Eater’s annual list of the 38 essential restaurants in the country landed on Tuesday, and New York City nabbed four of the spots: Momofuku Ko, Superiority Burger, Via Carota, and Xi’an Famous Foods.
They’re restaurants that are critical to New York’s dining scene, and roving critic Bill Addison — who travels all year to determine the finest restaurants exemplifying dining today — decided that they newly elevate to national acclaim, as well.
Two of the additions to the national roster are counter-service spots where a satisfying meal can be bought for under $15.
One is former Del Posto pastry chef Brooks Headley’s slim East Village vegetarian restaurant Superiority Burger, what Addison calls “an ever-rarer reminder of individuality and tenacity in New York City.” The second is Xi’an Famous Foods, the spicy Chinese noodle hit from a Queens family with more than a dozen locations across the boroughs. Jason Wang and his father David Shi have managed to sling signatures like hand-ripped spicy cumin lamb noodles with “consistency and affordability” that “rightly persists as a cult obsession.”
For more full-service operations, Addison celebrates Rita Sodi and Jody Williams’ West Village Italian neighborhood restaurant Via Carota. It’s his “favorite place to eat in New York” because of the chefs’ “assured Italian cooking.”
And of Momofuku kingpin David Chang’s East Village tasting menu restaurant, Addison writes that chef Sean Gray and his team have taken it to the next level with an “experimental, and sneakily brilliant” walk-ins only bar menu. Like Eater critic Ryan Sutton, Addison highlights the “outrageously good” cold fried chicken.
Meanwhile, Dan Barber’s Tarrytown tasting menu destination Blue Hill at Stone Barns lands on the national 38 list yet another year. It’s now an Eater 38 icon, meaning it’s been on the national list for five consecutive years. Addison maintains that it is the best restaurant in America.