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NYC

Guide

The NYC Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In NYC

Whether you’re looking for outdoor dining or takeout and delivery, The Hit List is here to help you find a great new spot to support.

37 Spots
Launch Map
37 Spots
Launch Map
Updated January 19th, 2021

It’s been a tough year for restaurants and bars, but that hasn’t stopped the spots on this guide from opening, pivoting, popping up, collaborating, and finding more ways to support their communities. In one way or another, they’re all doing something new - and we’re excited for you to discover them.

The Hit List is where you’ll find our favorite new food and drink experiences in NYC. We track new openings across the city, and then visit as many as we can. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of every good new spot, one thing you can always rely on is that we’ll only include places that we have genuinely checked out, either in-person or for takeout.”

Our goal is for this list to be as diverse as the city itself - inclusive of a wide range of cuisines, price points, neighborhoods, chefs and owners of all backgrounds, and the multifaceted communities within the industry. If you think we missed a great new place, we want to hear about it. Shoot us an email at nyc@theinfatuation.com

Whether you’re looking for outdoor dining or takeout and delivery or at-home meal kits, The Hit List is here to help you find a great new spot to support - while taking a much-needed night off from your kitchen. Read on to find your new favorites.

THE SPOTS

Nikko Duren

Open for takeout and outdoor dining

“I first heard about this Prospect Heights spot in October 2020 when the head chef and owner was still in the midst of renovating the entire restaurant himself. Now, Leland Eating & Drinking House is officially open with a few private, heated outdoor shacks they’re calling “cozy cabins.” While I chose to dine at a patio table instead, I’d eat their creamy seafood chowder and vegan hot buns out of a mildly-used bucket in the middle of a cornfield if I had to. The chowder made me feel like I was dining at a mountain lodge run by Julia Child when in reality I was at a corner restaurant in Brooklyn run by an ex-Fedora chef. And the cinnamon buns showered in a healthy amount of orange zest has changed my perspective on vegan baked goods for the better.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Xilonen

Xilonen

$$$$
$$$$ 905 Lorimer St

Open for takeout and outdoor dining during lunch and breakfast

“After eating Xilonen’s Mexican brunch in Greenpoint, you’ll notice stunning vegetables 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?’ Don’t worry, you’re not hallucinating. You’re experiencing the aftershock of coming face-to-face with impossibly tangy queso that’s been made from honeynut squash or a crispy corn tortilla softened by navy bean mash. This restaurant from the Oxomoco team serves vegan and vegetarian Mexican food that’s thrilling to eat, mainly because of Xilonen’s commitment to letting vegetables be the stars of every bite. Prepare to spend a little more here than you might at breakfast or lunch elsewhere (for instance, a single purple potato taco will cost you $9), but know that it’s well worth the money for a special-occasion brunch.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Medan Pasar

$$$$
$$$$ 102 E 7th St

Open for takeout and delivery

“Medan Pasar is a gift to anyone looking to spend $10 on a full, excellent meal. It’s also the only restaurant in the East Village with a menu solely dedicated to Malaysian food, including nasi lemak with beef rendang that will convince you that dried anchovies and stewed meat deserve a couples retreat. At $10, the curry laksa is the second most expensive dish on the menu, and one of our favorites. It’s served in a double-layered takeout tub that ensures the thin spongy noodles, fried tofu, shredded chicken, and tail-on shrimp stay fresh by layering them in a platform just above the orange sea of spicy coconut curry at the bottom of the bowl. It’s essentially a takeout bunk bed deserving of several design awards. Medan Pasar now appears first on my mental list of restaurants anytime I want really good takeout without spending a ton on dinner, and I highly suggest it appears first on yours too.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

Guevara's

$$$$
$$$$ 39 Clifton Place

Open for takeout and outdoor dining

“No shade to Skittles, but I could actually taste the rainbow at Guevara’s. Every one of the fresh vegetables (like avocado, red cabbage, tomato, and jalapeno) packed into the Cuban torta here tastes like its purpose in life is to express its individuality. The real MVP of this dish, however, is its crunchy slab of eggplant milanese that’s the best meat substitute I’ve had at any vegan restaurant in the city. This excellent torta is exactly the kind of fully-loaded sandwich I’d expect from a vegan cafe run by the people from Mekelburg’s, who tend to be generous with porchetta and crumbled bacon. As for the space, this Clinton Hill spot has at least 50 potted plants inside, and a heated outdoor patio with pastel pink arches and checkered flooring. I felt like I was dining in Betsey Johnson’s backyard, and in honor of this, I plan to wear a tulle gown whenever I return.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Zanmi

