Written by Claire Leaden & Justine Golata
The NYC dining scene is forever changing, and although that means losing some classic favorites, it also means gaining some new must-visit spots. This year has been ripe with brand new restaurants and bars, especially offering some truly incredible menus and atmospheres.
Here are some of the best new restaurants in NYC that have opened within the past few months (with a few that veer into the beginning of this year) that really stand out.
1. Claud, East Village
Coming from co-owners Joshua Pinsky and Chase Sinzer, Claud first welcomed guests on E. 10th St. in early August. The open kitchen, airy ambiance and elevated bites are reminiscent of European dining culture. Their menu of small plates from escargot croquettes, moses sleeper mille-feuille with confit tomatoe, to our personal favorite, the chicken liver agnolotti are perfect for sharing with friends. We could have stayed an enjoyed ourselves for hours!
Where:90 E 10th St, New York
2. Nubeluz, NoMad
Looking for your next place to have sky-high cocktails? Well, look no further. José Andrés just opened a mesmerizing “lightbox in the sky” that sits atop The Ritz-Carlton, Nomad. Sip cocktails at this swanky spot and admire the twinkling city lights from 500 feet above. In addition to the dazzling city views, indulge in rich textures and materials that liven the space’s interior from luxe seating to an onyx bar top. Nubeluz also offers two outdoor terraces for guests to enjoy more of the cityscape.
The food menu combines American and Spanish bites, offering everything from the classiest grilled cheese you’ll ever taste to Jamón Ibérico de Bellota Cinco Jotas. If you’re looking to add a little glamour into your night, we definitely recommend checking Nubeluz out. Reservations are required. Learn more here.
Where:25 West 28th Street, New York (The Top of The Ritz-Carlton, NoMad)
3. Ensenada, Williamsburg
Taking Williamsburg by storm, Ensenada is a new mariscos and mezcal restaurant from Executive Chef Luis Herrera and owner/restaurateur Bryce David. Ensenada is heavily inspired by “fresh fish concepts in Mexico City and fish taco carts through Baja California.” The restaurant uses sustainably sourced seafood to serve in their refreshing ceviches, negro, rojo and verde aguachiles and more. The duo has effectively brought Latin American coastal cuisine to NYC, making it a notable new opening.
Sample an extensive array of mezcals from producers across Oaxaca, Jalisco, Durango, Michoacan, and Puebla. Prefer a cocktail? Ensenada also serves a rotating selection offrozen drinks, seasonal Palomas, and a special twist on a mezcal Negroni.
Where: 168 Borinquen Pl, Brooklyn
4. Spes, East Village
Though the spot originally opened at the beginning of the year, Spes had to be included on this list for anyone who didn’t know about it. The quaint spot offers the most incredible atmosphere for a date night, drinks with friends, or even a solo night out. Get cozy in the candlelit space with warm bowls of steaming pasta and let the the live jazz on Thursdays ease your mind.
What makes this spot especially unique is their interactive wine program. Spin to sip from their extensive list of natural wines with their adorable wine board that offers two categories: mood and wine type. Think of it like an adult Twister spinner! Whether you land on elegant orange, muscular red, or a seemingly endless combo of possibilities, you’ll be served two options that align with your destined wine (or few) of the night. Though you obviously don’t have to stick with what you get, it definitely adds to the fun.
Where:413 E 12th St, New York
5. Jōji, Midtown
Tucked beneath Manhattan’s One Vanderbilt, this hidden sushi restaurant below street level is offering an omakase experience unlike anywhere else in NYC. With Chef George Ruan (previous Head Sushi Chef at Masa) running the kitchen and Michelin-Starred Chef Daniel Boulud on operations, we’d expect nothing less than greatness. Jōji sets out to bring authentic Japanese traditions to the heart of Manhattan.
Experiences are available at the 10-person counter or separate private dining room that fits up to 8 people. The omakase menu is $375/person and reservations can be made online through Resy. Learn more here.
Where:1 Vanderbilt Ave, New York
6. Dar Yemma, Astoria
Directly translating to “Mom’s House,” Dar Yemma is as comforting as it is delicious. The vibrant restaurant transports your tastebuds with flavors of Moroccan Tagine right in Astoria’s Little Egypt. Dar Yemma promises to bring “the soul of Moroccan hospitality” to every customer that visits. One bite into their cheese cigars or their various kebab platters or tagine, you’ll undoubtedly return for more.
Where: 25-21 Steinway St, Queens
7. 11tiger, East Village
Find the 11Tigers lair located on the second floor of building 225 on Avenue B. Self described as a “speakeasy with a Thai heart and a Japanese soul,” 11Tigers marries Thai sum yadong with Japanese izakaya for an unforgettable dining experience.
