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a red saucey plate of beans in a terracotta pot sits next to a colorful mezze platter on a tan table.
A spread of dishes from Al Badawi.
Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

11 Places to Dine Out on a Monday in NYC

Where to find an excellent meal on the quiet weekday

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A spread of dishes from Al Badawi.
| Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

Hear us out: Monday is one of the best nights of the week for dining out. The chaotic weekend crowds have dissipated, the dining rooms are quieter, and grabbing a walk-in seat during prime dinner hours is usually a breeze. It is an off day for a lot of restaurants — especially with staffing shortages industry wide and ongoing operating challenges during the pandemic — but there are still plenty of worthy dining spots that keep their doors open on Mondays. Here are 11 of those places in NYC that are well worth checking out.

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.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Barcha

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2241 1st Avenue, Ground Floor
New York, NY 10029
(646) 455-0046
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East Harlem spot Barcha is not trying to be too fussy or fancy, making it an ideal setting for a lowkey Monday meal. Co-owners and married couple Gloribelle Perez and Walid Mrabet highlight a mixture of recipes from their Dominican and Tunisian backgrounds under the same roof, where shakshuka shares space on the menu with saucy fried chicken jibaritos, empanadas, and the sticky, spicy, crowd-favorite harissa hot honey chicken wings.

2. Cafe Luxembourg

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200 W 70th St
New York, NY 10023
(212) 873-7411
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There are no shortages of French brasseries across NYC, but few similar restaurants can boast Cafe Luxembourg’s scene. On any given night, the dining room and bar is a gathering spot for longtime Upper West Side residents, New York Philharmonic performers, Broadway actors, and all sorts of creative types, from poets to architects. The menu offers reliable standards like strip steaks and pan-roasted salmon, but it’s the buzzy downtown energy (and dim lighting) in a room full of regulars from all sorts of backgrounds that makes hanging out here feel like a night out.

3. Ruta Oaxaca

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35-03 Broadway
Queens, NY 11106
(929) 349-1228
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When a meal on Monday calls for mole — as it often should — Ruta Oaxaca checks that box and then some. The brightly colored Mexican restaurant in Astoria serves four varieties of mole, blanketed over dishes like chicken enchiladas and slow-cooked short ribs. Eater critic Robert Sietsema found the restaurant’s renditions to be excellent in an early review, including a light mole coloradito made with tomatoes and dried fruit that “tastes like sweet sunshine.”

A bare rib sticks out of a lake of brown sauce with deep fried potatoes on the side of the plate.
A short rib with mole coloradito.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

4. Little Mad

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110 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10016
(917) 261-4969
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Koreatown newcomer Little Mad is a more energetic — and slightly chaotic — option for early weeknight dining. For an extra fee, caviar, uni, and truffles can be added to anything on the menu, which is overseen by Le Coucou alum Sol Han. One of the restaurant’s early hits, a beef tartare dotted with smoked tofu puree, arrives at the table with a large, light green maesangi chip and a wooden hammer for diners to smash said chip into tartare-scooping bits.

Shot from the end of a dining room, a photograph of a series of tables set for service with napkins and cups
Inside Little Mad.
Hand Hospitality

5. Çka Ka Qëllu

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118 E 31st St
New York, NY 10016
(212) 213-2082
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Critically praised Çka Ka Qëllu is an impressive display of Albanian food and culture that, despite the ongoing pandemic, keeps expanding at a steady clip. The menu at the rustic Murray Hill outpost, like its siblings in the Bronx and Connecticut, features platters of smoky grilled sausages, ground veal-stuffed dumplings, and slices of dense, crepe-like fli paired with a block of tangy feta.

A step down restaurant with a bright lit sign in red Albanian script.
Çka Ka Qëllu’s Murray Hill location.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

6. Chama Mama

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149 W 14th St
New York, NY 10011
(646) 438-9007
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Georgian stalwart Chama Mama can get slammed on the weekends, but Monday diners are well-rewarded with shorter wait times and faster access to tangy pickled vegetables, plates of hefty, broth-filled khinkali, or dumplings, and the fan-favorite blistered cheese vessels known as adjaruli khachapuri.

