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Uovo pasta, cappelletti, tagliolini al ragu sit on elegant blue and white plates at Rezdora
Pasta at Rezdora
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

The Best Dishes Eater NY Editors Ate in 2019, Mapped

It’s been a very tasty year

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Pasta at Rezdora
| Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Eater NY’s weekly roundup of the best dishes editors eat each week is a house favorite, and it was especially fun to look back at our best bites of the year. This map rounds up the best of the best bites Eater editors had around NYC in 2019, with a strong bias toward new openings. From cheesy rice cakes to birria tacos to steaming hot pot, these are the top dishes Eater editors ate this year in New York City.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Wulong steamed pork with sticky rice at Yu Kitchen

Copy Link
2656 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
(212) 678-8784
Visit Website

This far Upper West Side restaurant that appeared more than year ago has one of the most far flung and fascinating menus of regional Chinese dishes the city has yet seen. Originating in the southern Wulong District of Chongqing, this sticky rice dish reads more as a clumpy soothing porridge, with big chunks of pork and taro adding richness and a mild yet intriguing flavor. Other amazing dishes abound at what is certainly one of the best Chinese restaurants in NYC. — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Clumps of brownish sticky rice with pork and taro sprinkled with chopped scallions. Robert Sietsema/Eater

2. Jokbal at Geo Si Gi

Copy Link
15228 Northern Blvd
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 888-0001

This restaurant has been a staple in Northern Boulevard in Flushing, the heart of the Korean community. Even though the restaurant specializes in gam-ja-tang, a Korean pork bone soup, I was in the mood for jokbal, or braised pork feet. It’s full of collagen, resulting in the most satisfying, chewy, gelatinous texture after being braised in soy sauce-based stock for hours. You can create what I consider one of the best bites in Korean cuisine with this. Make a lettuce wrap with a few slices of jokbal, raw garlic, and some ssamjang (chile paste), and be sure to have it in one bite. Then, you will find yourself craving soju. Because jokbal is full of collagen, many believe that it’s good for your skin, keeping people looking young — making this perhaps the tastiest Korean skincare around. — James Park, Social Media Manager

Many slices of skin-on pork laid on a white platter James Park/Eater

3. Red lantern soft shell crab at Hutong

Copy Link
731 Lexington Avenue Located inside, Beacon Ct
New York, NY 10022
(212) 758-4800
Visit Website

Hutong’s soft shell crab really hits the spot, both visually and taste-wise. It comes out in a giant wooden casket with the crabs barely peeking out of dozens of dried Facing Heaven chile peppers, a type of medium-hot pepper that’s commonly used in Sichuan food. Despite feeling a bit cheated at the start, I quickly realized that the basket actually contained a generous portion of soft shell crabs that were crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The dish leaves you with the lovely tingly sensation on your tongue that Sichuan food often does. — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

Fried crab and chiles in a dark ceramic bowl Tanay Warerkar/Eater

4. Hot pot at Haidilao

Copy Link
138-23 39th Ave
Flushing, NY 11354
(917) 231-8888
Visit Website

Hot pot at new Flushing Chinese chain HaiDiLao was a true delight, with such pleasures as massage chairs and board games as you wait, all-you-can-eat sauce and soft serve bars, robot servers, and hand-pulled noodles made by dancing men. Then there was the hot pot itself — with four broths more deeply flavored broths than anything I’ve encountered, of which my favorite was a dried chile-filled Sichuan one. Pork dumplings squirted juice, the vegetables were very fresh, and the flounder was extra tender. Plus, service was exceedingly pleasant. I can’t wait to return. — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

5. Electric Lemon dessert at Electric Lemon

Copy Link
Read Review |
33 Hudson Yards 24th Floor
New York, NY 10001
(212) 812-9202
Visit Website

Pastry chef Kelly Nam constructs Electric Lemon’s namesake dessert as if it were a pastel-colored solar system, with airy orbs of light green lemon verbena sorbet sitting next to frozen moons of tart lemon curd. Homemade Pop Rocks, hidden throughout, emit an audible hiss and zap the tongue. The Electric Lemon, like most of the sweets at this restaurant inside the Equinox Hotel at Hudson Yards — from a chocolate confection that looks like a meteor to a frozen yogurt that wants to be an avant-garde study in green and white — proves that pure creativity can radiate even in the most soulless of neighborhoods. — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Yellow spheres of Electric Lemon curd with green orbs lemon verbena sorbet Gary He/Eater NY

