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Gage & Tollner
Photograph: Courtesy Lizzie Munro

The 15 Best New Restaurants in NYC

Our favorite new brunch spots, bistros, neighborhood restaurants and special occasion destinations.

By Amber Sutherland-Namako
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While we were busy catching up with all of New York's best restaurants, a whole new slew of excellent dining destinations started popping up to further complicate our reservation schedules and meticulously orchestrated walk-in efforts. While we’re always delighted to revisit those old favorites, everyone knows that sometimes only something shiny and new will do. 

How new? This perpetually updated list includes the best new restaurants that have opened over the past six months. June’s edition includes a spot that had a false start back in December, a few enviable bookings, a pop-up made permanent and a little bit of a reboot.  

Best New Restaurants in NYC

Francie
Francie
Photograph: Courtesy Pete Herron

1. Francie

Restaurants Williamsburg

Hard-to-get restaurant reservations are, for better and worse, back, and Francie is one of a few of New York City’s best new restaurants with a dine-if-you-can caveat. In this case, however, there are a few blue bright spots in the sea of reservation platform red, especially if you’re willing to dine at the bar a little early or a little late. You could also employ one hack we remember somewhat fondly as “planning ahead,” and constantly check availability to book a table around next month or so. Nobody’s going to mind if you post those photos of Francie’s soufflé cakes with caviar, regally presented duck-for-two with peak-form crispy skin and solid cocktails a little later. Being that this is a special occasion destination in theory and in practice, you may want to do your dining math in advance, anyway. 

Gage & Tollner
Gage & Tollner
Photograph: Courtesy Lizzie Munro

2. Gage & Tollner

Restaurants Downtown Brooklyn

A long-awaited throwback met by unexpected delays, Gage & Tollner’s opening has been electrically anticipated since . . . well, now it’s hard to say. Even just the history bits on G&T’s site are worth a cursory peep (with appearances by prohibition, TGI Fridays and Arby’s!), as the one-time “most famous restaurant in Brooklyn'' certainly has a past. Presently, Gage & Tollner’s dining room is stunningly beautiful. Thanks to both preservation and restoration, it’s simultaneously easy and confounding to imagine how close it skews to the original. Some of the food harkens back, too, particularly seafood items like its raw bar selections (we’re told the original G&T had dozens of oyster preparations a night), mighty steaks and chops and classic cocktails with discrete twists. Ask about the erstwhile turtle.   

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Dhamaka
Dhamaka
Photograph: Courtesy Will Ellis

3. Dhamaka

Restaurants Lower East Side

We’ve been looking forward to this new venue since 2019, and that anticipation made Dhamaka’s opening even more exciting. Dazzlingly pretty, approaching this Indian restaurant at Essex Market makes you feel like you’ve arrived. Inside, the menu includes items seldom seen commercially stateside. More succinctly, plates like gurda kapoora (goat kidney, testicles, red onion and pao) doh khleh (pork with lime, cilantro, onion and ginger) and the limited availability champaran meat (mutton, garlic, red chili) spotlight “the forgotten side of India.” Dhamaka’s marvelous cocktails include the Anjeer Zanjeer (vodka, figs, saffron, lime, mint) and the N.R.I. (star anise infused scotch, cointreau, coconut cream, coconut water ice ball).

Jolene
Jolene
Photograph: Courtesy Eric Medsker

4. Jolene

Restaurants Noho

The first thing you’ll notice about Jolene is its fresh new look. The squat space’s previously orange exterior (famed from its 35-years as Great Jones Cafe and then, briefly, The Jones) has been painted white. The second thing you’ll see is the Elvis bust gazing out from the narrow right-hand window. The King is one holdover from previous iterations of the neighborhood restaurant, which now serves snacks like house-made potato chips, anchovies in oil and littleneck clams, along with larger plates like crispy chicken Milanese and chopped steak frites. It’ll be easy to rosé (or cocktail or cappuccino) all day here in moneyed-cabin-in-the-woods style once hours are expanded earlier than dinner service.  

