Wave Image
Don’t see your city? Drop us a line and let us know where you’d like us to go next.

Send Us Feedback

Thank You

We’re always looking to make The Infatuation the best platform to find restaurants, and we appreciate your feedback!
NYC

Guide

The Best Things We Ate This Week

A running list of the best dishes we’ve had recently.

29 Spots
Launch Map
29 Spots
Launch Map
Updated January 15th, 2021

New York City is open for outdoor which means there are thousands of restaurants where you can eat today (including places with heat lamps so you can stay warm outside). But if you can’t decide where to start, or you’d rather order something great for takeout, we totally understand. That’s why we’re highlighting the best dishes we’ve had recently, all of which are available for takeout, delivery, and/or outdoor dining right now. From a pile of Jamiacan beef Ddukbokki to the best donut we’ve ever had, here’s a look into our personal food journals.

If you’ve had a great dish that you want to share with our team, send us an email at nyc@theinfatuation.com. Now, on to the dishes.


THE DISHES

Xilonen

Xilonen

$$$$
$$$$ 905 Lorimer St

Carrot Tostada

“Xilonen recently opened in the huge corner space on the Greenpoint side of McCarren Park (where Sauvage used to be). Like its sister restaurant in the same neighborhood, Oxomoco, this place serves Mexican food best enjoyed with a drink outside. Although there are two main differences here. The first: Xilonen’s menu is entirely vegan and vegetarian. The second: for a few hours after eating brunch, carrots from this dish will appear in places you don’t expect. You’ll think, ‘Is that a traffic light turning yellow, or is it a tender root vegetable with impeccable char?’ or possibly ‘Those piano keys have an incandescent orange hue and look delicious, should I eat them?’ Not only does this navy bean tostada stay together like you promised yourself you would in 2021, but its spiced maple flavor so acutely hits the acid-sweet combo needed to start a Saturday. The only thing is, it’s hard to share. That shouldn’t be a problem - “splitting” isn’t a 2021 verb anyway.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Ayada Thai

$$$$ 75 9th Ave

Raw Shrimp Salad

“I’m not sure why parents go around picking their favorite children, but I’ve always heard it’s a difficult decision. After going to Ayada in Chelsea Market, I think I can relate. After all, everything I had was absolutely phenomenal, and yet here I am, narrowing them down. The big portion of crispy duck over curry makes a strong case, and the elastic, brown-sugary noodles speckled with chili paste form the best version of drunken noodles in NYC. But forced to choose, I’ll go with the raw shrimp salad. The shrimp have the texture of toro, and enough flavor that they wouldn’t feel at all out of place alongside it at a high-end omakase. But the salad goes supernova when all of the components - juicy tomatoes, crunchy bitter melon, big chunks of garlic, and spicy chili-lime sauce - are packed into one intense, incredible bite.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

Leland Eating & Drinking House

$$$$ 755 Dean Street

Vegan Cinnamon Bun

“I was an on again off again vegan for two years. Which is another way of saying I’ve eaten more disappointing pastries than I’d care to admit. But the cinnamon bun at this new spot in Prospect Heights has officially changed my perspective on vegan baked goods. It’s about the size of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s fist, served fresh from the pan, and coated in icing that tastes dangerously similar to cream cheese frosting. But what really sets this bun apart is the liberal use of orange zest - it balances every sweet bite with just the right amount of citrus.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Hannah Albertine

Golden Diner

$$$$
$$$$ 123 Madison St

Jamiacan Beef Ddukbokki

“Like any good curmudgeon born before WWI, I pretty much order the same four things at my favorite diner (in this case, the breakfast sandwich, matzah ball soup, chicken katsu club, and pancakes). But trying Golden Diner’s special with rice cakes in scotch bonnet beef ragu ruined my ordering routine forever. It comes engulfed in curried breadcrumbs, making every bite a little bit crunchy, a little bit chewy, and meaty enough to jeopardize someone’s vegetarian-leaning resolutions. These rice cakes were so deeply spiced that, by the time I was finished, the bowl had turned a hue of yellow that should have its own dedicated Essie nail polish name. I feel like a big idiot for never ordering the specials at Golden Diner. Thanks to these rice cakes, I learned my lesson.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Foxface

$$$$
$$$$ 80 Saint Marks Pl

C.B.D. Special Sandwich

“If you live in the East Village and don’t frequent this sandwich takeout window connected to an old St. Marks theater and an absinthe/mead bar - I want you to change that about yourself, please. My go-to lunch here is typically the Smoking Fox (which tastes like a Cubano without cheese and is always on the menu), but the person behind the counter recently convinced me to take a chance on a special with smoky-sweet carrots, tender brisket, fresh dill, and dill butter. It tasted like a comforting winter dinner elegantly stuffed into crunchy, pressed panini bread. I got a full blast of every ingredient in every multi-textured bite, and I miss it already.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Matt Tervooren

