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A blue and copper plate with roasted squab, leg and breast, on a dark bourbon sauce with a side of vegetables.
Roasted squab with a bourbon sauce.
Aya Kishimoto/L’Abeille

The 15 Hottest New Restaurants in Manhattan, May 2022

A Tribeca spot with Japanese-inflected French fare and an acclaimed Sichuan restaurant revival joins the list this month

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Roasted squab with a bourbon sauce.
| Aya Kishimoto/L’Abeille

Eater editors get asked one question more than any other: Where should I eat right now? Here, we’ve put together a map of the latest Manhattan debuts drawing NYC’s dining obsessives.

New to the list in May: L’Abeille (a mostly French fine dining restaurant from a Joël Robuchon alum in Tribeca), and Cafe China (a Midtown revival of the acclaimed Sichuan restaurant).

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

For more New York dining recommendations, check out the new hotspots in Brooklyn and Queens.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Charles Pan-Fried Chicken

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340 W 145th St
New York, NY 10039

In one of the most highly anticipated early debuts of the year, Charles Gabriel’s legendary fried chicken is back. The decades-old Harlem icon — which also opened a location on the Upper West Side in February — is known for its lesser-seen approach to frying chicken, crisping the bird in a giant skillet instead of vats of bubbling oil. The impressive, flavorful result has gained the restaurant legions of followers. Customers line up for Charles’ crunchy chicken, creamy mac and cheese, and lima beans that Eater critic Robert Sietsema says will convert even the staunchest lima bean doubter. Barbecued ribs, pulled pork, and smothered chicken are also on the menu.

A line stretches around the block at Charles Pan-Fried Chicken, the Harlem location of a budding restaurant chain.
Customers gather outside Charles Pan-Fried Chicken in Harlem on its opening weekend.
Melanie Landsman/Eater NY

2. Mari

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679 9th Ave
New York, NY 10036
(646) 649-3545
Visit Website

At Kochi, chef Sungchul Shim won over customers with a tasting menu of Korean-style skewers that earned a Michelin star last year. Now, he’s focusing on Korean hand rolls — similar in shape to Japanese temaki; and anchored with some familiar kimbap ingredients — at a new restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen that opened in the final weeks of 2021. Like Kochi, Mari is also a tasting menu spot. The lineup includes 11 courses for $125 and features hand rolls packed with ingredients like king oyster mushrooms, mackerel, and shrimp.

A selection of handrolls topped with different cuts of fish, laid out on a marble background.
Mari’s hand rolls.
Erik Bernstein/Eater NY

3. All'antico Vinaio

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729 8th Ave
New York, NY 10036
(917) 970-0033
Visit Website

Crowds of customers swarmed Italian import All’antico Vinaio from the minute it opened its doors near Times Square, and for good reason: The famed Florentine shop’s square, stuffed sandwiches are creamy, cheesy, meaty delights. Follow Eater critic Robert Sietsema’s recommendation and order the messy triumph known as la favolosa, featuring pungent Tuscan salami, spicy eggplant, and both pecorino and artichoke creams.

Three figures on the sidewalk dressed in autumn clothes eat sandwiches.
Customers digging into their sandwiches outside of All’antico Vinaio.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

4. Ci Siamo

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385 9th Ave Suite #100
New York, NY 10001
(212) 219-6559
Visit Website

Chef Hillary Sterling is playing with fire at Ci Siamo, the latest debut from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. Sterling launched the Italian restaurant, located inside Hudson Yards-adjacent development Manhattan West, with pastas, wood-fired trout, and a blistered, caramelized onion torta that has been turning heads. The dessert program, featuring gelati, sorbetti, and a chocolate amaro-filled bomboloni, is overseen by lauded pastry chef Claudia Fleming.

A lineup of three gelatos scooped into stemmed glassware and resting on white saucers.
Ci Siamo’s gelati.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

5. Café China

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59 W 37th St
New York, NY 10018
(212) 213-2810
Visit Website

Cafe China — an acclaimed Sichuan restaurant that held a Michelin star for seven years — temporarily shuttered for five months in 2021, and now has been reborn in a three-story brick building in Midtown. The chic restaurant, run by Xian Zhang and Yiming Wang, marries old menu favorites like cumin lamb and tea-smoked duck with new-guard entries like a whole steamed fish with cayenne and tabasco peppers, plus dim sum and other regional Chinese dishes.

