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The Neighborhoods Dominating NYC’s Dining Scene in 2018

NYC’s top food writers name their favorite neighborhoods for restaurants

Di An Di
Di An Di in Greenpoint
Photo by Gary He

As Year in Eater 2018 continues, the next topic up is top restaurant neighborhoods. Now, editors and friends of Eater talk their favorite geographical regions to eat in NYC — and what neighborhoods particularly killed it with restaurants this year. Also check out the best standby restaurants, top newcomers, and what one word defines the scene this year.

Robert Sietsema, Eater NY senior critic: Astoria. No neighborhood in the city has developed and retained a more diverse collection of outstanding restaurants, constantly evolving, including Greek, Bosnian, barbecue, Colombian, Egyptian, Japanese, Italian, Mexican, Pakistani, Brazilian, and Lebanese.

Priya Krishna, writer and author of forthcoming cookbook Indian-ish: That Carroll Gardens/Gowanus matrix really had a nice year — Ugly Baby, Claro, Emma’s Torch, Madcap Cafe, etc. (though RIP Nightingale 9/Wilma Jean)

Alicia Kennedy, food and spirits writer: It’s always the East Village for me, but that’s because of a bias toward Superiority Burger, the sweets at its neighbor shop Confectionery, and the bitter drinks of teeny-tiny Amor y Amargo.

Matt Buchanan, executive editor at Eater: Finally an irrelevant question!!!!

Kat Kinsman, Extra Crispy Senior Food & Drinks Editor and Food & Wine Contributor: It’s kinda batty that one block of West Broadway has two NYT three-star restaurants. Yes, I am an established stan for Batard, but the fact that I could hop between there and Frenchette on one leg and not get winded just blows my mind. On the flip side, Extra Crispy moved offices from Industry City to the Meredith nee Time Inc. mothership in Brookfield Place. There are a bazillion restaurants here. I have yet to find one that I’m not just like “this is fine” and wish I was spending less money at our corporate cafeteria salad bar.

Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop
Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop
Alex Staniloff/Eater

Matt Rodbard, Editor-in-chief, Taste: The East Village for the 3rd year in a row. All the cool Taiwanese spots, all the cool Japanese spots, great coffee, and living legends Veselka, Hearth, Momofuku Ssam Bar.

Ryan Sutton, Eater’s chief critic: Tie between Hell’s Kitchen and the East Village. Operators from mainland China and Taiwan are ensuring that the East Village remains an epicenter for delicious, affordable, unique restaurants, while small or first time restaurateurs are still finding Hell’s Kitchen a solid testing ground for new ideas that don’t involve $15 salad bowls.

Helen Rosner, New Yorker food correspondent: It’s a neck-and-neck tie between Greenpoint and Prospect Heights.

Chris Gayomali, senior editor at GQ: Greenpoint. Between Di an Di, Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop, and Xi’an Famous Foods, why would you ever leave?

Stefanie Tuder, senior editor of Eater NY: Greenpoint with Di An Di, Chez Ma Tante, Oxomoco, Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop, and Bernie’s.

Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor at Eater: Greenpoint — in 2018 it got Di An Di, Oxomoco, and the Paulie Gee’s slice shop, and still has standbys like Chez Ma Tante.

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, associate reporter for Eater NY: I found myself traveling to Greenpoint a lot just for food.

Serena Dai, editor of Eater NY: I found myself on the LES a lot for places like Kopitiam, Scarr’s, Cervo’s, and my forever favorite Spicy Village, but hard to deny that Greenpoint is killing it with fantastic neighborhood dining. Newer places like Chez Ma Tante, Di An Di, Oxomoco, and Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop, plus killer pastries from longer-term places like Peter Pan, Charlotte Patisserie, and Ovenly, all made me very jealous of people who live there.