Yoon Haeundae Galbi

$$$$
$$$$ 8 W 36th St

Seafood Tteokbokki

“This guide includes the best dishes we’ve eaten in any given week, but I’m ready to widen the timeframe for this seafood tteokbokki from Yoon Haeundae Galbi in Midtown. A month? A season? A year? The massive entree includes rice cakes tender enough to slice with chopsticks, but with enough snap to add texture to hold in the spicy, acidic sauce. That sauce is so thick (and distractingly excellent) that you’ll barely notice the huge portion of seafood until the plate is half-empty. At that point, though, you’ll discover crab, head-on shrimp, baby octopus, and two types of clams, all of which have been bathing in the gochujang-based sauce the entire time.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Matt Tervooren

Santo Brúklin

$$$$ 548 Court St

Pão de Queijo

“There’s not a lot of variation amongst pão de queijo, and that’s generally a good thing, as baked cheese bread doesn’t need much help tasting delicious. In fact, after ordering it at just about every one of the Best Brazilian Restaurants In NYC, I found that the only versions that really stood out did so for negative reasons. Then I went to Santo Brúklin, a Brazilian spot in Carroll Gardens that opened literally one day before the citywide shutdown, and realized that there are (very) positive outliers as well. The outsides of the two baseball-sized rolls crack when you pick them up, and despite dense and cheesy insides, they pull apart like freshly baked croissants. What really separates this version, though, is the side of soft, ground, spicy ’nduja that’d be a must-order snack on its own.

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Matt Tervooren

Jeju Noodle Bar

$$$$
$$$$ 679 Greenwich Street

Chicken Wings

“I’ve eaten a sizable fraction of the city’s great chicken wings. But none of them prepared me for the ones at Jeju Noodle Bar. The versions at this Korean noodle spot in the West Village are at the very high-end of both the crispiness and juiciness ends of the wing spectrum, and while that, plus the tangy chili-yogurt dipping sauce, would be enough to make these some of the best wings in the city, those aren’t even the main attraction. That honor belongs to the umami powder - a blend of dried mushrooms, seaweed, nori, and kombu - that’s dusted on the wings post-fryer, and sends your mind reeling for answers in a similarly intense, but far more enjoyable way than even the most punitively spicy wings in the city.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

MeMe’s Diner

$$$$ 657 Washington St

Pumpkin Muffin with Cream Cheese

“I introduced my partner to my mother over brunch at MeMe’s Diner right around this time last year. So when this Prospect Heights spot announced it would be closing at the end of November, I was unsurprisingly affected. (For the record I wouldn’t typically make this kind of introduction in public, but we were all hungry around 1pm on a Sunday and it just kind of happened.) Unwilling to miss my chance to eat at this legendary brunch place one last time, I stopped by for their final weekend service along with 89% of the queer community in Brooklyn. After managing to order their very last pumpkin muffin, a wave of sadness washed over me. This large, crispy pastry was softer than Janet Jackson’s whisper on the inside, and as I wiped the pillowy cream cheese filling off of my lip, I realized that this was the first and last time I would enjoy it.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Tong

$$$$ 37-08 73rd Street

Fuchka

“This Bangladeshi food truck in Jackson Heights is always parked outside of the Duane Reade on 73rd Street, and it’s where you should be going to eat incredible fuchka. Each order is served with a wreath of puffed puri that’s been filled with boiled yellow peas and potatoes, and topped with raw red onions and shaved egg yolks. It’s imperative that you spoon a little bit of tamarind water on each one before you pop it in your mouth. Between the sweet tamarind, the sharp raw onions, and the hot mash of peas and potatoes, this is one of my favorite food truck snacks I’ve ever eaten in NYC.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Matt Tervooren

