The 100 Best Restaurants in New York City in 2024 (2024)

Table of Contents
Our critic, Pete Wells, drops his annual ranking. See what’s new, what moved and what left the list. 1. Tatiana by Kwame Onwuachi 2. Blanca 3. Le Bernardin 4. Atomix 5. Via Carota 6. La Piraña Lechonera 7. Semma 8. Superiority Burger 9. Yoshino 10. Torrisi 11. Estela 12. Una Pizza Napoletana 13. Ci Siamo 14. ABCV 15. CheLi 16. Jeju Noodle Bar 17. The Four Horsem*n 18. Trinciti Roti Shop 19. Jean-Georges 20. Mam 21. Casa Mono and Bar Jamón 22. Kono 23. Queens Night Market 24. Café Carmellini 25. Sailor 26. Eyval 27. King 28. Le Coucou 29. Zaab Zaab 30. Atoboy 31. Houseman 32. Shion 69 Leonard Street 33. Gramercy Tavern 34. I Sodi 35. Daniel 36. Szechuan Mountain House 37. Koloman 38. Claud 39. Rezdôra 40. Okdongsik 41. Misi 42. Frenchette 43. Ernesto’s 44. Forever Jerk 45. Raku 46. Clover Hill 47. Aquavit 48. Gage & Tollner 49. Don Peppe 50. Shaw-naé’s House 51. Barbuto 52. Yoon Haeundae Galbi 53. Foul Witch 54. Dhamaka 55. The Grill 56. Contento 57. Mercado Little Spain 58. Le Rock 59. Great N.Y. Noodletown 60. Village Cafe 61. Aska 62. Txikito 63. Craft 64. Lodi 65. Falafel Tanami 66. Barney Greengrass 67. Le Crocodile 68. Chongqing Lao Zao 69. AbuQir Seafood 70. Birria-Landia 71. Shukette 72. Hainanese Chicken House 73. Mark’s Off Madison 74. Ayat 75. Dirt Candy 76. Llama Inn 77. Oiji Mi 78. S & P Lunch 79. Mariscos El Submarino 80. Temple Canteen 81. Foxface Natural 82. Kafana 83. M. Wells 84. Hakka Cuisine 85. Wildair 86. 188 Bakery Cuchifritos 87. Hav & Mar 88. Eulalie 89. Hamburger America 90. Laghman Express 91. Mapo Korean BBQ 92. Cka Ka Qellu 93. Vendors at Junction Boulevard 94. Shopsin’s General Store 95. Hyderabadi Zaiqa 96. Caleta 111 97. Zum Stammtisch 98. Lakruwana 99. Ewe’s Delicious Treats 100. Randazzo’s Clam Bar References
The 100 Best Restaurants in New York City in 2024 (1)
The 100 Best Restaurants in New York City in 2024 (2)
The 100 Best Restaurants in New York City in 2024 (3)

Our critic, Pete Wells, drops his annual ranking. See what’s new, what moved and what left the list.

By Pete Wells

I should have seen it coming last year when my editors put the following headline on my attempt to name the city’s greatest places to eat: “The 100 Best Restaurants in New York City 2023.”

That “2023” implies doing it again in 2024. Still, when they told me that’s exactly what they wanted, my first reaction was surprise. This was followed by the realization that I had a lot of eating to do.

Twenty-two places in this edition of “The 100 Best Restaurants in NYC” are new. I’ve eaten at all 100 in the past 12 months, except for La Piraña Lechonera and the Queens Night Market, both of which are currently closed for the season. (I don’t accept free meals from restaurants I write about.)

New York is a big city, and I tried to find 100 restaurants that represent its neighborhoods, its people and the rewards it has in store for hungry, curious eaters. The list is a tour. If you take it, you’ll see all five boroughs and a wide array of cooking and serving styles.

There are hushed counters where fewer than 10 people at a time enjoy the marvels a great sushi master can conjure, and open-air stalls where jerk chicken soaks up the smoke of hardwood charcoal. And quite a few restaurants in between.

Not many people will eat at all of them. But if you read about them, I hope you will start to see New York the way I see it whenever I look at my options and ask myself where I am going to eat next.

Pete Wells

Showing all 100 restaurants.

1. Tatiana by Kwame Onwuachi

American, Caribbean, Creole
$$$$
10 Lincoln Center Plaza
Upper West Side, Manhattan
tatiananyc.com
Last reviewed on March 14, 2023
★★★
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Randy Smith for The New York Times

Go ahead, ask Resy to ping you when a table at Tatiana becomes available. You might as well learn Icelandic while you’re at it, because you’re going to be waiting a while. Deep into its second year, after much of the hype about Mr. Onwuachi’s spirited rundown of Black cooking styles in New York (Southern, Caribbean, West African, bodega-esque) has blown over, Tatiana remains among the very few places in town where reservations are truly hard to come by. It’s quickly becoming an institution. Is it maturing, too? The truffled chopped cheese is now a satisfying and rather lush steak sandwich, a more fully realized recipe even though it may no longer quite qualify as a chopped cheese. Service can still register as under-rehearsed. Yet the people working at Tatiana, many of them newcomers in the restaurant trade, convey genuine warmth and enthusiasm, which I’ll gladly take over the chilly formalities that prevail in other restaurants that charge this much or more for dinner. Mr. Onwuachi clearly wants you to have fun at Tatiana, but I suspect he also wants you to ask why there aren’t more places like it.

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2. Blanca

Seasonal, Tasting Menu
$$$$
261 Moore Street
Bushwick, Brooklyn
blancanyc.com
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via Blanca

When the tasting counter in Roberta’s backyard finally reopened in January, it had something to show for its unusually long pandemic break: a new chef, Victoria Blamey. She works with Carlo Mirarchi, Blanca’s owner, within the nominally Italian outlines he established in its first decade: the esoteric raw seafood plates, the unexpected vegetable courses, the spare and thrilling bowls of pasta, the remarkable cuts of meat aged on site and painstakingly cooked over Japanese charcoal. But she builds on that structure, adding the intense flavors she loves (often from fermentation, as in the yuzu sauerkraut draped over raw surf clams) and some dishes drawn from the Chilean cuisine she grew up with (like tortilla de rescoldo, a flat and nearly black bread traditionally baked in ashes). Her far-reaching and forward-looking menu is served to a soundtrack provided by an open turntable and a stack of LPs. This has to be the only restaurant in the world where you can play side B of “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” while you wait for the pheasant course.

3. Le Bernardin

French, Seafood, Tasting
$$$$
155 West 51st Street
Midtown, Manhattan
le-bernardin.com
Last reviewed on Feb. 7, 2023
★★★★
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Karsten Moran for The New York Times

You can drop in for a fairly quick lunch, not the whole multi-installment chef’s tasting megillah, just a simple three courses for $127, in and out, no big deal, and still the cooking will make you feel as if tectonic plates were shifting under your feet. In January, what did it for me was the fluke. Boring old fluke, served all over town, where’s the thrill in that, Eric Ripert? And then one of the servers fills the white space around the fish with a sauce the color of saffron. It smells like fennel and lobster. The inspiration is bouillabaisse, right, but (tremor) why is it so briny and (rumble) rich and hey, um, is that (people run for cover …) sea urchin?

4. Atomix

-2(#2 in 2023)
Korean, Tasting
$$$$
104 East 30th Street
NoMad, Manhattan
atomixnyc.com
Last reviewed on Oct. 16, 2018
★★★
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Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

At this point Manhattan must have more Korean tasting counters than kosher delis. Atomix remains the one to beat, though, the leader in finding new ingredients (locally foraged pineapple weed and maple flower are on the spring menu), grounding its experiments in tradition and putting its meals into the larger context of Korean ceramics, fabrics and even chopstick design. The concrete dining room is more chilly than cuddly, but it has little of the pretension that afflicts some other tasting counters. Its earnestness is surprisingly appealing.

5. Via Carota

-1(#4 in 2023)
Italian
$$$$
51 Grove Street
West Village, Manhattan
viacarota.com
Last reviewed on March 3, 2015
★★
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Nico Schinco for The New York Times

Maybe you waited two hours for a table, maybe you lucked into a bar stool, maybe you took a reservation at one of those in-between times that are the only ones that ever seem to be offered. (At 4:15 p.m., are you having lunch or dinner?) In any case, as you hold up the broadsheet menu with its drawings of artichokes and figs, the old favorites compete for your attention: the crisp olives stuffed with pork, bruschetta under mounds of butter with a folded silvery anchovy on each mound, the slick tangle of tonnarelli studded with explosively fragrant peppercorns, the spreadably soft garlic cloves with golden sections of fried rabbit. There may not be another restaurant in town where so many dishes are indisputable classics, where, just when you think you’ve made up your mind, your eye falls on the meatballs sweetened with raisins and pine nuts …

6. La Piraña Lechonera

-1(#5 in 2023)
Puerto Rican
$
766 East 152nd Street
South Bronx, The Bronx
Last reviewed on June 21, 2022
★★★
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Lanna Apisukh for The New York Times

Each winter, the rickety, boarded-up trailer on East 152nd Street looks as if it won’t survive the next strong breeze. And each spring, Angel Jimenez unlocks the door, heats the deep fryer, powers up the salsa music, sharpens the machete and brings the city’s greatest expression of Puerto Rican eating back to life for another season. The frituras, little shrimp-filled pastelillos and shiny golden bacalaitos, are superb. So is the cold octopus salad, crunchy with diced peppers and olives. But the reason we wait all winter for La Piraña’s return is the roast pork. Rubbed with garlic and pepper, splashed with milky garlic sauce and, if you like, some vinegar-and-chile solution swirled in an empty rum bottle, it is the closest a New Yorker can get to a plate of slow-cooked lechon up in the mountains outside San Juan.

7. Semma

+5(#12 in 2023)
Indian
$$$
60 Greenwich Avenue
Greenwich Village, Manhattan
semma.nyc
Last reviewed on Jan. 10, 2022
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Dish picture: Karsten Moran for The New York Times. Interior picture: Lisa Corson for The New York Times.

The city hasn’t quite caught up with Semma yet. To some extent we can blame the Unapologetic Foods group, which opens restaurants faster than Guided by Voices puts out albums. But the real issue is that we haven’t seen anything like Vijay Kumar’s interpretations of South Indian food before. Mr. Kumar doesn’t just toy with the distinction between refined and rustic; he obliterates it. The North Fork snails he sautées with tomatoes and tamarind would be cooked over a campfire in the rice paddies of Tamil Nadu, yet they get along with a glass of Pouilly-Fuissé from the Mâconnais as readily as any Burgundian escargot.