Treat yourself to their flavorful 11 Tigers Tom Yum Ramen or Crying Tiger Gyoza, but don’t miss out on their inventive cocktail menu. Experience drinks made with yadong, a traditional Thai liqueur that’s often viewed as a “health tonic.” Tons of varieties exist, one of the most popular being 11 Tigers yadong, hence where the speakeasy draws its name from.
Where:225 Avenue B 2nd Floor, New York
8. Slutty Vegan, Fort Greene
Atlanta’s extremely popular vegan burger joint has traveled north to NYC with its first-ever Brooklyn location. The cheeky spot drew a massive crowd at its grand opening with a line that ran down the block. See what all the hype is about and order yourself one of their “slutty burgers” with a side of “slutty fries” with signature slut dust. Read more here.
Where: 690 Fulton Street, Brooklyn
10. Ainslie, Nolita/Lower East Side
Though Ainslie is no stranger to NYC, a brand new 20,000 square foot location just opened 199 Bowery where Vandal used to stand. The massive new location features a 50-foot bar, 32 beer taps, foosball and shuffleboard, all in addition to its spacious beer garden and wine bar in the back. Seriously, you could spend hours here! See more here.
Where: 199 Bowery, New York
11. Effin Egg, Flatiron
Always dreaming of an effin good breakfast but too often in a rush? New grab-and-go joint Effin Egg is the perfect solution. The first NYC location opened earlier this month. From sandwiches, tacos and burritos, try menu favorites like the Spicy Biscuit with house-made brisket, EFFY Sauce, egg, cheddar cheese & BBQ sauce or Mama’s Burrito with a flour tortilla, scrambled eggs, shredded hash browns, chorizo, black beans, cheddar and jack cheese, pico de gallo and a side of salsa verde.
Where: 38 E 23rd St, New York
12. Masalawala & Sons, Park Slope
Age-old techniques meet a colorful new space in Park Slope’s newest Indian restaurant, Masalawala & Sons. The spot comes from the same hospitality group, Unapologetic Foods, behind notorious establishments such as Dhamaka, Adda Indian Canteen and Rowdy Rooster by restaurateur Roni Mazumdar & Chintan Pandya. The menu explores Roni’s favorite family recipes “from the perspective of [Satyen Mazumda, Roni’s father] a 75 year old immigrant.”
Masalawala & Sons even doubles as grocery store. Diners can shop spices, chocolates, and coffee to bring their favorite flavors from the menu home with them. Learn more here.
Where:365 5th Ave, Brooklyn
13. Hidden Leaf, Hudson Yards/Midtown West
This new concept comes from Brooklyn restaurateur Josh Cohen of Chez Ma Tante and Lilia. In the newly developed Manhattan West space, Hidden Leaf offers a pan-Asian menu from Executive Chef Chai Trivedi with the likes of Yunnan BBQ St. Louis Ribs with sticky sauce, seeds, and preserved ginger mustard, dim sum such as Jade
Vegetable Dumplings and Crunchy Pork Potstickers, all served in a shareable assortment of small plates.
The bar is also a highlight, with internationally renowned bartender Iain Griffiths (He/They), co-founder of the wildly acclaimed and influential Dandelyan and White Lyan bars in London, concocting the beverage program. Plus it has street level companion bar, the high-energy aperitivo bar Midnight Cafe. Hidden Leaf is also located in the same spot as the Midnight Theatre, which will open as a glamorous & intimate new performance venue later this year.
Where: 75 Manhattan West Plaza Suite B
14. Le Rock, Rockefeller Center
Another glamorous new addition to the Midtown neighborhood, new restaurant “Le Rock” takes its inspo from the iconic Art Deco design that Rock Center is known for. Expect French classics from chefs and owners Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr (of Frenchette), plus lots of natural wines.
Where: 45 Rockefeller Plaza
15. Zaytinya, NoMad
This gorgeous new restaurant is another masterpiece from José Andrés that is located within the Ritz-Carlton NoMad. Mezze is the name of the game here, with a shareable menu inspired by Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisines. Though there are tons of choices from spreads to flatbreads to seafood, you can also try one of their tasting menus curated by Zaytinya Concept Chef Michael Costa. Plus, specialty craft cocktails like their Mediterranean G&T or the 3pm in Istanbul with vodka, grapefruit, Aperol, lavender, mint, tea, vanilla and lime.
Designed with the Rockwell Group, the airy, picturesque interior features custom woven pendants, a blue Lavastone bar, and a custom back wall with a striking abstraction of the Greek “evil eye.” It also has a sister location in D.C. that has been met with rave reviews.
