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Malvani prawn curry at Adda
Gary He/Eater

The 38 Essential Restaurants in New York City, Spring 2019

From a quirky modern Jewish deli to a gorgeous pho shop in Greenpoint, here’s where to eat in NYC right now

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Malvani prawn curry at Adda
| Photo by Gary He/Eater

Welcome to the Eater 38, an elite collection of restaurants from across the city that define New York City’s dining scene right now — and that will satisfy the restaurant needs for locals and visitors alike: Find an NYC classic as well as a top-notch neighborhood restaurant, mind-numbingly spicy Chinese, and cutting-edge Korean fare.

Every quarter, a few restaurants drop out of the list to make room for places that have stepped up their game or have increasing relevance. To warrant inclusion, a restaurant has to have been open for at least six months.

Rather than having a stage-four meltdown over the exclusion of a favorite restaurant from this list, wouldn’t it be more productive to just nominate it for inclusion? And for the newest places that food obsessives are checking out, see the heatmaps for Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

Added in April 2019: For spring, the 38 is switching out five restaurants. The singular food at quirky East Village Jewish deli Harry & Ida’s joins the list, as does neighbor Le Sia’s affordable and exciting Chinese-spiced seafood. Greenpoint pho shop Di An Di’s modern Vietnamese served in a stunning space deservedly gets a spot, while Cervo’s also lands on the 38 for its seafood-heavy small plates and hip natural wine. Finally, Eater NY now welcomes Indian newcomer Adda, a homey, flavorful addition to Long Island City.

To make room, Madame Vo, Ugly Baby, Rahi, Szechuan Mountain House, and Tomiño Taberna Gallega — though all still excellent and worthy of a visit — depart the list for now.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Roberto's

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603 Crescent Ave
Bronx, NY 10458
(718) 733-9503
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Bronx favorite Roberto’s has been around for more than two decades, serving chef Roberto Pacuillo’s Italian American cooking. Any of the cartoccio pastas — cooked in foil on the grill — are worth ordering, like a fusilli with clams, mussels, shrimp, and tomatoes. Rabbit, too, is another specialty of the chef’s. But when visiting the romantic and old-school space, be sure to check the chalkboard of specials, which tend to best anything on the regular menu.

Roberto’s [Official Photo]

2. Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken

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2461 Frederick Douglass Blvd
New York, NY 10027
(212) 281-1800

Chef Charles Gabriel started his Harlem soul food institution out of his house then moved onto a food truck, and finally to a storefront. The latest rendition of the restaurant is in a more prominent location, though he continues to serve the same tender, crispy chicken cooked in a cast-iron pan that pushed him into the limelight. This new outpost is still humble, with a menu above the counter and cafeteria-style ordering, but also, thankfully, has more seating.

Robert Sietsema/Eater

3. Gregory's 26 Corner Taverna

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26-02 23rd Ave
Long Island City, NY 11105
(718) 777-5511

Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna has been dishing out homey, traditional Greek cooking in Astoria for years, always with a friendly demeanor. Everything from grilled lamb chops to the Greek salad are solid options, and fish — which comes fried or grilled — is a particularly smart order. Entrees stay under $30, with many options under $20. The petite restaurant with red-and-white checkered tablecloths also has a few outdoor tables in warmer weather. 

Robert Sietsema/Eater

4. Bolivian Llama Party

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1000 S 8th Ave Suite 5.5 Underground @ the corner of 57th st and, 8th Ave
New York, NY 10019
(347) 395-5481
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Bolivian Llama Party — the tiny counter-service stall inside the Columbus Circle subway station — is one of the few places in New York to offer the hearty cuisine of Bolivia, from the minds of brothers Alex, Patrick, and David Oropeza. The right move is the salteña — a plump pastry pocket with a thick, sweet exterior and a soupy filling. Bite off the tip, suck out all the gelatinous broth, and then eat the chicken and egg-rich dregs ($8). Drizzle on the in-house hot sauce to add a kick. Also look out for the garlic chicken and bacon sandwich.

Nick Solares/Eater

5. Torishin

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362 W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 757-0108
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In Japan, yakitori — or chicken skewers grilled over charcoal — is a popular street food, but at Torishin in Hell’s Kitchen, a whole chicken gets broken down into a finer dining experience. Open in NYC since 2007, it’s a Michelin-starred chicken skewer restaurant currently helmed by chef Atsushi Kono, where its take on less-ubiquitous parts of the chicken like the knee, main artery, and heart is renowned. First-timers should go for the omakase, which at $70 is one of the more affordable tasting menus in the city.

