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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 Hanoi House

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

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 Fe

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

Govinda's
Photograph: Time Out New York / Ali Garber
Restaurants, Vegetarian

Govinda's Vegetarian Lunch

Downtown Brooklyn
3 out of 5 stars

Hidden in a windowless basement of the Hare Krishna temple in Downtown Brooklyn, Govinda’s—a nickname for the Hindu deity Krishna—is a volunteer-run Indian vegetarian (sometimes vegan) lunch counter that has been serving  the International Society for Krishna Consciousness’ spiritual adepts and the general public since 1984. Govinda’s is only open for lunch from Monday through Friday, and all dishes are served on red trays, cafeteria-style. You can order three dishes ($9) or four ($10), adding a soup or salad for two bucks more. No matter what you choose, the heaping portions will leave you with leftovers. Govinda’s has different versions of rajma: Ours was with white beans, roasted cumin, fennel, fresh ginger and anise. The legumes were a little one-note, but they paired well with the traditional moong daal soup, a lightly spiced Ayurvedic dish — that’s been recently co-opted by the wellness movement — made of yellow lentils, which are said to be good for digestion. The soup gave us warm, fuzzy feelings, welcomed even on a hot, humid day. Another side dish, the cold slices of stewed beets, could have used more seasoning, but its crunch nicely broke up the meal’s overall mouthfeel. The favorite dish for us and, according to Govinda’s, many other customers, is the Thursday special: eggplant Parm. It is one of the most underrated renditions we’ve had of the Italian specialty—perhaps surprising, since Govinda’s cuisine is focused on South Asia. The gooey and delectable dish may

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Restaurants, Russian

Tzarevna

Lower East Side
4 out of 5 stars

Mariia and Ricky Dolinsky opened There in October 2018 but soon realized they wanted to focus on modernizing Russian cuisine—after all, Mariia was born in Russia, and Ricky is the son of a Slovakian immigrant. By April of this year, they pivoted to Tzarevna, a new concept in the same space.Down the corridor from the basement-level coffee bar is a small, somewhat hidden dining room with a concave, greenhouse-like glass ceiling, fake roses and stacking dolls; the interior design is perhaps a little tacky, but it’s also not beholden to the aesthetic conventions of other LES restaurants.  We began with Russian black bread ($4)—it’s not actually black, but the rye has a dark hue—served with scallion butter and crisp radishes. Borrowing from the region’s preferred ingredients while expanding upon them, a beet salad ($10) with walnut-cheese crumbles, celery and peach mousse errs on the sweeter side for a starter.Next came the sprats ($16), a small fish in the herring family that is fried with a crackling batter and finished with lemon and a side of  beans. We snacked on them like salty chips.The beef stroganoff ($24) is prepared with a lesser-known cut, Wagyu flat iron, which is incredibly supple and mouthwateringly rich, mixed with hearty cremini mushrooms  in soupy pomme purée, rather than a bed of noodles.  Khachapuri is a bubbling fondue pit with brined sulguni cheese and a bright yolk that gets mixed together. Tzarevna makes the dish its own with a sourdough crust that’s fermen

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