7. Khiladi NYC

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175 Avenue B
New York, NY 10009
(646) 791-0351
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Like most people dining out on a Monday night, South Indian restaurant Kilahdi, run by chef and owner Sruthi Chowdary, doesn’t take itself too seriously. The dishes are named with a smile and a wink — there’s the “ofcourse tikki masala!” and panipuri-like “balls of happiness” — and the relaxed atmosphere feels like walking into a particularly welcoming friend’s apartment.

8. Suki

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111 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10003
(917) 999-6672
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This minimalist East Village space is a well-known destination for Japanese curry that, lucky for New York, also happens to be open seven days a week. A top entry point is the chicken katsu curry, which comes with panko-crusted chicken slices to dip in the curry and a cooling cabbage salad served alongside.

9. Cozy Royale

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434 Humboldt St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 734-2792
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Melt into a comfy seat at easygoing hangout Cozy Royale, from the meat masters behind Brooklyn butcher shop the Meat Hook. There are craggy fried bloomin’ onions, a plate-sized chicken Milanese, and a sturdy beef burger that is, as expected, pretty darn good.

A cheeseburger on a well browned bun sits on a white plate with a cup of sauce placed alongside.
Cozy Royale’s burger.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

10. Hop Kee

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21 Mott St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 964-8365
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A decades-old mainstay in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Cantonese spot Hop Kee is one of the most reliable spots in the city to drop in for an early weekday feast. A steep stairwell leads into the legendary basement space, where diners fill their tables with platters of beef chow fun, chop suey, and a popular Cantonese-style crab with black bean sauce.

11. Al Badawi

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151 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 689-5888
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The hitmakers behind Bay Ridge Palestinian favorite Ayat have applied their playbook to a bigger, full-service space in Brooklyn Heights, where Al Badawi debuted late last year. The restaurant turns out family-style favorites like the mansaf, with marinated lamb shanks, along with new options like an extensive menu of flatbreads topped in a variety of meats and cheeses. The best perch in the 100-seat house is the counter opposite the pizza oven, according to Eater critic Robert Sietsema.

A reddish brown chicken on top of chopped onions and red peppers with slivered almond garnish.
Msakhan on a flatbread.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

1. Barcha

2241 1st Avenue, Ground Floor, New York, NY 10029

East Harlem spot Barcha is not trying to be too fussy or fancy, making it an ideal setting for a lowkey Monday meal. Co-owners and married couple Gloribelle Perez and Walid Mrabet highlight a mixture of recipes from their Dominican and Tunisian backgrounds under the same roof, where shakshuka shares space on the menu with saucy fried chicken jibaritos, empanadas, and the sticky, spicy, crowd-favorite harissa hot honey chicken wings.

2241 1st Avenue, Ground Floor
New York, NY 10029

2. Cafe Luxembourg

200 W 70th St, New York, NY 10023

There are no shortages of French brasseries across NYC, but few similar restaurants can boast Cafe Luxembourg’s scene. On any given night, the dining room and bar is a gathering spot for longtime Upper West Side residents, New York Philharmonic performers, Broadway actors, and all sorts of creative types, from poets to architects. The menu offers reliable standards like strip steaks and pan-roasted salmon, but it’s the buzzy downtown energy (and dim lighting) in a room full of regulars from all sorts of backgrounds that makes hanging out here feel like a night out.

200 W 70th St
New York, NY 10023

3. Ruta Oaxaca

35-03 Broadway, Queens, NY 11106
A bare rib sticks out of a lake of brown sauce with deep fried potatoes on the side of the plate.
A short rib with mole coloradito.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

When a meal on Monday calls for mole — as it often should — Ruta Oaxaca checks that box and then some. The brightly colored Mexican restaurant in Astoria serves four varieties of mole, blanketed over dishes like chicken enchiladas and slow-cooked short ribs. Eater critic Robert Sietsema found the restaurant’s renditions to be excellent in an early review, including a light mole coloradito made with tomatoes and dried fruit that “tastes like sweet sunshine.”