Zanmi

$$$$ 1206 Nostrand Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

“According to Zanmi’s Instagram bio, its name means ‘friends’ in Creole. Fittingly, I’ve walked past lots of friends seated outside of this Haitian restaurant in Prospect Lefferts Gardens since it opened in February. Eating burgers, meat platters, and fried plantains to the beat of a live DJ, these turnt, socially-distant groups made me wonder what I was missing. Until one day, I finally ordered Zanmi’s tasso cabrit (fried goat) for delivery and realized I was sleeping on a new Brooklyn gem. Each tender chunk of goat meat tasted like it had spent the afternoon in a spicy lime juice hot tub, and yet I still found myself dunking them in vegetable relish for a boost of garlic and vinegar in every bite. I’ll be dining solo here at least once a week, and in the future, Zanmi will be the first place I’ll invite my friends for a group lunch date.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Matt Tervooren

Santo Brúklin

$$$$ 548 Court St

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

“Pão de queijo is tough to screw up, but it’s rare that it blows you away. Then there’s Santo Brúklin, a Brazilian spot in Carroll Gardens that opened literally one day before the citywide shutdown. Add a dollop of guava paste and ground, spicy ’nduja on the baseball-sized version here, and you have the best PDQ in the city. Phenomenal cheese bread is enough of a draw for me, but keep in mind the excellent caipirinhas, which you should enjoy with a steaming cauldron of feijoada in the spacious, heated backyard.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Blue Willow

$$$$
Chinese  in  Midtown
$$$$ 40 W 56th St

Open for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery

“Blue Willow’s mapo tofu reminded me of the city’s best versions. Its silky tofu cubes hold up against prodding chopsticks and gravity, and you can taste the fermented black beans hiding in the tingling, mala-spice sauce. While this new upscale Hunan and Szechuan restaurant in Midtown has outdoor seating, their food travels well for pick-up and delivery too. Order some garlic green beans and Chengdu pork wontons to coexist in the same bowl as your mapo tofu, and I promise you’ll find it easier to stay home (and eat really well) this winter.” -Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Star Chefs

Back Alley Bread

$$$$
$$$$ Ditmas Park

Open for delivery

“While most people were making utterly depressing loaves of sourdough in May, the owners of Back Alley Bread started a delivery-only bakery. Their journey began with a few thick, flakey, beignet-like dough balls covered in honey and powdered sugar. They’re called angel donuts (probably because they’re made of such heavenly ingredients) and without them, I couldn’t have made it through 2020. Back Alley Bread was opened by two chefs who worked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and The Grill respectively before the pandemic hit. And in addition to life-changing and genre-defying donuts, this chef couple makes incredible honey buns, brown butter chocolate chip cookies, and angel biscuit kits with apple ginger jam, and homemade butter. If you live in Brooklyn, stop reading this and find out if your zip code is within this bakery’s delivery zone here.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Hannah Albertine

L’itos

$$$$
$$$$ 83 Henry St

Open for takeout & delivery

“If you’re looking for the most exciting new lunch option in lower Manhattan, this Italian-American inspired takeout spot is it. For me, that’s because the menu hits on my happiest eating moments as a Philly kid. The “Jersey City” sandwich, for example, is their take on an Italian combo, and it comes with spicy capicola, salami, pecorino, vinegar sauce, iceberg lettuce shreds, and raw onion, all tucked between airy, flour-dusted ciabatta. L’ito’s also serves a fantastic fried chicken sandwich with bbq sauce and ranch that brought me back to the chicken tender baskets and accompanying dipping sauces of my childhood. Whether or not you relate to my American youth - what’s important is L’ito’s serves delicious food that’s all priced below $15 dollars. Plus, you can buy panko-crusted mozzarella sticks a la carte, they sometimes host pizza pop-ups on weekends, and they own the awesome wine shop next door.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Matt Tervooren

