Stuffed squid from Penny. Photo by Teddy Wolff, courtesy of Penny

The Hit ListNew York

The Resy Hit List: Where In New York You’ll Want to Eat Right Now

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There’s no question we hear more often: Where should I go eat? And while we at Resy know it’s an honor to be the friend who everyone asks for restaurant advice, we also know it’s a complicated task. That’s where the Resy Hit List comes in.

We’ve designed it to be your essential resource for dining in New York City: a monthly updated (and newly expanded!) guide to the restaurants that you won’t want to miss — tonight or any night. 

Five Things In NYC Not to Miss This Month

  • Get Outside: We’re perpetual optimists, and betting (and hoping) that this month signals the start of prime outdoor dining season. Some favorites: The backyard at Ammazzacaffe for some stellar pasta, the terrace at Chez Zou for some standout cocktails, and the stellar views from Laser Wolf for endless salatim. Find more ideas here.
  • Get Nostalgic: If you missed Danny Bowien’s groundbreaking Mission Chinese Food (or have been craving it) you’ll want to head to Cha Kee in Chinatown, where Bowien is taking over the kitchen for the summer. Pro tip: It’s first come, first served. And if you remember Blacktail, the Cuban bar from the same folks behind The Dead Rabbit, you’re also in luck: From May 1 through July on Wednesdays to Saturday nights, the O.G. Blacktail team will be popping up over at Back Bar with your favorite drinks, and new ones, too. P.S. If you’re looking for more great drinks to try this spring, we’ve got you covered here.
  • Get Booking: You might want to make a reservation for one of these new restaurants before the rest of the city catches on: Only Love Strangers, a new jazz and cocktail lounge from the MáLà Project team, and Lola’s, the new spot from seasoned chef Suzanne Cupps. Find more new openings here.
  • Get to These Pop-Ups in Cinco, Quatro … You definitely don’t want to miss the taco specials popping up over at Superbueno on Cinco de Mayo weekend, including a lamb neck barbacoa taco from D.C. chef Isabel Coss (Pascual). Over at Frenchette on May 5, they’re inviting chef Fermín Núñez of Austin’s Suerte to collaborate on an unforgettable four-course menu highlighting Mexican and French flavors. Get tickets here. Finally, over Memorial Day weekend, you won’t want to miss the Arroces x Mostrador paella pop-up on May 26 [rescheduled from May 5], which includes live music. Get tickets here, and find even more pop-ups here.
  • Get Your Tickets: On May 8 and on May 22, Tolo’s Ron Yan is hosting a special Tolo & Chinatown Friends dinner series celebrating one of our favorite neighborhoods in the city. The prix-fixe menu features Chinatown classics like Kong Kee’s handmade cheung fun, a Fong On tofu pudding with century egg, and a tilefish sourced from Aquabest with crispy leeks. Tickets are $75 per person; find them here. Also, you won’t want to miss out on the Peruvian Chinese fare of L.A.’s beloved Chifa when they join forces with Llama Inn on May 28. Tickets here. Find more events on our Events Page. And ICYMI — and especially during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month — do check out our Chinatown USA series.

New to the Hit List (May 2024)
Penny, Sofreh, Foul Witch, Mama’s Too West Village, Chama Mama.

1. Penny East Village

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Maine lobster gets cooked to order with brown butter and herbs.
Photo by Teddy Wolff, courtesy of Penny

Just as they did with the wine bar Claud, Chase Sinzer and Joshua Pinsky took a simple dining concept — in this case, the raw bar and seafood counter — and updated it into a new classic all its own. While they say they were inspired by the dual restaurant concepts that you’ll find in Paris (as with Bistrot Paul Bert and L’Ecailler du Bistrot) Penny is uniquely New York, and the better for it. Stuffed squid, a creamy potato salad with octopus, and confit oysters served with cream cheese and crackers have become new standards all their own. Of course, the wine list is impeccable, but don’t overlook the Suntory, and whatever you do, don’t skip the ice cream sandwich for dessert.