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8. Superiority Burger

Diner, Vegetarian
$$
119 Avenue A
East Village, Manhattan
superiorityburger.com
Last reviewed on June 27, 2023
★★★
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Karsten Moran for The New York Times

Diner, vegetarian hangout, greenmarket evangelist, laboratory, improv collective, museum of East Village ephemera — ever since it moved to Avenue A last year, Superiority Burger has been trying out new personas, without discarding any of the old ones. The exceptional, airy focaccia that is the focus of a sizable cult is now sold by the slice, but only at the bar on Monday and Tuesday. Grab-and-go veggie burgers, “hippy poutine” and fried tofu sandwiches that turn every preconception about bean curd on its head are available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday after 11 p.m. (During this “Night Shift,” you can also eat a pie from the celebrated Chrissy’s Pizza pop-up, as long as you ordered ahead.) There is no time of day when you can’t get gelato and sorbet in freethinking flavors like saffron-labneh or tahini with fudge swirl. Waffles and other breakfast foods now materialize on weekends. Is this any way to run a hamburger stand? Yes, it is.

9. Yoshino

-2(#7 in 2023)
Japanese, Tasting
$$$$
342 Bowery
NoHo, Manhattan
yoshinonewyork.com
Last reviewed on Nov. 15, 2022
★★★★
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Evan Sung for The New York Times

At his counter on the Bowery, Tadashi Yoshida can wow you into submission before he hands you the night’s first piece of sushi. Your omakase dinner might begin with a small co*cktail of caviar and bigfin reef squid in sweet and tender strands. Mochi might follow, grilled over charcoal until crisp and chewy, then wrapped around sun-dried mullet roe, briny and intense. During certain weeks of the year there could be white sacs of cod milt. Or oysters and tilefish in a rich, breathtaking soup made from hairy crab. Mr. Yoshida’s appetizer repertoire seems to be endless. By the time he fills a brazier with live charcoal to sear the mackerel sushi that is his signature, showstopping dish, your surrender is complete.

10. Torrisi

+23(#33 in 2023)
Italian
$$$$
275 Mulberry Street
NoLIta, Manhattan
torrisinyc.com
Last reviewed on Feb. 28, 2023
★★★
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Evan Sung for The New York Times

Torrisi is now turning out the most dazzling and accomplished cooking of all the Major Food Group restaurants. (The distinction used to belong to the Grill, which this year slides to No. 55 in my ranking.) Who knows what the future holds? But Rich Torrisi, standing in one corner of the open kitchen, conducting a crew that is equally adept with Vietnamese octopus as with tortellini folded as gracefully as a silk pocket square, certainly looks like a chef who has found his forever home.

11. Estela

+10(#21 in 2023)
Seasonal, New American
$$$
47 East Houston Street
NoLIta, Manhattan
estelanyc.com
Last reviewed on Sept. 17, 2013
★★
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Interior picture: Ben Russell for The New York Times. Dish picture: Ed Lefkowicz for The New York Times.

The food seems slightly more familiar than it did when Ignacio Mattos brought Estela to Houston Street in 2013. One reason for this is that small-plates restaurants across the country have helped themselves to its unexpected flavor harmonies and unforced visual aesthetic. Some even lifted entire recipes. Never mind the imitators, though. An Estela dish can still knock you over with originality. Where else can you get orange segments under a floss of dried shrimp and Thai chile threads? Nowhere, yet.

12. Una Pizza Napoletana

+3(#15 in 2023)
Pizza
$$
175 Orchard St
Lower East Side, Manhattan
unapizza.com
Last reviewed on July 17, 2018
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Dish picture: Evan Sung for The New York Times. Interior picture: Daniel Krieger for The New York Times.

A couple of years ago, Una Pizza was half-empty so often that its owner, Anthony Mangieri, was thinking of pulling up stakes. Then he did an about-face — or maybe we did. Now, he and his pizza are acknowledged downtown institutions. Fans buy Una Pizza-branded apparel, extra-virgin olive oil and panettone; they begin lining up half an hour before the doors open; and they’ve made reservations among the city’s most scalpable. The source of this fevered loyalty is the five standard pies and a weekly special, all of them with a fat, tender, char-speckled Hula-Hoop of dough surrounding a low valley of tomatoes or cheese or both. There’s not much else on the menu, but the fire-roasted peppers are worthwhile and the sorbetto can be stunning.

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13. Ci Siamo

Italian
$$$$
440 West 33rd Street Suite #100
Chelsea, Manhattan
cisiamonyc.com
Last reviewed on Feb. 14, 2022
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Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

I know people who refused to try Ci Siamo for a while because it’s located in Nowheresville — the concrete future-scape known as Manhattan West. Then they went, and they got lost. They complained about the schlep before, during and after the next visit. But when they found themselves planning a third meal, they were forced to admit that Hillary Sterling has put Nowheresville on the map. There are other chefs in town with a wood-burning hearth and a love of rustic Italian flavors, but Ms. Sterling’s menu may have the highest percentage of dishes that are flat-out fantastic.

14. ABCV

+35(#49 in 2023)
Vegetarian, New American
$$
38 East 19th Street
Union Square and Seaport District, Manhattan
jean-georges.com
Last reviewed on July 3, 2017
★★
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Liz Barclay for The New York Times

It can be depressing when restaurants are cloned, but for Jean-Georges Vongerichten there were undeniable advantages to making a branch of ABCV out of his vegetarian hide-out, Seeds & Weeds, in the Tin Building. For one, an outright copy can be better than a halfhearted imitation. ABCV’s executive chef, Neal Harden, has spent years studying interesting ways to eat grains, roots, fungi and so on. His food is so much more advanced than it is at other, similar places that eating there can be like time-traveling and discovering that the post-livestock future turned out extremely well. If ABCV can be cloned successfully, we may not need to clone meat.

15. CheLi

-7(#8 in 2023)
Chinese
$$
19 St Marks Place (and one other)
East Village, Manhattan
che-li.com
Last reviewed on Oct. 5, 2021
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Evan Sung for The New York Times

The cooking of Jiangnan, including Shanghai and the cities of the southern Yangtze Delta, gets the nuanced treatment it deserves at CheLi. Instead of, say, scorching chiles or other powerful seasonings, Jiangnan uses Shaoxing wine to provide subtle, invisible emphasis in many dishes, like chilled wine-soaked crab and stir-fried loofah. Dragonwell tea scents the soft curls of sweet Longjing shrimp, which come to the table enveloped in dry-ice fog. Delicate is probably not the best word for CheLi’s mao xue wang, a majestic stew of ham, beef, shrimp, intestines and congealed duck’s blood, all bobbing under a quarter-inch or so of chile oil. But it’s not wrong, either.

16. Jeju Noodle Bar

+16(#32 in 2023)
Korean
$$$
679 Greenwich Street
West Village, Manhattan
jejunoodlebar.com
Last reviewed on Dec. 5, 2017
★★
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Cole Wilson for The New York Times

Getting a table is no easy feat, but apart from that, Jeju is one of the city’s most accessible modern Korean restaurants — a crowded category that has more than its share of tasting menus with triple-digit prices. The quietly marvelous mushroom ramen, with Parmesan foam and a squeeze of lime, is a meal in itself, and costs $27. For about the same price there are seafood appetizers, such as rosy cubes of raw kinmedai and clams in a dill- and chive-scented broth, so carefully considered they could be airlifted right into a 12-course degustation, although they’d probably have to be a tenth the size.

17. The Four Horsem*n

+19(#36 in 2023)
New American
$$
295 Grand Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
fourhorsem*nbk.com
Last reviewed on Dec. 31, 2019
★★
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John Kernick for The New York Times

Whatever picture floats through your mind when you think of a rock star’s restaurant, it probably doesn’t resemble the Four Horsem*n, owned in part by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. There is no grandstanding, no concert memorabilia and very little debauchery unless you count the four-top of wine-business insiders in the back drinking magnums of organic, wild-fermented Champagne from Georges Laval. What the restaurant does have is a low-key obsession with excellence. You see it in the attention to brewing tea and coffee, in the basket-drained ricotta made daily in kitchen, in the unfussy seasonality of Nick Curtola’s menus, and in the way the servers seem to know all about the wines but aren’t in a rush to prove it. Like everything else at this serious little restaurant, it just seems to happen naturally.

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18. Trinciti Roti Shop

Trinidadian and Tobagonian
$
111-03 Lefferts Boulevard
South Ozone Park, Queens
trinciti.com
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Randy Smith for The New York Times

Sometimes when I land at JFK, I am tempted to make the 10-minute drive to Trinciti so I can refresh myself with two or three Trini chicken curry doubles and a couple of aloo pies, slit open and filled with shrimp and tamarind chutney. But the sad truth is that I’m always too tired from traveling, and there’s no place to sit at Trinciti. Plus, you need your wits about you simply to order, particularly on the weekend, when there is one line for bake and shark, another for all the other food, and a third to pay. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the only days you can get bake and shark — spicy, sweet, tangy and crunchy in about five different ways, it is the greatest fish sandwich in the five boroughs. So I treat Trinciti as a destination of its own, worth a separate trip.

19. Jean-Georges

-6(#13 in 2023)
French, Tasting
$$$$
1 Central Park West
Upper West Side, Manhattan
jean-georges.com
Last reviewed on April 8, 2014
★★★★
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Karsten Moran for The New York Times

By this point, Jean-Georges Vongerichten shouldn’t have any tricks left up his sleeve. But a six- or 10-course dinner at his urbane, understated restaurant on Columbus Circle is almost sure to deliver something you didn’t quite see coming. Wagyu tenderloin with braised endive might look like a simple steakhouse riff, but how can that sticky and intensely fruity hoisin sauce get along so well with a jus that carries the fragile perfume of bergamot? How can citrus segments, spicy Fresno chiles and shiso oil be piled on top of raw scallops without crushing their sweetness? Sean Considine, the pastry chef, makes sure the surprises start up again with dessert and continue through the final barrage of marshmallows, pâtes de fruits and chocolates.