An assortment of dishes are strewn out on a table at Cafe China.
Cafe China is serving Sichuan classics alongside Cantonese dim sum.
Cafe China

6. El Quijote

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226 W 23rd St
New York, NY 10011
(212) 518-1843
Visit Website

El Quijote’s return has been four years in the making, ever since the Hotel Chelsea shut down the storied spot for renovations in 2018. The Spanish restaurant has now been polished and revamped by the hip team behind Sunday in Brooklyn and partner Charles Seich. Seafood is the highlight here, from lobster grilled on a plancha and slicked in butter and sherry, to the restaurant’s impressive paella, now studded with squid, cockles, mussels, blue prawns, and rabbit.

An overhead shot of a round dish of paella filled with rice and seafood.
Paella from El Quijote.
Eric Medsker/El Quijote

7. Mel's

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85 10th Ave
New York, NY 10011
(212) 970-2202
Visit Website

The first step in the next chapter at 85 10th Avenue — the former home of lauded-yet-troubled Italian destination Del Posto — has arrived. Executive chef Melissa Rodriguez is running the show at Mel’s, a weeknight hangout with wood-fired pizza, grilled steaks, and overflowing sundae cups. It’s the more casual counterpart to Rodriguez’s forthcoming fine dining restaurant Al Coro and cocktail bar Discolo, also in the same space.

The empty interior of a new restaurant with a tiled front walkway and bar to the left.
The dining room at Mel’s.
Adrian Gaut/Mel’s

8. So Do Fun

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155 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(646) 822-3530
Visit Website

This stretch of Third Avenue in Gramercy may not historically be known as a destination for its Chinese fare, but So Do Fun is looking to change that perception. Inside the red-hued restaurant, diners gather over tables crammed with plates of grilled and boiled fish in chile oil and sauces, heated bowls of mapo tofu, and creamy steamed eggs with shrimp and broccoli. The spot is the first U.S. outpost of a popular Chinese chain, according to an employee at the shop.

A white porcelain bowl filled with eggs, sauce, shrimp, and broccoli.
So Do Fun’s steamed eggs with shrimp.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

9. The Commerce Inn

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50 Commerce St
New York, NY 10014

One of the West Village’s most prominent dining duos, Jody Williams and Rita Sodi, have unexpectedly torn a page from the playbook of the Shakers — a religious group rooted in Christianity and founded in upstate New York in the 1770s — for their follow-up act to neighborhood favorites Via Carota and Bar Pisellino. At the Commerce Inn, the menu takes its cues from century-old rural American recipes, honing in on simple plates like beans and pork belly, spoon bread, and a particularly good roast chicken. In the adjoining tavern, find milk punches, whiskey coffees, and wines from upstate New York purveyors.

The Commerce Inn front facade with white bricks and black windows.
The Commerce Inn.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

10. Rowdy Rooster

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149 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10003

The hotshots behind one of America’s best new restaurants of 2021 are not slowing down. In their latest debut, restaurateur Roni Mazumdar and chef Chintan Pandya are frying up ultra-crispy, crunchy, spicy fried chicken familiar in India and transplanting it to the East Village. The tiny shop is churning out fried chicken at three different spice levels, plus chicken sandwiches with scallion yogurt and mint chutney, and sides including crispy eggplant or potato pakoras, masala corn, and tomato rice. For vegetarians, the snack-sized vado pao — a spiced potato patty with mint and tamarind chutney on a buttered pao roll — is an equally spicy hit.

A takeout container filled with pieces of fried chicken against a black background.
Fried chicken from Rowdy Rooster.
Paul McDonough/Rowdy Rooster

11. Nudibranch

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125 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10003
(646) 476-2249
Visit Website

A trio of Momofuku alums — Jeff Kim, Matthew Lee, and Victor Xia — started Nudibranch as a pop-up, a place where they could cook dishes that drew upon their collective experiences working at the David Chang restaurant group and other restaurants across town. Last month, they found a permanent home for their cooking in the East Village, where the $75 prix fixe menu leans heavily on traditional Asian ingredients in dishes like soba showered with shavings of bottarga; cauliflower paired with a Vietnamese dipping sauce and Chinese sausage; and fried frog legs topped with a medley of herbs like lemongrass and galangal.

