Best Of Food & Drink
Best-Kept Secret (Restaurant Division)
The Grand Bar and Grill
With its generic name and standard gastropub interior (brick, reclaimed wood), it's easy to see how The Grand Bar and Grill has stayed somewhat under wraps since opening in 2013. But in a neighborhood dominated by exotic ingredients and $17 small-plate dining, the Grand stands out for its flawlessly prepared...
Six months into her tenure as executive chef, Emma Bengtsson clinched a second Michelin star for the once trailblazing Aquavit — Håkan Swahn's polished Swedish restaurant that put Marcus Samuelsson on the map. The 33-year-old Falkenberg native was running the bread and pastry programs when management asked her to take...
Best Pastry Chef
Jesus Perea's affinity for the pastry station blossomed under Michael Laiskonis at Le Bernardin. That passion eventually led the Bronx-raised chef to Mexico City and Enrique Olvera, a pioneer of modern Mexican cooking, who opened Cosme last year in the Flatiron. Perea's stunning dessert there, a charred corn husk meringue,...
Dominique Ansel Kitchen
When pot brownies have lost their luster (or better yet, if they haven't), head to Dominique Ansel Kitchen, where the pastry superstar and Cronut kingpin presents a chocolate-chip-spiked fatty, the moist and tubular brownie pressed with sage leaves and rolled up in a thin sheet of cedar. The kitchen torches...
Best New Restaurant
Sure, the handbag stands are a bit precious (at least they're not pedestals), but Gabriel Kreuther — set within the ground floor of the W.R. Grace building across from Bryant Park — marks a triumphant return for one of our city's most treasured European chefs, last seen mesmerizing midtown diners...
Mission Chinese Food
New York diners greeted Danny Bowien and his Mission Chinese Food with open arms in 2012, then practically bear-hugged the man until he passed out — even as they endured hours-long sidewalk waits only to sit in deafening, cramped quarters and have their faces melted by Chongqing chicken wings. Structural...
Best Late-Night Dining
Like other singly named divas, Seki Shi — the force behind venerated Upper East Side gem Sushi Seki and its younger Chelsea offshoot — pursued a career that has thrust him under the spotlight. Or at least recessed ones, which illuminate the blond-wood bars that showcase his ornamental, experimental creations:...
Best Health-Conscious Restaurant
Take a cue from the fresh-faced cool kids who populate Dimes, a small, storefront restaurant east of Chinatown. Inside, the tidy, gallery-bright space exudes the kind of relaxed chill you might find at an L.A. juice bar on a Sunday morning. The menu is accessible, affordable, and full of those...
Best Vegetarian Restaurant
We all — modern vegans and omnivores alike — want our junk food, but now we want it well made, satisfying, and not a precursor to Type 2 diabetes. This year, Los Angeles transplant Chloe Coscarelli made those dreams come true in her new fast-casual West Village outpost, By Chloe...
Best Vegetable Dish
A restaurant dedicated to pork — "Maialino" means "small pig" in Italian — is not the most likely contender for Best Vegetable Dish, but these intensely flavored sautéed mushrooms, a medley of whatever's in season (at the moment, that means trumpet royale, hen-of-the-woods, and cremini varieties), exemplify the rich possibilities...
Best Tasting Menu
David Chang opened Momofuku Ko seven years ago as a raw, ambitious, and cramped twelve-seat chef's counter brimming with boundary-pushing ideas. In its current tony digs on the ground floor of a high-rise apartment building, the restaurant's rambunctious spirit remains despite its flourishes, like a massive U-shaped counter with quadruple...
Bucking their rustic-meets-refined roots, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich went full formal in 2005 for Del Posto's opening, exposing New Yorkers to a then-unfamiliar brand of sophisticated, occasionally flashy Boot-centric fine dining. In the kitchen from the start, executive chef Mark Ladner has earned numerous accolades for the restaurant (and...
Best Restaurant on the Lower East Side
Russ & Daughters Cafe
Owned and operated by the family behind the legendary, 101-year-old appetizing store on East Houston Street, Russ & Daughters Cafe is where the Old World meets the New. The restaurant possesses the same kitsch and nostalgia found at its namesake around the corner — and the Jewish delicacies of nova...