Suki Curry

$$$$ 86 E 7th St

Open for takeout and delivery

“I turn up the heat, and drag my comforter over to the couch, but there’s only one thing that can compete with the cold that permeates my apartment this time of year. And that’s the curry at Suki in the East Village. This Japanese spot - which moved from a six-seat space around the corner into one about five times larger in March - specializes in a made-from-scratch, slow-simmered, thick curry that’s served with rice, ramen, or udon, as well as toppings like pork katsu or shrimp. No matter which of the 15 options you choose, each bite takes you on a trip from sweet to bitter to spicy (depending on the heat level you choose). And then there’s the yaki curry - a thick, absolutely fantastic mix of curry, ground beef, and rice served under a layer of charred, melted cheese. It fought winter, and it won.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

Fan Fan Doughnuts

$$$$ 448 Lafayette Ave A

Open for takeout

“I’m pretty confident that Chef Fany Gerson is some kind of sugar healer. Judging by her success with La Newyorkina and the Dough doughnut chain, everything she makes turns to gold. Fan Fan Doughnuts, her newest sweets shop in Bed-Stuy, is no exception. The chorus of Diana Ross’ “A Brand New Day” played in my head as I took a bite of her signature fan-fan doughnut (a mashup between a Long John and an eclair) filled with guava and cheese. Since then, I’ve stopped by this takeout-only spot to try everything from salted brown butter caramel to mango-cardamom glazed doughnuts, and nothing ever disappoints. If it’s been a while since you’ve last eaten something that made you want to burst into song, head to Fan Fan.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Adam Friedlander

Saigon Social

$$$$ 172 Orchard St

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

I’m not going to pretend like any restaurant can conceivably make me forget we’re all wearing masks. But only places as fantastic as this Vietnamese restaurant on the LES have made me feel temporarily at peace with 2020. While you’re eating bún chả Hanoi, bún bò Huế, and a spicy fried chicken sandwich, you won’t mind sorting out how to equitably share soup without spreading germs, ordering at a window, paying via QR code, or even sitting on the sidewalk in the rain. This is my absolute favorite new restaurant of the year.

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

NYC

Guide:

The Best Vietnamese Restaurants In NYC

Read
Andrew Bezek

Edith’s

$$$$
$$$$ 60 Greenpoint Ave

Open for takeout and outdoor dining

I expected my Friday morning bagel run at Edith’s in Greenpoint to be pretty straightforward: I’d walk up to a friendly person with an Ipad, order whatever looks good, and whisper sweet nothings to a devastatingly gorgeous shiba inu while waiting for my food. In reality, Edith’s tested my patience - the line was so long, you’d think Marina Abramović was staring into the eyes of whoever made it to the end. All things considered, I’m glad I stood it out. The NY Classic (lox sandwich with cream cheese and arugula) on a sesame bagel, and the spicy shakshuka morning bun, are two of the best things I’ve ever eaten before noon. The bagel was doughy and warm, the freshly smoked fish had a tinge of sweetness, and the cream cheese was the light and fluffy kind. And if a brioche challah bun with a runny egg, spicy tomato sauce, and crumbly cheese baked in the middle doesn’t make you want to squeal, we have nothing in common.

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Adá Supper Club

Adá Supper Club

$$$$ Your Apartment

Open for delivery

If, after eight months of quarantine, you still haven’t learned how to turn your apartment into a restaurant, turn off the knife skills YouTube videos and order Adá Supper Club’s A Night In instead. This rotating dinner series features three-course meals from Black and female chefs focusing on foods of the African diaspora. On an early fall night, Chef Kia Damon’s Southern creole menu was delivered to my door: rosemary lemonade (which made for an ideal bourbon cocktail), a pickle platter with pimento cheese, a comforting chicken creole with cured egg yolks, and my favorite dish of the night - calas, sweet rice fritters served with chicory powder and caramel sauce. Between the exceptional packaging, the thoughtful instructions for plating, and a special playlist and video message from the chef, everything about this meal felt personal - in the way that only the best restaurant meals do.

-Katherine Lewin, Editorial Director

For All Things Good

For All Things Good

$$$$ 343 Franklin Ave

Open for takeout and outdoor dining

I hate to break it to you, but Mexico’s native corn varieties are being genetically modified into one boring race of sweet yellow corn - the same one many of us buy at Foodtown when summer hits. But For All Things Good, a very lovable new Mexican cafe in Bed-Stuy, uses only heirloom corn that they nixtamalize themselves to make masa. These are the best tortillas I’ve had in NYC, and you can enjoy the masa in breakfast and lunch bites like the tetela trio and squash blossom quesadilla - or my favorite, the mezcal mushroom tlayudita. I hope to start another day soon with this crispy tortilla layered with beans, cheese, and a fistful of hen of the woods mushrooms. For All Things Good is also open at night, when they crank out tacos, quesadillas, and volcanes, which you can take to-go or eat on the sidewalk outside of the subterranean corner spot.

