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A Running List of New Restaurants That Opened in New York City, December 2020

A source for katsu sandwiches on the Lower East Side, a burger and fries spot from Roberta’s, and more restaurant openings this week

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Nili [Official]

More than nine months into the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants across the city continue to move forward with openings, sometimes because their concepts could be adapted for delivery and outdoor dining service, but more often because their owners saw no other choice but to forge ahead. Since mid-March, when the state temporarily closed indoor dining, hundreds of new restaurants have opened their doors. This list of pandemic-born businesses includes subterranean Asian food markets, several birria taco destinations, and two new sources for Thai drinking snacks.

Here’s a round-up of the restaurants and bars that opened in December. This list will be updated weekly. If there’s an opening in your neighborhood that we’ve missed, let us know at tips@eater.com.


December 23

Carroll Gardens: Three years after opening acclaimed Middle Eastern restaurant Miss Ada, chef and owner Tomer Blechman has opened Nili, a casual counter cafe and coffee shop beside the entrance to the Carroll Street subway station. 360 Smith Street, at Second Place

Bushwick: The team behind Roberta’s opened a no-frills burger and fries spot last week, which, love it or hate it, is called Burgie’s. The restaurant offers a similar burger to the one Roberta’s, only served here using smaller, four-ounce patties that can be doubled for $4 extra. Chef Jackie Carnesi, also of Roberta’s, is heading the kitchen here, which also serves wedge salads, french fries, and a housemade vegan patty regrettably named the “vurgie burgie.” Takeout and delivery. 198 Randolph Street, between Gardner and Stewart Avenues

Clinton Hill: Brooklyn’s vegan pastry scene continues to grow this week with Le Petit Monstre, a just-opened French bakery that sells dairyless cinnamon rolls, cruffins, croissants, and kouign-amann made without dairy. All that, plus lots of houseplants. The bakery is open for pastries and coffee from Friday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 82 Washington Avenue, near Park Avenue

East Village: “Keep it saucy” is the motto behind newly opened Second Avenue restaurant Sauced Up. In addition to sandwiches and chicken tenders, the restaurant sells wings slathered in Cajun, mango habanero, and Thai chile seasonings. 77 Second Ave. between Fourth Street and Fifth Streets

Financial District: Following a successful three-month run in Williamsburg, New York relief group the Migrant Kitchen has moved its popular Arab-Latin pop-up to the Financial District. 45 Stone Street, between William and Broad Street

Lower East Side: Three out-of-work chefs have teamed up at Evil Katsu, a pop-up restaurant serving superb katsu sandos with chicken, pork, and portabello mushroom versions. Originally envisioned as a ghost kitchen, co-owners Christopher Wagenlander, Asher Sendyk, and Hai Oliveria are offering their breaded sandwiches and dinner sets for takeout and delivery from the kitchen at Lower East Side bar Pretty Ricky’s. 101 Rivington, at Ludlow Streets

Lower East Side: From restaurants that double as grocery stores to cafes that moonlight as music venues, the pandemic has seen lots of unusual pairings, but a book store selling pickles could be a first. Owner Leigh Altshuler opened her first business, called Sweet Pickle Books, in November on Orchard Street, where the Lower East Side shop celebrates Pickle Day each October. 47 Orchard Street, between Grand and Hester Streets

Soho: Two and a half decades after Jim Lahey opened Sullivan Street Bakery in Soho, the legendary New York baker is returning to the street that started it all. His newest project, a breadbox-sized bakery on Sullivan Street, will sell loaves of bread, sandwiches, and a few pizzas, similar to his recently opened pop-up in the East Village. 103 Sullivan Street, between Prince and Spring Streets

Sunnyside: Chip City, the popular New York cookie brand formerly known as Chip, opened a new store in Queens this week, the brand’s tenth location in the city. 4505 40th Street, at Queens Boulevard


December 17

Brooklyn Heights: Vineapple Cafe opened its doors for business in late June, taking over the space of a neighborhood coffee shop of the same name. In addition to coffee from Williamsburg roaster Devoción, the revamped Vineapple offers a fully fleshed out food program — spanning breakfast brunch, and dinner — with menus that lean Italian but occasionally borrow from chef Diego Feliciano’s Puerto Rican heritage. Outdoor seating is available in the restaurant’s heated backyard. 71 Pineapple Street, near Henry Street

Chelsea: A new destination for craft beer and cozy cocktails opened its doors this month on West 19th Street. At Crown Alley, pub-style food like quail scotch eggs and pretzels with beer cheese can be washed down with an impressive lineup of craft beers. Cans from big-name brewers including Talea Beer Co., Hudson Valley Brewery, and Artisan Beer appear on the bar’s drinks menu, as does a list of more than 75 whiskeys. A handful of hot cocktails are available for sipping in the bar’s heated outdoor seating area, which can fit 30 people. 263 West 19th Street, between Seventh & Eighth Avenues