Best Restaurant in Chinatown/Financial District
Nice Green Bo
Navigating the crowded culinary landscape of Chinatown is invariably overwhelming. Limitless choices, nondescript storefronts with pork and poultry dangling beyond a parade of dingy windows, holes-in-the-wall camouflaging hidden gems beneath. But some of those grimy-looking joints are just that, and nothing more. You can take your chances, or you can...
Best Restaurant in Soho
When chef Brad Farmerie's brother asked him to leave London for New York City and help design firm AvroKO open a Soho restaurant, Farmerie threw a bunch of ideas at the wall, and Public stuck. "On paper, it was a bad idea," he told the Voice last year. "Here were...
Best Restaurant in the East Village
Edgar Villongco's Raclette honors the eponymous Swiss cheese and dish of the same name from a tiny fourteen-seat space that briefly housed an artisanal pigs-in-a-blanket shop. But what the petite operation lacks in physical size, it more than makes up for on the plate with bold European flavors. Villongco, who...
Best Restaurant in the West Village
Nestled into the crook of Grove Street, Via Carota is the quintessential West Village restaurant: seasonal Italian menu, vintage wooden chairs reclaimed from an old chapel, and, most West Village of all, Jody Williams (Buvette) and Rita Sodi (I Sodi) in the kitchen. "It's good to work together," says Sodi...
Best Restaurant in the Flatiron/Union Square
A little more than a century ago, after the Armenian genocide that left 1.5 million dead and hundreds of thousands displaced, vast numbers of Armenians resettled in Lebanon. That was the case for the families of husband-and-wife team Shant and Rita Alexandrian. At their beloved two-decade-old Beirut eatery, Almayass, the...
Best Restaurant in Gramercy
Everyone loves Upland, from the most recalcitrant critic to the trendiest hipster, passing celebrity, date-nighter, cocktail-lover, vegetarian, birthday-partyer, or visiting-from-out-of-town mother (easily the hardest of all to please). Stephen Starr has put together one of the buzziest rooms in town: a laid-back, copper-warm atmosphere fueled in part by a well-priced...
Best Restaurant in Chelsea
El Quinto Pino
Its name may be slang for boondocks, but El Quinto Pino sits in one of the city's most booming neighborhoods. Thankfully, there's nothing pretentious about the marble-topped bar, wooden stools, and smoked mirrors in this cozy tapas joint, where the menu shifts often enough for the chef to have some...
Best Restaurant in Hell's Kitchen/Theater District
As a New Yorker, you naturally want to spend as little time in this part of the city as humanly possible. But every now and then, the unfortunate confluence of visiting relatives and a can't-miss show on Broadway requires you to infiltrate the mouth-breathing throngs of selfie-stickers and fanny-packers in...
Best Restaurant on the Upper West Side
Eight years in, and Dovetail, John Fraser's luxurious and comfortable restaurant, still surprises. After undergoing a complete overhaul — even the kitchen was redone — the dining room no longer has the lofty seriousness it once did, with earth tones set against red brick. Instead, it has a refined beach-like...
Best Restaurant on the Upper East Side
People trek from across the city to experience the J.G. Melon cheeseburger; the thick slab of ground beef paved with American cheese and served the old-fashioned way, with regular toppings like onions and pickles, is a rite of passage in New York City dining. But to focus on that item...
Best Restaurant in Harlem
The Handpulled Noodle
Sydney transplant and classical violinist Andrew Ding didn't plan on opening The Handpulled Noodle around the corner from his first New York City apartment — it just worked out that way. Ding, originally from Xinjiang, China, trained his staff to conjure an approximation of his mother's cooking, with a focus...
Best Restaurant in West Harlem
It's hard to overstate the paucity of good food options in the Harlem wasteland known as Morningside Heights. It is an area dominated by chains (Chipotle, Dig Inn, Five Guys, Famiglia, McDonald's) and other light fare that prizes quick and easy over slow and rich. That's why Massawa, on the...