6. Marinated raw crab at Kāwi

Copy Link
20 Hudson Yards
New York, NY 10001
(646) 517-2699
Visit Website

In an outstanding meal from chef Jo Park at David Chang’s new Hudson Yards restaurant Kāwi, the marinated raw crab managed to rise above. It’s an ultra-sweet raw blue crab marinated in soy sauce and served alongside seasoned crab rice and dried seaweed. It’s a very interactive dish: You wrap up some warm rice in crackly seaweed, popping it into your mouth and sucking some crab meat into the bite. It’s pure pleasure that hits many notes, with the cool, mushy, and sugary crab; the crunchy and salty seaweed; and the warm, toothsome rice. Unfortunately the dish is no longer available, but I’ll happily try its standout replacement until it hopefully returns. — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

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.

7. Birria tacos at Beefrria-Landia

Copy Link
77-99 Roosevelt Ave
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
(347) 283-2162

For a long time, the city has been praying for great birria — chile-braised goat or beef served in soup, in sauce, or in tacos. While it originated in Guadalajara, and became associated with Tijuana and Los Angeles, now we have our own, albeit in truck form. That truck parks in Jackson Heights, and every detail of birria preparation and service is attended to: the tortillas are dipped in sauce and fried lightly before being loaded up, and an optional soup is served on the side. Dip the tacos in the soup as you bolt them with delight. — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A pair of tacos stuffed with meat, green cilantro, and onions, served with sliced radishes and cucumbers Robert Sietsema/Eater

8. Kale pakoda at Adda Indian Canteen

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Read Review |
31-31 Thomson Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 433-3888
Visit Website

This appetizer at Long Island City’s charming Indian restaurant Adda is the perfect blend of two of my favorite snacks: kale chips and pakodas, the latter of which are a type of tea-time snack in India where vegetables are dipped in chickpea batter and then deep fried. At Adda, chef Chintan Pandya takes the combination one step further by making it into a chaat — another type of Indian street food that features chickpea crisps, yogurt, a variety of spices, and tamarind and cilantro chutneys. Adda’s kale pakodas come doused in all of the above, and I would happily eat these at any time of the day. — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

9. Crispy pork belly at Hug Esan

Copy Link
77-16 Woodside Ave
Elmhurst, NY 11373
(929) 328-0392
Visit Website

Hug Esan in Elmhurst has a lot of Thai options that aren’t spotted much elsewhere, all executed well. My favorite was a dish that my friend ordered by first saying “it’s basic, but I want it”: a crispy pork belly, where pieces of pork are fried and come with a chile dipping sauce. Not a spot of grease was on the crispy fried breading, which had a crackly texture similar to that of a basket of fish and chips. And though the chunks of pork were big, none of them suffered from a poor fry-to-meat ratio. Every bar in New York should serve this as a drinking snack. — Serena Dai, editor

A white plate with chunks of fried pork belly, on top of a blue-and-red floral table Serena Dai/Eater

10. Grandma walking through forest in Emilia at Rezdôra

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Read Review |
27 E 20th St
New York, NY 10003
(646) 692-9090
Visit Website

Concentrating on the food of Emilia Romagna, Rezdôra was one of the year’s biggest hits. The stuffed pastas were a particular delight, including this poetically named cappelletti (“little hats”). The vegetarian recipe involves roasted leeks, black mushroom puree, and pea shoots; and parmigiana was shaved over the top like a fresh snowfall on pine trees. The entire effect was enchanting in both a visual and gustatory fashion. — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Green cappelleti pasta with spring peas and black mushroom puree on a blue-and-white checkered plate Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

11. Pistachio cocktail at Bar Pisellino

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52 Grove St
New York, NY 10014

The triangular space at Jody Williams and Rita Sodi’s Italian Bar Pisellino, full of dark wood accented with white marble, is picture perfect — only the appearance of cell phones mars the impression that you’ve maybe stepped back in time. And the pistachio cocktail — gin, genepy, pistachio-green-cardamom orgeat, bitters, and lime juice, served in a glass ringed with crushed pistachios — is a true delight. — Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor

Bar Pisellino Nitzan Rubin/Eater

12. Duck nigiri at Llama San

Copy Link
Read Review |
359 6th Ave
New York, NY 10014

If traditional, ultra-expensive sushi parlors are a defining trait of the modern gastronomic era, the duck nigiri at Llama San in Greenwich Village constitutes the opposite: something wildly creative and affordable-ish. Chef Erik Ramirez places a slice of aged duck over a pat of fragrant cilantro rice, uniting the duo with a slice of sweet banana. The brilliant Japanese-Peruvian dish recalls the whimsical early days of Nobu. — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Green nasturtium leaves sit over a plate of aged duck nigiri, set on a blonde wood table Louise Palmberg/Eater NY

13. Somtum corn salad at Fish Cheeks

Copy Link
55 Bond St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 677-2223
Visit Website

I’ve had many a Thai corn salad over the years, but the one at Fish Cheeks particularly stands out for several reasons. The corn kernels are intact in chunks instead of broken up into tiny individual pieces, making for nice texture. The contrasting spicy and sour flavors from the Thai bird’s eye chile and the lime, respectively, elevate this dish as does the hint of sweetness that comes from the cherry tomatoes. The green beans add a lovely crunch, and I would happily return to Fish Cheeks just for this salad. — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

14. Mentai spaghetti at Davelle

Copy Link
102 Suffolk St
New York, NY 10002
(646) 988-1973
Visit Website

This Japanese cafe serves breakfast toasts all day and bowls of Japanese comfort foods starting at 11 a.m. I opted for the mentai spaghetti ($15), and it was just the thing to soothe nagging hunger pangs. The bowl of pasta covered in spicy cod roe and a sprinkling of nori is savory, creamy, and entirely satisfying. I paired it with a black sesame kinako latte, which felt a bit indulgent, but was just as delicious as the pasta, and together, they offered an ideal escape from the frigid temperatures outside. — Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor

15. Steak mazemen at Niche

Copy Link
172 Delancey St
New York, NY 10002

I’ve had many different kinds of noodles, but steak mazemen from Niche is one of the most unforgettable, flavorful noodles that I slurped this year. Inspired by New York’s iconic steakhouse culture, this meaty, umami-filled Japanese pasta had everything that I was looking for — chewy noodles, fried, grilled, and smoky ribeye, and intensely savory French onion sauce. It’s incredible to see when all different components become one perfect swirl. It’s a very small restaurant with one communal table, so it’s perfect for solo diners. — James Park, social media manager

Ramen noodles topped with chunks of steak and greens James Park/Eater

16. Kamo seiro at Hanon

Copy Link
436 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(347) 799-1433
Visit Website

When I first came across this small udon restaurant in Brooklyn, I was overwhelmed and excited with so many different kinds of udon options. But, kamo seiro, a dish that allows you to enjoy both hot and cold udon noodles, was a standout. Since Hanon is one of a few places in NYC where they make udon noodles in house, the noodles’ texture is truly incomparable. They are plump, bouncy, and chewy, and they cling on a thick, gravy-like sauce that arrives in a bubbling pot. Sliced duck breast gets poached in the same broth, adding another meaty and flavorful layer of flavor. The best part of this dish is to smell the aroma and steam as a bubbling pot of sauce reveals itself right in front of you. Be sure to order both white Zenryufun and green Sasauchi noodles for an ultimate udon experience. — James Park, Social Media Manager

Green and white udon noodles alongside soup James Park/Eater

17. Labne mousse at Miss Ada

Copy Link
184 Dekalb Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(917) 909-1023
Visit Website

Fort Greene’s Middle Eastern Miss Ada was one of the best meals I’ve had this year — all the produce involved tasted like the most ideal versions of themselves, and dishes were surprising and creative. A mango hummus special came topped with pieces of watermelon and feta, a combo that could have been too much happening but instead was a fruity, fresh start to the meal. A creamy, stretchy, and milky stracciatella came with bright slices of tomato. My favorite, though, was dessert: a labne mousse with mango granita that was like eating tart pieces of pillowy cloud. — Serena Dai, editor

18. Chicken sandwich at the Fly

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549 Classon Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(347) 405-5300
Visit Website