Fresh Meadows: From Eleven Madison Park alum Eric Huang comes Pecking House, a new takeout and delivery restaurant focused on chile fried chicken. The restaurant’s chicken — which is brined in buttermilk and finished with a combination of Tianjin chiles, Sichuan peppercorns, salt, sugar, and MSG — appears as part of a three-piece dinner that also comes with dirty rice and sides. Pair the $35 set with a few Tsingtao beers for a complete meal, writes New Yorker critic Hannah Goldfield. Email peckinghouse@gmail.com to get on the restaurant’s waitlist. Delivering Wednesday through Sunday. 18523 Union Turnpike, at 186th Street

Greenwich Village: Acclaimed farm-to-table chef Dan Kluger is delivering grandma-style pizza slices from a new business out of the kitchen at Loring Place. In addition to six kinds of pizzas, Washington Squares also offers a selection of salads, desserts, wines, and beer for takeout and delivery. 21 West Eighth Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues

Koreatown: Manhattan newcomer Bentos opened its doors last month with a menu of onigiri and leaf- and tofu-wrapped sushi rolls, most priced between $15 to $20 for eight pieces. More elaborate chirashi rice bowls are also available, including those topped with A5 Wagyu beef and several kinds of fatty tuna ($87 each). Takeout and delivery only for now. 315 5th Avenue, near Fifth Avenue

Little Italy: New York’s selection of vegan delis continues to grow this week with Galioto’s, an Italian sandwich shop and grocer from the team behind Jajaja Plantas Mexicana. 131 Mulberry Street, near Hester Street

Midtown: One year after Läderach opened its first United States location in Midtown, the Swiss chocolate chain is back with a sprawling, Fifth Avenue flagship store. More than 100 varieties of chocolate and 20 kinds of chocolate bark will be available at the new location, which is the company’s largest location to date, according to a spokesperson for Läderach. 537 5th Avenue, between East 44th and East 45th Streets

Midtown East: In a city where gold trim and custom light fixtures are par for the course, Lagos is looking to serve something new with its West African-American menu. The clubby, Midtown East restaurant partially opened its doors last month, serving orders of jollof rice, peri-peri chicken, and meat pies for takeout and delivery. For those who balk at triple-digit prices and gold-infused menu items, the restaurant’s “24 Karat Wings” are not to be missed. An order of 16 of the gold-dusted wings will set customers back $108. 306 E 49th Street, near Second Avenue

Upper East Side: A host of new ghost kitchens arrived in Manhattan this week. One is Converso, a kosher Mexican restaurant from chef Liran Leibman, who formerly headed the kitchen at Williamsburg’s popular ZiZi Limona. Tacos, burritos, and other Mexican-American fare are available for takeout and delivery from the new restaurant, which shares a kitchen with Hummus Kitchen at its Hell’s Kitchen and Upper East Side locations. 1613 Second Avenue, near East 84th Street

Upper East Side: Popular taqueria chain Tacombi moves forward with its New York expansion plans this week. Known for its al pastor tacos and crispy fish burritos, the new Upper East Side outpost marks the company’s tenth location in the city. 202 East 70th Street, between Second and Third Avenues

Upper East Side: Two Birds Pantry is a new, delivery-only restaurant that serves a little bit of everything: There’s seared salmon, mac and cheese, vegetarian hero sandwiches, and a burger whose sauce is based on the Thousand Island-style recipe from In-N-Out, according to owner Brian Grobman. 1181 Third Avenue, at East 69th Street

Upper West Side: Longstanding Times Square barbecue joint Virgil’s Real BBQ heads to the Upper West Side this week with its second New York City location. The restaurant’s Southern-style pulled pork and hush puppies are available for takeout and delivery within Manhattan. 2452 Broadway, near West 91st Street


December 10

East Village: Luxe international hot pot chain the Dolar Shop opened its second New York City outpost in the East Village this week. The hotpot restaurant debuted in Flushing about six years ago and has since grown to 55 locations worldwide. 55 Third Avenue, at East 11th Street

Flatiron District: Following the launch of a delivery-only deli under the same name, Cutlets Sandwich Co. opened its first brick and mortar restaurant space last week. The new deli, which comes form Richard Zaro of Zaro’s Family Bread, offers takeout, delivery, and limited space for seating. 900 Broadway, near East 20th Street

Greenpoint: From NYC hospitality industry veterans Mona Poor-Olschafskie and Christian Perkins comes Fin Du Monde, a neighborhood tavern that’s loosely French-American inspired. The new restaurant offers craft beer and a tight 10-item food menu for takeout, outdoor dining, and limited indoor seating. 38 Driggs Avenue, at Sutton Street

Midtown: A new source for empanadas opened in Midtown’s subterranean Turnstyle Market on December 1. Criollas Baked Empanadas serves its namesake pastry in a half-dozen flavors such as creamy corn and caprese, which cost about $5 each. Soups and a small selection of alfajores (dulce de leche-stuffed cookies) are also available. 1000 South 8th Avenue, at West 57th Street