Samwon Garden

$$$$
Korean  in  Midtown
$$$$ 37 W 32nd St

Pork Jowl

“Look, I don’t dislike pork belly or bacon or jowl. I just personally happen to prefer lower fat-to-meat ratios. So despite the fact that my friend has been to the original Samwon Garden in Seoul countless times, I was dubious when he insisted on ordering the pork jowl at this BBQ spot’s location in K-Town. But my hesitation disappeared about as quickly as the outer layer of fat on the grill in the middle of the table. I ate the first strip of perfectly cooked pork in a DIY lettuce wrap with sticky rice, chives, and doenjang (spiced soybean paste), and while absolutely delicious, the meat has more than enough candy-like sweetness to stand on its own.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Hillary Reinsberg

Tanoshi Sushi

$$$$
$$$$ 1372 York Ave.

“Triple X” Piece

“In general, I haven’t done indoor dining, but I made an exception for Tanoshi, because if you’re a party of four, you’ll have an entire restaurant to yourself. The Upper East Side omakase spot has two storefront spaces on York Avenue, each with its own sushi bar, and only four diners are allowed in each one. If you come with a group of four, as I did, you basically get your own private dining situation. Each reservation lasts one hour, and there’s plastic separating you from the chef, who makes each piece fresh in front of you. As it gets colder, I can definitely see myself back here. All the sushi is excellent, but the standout piece has to be the “Triple X” - which comes with salmon roe, uni, and a quail egg.”

-Hillary Reinsberg, Editor In Chief

Hannah Albertine

Kitty’s Market

$$$$ 60 S Front St

Breakfast Sandwich With Bacon & Sauerkraut

“I took a last-minute train to Hudson over the weekend and had three of my five meals at Kitty’s, a daytime cafe that pretty much only sells chicken, pastries, and one of the better breakfast sandwiches I’ve had this year. Between the blanket of mild muenster cheese, smoky bacon, and a bun that’s been blasted with sesame seeds, this thing should have its own Hudson tourism ad on Amtrak. There’s a free option to add housemade, chunky sauerkraut, which only makes the BEC flavors pop even more. More egg dishes should come with sauerkraut.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

Aita Trattoria

$$$$
$$$$ 798A Franklin Ave

Lasagna

“I don’t order lasagna unless it’s from Aita Trattoria in Crown Heights. Nothing else compares to this heavenly stack of noodles, cheese, and meat sauce. It’s served by the gloriously massive slice with ten layers of pasta, bechamel, and bolognese that taste like they’ve been given an abundance of time and care. It’s my favorite thing to eat at home on a rainy day, and while I usually get full after finishing just half, I push through and finish the rest because reheating something this perfect would be very disrespectful.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Matt Tervooren

Churrascaria Plataforma

$$$$
$$$$ 316 W 49th St

Leg of Lamb

“You won’t order from a menu at Churrascaria Plataforma in Hell’s Kitchen. Instead, you’ll turn a coaster green-side-up when you want the barrage of grilled meats at this Brazilian steakhouse to continue, and flip the coaster red-side-up when you want to pause or call it quits. After bacon-wrapped filet, top sirloin, pork sausage, and countless other cuts had appeared and disappeared from my plate, I flipped my coaster over in defeat. Then things got complicated. The server asked me what my favorite cut of the night was, and when I said the leg of lamb, he returned a minute later with the giant spit of meat. Disregarding my red coaster, he simply asked how I like it cooked, and piled a few more slices on my plate. The salty and juicy, but charred meat almost made me flip the coaster back to green for yet another round. Almost.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Katherine Lewin

Sofreh

$$$$ 75 Saint Marks Ave

Pomegranate Beef Ribeye

“I watched Kamala Harris and Joe Biden’s victory speeches from my cell phone, propped up against a water glass at Sofreh. (As a general rule, I try to keep my phone off the table at restaurants, but I figured this was the moment to make an exception.) It was the cherry on top of an incredible dinner outdoors at this Prospect Heights spot. My two favorite dishes of the night were the gormeh sabzi - a dried lime and herb beef stew - and this absolute stunner of a steak, marinated in walnuts and pomegranate. Having grown up in LA where Persian food is easy to find, this meal reminded me how much I miss and need it in my life - especially if it’s from Sofreh.”

