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The Top NYC Restaurant Newcomers of 2019

Restaurants like Wayan, Kāwi, and Mercado Little Spain made the cut for Eater editors and friends

Lobster noodles at Wayan get pulled up from a white bowl.
Wayan’s lobster noodles
Gary He/Eater

Welcome to Year in Eater 2019, Eater’s annual ritual of eulogizing the past 12 months through input from the city’s top food writers. For 2019’s final week, Eater NY will be posting questions daily about New York City’s restaurant scene in the past year, with answers from those who know it best: Eater editors and friends of Eater. The next topic: What were the top restaurant newcomers of the year?


Tanay Warerkar, reporter at Eater NY: Hutong, Zooba, Taladwat

Stefanie Tuder, senior editor of Eater NY: Kawi, Red Hook Tavern, HaiDiLao, Llama San, Win Son Bakery, Ciao Gloria

Joseph Hernandez, food and drinks writer: Rezdora blew me away. Such supple, simple pastas dripping in technique. Speaking of noodles, the offerings at Jiang Diner *slapped*. Serving cuisine from China’s Xinjiang region, this BYOB spot (at the time, I don’t know if their policy has changed) killed me with the pungent, flavorful spices and interesting, new-to-me noodle shapes. Highly recommend. Joe Campanale’s LaLou was also a bright light in 2019 — it’s so civilized.

Amanda Mull, staff writer at The Atlantic: Hunky Dory in Crown Heights. The egg sandwich with lamb-and-pork sausage, my god. Also, the new Hometown BBQ outpost at Industry City, which is the only place to get its stellar pastrami sandwich.

Charlotte Druckman, food writer and editor of Women on Food: Bread & Salt (OBVIOUSLY!!). St. Julivert Fisherie (it opened at the end of 2018, so I think it counts). PASTIS, v 2.0 (HALLELUJAH!). Fabrique (welcome, cardi buns--and eff you if you throw a penalty flag for its being a bakery)

Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor at Eater: Win Son Bakery, Llama San, F&F Pizzeria, Red Hook Tavern, Golden Diner, Wayan

Chris Crowley, staff writer at Grub Street: Llama San, Bread & Salt, Yi Ji Shi Mo Noodle Corp, Nami Nori, Mercado Little Spain, an end of year nod to Leo.

Matt Rodbard, founding editor of TASTE: Kāwi from the jump has been exciting and unexpected. Wayla, the Sweetgreen concept thing was cool. Taladwat, what an incredible deal. Franny’s Pizzeria in Highlands, NJ. Watch out!

Korsha Wilson, writer: Bread and Salt is such a gem and the kind of everyday restaurant that every neighborhood wants to have. Van Da blew me away with their dumplings and friendly service.

A pastrami sandwich
Hometown’s pastrami sandwich
Alex Staniloff/Eater

Robert Sietsema, Eater NY senior critic: Rezdora, Angel Indian, Wayan, Montesacro, Red Hook Tavern, La Fondita

Amanda Kludt, Eater editor-in-chief: I had this week in the fall where I ate at a bunch of pizza places, including New York institutions and hyped out-of-town spots and random places in my neighborhood, and I found them all underwhelming. Do I even LIKE pizza anymore, I wondered? Do I even know what good pizza IS? Then I went to F&F Pizzeria, the new slice place from the Franks (with some guidance from Chad Robertson of Tartine and Chris Bianco), and I fell hard. The crispy crust on the regular slice, the slight funk on the cheese, the subtle sweetness of the sauce. The thick chew of the grandma slice. It’s great to eat while you hover over one of the standing tables, or folded, while walking down the street, or eaten out of the box in the back of a car.

Chris Gayomali, GQ site editor: Tailfeather, a natural wine bar in Clinton Hill that opened in dangerously close proximity to my apartment, and Win Son Bakery, even though getting seats there on a weekend requires a level of depravity that I fear I don’t possess.

Sonia Chopra, Eater director of editorial strategy: I love Golden Diner on the Lower East Side, which opened in March and is juuust close enough to our office to make it a good standby for lunch or breakfast meetings. The matcha coffee cake is awesome, and so is the yuba sandwich. I’m so happy about Kolkata Chai opening in the East Village and Malai Ice Cream in Cobble Hill.

Cathy Erway, food writer: Win Son Bakery, Mo’s Original, New Yee Li

Anna Hezel, Senior Editor at TASTE: Leo, Lokanta, Kawi, and the new location of Ali’s Roti shop that opened three blocks away from my apartment.

