clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
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

View as Map
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.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Cafe Luxembourg

Copy Link

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 are 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.

Ruta Oaxaca

Copy Link

When a meal on Monday calls for mole — as it should — Ruta Oaxaca checks that box and then some. The brightly colored Mexican restaurant in Astoria serves multiple varieties of mole blanketed over chicken and slow-cooked short ribs, as well as crispy fish tacos, chipotle-marinated shrimp with pineapple salsa, and baby-back ribs coated in a guava chipotle glaze. Eater critic Robert Sietsema found the restaurant to be excellent in an early review.

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

Arepa Lady

Copy Link

This food cart-turned-permanent restaurant — founded by Maria Cano, otherwise known as the Arepa Lady — enjoys a citywide fanbase for its fluffy, steaming arepas filled with chicken, beef, chicharron, and mounds of melty cheese. A second location in Astoria is also open on Mondays.

Little Mad

Copy Link

If you’re looking to start the week off with a bang, Koreatown newcomer Little Mad is a more energetic option for early weeknight dining. (It’s also a ‘Best restaurant in America’ on the New York Times’ list. )For an extra fee, caviar, uni, and truffles can be added to anything on the $75 set 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

Çka Ka Qëllu

Copy Link

Critically praised Çka Ka Qëllu is an impressive display of Albanian food and culture that keeps expanding at a steady clip. The menu at the rustic, relatively new 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

Chama Mama

Copy Link

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

Khiladi NYC

Copy Link

Like most people dining out on a Monday night, South Indian restaurant Khiladi, 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 the pani puri-like “balls of happiness” — and the relaxed atmosphere feels like walking into a particularly welcoming friend’s apartment.

Cozy Royale

Copy Link

Melt into a comfy seat at easygoing hangout Cozy Royale, from the meat masters behind Brooklyn butcher shop the Meat Hook. There’s smoked trout dip with bagel crisps, a half chicken slathered in a tamarind barbecue sauce with macaroni salad and corn on the cob on the side, 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

Hop Kee

Copy Link

A decades-old mainstay in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Cantonese American 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.

Al Badawi

Copy Link

The hitmakers behind Bay Ridge Palestinian favorite Ayat have applied their party-ready playbook to a bigger, full-service space in Brooklyn Heights, where Al Badawi debuted in late 2021. The BYOB 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.

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

Cafe Rue Dix

Copy Link

Cafe Rue Dix, a snug corner cafe selling Senegalese and French fare in Crown Heights, is an excellent choice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner on a Monday. It stocks a house blend of Senegalese coffee and an expansive tea menu (available by the cup to-go, or in a pot to stay) with pastries and egg platters available until 3 p.m. A separate all-day menu that includes duck confit croquettes served with the restaurant’s Senegalese hot sauce, and a grilled whole branzino with sweet plantains, starts at 12 p.m. No order is complete without a handful of the cafe’s sugar-dusted beignets for dessert.

Cafe Luxembourg

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 are 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.

Ruta Oaxaca

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 should — Ruta Oaxaca checks that box and then some. The brightly colored Mexican restaurant in Astoria serves multiple varieties of mole blanketed over chicken and slow-cooked short ribs, as well as crispy fish tacos, chipotle-marinated shrimp with pineapple salsa, and baby-back ribs coated in a guava chipotle glaze. Eater critic Robert Sietsema found the restaurant to be excellent in an early review.

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

Arepa Lady

This food cart-turned-permanent restaurant — founded by Maria Cano, otherwise known as the Arepa Lady — enjoys a citywide fanbase for its fluffy, steaming arepas filled with chicken, beef, chicharron, and mounds of melty cheese. A second location in Astoria is also open on Mondays.

Little Mad

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

If you’re looking to start the week off with a bang, Koreatown newcomer Little Mad is a more energetic option for early weeknight dining. (It’s also a ‘Best restaurant in America’ on the New York Times’ list. )For an extra fee, caviar, uni, and truffles can be added to anything on the $75 set 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

Çka Ka Qëllu

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 keeps expanding at a steady clip. The menu at the rustic, relatively new 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

Chama Mama

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

Khiladi NYC

Like most people dining out on a Monday night, South Indian restaurant Khiladi, 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 the pani puri-like “balls of happiness” — and the relaxed atmosphere feels like walking into a particularly welcoming friend’s apartment.

Cozy Royale

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’s smoked trout dip with bagel crisps, a half chicken slathered in a tamarind barbecue sauce with macaroni salad and corn on the cob on the side, 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

Hop Kee

A decades-old mainstay in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Cantonese American 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.

Al Badawi

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 party-ready playbook to a bigger, full-service space in Brooklyn Heights, where Al Badawi debuted in late 2021. The BYOB 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.

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

Cafe Rue Dix

Cafe Rue Dix, a snug corner cafe selling Senegalese and French fare in Crown Heights, is an excellent choice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner on a Monday. It stocks a house blend of Senegalese coffee and an expansive tea menu (available by the cup to-go, or in a pot to stay) with pastries and egg platters available until 3 p.m. A separate all-day menu that includes duck confit croquettes served with the restaurant’s Senegalese hot sauce, and a grilled whole branzino with sweet plantains, starts at 12 p.m. No order is complete without a handful of the cafe’s sugar-dusted beignets for dessert.

Related Maps