Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC’s Dining Scene on the Map in 2023
Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - From Fancy to Casual, Options Abound Across the Boroughs
New Yorkers looking to tantalize their tastebuds have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to new restaurants that opened across the five boroughs in 2023. From upscale takes on global cuisine to homey neighborhood spots slinging scrumptious slices, the city’s dining scene continues to evolve in exciting ways.
In Manhattan, the fine dining set has a slew of sophisticated new places to sample. At Calliope in Midtown, Top Chef alum Kwame Onwuachi is dishing up an eclectic tasting menu highlighting flavors from across the African diaspora. Downtown in the Seaport District, Jean-Georges Vongerichten brings his signature French-Asian fusion to new patisserie Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery, serving croque monsieurs, macarons and perfect pain au chocolat.
But New York isn’t just for fancy meals and special occasions. In Astoria, Queens immigrants from Greece, Egypt and Lebanon have opened homey storefronts slinging stuffed grape leaves, kebabs and other Mediterranean comfort foods. In Brooklyn, Roberta’s offshoot Emmy Squared turns out Detroit-style pan pizzas with an NYC twist – unique toppings like ranch dressing and hot honey. And up in the Bronx, no-frills Italian spot MangiPasta is charming diners with its fresh-made pastas and sauces.
The outer boroughs are also home to several of the city’s buzziest new food halls. Industry City in Sunset Park now houses more than two dozen vendors dishing up tacos, creamy gelato, Chinese dumplings and more. In Queens, the just-opened Playground Market in Long Island City gathers exciting concepts like Ugly Baby ice cream and Lighthouse lobster rolls under one roof.
What else is in this post?
- Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - From Fancy to Casual, Options Abound Across the Boroughs
- Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - Global Flavors Shine at These Just-Opened Eateries
- Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - Fresh Pasta and Pizza Dough Reign at New Italian Spots
- Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - Cocktails and Small Plates Are Haute at These Hotels
- Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - Vegan, Vegetarian Menus Satisfy Herbivores and Omnivores Alike
- Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - Food Halls Continue To Tempt Tastebuds In One Stop
- Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - Outdoor Dining Still Thrives Thanks To Pandemic Pivots
- Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - Celeb Chefs Bring Star Power To Promising First Ventures
Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - Global Flavors Shine at These Just-Opened Eateries
New Yorkers have always had an adventurous palate, and a slew of new restaurants has arrived to satiate their cravings for global flavors. From Southeast Asian street food to regional Mexican specialties, these freshly opened spots allow locals to embark on an international culinary journey without leaving the five boroughs.
In Manhattan's Nolita neighborhood, Australian chef Analiese Gregory pays tribute to the multicultural cuisines of her homeland at Daughter. Shared plates like grilled octopus with green curry and coconut milk transport diners to the streets of Bangkok, while smoked emu hen egg with sea succulents conjures the indigenous ingredients of the Outback. Gregory artfully fuses these bold flavors into sophisticated dishes that feel distinctly Aussie yet universal.
Further downtown in the Lower East Side, Rosalena serves up Oaxacan fare in a colorful, festive space. Traditional moles, tlayudas, and memelas (thick, griddled corn cakes) are prepared using heirloom corn imported directly from Mexico. Cocktails made with smoky mezcal transport sippers south of the border. While dishes stay true to their origins, chef Jesse Rodriguez also gets playful with tacos like the Hong Kong brisket filled with char siu pork.
In Astoria, Queens, Egyptian street food gets a modern refresh at Kushari Shop. Their namesake dish features rice, lentils, and fried onions – the perfect carb-loaded meal. Contemporary takes like kushari fries and kushari egg rolls allow first-timers to ease into these dynamic flavors. And their fridge holds imported Egyptian sodas, offering an authentic beverage to pair with each plate. Owner Heba Hassanein aims to debunk Western misconceptions of Egyptian fare, showcasing the incredible diversity of her home country's cuisine.