Best Restaurant in the Bronx
Liebman's Kosher Delicatessen
As appetizing makes a comeback in Lower Manhattan, the Bronx — once riddled with earnest spots serving homemade Hebraic specialties — has less than a handful of Jewish delicatessens left. Founded by Joseph Liebman in 1953, Liebman's Kosher Delicatessen supplies the Riverdale section of the borough with choice pastrami and...
Best Restaurant in Brooklyn Heights/DUMBO/Downtown
The River Café
The Big Apple has a way of grinding up even the most entrenched-seeming institutions, which makes the nearly 40-year run of The River Café remarkable in itself. This is a restaurant that shaped its neighborhood, dropping anchor in DUMBO in the late Seventies when the neighborhood was nothing but derelict...
Best Restaurant in Williamsburg
Dining can be many things: comforting, thrilling, delicious — but rarely is it so intellectually stimulating and captivating as at Semilla, a tiny vegetable-forward endeavor embedded in a Williamsburg address just south of Metropolitan. Here, chefs José Ramírez-Ruiz and Pam Yung present a multicourse feast that can be seen as...
Best Restaurant in Fort Greene/Vinegar Hill/Clinton Hill
If the Finch is Clinton Hill's "rock star" newcomer to the restaurant scene, Marietta is the chill girl, not to be taken for granted. Created by the folks who brought show-stopping soul food to surrounding neighborhoods (the Smoke Joint in Fort Greene and Peaches in Bed-Stuy), Marietta has been holding...
Best Restaurant in Greenpoint
Five Leaves sits on a neat corner slice of real estate at the intersection of Lorimer Street and Bedford and Nassau avenues. It's the nexus at which the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint converge, the blurry edge where one freethinking, man-bunned population meets its counterpart. Greenpoint, historically a working-class,...
Best Restaurant in Gowanus/Park Slope
Stone Park Cafe
While there is no shortage of dining options in Brooklyn's Park Slope and ever-expanding Gowanus neighborhoods, Stone Park Cafe continues to impress and comfort diners after more than a decade in business — making it quite possibly one of the most important New American restaurants in the borough. What's the...
Best Restaurant in Crown Heights
Certainly, the food at Barboncino is great: classic Neapolitan wood-fired pizza with a slew of inventive variations (cherrystone clams on a pizza, anyone? How about arugula?). But it's the ambiance that truly enhances the experience of dining here: the homey feel, the seductively dim lighting (perfect for romantic dates), the...
Best Restaurant in Bushwick
Diners often moonlight as dinnertime DJs during the $195 meals at Blanca, chef Carlo Mirarchi's twelve-seat gastronomic sanctum sanctorum built inside a bunker at the Roberta's culinary compound. The decked-out tasting counter fosters a laid-back vibe, so feel free to do some digestive crate-digging while waiting for the next plate...
Best Restaurant in Red Hook
Defonte's Sandwich Shop
If you're not entirely certain how to negotiate the line at Defonte's Sandwich Shop on your first visit, don't despair. Someone will eventually call you forward, in roughly the order you arrived, and ask what you want. You'll inevitably need to wait on a regular taking out a massive Italian...
Best Restaurant in Bed-Stuy
Chef John Poiarkoff taps his Russian roots for the seasonal pierogi at Willow, the progressive New American restaurant he opened inside a jagged, standalone building beside the elevated Franklin Avenue–Fulton Street subway station. Any given week, the crimped dumplings might arrive next to sour-cream-simmered morels or sitting in a moat...
Best Restaurant in Ditmas Park
Daniel Soskolen's Neapolitan-style pies at Lea, a charming, rustic Italian restaurant and pizzeria plugged into a corner space along Cortelyou Road's main drag, don't shock with peculiar toppings (unless anchovies freak you out). They are, however, shockingly good: There's the flawless margherita, its pockmarked crust bubbled in random spots; a...
Best Restaurant in Long Island City
Ramen spots are plentiful in NYC, but few capture the richness and depth of the tonkotsu you can find in Japan, where chefs brew their porky broths for days at a time. Mu Ramen comes close, though. The spot began as a pop-up until critics' praise overwhelmed it, prompting the...
Best Restaurant in Astoria
Much like the borough it calls home, Astoria Seafood is a pot of bubbling flavors and sounds. It's loud, achingly fast and simultaneously slow. Situated across from an auto body taxi repair shop, the seafood market and restaurant is exactly the type of place everyone wishes they had in their...