Nick Solares/Eater

6. The Grill

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99 E 52nd St
New York, NY 10022
(212) 375-9001
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Major Food Group’s revamp of the historic Four Seasons space — one of the few landmarked interiors in the city — will be worth visiting for the stunning room alone, but the group also makes a meal there feel like a lively, theatric, and delicious ode to midcentury New York chophouses. Visit the Midtown bar for a drink just to check things out, and for a splurge dinner with a see-and-be-seen vibe, book a reservation well in advance. Chef Mario Carbone’s standouts include the prime rib, pheasant Claiborne, and pasta a la presse, a dish where the server first comes to the table to dramatically squeeze juice out of duck bones using an antique press.

Gary He/Eater

7. Sullivan Street Bakery

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236 9th Ave
New York, NY 10011
(212) 929-5900
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Jim Lahey’s pioneering breads make this a must-visit for a take-home loaf and a quick espresso. Or stay awhile and order a breakfast sandwich like the verdura with eggs and seasonal vegetables, or a ceci sandwich — chickpea fritters with cucumber, red pepper, onion, basil, and more. Don’t miss the bomboloni, the most underrated doughnuts in the city.

Liz Clayman for Sullivan Street Bakery [Official Photo]

8. Her Name is Han

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17 E 31st St
New York, NY 10016
(212) 779-9990
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Korean soul food gets a modern edge at Her Name is Han, a stylish Midtown restaurant from Kihyun Lee’s Hand restaurant group. Go for an on-point rendition of bulgogi, which arrives perfectly-seared with slightly crunchy edges, and yangnyeom gejang, a spicy raw crab. The budae jjigae, a stew with Spam, hot dogs, rice cakes, and kimchi beef broth, is also a rich, comforting order for the table. A rotating selection of banchan come with every meal. The restaurant also offers some solid lunch specials, though it only takes cash midday. Waits can be more than an hour for weekend dinner, but there’s a hotel two doors down with a decent bar.

Gary He/Eater

9. Adda Indian Canteen

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31-31 Thomson Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 433-3888
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Adda is one of the most exciting Indian restaurant newcomers in New York City. The Long Island City addition is from the team behind West Village’s modern Indian restaurant Rahi — except here, owner Roni Mazumdar and chef Chintan Pandya pivot to homey fare like tandoor grill dishes, curries, and biryani. Inspired by canteens found throughout India, Adda serves dishes a degree hotter and richer than Rahi, aiming to showcase the way food is made at home in India. Standouts include the dum biryani, a rice casserole sealed within a sheet of naan dough.

Gary He/Eater

10. Los Tacos No. 1

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75 9th Ave
New York, NY
(212) 256-0343
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While this isn’t the most relaxing or comfortable place on the Eater 38 — it’s in Chelsea Market, with too few seats and long lines — there’s good reason to visit: It’s where you’ll find some of the city’s best tacos asada, adobado, pollo, or nopal. Flour tortillas here are just as good as the corn ones. There’s also a location near Times Square. Don’t forget the chips and guacamole.

Robert Sietsema/Eater

11. Cote Korean Steakhouse

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16 W 22nd St
New York, NY 10010
(212) 401-7986
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Cote is one of New York’s most exciting restaurants, bringing a version of Korean barbecue that pulls elements from classic New York steakhouses. Owner Simon Kim and chef David Shim earned a Michelin star for their slightly sceney and upscale version of classic Korean barbecue, which employs dry-aged meats. First-timers will want the Butcher’s Feast, a $52-per-person option with four cuts of beef, banchan, egg souffle, spicy kimchi stew, and a soft serve dessert. Repeat visitors will want to experiment with variations on funky beef, which are dry-aged in a room downstairs. Reservations are recommended.

Daniel Krieger/Eater

12. Nur

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34 E 20th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 505-3420
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Nur’s Flatiron space is a sleek backdrop to the cooking of Meir Adoni, a Moroccan-Israeli chef who made his name with an empire of restaurants in Tel Aviv. Here in New York, though, the menu pulls from all over the Middle East and North Africa, with flavors that are more traditional in Libya, Yemen, and Syria showing up in the collection of eclectic small plates, too. Wines and cocktails are also sourced from the area. On the rotating menu, the Jerusalem sesame bagel and a scallop sashimi with Persian lemon powder may be options. It’s ideal for a date night out. 