-Arden Shore, Senior Editor

Farra

Farra

$$$$
Wine Bar  in  Tribeca
$$$$ 71 Worth St

Open for outdoor dining

Literally days before quarantine hit New York City, the Tribeca tasting menu Atera restaurant opened a wine bar next door, serving small plates. They’ve stuck it out through the pandemic, and have a great outdoor dining situation with tables scattered down Worth Street. The menu is made up of small-ish plates that range from a scallop fried rice to a duck leg to one of the better salmon tartares I’ve ever eaten. Farra is keeping things upscale even on the sidewalk - dishes are served on real plates, and from a service perspective, it’s not surprising that this place is connected to a fine dining establishment. I live nearby, and went to Atera once (the tasting menu is $298, so...), but can see going back to Farra quite regularly.

-Hillary Reinsberg, Editor In Chief

Chez Nick

Chez Nick

$$$$
$$$$ 1737 York Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

From walking your dog in Carl Schurz Park to picking up medical knowledge by osmosis, Yorkville on the Upper East Side has a lot going for it. What it doesn’t have, however, is a lot of restaurant options in the date night department. Enter Chez Nick, an American bistro where you can get a glass of wine and ricotta toast with someone who thinks your “two truths and a lie” are clever, or cucumber martinis and lemongrass pork steak over garlic fried rice with the only person who knows your social security number. There’s no seating at L-shaped bar in the middle of the dining room for the time being, but the small wooden tables near the window, in the elevated alcove in the back, or on the quiet sidewalk outside are all good places to share duck ragout-drenched pappardelle.

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Teddy Wolff

The Bun Hut

$$$$ 178 Stanton St

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

The Bun Hut is the most exciting restaurant making West Indian and Bahamian food below 14th Street, which is partly why you should shout about it to everyone you know who lives in lower Manhattan. They serve steamed bao and roti wraps stuffed with various Caribbean fillings, like juicy jerk chicken, braised oxtail, and coconut shrimp. I suggest trying the lightly-fried crab cake bao and the chicken curry roti that’s creamy, subtly spicy, and filled with sweet plantains and julienned carrots. Bun Hut is open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining for lunch and dinner every day except Sunday.

-HA

Winner

Winner

$$$$
$$$$ 367 7th Ave

Open for takeout

Park Slope has a ridiculous amount of bakeries. French bakeries, vegan bakeries, muffin bakeries, cake bakeries, cookie bakeries, pie bakeries, bakeries that offer free-wifi — this neighborhood has them all. But Winner is the newest (and coolest) bakery in the area, and I’ve deemed it worthy of a medium-intensity bike ride, over and over again. That’s probably because their surprise “Saturday 3 o’clock drops” keep me on my toes. Or maybe it’s the fact that their daily bake schedule is available online, hour by hour. But mostly, it’s because the fluffy rosemary and grape focaccia, soft monkey bread, and crusty sourdough baguettes remind me that bread is more than just edible entertainment before a big meal. But in the event that you do want a meal, Winner also has pick-up only meal kits like a roast chicken dinner and everything from pork bánh mì to bass aguachile made by chefs from their rotating Friends & Family dinner series.

-ND

Alex Muccilli

Thai Diner

$$$$
DinerThai  in  Nolita
$$$$ 186 Mott St

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

Even though Thai Diner’s iconic sister restaurant Uncle Boon’s closed, and the universe at large is pretty much going to sh*t, Thai Diner’s food has gotten even better since it opened just before the shutdown. They’ve impressively adjusted to the world of plexiglass and QR codes - all while serving their takes on Thai dishes you’ll gravitate to every time you’re near Kenmare Street. My favorites are the BEC on a roti, the creamy khao soi with rainbow chard, and an aggressively-delicious sandwich with chicken and banana blossom salad piled between sesame seed buns. Expect a slight wait during peak meal hours - that’s just what happens when a restaurant this special comes along.