Where: 1185 Broadway
16. KYU, NoHo
This NYC newcomer from Miami has a stunning bar you can pull up to for bites like Soft Shell Crab Steamed Buns and Spice Duck Fat Mixed Nuts, or cocktails with Asian flavor profiles like the Sensei with Toki, Black Sesame, White Miso and Mirin.
The rest of the space mixed traditional and more modern decor like concrete juxtaposed against warm Versailles oak-wood floors, plus a beautifully lit bar and custom fabric light fixtures throughout. There’s even an open kitchen section with where guests can see their famous wood-burning grills in action. See more here.
Where: 324 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012
17. Ye’s Apothecary, Lower East Side/Chinatown
This cozy spot opened on the Lower East Side in June, and serves Chinese herb-infused cocktails alongside classic Szechuan tapas.
Watch our take on it here!
Where: 119 Orchard St.
18. Maison Close, SoHo
Another spot to feel whisked away to France, Maison Close just opened in SoHo at the end of July and hopes to combine “the greatest aspects of New York and French culture.” Prominent Parisian Chef Geoffrey Lechantoux is bringing “sophisticated yet accessible” French dishes like Belle Sole Meunièrepan seared with a butter foam, Cote de Boeufserved with Choron and Peppercorn sauce, and a Crepe Suzette with Grand Marnier flambee.
As for the interior, it was developed with DMDesign to evoke the “Belle Epoque” era of 20th century Europe, with vibrant royal blues, warm dark oranges, and gold and brass hardware. There are also plenty of references to the Moulin Rouge, from “the tulip-shaped banquettes to the collection of exposed bulbs lighting the room from overhead.” Plus, they serve brunch Tuesday-Sunday!
Where: 15 Watts St.
19. Verōnika (re-opening), Flatiron
This one isn’t completely new, it still is a new opening since it had been closed for nearly a year! Tucked away in within Fotografiska New York‘s historic 19th century building, Verōnika finally reopened on June 16 as part Eastern European restaurant, part intimate bar. There will be two Verōnika experiences: the Restaurant in the main room, and Bar Veronika, an “intimate space offering craft cocktails, an extensive selection of old and new world wines, and a variety of small plates.” The bar will only accept walk-ins (unless you are a member), while you can book advanced reservations for the restaurant portion. But both are seriously stunning, so it’s worth it either way! The bar holds original restored stain glass windows, while the restaurant in general boas sky-high ceilings with twinkling brass chandeliers.
Where: 281 Park Ave S Entrance on E 22nd St.
20. Laser Wolf, Williamsburg
Sure, the rooftop views of the East River and Manhattan skyline definitely help make this a gorgeous spot, but the breezy modern decor also stands on its own. Atop The Hoxton hotel in Williamsburg, Laser Wolf serves delicious Israeli fare cooked over a charcoal grill. Like a tradition Israeli shipudiya (skewer house) they start off meals with signature hummus, pita, an array of colorful vegetable salatim, followed by meat and vegetable skewers cooked on the charcoal grill, their website shares, plus brown sugar soft-serve ice cream for dessert.
Where: 97 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn
21. Apotheke, NoMad
This iconic speakeasy in Chinatown now has a brand new location in NYC for the first time ever — and though it’s technically a second location, it was too pretty not to include! Located on W. 26th St. in the NoMad neighborhood, it’s also serving an extensive drink menu built around ingredients known for their restorative and medicinal properties, inspired by historic apothecaries that created natural remedies from various plants, roots and botanicals.
Similar to the Doyer Street location, the NoMad spot consists of an intimate basement lounge. In addition to the underground space, it also draws details from the West Coast with its soon-to-come penthouse and terrace garden, mirroring the LA location’s indoor-outdoor feature. Reservation recommended, walk-ins welcome. Read more here.
Where: 9 W 26th St.
22. Lysée, Flatiron
We’re ending this roundup, with of course, some truly beautiful desserts! Presentation is everything at this new NYC “pastry boutique” that displays their desserts like an art gallery. Chef Eunji Lee is celebrating pastry as edible art in a brand new way, taking inspiration from the French word for museum, musée, while also paying tribute to the cultures and flavors of NYC, Korea, and France at her new dessert destination Lysée. Read more details about it here!
Where: 44 E 21 St.
23. Highwater Rooftop, FiDi
Enjoy sky-high views from 25 stories above at this new bi-level rooftop that recently opened in FiDi. Whether you’re looking for a perfect spot for after work drinks or an intimate space to take someone special, you definitely want to check this spot out. It’s still a bit under-the-radar so head over before it the secret’s out!
Where:120 Water St, New York
See also: The 20 Most Beautiful Restaurants In NYC