None of the food is necessarily destination dining at Bed-Stuy’s the Fly, but the chicken sandwich is something I’m sure I would eat obsessively if the rotisserie and natural wine restaurant were in my neighborhood. It’s overloaded, rich, and juicy, with a wonderful crunch from piece of celery and radish. The chicken in the sandwich was salty and umami-packed in a way that the rotisserie wasn’t. It was a standout, and definitely the must order of the pack. — Serena Dai, editor

rotisserie chicken sandwich Serena Dai/Eater

19. Cheeseburger at Red Hook Tavern

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

It’s hard to walk into brand-new restaurants — or any restaurant, really — with high expectations, but Billy Durney’s new old-school-style tavern in Red Hook managed to exceed them. All of chef Allison Plumer’s food impressed me, from the garlicky clams to the decadent romaine bacon salad, but it was the burger that had me hooked. It was super simple, just supremely beefy dry-aged meat cooked to a red medium rare, salty American cheese, tangy raw white onion, and a hefty but not overwhelming bun that held it all together. The wedge fries on the side aren’t my favorite form of potato, but they did the job. — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

20. Pommes dauphines at Maison Yaki

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Read Review |
626 Vanderbilt Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 552-2609
Visit Website

Maison Yaki, the new restaurant from Olmsted’s Greg Baxtrom and Max Katzenberg that combines French cuisine with Japanese yakitori, makes it easy to try lots of things. The focus is on skewers, but while there were quite a few delicious bites on sticks (the duck a l’orange in particular), my favorite dish wasn’t a skewer at all but a side on the menu: the pommes dauphines. Served in a paper cone, the fried balls of mashed potatoes were wonderfully crisp on the outside and full of soft, comforting potato on the inside. It’s a highly underrated way to eat fried potatoes, and I’m very happy Maison Yaki has this excellent version on offer. — Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor

Fried mashed potato balls Monica Burton/Eater

21. Rice cake fundido at Haenyeo

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Read Review |
239 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 213-2290
Visit Website

When I’m feeling down about all the fast-casual chains and rococo steakhouses, I assuage myself by thinking of Haenyeo and its rice cakes. Chef Jenny Kwak submerges firm tteok (rice cakes) into a crock of chile sauce, melts a layer of milky Oaxacan cheese on top, and anoints the whole shebang with crumbly chorizo. The stunner of a Korean-Mexican dish, which recalls fundido (melted cheese) as much as it does baked ziti, suggests that an auteur-esque neighborhood spot can still thrive in modern New York. — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

The rice cake fundido at Haenyeo Alex Staniloff/Eater

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1. Wulong steamed pork with sticky rice at Yu Kitchen

2656 Broadway, New York, NY 10025
Clumps of brownish sticky rice with pork and taro sprinkled with chopped scallions. Robert Sietsema/Eater

This far Upper West Side restaurant that appeared more than year ago has one of the most far flung and fascinating menus of regional Chinese dishes the city has yet seen. Originating in the southern Wulong District of Chongqing, this sticky rice dish reads more as a clumpy soothing porridge, with big chunks of pork and taro adding richness and a mild yet intriguing flavor. Other amazing dishes abound at what is certainly one of the best Chinese restaurants in NYC. — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

2656 Broadway
New York, NY 10025

2. Jokbal at Geo Si Gi

15228 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY 11354
Many slices of skin-on pork laid on a white platter James Park/Eater

This restaurant has been a staple in Northern Boulevard in Flushing, the heart of the Korean community. Even though the restaurant specializes in gam-ja-tang, a Korean pork bone soup, I was in the mood for jokbal, or braised pork feet. It’s full of collagen, resulting in the most satisfying, chewy, gelatinous texture after being braised in soy sauce-based stock for hours. You can create what I consider one of the best bites in Korean cuisine with this. Make a lettuce wrap with a few slices of jokbal, raw garlic, and some ssamjang (chile paste), and be sure to have it in one bite. Then, you will find yourself craving soju. Because jokbal is full of collagen, many believe that it’s good for your skin, keeping people looking young — making this perhaps the tastiest Korean skincare around. — James Park, Social Media Manager

15228 Northern Blvd
Flushing, NY 11354

3. Red lantern soft shell crab at Hutong

731 Lexington Avenue Located inside, Beacon Ct, New York, NY 10022
Fried crab and chiles in a dark ceramic bowl Tanay Warerkar/Eater