Jenny G. Zhang/Eater

13. Shuko

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47 E 12th St
New York, NY
(212) 228-6088
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Masa alums Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau, the proprietors of Shuko, will serve diners personally at the bar — and the fish is stunning. They’re not afraid to use heat to jolt the palate and take the edge off richness, such as the Thai bird chiles added to a torched tuna sinew. Take note it’s $155 for sushi-only, or $195 for a tasting of composed dishes plus nigiri. Book at the sushi bar, though be warned that late cancellations cost the price of an omakase.

14. Via Carota

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51 Grove St
New York, NY 10014

West Village Tuscan restaurant Via Carota is a neighborhood place that has turned into a destination — in part due to the simple and rustic, yet always surprising cooking of beloved chefs Rita Sodi and Jody Williams. The menu changes regularly, and everything is worth sharing. Any of the rotating vegetable dishes will be solid orders, as will mainstays of the menu like the homey braised tripe and silky cacio e pepe. Expect to wait at prime times since there are no reservations, and snag a seat outdoors in better weather. It’s particularly great for late-night dining, when the wait will also be slimmer; the full menu is available until midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on Thursday through Saturday.

Daniel Krieger/Eater

15. Momofuku Ssäm Bar

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207 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 254-3500
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Though superstar chef David Chang doesn’t spend much time in the kitchen at Ssäm anymore, executive chef Max Ng has breathed new life into the menu at the East Village restaurant, adding addictive dishes like spicy shell-on shrimp with Sichuan garlic butter and skate roasted in banana leaf. The greatest hits — pork sausage rice cakes and pork buns — are still there by request, but the restaurant as a whole has grown up as Chang has, with soundproofing and more comfortable seating. It’s also an excellent option for brunch and great for groups, with large format meals available by reservation.

Momofuku [Official Photo]

16. Di An Di

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68 Greenpoint Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 576-3914
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Di An Di made a splash when it opened in spring 2018 with its stunning design that maximizes neighborhood restaurant trends and its comforting, yet exciting Vietnamese fare. And the hype hasn’t stopped: The restaurant from the An Choi team often requires long waits for its pho and other Vietnamese noodle soups, which pull some inspiration from the team’s childhoods in Houston and Virginia as well as their travels throughout Vietnam. There are also non-soup share plates, and the cocktails stand out, too, served from a soft green brick-walled bar with copper accents. The space’s meticulous design — anchored by plants, tropical vibes, and shiny copper — is part of its allure in addition to the food.

Alex Staniloff/Eater

17. Harry & Ida's Meat and Supply Co.

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189 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
(646) 864-0967
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Harry & Ida’s is a thoroughly modern riff on the traditional Jewish delicatessen, with a short but strong menu. It’s named after the grandparents of sibling owners Julie and Will Horowitz, and the deli itself channels the aesthetic of a Catskills country store. The hot pastrami is the dish to get at this counter-service shop, though the smoked eel and bluefish sandwiches are solid options, too.

Nick Solares/Eater

18. Le Sia

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11 E 7th St
New York, NY 10003
(646) 370-6423
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Simple meat skewers and steaming seafood boils laced with Chinese flavors and spices make up most of the menu at Le Sia, a spicy shellfish destination in the East Village that stays open late during the week. Be prepared to get messy — there are bibs and gloves if needed — and dig into crawfish tossed in aromatic sauces that come in six options. The price points for shellfish here are on the lower side for NYC, but the quality remains high. It’s all served in a casual, brick-walled space with booths and a communal table that stretches down the center of the oft-packed room.

19. Cheburechnaya

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9209 63rd Dr Ste A
Flushing, NY
(718) 897-9080
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Cheburechnaya is tucked in a no-frills dining room that offers kosher Uzbek dishes like chebureki, deep fried turnovers bursting with potatoes and meat, rice pilaf, and lamb kebabs grilled over a charcoal trough. Don’t miss the borscht as well as lagman with handmade, irregular-shaped noodles, beef, and plenty of dill.

Stefanie Tuder/Eater

20. Superiority Burger

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430 E 9th St
New York, NY
(212) 256-1192
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Brooks Headley’s tiny East Village cafe is so much more than a veggie burger spot — it's one of the best restaurants in Lower Manhattan — because he’s shopping for the finest ingredients and offering the same vegetables served at a fine-dining spot for a far more affordable price (most dishes are under $6). In addition to the must-get burger, go Mondays for the fried tofu and Fridays for the focaccia. Do not miss the spectacular gelato and sorbet. There’s not much seating but still worth it.