-Katherine Lewin, Editorial Director, Restaurants

Hannah Albertine

Cuchifritos Frituras

$$$$ 168 E 116th St

Alcapurria

“On my way home from Cuchifritos on 116th Street in East Harlem, the 6 train started to look like one big alcapurria. I began to imagine I myself was not a passenger, but a piece of ground beef floating inside of a slightly sweet, fried cassava tube. I guess that’s what happens when you eat Puerto Rican fritters this delicious. It makes you fried-meat drunk.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

North Dumpling

$$$$ 27 Essex St

Pork and Chive Fried Dumplings

“North Dumpling is the best I-can’t-focus-on-work snack break destination there is. The other day when I was feeling lousy and cooped up, I walked to their spot on Essex Street with cash in my pocket (they don’t take cards). By the time I had finished an order of their pork and chive fried dumplings, I no longer felt like I wanted to throw my computer in the East River. Each order of dumplings costs less than a bullsh*t coffee with too much oat milk even though you clearly said “a splash” ($3.50). I suggest you sub a future beverage break for a dumpling break the next time you need to step away from the horrors of your screen.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Landmark Coffee Shop

$$$$ 158 Grand St

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

“My family doesn’t believe in taking Advil unless you’re seriously K.O.’d. Instead, I was trained as a young child to seek comfort through diner breakfasts. This explains why I recently ended up on the sidewalk in front of Landmark Coffee Shop in Soho, enjoying a plate of corned beef hash, eggs, and paprika-heavy potatoes, as well as a glorious stack of pancakes for the table. If you don’t know Landmark, you should. It’s one of the last diners in the area, and their thin, chocolate-studded pancakes are stronger than Advil.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Crop Circle

Crop Circle

$$$$ 126 Macdougal St

Spicy Beef Guokui

“Being hangry is my least favorite pastime, so I rarely leave the house without an eating plan. However, I recently found myself in Greenwich Village around 7pm on a Saturday night with a growling stomach and no restaurant reservation. After several failed attempts at finding a place accepting walk-ins, I stumbled upon Crop Circle and was pleasantly surprised that my last resort became a standout event. This counter-service Chinese street food spot mainly serves guokui - crispy flatbreads stuffed with different kinds of meat or seafood - and the spicy beef option saved my night. The thin pancake was larger than my head and filled with mouth-numbing minced beef, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Matt Tervooren

Arepa Lady

$$$$ 77-17 37 Ave

Arepa de Queso with Chorizo

“When I walked into Arepa Lady in Jackson Heights recently, I was at the tail-end of a very long day of eating Brazilian food for an upcoming guide. A massive chorizo-topped corn cake overflowing with melted mozzarella wasn’t exactly what my body needed, but these arepas have been recommended to me since before they moved from food truck to brick-and-mortar in 2014, and I couldn’t ignore them any longer. I’m glad I didn’t. The arepa itself packs a ton of flavor considering it’s a thin, crispy sheet between masses of cheese and grilled meat. A bite with all the components - including queso blanco, hot and mayo-based sauces - has enough parts sweet, salty, charred, and intensely rich to bypass appetizer, entree, or dessert categorization. Since I certainly didn’t need any one of those, it worked out nicely.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Katherine Lewin

King

$$$$
FrenchItalian  in  SoHo
$$$$ 18 King St.

Ricotta And Chanterelle Ravioli

“Sometimes, when a server drops a dish off at your table, it feels like time stops. The world around you fades away. Whatever conversation you were having is irrelevant. The food is somehow glowing, and you’re pretty sure you’re not imagining it. I mean, just look at these ravioli. Hand-cut and stuffed with chanterelle and ricotta, they’re lightly covered in a simple thyme butter sauce that only further proves how spectacular this pasta is on its own. I would tell you to come to King just for this dish - but every other thing I ate on a recent dinner there was (almost) just as good.”