20. Mam

+6(#26 in 2023)
Vietnamese
$$
70 Forsyth Street
Lower East Side, Manhattan
instagram.com/mam.nyc
Last reviewed on Apr. 18, 2023
★★
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Nico Schinco for The New York Times

Mam is still something of a rough draft, but it is looking more and more like a serious restaurant. True, the miniature kitchen, miniature dining room and miniature plastic furniture were part of what made Mam so charming in its early days on Forsyth Street, when Jerald and Nhung Dao Head were dishing out Hanoi-style bun dau mam tom to a small audience at what seemed to be a pop-up. The crowds grew as word got out about the housemade fried tofu, the blood sausage, the fish mint and other Vietnamese herbs, and the fermented shrimp sauce that made everything taste better. But crowds and small quarters are not made for each other. Last year, the Heads signed a lease on a space next door. Meanwhile, Mr. Head has been adding to his repertory, applying his obsessive, detail-oriented attention to, among other things, a pho bo that rivals his bun dau mam tom.

21. Casa Mono and Bar Jamón

+3(#24 in 2023)
Spanish
$$
52 Irving Place
Union Square, Manhattan
casamononyc.com
Last reviewed on Sept. 15, 2015
★★★
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Evan Sung for The New York Times

According to the second law of thermodynamics, exciting young restaurants are doomed to become less exciting with age. At 20 years old, Casa Mono and its wine-bar annex next door, Bar Jamón, gracefully defy that law every day. Andy Nusser hasn’t lost his appreciation for the strong, elemental flavors of Spanish cuisine: smoky eggplant purée beneath fried baby squid; the paprika blast of the raw, spreadable pork sausage sobrasada, to be smeared on golden toast with waxy chunks of honeycomb. The nose-to-tail fad has come and gone, and Casa Mono sails on placidly, flying the flag of lambs’ tongues and pigs’ ears. The wine list has grown to about 600 Spanish bottles: serious Cava, aged Rioja and avant-gardists from all over.

22. Kono

+1(#23 in 2023)
Japanese, Tasting
$$$$
46 Bowery
Chinatown, Manhattan
yakitorikono.com
Last reviewed on June 25, 2022
★★★
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Colin Clark for The New York Times

There are no bad seats at Kono, a dramatic, black-walled yakitori on an alley in Chinatown. The stools on either side of the grill, though, have the best view of the chef, Atsushi Kono. He never stops moving. All night he’s turning, poking, relocating and examining chicken skewers, placing one over searing heat, letting another rest above a cooler patch of charcoal. His hypervigilance produces degrees of tenderness and juiciness and crunchiness that can make you feel as if you’re eating chicken for the first time.

23. Queens Night Market

-14(#9 in 2023)
Various Cuisines
$
4701 111th Street
Corona, Queens
queensnightmarket.com
Last reviewed on June 22, 2017
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Lanna Apisukh for The New York Times

You sometimes hear that you can find every cuisine on earth somewhere in Queens. That’s not true yet, but the first place to check would be the lawn behind the New York Hall of Science, where the Queens Night Market runs every Saturday from April to October. Vendors this year will be making cassava leaf stew from Sierra Leone; Fujianese oyster fritters, popularly known as UFOs; ducana, the Antiguan mash of sweet potato and coconut wrapped in banana leaves; and a few dozen other local specialties. As usual, nothing will cost more than $6.

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24. Café Carmellini

American, French, Italian
$$$$
250 Fifth Avenue
NoMad, Manhattan
cafecarmellini.com
Last reviewed on Feb. 6, 2024
★★
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Rachel Vanni for The New York Times

At Locanda Verde, the Dutch, Lafayette and Carne Mare, Andrew Carmellini’s personal cooking style is buried so deep in the mix that you could eat at all of them and still not be able to say just what an Andrew Carmellini restaurant is. At Café Carmellini, you get to hear his voice. He’s cooking in an elaborate, technically adroit style that he hasn’t used much since his days working for Daniel Boulud. We tend to connect that style with dusty old recitations of haute cuisine, an association the silver domes and somewhat stilted service don’t quite dispel. But there’s nothing antiquated about Café Carmellini’s food. It’s fresh and sharp; he’s having fun showing off skills you don’t often see these days. Even when he blends French and Italian cuisines, not exactly an earth-shattering concept, he puts them together in his own way.

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25. Sailor

American, English, Mediterranean
$$$$
228 DeKalb Avenue
Fort Greene, Brooklyn
sailor.nyc
Last reviewed on Dec. 5, 2023
★★★
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Evan Sung for The New York Times

One appetizer at Sailor is a tribute to the chef Judy Rodgers, an antipasto plate of anchovies, celery slices, black olives and pieces of Parmesan that was a fixture on Ms. Rodgers’s menus at Zuni Café in San Francisco. It is as close to a manifesto as we are likely to get from April Bloomfield, the gifted and non-loquacious chef at Sailor. What it might be saying: Creativity is overrated, details are everything, the best cooking is invisible, and the best cooks know when to get out of the way. You might come to the same conclusions on your own when you eat her roasted potatoes stuck to crisp wafers of toasted cheese, her warm hunks of celery root basted with melted butter, her smoked pork shoulder collapsing in on itself and her mahogany-dark caramel sauce clinging to crisp puffs of profiteroles.

26. Eyval

+40(#66 in 2023)
Iranian
$$
25 Bogart Street
Bushwick, Brooklyn
eyvalnyc.com
Last reviewed on July 12, 2022
★★
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Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

For years, Persian food aficionados dreamed of finding a respectable tahdig in the city, or even an acceptable khoresh fesenjan. Today Sofreh, in Prospect Heights, makes those and other dishes in a traditional, homestyle form, while Eyval, in Bushwick, reimagines them as modern restaurant dishes. You can eat well in both restaurants, but when the mood for black lime and saffron strikes me, I’m more likely to head for Eyval. I appreciate the way Ali Saboor uses his wood oven to pin down the smoky character of Iran’s street food. I like the way his boranis repurpose yogurt as a foil for seasonal vegetables. As for the tahdig, it’s been edited down to the crunchy, golden quarter-inch at the bottom of the pan, exactly the thing that makes tahdig worth dreaming about.

27. King

-5(#22 in 2023)
Mediterranean
$$$
18 King Street
South Village, Manhattan
kingrestaurant.nyc
Last reviewed on June 6, 2017
★★
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Sasha Arutyunova for The New York Times

Participles are all over the menus at King: “crushed celeriac,” “smashed borlotti beans,” “torn Taggiasca olives.” If it was your first time there, that menu would tell you the food is going to look handmade and a little messy, in an appealing way. You’d know, too, that the chefs, Jess Shadbolt and Clare de Boer, have noticed the way rough edges make things taste better. Much of the inspiration is southern French or northern Italian, but the, sensual allure of the food comes directly from cooks who know the value of crushing, smashing and tearing.

28. Le Coucou

+30(#58 in 2023)
French
$$$$
138 Lafayette Street
SoHo, Manhattan
lecoucou.com
Last reviewed on Nov. 1, 2016
★★★
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Danny Ghitis for The New York Times

The slender white tapers, the soaring toques and the quenelles de brochet refer to New York’s historic Le and La restaurants more than they do to anything in the France of today. (Paris hot spots like Clamato just look like Brooklyn.) The menu brings the domed plates of haute cuisine into the modern world, paying more attention to vegetables and flavors that were unknown at Le Pavillon. The tart and slightly funky counterpoint to halibut in a satiny beurre blanc is provided by a bed of fermented daikon, and the roast venison loin comes with a side of cabbage, draped in smoked cream, that’s sort of astonishing.

29. Zaab Zaab

-15(#14 in 2023)
Thai
$$
76-04 Woodside Avenue
Elmhurst, Queens
instagram.com/zaabzaabnyc
Last reviewed on June 28, 2022
★★★
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Portrait picture: Will Englemann. Dish picture: Adam Friedlander for The New York Times

In the two years since its sharply focused larb ped udon and other Isan dishes began drawing enthusiastic crowds to Elmhurst, Zaab Zaab has changed chefs and gone on an expansion tear. Today Zaab Zaabs can be found at the Essex Market in Manhattan; a new retail-residential development in Flushing, Queens; the James Beard Foundation’s food hall on a Hudson River pier; and in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, under the name Zaab Zaab Talay. Now led by Kannika Kittipinyovath, the kitchen of the Elmhurst original may have grown stingy with fresh herbs like holy basil, which once made Zaab Zaab’s kapow so thrilling. On the other hand, there’s no shortage of dill in the hor mok, bundles of catfish steamed in banana leaves. And the cooks still throw chiles around like there’s no tomorrow.

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30. Atoboy

Korean
$$$$
43 East 28th Street
NoMad, Manhattan
atoboynyc.com
Last reviewed on May 9, 2017
★★
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Dan Ahn

Seven years on, with Seoul Salon, Naro and Atomix in their portfolio, the first restaurant Ellia and Junghyun Park opened is still the best introduction to their vision of modern Korean dining. The prices are higher — instead of three courses for $36, you now get four for $75 — but there are rewards. The hard surfaces in the coolly minimalist shoe box of a dining room aren’t as noisy as they were, and the cooking is more self-assured and coherent. Atomix is the place to go if you want to blast off into orbit with the Parks, but Atoboy shows there is a lot of fun to be had back on earth.

31. Houseman

+45(#76 in 2023)
New American
$$$$
508 Greenwich Street
Hudson Square, Manhattan
housemanrestaurant.com
Last reviewed on Sept. 29, 2015
★★
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Randy Smith for The New York Times

They are becoming hard to find, chefs who put their energy into a single restaurant the way Ned Baldwin does at Houseman. This used to be the goal of many cooks. It still is the dream for a certain kind of diner, those of us who wander Manhattan searching for a neighborhood joint where each detail has been considered, from the day’s weather to the temperature of the butter; where the roast chicken and the burger are prepared with the same care as, say, a slow-roasted short rib served with a casual Cognac-cream pan sauce and a Yorkshire pudding the size of a kitten; where, if you go back again, your next meal won’t be worse than your last — and might be a little better.