Hutong’s soft shell crab really hits the spot, both visually and taste-wise. It comes out in a giant wooden casket with the crabs barely peeking out of dozens of dried Facing Heaven chile peppers, a type of medium-hot pepper that’s commonly used in Sichuan food. Despite feeling a bit cheated at the start, I quickly realized that the basket actually contained a generous portion of soft shell crabs that were crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The dish leaves you with the lovely tingly sensation on your tongue that Sichuan food often does. — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

731 Lexington Avenue Located inside, Beacon Ct
New York, NY 10022

4. Hot pot at Haidilao

138-23 39th Ave, Flushing, NY 11354

Hot pot at new Flushing Chinese chain HaiDiLao was a true delight, with such pleasures as massage chairs and board games as you wait, all-you-can-eat sauce and soft serve bars, robot servers, and hand-pulled noodles made by dancing men. Then there was the hot pot itself — with four broths more deeply flavored broths than anything I’ve encountered, of which my favorite was a dried chile-filled Sichuan one. Pork dumplings squirted juice, the vegetables were very fresh, and the flounder was extra tender. Plus, service was exceedingly pleasant. I can’t wait to return. — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

138-23 39th Ave
Flushing, NY 11354

5. Electric Lemon dessert at Electric Lemon

33 Hudson Yards 24th Floor, New York, NY 10001
Read Review |
Yellow spheres of Electric Lemon curd with green orbs lemon verbena sorbet Gary He/Eater NY

Pastry chef Kelly Nam constructs Electric Lemon’s namesake dessert as if it were a pastel-colored solar system, with airy orbs of light green lemon verbena sorbet sitting next to frozen moons of tart lemon curd. Homemade Pop Rocks, hidden throughout, emit an audible hiss and zap the tongue. The Electric Lemon, like most of the sweets at this restaurant inside the Equinox Hotel at Hudson Yards — from a chocolate confection that looks like a meteor to a frozen yogurt that wants to be an avant-garde study in green and white — proves that pure creativity can radiate even in the most soulless of neighborhoods. — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

33 Hudson Yards 24th Floor
New York, NY 10001

6. Marinated raw crab at Kāwi

20 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001

In an outstanding meal from chef Jo Park at David Chang’s new Hudson Yards restaurant Kāwi, the marinated raw crab managed to rise above. It’s an ultra-sweet raw blue crab marinated in soy sauce and served alongside seasoned crab rice and dried seaweed. It’s a very interactive dish: You wrap up some warm rice in crackly seaweed, popping it into your mouth and sucking some crab meat into the bite. It’s pure pleasure that hits many notes, with the cool, mushy, and sugary crab; the crunchy and salty seaweed; and the warm, toothsome rice. Unfortunately the dish is no longer available, but I’ll happily try its standout replacement until it hopefully returns. — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

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.

20 Hudson Yards
New York, NY 10001

7. Birria tacos at Beefrria-Landia

77-99 Roosevelt Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
A pair of tacos stuffed with meat, green cilantro, and onions, served with sliced radishes and cucumbers Robert Sietsema/Eater

For a long time, the city has been praying for great birria — chile-braised goat or beef served in soup, in sauce, or in tacos. While it originated in Guadalajara, and became associated with Tijuana and Los Angeles, now we have our own, albeit in truck form. That truck parks in Jackson Heights, and every detail of birria preparation and service is attended to: the tortillas are dipped in sauce and fried lightly before being loaded up, and an optional soup is served on the side. Dip the tacos in the soup as you bolt them with delight. — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

77-99 Roosevelt Ave
Jackson Heights, NY 11372

8. Kale pakoda at Adda Indian Canteen

31-31 Thomson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101
Read Review |

This appetizer at Long Island City’s charming Indian restaurant Adda is the perfect blend of two of my favorite snacks: kale chips and pakodas, the latter of which are a type of tea-time snack in India where vegetables are dipped in chickpea batter and then deep fried. At Adda, chef Chintan Pandya takes the combination one step further by making it into a chaat — another type of Indian street food that features chickpea crisps, yogurt, a variety of spices, and tamarind and cilantro chutneys. Adda’s kale pakodas come doused in all of the above, and I would happily eat these at any time of the day. — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