Nick Solares/Eater

21. Atla

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372 Lafayette St
New York, NY 10012
(646) 837-6464
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Mexican cuisine gets a stylish, uber-hip setting at Atla, the highly-acclaimed all-day restaurant in Noho from Enrique Olvera and Daniela Soto-Innes. Expect a fashionable crowd and lots of light yet flavor-packed dishes, including a split pea tlacoyo, an egg white omelette with zucchini, and an herb guacamole. Fresh juices, coffee, and cocktails are available. The sunny space works well for daytime meetings, as well as late-night snacking. 

Nick Solares/Eater

22. Chez Ma Tante

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90 Calyer St
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 389-3606
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Chez Ma Tante, housed in a spare but warm space on a Greenpoint corner, is French-Canadian bistro that delivers on clean yet flavorful cooking, with just enough of an edge to warrant repeat visits. In practice, that means the ever-changing menu from Aidan O’Neal and Jake Leiber offers both a pig’s head terrine and a caesar salad, or chicken liver pate ahead of an on-point chicken confit. The drink list, too, is thoughtful, with reasonably priced wine bottles. It’s also popular for brunch, when craggy pancakes are the must-order. Prime-time dinner reservations are available, and there’s bar seating, too.

Stephen Yang/Eater

23. Fish Cheeks

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55 Bond St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 677-2223
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Everything should be shared at Fish Cheeks, a rambunctious and bright restaurant on idyllic Bond Street in Noho that serves high-octane versions of neighborhood Thai dishes. Owners Jenn Saesue and brother chef-team Ohm and Chat Suansilphong offer lots of loud, flavor-packed dishes, including Manila clams doused in sweet basil sauce, hyper-spicy Southern-style curry with crab, and fried chicken wings covered in a chile, lime, and mint powder. The chef’s selection, where an abundance of popular dishes come for $45 per person, is a solid way to try a sampling. Get a cocktail; the Thai-influenced drinks come from Employees Only’s Dev Johnson, and several are available at happy hour for $10.

Fish Cheeks [Official]

24. Katz's Delicatessen

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205 E Houston St
New York, NY
(800) 446-8364
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In more than 125 years, little has changed at Katz's. It remains one of New York's — and the country's — essential Jewish delicatessens. Every inch of the massive Lower East Side space smells intensely of pastrami and rye loaves. The sandwiches are massive, so they are best when shared. Order at the counter, and don't forget to tip the slicer. Get a hot dog while you wait, and don’t lose your ticket.

25. Frenchette

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241 W Broadway
New York, NY 10013
(212) 334-3883
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The everyday French bistro is fresh again at Frenchette, a lively restaurant in Tribeca from the chefs behind mainstays like Balthazar. Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson offer a constantly changing menu with simple yet compelling options like rotisserie lobster, soft scrambled eggs with escargot, and charred carrots. A natural wine list culled by Jorge Riera means that both by-the-glass and bottle lists are worth exploring, too. But a warm room and even warmer service makes Frenchette a modern destination, where downtown dining feels alive. Reservations, or dining in the bar area, are highly recommended, as it gets wildly busy even on weeknights. It’s also now open for lunch and weekend breakfast.

Louise Palmberg/Eater

26. Le Coucou

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138 Lafayette St
New York, NY
(212) 271-4252
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Restaurateur Stephen Starr and chef Daniel Rose take cues from traditional French restaurants, transforming their place into one of the most exciting upscale restaurants in New York. The dining room offers perfect light in a room adorned in stately yet stylish decor. The menu is obvious in its luxuries: Lobster, foie gras, and oysters all make appearances. Also look for dishes like the caviar course and the halibut beurre blanc. For dessert, do not miss the omelette Norvegienne, essentially a baked Alaska. Make a reservation for a special night out.

Nick Solares/Eater

27. Xi'an Famous Foods

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45 Bayard St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 786-2068
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Xi’an Famous Foods, which started as a stand in Flushing, now has more than a dozen locations across NYC. But despite its chain status, the family-run restaurant has maintained quality, gaining cult following status for spicy, tacky hand-ripped noodles. The cumin lamb is particularly popular, but the cold-skin noodles come in close second, often selling out on busy days. Though prices range from location to location, a satisfying meal can be had for under $15 at this counter-service restaurant.

