The Most Exciting New Restaurants in NYC to Try This Summer
New York City is alive again! With the last of the coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and bars coming to an end like curfews, mask requirements and more, New Yorkers are in for a hungry, delicious #HotVaxSummer. Now that we’re able to openly dish about “what happened last night” with friends over a boozy brunch, venture out with a prospective first date we swiped right on or enjoy a hot new spot with ease, we’ve rounded up 40 new (and newly reopened) restaurants and bars to check out this summer.
1. Le Pavillon
One Vanderbilt is now home to Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud’s latest restaurant Le Pavillon, opposite Grand Central Terminal in Midtown’s tallest tower. Best described as an indoor oasis, it’s inspired by the traditional tree-lined pavilions found throughout France. The interior is heavy on greenery with live trees and a striking chandelier. The floor to ceiling windows show off incredible views of the Manhattan skyline. The menu emphasizes seafood and vegetable centric with a focus on locally sourced ingredients.
One Vanderbilt Ave; lepavillonnyc.com
2. Coby Club
Head to Chelsea to enjoy a drink at one of the sexiest, newly reopened speakeasies in the city. Under the Elmo restaurant lies Coby Club. It pays homage to 1960's San Francisco Chinatown nightlife, and to its most celebrated personality, the late Miss Coby Yee. This one is perfect for a second or third date spot, with black velvet banquettes, silk-shaded lighting, gold embossed dragons and occasionally live musical performances and “other unexpected entertainment.”
156 1/2 Seventh Ave; cobyclubnyc.com
3. Brooklyn Dumpling Shop
Despite its name, this zero human interaction quick-service dumpling shop is actualy in the East Village. It has 32 unique dumpling varieties that you can order totally contactless, like pastrami, bacon cheeseburger, lamb gyro, French onion soup, Philly cheesesteak and peanut butter and jelly for a sweet finish.
131 1st Ave; brooklyndumplingshop.com
4. Manresa at Intersect by Lexus
The 3-Michelin starred Manresa by chef David Kinch of California is currently in rotation at the newly opened INTERSECT BY LEXUS in Chelsea. Overseen by Intersect executive chef Nick Martinez, the menu hones in and dazzles chef Kinch’s menu of sea bream sashimi, roasted aged duck, grilled A5 Miyazaki Ribeye, salted butter ice cream and more. The open-format kitchen allows you to watch the chefs gracefully prepare the dishes. Don’t forget to take a trip downstairs to the bathroom whether you need it or not—it is an experience.
412 West 14th Street; intersect-nyc.com
5. Rosemary’s East
Stuytowners rejoice! There is finally some good food in the neighborhood. The eastern location of the original West Village Rosemary’s fits seamlessly into the area, with an airy indoor to outdoor space with floor to ceiling windows that open up the dining room to the street. Sip on the PDT PCV cocktail, in collaboration with PDT owner Jeff Bell (who is also a Stuytown neighbor) while sampling a variety of pizzas like the PCV Cacio e Pepe (named for Peter Cooper Village) made with mozzarella, taleggio, cream and Parmigiano or the Fusilli alla Napoletana with pomodoro tomatoes, house made burrata, basil purée fresno chili, pine nuts and Parmigiano.
350 First Avenue; rosemarysnyc.com
6. The Vestry
Newly Michelin-starred Vestry in Soho dazzled the critics and diners alike with its American-with-Japanese-influences menu. It’s quickly become a go-to in the NYC dining landscape. Think: nori chips with salmon and tobiko, chu toro with yuzu and fresh wasabi, morel mushroom risotto basil pesto. To finish, don’t miss the ice cream sandwiches.
246 Spring Street; vestrynyc.com
It’s the Mediterranean in the heart of Midtown. Skorpios, which occupies the former home of Charlie Palmer Steak, showcases classic Greek specialties like Pikilia traditional Greek spreads, tarama, tzatziki, and hummus, spanakopita, Aegean calamari and ouzo flamed haloumi cheese, squid ink pasta and more. The dining room in Skorpios is lined with white leather circular banquettes with white-washed tables amongst four indoor waterfalls cascading down marble pillars.
5 East 54th Street; skorpiosny.com
8. Unregular Pizza
Unregular Pizza made some noise leading up to its brick-and-mortar opening with its “barter-style” pizza format: Instead of paying for their pizzas, Roman pizzaiolo Gabriele Lamonaca bartered with customers in exchange for a pie. Now the pizzeria has found roots in a small pizza shop in Union Square with a funky and pop fluo-colored 90’s-inspired interior. There are a dizzying assortment of pizzas, including “Burrapizzas” which feature a whole burrata on one squared slice, mushroom heavy UnMushrooms, Parmigiana PLUS with fried eggplant and UnVegan, a vegan-style tomato confit, and asparagus cream pie.
In addition to pizza, there are a variety of lasagnas (one made with Bronte imported pistachios), and meatballs made with a special guanciale sauce.
