clock menu more-arrow no yes

The Hottest Restaurants in Manhattan Right Now, December 2014

View as Map

More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot, which favorite chef just launched a sophomore effort, what Michael White is up to these days. And while the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the "it" places of the moment. Thus, we offer the Eater Heatmap, which will change continually to always highlight where the crowds are flocking to at the moment.

Check out the map of Manhattan's 20 hottest restaurants below, then take a look at the hottest restaurants in Brooklyn and Queens.

Restaurants are listed by opening date.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Dirty French

Copy Link
Read Review |
180 Ludlow St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 254-3000
Visit Website
The Torrisi team's very first venture into the realm of French dining is one of the most anticipated restaurants of the season. The restaurant, which is on the ground floor of the Ludlow Hotel, has a menu that spans French-influenced regions ranging from Morocco to New Orleans. Plus, in typical Torrisi fashion, there are a few showstoppers, including tableside oyster service. [Daniel Krieger]

2. Marta

Copy Link
Read Review |
29 E 29th Street
New York, NY
(212) 651-3800
Visit Website
Danny Meyer's white hot new pizzeria is a tough table to get these days, but if you can land a seat, Nick Anderer is turning out excellent thin-crusted Roman pies, as well as dishes like rabbit meatballs and wood-grilled beer can chicken. Plus, since it's located in the Martha Washington Hotel, Marta is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. [Daniel Krieger]

3. Birds & Bubbles

Copy Link
100B Forsyth St
New York, NY 10002
(646) 368-9240
Visit Website
Sarah Simmons, the chef behind supper club event space City Grit, has just opened this ode to Champagne and fried chicken in the old Grotto space. Fried chicken, of course, is the center of the menu, but there are also dishes like crawfish etouffee, buttermilk braised pork shank, and green bean casserole. [Daniel Krieger]

4. GG's

Copy Link
511 E 5th St
New York, NY 10009
(212) 687-3641
Visit Website
Nick Morgenstern recently gave Goat Town a total revamp to reopen it as GG's, a pizza and pasta-focused restaurant. The pies range from a classic Grandma to one with lamb chorizo and sauce vert, and all the pastas are baked. The menu also includes dishes like a burger and cast iron chicken, and so far the early word on those pizzas is very strong. [Bess Adler]

5. Empellón Al Pastor

Copy Link
132 Saint Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009
(212) 367-0999
Visit Website
With two more upscale Mexican restaurants already under his belt, Alex Stupak has now added this dive-inspired taco bar to his Empellon family. There's a long list of tequila cocktails and micheladas (some designed by chefs like Wylie Dufresne), and a shorter list of classic tacos and sides, which have to be ordered at a counter. Robert Sietsema and Ryan Sutton agree that the namesake al pastor is the way to go. [Daniel Krieger]

6. The Little Beet Table

Copy Link
333 Park Ave S
New York, NY 10010
Franklin Becker just opened this full-service offshoot of his popular, health-conscious Midtown lunch spot. The menu is entirely gluten-free, and heavy on the vegetables, but that doesn't mean there's not a burger and a roast chicken on the menu. Otherwise expect green juice alongside straightforward cocktails, and dishes like mushroom flatbread, grilled carrots with whipped ricotta, and quinoa "risotto." [Bess Adler]

7. Kappo Masa

Copy Link
976 Madison avenue
New York, NY 10075
Masa Takayama, the sushi chef responsible for New York's most expensive tasting menu (at Masa), has teamed up with Larry Gagosian to open this restaurant in the Upper East Side Gagosian Gallery. The menu is lengthy, ranging from spicy wings to traditional sushi rolls to the trademarked noodles made entirely out of fish, and features plenty of toro and caviar. Don't expect prices to be much gentler than Masa. [Daniel Krieger]

8. Cosme

Copy Link
Read Review |
35 E 21st Street
New York, NY
(212) 913-9659
Visit Website
This modern Mexican restaurant from acclaimed Mexico City chef Enrique Olvera is one of the most wildly anticipated openings of the fall. The menu includes a mussel tostada with Russian salad, burrata with salsa verde and "weeds," duck carnitas, and freshly pressed tortillas made from heirloom varieties of corn from Mexico. Tables are allegedly booked up until 2015, but it still possible to walk in and wait, or sit in the lounge up front and dine on bar snacks like guacamole or the burrata. [Daniel Krieger]