31-31 Thomson Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101

9. Crispy pork belly at Hug Esan

77-16 Woodside Ave, Elmhurst, NY 11373
A white plate with chunks of fried pork belly, on top of a blue-and-red floral table Serena Dai/Eater

Hug Esan in Elmhurst has a lot of Thai options that aren’t spotted much elsewhere, all executed well. My favorite was a dish that my friend ordered by first saying “it’s basic, but I want it”: a crispy pork belly, where pieces of pork are fried and come with a chile dipping sauce. Not a spot of grease was on the crispy fried breading, which had a crackly texture similar to that of a basket of fish and chips. And though the chunks of pork were big, none of them suffered from a poor fry-to-meat ratio. Every bar in New York should serve this as a drinking snack. — Serena Dai, editor

77-16 Woodside Ave
Elmhurst, NY 11373

10. Grandma walking through forest in Emilia at Rezdôra

27 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003
Read Review |
Green cappelleti pasta with spring peas and black mushroom puree on a blue-and-white checkered plate Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Concentrating on the food of Emilia Romagna, Rezdôra was one of the year’s biggest hits. The stuffed pastas were a particular delight, including this poetically named cappelletti (“little hats”). The vegetarian recipe involves roasted leeks, black mushroom puree, and pea shoots; and parmigiana was shaved over the top like a fresh snowfall on pine trees. The entire effect was enchanting in both a visual and gustatory fashion. — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

27 E 20th St
New York, NY 10003

11. Pistachio cocktail at Bar Pisellino

52 Grove St, New York, NY 10014
Bar Pisellino Nitzan Rubin/Eater

The triangular space at Jody Williams and Rita Sodi’s Italian Bar Pisellino, full of dark wood accented with white marble, is picture perfect — only the appearance of cell phones mars the impression that you’ve maybe stepped back in time. And the pistachio cocktail — gin, genepy, pistachio-green-cardamom orgeat, bitters, and lime juice, served in a glass ringed with crushed pistachios — is a true delight. — Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor

52 Grove St
New York, NY 10014

12. Duck nigiri at Llama San

359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10014
Read Review |
Green nasturtium leaves sit over a plate of aged duck nigiri, set on a blonde wood table Louise Palmberg/Eater NY

If traditional, ultra-expensive sushi parlors are a defining trait of the modern gastronomic era, the duck nigiri at Llama San in Greenwich Village constitutes the opposite: something wildly creative and affordable-ish. Chef Erik Ramirez places a slice of aged duck over a pat of fragrant cilantro rice, uniting the duo with a slice of sweet banana. The brilliant Japanese-Peruvian dish recalls the whimsical early days of Nobu. — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

359 6th Ave
New York, NY 10014

13. Somtum corn salad at Fish Cheeks

55 Bond St, New York, NY 10012

I’ve had many a Thai corn salad over the years, but the one at Fish Cheeks particularly stands out for several reasons. The corn kernels are intact in chunks instead of broken up into tiny individual pieces, making for nice texture. The contrasting spicy and sour flavors from the Thai bird’s eye chile and the lime, respectively, elevate this dish as does the hint of sweetness that comes from the cherry tomatoes. The green beans add a lovely crunch, and I would happily return to Fish Cheeks just for this salad. — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

55 Bond St
New York, NY 10012

14. Mentai spaghetti at Davelle

102 Suffolk St, New York, NY 10002

This Japanese cafe serves breakfast toasts all day and bowls of Japanese comfort foods starting at 11 a.m. I opted for the mentai spaghetti ($15), and it was just the thing to soothe nagging hunger pangs. The bowl of pasta covered in spicy cod roe and a sprinkling of nori is savory, creamy, and entirely satisfying. I paired it with a black sesame kinako latte, which felt a bit indulgent, but was just as delicious as the pasta, and together, they offered an ideal escape from the frigid temperatures outside. — Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor

102 Suffolk St
New York, NY 10002

15. Steak mazemen at Niche

172 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002
Ramen noodles topped with chunks of steak and greens James Park/Eater

I’ve had many different kinds of noodles, but steak mazemen from Niche is one of the most unforgettable, flavorful noodles that I slurped this year. Inspired by New York’s iconic steakhouse culture, this meaty, umami-filled Japanese pasta had everything that I was looking for — chewy noodles, fried, grilled, and smoky ribeye, and intensely savory French onion sauce. It’s incredible to see when all different components become one perfect swirl. It’s a very small restaurant with one communal table, so it’s perfect for solo diners. — James Park, social media manager