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Em Vietnamese Bistro
Em Vietnamese Bistro
Photograph: Courtesy Em Vietnamese Bistro

5. Em Vietnamese Bistro

Restaurants DUMBO

Just a few weeks old, Em Vietnamese Bistro follows the success of Em Vietnamese Kitchen, which opened four years ago about eight miles south of this spot in Dumbo. The newer of the two serves minced pork, shredded chicken, beef and tofu rice and noodle dishes, bánh mì varieties and apps like crispy spring rolls and fried chicken wings at lunch. Ngheu hap xa (clams in lemongrass broth), chao so diep (scallop rice porridge with garlic, butter, scallion and cilantro) and banh xeo (turmeric rice crepe with shrimp, pork belly, calamari, bean sprouts and scallions) are available at dinner, when the sun starts setting outside the crisp, mid-century-modern space. Slushies, smoothies and aloe drinks are available at the Bistro’s window spots and multi-tops while it awaits its liquor license. 

Dame
Dame
Photograph: Courtesy Evan Sung

6. Dame

Restaurants Greenwich Village

Dame glowed on everyone's radar when it was but a humble, incredibly popular, critically acclaimed pop-up early last year and through 2020. Now, the English seafood restaurant has a forever home on MacDougal Street. Presently dinner-only but with room to grow in its new digs, Dame serves fried soft shell crabs, grilled blowfish tails and the fish and chips that helped earn its acclaim in beachy environs alongside Pimm’s cups, negronis and a trio of vesper, dry gin or dirty vodka martinis. 

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Le Pavillon
Le Pavillon
Photograph: Courtesy Thomas Schauer

7. Le Pavillon

Restaurants Midtown East

Le Pavillon’s three-course tasting is $125, and that’s before you’ve even had a sip from any one of its 650 bottles of wine, which are also, you know, not cheap. If you are still reading, please find us on Venmo, and then start planning which items you’ll select from those prix-fixe categories. The choose-your-own-expenditure includes wood-fired octopus, roasted Maine lobster, and a milk chocolate crémeux for dessert. An à la carte bar menu provides a less-spendy opportunity to see Le Pavillon’s sprawling, flora-filled space, with a yellowfin tuna tartare, Maryland soft shell crab tempura and oysters Vanderbilt, each around $20. Sidecars, old fashioneds and gimlets will also run you about that much. If a picture’s worth 1,000 words, snap a few of Le Pavillon’s nicely-framed shot of the Chrysler Building to get your letter’s worth. 

Victor Restaurant
Victor Restaurant
Photograph: Courtesy Ian Alvarez

8. Victor

Restaurants Gowanus

This cutie of a newcomer is comfortably chic on its corner near the Gowanus Canal. Inside, the requisite Brooklyn exposed brick, placid seafoam green color scheme, punchy pink splashes and slatted wood-lined bar are warmly lit, while plates are fired from a wood-burning oven. Sidewalk and street seats are outside, with a few particularly nice photo opportunities painted on an otherwise white exterior. Victor’s Mediterranean menu includes shishitos with squid ink romesco, baccalau, mackerel tartare and a whole fish, half chicken and burger. Beer, wine and kicky cocktails like the rum-based Oh Oh Chérie are also available. 

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Pig & Butter
Pig & Butter
Photograph: Courtesy Pig & Butter

9. Pig & Butter

Restaurants Lower East Side

This new brunch spot on the Lower East Side is ideally situated to fortify yourself in advance of your next Best Night Ever, or re-fuel following the inevitable conclusion of your last. The breakfast sandwiches are the obvious contenders here, more chock-full than your standard grab and go, rush-hour offering. Maple turkey sausage and bacon varieties are piled high with egg and cheese, though still technically portable if you truly concentrate. Or, nab a counter or table seat in or outside the cozy locale for decidedly sit-down plates like omelettes, waffles, French toast, and Jamaican jerk chicken, turkey or chorizo burgers. In addition to coffee, Pig & Butter has an assortment of lemonade and soda. 