135 4th Avenue; unregularpizza.com
9. Temple Court on Ten at The Beekman
Temple Court on Ten is back in action. Book a rezzie so you can enjoy the enchanting, upscale rooftop dining experience inside the wisteria-adorned terrace. Snack on dishes like salt-baked beets, glazed lobster, Peking duck breast over coals and tableside burnt s’mores. Best of all? Catch the skylines of lower Manhattan as you drink and dine.
123 Nassau Street; templecourtnyc.com
From Chef Guy Vaknin, owner of the popular Beyond Sushi, comes elevated vegan and kosher comfort food at Willow in Chelsea. Menu highlights include a Buttermilk Fried Chick'n Sandwich, 'Scallop' Cacio e Pepe, Vegan Calamari, Truffle Mac and Cheese, Jackfruit Crab Cakes and Vanilla Bean Cashew Cheesecake. It’s fun and colorful with marble tables, plush seating, accents of pink and royal blue, and recycled barn wood.
199 8th Ave; willownewyork.com
Nothing has made quite a splash this year like the newly opened Dhamaka by chef and partner Chintan Pandya and restaurateur Roni Mazumdar of Rahi and Adda Indian Canteen. Makes sense—Dhamaka means “burst of emotions” in Hindi. Their new Lower East Side spot serves food “forgotten in India,” like the Paplet Fry, made with ginger, cumin and green chutney and the Gurda Kapoora—goat kidney and testicles, red onion and pao. We’re also fans of the Champaran (mutton, whole garlic and red chili) and pressure cooker Pulao with chicken or vegetables.
119 Delancey Street; dhamaka.nyc
Making the Upper West Side cool again is Dagon. The Israeli establishment by chef Ari Bokovza includes mezze like marinated beets on horseradish yogurt with crispy beef tongue, Agu’s Tunisian Cigar filled with ground lamb, Harissa BBQ Chicken and Crispy Roasted Lamb. Feel like you’re in Tel Aviv and take your time dining on the cozy banquettes with ivory colored cushions, and greens and blues interspersed throughout.
2454 Broadway at West 91st Street; dagonnyc.com
13. Gitano Garden of Love
The Garden of Love in Soho is back, with its 24,000 square-foot tropical garden. Feel like you’re in Tulum in this oasis filled with hundreds of 30-foot palm trees, lush plants and twin pergola dining decks. The space occupies an entire Hudson Square city block. Modern Mexican fare is cooked on an open fire with menu highlights, including Watermelon Salad, Chicken al Pastor, Carne Asada, Truffle Tlayuda, King Crab Tostada and Mezcal-focused cocktails.
76 Varick St; grupogitano.com/nyc
14. Electric Burrito
Electric Burrito is the new SoCal to-go burrito restaurant in the East Village. Serving Southern California and San Diego classics such as breakfast burritos, tacos and an authentic San Diego variety (really) stuffed with french fries and served with a vibrant "orange sauce" made from chile de arbol. Stop in for breakfast burritos, a surf-and-turf Johnny Utah and Ranchero Shrimp Burrito as well as Carne Asada Fries loaded with cheese, guacamole, cotija, and orange sauce.
81 St. Mark’s Place; electricburritonyc.com
15. Au Za’atar Midtown
That restaurant you’ve seen on Instagram with the massive tableside beef shawarma experience? That’s Au Za’atar if you haven’t already been to the Alphabet City spot yet—and it’s opening in Midtown East now too. Offering an authentic Beirut dining experience, the menu features over 60 items like whipped baba ganoush, smoky in-house cultured labne and soft pita bread. Of course, this location has tableside shawarma too (beef, chicken or lamb that rotates on a rotisserie spit, that enables guests to slice, season and build their own pita sandwiches, served over fries).
1063 First Avenue; auzaatar.com
16. Cacio e Pepe
Another East Village establishment heads uptown. This time, it’s Roman-style Cacio e Pepe rooting itself on the Upper East Side. Known for their signature Tonnarello Cacio e Pepe served tableside in a giant pecorino cheese wheel, the second location offers their full menu at both the restaurant and bar featuring notable dishes such as the aforementioned Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe, Parmesan Crème Brulee, Calamari Stew, and Cauliflower Veloute. News alert: The restaurant is currently BYOB.
1479 York Avenue; cacioepepe.com
17. Alice Restaurant
The new Italian seafood spot by Owner Emanuele Nigro and partner Chef Riccardo Orfino (Osteria57) brings coastal cuisine to the West Village. In fact, the fish is brought in daily from Montauk! Sample a selection of oysters, crudo of the day and pastas, prepared in-house daily.
126 West 13th Street; alicenyc.com
18. Tacos Güey
Flatiron has a new taco spot. Executive chef Henry Zamora taps into his Mexican heritage to bring Prawn Ceviche with Tomatillo & Yuzu, Hongo Asado Tacos with Salsa Macha, Grilled Whole Black Sea Bass with Marinated Cabbage and more to the neighborhood.