A white bowl with a mushroom dish in it with an egg yolk
Shaoxing mushrooms at Nudibranch.
Nudibranch

12. Bar Tulix

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25 W Houston St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 334-7320
Visit Website

Justin Bazdarich, the chef and owner behind Oxomoco, trendy pizza spot Speedy Romeo, and the short-lived vegan Mexican spot Xilonen, has partnered with veteran restaurateur John McDonald to open Bar Tulix, a Mexican-leaning seafood restaurant in Soho. The bar program nods heavily to tequila and mezcal, while the upscale menu ranges from shrimp cocktail tostadas to patatas bravas with pickled chiles and black sea bass crusted in masa.

Seafood and vegetables are laid out on white plates, showcasing the menu offerings at Bar Tulix.
A spread of dishes at Bar Tulix.
Alexander Stein/Bar Tulix

13. L’Abeille

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412 Greenwich St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 542-3898
Visit Website

Chef Mitsunobu Nagae, a Joël Robuchon veteran, has stepped out on his own at L’Abeille, a French fine dining spot that Nagae threads together with a few Japanese touches. The $180, six-course tasting menu includes red miso-glazed squab and a pan-fried tile fish with fennel puree. (An a la carte menu is available at the bar.) The refined, jewel-toned Tribeca space was built around the concept of “bistronomy,” where fine dining and bistro sensibilities meet.

A restaurant dining room with velvet green banquettes and tables flanked by blue velvet seats.
L’Abeille’s dining room.
Nicole Franzen/L’Abeille

14. Mena

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28 Cortlandt Alley
New York, NY 10013
(212) 466-6428
Visit Website

Chef Victoria Blamey attracted plenty of headlines during high-profile tenures at storied pub Chumley’s and Manhattan fine dining institution Gotham Bar and Grill. Now, she is stepping outside of any well-known restaurant’s shadow. Mena, named after Blamey’s great aunt, highlights the chef’s Chilean roots with a seafood and vegetable-heavy menu that is threaded with some hits from Blamey’s recent pop-up residences, including cholgas secas, featuring smoke-dried mussels coated with an onion glaze.

A spread of wine glasses, silverware, and colorful, round dishes plated with food, laid out on a light circular table.
A spread of dishes from Mena.
Daniel Krieger/Mena

15. Mott Street Eatery

Copy Link
98 Mott St
New York, NY 10013

Manhattan’s Chinatown recently gained an exciting new dining destination in Mott Street Eatery, a bustling 10-stall food court similar to those found in Flushing, Sunset Park, and Elmhurst. During an early visit, Eater critic Robert Sietsema found an impressive array of roasted meats, well-executed hand rolls from a sushi chef known as Jiro, and duck and lobster pizza, among other offerings.

A food court filled with white tables, about half occupied.
Mott Street Eatery’s food court.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

1. Charles Pan-Fried Chicken

340 W 145th St, New York, NY 10039
A line stretches around the block at Charles Pan-Fried Chicken, the Harlem location of a budding restaurant chain.
Customers gather outside Charles Pan-Fried Chicken in Harlem on its opening weekend.
Melanie Landsman/Eater NY

In one of the most highly anticipated early debuts of the year, Charles Gabriel’s legendary fried chicken is back. The decades-old Harlem icon — which also opened a location on the Upper West Side in February — is known for its lesser-seen approach to frying chicken, crisping the bird in a giant skillet instead of vats of bubbling oil. The impressive, flavorful result has gained the restaurant legions of followers. Customers line up for Charles’ crunchy chicken, creamy mac and cheese, and lima beans that Eater critic Robert Sietsema says will convert even the staunchest lima bean doubter. Barbecued ribs, pulled pork, and smothered chicken are also on the menu.

340 W 145th St
New York, NY 10039

2. Mari

679 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036
A selection of handrolls topped with different cuts of fish, laid out on a marble background.
Mari’s hand rolls.
Erik Bernstein/Eater NY

At Kochi, chef Sungchul Shim won over customers with a tasting menu of Korean-style skewers that earned a Michelin star last year. Now, he’s focusing on Korean hand rolls — similar in shape to Japanese temaki; and anchored with some familiar kimbap ingredients — at a new restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen that opened in the final weeks of 2021. Like Kochi, Mari is also a tasting menu spot. The lineup includes 11 courses for $125 and features hand rolls packed with ingredients like king oyster mushrooms, mackerel, and shrimp.