32. Shion 69 Leonard Street

-5(#27 in 2023)
Japanese, Tasting
$$$$
69 Leonard St
TriBeCa, Manhattan
69leonardstreet.com
Last reviewed on Nov. 30, 2021
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Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

Is there another sushi master in town who gets as excited about seafood as Shion Uino? “Forty-six pound grouper from my hometown,” he says, beaming, as he carves pieces of sashimi from the side of an enormous, alabaster-colored fish. A few appetizers later, he serves a tall, meaty hunk of broiled fish under a thin, crisp shell of golden skin. “White grouper, very rare!” He is a student of the Edo style, rarely adding anything to his nigiri. The appetizers are virtually unadorned, too, like the heap of chilled snow crab salad dressed, barely, with vinegar.

33. Gramercy Tavern

-22(#11 in 2023)
New American
$$$$
42 East 20th Street
Gramercy, Manhattan
gramercytavern.com
Last reviewed on Aug. 16, 2016
★★★
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Interior picture: Francesco Sapienza for The New York Times. Dish picture: An Rong Xu for The New York Times.

A night at Gramercy Tavern is about as close to a sure thing as Manhattan provides. Michael Anthony’s platings always look colorful and playful. In due time, they reveal that nothing about the way they are put together is accidental. The kitchen always seems to get more out of the Union Square Greenmarket than anyone else in town. The servers never seem to be going through the motions. And, the most bankable of New York City certainties, if you eat in the dining room, you will be sent home with something for breakfast.

34. I Sodi

+30(#64 in 2023)
Italian
$$$
314 Bleecker Street
West Village, Manhattan
isodinyc.com
Last reviewed on April 12, 2016
★★
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Colin Clark for The New York Times

The restaurant’s move down the street and around the corner finally happened last summer, and none of the calamities the regulars feared came to pass. The woodwork, the Oxford-cloth shirts, the candles burning on top of the bar and the Negronis mixed at a rate that sometimes approaches one for each customer — all unchanged. There is the rabbit roasted inside a crisp sheath of pancetta, the Cornish hen grilled to a crackle, the lasagna with its sheets of pasta stacked like pages in a book. Give or take a couple of bar seats, the relocated I Sodi is exactly the same restaurant spread over two rooms instead of one, and going there is a little like seeing your favorite movie on the big screen for the first time.

35. Daniel

-7(#28 in 2023)
French, Tasting
$$$$
60 East 65th Street
Upper East Side, Manhattan
danielnyc.com
Last reviewed on July 23, 2013
★★★
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Karsten Moran for The New York Times

The kitchen at Daniel looks far and wide, and won’t think twice about weaving ingredients like Sea Island peas, Minnesota wild rice and burrata into the menu. Still, the cuisine of France remains the through line of almost every meal you might have in the grand colonnaded dining room. Of his generation of French chefs in the United States, none illuminates the flavors of his home country more faithfully than Daniel Boulud. And nobody works harder to help you see the light, even if it takes a whole plate of the city’s best madeleines to make the bulb click on.

36. Szechuan Mountain House

+54(#90 in 2023)
Chinese
$$$
23 St. Marks Place (and one other)
East Village, Manhattan
szechuanmountainhouse.com
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Colin Clark for The New York Times

Its most famous and photographed dish is called “swing pork belly,” steamed bacon strips and bands of shaved cucumber thrown over what appears to be a tabletop laundry rack. You twirl these up with your chopsticks and drag them through a dipping sauce of minced raw garlic in a bowl of chile oil. It may not be the best thing on the menu, but it is pretty great, and it illustrates the inventiveness and subtlety that sets this restaurant apart from legions of Sichuan competitors. Of course, you can get fiercely spicy versions of mapo tofu and Chongqing chicken, too, but meals at Szechuan Mountain House become more interesting when the standards appear side by side with what the menu calls, a little optimistically, “modernist cuisine.”

37. Koloman

-8(#29 in 2023)
French, Viennese
$$$
16 West 29th Street
NoMad, Manhattan
kolomanrestaurant.com
Last reviewed on Nov. 29, 2022
★★★
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Evan Sung for The New York Times

The New York dining scene has what diplomats call a special relationship with Europe. The painstakingly high-church Mittel-European cooking of Koloman would seem absolutely bizarre in Miami. On West 29th Street, Emiko Chisholm’s domed cheese soufflé with intense mushroom jam and Markus Glocker’s teacup of duck liver parfait under a clear jelly of trockenbeerenauslese riesling from Alois Kracher are able to slip into the ground floor of an Ace Hotel and pass for casual dining, or something like it.

38. Claud

-13(#25 in 2023)
New American, French
$$$
90 East 10th Street
East Village, Manhattan
claudnyc.com
Last reviewed on Nov. 1, 2022
★★★
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Interior picture: Daniel Krieger for The New York Times. Dish picture: Colin Clark for The New York Times.

A small, awkward East Village basem*nt that couldn’t seem to get a permanent liquor license doesn’t sound like the place you’d want to plant a world-class wine bar with a powerfully technique-driven kitchen. But this is post-pandemic Manhattan, where our real-estate compromises are even crazier than before. Joshua Pinsky is one of those cooks who pours effort into making things taste better than you think they will. Then he covers up the signs of effort so the deliciousness takes you by surprise. The exception is the devil’s food cake. You can tell from the other side of the room that it’s going to be like shooting pure dopamine into your skull.

39. Rezdôra

+8(#47 in 2023)
Italian
$$$
27 East 20th Street
Flatiron, Manhattan
rezdora.nyc
Last reviewed on Aug. 6, 2019
★★★
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Colin Clark for The New York Times

There is a full menu, of course. You can order, say, an antipasto and a main course, and tack on a creamy housemade gelato before you go. But those other courses aren’t what you’ll remember later on. That will be the pasta. Which might be considered a reason to skip the other stuff and dive right into the pasta tasting, five in all, each one a specialty of Emilia-Romagna, starting with tiny tortellini in a 12-hour capon broth.

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40. Okdongsik

Korean
$$
13 E 30th Street
Koreatown, Manhattan
handhospitality.com/okdongsik
Last reviewed on June 20, 2023
★★
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Adam Friedlander for The New York Times

This 13-seat Korean counter on East 30th Street is as good an argument for one-dish restaurants as we’ll ever get, never mind that it actually serves two dishes. One of them is mandoo. They are stuffed with minced pork, tofu and glass noodles, and they are great — no afterthought. But the dish that makes Okdongsik one of the most valuable addresses in New York dining is its dweji gomtang, a clear pork broth. Each bowl, outfitted with almost-firm grains of white rice and very thin slices of simmered pork shoulder, gestures toward transcendence, or as near as you can come to it across the street from a Best Western.

41. Misi

-2(#39 in 2023)
Italian
$$
329 Kent Avenue
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
misinewyork.com
Last reviewed on Nov. 13, 2018
★★★
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An Rong Xu for The New York Times

If you spotted Misi’s floor-to-ceiling windows while cruising down Kent Avenue on a pedal-assist Citi Bike at the maximum speed of 18 miles an hour, you might mistake it for one of the generic minimalist trattorias that seem to have come out of some gentrification starter kit. But on a closer look you can see the intelligence that organizes Misi’s hard surfaces, including the glass room where cooks roll out ravioli and spaghetti alla chitarra as if they’re on display in a big pasta aquarium. There’s intelligence at work in Missy Robbins’s menu, too. It focuses almost solely on vegetables and pasta, yet the ingredients and seasonings are so appealing you never feel that anything’s missing.

42. Frenchette

+15(#57 in 2023)
French
$$$
241 West Broadway
TriBeCa, Manhattan
frenchettenyc.com
Last reviewed on July 10, 2018
★★★
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Cole Wilson for The New York Times

West Broadway has two major brasseries, one for each side of our appetite. The Odeon, well lighted and reliable, gives us what we know we want. Frenchette, shadowy and mysterious, gives us things we may not have started to desire yet: a peculiar Loire red that will seem casual one minute and dead serious the next, meaty cod cheeks in red bread crumbs spiked with Espelette pepper, or calf’s liver pinned to a pink sheet of prosciutto and sautéed, like saltimbocca.

43. Ernesto’s

-1(#42 in 2023)
Spanish
$$$
259 East Broadway
Lower East Side, Manhattan
ernestosnyc.com
Last reviewed on April 12, 2021
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Colin Clark for The New York Times

When Basque Country entered the travel plans of people who arrange their vacations around their dinner reservations, it was because of the efforts of Mugaritz, Arzak and a handful of other experimental restaurants. Their forward-thinking cuisine is not what you eat at Ernesto’s. You eat the burly, elemental food that for generations has been passed down, essentially unchanged, by taverns and asadores where sardines are cooked over an outdoor fire. This being New York, the grill on which Ryan Bartlow cooks early spring calçots, whole Montauk fish and juicy cutlets of Ibérico pork is inside the kitchen. But the brawny spirit is the same; even things like white asparagus and a tortilla española with caviar have a rustic touch.

44. Forever Jerk

+18(#62 in 2023)
Jamaican
$
1100 New Jersey Avenue (and one other)
East New York, Brooklyn
instagram.com/foreverjerk876
Last reviewed on May 24, 2021
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Clay Williams for The New York Times

Jerk is outdoor food at heart, and the best jerk cooks around the city work on sidewalks or in the street, sometimes with the benefit of a tent or tarp, sometimes without. The king of New York jerk cooks is Oneil Reid, who designed Forever Jerk’s oversize charcoal-fueled rigs to pump smoke into chicken and pork without scorching them. His jerk is tender and juicy, a goal that eludes many chefs. The jerk sauce achieves a taut balance of sugar, sourness and spice, and even seems to have caught some of the smoke itself. The impressively large rig on the side of Flatlands Avenue in Brooklyn, also used to roast ears of corn and whole sweet potatoes, is the center of the Forever Jerk universe. The location on Guy Brewer Boulevard is an indoor restaurant, which is to say it’s not quite the same.

45. Raku

-2(#43 in 2023)
Japanese
$$
342 East Sixth Street (and one other)
East Village, Manhattan
rakunyc.com
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Nico Schinco for The New York Times

In the city’s Japanese restaurant scene, udon is the forgotten noodle. It isn’t as popular as ramen or as revered as soba, which can be made well only with a certain amount of practice. This may explain why the two Raku udon restaurants and their chef, Norihiro Ishizuka, aren’t more widely recognized. They do have a loyal following, though. Raku’s fans appreciate the tensile elasticity of the noodles, the sparkling lightness of the dashi, and the delicate and greaseless tempura. For such small restaurants, the menus range widely, swooping from kitsune udon, relatively easy to get here, to less commonly seen varieties like the Japanese adaptation of Chinese zhajiangmian, called ja ja.