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Maine lobster gets cooked to order with brown butter and herbs.
Photo by Teddy Wolff, courtesy of Penny

2. Sofreh Prospect Heights

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Six years in, Sofreh remains perpetually packed, and for good reason: It’s one of the city’s best restaurants, period, but also one of the best restaurants for its distinctly thoughtful, modern interpretations of Iranian cooking. Everything, from the seemingly simple yet complex dips and the fragrant tahdig to the showstopping dried lime and beef stew, will leave a lasting impression. That’s why it’s so rewarding to see the restaurant and chef-owner Nasim Alikhani receiving their kudos — and expanding, too: Sofreh Cafe, selling tahini date banana bread, sabzi, and rose doughnuts (weekends only) recently opened near the Barclays Center.

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3. Foul Witch East Village

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Wine bars and Italian restaurants remain all-time favorites with New Yorkers these days (see Claud, noted above), and this “spooky Italian” wine bar from the Roberta’s team hits the mark on all the important fronts: the food, the wine, and the vibe, of course. There’s no pizza here, and you won’t miss it because the small plates pack a punch. All of it is delicious, and all of it pairs so well with the wine list, much of it handpicked from the Blanca cellar. And then there’s that vibe: cozy, thanks to the wood-burning oven, and nostalgic, thanks to a drum-and-bass playlist that hearkens back to the East Village of the late ‘90s.

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4. CheLi – Flushing One Fluton Mall

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There’s never a bad time to head to one of the city’s most exemplary Chinese restaurants for a veritable feast. Specializing in cuisine from China’s Jiangnan province, home to Shanghai, CheLi delivers familiar classics like xiaolongbao and crispy duck as well as dishes you likely haven’t seen elsewhere, like one composed of steam eggs with tangerine and crab meat, or salted yolk fried pumpkin. No matter what you order for the table, you won’t be disappointed, but here’s our advice: Don’t sleep on the Longjing shrimp — poached shrimp in a sweet, savory tea sauce that’s presented with dramatic effect, thanks to some dry ice.

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5. Bangkok Supper Club Meatpacking District

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This might be a bit of an overstatement, but we think there’s never been a better time for Thai cuisine in New York City. You’ve got your OGs out in Queens, like Ayada and Chao Thai, as well as newer spots like Soothr, UnTable, and Chalong. Then there’s Bangkok Supper Club, from the folks behind Fish Cheeks. Here, Bangkok street food gets refashioned in a way that subverts narratives of what we expect of Thai restaurants in America. Scallop ceviche gets topped with a watermelon granita. Fish sauce lands in your cocktails. A simple egg salad becomes a thing of beauty. And pork jowl fried rice becomes truly sublime.

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6. Tuome East Village

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Much like Falansai (below), Thomas Chen’s nearly 10-year-old East Village restaurant tends to fly a bit under the radar, but know that it’s one of the city’s pioneers of what today we now call casual fine dining, and you owe it to yourself to book a (re)visit. The cooking, which combines New American cuisine with Asian influences, is always pitch perfect, the warm glow in the dining room can’t be beat, and the service is always top notch. No meal here is complete without an order of the snow crab noodles with dashi butter or the crispy deviled, chile-topped eggs. Some other standouts? The splurge-worthy dim sum tower for two and a side (or two) of the rice, which is really Chen’s delicious version of Chinese sticky rice, made with lapcheong, kale, and duck fat.

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7. Bar Bête Carroll Gardens

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If there is such a thing as a near-perfect bistro in New York, Bar Bête might just be it. The Carroll Gardens spot is just cozy enough, and its kitchen consistently delivers some of the best French Canadian fare you can find south of the U.S.-Canada border. It’s a perennial favorite for excellent food and drink (especially the wine), but especially so when you want nothing more than an order of their chicken liver parfait, leek vinaigrette, French omelette, and ricotta gnudi. Oh, and definitely don’t forego an order of the yellow cake, where the ratio of cake to salted dark chocolate frosting is nearly equal.