37 W. 19th Street; tacosgueynyc.com
19. Planta Queen
The super-duper popular plant-based restaurant currently found in places like Toronto and Miami now comes to NoMad. The space feels totally Miami, with light-colored walls, graphic tiled floor, and splashes of plants throughout. Their signature dishes include the Ahi Watermelon Nigiri, Rainbow Roll, Pad Thai Slaw, Bang Bang Broccoli and more. We’ll say yes to a matcha cheesecake, vegan chocolate cake and house-made mochi too.
15 West 27th Street; plantrestaurants.com
20. Peak Restaurant
Peak is located at the summit of the 1,296-foot tall tower, situated one level above Edge, the highest observation deck in the Western Hemisphere. While not brand, brand new, Peak Restaurant at Hudson Yards is new to many and definitely worth a visit. The food is modern American, with offerings like squid ink chitarra, roasted fluke and Atlantic scallops. It’s open now, so book your reservation stat before everyone who has also read this article gets wind of it.
30 Hudson Yards, 101st Floor; peaknyc.com
Formerly ZIZI Limona of Williamsburg, ZIZI now reopens in Chelsea with Chef Liran Leibman still at the helm. The small plates Israeli spot includes fattoush salad, lamb kofta, the popular crazy Baba (charred eggplant, feta, basil), shawarma and Overnight Lamb (laffa bread, fresh herbs, onions, serrano, almonds, pine nuts, yogurt). Also worth trying is the Noah’s Ark cocktail (dry Arak, watermelon, za’atar, cucumber, mastiha liqueur) and the many natural wines.
182 8th Avenue; zizinyc.com
The first thing you see when entering the East Village’s Etérea is thousands of flowers outside. Step in and there are tons of flowers inside too. Look closely: The cocktail bar is actually golden church organ pipes that showcase the back bar’s noble spirits. The plant-based Mexican fare establishment by renowned restaurateur Ravi Derossi has chef Xila Caudillo, a vegan chef, preparing dishes like Guacamole with Huitlacoche, Aciento Taco, Marinated Tomato Tostada and Tamale with Jackfruit (and the menu happens to be gluten-free too). Make sure to grab a drink or five—the cocktail program is by the famed Sother Teague of Amor y Amargo. Some good picks: Yellow Pineapple, Corn Cob Pipe, Oaxaca Old Fashioned and Cerveza del Reyes. Insider tip: Ask for the server Akiva. He is delightful and you’ll be getting dinner and a show.
511 E 5th Street; overthrowhospitality.com/venues/eterea
Bistro-style Jolene (a nod to Dolly Parton) in NoHo is easy and laid-back. The space is a contemporary take on a rustic European cafe with light wood floors and ceilings and taxidermy on the walls. It occupies the former Great Jones space, but now serves up American bites like Lamb Tartare, Littleneck Clams, Crispy Chicken Milanese and Chopped Steak Frites. The cocktail menu features classics like Aperol Spritz, Negroni, and a Margarita (that comes with house-made jalapeno and serrano pepper tinctures so guests can modify their own spice levels at the table).
54 Great Jones Street; jolene.nyc
The East Village is really bringing it with the new restaurants. Say hello to vegan soul-food spot Cadence with chef Shenarri Freeman on the menu. Let her make your mouth water as she taps into her Virginia upbringing with smoked grits, palm cakes and Southern fried lasagna. The wine list features exclusively Black-owned wineries from South Africa, France and the U.S.
122 E. 7th Street; overthrowhospitality.com/venues/cadence
25. Morgenstern’s Burgers, Fries and Pies
Famed ice cream creator Nick Morgenstern now has his stomach set on burgers. Cue Morgenstern’s Burgers, Fries and Pies. Served daily from 12 p.m. until they run out, the menu has a selection of five specialty burgers: Pork Teriyaki burger, a Buffalo burger and of course the humble but delicious hamburger and cheeseburger. Sides including Tater Tots Swimming in Gravy, Flaming Hot French Fries and Garlic Fries.
88 West Houston Street; MorgensternsNYC.com
Take a trip to Rolo’s in Ridgewood, Queens for a menu largely made in their wood-burning oven. Highlights include wood-fired polenta bread with toppings like Calabrian chili butter and sweet pea and mint pesto, crushed cucumbers with garlic peanuts, mint, celery, and chilis, Everyday Steak and campanelle pasta with asparagus and grilled mushrooms for dinner. Or pop in for brunch to gorge on wood-fired bread pudding, fried chicken and biscuits for two and bacon, egg, and cheese on house made focaccia bread with Trinidad hot sauce.
853 Onderdonk Ave; rolosnyc.com
And here are 14 more excellent spots that opened up recently to keep on your radar: Casa Limone, Brooklyn Kolache, seeyamañana, Bandits, LittleMad, Yuco, Gage & Tollner, Hancock St., One White Street, Disco Tacos, Loreto Italian Kitchen & Bar, Veranda, Francie’s, Winona’s
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