35-03 Broadway
Queens, NY 11106

4. Little Mad

110 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016
Shot from the end of a dining room, a photograph of a series of tables set for service with napkins and cups
Inside Little Mad.
Hand Hospitality

Koreatown newcomer Little Mad is a more energetic — and slightly chaotic — option for early weeknight dining. For an extra fee, caviar, uni, and truffles can be added to anything on the menu, which is overseen by Le Coucou alum Sol Han. One of the restaurant’s early hits, a beef tartare dotted with smoked tofu puree, arrives at the table with a large, light green maesangi chip and a wooden hammer for diners to smash said chip into tartare-scooping bits.

110 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10016

5. Çka Ka Qëllu

118 E 31st St, New York, NY 10016
A step down restaurant with a bright lit sign in red Albanian script.
Çka Ka Qëllu’s Murray Hill location.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Critically praised Çka Ka Qëllu is an impressive display of Albanian food and culture that, despite the ongoing pandemic, keeps expanding at a steady clip. The menu at the rustic Murray Hill outpost, like its siblings in the Bronx and Connecticut, features platters of smoky grilled sausages, ground veal-stuffed dumplings, and slices of dense, crepe-like fli paired with a block of tangy feta.

118 E 31st St
New York, NY 10016

6. Chama Mama

149 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

Georgian stalwart Chama Mama can get slammed on the weekends, but Monday diners are well-rewarded with shorter wait times and faster access to tangy pickled vegetables, plates of hefty, broth-filled khinkali, or dumplings, and the fan-favorite blistered cheese vessels known as adjaruli khachapuri.

149 W 14th St
New York, NY 10011

7. Khiladi NYC

175 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

Like most people dining out on a Monday night, South Indian restaurant Kilahdi, run by chef and owner Sruthi Chowdary, doesn’t take itself too seriously. The dishes are named with a smile and a wink — there’s the “ofcourse tikki masala!” and panipuri-like “balls of happiness” — and the relaxed atmosphere feels like walking into a particularly welcoming friend’s apartment.

175 Avenue B
New York, NY 10009

8. Suki

111 1st Ave., New York, NY 10003

This minimalist East Village space is a well-known destination for Japanese curry that, lucky for New York, also happens to be open seven days a week. A top entry point is the chicken katsu curry, which comes with panko-crusted chicken slices to dip in the curry and a cooling cabbage salad served alongside.

111 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10003

9. Cozy Royale

434 Humboldt St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
A cheeseburger on a well browned bun sits on a white plate with a cup of sauce placed alongside.
Cozy Royale’s burger.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Melt into a comfy seat at easygoing hangout Cozy Royale, from the meat masters behind Brooklyn butcher shop the Meat Hook. There are craggy fried bloomin’ onions, a plate-sized chicken Milanese, and a sturdy beef burger that is, as expected, pretty darn good.

434 Humboldt St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

10. Hop Kee

21 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

A decades-old mainstay in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Cantonese spot Hop Kee is one of the most reliable spots in the city to drop in for an early weekday feast. A steep stairwell leads into the legendary basement space, where diners fill their tables with platters of beef chow fun, chop suey, and a popular Cantonese-style crab with black bean sauce.

21 Mott St
New York, NY 10013

11. Al Badawi

151 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
A reddish brown chicken on top of chopped onions and red peppers with slivered almond garnish.
Msakhan on a flatbread.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The hitmakers behind Bay Ridge Palestinian favorite Ayat have applied their playbook to a bigger, full-service space in Brooklyn Heights, where Al Badawi debuted late last year. The restaurant turns out family-style favorites like the mansaf, with marinated lamb shanks, along with new options like an extensive menu of flatbreads topped in a variety of meats and cheeses. The best perch in the 100-seat house is the counter opposite the pizza oven, according to Eater critic Robert Sietsema.

151 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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