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46. Clover Hill

Tasting
$$$$
20 Columbia Place
Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
cloverhillbk.com
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Evan Sung

Many of Charlie Mitchell’s peers in the rarefied arena of multicourse, multi-hundred-dollar tastings (dinner at Clover Hill is $305 a person) think they’ve met their seasonal/local quota if they strew the petals of some wildflower picked last week around a fish dish they’ve been serving for months. In Mr. Mitchell’s kitchen, the seasons are central; this time of year, this week, is the subject of his menus. In high spring, he might lead off with a horseradish-dusted asparagus tart, the size of a communion wafer; then bring asparagus back a short while later in the company of Hokkaido scallops and puréed nettles; and surround a rich, oily piece of shark-skinned flounder with “a celebration of peas.” He’s as fond of Japanese seafood as he is of local greenery, which is a bit puzzling. But his belief in what he’s doing is total, and it comes through on every plate.

47. Aquavit

+22(#69 in 2023)
Swedish, Tasting
$$$$
65 East 55th Street
Midtown East, Manhattan
aquavit.org
Last reviewed on May 26, 2015
★★★
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Sasha Maslov for The New York Times

Aquavit was gently pushing Swedish food and drink before anyone put the words “New Nordic cuisine” together, and has outlived several exponents of that style. Emma Bengtsson’s kitchen has kept its grip on the old ways — at lunch, the Swedish meatballs and the herring platter are still hard to equal. The rest of the menu is modern, although it avoids the avant-primitivism of Noma in favor of gentle harmonies like salmon with a saffron-tinted swirl of lobster bisque.

48. Gage & Tollner

-4(#44 in 2023)
Seafood, American
$$$
372 Fulton Street
Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn
gageandtollner.com
Last reviewed on June 14, 2021
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Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

The 19th-century dining room had been out of commission for so long that when Gage & Tollner finally came back in 2021, almost everybody who came to eat was getting a first look at its marble, mahogany and converted gaslights. Now the place has a reputation again, and those who are lured by its oysters and Parker House rolls, fried chicken, crab cakes and baked alaska are likely to be return customers. That doesn’t mean heads have stopped swiveling.

49. Don Peppe

+7(#56 in 2023)
Italian American
$$
135-58 Lefferts Boulevard
South Ozone Park, Queens
donpeppenyc.com
Last reviewed on June 20, 2017
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An Rong Xu for The New York Times

The jockey silks and other Aqueduct memorabilia on the walls don’t do much to dress up a bluntly monochromatic and overly bright dining room. If you want atmosphere, take a deep breath and smell the garlic. The kitchen must go through bales of it every day. There are no small plates at Don Peppe, where the minimum order of pasta is one pound (before cooking). So make room on the table for a sloshing platter or two of linguine with clams; shrimp Luciano with its own side of spaghetti; and anything on the menu with the name Don Peppe on it, including a salad the size of Cleveland. The food is overflowing not just with garlic, but with the aromas of Southern Italian cuisine in the deliriously intense form it took in the hands of New York City cooks.

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50. Shaw-naé’s House

American, Soul Food
$$
381 Van Duzer Street
Stapleton Heights, Staten Island
instagram.com/shawnaeshouse
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Colin Clark for The New York Times

Show up at this Staten Island soul-food restaurant before your table is ready and you’ll be invited to sit in “the living room,” a pair of sofas facing a coffee table next to the orange glow of an electric fireplace. Will it feel like home? It may, if home is a place where a pitcher of rum punch appears at the drop of a hat, where two immersions in a deep fryer produce a whole red snapper that’s juicy down to the bone, and where everybody is eating “soul fries,” a bonkers remix of nachos in which mac and cheese, fried chicken and collard greens are piled over French fries.

51. Barbuto

+34(#85 in 2023)
New American, Italian
$$$
113 Horatio Street
Meatpacking District, Manhattan
barbutonyc.com
Last reviewed on Jan. 31, 2022
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Evan Sung for The New York Times

It’s been 20 years since Jonathan Waxman opened Barbuto, dedicated to the idea of making it all look easy. Easy to make the one true kale salad in a world full of pretenders. Easy to blow people away by spooning salsa verde over a chicken roasted in a pizza oven. Easy to make chocolate budino that has the same relationship to regular pudding that espresso has to coffee at a Nebraska truck stop. But before you decide it must, in fact, be easy, just remember that this kind of accidentally perfect Italian food has been Mr. Waxman’s whole deal since the 1970s

52. Yoon Haeundae Galbi

+7(#59 in 2023)
Korean
$$$
8 West 36th Street
Koreatown, Manhattan
yoon-nyc.com
Last reviewed on June 1, 2021
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Cole Saladino for The New York Times

It used to be possible to argue in a good-natured way about where to get the best Korean barbecue in K-town. Since Yoon’s short rib appeared, though, it has really been the only answer. The meat is scored in diagonal slashes, breaking down the connective tissue and carving a network of grooves for the marinade to travel in. The slashes also allow the helmet-shaped tabletop griddle to sear the meat in skinny, deeply browned ridges that are wonderful with Yoon’s ssamjang and seasoned salt

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53. Foul Witch

Italian
$$$$
15 Avenue A
East Village, Manhattan
foulwitchnyc.com
Last reviewed on June 6, 2023
★★
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Rachel Vanni for The New York Times

What kind of name for an Italian restaurant is that? At least it lets Sam Pollheimer and his kitchen chase something a little more unusual than penne and tiramisù. You might want a rolled pasta called spaccatelli with braised pheasant that’s been dry-aged to a deep funk, followed by goat shoulder roasted in the wood oven with turnips. Bay leaf ice cream could be cool. But what about that black-pepper gelato with brûléed lardo?

54. Dhamaka

+20(#74 in 2023)
Indian
$$$
119 Delancey Street
Lower East Side, Manhattan
dhamaka.nyc
Last reviewed on May 10, 2021
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Exterior picture: Emon Hassan for The New York Times. Dish picture: Jenny Huang for The New York Times

A year ago, Dhamaka replaced most of its original menu with new dishes, not the move you’d expect from a place that is turning away diners every night. I’m sure some customers are still mourning their old favorites, and there were many things on the starting lineup that you simply couldn’t find anywhere else in Manhattan. But the truth is that in its first years Dhamaka focused very heavily on chile-laden meats, to the point of redundancy. It’s easier now to put together a meal that has a little rhythm and variety, and you can still arrange to finish with the Champaran meat, a mutton curry so fiery it could light a cigar.

55. The Grill

-45(#10 in 2023)
American
$$$$
99 East 52nd Street
Midtown East, Manhattan
thegrillnewyork.com
Last reviewed on Aug. 22, 2017
★★★
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Liz Barclay for The New York Times

When the Grill was new, it reimagined midcentury American dining with a stylized sense of theater while managing to hit every single technical mark. The complete mess it made of an $85 chicken potpie, among other glitches at a recent meal, made last year’s top-10 ranking here impossible this year. But so much about this restaurant remains confidently excellent, starting with the co*cktails and ending with the layer cakes stacked so tall they look as if they’re trying to fit in among the towers of Park Avenue.

56. Contento

+26(#82 in 2023)
Peruvian
$$
88 East 111th Street
East Harlem, Manhattan
instagram.com/contentonyc/
Last reviewed on Aug. 17, 2021
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Colin Clark for The New York Times

If you get discouraged about the direction of the restaurant business, the fastest antidote is dinner at Contento. It can restore your faith to watch as the staff makes sincere efforts to welcome people in wheelchairs, or those who need specially designed flatware, or diners with visual impairments, or their guide dogs. But there are less obvious ways in which Contento overachieves. The wine list is longer and more interesting than most restaurants this small would attempt, and Oscar Lorenzzi’s cooking can convince you that you should be eating Peruvian food every night.

57. Mercado Little Spain

+6(#63 in 2023)
Spanish
$$
10 Hudson Yards
Hudson Yards, Manhattan
littlespain.com
Last reviewed on July 23, 2019
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Ellen Silverman for The New York Times

One of many mysteries of José Andrés that scientists should study is the man’s ability to run New York’s most rewarding food hall when he doesn’t even live here. It is true that Mercado Little Spain is better for snacking than dining, but that’s true of almost all food halls, few of which cover as much ground. You can wander from kiosk to kiosk, grabbing a sugar-crusted xuixo for breakfast, a sack of churros with bittersweet chocolate sauce, a soft tortilla española right out of the skillet, gambas al ajillo sizzling in their fragrant oil, a glass of pretty much any kind of wine you’re in the mood for as long as it’s Spanish. The market’s newest stall, Mr. Lopez, makes the pressed sandwiches called bikinis along with chistorra dogs and smashburgers topped with jamón Ibérico.

58. Le Rock

-27(#31 in 2023)
French
$$$$
45 Rockefeller Plaza
Midtown, Manhattan
lerocknyc.com
Last reviewed on Oct. 17, 2022
★★★
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Karsten Moran for The New York Times

Can anybody resist Le Rock’s snails, each in its own cup with its own hot bath of garlic butter and its own piece of toast? Or the tender leeks vinaigrette, which the servers unwrap from a cloak of dark outer leek greens as ceremoniously as if they were presenting poularde de Bresse demi-deuil? Or the baba carved tableside and then hit with a healthy glug of génèpy or Chartreuse? Well, occasionally I’ll hear from a reader who went to Le Rock with high hopes and felt ignored, lost in the shuffle, assaulted by the decibels. I’ll apologize about the service and say that in my experience the room does seem to be getting quieter. But, I tell them, any good homage to the French brasserie needs to be a little loud for verisimilitude.

59. Great N.Y. Noodletown

-22(#37 in 2023)
Chinese
$
28 Bowery
Chinatown, Manhattan
greatnewyorknoodletown.com
Last reviewed on June 3, 1994
★★
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Karsten Moran for The New York Times

When the dining room is busy, which is just about always, it will be full of old Chinatown locals from Hong Kong, couples who think of Noodletown as their place, young social-media explorers ticking restaurants off their bucket list and older but equally clued-in tourists. These groups will overlap considerably with the soft-shell crab followers, the salt-and-pepper squid obsessives, the suckling pig appreciators, connoisseurs of Cantonese char siu, slurpers of wonton soup, and devotees of the restaurant’s much-imitated ginger-scallion sauce.

