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Photograph: Courtesy of Shan

The 15 best new restaurants in NYC

​​Our favorite new five star destinations and casual spots.

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako
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While we remain devoted to New York City’s best restaurants, excellent new dining destinations pop up all the time to further complicate our reservation schedules and meticulously orchestrated walk-in efforts. While we’re always delighted to revisit those erstwhile 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. That means that some of the dazzlers that ultimately made it to our list of the best new restaurants of 2021, like Dhamaka, Gage & Tollner, Sushi 35 West, Cadence and Sidney’s Five no longer appear here. This edition’s joiners include 2022's first five-star tasting menu, the second act from a Michelin Bib Gourmand spot and a new operation at a famous—and beloved—old address. 

Best New Restaurants in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • Hell's Kitchen

This would have been one of NYC’s best new restaurants of 2021 had it opened a little earlier, or, more than likely, one of the best of 2022 had it opened a little later. The followup to top spot Kochi got going with a five-star tasting menu of mostly Korean-inspired hand rolls on December 10. They’re bookended by a beautiful hansang and a wonderful take on the Choco Pie, amounting to 12 or so courses for $125. The cocktails are also fun, or you can order from the start of the sool menu and work your way down for an excellent de facto pairing. 

  • Restaurants
  • Brooklyn Heights

The first five star restaurant opening of 2022 serves croque fromage, French omelettes, and short rib cannelloni for more-or-less expected brunch prices by day from Friday-Sunday, and an excellent seven-course tasting menu for $135 in the evening from Wednesday-Saturday. The cozy, 34-seat space is full of Brooklyn flair without feeling like a film set, and its seasonal, seafood-forward menu is a list of hits. 

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  • Restaurants
  • East Village

This brand new addition to the unstoppable restaurant group behind Dhamaka (last year’s best new restaurant) looks like the inside of a poultry-focused kaleidoscope, and it’s almost as small. Unapologetic Foods’ Rowdy Rooster specializes in Indian fried chicken across three spice levels. Rebel has a “little tickle,” rogue is a “slap on your face” and rowdy promises a “knockout punch.” It's available on or off the bone and in sandwich form, in addition to sides like eggplant pakora and masala corn. 

  • Restaurants
  • Midtown West

The second act for Cafe China–which was Michelin-starred for most of its ten year run nearby–was worth the time it took the Sichuan standout to relocate. Its lovely new address spans three stories (one’s for private dining), and the wonderful menu’s almost as long. We’ll always recommend the fragrant cumin lamb and spicy soft shell crab, and the bar’s classic and signature cocktails make it a worthy stop even on its own. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Brooklyn Heights

Inga’s Bar is an ideal neighborhood restaurant and bar that would also be worth going out of your way for. It’s the kind of place that real estate agents will claim are abundant in the area, where everybody wants to be a regular, a perfect spot to sit alone with a drink, share an intimate dinner or host a boisterous little get together. Order the wonderful celery Victor with anchovy and parmesan, whichever adventure you choose. 

  • Restaurants
  • Chinatown

Rumors of NYC’s slide into boredom are confirmed exaggeration at Uncle Lou’s, which has a no-pressure celebration environment that’s great for groups, and the lengthy menu that large parties typically necessitate. It will take many happy returns to crack half the selections here, and the chenpi duck, Buddha’s delight and HK-style char siu lo mein are a fantastic place to begin.

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  • Restaurants
  • Carroll Gardens

The team behind Long Island City’s Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant Hupo follows its success with another winning Szechuan restaurant on Smith Street in Brooklyn. Its already popular, but roomier than it looks with almost as much sleekly stylish space hidden in the back as you’ll see up front. Its Chongqing spicy chicken and lamb dry pot are standouts. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Hell's Kitchen

The best new spot to grab food and drinks near tourist/office destination Columbus Circle has broad appeal for denizens of those disparate groups with enough real NYC charisma to attract locals, too. Check out its dedicated martini menu, draft Manhattan, and crowd-pleasing bar snacks, and you’ll probably return to the darling spot for dinner before too long. All & Sundry also accepts reservations for up to 20 and has a large private event space upstairs. 

  • Restaurants
  • West Village

The original Emmett’s is NYC’s top destination for deep dish pizza, and this second spot takes on the other Chicago specialty: Tavern style. The aesthetic, thin crust and square slices are unmistakably reminiscent of the Windy City, and classic toppings like sausage and oregano are among a variety of toppings. Emmett’s on Grove also has excellent baby back ribs, plus cocktails, wine and beer. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Williamsburg

This Nikkei Izakaya is a study in attention to detail across its vibrantly designed interior, expertly plated menu items and particularly photogenic cocktails. Small to mid-sized plates are equally suited to sharing by the dozen as a group or ordering a few on a solo stop by the bar. The ceviche alone is destination-worthy for any occasion. 

  • Restaurants
  • Brooklyn Heights

A darling new spot in Brooklyn Heights’ southwest corner has renewed the age-old (or at least pre-2020) art of hanging around the café all day. And, in addition to its full complement of coffee, espresso and tea drinks, Diem Eatery has fantastic lunch and early dinner options. Bánh mì varieties are hearty enough for two and bún bowls will keep you coming back. A rotating selection of wonderful house made gelato is also available. 

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Park Slope

“Traditional Grandma Dishes” join curry, noodle and signature plates at this casually stylish, comfortable new Thai spot. Its brick-lined dining room has verdant flora arranged overhead and room for a couple dozen diners. We’ll be heading back for the fried quail egg wontons, wonderfully hot papaya salad and the expertly spiced beef jungle curry. Bangkok Degree’s liquor license is pending and BYOB was allowed on our last visit. 

  • Restaurants
  • Astoria

This fun, friendly Mexican cafe & agaveria is airy, attractive, bright and loft-like with plenty of space for larger parties. Choose your own taco adventure with varieties like crispy fish, pork belly char siu and ground beef with shredded cheddar, lettuce, Cholula crema, pico de gallo and a bit of guacamole in a petite hard shell. Citrico Cafe’s long bar and large sidewalk patio are also excellent spots to sip frozen drinks

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

By now you are aware that every new bar that opens in New York city has vowed a sacred oath to operate as a speakeasy. Although the preceding statement is entry level satire, secret society this or that would be a good conceit for some of the genre’s less committed recent additions to tack on. The Woo Woo is one of the best of the booming category, needing no further embellishment. It has overlapping themes of Times Square, the 1980s and sex shops, all behind one lightly password protected door. Craft cocktails also hark to that decade past, and there’s a wide variety of bar food on the menu. 

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