679 9th Ave
New York, NY 10036

3. All'antico Vinaio

729 8th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Three figures on the sidewalk dressed in autumn clothes eat sandwiches.
Customers digging into their sandwiches outside of All’antico Vinaio.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Crowds of customers swarmed Italian import All’antico Vinaio from the minute it opened its doors near Times Square, and for good reason: The famed Florentine shop’s square, stuffed sandwiches are creamy, cheesy, meaty delights. Follow Eater critic Robert Sietsema’s recommendation and order the messy triumph known as la favolosa, featuring pungent Tuscan salami, spicy eggplant, and both pecorino and artichoke creams.

729 8th Ave
New York, NY 10036

4. Ci Siamo

385 9th Ave Suite #100, New York, NY 10001
A lineup of three gelatos scooped into stemmed glassware and resting on white saucers.
Ci Siamo’s gelati.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Chef Hillary Sterling is playing with fire at Ci Siamo, the latest debut from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. Sterling launched the Italian restaurant, located inside Hudson Yards-adjacent development Manhattan West, with pastas, wood-fired trout, and a blistered, caramelized onion torta that has been turning heads. The dessert program, featuring gelati, sorbetti, and a chocolate amaro-filled bomboloni, is overseen by lauded pastry chef Claudia Fleming.

385 9th Ave Suite #100
New York, NY 10001

5. Café China

59 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018
An assortment of dishes are strewn out on a table at Cafe China.
Cafe China is serving Sichuan classics alongside Cantonese dim sum.
Cafe China

Cafe China — an acclaimed Sichuan restaurant that held a Michelin star for seven years — temporarily shuttered for five months in 2021, and now has been reborn in a three-story brick building in Midtown. The chic restaurant, run by Xian Zhang and Yiming Wang, marries old menu favorites like cumin lamb and tea-smoked duck with new-guard entries like a whole steamed fish with cayenne and tabasco peppers, plus dim sum and other regional Chinese dishes.

59 W 37th St
New York, NY 10018

6. El Quijote

226 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011
An overhead shot of a round dish of paella filled with rice and seafood.
Paella from El Quijote.
Eric Medsker/El Quijote

El Quijote’s return has been four years in the making, ever since the Hotel Chelsea shut down the storied spot for renovations in 2018. The Spanish restaurant has now been polished and revamped by the hip team behind Sunday in Brooklyn and partner Charles Seich. Seafood is the highlight here, from lobster grilled on a plancha and slicked in butter and sherry, to the restaurant’s impressive paella, now studded with squid, cockles, mussels, blue prawns, and rabbit.

226 W 23rd St
New York, NY 10011

7. Mel's

85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011
The empty interior of a new restaurant with a tiled front walkway and bar to the left.
The dining room at Mel’s.
Adrian Gaut/Mel’s

The first step in the next chapter at 85 10th Avenue — the former home of lauded-yet-troubled Italian destination Del Posto — has arrived. Executive chef Melissa Rodriguez is running the show at Mel’s, a weeknight hangout with wood-fired pizza, grilled steaks, and overflowing sundae cups. It’s the more casual counterpart to Rodriguez’s forthcoming fine dining restaurant Al Coro and cocktail bar Discolo, also in the same space.

85 10th Ave
New York, NY 10011

8. So Do Fun

155 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003
A white porcelain bowl filled with eggs, sauce, shrimp, and broccoli.
So Do Fun’s steamed eggs with shrimp.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This stretch of Third Avenue in Gramercy may not historically be known as a destination for its Chinese fare, but So Do Fun is looking to change that perception. Inside the red-hued restaurant, diners gather over tables crammed with plates of grilled and boiled fish in chile oil and sauces, heated bowls of mapo tofu, and creamy steamed eggs with shrimp and broccoli. The spot is the first U.S. outpost of a popular Chinese chain, according to an employee at the shop.

155 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10003

9. The Commerce Inn

50 Commerce St, New York, NY 10014
The Commerce Inn front facade with white bricks and black windows.
The Commerce Inn.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

One of the West Village’s most prominent dining duos, Jody Williams and Rita Sodi, have unexpectedly torn a page from the playbook of the Shakers — a religious group rooted in Christianity and founded in upstate New York in the 1770s — for their follow-up act to neighborhood favorites Via Carota and Bar Pisellino. At the Commerce Inn, the menu takes its cues from century-old rural American recipes, honing in on simple plates like beans and pork belly, spoon bread, and a particularly good roast chicken. In the adjoining tavern, find milk punches, whiskey coffees, and wines from upstate New York purveyors.