Best Restaurant in Sunnyside
Salt & Fat
Salt & Fat, situated on Queens Boulevard, not far from restaurants serving Turkish, Nepalese, Mexican, Colombian, and Japanese food, is an upscale distillation of all the blending and morphing of cuisines that happens when immigrant cultures collide in neighborhoods like this one. Chef Daniel Yi is a Queens local by...
Best Restaurant in Jackson Heights
Although known mainly for Indian fare, Jackson Heights is a wide wonderland of ethnic delights. It's hard to go wrong here, but for nostalgia's sake you gotta give props to Jackson Diner. Does it rest on its laurels? Probably. But it's still a delectable experience every darn time. The goat...
Best Restaurant in Flushing
Beyond Flushing's main drag, home to vast and varied regional Chinese restaurants, Korean cuisine prospers with comparable diversity. At Bada Story in Murray Hill, don't be alarmed if your appetizer latches on to your lip, hanging on for dear life in an attempt to save itself from consumption. The seemingly...
Best Restaurant in Far Rockaway
With just its several stools and a couch for seating, not to mention posters of women in various states of undress, Whit's End feels more like a fratboy dorm room than the ambitious pizzeria and New American restaurant it is. Or at least, a dorm room where someone installed a...
Best African Restaurant
Goats rarely get the respect they deserve at dinnertime, so a restaurant that excels at taming the barnyard's most finicky tenants really grabs our attention. At Maymuuna Birjeeb's Harlem Somali restaurant, Safari, the plate of fall-apart-tender meat comes courtesy of cousins Munira Musse and Jamal Hashi, who roast the beasts...
Best Caribbean Restaurant
After five years spent delighting Bed-Stuy with her feisty, and often fiery, Trinidadian fare at Trini Gyul, Ro Ramcharan moved her operation to Jamaica, Queens. While the move was tough ("Regulars miss my doubles," she confides), her restaurant has now doubled in size, and you're likely to encounter the ebullient...
Best Chinese Restaurant
With its soft glow, French flourishes, and literary adornments (have a glance at the shelves full of books if you're caught waiting for your dining partner), Café China channels the romance of 1930s Shanghai, when that city earned its reputation as the Paris of the East. Don't be fooled into...
Best French Restaurant
The neighborhood bistro is alive and well, and at Le Fond in Greenpoint, Jake Eberle gets creative with the format by taking an anthropological approach that harnesses traditional cooking techniques while plating in contemporary French style. Classically trained, Eberle produces a changing roster of time-consuming terrines starring ingredients like pressed...
Best Greek Restaurant
Gregory's 26 Corner Taverna
Skirt the long lines at Taverna Kyclades and head to this comfy corner spot instead, where you'll be allowed by the hospitable staff to linger and watch the foot traffic along pretty 23rd Avenue. The rustic, fresh fare, in addition to the chilled-out ambiance, makes Gregory's 26 Corner Taverna a...
Best Indian Restaurant
Located in the heart of Curry Hill, Pippali sets itself apart from the pack by offering well-executed modern dishes from various regions of India, rather than specializing in any one particular cuisine. The northeast-Indian bihari gohst, a marinated lamb shank in a savory-spicy onion, tomato, and ginger sauce, is tender...
Best Italian Restaurant
Il Buco has been quietly carrying on the business of serving authentic Italian food — not Italian with a New York accent, but actual Italian — for more than twenty years. Owner Donna Lennard initially opened an antiques store in this former artist's studio on Bond Street, where, little by...
Best Japanese Restaurant
Okonomi and Yuji Ramen
Inside the tiny first floor of a row house in residential Williamsburg, Okonomi and Yuji Ramen operate as "one restaurant with two names," as chef Yuji Haraguchi puts it. During the day, he and co-owner Tara Norvell cook stunning ichiju sansai breakfasts. Okonomi's multicourse morning meal includes miso soup made...
