for two meals, so box some up and save room for the refreshin

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Katagiri
Photograph: Time Out New York/ Ali Garber
Restaurants, Japanese

Katagiri

Midtown
4 out of 5 stars

You feel as if you’ve been transported to Tokyo when you step into Katagiri. Located just steps from Grand Central Terminal, this grocery store conjures up images of delicious food that can be found in tiny shops and restaurants tucked inside train stations across Japan. Inside, you’re greeted by dishes we love: kaarage (crispy fried chicken), onigiri (balls of rice shaped into triangles and stuffed with everything from tempura shrimp to pickled plums) and even Spam musubi (a slab of the love-it-or-hate-it canned meat sits atop a sweet omelette and bed of rice).But Katagiri, which opened in 1907 on 59th Street and now has two outlets in Manhattan, offers much more, so check out the aisles teeming with spices, dried noodles and adorably-packaged snacks. It’s especially popular with the lunch crowd.In the back, you’ll find a counter called Brooklyn Ramen, which is run by two Japanese chefs who operate a few locations of the noodle shop and consult with restaurants around the country. The chefs prepare four different types of ramen and other specials, such as hot and cold udon dishes—all served in paper containers with dispoable chopsticks and plastic spoons.The tonkatsu ramen ($12) is the clear winner: a bowl of creamy pork-bone broth is hearty but not heavy. A coat of fat will make your lips glisten when you’ve slurped up the springy noodles swimming in the soup with slices of pork belly, wood-ear mushrooms, ginger and black-garlic oil. It’s a perfect portion that’s larger tha

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