60. Village Cafe

-9(#51 in 2023)
Azerbaijani
$$
1968 Coney Island Avenue
Gravesend, Brooklyn
village-cafe-azerbaijanian-cuisine.business.site
Last reviewed on Oct. 2, 2018
★★
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Randy Smith for The New York Times

The part of Brooklyn between Prospect Park and the Atlantic Ocean is a treasure land of food from the former Soviet republics. At Village Cafe, as with many other restaurants in the area, the kebabs are the backbone of the menu. But the Azerbaijani offerings extend well beyond meat on a stick: There are platters of plov, sweet with dried fruits; flatbreads stuffed with minced greens and fresh herbs; the daunting hash of livers, kidneys, hearts and testicl*s known as dji*z-biz; and fat belts of pasta dressed with chopped lamb cooked in its own fat, a noodle dish that seems to stand exactly halfway between China and Italy.

61. Aska

-45(#16 in 2023)
Scandinavian, Tasting
$$$$
47 South Fifth Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
askanyc.com
Last reviewed on Dec. 6, 2016
★★★
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Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

Of all the restaurants washed up on the city’s shores by the first wave of enthusiasm over New Nordic cooking, the most original, thoughtful and lasting has been Aska. Fredrik Berselius, raised in Sweden, built his own kitchen vocabulary by combining Scandinavian flavors with ingredients farmed or foraged around New York. His intricate, gentle tasting menus show a poet’s feel for fleeting moments and the beauty lurking in nature. One long-running appetizer is a frond of fried bladderwrack daubed with drops of mussel emulsion that look like the plant’s natural balloon structures. A wavy cup assembled from shaved walnuts makes an edible shell for a walnut tart. Even his caviar dishes seem to have been discovered somewhere in Middle-earth.

62. Txikito

-21(#41 in 2023)
Spanish
$$
240 Ninth Avenue
Chelsea, Manhattan
txikitonyc.com
Last reviewed on April 21, 2009
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Nico Schinco for The New York Times

When Txikito struck out for Basque Country in 2008, a lot of New Yorkers were still fuzzy on the whole concept of Spanish regional cuisines. Instead of starting out slowly with an introductory Gildas for Dummies course, Alex Raij and Eder Montero immediately complicated the picture, inviting ingredients from China, Japan and beyond into the kitchen. Is there another Basque restaurant in the country where the Russian potato salad is augmented with bonito flakes and the boquerones are laid out over spearlike leaves of rau ram?

63. Craft

-9(#54 in 2023)
New American, Tasting
$$$$
43 East 19th Street
Gramercy, Manhattan
craftrestaurant.com
Last reviewed on Sept. 6, 2011
★★★
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Nico Schinco for The New York Times

One downside of being widely imitated is that, years later, your original ideas can read like copies. This has been Craft’s fate, and if you are eating there for the first time, you probably won’t be bowled over by the dangling filament bulbs, the Chilewich place mats, and the copper pans in which meats and fish are carried to the table. But nobody has figured out how to mimic Craft’s ability to get maximal flavor with minimal means. The been-there-done-that feeling ends when you start eating.

64. Lodi

-19(#45 in 2023)
Italian
$$$
1 Rockefeller Plaza
Midtown, Manhattan
lodinyc.com
Last reviewed on Jan. 18, 2022
The 100 Best Restaurants in New York City in 2024 (67)

Colin Clark for The New York Times

It’s hard to know what to make of a restaurant that gets rid of its single best feature, as Lodi did by closing the bakery that produced destination-quality breads and a flauto al cioccolato so precisely made that its lamination might have been designed by an architect. True, Lodi gained a few tables. Now it is easier to stroll in for elegant cafe dishes like bison tartare and chestnut gnocchi. And yes, drinking a spritz or a sbagliato while sitting on or looking out at Rockefeller Plaza produces a distinctly pleasurable shiver of the kind that only the world’s great cities can provide. But we’re still going to need some time to forget about that flauto.

65. Falafel Tanami

+3(#68 in 2023)
Israeli
$
1305 East 17th Street
Midwood, Brooklyn
instagram.com/falafeltanami
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Lanna Apisukh for The New York Times

The strange concrete bunker askew from the street grid looks even stranger now that a simple wooden porch has been hammered together. Yet this unprepossessing structure is a titan in Midwood’s highly competitive pita-sandwich scene. There is no shawarma here as at Olympic Pita, no schnitzel as at Corner Street Food. This leaves Tanami free to concentrate on its marvelous pita and its falafel, which have brittle fried shells protecting a hot interior that is bright green with herbs. The sheer number of bins of chopped vegetables and salads can induce panic attacks, and many customers just ask for everything. A screaming yellow streak of amba sauce is probably mandatory.

66. Barney Greengrass

+25(#91 in 2023)
Deli, Appetizing, Breakfast
$$
541 Amsterdam Avenue
Upper West Side, Manhattan
barneygreengrass.com
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Circle framed picture: Karsten Moran for The New York Times. Rectangle framed picture: Jose A. Alvarado Jr. for The New York Times

The place is a cyclone of smoked-fish commerce on weekends and before any major Jewish holiday. On certain other days, a diner at Barney Greengrass can achieve a state close to serenity. There are eternal questions to contemplate: Sour cream or apple sauce? Nova or sturgeon? Toasted or untoasted? There are minor rituals to be observed — the most sacred of all is laughing at the servers’ jokes. Staring at the faded antebellum scenes of the French Quarter on the wallpaper can lead to the sensation that time has stopped moving forward. By your third cup of coffee and second order of latkes, it should be clear that you are sitting at the spiritual center of the Upper West Side.

67. Le Crocodile

+12(#79 in 2023)
French
$$$
80 Wythe Ave
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
lecrocodile.com
Last reviewed on March 3, 2020
★★★
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Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

Gage & Tollner is where Brooklyn goes to observe birthdays and anniversaries. Le Crocodile is where it celebrates smaller milestones, like living to the end of another day when the whole damned world didn’t fly to pieces. The brasserie menu is full of standards lifted above the routine by little niceties of craft and imagination, with a few unexpectedly flourishes like a truly good vegetarian pâté and a Waldorf salad liberated from mayonnaise at last.

68. Chongqing Lao Zao

-22(#46 in 2023)
Chinese
$$
37-04 Prince Street
Flushing, Queens
chongqinglaozao.com
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Lanna Apisukh

The many, many people loyal to this Flushing restaurant are happy to wait two hours and sometimes more for Sichuan hot pots in the fiery and numbing style of Chongqing. The spicy broth is ferociously hot; even the mild has been known to draw tears from brave women and men.

69. AbuQir Seafood

+6(#75 in 2023)
Egyptian, Seafood
$$
24-19 Steinway Street
Astoria, Queens
instagram.com/abuqir/
Last reviewed on Nov. 16, 2017
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Stephen Speranza for The New York Times

Meals at AbuQir, a homage to the seafood stalls on the Mediterranean coast outside Alexandria, begin with a consultation over the whole fish and other seafood stretched out on ice in the back. You should probably walk in with a plan. But if the man who takes your order tells you the grilled scallops are excellent today, or if you were thinking baked porgy and he recommends the blackened branzino, you should throw your plan out the window. A sloshy, garlicky plate of baba ghanouj is a fine thing to dip bread into while your fish cooks; in fact, anything with eggplant is a good idea.

70. Birria-Landia

-52(#18 in 2023)
Mexican
$
77-99 Roosevelt Ave (and three others)
Jackson Heights, Queens
birrialandia.com
Last reviewed on Nov. 26, 2019
★★
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Jenny Huang for The New York Times

New York has never been a food-truck town. But the meteoric ascent of the Birria-Landia fleet, which now cruises the boulevards of the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, points to a better and more delicious future. It comes as a relief to find that the beef is still as tender and deeply flavored as a fancy French chef’s short ribs, that the consomé hasn’t been watered down, and that the rich perfume of spices can still turn heads half a block away.

71. Shukette

-51(#20 in 2023)
Middle Eastern
$$
230 Ninth Avenue
Chelsea, Manhattan
instagram.com/shukettenyc
Last reviewed on Sept. 21, 2021
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Lanna Apisukh for The New York Times

Your first impulse as you take in Ayesha Nurdjaja’s menu, which bounds from dips to four or more kinds of bread straight from the oven, from salads and pickles to the table-dominating Fish in a Cage, may be to ask for one of everything. Reveling in the brighter, fresher side of the Levantine canon, Shukette takes advantage of the energizing effects of sumac, citrus, yogurt and green herbs.

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72. Hainanese Chicken House

Malaysian
$$
4807 Eighth Avenue
Sunset Park, Brooklyn
hainanchickenhouse.com
Last reviewed on July 11, 2023
★★
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Colin Clark for The New York Times

The poached chicken in the dish called Hainanese chicken rice tends to confuse people trying it for the first time. The ideal texture, which can strike novices as flabby and undercooked, is more important than the flavor, which is supposed to be mild verging on dull. The expectation is that the customer will go to town with the house sauces, which should not be dull at all, and that the chicken flavor that seems to be missing from the chicken itself will be supplied by the rice. The success of the dish, in other words, depends on a series of bank shots, which is one reason it’s exciting to find it prepared as well as it is at Hainan Chicken House. For all that, this is not a one-dish specialist but one of the most impressive Malaysian restaurants New York has seen in years. The name may sell the kitchen short.

73. Mark’s Off Madison

-6(#67 in 2023)
Italian, Diner, Appetizing
$$$
41 Madison Avenue
Midtown, Manhattan
marksoffmadison.com
Last reviewed on July 20, 2021
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Portrait picture: Joshua Bright for The New York Times. Dish picture: Daniel Krieger for The New York Times.

Anybody who believes a restaurant needs to tell a simple, easily understood story clearly hasn’t been to Mark’s Off Madison. The only concept plausibly tying together the Italian American favorites and Jewish classics and diner staples on Mark Strausman’s menu is that Mr. Strausman knows a good recipe for all of them. You can eat matzo ball soup, or a tuna melt, or a block of lasagna. You can’t eat a story.

