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Summer means lobster rolls and rosé. It also means pretzel-fried chicken, squash-blossom tacos and matcha doughnuts. Here are 17 spots to check out right this minute. 

RELATED: 10 Essential Sandwiches That Aren’t the Pastrami at Katz’s

dekalb market NY
Dekalb Market Hall

Dekalb Market Hall

Guys, a giant new food hall just rolled out in Downtown Brooklyn, and it’s got the vendor list of our dreams. To name just a few: Bunker Vietnamese, the Arepa Lady, Hard Times Sundaes and—most exciting of all—Katz’s first-ever spin-off after 129 years. Pastrami, here we come. 

445 Albee Sq. West, Brooklyn; dekalbmarkethall.com

canal street market oppa NY
Oppa

Canal Street Market

Meanwhile, on the other side of the river, Chinatown gets an all-star food hall of its own. We’re most excited about Nom Wah Kuai (a new offshoot from the dim sum wizards), Boba Guys, Petey’s Pie Co. (because pie) and Korean BBQ spot Oppa.

256 Canal St.; 646-694-1655 or canalstreet.market

butcher bar NY
Butcher Bar/Facebook

Butcher Bar

Barbecue and summer go together like humidity and hair ties, so we’re stoked that this Queens smokehouse just branched out to the LES. Expect smoky offerings like burgers, brisket and ribs, plus something called “meat candy.” (It’s as good as it sounds.) 

146 Orchard St.; 212-842-8000 or butcherbar.com

chalait NY
Chalait

Chalait

One of our favorite spots to get our (healthy) caffeine fix has a spacious new West Village café and a full-blown menu. This means we now have to carefully deliberate whether we want a soft-scrambled-egg sandwich or a tea-cured salmon bowl to go with our matcha Arnold Palmer.

299 W. Houston St.; chalait.com

emily pizza west village NY
Emily/Facebook

Emily

We could fill a book of sonnets with our love for the pizza at Emily (and its sister, Emmy Squared). And there’s now a third place to fan the flames of our affection: a West Village outpost that includes both round, wood-fired pies and square Detroit-style Grandma pizza. (Oh, and that legendary burger.)

35 Downing St.; 917-935-6434 or pizzalovesemily.com

empire diner NY
Empire Diner

Empire Diner

We love seeing an iconic space get revived, and this landmarked Chelsea staple is no exception. The shiny new iteration—a collab between Chef John DeLucie and the Cafeteria crew—features upgraded diner fare, like cacio e pepe scrambled eggs, sourdough pretzel fried chicken and a s’mores torte. 

210 Tenth Ave.; 212-335-2777 or empire-diner.com

the grill NY
The Grill

The Grill

Another legendary spot that’s been given new life? The former Four Seasons in the Seagram Building, which has been revamped by the folks behind Carbone and Santina. As you might expect, it’s a pretty fancy affair, with servers in tuxedos, a midcentury-chophouse-inspired menu (think: prime rib and foie gras) and a gorgeously restored interior.

99 E. 52nd St.; 212-375-9001 or thegrillnewyork.com

rahi NY
Rahi

Rahi

The city’s love affair with modern-Indian fare is still going strong, as evidenced by this sleek new spot. Grab a table under the funky mural and dig into sharable plates like octopus with coconut-turmeric mousse, butter-pepper lobster tail and tomato-basil-cream cheese naan.

60 Greenwich Ave., 212-373-8900 or rahinyc.com

bowery road NY
Bowery Road

Bowery Road + Library of Distilled Spirits

Union Square, you’re looking great these days. And it might have something to do with the one-two punch of the globally influenced brasserie Bowery Road (helmed by the former Locanda Verde chef de cuisine) and the adjacent cocktail bar in a luxe, inviting space.

132 Fourth Ave.; boweryroad.com. 80 13th St.; libraryofdistilledspirits.com

Esther & Carol

Not one restaurant but three distinct spaces, this Nolita spot houses an airy bistro (for dishes like lamb toast and grilled whole branzino), a soon-to-open burger counter and a forthcoming downstairs lounge outfitted like a ’70s recording studio.

341 Broome St.; 646-355-1840 or estherandcarolnyc.com

out east NY
Out East

Out East

Few things can replace a Hamptons getaway…except for maybe a meal at this charmingly breezy new spot, which feels like it was uprooted from Montauk. The menu includes a seafood crudo section, naturally, but also farmhouse roasted chicken, mint pappardelle and some of the prettiest chocolate truffles we’ve ever seen.

509 E. Sixth St.; 212-509-5096 or outeastnyc.com

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Ortzi

The stylish restaurant inside Times Square’s brand-new Luma Hotel focuses on Basque cuisine, as imagined by acclaimed chef Jose Garces. That means short-rib bocadillo, tuna-belly conserva and a daily selection of jamón.

120 W. 41st St.; 212-730-8900 or ortzirestaurant.com

aRoqa NY

aRoqa

Another elevated-Indian spot arrives with the opening of this Chelsea eatery, which merges traditional flavors with global influences. We’ll take an order of habanero tikka lamb kebabs, duck confit curry and beer-battered crab, please. 

206 Ninth Ave.; 646-678- 5471 or aroqanyc.com

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Motel Morris

You won’t find any rooms at this “motel,” but you will find fun, retro vibes and a menu to match. Stop by for lunch, brunch or dinner for everything bagel-crusted tuna, potato-cheddar pierogies and butterscotch-banana-pudding pie.

132 Seventh Ave.; 646-880-4810 or motelmorris.com

casa publica NY
Evan Sung

Casa Pública

We’ll take any excuse we can to eat Mexican food, and this new Williamsburg spot, inspired by Art Deco-era Mexico City, is an excellent reason. Pair the inventive eats (like squash-blossom tacos and blue crab tostadas) with one of the house micheladas or frozen drinks, because you can.

594 Union Ave., Brooklyn; casapublicabk.com

 pizza NY
&pizza

&pizza

Hold up, oval pizza? Before you cry blasphemy, know that this D.C.-based pizza chain has an insane following—each oblong pie is made to order, Sweetgreen-style, and customizable from the sauce to the toppings. People love it so much that the shop offered superfans a proposition for opening day: The first 22 people to get a tattoo of its signature ampersand were rewarded with a year’s worth of free pizza. (Not gonna lie, we were tempted.)

15 W. 28th St.; andpizza.com

cecconis dumbo NY
Cecconi’s Dumbo

Cecconi’s Dumbo

We know where we'll be hanging out all summer: at this stunning waterfront spot, an Italian hot spot (owned by swanky members-only club Soho House) with locations in Miami, L.A. and London. Settle into one of the plush chairs (or grab a seat in the prime sidewalk café) and watch the sunset over wood-fired pizza and lobster spaghetti.

55 Water St., Brooklyn; 718-650-3900 or cecconisdumbo.com

RELATED: 6 New Places to Brunch Outside This Weekend

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