9. Upland

Copy Link
Read Review |
345 Park Ave S
New York, NY 10010
(212) 686-1006
Visit Website
Former Il Buco Alimentari chef Justin Smillie just opened this big California-style brasserie with Philly-bsed big box restaurateur Stephen Starr. The seasonal menu leans Italian, with some pizzas and pastas like spaghetti with sea urchin, and pappardelle with sausage ragu. Other dishes range from lobster ceviche to a shortrib for two with olives, walnuts, and celery. [Daniel Krieger]

10. Bowery Meat Company

Copy Link
Read Review |
9 E 1st St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 460-5255
Visit Website
A modern version of a steakhouse from John McDonald and chef Josh Capon (both of Lure, El Toro Blanco, B&B). The menu isn't without the classics — there's a New York strip, a burger, and a broiled lobster — but it also includes a duck lasagna for two, foie gras parfait, and live sea scallop. And the space (once home to Veselka Bowery) is now dark and modern, and includes the salvaged remains of MercBar in the ceiling. [Photo courtesy BMCo]

11. Little Park at the Smyth

Copy Link
85 W Broadway
New York, NY 10007
(212) 220-4110
Andrew Carmellini, Josh Pickard, and Luke Ostrom just opened this stylish, modern hotel restaurant. Here the focus is on all things seasonal and local, and the menu includes a lengthy section devoted to vegetables. Expect dishes like beet tartare, artichoke stuffed with lamb, kale ravioli, and a fire-roasted dry aged duck. Tucked away behind a fireplace in the hotel lobby is also Evening Bar, Carmellini's cocktail lounge, which is serving up both classic and original cocktails, including one "porcini nog" made with actual mushrooms. [Daniel Krieger]

12. SHUKO

Copy Link
47 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 228-6088
Visit Website
This new sushi restaurant from former Neta chefs Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau has just 20 seats, and offers two menus: a sushi-only omakase, or a longer kaiseke-style omakase. The former costs $135, the latter is $175. The menus change, but expect clean, classic sushi, occasionally dressed up with luxe ingredients like truffles and caviar. [Daniel Krieger]

13. Kang Ho Dong Baekjong

Copy Link
319 5th Ave
New York, NY 10016
The first Manhattan outpost of a wildly popular Korean barbecue chain run by Korean comedian/wrestler Kang Ho Dong. There's also an outpost in Flushing, but that one's a franchise, and under different management. This is the chain's flagship, and Momofuku vet Deuki Hong is at the helm in the kitchen. The restaurant has already been generating a lot of buzz, especially among those familiar with the LA outpost, which has a cult following that includes critic Jonathan Gold. [Photo courtesy Kang Ho Dong Baekjong]

14. Chefs Club by Food & Wine NY

Copy Link
275 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 941-1100
Visit Website
Food & Wine magazine just opened this guest chef-centric restaurant in the Puck building. Every season, four top notch guest chefs from across the country contribute a few dishes to the menu, and do at least a brief stint in the kitchen. Right now those chefs include Gabriel Rucker of Portland's Le Pigeon and Erik Anderson, formerly of the Catbird Seat, serving dishes like smoked and seared foie gras, and a bone-in strip steak for two. The rest of the menu, and the kitchen, is overseen by former Adour chef Didier Elena. [Daniel Krieger]

15. Via Carota

Copy Link
Read Review |
51 Grove St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 255-1962
Visit Website
Jody Williams and Rita Sodi, who have already won over the West Village with Buvette and I Sodi, just opened this rustic Italian restaurant right up the block from Buvette. The menu includes many small plates, plus a few pastas and meat dishes. From an early visit, Robert Sietsema likes nearly everything, but especially the fried artichokes, the grilled sardines, and the guinea hen. [Daniel Krieger]

