Restaurants & Nightlife

6 MINUTE READ

NYC’s best new restaurants

Words by Devorah Lev-Tov

25 April 2024

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We pick the top 11 best recent openings around the city.

As the city that never sleeps, New York City certainly keeps diners on their toes. The first quarter of 2024 has seen dozens of new restaurant openings from Brooklyn to Queens to Manhattan and beyond, but it can be overwhelming to sift through what's actually worth fighting for a reservation at. 

Luckily, we've been dining our way down the list and have come away with our favourite openings of the year so far, from authentic Chinese spots in Park Slope and Long Island City to the hottest Korean fried chicken restaurant to lesser-known omakase and kaiseki menus. From big-name chefs' latest ventures to newcomers, from elaborate tasting menus to upbeat atmospheres, this list of the best new restaurants in New York City has it all.

Theodora

This narrow spot by the G train subway entrance in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, is from the team behind the much-loved Miss Ada, but you might not know it. Aside from a Middle Eastern bread section, the concept here is totally different, with fish, seafood, and vegetables as the focus, accompanied by natural wines and craft cocktails. What makes the food stand out is the house-dried fish used in many dishes – you can even see the sea creatures hanging in the ageing cabinet, much like a piece of meat would at a steakhouse. 

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7 Greene Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

In addition to the bread section, which features items like Yemenite kubaneh and laffa served with eggplant, there's a crudo section, a vegetable section (the wood-fired sweet potato is a must), and then two sections devoted to cooked fish and seafood, like a whole butterflied trout, half smothered in a red pil pil and half in a green chermoula, and standout black cod with a shallot beurre blanc and green chickpeas.

Bungalow

New Yorkers have been patiently waiting for Michelin-starred chef Vikas Khanna to return to New York after leaving Junoon and opening restaurants in Dubai. Now, they have been rewarded with the excellent Bungalow in the East Village, where he partnered with Jimmy Rivzi of Gupshup. The menu is filled with homages to Khanna's family and history, travelling across the Indian subcontinent via dishes that remain true to their source while still allowing him to put his own signature spin on them to great effect. 

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24 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009

Try the stunning purple sweet potato chaat, the ghee roasted plantain and the anarkali chicken to see what we mean.

Sawa

Park Slope is diversifying with this stylish Lebanese restaurant from a brother-sister duo from Lebanon who hired an Iranian chef (previously of Sofreh and Eyval). A massive tiled wood-burning oven greets you at the entrance, with a baker patting and rolling out rounds of fresh pita that puff up in the oven to be served hot with dips like hummus topped with whole chickpeas (and wagyu beef cheeks if you'd like), baba ghanouj sprinkled with fried garlic chips, labneh with olives and zaatar, and muhammara with red pepper and pomegranate. 

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75 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Other mezze include rakakat (parsley and halloumi cheese rolls), sambousek meat pies served with green toum, and kibbeh nayah (lamb tartar with bulgur and sumac). If you don't fill up on the appetizers, then order the half chicken, whole daurade fish, or kibbeh arnabiyeh, a lamb shank and tahini stew with chickpeas and rice. Be sure to try inventive cocktails like Pomegroni (gin, pomegranate, Campari, and sumac) and a glass or bottle of Lebanese wine.

Corima

Upscale Mexican has a new home at this Lower East Side restaurant, with a front room for à la carte and a back room for a 10-course tasting menu. Chef Fidel Caballero (previously of Contra and Rhodora) adds hints of French, Italian, and Japanese to his menu of dishes that include items like a tostada with fava beans, ricotta salata, ramps, and house-cured bottarga, Ensenada shrimp sope with peas and burnt tortilla, and turkey with mole, morel, and almond foam. 

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3 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

The most famous item is the tortilla, of all things. It is made from sourdough, hand-stretched and baked to order, yielding a chewy, springy, delicious tortilla indeed. Oh, and do order the Uni Sour cocktail – yes, it has uni in it, and yes, it's deliciously briny.

Coqodaq

When Simon Kim of Cote Korean Steakhouse set out to make a cathedral of Korean fried chicken, he pulled out all the stops. The David Rockwell-designed restaurant is stunning and seems to be packed to the gills every night, with diners ordering the Bucket List, which comes with a bucket of their classic original fried chicken plus a second one slathered in either soy and garlic or gochujang glaze. It also comes with a cup of roasted chicken consomme, various ban chan, dipping sauces, a side of the delicious cold perilla seed noodles, and frozen yoghurt with whatever fruit is in season. 

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12 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

Order the caviar service to enjoy atop or alongside the fried chicken; this unexpected pairing is nothing short of remarkable. Smart diners will also request the sommelier to suggest a few bottles of Champagne to accompany – the restaurant claims to have the largest Champagne list in North America, and the selection is vast.