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8. Bo Ky Chinatown

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The next time you find yourself in Manhattan Chinatown, consider paying a visit to this OG spot that’s barely changed since it first opened in 1986. Time capsule trappings aside, this is one of the absolute best spots in the city for noodle soups and other Teochew specialties. Our personal favorites include the fish dumplings — made by wrapping fish meat around a pork and vegetable filling — and the off-menu beef curry noodle soup with flat noodles. The lemongrass beef over rice and sauteed mustard greens are also excellent. Pro tip: Bring some cash, and your appetite.

Walk-ins only. Cash only. More info here.

9. ATOBOY NoMad

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Jungsik technically might have arrived first, but arguably no other contemporary Korean restaurant in the city has had more lasting impact than JP and Ellia Park’s first restaurant. Always approachable but also risk-taking, it has led the way in refashioning traditional Korean techniques and ingredients in novel and delicious ways since it opened in 2016. Its banchan-focused prix-fixe menu may have gone up in price over the years — from $36 for three courses to $75 for four courses, service included — but it’s still one of the best in the city, period. And you’d be remiss not to add on the fried chicken, or to plumb the depths of their excellent wine list.

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10. Falansai Bushwick

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Photo by Erik Kantar, courtesy of Falansai

Falansai is the very definition of a low-key gem. Chef-owner Eric Tran’s Bushwick restaurant doles out innovative blends of Vietnamese and Mexican cooking with the precision you’d come to expect from a chef who worked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and West Village classics like Joseph Leonard. There are many standout dishes, chief among them the confit duck necks, dad’s fried rice, and five-spice lamb neck served with tortillas from their neighbor, Sobre Masa. But, arguably, one of the best ways to dine here is the dac biet, a family-style tasting menu. Tran and his chefs take you on a guided culinary tour through Vietnam, Mexico, Chicago, and New York. At $88 per person, it’s a steal.

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Photo by Erik Kantar, courtesy of Falansai

11. Mama’s Too West Village

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With the arrivals of second locations of Williamsburg’s L’Industrie and the Upper West Side’s Mama’s Too, the West Village has become an epicenter of excellent pizza. And if you know what’s good for you, you’ll want to head there immediately to grab a slice (or two or three) from one or both establishments. It’s worth calling out Mama’s Too, however, because this slice shop never fails to surprise with its variety of square slices — poached pear with aged mozzarella and sweet gorgonzola, or cacio e pepe with whipped mascarpone to name a few — and they’ve got daily sandwich specials, too. And do throw in a house slice, an ode to legendary Brooklyn pizzeria Di Fara, for good measure while you’re at it.

Walk-ins only.

12. San Sabino West Village

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It’s only been two months since San Sabino opened in the West Village, and already this sequel to Don Angie follows in the footsteps of its next-door sibling. Yes, reservations are tough to come by (pro tip: they’re released a week in advance, including the day of the reservation you’re looking for, at 9 a.m. sharp) but if you are lucky enough to get one, you won’t be disappointed — especially if you love seafood. As you’ve come to expect from chefs Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli, the menu is a celebration of Italian American classics, all with some unexpected twists: Think capocollo blended with octopus for a new take on carpaccio; anchovy-crusted and chile-crisp-topped steak that resembles a Japanese katsu; and a much-discussed shrimp Parm.

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13. Huda Williamsburg

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Lovely and lively, this Levantine bistro from the owner of storied Midtown French bistro La Bonne Soupe offers an array of dishes that draw their influences from Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, and all to delicious effect. You’ll want to start your meal with the Arak Baladi or a glass of Lebanese wine, and from there, it’ll be a tough call as to what you should order. Our suggestion? Don’t forgo the charred eggplant with a luscious black garlic toum, the batata harra (pure deep-fried potato bliss), or the tortellini-like shish barak, swathed in a bright and tangy yogurt sauce. Better yet, stop by for family-style weekend brunch on their outdoor patio where, for $30 per person, you can indulge in a veritable feast of dishes.