16. Dojo Izakaya

Copy Link
38 Avenue B
New York, NY 10009
(212) 253-5311
Sushi whiz David Bouhadana recently opened this casual offshoot of his hit Sushi Dojo. The menu includes house-made soba noodles, served in various hot or cold iterations, plus plenty of grilled or fried things like uni cream-filled croquettes and miso-marinated grilled pork neck. [Photo: Kat Odell]

17. Almanac

Copy Link
28 7th Ave S
New York, NY 10014
(212) 255-1795
Chef Galen Zamarra has transformed his once grill-centric restaurant Mas (La Grillade) into the very seasonal, tasting menu-focused Almanac. Now he offers the choice of a three-course prix fixe (for $75), a five-course tasting menu (for $95), or an eight-course tasting menu (for $145), all of which change almost daily. While it's winter, expect dishes like mushroom-stuffed cabbage, squash with lamb bacon, and duck with sweet potato hash. [Daniel Krieger]

18. Pier A Harbor House

Copy Link
22 Battery Pl
New York, NY 10004
For the first time in its 128-year history, this once-decrepit city building is open to the public. Also for the first time, it now houses a massive beer hall on its first floor, from restaurateurs Harry and Peter Poulakakos. The menu is German pub meets raw bar, with seafood towers, clam chowder, soft pretzels, and bratwurst, but the space (and the view) is the real draw here. Early next year, Poulakakos and team will open several more upscale restaurants on the second floor. [Daniel Krieger]

19. Happy Ending

Copy Link
302 Broome St
New York, NY 10002
Gallery owner Max Levai and Oliver Stumm of Café Select and Rintintin recently took over this former music venue dive and gave it a retro makeover. They kept the name, but changed just about everything else, transforming it into restaurant with French, Italian, and Asian leanings. Francis Gabarrus, who once ran France's Michelin-starred La Ville Stings, is the chef in charge, turning out dishes like salmon with green curry sauce and bacalao tagliatelle. [Daniel Krieger]

20. Momofuku Ko

Copy Link
Read Review |
8 Extra Pl
New York, NY 10003
(212) 203-8095
Visit Website
David Chang's Michelin-starred tasting counter just packed up and moved to a larger space on Extra Place. The menu is longer and more expensive now at $175 a head, and much of it is new (although a few old classics, like the shaved foie gras and lychee, still made the cut). There are more seats around the counter, a separate bar, and even a couple tables, which will be used for reverse wine pairing dinners, in which chef Sean Gray builds a meal around wines chosen by the diners. Note that just because it's bigger, doesn't mean it's any easier to get a seat.

1. Dirty French

180 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002
Read Review |
The Torrisi team's very first venture into the realm of French dining is one of the most anticipated restaurants of the season. The restaurant, which is on the ground floor of the Ludlow Hotel, has a menu that spans French-influenced regions ranging from Morocco to New Orleans. Plus, in typical Torrisi fashion, there are a few showstoppers, including tableside oyster service. [Daniel Krieger]
180 Ludlow St
New York, NY 10002

2. Marta

29 E 29th Street, New York, NY
Read Review |
Danny Meyer's white hot new pizzeria is a tough table to get these days, but if you can land a seat, Nick Anderer is turning out excellent thin-crusted Roman pies, as well as dishes like rabbit meatballs and wood-grilled beer can chicken. Plus, since it's located in the Martha Washington Hotel, Marta is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. [Daniel Krieger]
29 E 29th Street
New York, NY

3. Birds & Bubbles

100B Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002
Sarah Simmons, the chef behind supper club event space City Grit, has just opened this ode to Champagne and fried chicken in the old Grotto space. Fried chicken, of course, is the center of the menu, but there are also dishes like crawfish etouffee, buttermilk braised pork shank, and green bean casserole. [Daniel Krieger]
100B Forsyth St
New York, NY 10002

4. GG's

511 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009
Nick Morgenstern recently gave Goat Town a total revamp to reopen it as GG's, a pizza and pasta-focused restaurant. The pies range from a classic Grandma to one with lamb chorizo and sauce vert, and all the pastas are baked. The menu also includes dishes like a burger and cast iron chicken, and so far the early word on those pizzas is very strong. [Bess Adler]
511 E 5th St
New York, NY 10009