San Sabino

One of the most-anticipated openings of the year, the West Village's San Sabino, comes from the husband-and-wife team behind the beloved Don Angie, which is right next door. Here, Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli present a more seafood-heavy menu, but it's just as playful, and the vibe is just as lively. This means dishes like the already-viral head-on shrimp parm, lobster triangoli, the meatball-filled manicotti della casa, steak magazzino, and scallop Ccudo, served in a scallop shell mounted atop a stem, so it looks like a shell goblet. Be sure to order the cheesy fritelle, fried, cheese-filled triangles drizzled in honey.

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113 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014

Coral

Hidden inside the massive Art Deco-inspired seafood restaurant next to Grand Central Point Seven, Coral is an intimate rectangular-shaped omakase bar with Chef Robby Cook situated in the middle. Expect about six otsumami like baby shrimp with uni rice and seared yellowtail with green apple wasabi and scallion miso, followed by a parade of sushi like Hokkaido scallop, needlefish, golden cuttlefish, and uni with caviar. Desserts are by Sam Mason, and often feature Japanese-imported fruit like strawberries and crown melon.

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200 Park Avenue New York, NY 10017

Red Sorghum

Vincent Lin and Mandy Zhang, who also own Blue Willow in Midtown and Ye's Apothecary in Manhattan's Chinatown, recently opened this red-hued spot in Long Island City, Queens, on the ground floor of the Jacx Tower. Here, executive chef Bruce Li highlights Sichuan and Hunan cooking with a menu featuring dishes like Sichuan wontons, Xiang Xi fried rice, Chongqing braised beef, a variety of Mala dry pot dishes, and a stew called Miss Lou's famous beef stew, with brisket, enoki mushrooms, and Japanese konjac noodles. 

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28-03 Jackson Ave, Queens, NY 11101

The large cocktail list focuses on baiju, a high-proof Chinese spirit made from sorghum. You can also order baiju straight – there are 18 types on the menu.

Hakubai

Tucked away on the lower level of the Prince Kitano New York Hotel – the city's only Japanese hotel – is the recently revamped Hakubai, which was closed for several years. Now, with a new, sleek design, chef, and menu, it is Midtown's most authentic kaiseki spot. The just-released 10-course spring menu includes items like Uni Chawanmushi, a gorgeously layered sashimi dish, grilled wagyu beef with morels and asparagus, and a delicate strawberry shortcake for dessert.

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66 Park Ave, New York, NY 10016

Lolas

Lola's in NoMad is the first independent venture from chef Suzanne Cupps, an industry vet who spent the last 15 years cooking in acclaimed restaurants like Annisa, Gramercy Tavern, and Untitled at the Whitney. At Lola's, Cupps draws inspiration from her Filipino-American background, South Carolina upbringing, and experience in professional kitchens. Lola, meaning 'grandmother' in Tagalog, is named for Cupps' grandmother, and the restaurant celebrates her grandmother's legacy. 

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2 W 28th St, New York, NY 10001

However, rather than focusing on any one culinary tradition or trying to recreate family recipes, Lola's eclectic menu weaves together Southern and pan-Asian influences, with dishes like sesame milk bread and pimento cheese, fish with daikon som tum and coconut red curry, rib skewers with baked beans and Carolina bbq sauce, and Mutsu apple hand pies with coconut caramel for dessert. Diners can pair the food with cocktails, including the Boozy Pandan Soda (vodka, pear, Calpico) and Suzanne's Special (Cocchi Americano, orange, olives).

Noodle Lane

When chef Lane Li was ready to move her popular Smorgasburg Chinese stall (which has been around since 2011) to a brick-and-mortar space, she found an ideal minimalist spot in Park Slope, an area lacking in authentic Chinese cuisine. Now the chef, who emigrated from China and graduated from New York's Institute of Culinary Education, cooks her standout Sichuan dishes like dumplings, pork buns, Dan Dan noodles, and the mouth-numbing pickled fish, Sichuan style, from a premier kitchen behind plexiglass so that diners can peek in. 

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230 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Her effort to make authentic Chinese food more approachable is evident from the easy and fun notations on the menu, like 'Chef's childhood favourite' and 'A little funky, but delicious, eat with rice.'

You've got good taste. We've got the specialist knowledge. As a Quintessentially member, you have a priority seat at every Michelin-starred restaurant, speakeasy cocktail bar, and chef's table experience – anytime, anywhere. Click here to discover membership.  

Words by
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Words by

Devorah Lev-Tov

A New Yorker for almost 20 years, Devorah is our on-the-ground New York City writer. She covers every angle of luxury living in the Big Apple – from restaurants and hotels to spas and wine.

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