-HA

Eric See

Ursula

$$$$ 724 Sterling Pl

Open for takeout and outdoor dining

New York City needs more breakfast burritos like late night TV needs more female hosts. So when The Awkward Scone in Bushwick closed and then reopened in Bed-Stuy as Ursula, I felt the whole range of human emotion, and then showed up at this New Mexican cafe on opening day. They offer chorizo, bacon, vegan, and vegetarian versions, all of which come with either red or green New Mexican chile. But I have a hack for you, and it’s that you should ask for “Christmas,” which will get you both chile varieties, and respect from whoever is taking your order. If you’re there in the afternoon, try a stuffed sopapilla with pork or beef, and no matter what, add a side of chile. There are a few coveted benches outside, and I suggest eating right there for maximum enjoyment.

-AS

Yellow Rose

Yellow Rose

$$$$
$$$$ 102 3rd Ave

Open for takeout and delivery starting November 11th

Yellow Rose is filling a Texas-shaped hole in New York City’s restaurant scene. It’s run by a duo who make their own tortillas out of Sonoran flour (which is, fun fact, one of the oldest wheat varieties in North America). Over the last several months, Yellow Rose has hosted weekend pop-ups at places like Doris in Bed-Stuy, Dame in the West Village, and Trans Pecos in Ridgewood, so finding Yellow Rose this summer was like playing tortilla whack-a-mole. But now Yellow Rose has their very own brick and mortar spot on 3rd Avenue in the East Village with a menu of spicy hominy soup with long fideo noodles, beef chili, and delicious bean and cheese tacos that temporarily made me angry to be an East Coaster.

-HA

Justin Sisson

Rangoon

$$$$
$$$$ 500 Prospect Pl

Open for outdoor dining

If I’m not at my apartment, there’s a good chance you’ll find me at Rangoon. Sure, it’s a cool spot with custom floral window shutters and rainbow-colored linen napkins, but it’s the sweet and sour Burmese dishes that keep reeling me back in. I first fell in love with Burmese food at Burma Superstar, one of the best restaurants in San Francisco, so I hustled over when this place in Crown Heights reopened in July with a new outdoor seating setup. That day I tried the crunchy tea leaf salad and a tamarind whiskey sour before floating home on a cloud. Every time I’ve been back since, dishes like the mohinga (lemongrass fish noodle soup) and fall-off-the-bone braised pork have made me push back from the table and nod in approval.

-ND

Teddy Wolff

Hanon

$$$$
$$$$ 436 Union Avenue

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

Hanon’s karaage chicken is slightly crispy and incredibly juicy, and its curry udon is one of the best bowls of soup in NYC. But you’d already know that if you read our full review from last July, or asked me where I wanted to get dinner on a rainy weeknight anytime during the past two years. So why is it making a reappearance on The Hit List now? Well, it’s no longer just a place to go for a quiet rendezvous with steaming broth and perfectly handmade noodles. The Japanese spot now has a big backyard, as well as a liquor license, with a natural wine list put together by the same person who built the one at Frenchette. Drink some cloudy, sparkling sake under ivy and hanging string lights, and then turn your focus back to some of the best udon in the city.

-MT

Hupo

$$$$ 10-07 50th Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

If neighborhoods could brag, Long Island City would have a lot of ammo (it has trains, the Noguchi museum, and a spiffy new library on the water). What it doesn’t have, however, is amazing Szechuan food. That is, until Hupo opened. This Chinese restaurant makes bright and crunchy pea shoots, wontons that should also come in freezer bags, and some of my favorite mapo tofu in the city. The mapo tofu is topped with a handful of ground Szechuan peppercorns, like a dollop of whipped cream on a sundae, and you won’t be able to order it just once. Stop by for their daily Happy Hour, or rotate Hupo into your regular delivery routine if you live anywhere in western Queens or north Brooklyn.

-HA

NYC

Guide:

The Best Mapo Tofu In NYC

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Sean Fagan

Edy's Grocer

$$$$
DeliLebanese  in  BrooklynGreenpoint
$$$$ 136 Meserole Ave

Open for takeout and outdoor dining

When I’m feeling down or like I need a half-pound of muhammara to grace my fridge, I head to Edy’s Grocer. The pastel pink and green exterior of this Lebanese deli in Greenpoint would even make Daria feel slightly less miserable. You’ll find a bunch of different Middle Eastern and Polish comfort foods here, like a kale pesto grilled cheese, potato leek soup, pierogies, and shakshuka, but I go all in on the fluffy, fresh man’oushes. Crispy around the edges and doughy in the middle, these Lebanese flatbreads are perfect on their own, or with a few dips on the side. And if I lived closer to this corner deli with a lemon hanging from its shingles, Edy’s Grocer would probably also be my go-to coffee shop.