5. Empellón Al Pastor

132 Saint Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
With two more upscale Mexican restaurants already under his belt, Alex Stupak has now added this dive-inspired taco bar to his Empellon family. There's a long list of tequila cocktails and micheladas (some designed by chefs like Wylie Dufresne), and a shorter list of classic tacos and sides, which have to be ordered at a counter. Robert Sietsema and Ryan Sutton agree that the namesake al pastor is the way to go. [Daniel Krieger]
132 Saint Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009

6. The Little Beet Table

333 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010
Franklin Becker just opened this full-service offshoot of his popular, health-conscious Midtown lunch spot. The menu is entirely gluten-free, and heavy on the vegetables, but that doesn't mean there's not a burger and a roast chicken on the menu. Otherwise expect green juice alongside straightforward cocktails, and dishes like mushroom flatbread, grilled carrots with whipped ricotta, and quinoa "risotto." [Bess Adler]
333 Park Ave S
New York, NY 10010

7. Kappo Masa

976 Madison avenue, New York, NY 10075
Masa Takayama, the sushi chef responsible for New York's most expensive tasting menu (at Masa), has teamed up with Larry Gagosian to open this restaurant in the Upper East Side Gagosian Gallery. The menu is lengthy, ranging from spicy wings to traditional sushi rolls to the trademarked noodles made entirely out of fish, and features plenty of toro and caviar. Don't expect prices to be much gentler than Masa. [Daniel Krieger]
976 Madison avenue
New York, NY 10075

8. Cosme

35 E 21st Street, New York, NY
Read Review |
This modern Mexican restaurant from acclaimed Mexico City chef Enrique Olvera is one of the most wildly anticipated openings of the fall. The menu includes a mussel tostada with Russian salad, burrata with salsa verde and "weeds," duck carnitas, and freshly pressed tortillas made from heirloom varieties of corn from Mexico. Tables are allegedly booked up until 2015, but it still possible to walk in and wait, or sit in the lounge up front and dine on bar snacks like guacamole or the burrata. [Daniel Krieger]
35 E 21st Street
New York, NY

9. Upland

345 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010
Read Review |
Former Il Buco Alimentari chef Justin Smillie just opened this big California-style brasserie with Philly-bsed big box restaurateur Stephen Starr. The seasonal menu leans Italian, with some pizzas and pastas like spaghetti with sea urchin, and pappardelle with sausage ragu. Other dishes range from lobster ceviche to a shortrib for two with olives, walnuts, and celery. [Daniel Krieger]
345 Park Ave S
New York, NY 10010

10. Bowery Meat Company

9 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003
Read Review |
A modern version of a steakhouse from John McDonald and chef Josh Capon (both of Lure, El Toro Blanco, B&B). The menu isn't without the classics — there's a New York strip, a burger, and a broiled lobster — but it also includes a duck lasagna for two, foie gras parfait, and live sea scallop. And the space (once home to Veselka Bowery) is now dark and modern, and includes the salvaged remains of MercBar in the ceiling. [Photo courtesy BMCo]
9 E 1st St
New York, NY 10003

11. Little Park at the Smyth

85 W Broadway, New York, NY 10007
Andrew Carmellini, Josh Pickard, and Luke Ostrom just opened this stylish, modern hotel restaurant. Here the focus is on all things seasonal and local, and the menu includes a lengthy section devoted to vegetables. Expect dishes like beet tartare, artichoke stuffed with lamb, kale ravioli, and a fire-roasted dry aged duck. Tucked away behind a fireplace in the hotel lobby is also Evening Bar, Carmellini's cocktail lounge, which is serving up both classic and original cocktails, including one "porcini nog" made with actual mushrooms. [Daniel Krieger]
85 W Broadway
New York, NY 10007

12. SHUKO

47 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003
This new sushi restaurant from former Neta chefs Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau has just 20 seats, and offers two menus: a sushi-only omakase, or a longer kaiseke-style omakase. The former costs $135, the latter is $175. The menus change, but expect clean, classic sushi, occasionally dressed up with luxe ingredients like truffles and caviar. [Daniel Krieger]
47 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10003

