New York

NYC's Most Noteworthy Restaurant Openings of 2019 (So Far)

Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

The race to keep up with new restaurant and bar openings in New York City is fueled by a cocktail of competition and necessity. Plenty of people revel in the rush of being among the first to try a promising addition to the culinary scene, and there’s always a looming danger that if you don’t get in early, and the place turns out to be a hit, you might never nab a table.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that every addition is worth your time, money, and hashtags. Dozens of dining and drinking destinations have already landed in NYC this year — many in Hudson Yards alone. But the unending drive toward novelty means that you might encounter a few duds before you find a new favorite. The ventures that might endure are all worth returning to even after that new car smell fades and the next hot spot pops. These are the best new restaurants and bars to open in New York City in 2019… so far.

Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Crown Shy

Financial DistrictSpecial occasion dining for any occasion
Crown Shy’s semi-secluded spot on a sedate-after-dark street in Lower Manhattan betrays its landmarked building’s grand interior. Three subtly varied dining experiences flow through it’s sweeping, 120-seat space. The long, slinky marble bar is a chic downtown destination for mysterious strangers and romantic evenings for one; the Pine Street-facing room is spacious enough for clandestine conversations; and you’ll get dinner and a show in the open kitchen-adjacent section toward the back. The excellent menu’s cylindrical Gruyère fritters, braised short ribs for two, and even the complimentary warm olive bread merit return trips, and the bar’s signature Crown cocktails (each built around a different spirit) practically require them. [Find reservations on OpenTable.]

Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Wayan

NolitaLegacy fare that lives up to its name
Lucky for Chef Cedric Vongerichten, the plump shrimp satay, generously proportioned peekytoe crab cake, hearty baby back pork ribs, and lobster tangled with long ribbons of noodles at his solo premiere are all fun to eat and good enough to slake any expectations tied to his bold family name. The French-Indonesian restaurant is also beautiful from the outside in. It’s exterior is adorned in subtle flashes of bronze, the bar turns out inventive but accessible cocktails beneath a halo of foliage, and the main dining room’s golden hues bounce off of pale exposed brick and carved wood. [Find reservations on Resy.]

The Fly
The Fly
The Fly

The Fly

Bed-StuyA new neighborhood go-to sans surprises
From the team behind Cervo’s and Hart’s, The Fly is simultaneously making the chicken dinner interesting and keeping things simple. Dinner here — where the wine, beer, and cocktail list is longer than the food menu — is the easiest decision you’ll make all week. You’ll order rotisserie chicken bursting through its crispy skin, maybe zag and try it in sandwich form, and tack on a side of french fries, warm greens, or salad. Then you can power down your brain and rinse away any other impending decisions with familiar tipples like the lemon drop, dirty martini, or Pimm’s cup.

Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Van Da

East VillageModern Vietnamese with myriad possibilities
Van Da’s dining areas are split in two: cozy, light and bright at sidewalk level; dimly lit and intimate downstairs. Its menu is cut into categories, too (“sidewalk classics, reinvented”; “ancient, refined, royal”; “traditional, authentic, subtle”; “bold, modern, driven”), but it’s still hard to choose. Try to hit a few sections. The seasonal greens with fermented tofu are perky and refreshing, the grilled cheese and shot of pho broth marries satiny provolone with yielding short rib to decadent effect, the crispy mochi dumplings’ texture is a welcome pivot from the textbook variety, and the tamarind-glazed pork ribs are emboldened by fish sauce caramel. A new, three course tasting menu for $45 per person is an ideal intro to Van Da’s offerings. Libations like the Turtle Gin and Tonic (enlivened by cucumber juice and mint) and HoChiSmokey (a margarita cousin incorporating mango and aperol) will ease you out of your typical cocktail routine. [Find reservations on Resy.]

Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Maison Yaki

Prospect HeightsFinger foods and small plates from a neighborhood staple
Perennial Brooklyn favorite Olmsted opened three years ago and it still isn’t easy to nab a primetime table, so scoot into its new sister venture ASAP. Maison Yaki’s casual back patio and half the spots in its narrow, colorful, kicky dining room are dedicated to walk-ins, so you might be able to try crispy golden frog legs, earthy escargot in shiso butter, novel duck a l’orange (Surprise: It’s on a skewer!), and supple scallops in sauce maltaise before the crowds come. If you’ve heard anything about this place, it’s that nothing on the menu exceeds $9 — not even on-tap cocktails like the zippy vespar martini, fragrant, not-too-sweet, cherry blossom Manhattan, and refreshing ginger French 75. Since there’s so much to try, this doesn’t exactly make it a budget locale, but maybe a choose-your-own-value adventure. [Find reservations on Resy.]

Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

The Fulton

South Street SeaportWaterfront dining with dazzling downtown views
Paradoxically, people in New York City will stand in line for practically anything, yet we’re perpetually apathetic. Folks will wait 36 weeks for a reservation at a restaurant under the sea where the servers are bow tie-wearing narwhals and the chef has recently been resurrected from the dead, and still give it a resounding ‘meh’ on an ameteur review platform. Well guess what, you blasé babies, Jean-Georges’ new venture on Pier 17 will take your breath away before you’re even seated. Its double-bridge view over the sparkling East River is an ideal amuse-bouche to precede the light red snapper ceviche and avocado with a whisper of heat, crispy, yielding soft-shell crab, satiny black sea bass, and roasted monkfish medallions that rival the glazed lobster tangled in a bowl of rich longevity noodles. Cocktails like the classic lemon drop, Widow Jane whiskey sour with a shade of cherry, and tequila-forward Strawberry Fields are all perfectly calibrated for waterside imbibing. If I could hail a water taxi from here back to South Brooklyn — and I had Sly Stallone money — I’d be here every weekend. [Find reservations on Resy.]

Louise Palmberg
Louise Palmberg
Louise Palmberg

Pastis

Meatpacking DistrictParty like it’s 1999 at a long-awaited blast from the past
Pastis was a Meatpacking District money magnet, attracting literary luminaries and a spectrum of celebrities from 1999 until 2014, when it closed with a whisper of a promise to reopen someday. That day has come, but it’s almost as hard to get a reservation as it was during its five-year hiatus. You should still try to swing by for a fresh look at NYC’s perennial favorite restaurateur Keith McNally’s old/new classic. McNally is now joined by his Philadelphia counterpart Stephen Starr, but the former’s fingerprints are more pronounced in the gleamingly white tiled, mirrored, golden-hued space. Selections from the menu are good enough to call familiar rather than predictable. The escargots in garlic-parsley butter and pâté de campagne are rich enough to satisfy without overwhelming the palate, the duck aux olives is cooked to a perfect pink under a crispy skin, and even the cheapest of three tiers of steak frites (a $33 hanger) is a fine model for the bistrot go-to. Punchy cocktails like the gin-forward Pastis ‘99, slightly smoky tequila-based Rouge Fumée, and substantial Herbes de Provance are easy to sip, and the sidewalk seating is an ideal place to while away an afternoon with a carafe of white wine — provided you’ve got the time to wait for a table. [Find reservations on Resy.]

Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Hutong

Midtown EastCraveable duck worth a trip to Midtown
The newest of these 2019 newcomers, Hutong is big, beautiful, and ambitious. Every surface in the sprawling Art Deco inspired space shines like the top of the Chrysler Building and the dining room exudes sophisticated party vibes without any deep bass club trappings. Particular attention is paid to presentation: dim sum platters arrive like jewel boxes full of polished goodies, calamari is gently fashioned into “flowers,” and the Peking duck is roasted until the skin crackles but the inside stays juicy and pink before it’s carved tableside and served with translucent pancakes. You’ll think it’s all almost too pretty to eat until you find out how delicious everything is. Stick with classic cocktails or name your price and choose from the extensive wine list; plenty of bottles hover under $100. Sign up here for our daily NYC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun New York has to offer.

Amber Sutherland-Namako is Thrillist’s New York editor.

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

Get the latest from Thrillist Australia delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here.

Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

Related

Our Best Stories, Delivered Daily
The best decision you'll make all day.