These global flavors don't just dwell in NYC's trendier neighborhoods. In Harlem, chic Sisters offers the cooking of Sahadi sisters Christine and Tanya. Their Lebanese heritage shines through in share plates like muhammara dip, shawarma-spiced quail, and labneh cheesecake with orange blossom syrup. Diners eager to try new foods in an inviting setting have embraced their neighborhood gem.
Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - Fresh Pasta and Pizza Dough Reign at New Italian Spots
While New York's old-school red sauce joints still have their devotees, a new crop of modern Italian eateries is redefining what it means to dine on regional specialties from the Bel Paese. Rather than depend on frozen or dried pastas and jarred sauces, these newcomers start from scratch with fresh doughs and noodle-making. The results have choosy New Yorkers lining up for a taste.
On the Upper West Side, mother-daughter duo Nancy Silverton and Chiara Troisgros bring their acclaimed Los Angeles restaurant Osteria Mozza to New York. Housemade mozzarella anchors ethereal Neapolitan pies blistered to perfection in their wood-burning oven. Meanwhile, pastas like mandilli de seta showcase the virtuosic abilities of their pasta maestra. These silky handkerchief noodles envelop a luscious ragu of braised veal, pork, and prosciutto. With a reservation nearly impossible to snag, Osteria Mozza proves NYC diners will wait for such scrumptious handiwork.
Further downtown, Rosie's elevates vegetarian Italian fare in an artsy East Village setting. Chef Adam Landsman mills exceptional semolina flour for velvety torchio covered in melting winter squash fonduta. His spin on cacio e pepe swaps pecorino for smoked potato cream and ground black pepper. These playful yet soul-satisfying dishes dispel the myth that veggie pastas leave you hungry.
Over in Williamsburg, Brooklyn slice shop Fornino aims to "bring justice to pizza" with their slow-fermented sourdough crusts. The extended proofing allows complex flavors to develop. Toppings like fresh mozzarella, San Marzanos, and spicy soppressata keep things classic. While New Yorkers have strong pizza opinions, Fornino's crispy-chewy pies win over even the crust skeptics.
Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - Cocktails and Small Plates Are Haute at These Hotels
New Yorkers know that some of the city’s hottest dining and drinking can be found not at standalone restaurants, but right within luxury hotel bars and lounges. These sophisticated spaces allow both out-of-town guests and locals to experience top-notch cocktails and cuisine in settings ranging from sleek and modern to classically elegant.
In Midtown, Japanese-Peruvian spot Yakumo at the Lotte New York Palace continues to wow guests with their Nikkei cocktails and small plates. Beverage director Aaron Polsky mixes Japanese spirits like shochu with South American ingredients like passionfruit and pisco to create cocktails like the tongue-in-cheek Fujimama. Executive chef Thomas Chen brings Japanese technique to bites like succulent anticucho skewers and hikado siu mai dumplings filled with Kurobuta pork. The moody blue and black interior provides a transportive atmosphere.
Further downtown, Mr. Purple at the Hotel Indigo Lower East Side channels the neighborhood's artsy spirit into a rooftop restaurant and bar. Soak up sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline while sipping cocktails like the Mr. Purple made with rum, blue curaçao, pineapple, lime and absinthe. The menu features shareable plates like tuna tartare tacos and shishito peppers with yuzu kosho. On temperate evenings, locals flock to this scenic spot for strong drinks and snacks.
In Brooklyn, the lavish spa at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge added a new dining experience for guests and neighbors alike. Animae serves a plant-based menu sourced from the hotel's rooftop farm. Dishes like coconut ceviche with kelp and sweet potato fundido with cashew queso prove vegetarian can also be decadent. Unique botanical cocktails developed by mixologist Bridget Albert, like the carrot margarita featuring carrot-ginger juice, let diners feel virtuous as they imbibe. With sustainability as its mission, Animae offers a memorable meal with a conscience.
Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - Vegan, Vegetarian Menus Satisfy Herbivores and Omnivores Alike
New York has long had its fair share of veggie-centric eateries catering to herbivorous residents. But a new wave of hot spots proves plant-based dining in this meat-loving town has entered an exciting new chapter. These restaurants are welcoming omnivores along for the ride by turning veggies, grains and more into craveable plates that give chicken parm a run for its money.
Over on the Upper East Side, abcV celebrates vegetables in all their colorful glory. This aptly named spot sources peak produce from local farms to create edible works of art. Their roasted cauliflower steak with cashew puree and charred scallions is abeefy, satisfying alternative perfect for convincing carnivores. Meanwhile, the asparagus and leek flatbread draped in melted almond ricotta will have diners dubbing it the best “cheese” pizza in town. With an airy, sunshine-filled space, abcV makes herbivorism seem downright inviting.
Down in the West Village, Dirt Candy flips veggie dining on its head with fun, ironic plates like broccoli dogs and kimcheese fries. Portobello wings glazed in sticky Korean BBQ sauce even mimic the experience of eating Buffalo chicken without ruffling animal lovers’ feathers. These playful dishes from chef Amanda Cohen use whimsy to celebrate veggies in their own right, rather than imitating meat. A cheeky cocktail like the Beet Sidecar – made with lemon, ginger, aquavit and beet juice – complements the good-natured vibe.
For upscale plant-based fare, Jajaja offers globally inspired small plates perfect for sharing, along with natural wines and zero-proof cocktails. Dishes like charred shishito peppers with smoked cashew queso and coconut ceviche with jicama and kelp provide ample umami. A bright skylit dining room sets the scene for this enlightened approach to flexitarian dining. Jajaja excels at allowing produce to shine while coaxing maximum flavor through fermentation, smoking and other techniques.
Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - Food Halls Continue To Tempt Tastebuds In One Stop
New Yorkers have always loved the convenience of gathering different eateries under one roof. From Grand Central Terminal’s iconic Vanderbilt Hall to trendy Industry City, food halls allow visitors to sample and share diverse cuisines in a single spot. And new destinations like Playground Market in Long Island City prove these culinary bazaars are still drawing crowds.
Diners appreciate how food halls remove the pressure of deciding on one type of meal. At Playground Market, you and your companions can each go your own way – tacos for your pal with the adventurous appetite, lobster rolls for your seafood-loving sister, creamy gelato for the dessert fiend. Then reconvene at a communal table to let everyone sample each other’s picks. Food halls cater to groups with diverse tastes and indecisive diners alike.
Of course, it helps that Playground houses some of the hottest up-and-coming vendors in the city, like Ugly Baby ice cream. Thai native Sirin “Bow” Johnson draws on her heritage to churn out flavors like pandan leaf and Thai tea, with toppings like sticky rice and boba. Playground offers a chance for her small business to reach more customers without the cost of her own storefront. Vendors also benefit from patrons who pop in for a nibble and discover something new.
While sampling exciting concepts draws many to food halls, some patrons also appreciate the lower price points compared to formal restaurants. At a food hall, diners expect fast-casual service and counter ordering. This allows vendors to focus their efforts on the food itself. Smaller portions or tasty bites make sampling more affordable too. You can order a few different items without breaking the bank.
Food halls also offer that coveted "only in New York" experience for tourists seeking local flavor. Visitors want a taste of the city's quintessential foods, from street cart halal to bagels and lox. Clustering beloved icons and newcomers alike under one roof allows tourists easy access to satisfying their cravings. Playground Market's newest location handily delivers with lobster rolls, Jewish classics, tacos and more to represent New York's culinary melting pot.
Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - Outdoor Dining Still Thrives Thanks To Pandemic Pivots
Even as indoor dining returns to full capacity, New Yorkers haven't abandoned their newfound love of al fresco meals. Outdoor dining options proliferated during the pandemic out of sheer necessity. But the communal spirit and fresh air this trend fostered has made outdoor tables a staple for many restaurants moving forward.
While once limited mostly to sidewalk cafes, outdoor dining now takes over curbside lanes, re-appropriated parking lots, and any other available outdoor space. Restaurateurs have invested in furniture, lighting, and heating to create full-service environments outside. Diners have embraced the experience, bundling up for a hot cocoa on a heated patio or sporting sunglasses for weekend brunch on a sidewalk. Al fresco dining provides a welcome change of scenery and sense of community.
Several restaurants conceived during COVID as exclusively outdoor eateries continue thriving with the model. In Brooklyn, Oxomoco relies solely on their backyard garden space to serve up Mexican fare like queso fundido and six types of tamales. String lights dangling from trees and cactus centerpieces bring Baja vibes to industrial Greenpoint. In Queens, outdoor Asian fusion spot Win Son operates out of converted shipping containers in an empty lot. Diners munch on banh mi tacos and sip boozy slushies while admiring street art plastered along the fence line.
Pandemic-born restaurants like these had no need to redesign their original concept to accommodate indoor crowds. Their birth in the crucible of COVID restrictions allowed them to embrace outdoor dining as an asset rather than a temporary fix. They exemplify how restaurateurs can change their mindset to make al fresco experiences inviting in their own right.
Big Apple Bites: 10 Hot New Restaurants Putting NYC's Dining Scene on the Map in 2023 - Celeb Chefs Bring Star Power To Promising First Ventures
Celebrity chef restaurants used to be the domain of established veterans like Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse. But lately, a fresh crop of famous faces is trying their hand at helming their own eateries right out the gate. For many, New York City provides the perfect high-profile launching pad to introduce their concepts to a discerning diner base less swayed by fame alone. The buzz draws initial crowds, but the food must impress to pass muster with both critics and customers.
The newest celeb-driven restaurant generating major hype is Lodi – the first solo venture from Top Chef fan fave Chris Scott. Located in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights, Lodi highlights Scott’s Italian and Creole heritage through dishes like chicken cacciatore pappardelle and lemon pepper catfish over dirty rice. The cozy space channels Southern hospitality with checkerboard floors and familial vibes. But Scott relies on refined technique rather than gimmicks or kitsch. He aims to prove his gastropub concept has substance beyond his TV pedigree or backstory as Harlem’s “Tattooed Chef.”
Meanwhile in Manhattan, actor Ryan Gosling tries a different approach by partnering with experienced restaurateur Luke Ostrom on Tagine. Gosling supplies the glamour, while Ostrom provides operational savvy at this moody Moroccan supper club. Celebs flock for the atmosphere plus dishes like saffron chicken tagine and lamb bastilla. But Tagine likely wouldn’t succeed on Gosling’s star appeal alone. His wise choice to team up with an established player pays off.
Reality stars also want to parlay small screen fame into culinary success. Vanderpump Rules’ Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz just opened cocktail bar TomTom in Manhattan, adjacent to Lisa Vanderpump’s namesake restaurant. Pandering to their primary Bravo audience, the menu offers Instagram-friendly drinks like sparkler cocktails. Whether the bar outlasts its 15 minutes remains to be seen, but the duo can capitalize on their fame for now.
Compared to single-entity restaurants, new food halls allow fledgling celeb chefs on a budget to test concepts before going all in on their own space. At New York’s latest buzzy hall Playground Market, former Top Chef contestant Leia Gaccione slings her signature handmade pasta from small counter Sfoglina. Lines form to sample chestnut strozzapreti and other inventive noodle dishes that spotlight her creativity. If her pasta proves popular, Gaccione can grow her stall into its own restaurant. Celebrity gives unknown chefs like Gaccione the initial spotlight to show they have skills beyond reality TV.