New York

New York City's Best New Restaurants of 2018

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

The impulse to distill food writing into neatly packaged lists is somewhat natural. We only want the best, the most, the strangest, the biggest. We want things ranked and bulletted, ordered under vague superlatives. Like the amuse bouche courses, natural wines, and novelty cocktails we strive to describe, we want our information to be digestible, too.

Here we give you just that: a segmented look at 2018’s bravest, newest, most skilled culinary acts. We’re serving our favorites in bite-sized pieces: the fresh-ground masa in Greenpoint, the skewered, blackened chicken on offer in NoMad. Of course, there’s more to every spot’s story. Opening a restaurant in New York is neither a neat nor simple enterprise. Each opening has spectacular narrative of its own.

So, with the fat cut off, here are our favorite New York restaurant openings of 2018. Each of these venues, however recently its laid its roots, has a history. You’ll taste it in the food.

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

Misi

WilliamsburgA strangely sexy pasta den from the mastermind behind Lilia
New York’s pseudo-notable chef corps is in constant flux, but Missy Robbins is a perennial boldface name. Lilia’s 2016 opening quickly landed the accolade-accruing Italian kitchen veteran among the ranks of the city’s culinary elite. Her latest venture, the eponymous Misi, is another force to be reckoned with. Ten handmade pasta dishes are made to pair with ten seasonal antipasti plates, and options like radicchio with melted bone marrow, onion, balsamic, and ricotta may even outshine Robbins’ storied fettucini.

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

Oxomoco

GreenpointCreative Oaxacan bites and cocktails in chic Greenpoint digs
With two Speedy Romeo locations under his belt, chef Justin Bazdarich shifts his focus to a different section of the globe for his new venture, Oxomoco — an authentic, wood-fired Oaxacan joint. Fried cauliflower arrives in a pool of black mole and butternut squash crema, corn tortillas are hand-made to order, and roasted chicken comes drizzled in local honey and fresh cilantro — all of which are best paired with libations from the bar’s broad tequila and mezcal menu.

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

Nonono

NoMadAn inventive haven for all-things-skewered
The menu at Nonono reads like a yakitori bible. The kitchen from the team behind Her Name is Han turns out a near endless array of Japanese skewers stacked with chicken breast, yam, shiso and plum, and okra with dashi jelly and and bonito flakes. Guests select skewers in whatever quantity feels right — most of which hover around $5 — and the luxe, savory lollipops arrive piecemeal. It’s both a blessing and a curse for panicked orderers.

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

General Deb’s

BushwickUpscale Sichuan in North Brooklyn
This is not your beloved, ulcer-inducing, greasy Chinese takeout spot. The second project from the husband-wife duo behind Faro, General Deb’s is the pair’s first foray into provincial Chinese cuisine. The menu skews toward Sichuan classics: dense, soupy noodle dishes studded with hearty meats and vegetables (get the dan dan mian with noodles swirled in sesame sauce and studded with pork), and the interior is chic enough for a date.

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

Kaikagetsu

Lower East SideAn authentic tasting menu from the Hida region of Japan
Forrest Fooding is the Major Food Group of Japan, and its introduction to American soil is a downtown kitchen boasting a menu that harks back to the Japanese Hida region. Kaikagetsu’s tasting menu ($220) comes highly recommended, but the plebian à la carte options will still impress. The space designed to mimic a traditional Hida home, with blackened wood, and rows of imported ceramics. The food is an equally authentic melange of fresh seafood, marinated meats, and inventive Eastern flavor.

Frenchette

TribecaA classic French brasserie with a modern spin
This understated but beautifully appointed brasserie from Keith McNally empire alumni Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson splits the difference between special occasion spot and (somewhat expensive) warm, inviting neighborhood staple. The food — grilled blowfish tails, archetypal pate, and duck frites) is executed elegantly enough to merit its prices, and the hospitality makes the place feels like home.

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

Lowerline

Prospect HeightsA NOLA-inspired neighborhood haunt for po-boys and gumbo
Housed in a narrow storefront along Washington Avenue, Lowerline is a mellow New Orleans kitchen, slinging po-boys, crawfish tails smothered in a Cajun gravy, and seafood-okra gumbo to a local crowd. With only a few tables and a long mahogany bar, the place is near always full, though rarely hectic.

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

Una Pizza Napoletana  

Lower East SideA second act for a lauded pizza chef
Una Pizza has a reputation. Now in in its second iteration — the OG East Village location shuttered nine years ago when its owner dared make the unforgivable move to the West Coast. But, of course, he came back. They all come back. And his new joint offers a roster of unique cold small plates (burrata with tomatoes in lobster oil, carne cruda, scallop crudo), to complement the delightfully simple signature pies, each made from naturally leavened dough in a wood-fired brick oven.

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

Atomix

NoMadLuxe Korean tasting menus in a futuristic, subterranean space
Unlike its downtown-cool sister spot Atoboy, this new Korean spot has all the markings of an elite, upscale venue. Delicately-plated ten-course meals are served twice nightly in a space resembling a stylish, cinematic villain’s lair. Cards detailing each dish, and perfectly calibrated chopsticks precede dishes like sea bream with uni, and eggplant with smoked eel and fermented soybean paste.

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

Bernie’s

GreenpointOld world New York dining from kings of Jewish appetizing
Bernie’s is a table-service reprise of Greenpoint’s lauded Jewish delicatessen, Frankel’s — and it will be equally pleasing to your bubbe. Checked table cloths, crimson leather banquettes, the ambiance, and the food all hark back to casual old New York dining in equal measure. Greenpoint art kid transplants and Polish locals enjoy wedge salads topped with thick cut slices of bacon, vinegar chicken, and lemon ice box pie, side by side.

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

Sofreh

Prospect HeightsComfort in the form of Persian home cooking  
Chef Nasim Alikhani’s new Persian spot — her first such endeavor at the age of 59 — was named one of the country’s best new openings of 2018. The remarkable house bread is built to sop up tomato-saffron broth, and a yogurt dip studded with Persian shallots and chives. A spinach and prune stew, thick with braised beef, is poised to bolster stew’s culinary reputation. The craft cocktails, too, pay homage to classic Persian flavor.

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

Adda

Long Island CitySpicy Indian street fare that stays true to its roots
The “unapologetically authentic Indian food” on the menu at Roni Mazumdar’s Queens restaurant means you have zero license to tell your waiter that the aloo is too spicy. Adda’s casual atmosphere and accessible prices draw hungry students from the nearby CUNY campus, and the spot earns clout for its unwillingness to reinvent the wheel. You will not find the “contemporary riffs” on the classics, here — you will find plates of paneer khurchan, butter chicken, and junglee maas, made well and true to their origins.Sign up here for our daily NYC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun New York has to offer.

Eliza Dumais is a former staff writer at Thrillist. She now works as a lifestyle editor at Refinery29.

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 Suprêmes, 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.

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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.

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