-ND

NYC

Guide:

The Best Vietnamese Restaurants In NYC

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Gastronomy Underground

Gastronomy Underground

$$$$ Your Apartment

Open for delivery

On a recent Tuesday night, I found myself sitting on my favorite side of the couch, listening to Los Zafiros with a carnitas taco spread on the table in front of me. It was a whole new level of luxury, and I have Gastronomy Underground, a delivery-only Mexican restaurant born out of the pandemic, to thank. My $45 feast came with a print-out detailing the pre-Hispanic roots of carnitas and ended with a few words about the lean, juicy meat slow-cooked with orange peels that I was about to consume. The order also came with a QR code linking to a curated Spotify playlist made by Gastronomy Underground’s chefs who have worked at places like Per Se and the Nomad - a personal touch that made this deluxe takeout experience feel relaxed and unpretentious. At the end of the meal, I had extra handmade tortillas to eat with beans and eggs the next morning, and a new outlook on delivery.

-ND

Noah Devereaux

Lhasa Tibetan Restaurant

$$$$
$$$$ 177 1st Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

The original Lhasa Fast Food is behind a cell phone store in Jackson Heights, and every New Yorker should absolutely make it a point to go there, just to try the momos doused in homemade Tibetan hot sauce. But in case you live closer to the East Village than Jackson Heights (like me), consider the new, second location whenever you’re looking for reliably excellent takeout for less than $20. The plump beef momos and comforting bowls of thenthuk are just as delicious across the East River. And if you’re having trouble making a momo decision, order the $14 combo to sample several. Also important, Lhasa set up a big tent on 11th Street so you and your momos won’t get rained on.

-HA

Little Tiffin

$$$$
Thai  in  Greenpoint
$$$$ 970 Manhattan Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

I should probably work on my winter 2020 self-care plan, but for now at least I know it includes Little Tiffin. This Thai spot opened in Greenpoint over the summer, and has already become my go-to for pad see ew with perfectly cooked Chinese broccoli and super fresh som tum that hits all the spicy, salty, sweet high notes - dishes inspired by the cooking of the owner’s grandmother, who was a chef for Thai royalty in Chiang Mai. Little Tiffin isn’t on the delivery apps, so give them a call or order from their website directly.

-KL

Andrew Lam

The Tyger

$$$$
$$$$ 1 Howard St

Open for takeout and outdoor dining

All I knew about The Tyger before finally managing to snag a table, was that it’s from the people behind Chinese Tuxedo, a party restaurant where the downstairs cocktail bar is the main draw. When I saw the big booths filled with groups drinking colorful cocktails in a more colorful dining room, I got the feeling that this place might be similar. So, I was surprised when my very first bite at this broadly Asian spot in Soho absolutely blew me away. That dish - Phnom Penh fried chicken with lime and white pepper dipping sauce - is just as good as any version I tried when I was making my way through NYC’s Best Fried Chicken Sandwiches. From spicy curry loaded with crispy confit duck, to a not-quite-liquid, not-quite-solid coffee egg tart, everything I tried was absolutely excellent. Bring a group, sit at a table near the retractable floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to Centre Street, and order as much of the menu as you can, colorful cocktails included.

-MT

Evan Sung

Kimika

$$$$
JapaneseItalian  in  Nolita
$$$$ 40 Kenmare St

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

Kimika in Nolita falls into the category of Cool Downtown Restaurant To Be Cool At. This place is from the team behind another trendy restaurant on the Lower East Side called Wayla. But unlike many in the CDRTBCA category, both Wayla and Kimika have real substance, and serve inventive, delicious food. Practically all of the Italian-Japanese inspired dishes and drinks I had during my Kimika meal would be worth ordering again, especially the chamomile negroni and the wonton-like pizzette covered in onion jam and silky prosciutto. Bring a date or your check-out-cool-restaurants companion, and be prepared to spend upwards of $50 per person.