13. Kang Ho Dong Baekjong

319 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016
The first Manhattan outpost of a wildly popular Korean barbecue chain run by Korean comedian/wrestler Kang Ho Dong. There's also an outpost in Flushing, but that one's a franchise, and under different management. This is the chain's flagship, and Momofuku vet Deuki Hong is at the helm in the kitchen. The restaurant has already been generating a lot of buzz, especially among those familiar with the LA outpost, which has a cult following that includes critic Jonathan Gold. [Photo courtesy Kang Ho Dong Baekjong]
319 5th Ave
New York, NY 10016

14. Chefs Club by Food & Wine NY

275 Mulberry Street, New York, NY 10012
Food & Wine magazine just opened this guest chef-centric restaurant in the Puck building. Every season, four top notch guest chefs from across the country contribute a few dishes to the menu, and do at least a brief stint in the kitchen. Right now those chefs include Gabriel Rucker of Portland's Le Pigeon and Erik Anderson, formerly of the Catbird Seat, serving dishes like smoked and seared foie gras, and a bone-in strip steak for two. The rest of the menu, and the kitchen, is overseen by former Adour chef Didier Elena. [Daniel Krieger]
275 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10012

15. Via Carota

51 Grove St, New York, NY 10014
Read Review |
Jody Williams and Rita Sodi, who have already won over the West Village with Buvette and I Sodi, just opened this rustic Italian restaurant right up the block from Buvette. The menu includes many small plates, plus a few pastas and meat dishes. From an early visit, Robert Sietsema likes nearly everything, but especially the fried artichokes, the grilled sardines, and the guinea hen. [Daniel Krieger]
51 Grove St
New York, NY 10014

Related Maps

16. Dojo Izakaya

38 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009
Sushi whiz David Bouhadana recently opened this casual offshoot of his hit Sushi Dojo. The menu includes house-made soba noodles, served in various hot or cold iterations, plus plenty of grilled or fried things like uni cream-filled croquettes and miso-marinated grilled pork neck. [Photo: Kat Odell]
38 Avenue B
New York, NY 10009

17. Almanac

28 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014
Chef Galen Zamarra has transformed his once grill-centric restaurant Mas (La Grillade) into the very seasonal, tasting menu-focused Almanac. Now he offers the choice of a three-course prix fixe (for $75), a five-course tasting menu (for $95), or an eight-course tasting menu (for $145), all of which change almost daily. While it's winter, expect dishes like mushroom-stuffed cabbage, squash with lamb bacon, and duck with sweet potato hash. [Daniel Krieger]
28 7th Ave S
New York, NY 10014

18. Pier A Harbor House

22 Battery Pl, New York, NY 10004
For the first time in its 128-year history, this once-decrepit city building is open to the public. Also for the first time, it now houses a massive beer hall on its first floor, from restaurateurs Harry and Peter Poulakakos. The menu is German pub meets raw bar, with seafood towers, clam chowder, soft pretzels, and bratwurst, but the space (and the view) is the real draw here. Early next year, Poulakakos and team will open several more upscale restaurants on the second floor. [Daniel Krieger]
22 Battery Pl
New York, NY 10004

19. Happy Ending

302 Broome St, New York, NY 10002
Gallery owner Max Levai and Oliver Stumm of Café Select and Rintintin recently took over this former music venue dive and gave it a retro makeover. They kept the name, but changed just about everything else, transforming it into restaurant with French, Italian, and Asian leanings. Francis Gabarrus, who once ran France's Michelin-starred La Ville Stings, is the chef in charge, turning out dishes like salmon with green curry sauce and bacalao tagliatelle. [Daniel Krieger]
302 Broome St
New York, NY 10002

20. Momofuku Ko

8 Extra Pl, New York, NY 10003
Read Review |
David Chang's Michelin-starred tasting counter just packed up and moved to a larger space on Extra Place. The menu is longer and more expensive now at $175 a head, and much of it is new (although a few old classics, like the shaved foie gras and lychee, still made the cut). There are more seats around the counter, a separate bar, and even a couple tables, which will be used for reverse wine pairing dinners, in which chef Sean Gray builds a meal around wines chosen by the diners. Note that just because it's bigger, doesn't mean it's any easier to get a seat.
8 Extra Pl
New York, NY 10003

Related Maps