50 Commerce St
New York, NY 10014

10. Rowdy Rooster

149 1st Ave., New York, NY 10003
A takeout container filled with pieces of fried chicken against a black background.
Fried chicken from Rowdy Rooster.
Paul McDonough/Rowdy Rooster

The hotshots behind one of America’s best new restaurants of 2021 are not slowing down. In their latest debut, restaurateur Roni Mazumdar and chef Chintan Pandya are frying up ultra-crispy, crunchy, spicy fried chicken familiar in India and transplanting it to the East Village. The tiny shop is churning out fried chicken at three different spice levels, plus chicken sandwiches with scallion yogurt and mint chutney, and sides including crispy eggplant or potato pakoras, masala corn, and tomato rice. For vegetarians, the snack-sized vado pao — a spiced potato patty with mint and tamarind chutney on a buttered pao roll — is an equally spicy hit.

149 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10003

11. Nudibranch

125 1st Ave., New York, NY 10003
A white bowl with a mushroom dish in it with an egg yolk
Shaoxing mushrooms at Nudibranch.
Nudibranch

A trio of Momofuku alums — Jeff Kim, Matthew Lee, and Victor Xia — started Nudibranch as a pop-up, a place where they could cook dishes that drew upon their collective experiences working at the David Chang restaurant group and other restaurants across town. Last month, they found a permanent home for their cooking in the East Village, where the $75 prix fixe menu leans heavily on traditional Asian ingredients in dishes like soba showered with shavings of bottarga; cauliflower paired with a Vietnamese dipping sauce and Chinese sausage; and fried frog legs topped with a medley of herbs like lemongrass and galangal.

125 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10003

12. Bar Tulix

25 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012
Seafood and vegetables are laid out on white plates, showcasing the menu offerings at Bar Tulix.
A spread of dishes at Bar Tulix.
Alexander Stein/Bar Tulix

Justin Bazdarich, the chef and owner behind Oxomoco, trendy pizza spot Speedy Romeo, and the short-lived vegan Mexican spot Xilonen, has partnered with veteran restaurateur John McDonald to open Bar Tulix, a Mexican-leaning seafood restaurant in Soho. The bar program nods heavily to tequila and mezcal, while the upscale menu ranges from shrimp cocktail tostadas to patatas bravas with pickled chiles and black sea bass crusted in masa.

25 W Houston St
New York, NY 10012

13. L’Abeille

412 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013
A restaurant dining room with velvet green banquettes and tables flanked by blue velvet seats.
L’Abeille’s dining room.
Nicole Franzen/L’Abeille

Chef Mitsunobu Nagae, a Joël Robuchon veteran, has stepped out on his own at L’Abeille, a French fine dining spot that Nagae threads together with a few Japanese touches. The $180, six-course tasting menu includes red miso-glazed squab and a pan-fried tile fish with fennel puree. (An a la carte menu is available at the bar.) The refined, jewel-toned Tribeca space was built around the concept of “bistronomy,” where fine dining and bistro sensibilities meet.

412 Greenwich St
New York, NY 10013

14. Mena

28 Cortlandt Alley, New York, NY 10013
A spread of wine glasses, silverware, and colorful, round dishes plated with food, laid out on a light circular table.
A spread of dishes from Mena.
Daniel Krieger/Mena

Chef Victoria Blamey attracted plenty of headlines during high-profile tenures at storied pub Chumley’s and Manhattan fine dining institution Gotham Bar and Grill. Now, she is stepping outside of any well-known restaurant’s shadow. Mena, named after Blamey’s great aunt, highlights the chef’s Chilean roots with a seafood and vegetable-heavy menu that is threaded with some hits from Blamey’s recent pop-up residences, including cholgas secas, featuring smoke-dried mussels coated with an onion glaze.

28 Cortlandt Alley
New York, NY 10013

15. Mott Street Eatery

98 Mott St, New York, NY 10013
A food court filled with white tables, about half occupied.
Mott Street Eatery’s food court.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Manhattan’s Chinatown recently gained an exciting new dining destination in Mott Street Eatery, a bustling 10-stall food court similar to those found in Flushing, Sunset Park, and Elmhurst. During an early visit, Eater critic Robert Sietsema found an impressive array of roasted meats, well-executed hand rolls from a sushi chef known as Jiro, and duck and lobster pizza, among other offerings.

98 Mott St
New York, NY 10013

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