Atithi Indian Cuisine
Atithi Indian Cuisine
Photograph: Amber Sutherland-Namako

10. Atithi

Restaurants Williamsburg

This is neither a promise nor a contract, but if you go early enough, even on a weekend evening, and if you go now, before word spreads and nearby bar-goers catch on in force, Atithi has ample room to settle in and enjoy generous lunch ($10) and dinner ($18) prix-fixe menus at tables spaced far enough apart to actually hear your own conversation. Of course, hardwood floors and white-painted brick walls don’t exactly make the acoustics conductive to secret-sharing, but order recent hits like the fried bok choy, lamb spring rolls with mint and raita and lamb saag, and you probably won’t do too much talking, anyway. 

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Leland Eating and Drinking House
Leland Eating and Drinking House
Photograph: Courtesy Belathée Photography

11. Leland Eating and Drinking House

Restaurants Prospect Heights

After a door’s-ajar opening in December, Leland Eating and Drinking house really got down to the business of drinking and eating in February. Its menu is thrice divided, categorized into brunch and dinner with a darling “vinyl hour” in-between. The earliest offerings include baked goods like sourdough cinnamon buns, cheddar jalapeño biscuits, pork sisig and babka French toast. A whole fried fish, pork chop with gigante beans and charred lemon skillet mussels are available in the evening. And Lelend serves smoked pollack fritters, flatbread and grilled cheese with za’atar chips during those middle hours. Its bar serves beer and wine, plus cocktails like a 15-chili hot sauce bloody Mary.

Kuxé
Kuxé
Photograph: Courtesy Marconi Gonzalez

12. Kuxé

Restaurants Greenwich Village

With a menu authored together by its team, this new restaurant from the Toloache crew (housed in its familiar old space) is a more collaborative effort than most, with a polished product offering myriad perspectives on hometown cooking from Mexico. The resulting items like tacos de birria, tostada de ceviche and chile relleno are accompanied by a brief word from the contributing staffer. There’s also plenty of room to sip margaritas, palomas and micheladas at Kuxé’s tables, booths and bar seats. 

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Peri Peri Grill House
Peri Peri Grill House
Photograph: Courtesy Peri Peri Grill House

13. Peri Peri Grill House

Restaurants Park Slope

The wonderfully-spiced birds at Peri Peri Grill House’s Bed-Stuy location started building a following in 2018, and now they’re poised to do the same in Park Slope. Choose your chicken quantity: quarter, half, or whole, and maybe a little extra for tomorrow, cross-check your own heat tolerance with the menu’s “peri scale” to select extra mild through extra hot options, tack on a few sides like mac & cheese or jasmine rice and start thinking about your next order before you’ve even finished the first in this quick stop spot. Even at the top of the peri scale, this is not the hottest chicken that ever has or ever will be, but its lovely seasoning is worth returning to. 

Dagon
Dagon
Photograph: Courtesy Dagon

14. Dagon

Restaurants Upper West Side

This Upper West Side sparkler is equally suitable for brunch, dinner, or just drinks that turn into whatever. Its bar is large enough to not run into anybody unless you’re really trying, with decor, drinks and menu items engrossing enough to drive you to distraction. Meet friends or sit alone and breathe in the verdant interior over plates intended to evoke “somewhere in the Mediterranean” like the Jerusalem bagel with smoked salmon, shakshuka, flash-fried cauliflower, whole charcoal-grilled branzino, harissa BBQ chicken and crispy roasted lamb. 

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Veranda
Veranda
Photograph: Courtesy Evan Sung

15. Veranda

Restaurants Soho

Hovering two stories above the sidewalk, Veranda has a bit of a what light through yonder window breaks quality, but this is no Juliet balcony. Veranda’s space can accommodate you, your beau, and dozens of other star-crossed lovers under (or not!) its retractable roof. Veranda’s bar shakes and stirs juleps, palomas and dirty martinis to accompany snacks like French fries and salt cod croquettes. Dinner includes Norwegian salmon, piri-piri chicken and a dry-aged New York Strip.

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