Nick Solares/Eater

28. Cervo's

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43 Canal St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 226-2545
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The team behind cult favorite Bed-Stuy neighborhood restaurant Hart’s run this wine bar and restaurant that turns to the Iberian peninsula for a casual seafood-heavy menu. Ordering several dishes to share is the way to go, with options like manila clams in vino verde, shrimp heads, and Spanish mackerel. Wine is a big draw to the narrow, hip space, featuring a selection of natural options that pair well with fish.

Cervo’s [Official Photo]

29. Kopitiam

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151 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002
(646) 609-3785
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Colorful coffee shop and cafe Kopitiam has plenty of seating for a full meal of Malaysian specialties, but since it’s open all day and has tons of smaller options, the Lower East Side spot from chef Kyo Pang and restaurateur Moonlynn Tsai is also ideal for a mid-afternoon snack with coffee. Go for a curry puff, chicken wrapped in pandan leaves, or any of the sweets. For a bigger meal, options include the nasi lemak (coconut rice with fried anchovies) and pan mee (hand-pulled noodle soup in an anchovy broth). Breakfast is available all day, and both the slightly sweet kaya toast and the umami-laced half-boiled eggs are musts. Everything is under $16 at the counter-service restaurant. Closed on Wednesdays.

Jean Schwarzwalder/Eater

30. Marlow & Sons

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81 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 384-1441
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Marlow & Sons has a lively dining room in the back and a sunny cafe in the front serving excellent pastries and great coffee. On the menu, there are oysters and the famous brick chicken, as well as rustic, seasonal specials. Like its next-door sibling Diner, Marlow & Sons from restaurateur Andrew Tarlow has had an influence that extends far beyond its Williamsburg neighborhood — helping to establish Brooklyn as a seasonal-obsessed, rustically decorated dining destination.

31. Peter Luger Steak House

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178 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 387-7400
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Peter Luger was founded in 1887 when Williamsburg was a city onto itself, and some say Luger is the greatest steakhouse in the world. Even if that’s an overstatement, the steaks are damn good, especially the signature dry-aged prime porterhouse, which flies from the kitchen sizzling and already sliced. Don’t miss the bacon appetizer or lunch-only hamburger either, in these bare-bones and charmingly antique premises.

Nick Solares/Eater

32. Win Son

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159 Graham Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11206
(347) 457-6010
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This casual, lively restaurant on an unassuming corner of East Williamsburg delivers some of the most exciting food in New York right now. Owners Josh Ku and chef Trigg Brown use classic Taiwanese cuisine as a base for the menu, but don’t expect tradition here. Marinated cucumbers reach levels of umami bliss with the addition of mullet roe, and a fluffy, fried egg-coated scallion pancake arrives stuffed with beef tartare. Also worth ordering: Win Son’s version of pork-over-rice classic lu rou fan and the breakfast of champions, a cocktail with rum, peanut milk, black sesame, and lots of toasted coconut shavings. Try brunch, too.

Gary He/Eater

33. Ops

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346 Himrod St
Brooklyn, NY 11237
(718) 386-4009
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Bushwick pizzeria Ops is compact in both dining room size and menu, but the sourdough crust — made with a custom blend with whole wheat flour from upstate New York — has made its Neapolitan-ish pies a favorite of pizza obsessives in the city. Options include a basically perfect marinara or one with guanciale and onions, accompanied by a tight cocktail, wine, and beer list that caps out at $13 a drink. Specials, like a calzone, stand-out as well. Keep in mind that gratuity is already included in prices.

Bill Addison/Eater

34. La Vara

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268 Clinton St
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 422-0065
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Tucked into a tree-lined residential street in Cobble Hill, La Vara is one of the city’s best Iberian spots. Chefs Alex Raij and Eder Montero tip their hats to the Moorish and Sephardic traditions of Spain, serving up coriander and cumin-spiced half chickens, spreadable Menocrcan sausages with honey foam, and suckling pig with rose petal quince sauce. Be sure to book well ahead, as bar seating can command waits in excess of 90 minutes on a weekend.

La Vara [Official Photo]

35. Claro

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284 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(347) 721-3126
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Oaxacan food has yet to become ubiquitous in NYC, and at Claro in Gowanus, chef T.J. Steele puts a decidedly New York — and widely acclaimed — spin on the cuisine. Go for one of the rich, smooth moles or any of the memelas, a flatbread topped with options like pork rib and cheese or chorizo. The yellowfin tostada, a crisp tortilla loaded with fresh raw tuna and bright blood orange, is also a standout. The dimly lit restaurant with both indoor and outdoor space is good for dates or other intimate dinners. Brunch is available as well. Prime time reservations are available, and there’s bar seating, too.