172 Delancey St
New York, NY 10002

Related Maps

16. Kamo seiro at Hanon

436 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Green and white udon noodles alongside soup James Park/Eater

When I first came across this small udon restaurant in Brooklyn, I was overwhelmed and excited with so many different kinds of udon options. But, kamo seiro, a dish that allows you to enjoy both hot and cold udon noodles, was a standout. Since Hanon is one of a few places in NYC where they make udon noodles in house, the noodles’ texture is truly incomparable. They are plump, bouncy, and chewy, and they cling on a thick, gravy-like sauce that arrives in a bubbling pot. Sliced duck breast gets poached in the same broth, adding another meaty and flavorful layer of flavor. The best part of this dish is to smell the aroma and steam as a bubbling pot of sauce reveals itself right in front of you. Be sure to order both white Zenryufun and green Sasauchi noodles for an ultimate udon experience. — James Park, Social Media Manager

436 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

17. Labne mousse at Miss Ada

184 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Fort Greene’s Middle Eastern Miss Ada was one of the best meals I’ve had this year — all the produce involved tasted like the most ideal versions of themselves, and dishes were surprising and creative. A mango hummus special came topped with pieces of watermelon and feta, a combo that could have been too much happening but instead was a fruity, fresh start to the meal. A creamy, stretchy, and milky stracciatella came with bright slices of tomato. My favorite, though, was dessert: a labne mousse with mango granita that was like eating tart pieces of pillowy cloud. — Serena Dai, editor

184 Dekalb Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

18. Chicken sandwich at the Fly

549 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
rotisserie chicken sandwich Serena Dai/Eater

None of the food is necessarily destination dining at Bed-Stuy’s the Fly, but the chicken sandwich is something I’m sure I would eat obsessively if the rotisserie and natural wine restaurant were in my neighborhood. It’s overloaded, rich, and juicy, with a wonderful crunch from piece of celery and radish. The chicken in the sandwich was salty and umami-packed in a way that the rotisserie wasn’t. It was a standout, and definitely the must order of the pack. — Serena Dai, editor

549 Classon Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238

19. Cheeseburger at Red Hook Tavern

329 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

It’s hard to walk into brand-new restaurants — or any restaurant, really — with high expectations, but Billy Durney’s new old-school-style tavern in Red Hook managed to exceed them. All of chef Allison Plumer’s food impressed me, from the garlicky clams to the decadent romaine bacon salad, but it was the burger that had me hooked. It was super simple, just supremely beefy dry-aged meat cooked to a red medium rare, salty American cheese, tangy raw white onion, and a hefty but not overwhelming bun that held it all together. The wedge fries on the side aren’t my favorite form of potato, but they did the job. — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

329 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

20. Pommes dauphines at Maison Yaki

626 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
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Fried mashed potato balls Monica Burton/Eater

Maison Yaki, the new restaurant from Olmsted’s Greg Baxtrom and Max Katzenberg that combines French cuisine with Japanese yakitori, makes it easy to try lots of things. The focus is on skewers, but while there were quite a few delicious bites on sticks (the duck a l’orange in particular), my favorite dish wasn’t a skewer at all but a side on the menu: the pommes dauphines. Served in a paper cone, the fried balls of mashed potatoes were wonderfully crisp on the outside and full of soft, comforting potato on the inside. It’s a highly underrated way to eat fried potatoes, and I’m very happy Maison Yaki has this excellent version on offer. — Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor

626 Vanderbilt Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238

21. Rice cake fundido at Haenyeo

239 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
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The rice cake fundido at Haenyeo Alex Staniloff/Eater

When I’m feeling down about all the fast-casual chains and rococo steakhouses, I assuage myself by thinking of Haenyeo and its rice cakes. Chef Jenny Kwak submerges firm tteok (rice cakes) into a crock of chile sauce, melts a layer of milky Oaxacan cheese on top, and anoints the whole shebang with crumbly chorizo. The stunner of a Korean-Mexican dish, which recalls fundido (melted cheese) as much as it does baked ziti, suggests that an auteur-esque neighborhood spot can still thrive in modern New York. — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

239 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215

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