Rachel Wharton, food writer and author of American Food: A Not-So-Serious History: If I am being honest I think the only one on any “top” list from 2019 I have actually been to is Birrialandia, a Roosevelt Ave. taco truck, from a former Del Posto dude. And it was pretty damn good. If only they’d drive over to my hood in Brooklyn.

Alex Staniloff, Eater NY photographer: It’s been a lot of fun to take visitors, and myself, to Mercado Little Spain and walk from bite to bite with a glass of sangria.

Serena Dai, editor of Eater NY: Wayan, Haenyeo, Kawi, Gertie, Win Son Bakery, HaiDiLao. I dream of Ciao, Gloria’s take on a rainbow cookie and Fabrique’s cardamom bun regularly, and BLESS New York for its upped bubble tea and rice noodle roll game in 2019. Yes, I will drink an entire day’s worth of calories in one sitting at the Alley.

Ryan Sutton, Eater NY’s chief critic: Kawi, Llama San, Haenyeo, Bread and Salt, Wayan, Rezdora, Win Son Bakery, Yi Ji Shi Mo, Hunky Dory, Gertie, Noodle Bar Columbus Circle, HaiDiLao

Disclosure: David Chang is producing shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of those shows, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.

Columbus Circle

Columbus Circle, Manhattan, NY

Malai Ice Cream

268 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 (347) 889-5789 Visit Website

Taladwat

714 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019 (646) 823-9815 Visit Website

Kāwi

, Manhattan, NY 10001 (646) 517-2699 Visit Website

Tailfeather

581 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205 (347) 240-5915 Visit Website

Haidilao

138-23 39th Avenue, Queens, NY 11354 (917) 231-8888

Win Son Bakery

164 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206 (917) 909-1725 Visit Website

Yi Ji Shi Mo

88 Elizabeth Street, Manhattan, NY 10013 (646) 233-6311

Pastis

52 Gansevoort Street, Manhattan, NY 10014 (212) 929-4844 Visit Website

Hometown

454 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 347 294 4644

Crown

24 E 81st St, New York, NY

sweetgreen

67 Wall Street, Manhattan, NY 10005 (212) 487-9030 Visit Website

Llama San

359 6th Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10014 (646) 490-4422 Visit Website

Tartine

7217 Perrier Street, , LA 70118 (504) 866-4860 Visit Website

F&F Pizzeria

459 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 (347) 450-4182 Visit Website

Bread & Salt

435 Palisade Avenue, , NJ 07307 (201) 500-7338 Visit Website

Robert

2 Columbus Circle, Manhattan, NY 10019 (212) 299-7730 Visit Website

Wayla

100 Forsyth Street, Manhattan, NY 10002 (212) 206-2500 Visit Website

On

110 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016 Visit Website

Kawi

20 Hudson Yards, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10001 (646) 517-2699 Visit Website

Hutong

731 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022 212-758-4800 Visit Website

The Alley

68 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003

Zooba

100 Kenmare Street, Manhattan, NY 10012 (646) 596-8090 Visit Website

La Fondita

49-11 69th St., Queens, NY 11377

Ciao, Gloria

550 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238 (716) 666-2426 Visit Website

Gloria

54-56 Great Eastern Street, , England EC2A 3QR Visit Website

Golden Diner

123 Madison Street, Manhattan, NY 10002 (917) 472-7800 Visit Website

Hunky Dory

747 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238 (516) 418-2063 Visit Website

Leo

318 Grand Street, Brooklyn, New York

Mercado Little Spain

10 Hudson Yards, Manhattan, NY 10001 (646) 495-1242 Visit Website

LaLou

581 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238 (718) 857-9463 Visit Website

Lokanta

2601 Southeast Clinton Street, , OR 97202 (971) 420-2853 Visit Website

Haenyeo

239 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215 (718) 213-2290 Visit Website

Van Da

234 East 4th Street, Manhattan, NY 10009 (917) 994-4781 Visit Website

Egg

510 Rehoboth Avenue, , DE 19971 (302) 227-3447 Visit Website

Del Posto

85 10th Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10011 (212) 497-8090 Visit Website

Gem

116 Forsyth Street, Manhattan, NY 10002 Visit Website

Jiang Diner

309 East 5th, New York, NY 10003

Yi Ji Shi Mo Noodle Corp

88 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

Wayan

20 Spring Street, Manhattan, NY 10012 (917) 261-4388 Visit Website

Gertie

357 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (718) 636-0902 Visit Website

Industry City

274 36th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232 (718) 965-6450 Visit Website

Nami Nori

33 Carmine Street, Manhattan, NY 10014 (646) 998-4588 Visit Website

Red Hook Tavern

329 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 (917) 966-6094 Visit Website

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