74. Ayat

+6(#80 in 2023)
Palestinian
$$
8504 Third Avenue (and two others)
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
ayatnyc.com
Last reviewed on Dec. 1, 2020
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Adam Friedlander for The New York Times

A mural in its original Bay Ridge site shows Palestinian children behind bars under the Aqsa Mosque, between the phrases “down with the occupation” and “live in peace.” As Ayat has multiplied locations, it has kept up its paired messages of peace and support for the people of Palestine. For some New Yorkers, Ayat’s family-dinner mainstays, like the lamb stew mansaf, soured with dried yogurt, and the carefully layered chicken and vegetable dish called maklouba, will open new windows into Palestinian culture. For others, obviously, they will taste like home.

75. Dirt Candy

-15(#60 in 2023)
Vegetarian, Tasting
$$$
86 Allen Street
Lower East Side, Manhattan
dirtcandynyc.com
Last reviewed on Nov. 27, 2012
★★
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Lanna Apisukh for The New York Times

The great thing about tasting menus is that they act as a blank page that a chef can write anything on. The tragedy is how many chefs have nothing to say. Amanda Cohen does, though. Her five-course meals are like a night of one-act plays, or even comedy sketches, on the theme of vegetables. The cooks work on each dish until it’s a self-contained routine. Crunchy Buffalo collard leaves are sprinkled with powdered hot sauce and served with celery and blue cheese dip, and a savory croissant with a mushroom mousse filling comes with a glass of cappuccino that turns out to be mushroom soup. It’s dinner disguised as a continental breakfast.

76. Llama Inn

-6(#70 in 2023)
Peruvian
$$
50 Withers Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
llamainnnyc.com
Last reviewed on Feb. 9, 2016
★★
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Vincent Tullo for The New York Times

It may be easier to see Erik Ramirez’s creative streak at his other restaurant, Llama San in Greenwich Village, where he free-associates on the ways Japanese and Peruvian food do, or potentially might, intersect. At Llama Inn he mostly sticks with translating traditional dishes — beef-heart anticuchos, scallop ceviche — into modern restaurant terms. But he works well when he’s staying within the lines, and there’s no question that the space in Brooklyn is roomier and more comfortable, despite being a truncated triangle under the B.Q.E.

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77. Oiji Mi

Korean
$$
17 West 19th Street
Flatiron, Manhattan
oijimi.com
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Evan Sung for The New York Times

Oiji Mi summons the spirit of New York’s midcentury supper clubs more effectively than places where that’s the explicit aim, like Swoony’s or Monkey Bar. It has leather seats, velvet curtains, deeply curved banquettes and a swooping marble bar. All that’s missing is a cigarette girl. This is not exactly the expected setting for a modern Korean restaurant, but it helps bring out the plush and culture-spanning comforts of Brian Kim’s five-course, $145 menus.

78. S & P Lunch

+17(#95 in 2023)
Diner, Deli, Sandwich
$$
174 Fifth Avenue
Flatiron, Manhattan
sandwich.place
Last reviewed on Dec. 6, 2022
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Lanna Apisukh for The New York Times

I am not going to tell you that S & P’s tuna melt is one of the greatest sandwiches of all time, or that it will change your life, or that it is one of the 25 or 50 or 1,000 foods you have to eat before you die. But one day you might find that you must have a tuna melt and that nothing else will do. On that day, I hope you remember to go to S & P, where you will be served a version made with terrific respect, from creamy and soft tuna salad on substantial rye bread. It will be better than you hoped, without deviating in any particular from what you were picturing. And this is true of almost more things on S & P’s menu that you can count, including the Reuben, the meatloaf sandwich, the chopped liver, the pancakes and the egg and cheese on a roll with Taylor ham.

79. Mariscos El Submarino

-8(#71 in 2023)
Mexican
$$
88-05 Roosevelt Avenue
Jackson Heights, Queens
Last reviewed on Oct. 18, 2021
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Lanna Apisukh for The New York Times

Last year, Alonso Guzman and Amy Hernandez followed the success of Mariscos El Submarino by opening a second restaurant, Mystica, in Greenpoint. It shows growth and ambition, with its careful plating and long-cooked pork shanks, and suggests these two restaurateurs could be around a while. But Mariscos El Submarino is still their shining contribution to the city, our most detailed and comprehensive tour of Sinaloa-style raw seafood. The aguachile negro, dark with soy sauce and undeniably spicy, has become something of a cult object, but the other aguachiles deliver jolts of their own, and there are equally good arguments for the ceviches, tostadas and tomato-red seafood co*cktails in tall plastic cups.

80. Temple Canteen

+16(#96 in 2023)
Indian
$
143-09 Holly Avenue
Flushing, Queens
canteen.nyganeshtemple.org
Last reviewed on April 4, 2007
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Circle framed picture: Hilary Swift for The New York Times. Rectangle framed picture: Christopher Lee for The New York Times.

If we wanted to quibble about the South Indian cafeteria in the basem*nt of a temple to the Hindu god Ganesha, we might say that having to listen as order numbers are called out endlessly can gnaw at the nerves. We might also ask whether the vegetable sambar isn’t a little watery. But then we’d remember that nothing on the menu costs more than $10, that the coconut chutney does seem to get better the more of it you eat and that the variety of dosas is sort of stunning, from chewy rava dosas to ice cream cone-shaped ghee roast dosas to paper dosas so long they sprawl from one end of a cafeteria tray to the other.

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81. Foxface Natural

New American, Seasonal
$$$$
189 Avenue A
East Village, Manhattan
foxface-nyc.square.site
Last reviewed on Sept. 19, 2023
★★★
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Rachel Vanni for The New York Times

You have probably heard that Foxface Natural is a narrow, loud restaurant on Avenue A where deer heart or elk chops or kangaroo might be on the menu on any given night. But Foxface is not simply a purveyor of oddball species; the restaurant’s defining feature may be its pursuit of ingredients that Sysco doesn’t carry. So when the chef, David Santos, cooks octopus Bolognese, the octopus will have been trapped in a clay pot in a sustainable Spanish fishery. When he roasts a turnip, it will be the elusive Gilfeather turnip, which for decades was cultivated exclusively by a secretive Vermont farmer who refused to share its history or its seeds with anyone.

82. Kafana

+1(#83 in 2023)
Serbian
$$
116 Loisaida Avenue
Alphabet City, Manhattan
kafananyc.com
Last reviewed on Aug. 15, 2022
★★
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Lanna Apisukh for The New York Times

Maybe you got a little confused the last time you tried to remember the difference between gibanica and zeljanica. Perhaps you hesitated when somebody asked whether you prefer sopska or srpska. Or, at a recent wine tasting, you had trouble distinguishing between the Serbian tamjanika and the Slovenian malvazija. If you have experienced these or similar symptoms, it could be an indication that you are overdue for a meal at Kafana, Alphabet City’s rustic, majestic Serbian tavern.

83. M. Wells

-33(#50 in 2023)
Québécois, French
$$$$
43-15 Crescent Street
Long Island City, Queens
magasinwells.com
Last reviewed on Jan. 28, 2014
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Sasha Maslov for The New York Times

Few restaurants take advantage of holidays and occasions as avidly as M. Wells. In the past few months it has served rabbit mole for Easter brunch, whipped up three kinds of fondue for a party in honor of Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day, and put on a Thanksgiving dinner that started with braised turkey legs and pig trotters, though of course it didn’t end there. Certainly it’s the only restaurant in Queens that celebrates the start of maple sap season by staging a hockey game on the dining room floor. If you happen to go on a day when nothing in particular is happening, you’ll still find dishes that seem to have been conceived for a feast like mortadella mille-feuille or half of a roasted piglet head on a plate.

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84. Hakka Cuisine

Chinese
$$$
11 Division Street
Chinatown, Manhattan
hakkacuisine.nyc
Last reviewed on Oct. 17, 2023
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Lanna Apisukh for The New York Times

It’s been a while since the arrival of a new dish in Chinatown caused as big as stir as the Hakka blossom chicken at Hakka Cuisine. It looks like a chicken that was flattened in some enormous panini press and then cut into squares. Those pieces have golden chicken skin on the top and bottom, but when you pop one in your mouth you discover that the soft and springy filling is made of taro and shrimp paste. Where did the rest of the chicken go? You can look for the solution to this mystery as you work your way through the other fine and elaborate Hakka specialties and Cantonese banquet dishes.

85. Wildair

-8(#77 in 2023)
New American
$$
142 Orchard Street
Lower East Side, Manhattan
wildair.nyc
Last reviewed on Oct. 6, 2015
★★
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Liz Barclay for The New York Times

The past year was a time of retrenchment for Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske Valtierra, who closed Contra, their statement restaurant, along with Peoples, their small wine bar in the food hall below Essex Market. Wildair, once a casual extension of Contra, has become their chief laboratory for ideas like an éclair with the flavors of a pissaladière inside and a series of Saturday collaborations called Donuts with Friends (exactly what it sounds like). Wildair was a little well-behaved early in life, but now it’s living up to its name.

86. 188 Bakery Cuchifritos

-21(#65 in 2023)
Puerto Rican, Dominican
$
158 East 188th Street
Fordham Heights, The Bronx
facebook.com/188cuchifritos
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Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Few sights in the Bronx, or anywhere else for that matter, can stir the gears of appetite quite like the exterior of 188 Cuchifritos. There is a smiling pig in a bow tie in the sign above the door. A partial list of Dominican and Puerto Rican specialties spelled out in half a dozen different colors of neon. In one window, trays stacked with fried pork skin, chicken and other fritters being kept warm by the heat of bare, greasy lightbulbs. There are approximately 1,000 other things on the menu, but this gives you some idea what you are in for.

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87. Hav & Mar

Seafood
$$$
245 Eleventh Avenue
Chelsea, Manhattan
havandmar.com
Last reviewed on April 11, 2023
★★
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Lanna Apisukh for The New York Times

Marcus Samuelsson’s latest project is not like the other seafood restaurants. There are Black mermaids everywhere, and the flavors can come from just about anywhere, with Ethiopia making especially frequent contributions. That’s Berbere spice blend in the cured salmon; the fluffy young fermented cheese ayib is in the beet salad, and injera crisps are provided with the tuna tartare. The combinations never feel superficial or confused, and the servers always seem as if they expect a party to break out at any moment.