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14. Estela NoLita

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It’s been more than a decade since this downtown neobistro from Ignacio Mattos (Altro Paradiso, Lodi) opened, and it’s still going strong — and still well worth a visit. The narrow upstairs dining room is as spare as ever but always hums, and the food is just as memorable as you remember. Whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely weekend brunch or an intimate dinner for two, or a late-night visit to the bar, Estela has you covered with its delicious spread of shared plates and highly esteemed wine list. Pro tip: The endive salad with walnuts, anchovy, and Ubriaco rosso cheese remains a non-negotiable.

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15. Semma West Village

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Semma’s been one of the toughest restaurants to land a Resy almost since it opened, but we promise (1) that it is possible to get in and, (2) once you do, you’ll understand why. Our theory is that it’s because chef Vijay Kumar’s cooking manages to be effortlessly elegant, incredibly creative, and so satisfyingly delicious all at the same time. Take, for example, the refreshing mulaikattiya thaniyam made with sprouted mung beans, the unforgettable gunpowder dosa, or the showstopping valiya chemmeen moilee lobster dish. Every plate leaves a lasting impression.

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16. Hellbender Nighttime Cafe Ridgewood

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Post-pandemic, the number of late-night spots in the city has dwindled, but this cocktail bar from the same team behind Rolo’s puts that trend in reverse with a bold menu from chef Yara Herrera and a list of killer drinks from Rolo’s’ Tony Milici. It’s open every day, with food until 2 a.m. The drinks menu has a little something for everyone, from spicy pineapple margaritas and a smoky carajillo to an ice-cold gin martini. Herrerra’s menu is diminutive but mighty; there’s a reason why nearly everyone orders the choriqueso combo, and you definitely don’t want to sleep on the fried cheese sticks with tomatillo salsa.

Walk-ins only.

17. TATIANA, By Kwame Onwuachi Lincoln Center

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There are many explanations for why Tatiana topped so many of last year’s best of lists but these may be the two biggest reasons: It’s a restaurant with a clear, distinct point of view — a biography, if you will, of chef-and-partner Kwame Onwuachi — and one that’s a joy to dine at. That winning combination of powerful narrative and good vibes gets further amplified by the creatively crafted dishes on the menu, from a bright honeynut piri piri salad and egusi soup dumplings to braised oxtails and a pastrami suya.

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18. Café Carmellini NoMad

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For all the claims that fine dining is dead, Café Carmellini is Andrew Carmellini’s bold real-time assertion that it is most definitely not. Even amid the grandeur of its luxurious trappings — the elegant Fifth Avenue Hotel — the warm service here and Carmellini’s pitch-perfect food, make you feel welcome and at ease. It’s exactly how you’d want to feel when you’re feasting on crab millefeuille, veal tongue Castelluccio, and cannelloni filled with lobster and caviar, while tipping back glasses of Champagne and a rose-accented gin martini. Pro tip: Café Carmellini is now open for lunch, too.

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19. Chama Mama UWS Upper West Side

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The warmth of Georgian food and hospitality is on full display at each and every one of Chama Mama’s three locations, and if you haven’t been yet, you owe it to yourself to go to one as soon as you can. Chef Nino Chiokadze’s menu offers an impressive survey of all the classics, like the much-adored Adjaruli khachapuri bread crowned with an egg and cheese, or juicy khinkali dumplings filled with lamb, as well as pkhali, cooked seasonal vegetables prepared with walnuts, garlic, and spices, some of them imported directly from Georgia. Don’t leave without ordering Chiokadze’s take on pelamushi (grape pudding).

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20. Corima Chinatown

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Photo by Jovani Demetrie, courtesy of Corima

Whether you drop by for an à la carte spread or for a tasting menu at this sleek Chinatown spot, you won’t want to leave without an order of fresh, housemade flour tortillas. They’re the perfect vehicle for savoring many of Contra alum Fidel Caballero’s creations, but you also wouldn’t be at fault for devouring them unadorned with anything but the accompanying richly spiced recado negro butter, either. Corima’s strengths lie in Caballero’s ability to draw from so many different influences and sources, and meld them beautifully with the cuisine of Northern Mexico. Pro tip: If you don’t mind trying something unexpected when it comes to cocktails, you’ll be richly rewarded with an order of the uni gin sour.

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Photo by Jovani Demetrie, courtesy of Corima