-Katherine Lewin, Editorial Director, Restaurants

Jongro BBQ

$$$$
Korean  in  KoreatownMidtown
$$$$ 22 W 32nd St Fl 2

Spicy Rice Cake

“Like almost every spot in K-Town right now, Jongro has tent-covered outdoor seating, which means even on rainy nights, you’ll find lots of socially-distanced group hangs. The Korean BBQ here is some of the best in the city, but it was the tender, chewy rice cakes that stole the show when I visited. More accurately, it was the deep pool of sweet and spicy gochujang-based sauce, which combatted the disgusting weather that caused us to use a kimchi pancake as a sponge about halfway through. After dinner, I ended up having the best thing I’ve drank recently as well, when I ladled soju out of a watermelon at Pocha 32 across the street.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Mel

$$$$ 1 Ludlow Street

Sunflower Sorghum Bread

“As much as I try, I can’t sleep in on weekends. This quality frustrated me until I realized that I’m an ideal patron of this new, weekend-only bakery on the LES. Mel specializes in (incredible) sourdough breads, and usually runs out of loaves within a few hours of its 8am opening. While you could easily annoy the sh*t out of someone by talking about Mel’s artisanally milled flours and heirloom rye grain, all you need to know is this: any bread you try at Mel will be springy to the touch, crusty on the outside, and about a thousand times better than carbs you make at home. Chronically-early risers, go try some.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

Sariling Atin

$$$$
$$$$ 89-12 Queens Blvd

Adobo Kambing (Goat Adobo)

“Back when we were all in an office together, Hannah used to bring everyone Filipino snacks from some spot in Queens. Recently, I visited that spot - a Filipino grocery store in Elmhurst - for the very first time, and quickly realized that they do so much more than sell delightful fish crackers. Sariling Atin has a cafeteria-style counter in the back, and the goat adobo they serve has some of the most tender meat I’ve ever had. It’s cooked in this creamy adobo sauce that’s sweet, then vinegary. This goat adobo is the perfect rainy day meat dish and if I could go back in time, I’d have asked Hannah to bring me back several orders to be stored in my freezer.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Joomak

$$$$ 5 W 35th St

Chocolate Mandoo

You know what’s honestly, always good? When a restaurant turns a non-dessert item into a dessert item. Nutella pizza, for example. At Joomak, a pop-up run by a pastry chef from The Modern, they’re serving chocolate filled Korean dumplings in an Earl Grey-flavored broth that caused my friend and I to both go, “Whoa.” Joomak is operating out of a karaoke bar’s sidewalk space on 35th and 5th for a few more days, and you can DM the chef for a reservation.

-Hillary Reinsberg, Editor In Chief

Hannah Albertine

Gena's Grill

$$$$ 210 1st Ave

Pollo Guisado

“The question is not whether you want this Puerto Rican stewed chicken from Gena’s by the 1st Avenue L train in the East Village (because you obviously do - each piece of tender chicken tastes like garlic, potatoes, and sofrito inviting you to a party). Instead, the real question is which sides will you request to eat with your pollo guisado? I went with yellow rice, red beans, and a side of extra caramelized, crunchy-sweet maduros. It was a highlight of my week.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Szechuan House

$$$$
Chinese  in  Flushing
$$$$ 133-47 Roosevelt Ave

Wontons In Chili Oil

“I’ve recently taken boats, trains, and bicycles to eat Szechuan food - all in preparation for a guide to the best mapo tofu in the city. But little does my editor know that I’ve also been conducting personal research on the city’s best wontons in chili oil. So far, the version I had at Szechuan House in Flushing has been my favorite. Each wonton has extra-long sheets hanging off of their plump, pork-filled centers, sort of like silky veils. There’s enough wonton chew to counterbalance the meat and bright red, spicy sesame oil.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Katherine Lewin

Emilio's Ballato

$$$$
Italian  in  SoHo
$$$$ 55 E Houston

Veal Parmesan

“Look at that dreamboat,” is the response I got from our Editorial Operations Manager when I texted her a photo of this veal parmesan at Emilio’s Ballato. She’s certainly not wrong - but this thing isn’t all looks. The veal is perfectly tender, the breading-to-sauce ratio is ideal, and there’s plenty of mozzarella to go around. My group of three split this dish, and still had some to take home for luxury leftovers. Oh, and while I’d like to keep it a secret, it’s my job to tell you: this iconic Soho spot now has a secret back patio. Come here when you want to be reminded of one of the many reasons you live in NYC.”

-Katherine Lewin, Editorial Director

You'll need a better browser for that!
Upgrade to Chrome and start finding Restaurants.