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88. Eulalie

American, French, Southern
$$$$
239 West Broadway
TriBeCa, Manhattan
chipandtina.com
Last reviewed on Jan. 16, 2024
★★★
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Colin Clark for The New York Times

Chip Smith and Tina Vaughn are immune to trends. He cooks in the regional-American style that flourished at the end of the last century. Nobody’s nostalgic for it yet, but Mr. Smith can make you wonder why not; he cooks it sensitively, and with conviction. Meanwhile Ms. Vaughn runs the dining room with the authority and familiarity only a proprietor can command. Her methods, which involve learning the names and preferences of all her customers, are long out of style, and nobody has written customer-database software that comes close to doing what she does with a pen, a hard-bound reservation book and her memory.

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89. Hamburger America

Diner, Sandwich
$$
51 MacDougal Street
SoHo, Manhattan
hamburgeramerica.com
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Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

Will George Motz, the hamburger historian and documentarian, want to spend the rest of his life behind a hot griddle, pressing on ground meat with a spatula until he judges the time is right to cover it with a yellow blanket of American cheese? It’s hard to imagine, but he does seem to be enjoying himself. For sure everybody else in the place is having a good time eating subtly but distinctly different burgers made with good beef and historical pedigree. It’s the geeked-out burger stand New York didn’t know it needed.

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90. Laghman Express

Uyghur
$
6201 Twentieth Avenue
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
laghmanexpress.com
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Randy Smith for The New York Times

The menu is not large and mostly focused on different ways of putting together lamb, onions, bell peppers, cumin and noodles made in open view of the dining room. Some noodles are strands so long that you will search and search for a beginning or an end, others are as wide as seatbelts, and the knife-cut pearl noodles are irregular stubs resembling diamonds, squares, pencil erasers — anything, it seems, except pearls. They’re all wonderfully tense and springy and fun to chew. The dark chile-garlic oil is especially good with noodles; it’s probably good with anything.

91. Mapo Korean BBQ

-10(#81 in 2023)
Korean
$$
149-24 41st Avenue
Flushing, Queens
mapokoreanbbqny.com
Last reviewed on Dec. 16, 2014
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Dish picture: Evan Sung for The New York Times. Exterior picture: Karsten Moran for The New York Times.

This longtime institution across from the Murray Hill station on the Long Island Rail Road is the Peter Luger of Queens: gruff, brisk, straightforward and so thick with the aroma of sizzling beef that the air is almost solid. Pork and even seafood are available, but almost everybody orders galbi, which is grilled over tabletop baskets of charcoal by efficient women wielding sharp scissors.

92. Cka Ka Qellu

+2(#94 in 2023)
Albanian
$$
2321 Hughes Avenue (and one other)
Belmont, The Bronx
ckakaqellue.com
Last reviewed on March 12, 2019
★★
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An Rong Xu for The New York Times

The city used to be full of small, amber-lighted, nostalgic restaurants where servers wore Old World costumes, melancholy folk tunes played in the background and everything on the menu evoked the country the owners had left behind. Cka Ka Qellu uses this method to summon Albania. Both locations look like roadside inns from another century, and after putting away platters of veal sausages, creamy dips, stewed beans, soft polenta and Albanian tres leches cake, you may be disappointed to find out there are no featherbeds and fireplaces waiting upstairs.

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93. Vendors at Junction Boulevard

Mexican, Ecuadorean
$
40-04 National Street
Corona, Queens
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Ryan Christopher Jones for The New York Times

After the city evicted all but a small fraction of the Mexican and Ecuadorean vendors from Corona Plaza, the Junction Boulevard stop took its place as the most rewarding street-food destination under the No. 7 train. At the foot of a staircase descending from the tracks, Tacos El Borrego is an impressively well-equipped stand where the most compelling choice is the tacos al pastor, hacked from a spinning trompo the size of a young bluefin tuna. Just off the intersection is Chalupas Poblanas El Tlecuile, where eight tortillas at a time are softened in hot lard and splashed with red and green salsa, then stacked up like pancakes. There are vendors ladling out atole and cafe de olla, cooks pressing fresh masa, flashing and whirring toys for sale for a couple of dollars, and on the other side of Roosevelt, a Bitcoin A.T.M.

94. Shopsin’s General Store

-1(#93 in 2023)
Diner, Breakfast, Lunch
$
88 Essex Street
Lower East Side, Manhattan
shopsins.com
Last reviewed on Aug. 8, 2007
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Colin Clark for The New York Times

There are a number of restaurants across Essex Street from the I.C.P. but Shopsin’s is the only one that points this out on its website with the helpful footnote “Stands for International Center of Photography (Not Insane Clown Posse).” This is a joke that happens to be true, which you could say about most of Shopsin’s menu. The macaroni-and-cheese pancakes are famous by now, as are the somewhat Mexican-ish eggs called Blisters on My Sisters. Then we come to the Do-Rag pancake, the Bastard and the Wiggly Pete, and this is just on the first of the menu’s two single-spaced pages. Every dish, no matter how weird it sounds, will turn out to be good, at a minimum, and a surprisingly large percentage of the goofiest ones have a stealthy sort of culinary intelligence. Shopsin’s takes nothing seriously and takes everything seriously, a philosophy to contemplate while slowly drinking a Nutella Fluff malted milkshake.

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95. Hyderabadi Zaiqa

Indian
$
366 West 52nd Street
Midtown, Manhattan
hyderabadizaiqa.com
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Randy Smith for The New York Times

Here we have an anomaly: a new, tiny, fearless, overachieving Indian restaurant that doesn’t belong to the Unapologetic Foods group. Biryani is the pride of Hyderabadi cuisine and the point of Hyderabadi Zaiqa. More than a dozen are available, from a staunchly traditional and ferociously spiced dum biryani augmented with slow-roasted goat to the Chicken 65 biryani, featuring a spicy, lava-red chicken invented several years ago at a hotel in Chennai. There are curries as well, terrific fried okra and a fish dish that is a close cousin of Chicken 65. How all this is produced is a bit of a mystery. The kitchen can’t be much bigger than a rowboat, and the dining room gets crowded if more than five people decide to eat there at the same time.

96. Caleta 111

+3(#99 in 2023)
Peruvian
$$
111-27 Jamaica Ave
Richmond Hill, Queens
caleta111.com
Last reviewed on Feb. 18, 2020
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Kirsten Luce for The New York Times

Expanding into the space next door transformed Caleta 111 from a narrow ceviche counter to a full-fledged and cheerful Peruvian restaurant. Now you can sit at a table set inside a long narrow boat, nursing a plum-colored chicha morada and looking through the picture window into the kitchen, overseen by Luis Caballero. He makes Chinese Peruvian classics like lomo saltado and seafood fried rice; causas that turn mashed potatoes into an art form; and choritos a la chalaca, chilled mussels dressed with a relish of fresh peppers and tomatoes. But above all, Mr. Caballero is a master of the citric, spicy, cloudy, ginger-spiked liquid that is the base of all his ceviches. One sip of his leche de tigre and you know why you are here, even if you’re not quite sure why you’re sitting in a boat.

97. Zum Stammtisch

+3(#100 in 2023)
German
$$
69-46 Myrtle Avenue
Glendale, Queens
zumstammtisch.com
The 100 Best Restaurants in New York City in 2024 (100)

Lanna Apisukh for The New York Times

Queens lost another remnant of its German legacy in February when Morscher’s Pork Store in Ridgewood closed. You’d never know that the old ways are fading, though, when you’re inside the timbered Bavarian confines of Zum Stammtisch in Glendale. Pilsner is still poured into steins, the giant fresh pretzel comes with two kinds of mustard, and beef goulash over spaetzle is considered an appetizer. There is nothing wrong with the schnitzel, but why resist the wursts? They’re made in the restaurant’s own smokehouse.

98. Lakruwana

-6(#92 in 2023)
Sri Lankan
$
668 Bay Street
Stapleton Heights, Staten Island
lakruwanarestaurant.com
Last reviewed on Jan. 29, 2013
The 100 Best Restaurants in New York City in 2024 (101)

Circle framed picture: Dave Sanders for The New York Times. Rectangle framed picture: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times.

The cooking of Sri Lanka that emerges from Lakruwana’s kitchen is tropical, lush, saturated with coconut and chiles. But dinner or lunch there is not just a meal. It’s a cultural immersion. Over the years the Wijesinghe family, who own the restaurant and usually stand guard in the dining room, have filled the dining room with Buddha statues, carved furniture, clay pots, weapons and shields, and about a hundred other objects shipped from Sri Lanka.

99. Ewe’s Delicious Treats

-1(#98 in 2023)
Nigerian, West African
$
453 Granville Payne Avenue
New Lots, Brooklyn
The 100 Best Restaurants in New York City in 2024 (102)

Colin Clark for The New York Times

The deeper I get into Ewe’s repertory of Nigerian dishes, the more impressed I am. The egusi and ogbono stews are deeply flavored and complex, and the fish pepper soup has a strong aromatic backbone that is the sign of a careful hunt for ingredients. Chile heat is an accent, but it’s not used timidly, and don’t go looking for relief in the jollof rice, which is an event in itself. The restaurant recently got its beer and wine license, and a bottle from the refrigerator can make a useful companion when the Scotch bonnets make their presence felt.

100. Randazzo’s Clam Bar

-3(#97 in 2023)
Italian American, Seafood
$$
2017 Emmons Avenue
Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn
randazzosclambar.nyc
Last reviewed on April 23, 2013
The 100 Best Restaurants in New York City in 2024 (103)

Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

There is chowder to start, along with freshly shucked clams and oysters. You can get lobster fra diavolo or linguine with clam sauce, red or white, and a couple dozen other classics of Italian American seafood cookery. But Randazzo’s was put on this earth to serve fried calamari. If you don’t understand how such a pedestrian dish could be the organizing principle of an entire restaurant, you probably haven’t tasted the calamari at Randazzo’s, or dipped it into the hot tomato sauce that seems to have been bubbling on the back of the stove all day, or wondered how the hunk of friselle, a kind of crouton buried under the pile of squid, somehow manages to be dry and wet at the same time.

Left the List:

La Mercerie
Ali’s Trinbago Roti Shop
Mokyo
Taqueria Ramírez
The Musket Room
Pata Paplean Bar
Falansai
Scarr’s Pizza
Hop Lee
Iris
Silver Apricot
Rangoon
Cho Dang Gol
Gabriel Kreuther
Adda Indian Canteen
Kappo Sono
Empellón
Lilia
Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
The 100 Best Restaurants in New York City in 2024 (2024)

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