Prospect Heights: A block away from the busy stretch of restaurants on Vanderbilt Avenue, Leland Eating and Drinking House has opened its doors. The new restaurant is the first solo project from owner Randi Lee, an industry veteran of 25 years who’s previously worked at big name Manhattan restaurants including Del Posto, the Spotted Pig, and the Smile. For Leland, Lee has brought on Delfin Jaranilla, a California-born chef formerly of Quality Eats and the now-closed Fedora. Pickling, butchering, and sourdough bread baking will all happen in-house at the new Dean Street restaurant, which has been inching toward opening ever since Lee signed a lease on the space in February. There are 22 seats inside at 25 percent capacity and another 42 seats outdoors. 755 Dean Street, at Underhill Avenue

Upper West Side: The more than 60-year-old Jewish deli Pastrami Queen has opened a second location in the former home of Fine and Schapiro, which closed in March after more than 93 years in the neighborhood. On opening day, the line at the restaurant stretched longer than the one at the neighborhood’s City MD. 138 West 72nd Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues

Upper West Side: A sprawling two-tier restaurant has arrived on the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and West 89th Street in the form of Pekarna. Owner Dean O’Neill and chef Kamal Hoyte are showcasing a Slovenian-American menu at the new space, which can seat 320 customers indoors at full capacity. 592-594 Amsterdam Avenue, at West 89th Street

Weehawken: Seasonal American cuisine and housemade pastries arrive in Weehawken, New Jersey, this week courtesy of Porter, a new restaurant from former American Cut chefs Christopher Lim and Tara Glick. The restaurant, located on the ground floor of the Riverhouse 11 luxury apartment complex, is also home to Porter Provisions, an in-house bakery that serves coffee along with housemade pastries and ice cream from Glick. 1100 Avenue at Port Imperial, between East Fulton Street and East Columbia Terrace

West Village: The team behind West Village Italian restaurant Osteria 57 has opened a second Italian restaurant in the neighborhood, called Alice. The new space from chef Ricardo Orfino, restaurateur Emanuele Nigro, and interior designer Wael Deek can seat 30 indoors at 25 percent capacity and another 30 outdoors. Similar to Osteria, the restaurant does not serve meat, but fish will be brought in daily from Montauk and the menu will be slightly less casual with a selection of crudos and pastas. Closed Sundays and Mondays. 126 West 13th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues

Beth Landman contributed to this week’s list of restaurant openings.


December 3

Bayside: Sen Udon is the latest entrant on Bell Boulevard, the busy Queens corridor home to newly opened restaurants Mad for Chicken and Moho Mexican Grill. The new noodle shop opened in November with roughly a dozen types of udon on its menu, prepared using Japanese, Korean, and Italian cooking styles. 39-32 Bell Boulevard, at 40th Avenue

Bryant Park: A second location of Nice Day, the Chinese-American pop-up from the Junzi Kitchen team, has opened for takeout and delivery in Midtown. 135 West 41st Street, between Broadway and Sixth Avenue

Bushwick: Brooklyn’s newest birria destination, Nene’s Deli Taqueria, is a place of wonder. Here, the brick-red stewed meat appears in forms long seen in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but rarely here in New York City. Ask chef-owner Andrés Tonatiuh Galindo Maria for his recommendation, and he’ll probably point you in the direction of tacos — served as quesabirria by default — and a large cup of consomme. On request, however, the meat can also be used as the base for any of the restaurant’s menu items, including its burritos and bowls of Tapatío ramen. 54 Irving Avenue, near Starr Street

Downtown Brooklyn: Teranga, the fast-casual, pan-African restaurant from former Le Grand Dakar chef Pierre Thiam, opened a second location inside the Dekalb Market Food Hall this week. 445 Albee Square West, between Willoughby Street and Dekalb Avenue

East Williamsburg: A rooftop bar and restaurant called LLoHi has opened its doors atop East Williamsburg warehouse the Breeze. The mixed indoor-outdoor space has market lights, rain protection, a few heaters, and lots of room to spread out. A short food menu advertises Funyun smash burgers, pork rib dumplings, and other leveled-up comfort foods. Open Wednesday through Sunday. 314 Scholes Street, near Bogart Street

Gramercy: Roughly two months after Oda House, one of Manhattan’s few remaining Georgian restaurants, closed its doors, a new spot serving khachapuri has reared its head in Gramercy. The newly opened Chito Gvrito serves five varieties of the cheese-filled bread, more than most Georgian restaurants in the city, writes critic Robert Sietsema. 173 Third Avenue, between East 16th and East 17th Streets

Gramercy: Michelle Morgan, a former general manager at Paris Cafe, started Tiger Lily Kitchen after her place of work permanently closed due to the pandemic. The new takeout and delivery restaurant focuses on pan-Asian dishes like mushroom pho and peanut street noodles. 293 Third Avenue, between East 22nd and East 23rd Street

Harlem: The team behind popular Harlem restaurant Lido has unveiled its newest project, a cocktail bar and restaurant located just three doors down. At the just-opened Bixi, longtime Lido chef Serena Bass is teaming up with chef Franco Ayala on a pan-Asian menu that includes pork belly bánh mì sandwiches and five-spice baby back ribs. The restaurant, whose bright coral interior Bass designed, can seat 10 indoors at 25 percent capacity, with another dozen seats available outdoors. 2164 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, between 116th and 117th Streets

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