-HA

Hannah Albertine

Mel

$$$$ 1 Ludlow St

Open for takeout on weekends

Mel on the Lower East Side focuses on artisanally-milled flours and heirloom grain varieties - a sentence that could reasonably induce eye-rolls or outdated Portlandia jokes you make even though they aren’t funny anymore. But bread head or not, it’s easy to love this bakery whose owner spent the spring diagnosing the ailments of strangers’ sourdough on Instagram. Any of the loaves you try at Mel will be springy to the touch, crusty on the outside, and essential for your at-home lunches. The catch is that they’re only open to the public on weekends, and usually run out of loaves within a few hours of its 8am opening.

-HA

Bolero

Bolero

$$$$
$$$$ 177 Bedford Ave

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

I recently wrote the guide to The Best Vietnamese Food In NYC, and after visiting dozens and dozens of spots during research, different versions of bánh xèo, bún bò Huế, and beef phở began blending together. And then I went to Bolero. From ’60s Vietnamese radio hits that play from the speakers and the greenery-filled backyard, to a shot and beer combo that comes with a boiled fertilized duck egg, everything about this new-ish spot in Williamsburg feels fun and low-key - except the food. The chefs came from two very high-end restaurants - Blue Hill At Stone Barns and Benu, and it shows in all the dishes. The crispy bánh xèo is topped with house-cured duck prosciutto, the bún bò Huế includes tofu skin torchon, and the Hanoi catfish salad has a thick sesame cracker sticking out of it like a birch tree in a botanical garden. Come here for excellent Vietnamese food with a group.

-MT

Emily Schindler

Fat Choy

$$$$
$$$$ 250 Broome St

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

I love vegetables, nuts, and beans, and yet I rarely plan my day around vegan food. Then I met Fat Choy, and that changed. This outdoor and takeout-only spot serves Chinese-inspired dishes, like some perfectly-fried salt and pepper cauliflower bites and rice rolls that leave me feeling like a bottle of olive oil gave me a smooch on the mouth. Stop by Fat Choy’s takeout window for some distinct punk-rock-but-make-it-produce energy, and an excellent take on a sloppy joe: a toasted sesame pancake sandwich filled with hearty mushroom ragu and crisp slaw.

-HA

Tong

Tong

$$$$
Thai  in  BrooklynBushwick
$$$$ 321 Starr St

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

Tong’s Thai food is meant to be eaten with drinks, but after two hours of nibbling, I realized I hadn’t even touched my wine. That’s probably because I’m a chronic snacker, and the abundance of small plates for around $15 on the dinner menu made me happier than a toddler with a carabiner full of keys. Sitting along the sidewalk patio at this Bushwick spot, I felt like I was near the ocean even though it’s just a couple of blocks from the Jefferson L. The restaurant’s sliding doors were wide open, and I could see floral print lawn chairs and huge monstera plants from my small wooden patio table outside. And each skewer of charred-octopus tasted like it had gone skinny-dipping in a pool of chili lime sauce the night before. When my short, overnight vacation came to an end, I promised myself I’d be back again for weekend brunch.

-ND

Chiko

$$$$
$$$$ 954 Manhattan Ave

Open for takeout

Chiko opened in the fall of 2019 as a tiny chef’s counter serving an intricate, seafood-focused 13-course menu for around $160. After a pandemic-pivot, this Greenpoint spot is now carryout-only, serving Chinese dishes that max out at $15. While I hope Chiko will at some point soon be able to return to its original form, in the meantime I couldn’t be more grateful that my apartment is a few blocks away from this incredible takeout. The rotating menu is tight - with only five dishes, two teas, and bottles of sake - but every single item is worth ordering again (and again and again). So for right now, I’m just trying to get my fill of pork buns, Hakka stir fry, and Sichuan noodle soup with some of the best tofu I’ve ever eaten.

-KL

Emily Schindler

Soothr

$$$$
$$$$ 204 E 13th St

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

Soothr’s koong karee is the single best takeout dish I’ve eaten in 2020. And, yes, you’re correctly assuming that there has been a lot of takeout. The specialty shrimp curry dish from central Thailand has a gooey consistency, and every bite tastes like shrimp paste just called curry powder to say ‘I love you.’ In addition to the koong karee, this Thai restaurant near Union Square makes dishes I haven’t seen elsewhere in Manhattan, like Sukhotthai tom yum noodles that are just as sour as they are meaty and sweet. If good Thai food makes you any degree of emotional, prioritize this East Village restaurant right near Union Square. In case you’re looking to dine out, know that Soothr has a charming backyard that makes the world temporarily feel like one big gazebo.

-HA

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