36. Olmsted

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659 Vanderbilt Ave
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 552-2610
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Chef Greg Baxtrom — formerly of fine dining stalwarts like Blue Hill and Alinea — has crafted a dining destination with the look and service of a neighborhood restaurant. A backyard garden both supplies the Prospect Heights restaurant with fresh ingredients and acts as a charming spot to wait for a table. The menu, which is quirky and often earnest, constantly evolves, but signatures like the carrot crepe and frozen yogurt dessert are frequently on deck. It now also offers brunch with an equally creative menu, though expect wild wait times. Mondays are walk-ins only.

Nick Solares/Eater

37. Hometown Bar-B-Que

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454 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY
(347) 294-4644
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Barbecue aficionados agree that Billy Durney is cooking up some of the best Texas-style barbecue in the city. Straightforward classics like smoked brisket and baby back ribs are always a strong choice, but there are also options like pork belly tacos and a lamb belly banh mi. The Red Hook space is sprawling in a way that feels like the real deal, and Durney himself can usually be found working the room, keeping a watchful eye on the smoking meats. It's counter service only, and there's often a line. But for the scene and certainly for the meat, it's easily worth the trip.

38. Peppa's

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738 Flatbush Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11226
(917) 673-6225

Some of the city’s best jerk chicken can be found in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens at take-out spot Peppa’s Jerk Chicken. Gavin Hussey has perfected his own recipe over the last two decades and started slinging the perfectly spiced, perfectly charred bird at Peppa’s on Flatbush in 2004. Add a couple festivals (long sticks of fried dough) to an order of chicken, and bring it to nearby Prospect Park for a picnic. Peppa’s also has a second location in Crown Heights with a few seats and delivery, and an outpost in Flatbush.

Louise Palmberg/Eater

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1. Roberto's

603 Crescent Ave, Bronx, NY 10458
Roberto’s [Official Photo]

Bronx favorite Roberto’s has been around for more than two decades, serving chef Roberto Pacuillo’s Italian American cooking. Any of the cartoccio pastas — cooked in foil on the grill — are worth ordering, like a fusilli with clams, mussels, shrimp, and tomatoes. Rabbit, too, is another specialty of the chef’s. But when visiting the romantic and old-school space, be sure to check the chalkboard of specials, which tend to best anything on the regular menu.

603 Crescent Ave
Bronx, NY 10458

2. Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken

2461 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10027
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Chef Charles Gabriel started his Harlem soul food institution out of his house then moved onto a food truck, and finally to a storefront. The latest rendition of the restaurant is in a more prominent location, though he continues to serve the same tender, crispy chicken cooked in a cast-iron pan that pushed him into the limelight. This new outpost is still humble, with a menu above the counter and cafeteria-style ordering, but also, thankfully, has more seating.

2461 Frederick Douglass Blvd
New York, NY 10027

3. Gregory's 26 Corner Taverna

26-02 23rd Ave, Long Island City, NY 11105
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna has been dishing out homey, traditional Greek cooking in Astoria for years, always with a friendly demeanor. Everything from grilled lamb chops to the Greek salad are solid options, and fish — which comes fried or grilled — is a particularly smart order. Entrees stay under $30, with many options under $20. The petite restaurant with red-and-white checkered tablecloths also has a few outdoor tables in warmer weather. 

26-02 23rd Ave
Long Island City, NY 11105

4. Bolivian Llama Party

1000 S 8th Ave Suite 5.5 Underground @ the corner of 57th st and, 8th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Read Review |
Nick Solares/Eater

Bolivian Llama Party — the tiny counter-service stall inside the Columbus Circle subway station — is one of the few places in New York to offer the hearty cuisine of Bolivia, from the minds of brothers Alex, Patrick, and David Oropeza. The right move is the salteña — a plump pastry pocket with a thick, sweet exterior and a soupy filling. Bite off the tip, suck out all the gelatinous broth, and then eat the chicken and egg-rich dregs ($8). Drizzle on the in-house hot sauce to add a kick. Also look out for the garlic chicken and bacon sandwich.

1000 S 8th Ave Suite 5.5 Underground @ the corner of 57th st and, 8th Ave
New York, NY 10019

5. Torishin

362 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019