From a private, unassuming counter inside Harlem's otherwise unprepossessing Jado Sushi, seasoned itamae Kunihide Nakajima serves stunning sliding-scale Edomae omakase ($70 for sushi only; around $140 for kaiseki-style omakase) dinners to eight guests at a time. The third-generation sushi chef, formerly of midtown power scene Sushiden, exclusively serves wild-caught fish...
Best Korean Restaurant
Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong
Fifth Avenue at 32nd Street marks the geographic center of Koreatown, and among the noraebang bars, bakeries, and nail salons beats its figurative heart. The Manhattan outpost of Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong, named for wrestler, comedian, and talk show host Kang Ho-dong, founded its baekjeong (butchery) on the idea that...
Best Mexican Restaurant
With a large, constantly changing menu and an array of limited-time offers, Fonda rewards repeat customers. Do you miss the beet salad? The ensalada de aguacate y zanahorias (avocado and carrot salad) will make you forget all about it. Heirloom corn tortillas and Oaxacan black mole enchiladas prove that chef...
Best Tex-Mex Restaurant
In the past year, Tex-Mex restaurants in New York have become a thing. Up till now there'd been a woeful scarcity of places that even came close to what Tex-Mex food is about — but suddenly, Tex-pat restaurateurs are trying to fill the void. The best effort so far is...
Best Middle Eastern Restaurant
Chef Nir Mesika dives headfirst into experimental, modern Israeli cooking at Timna, the cozy restaurant he runs with partner Amir Nathan on St. Marks Place. Incorporating global flavors and an improvisational cooking style, the 31-year-old chef changes up his recipes and plating at will. The risky approach pays off: Crispy...
Best Spanish Restaurant
Yes, the croquetas are flaky and fried to perfection; yes, the pitchers of sangría are seemingly bottomless; yes, it is hard to believe the tapa de paella wasn't flown in directly from Barcelona. Even so, one does not come to Nai Tapas for the food — exquisite though it is...
Best Thai Restaurant
Matt Danzer and Ann Redding met while working at Per Se, and at Uncle Boons, their two-year-old Thai restaurant in Nolita, the married couple apply their fine-dining training to deliver some truly captivating and grounded Southeast Asian fare. Toasted rice powder, chiles, and fish sauce electrify ground lamb shoulder for...
Best Vietnamese Restaurant
Tiny, super-casual (note the sriracha and soy sauce on the table, the crummy napkins, the plastic cups), and — above all — cheap, V-Nam Cafe may not look like a "best," but, as with a book, one shouldn't judge an establishment by its cover. The most expensive item on the...
To make the pizza dough for the gonzo rounds at their stark New American pie parlor Bruno, chefs Dave Gulino and Justin Slojkowski mill their own 00 flour from hard red spring wheat grown in Ithaca. The restlessly creative duo tosses fermented tomatoes into the sauce for their mozzarella-and-basil-topped margherita,...
Best Pizza (Slice)
With its charming vintage signage, pressed tin ceilings, and vibrant, sturdy slices, Luigi's Pizza — a South Slope staple with only a handful of seats — would be a fixture in any New York neighborhood. The pizzeria's namesake patriarch opened it in 1973 and has since handed the reins to...
Best Deli/Sandwich Shop
Harry & Ida's Meat and Supply Co.
Siblings Will and Julie Horowitz lead the team at Harry & Ida's Meat and Supply Co., their rustic apex delicatessen where fish (skate wing, in this case) becomes jerky and live eels are plucked from a tank, killed, and smoked. Will — a chef and former competitive table tennis player...
The Falafel Shop
The Falafel Shop isn't much bigger than a walk-in closet, and it doesn't sell much — a half-dozen sandwiches and a few salads, four sides, a few pastries, and soup. And soup. Do not ignore the soup, even though it is easy to do so, because it's on the menu...
Emily's Pork Store
In a city now chockablock with green-juice emporiums and chopped-salad bodegas, it's actually become quite challenging to find a truly great sandwich. But for over 40 years, in the once predominantly Italian neighborhood surrounding the Graham L stop, Emily's Pork Store has been making some of the finest sandwiches anywhere...
Brooklyn-raised Matthew Hyland takes inspiration from Naples for the quirky pies at Emily, the understated Kings County pizzeria he runs with his wife, who also inspired the restaurant's name. But despite a compelling roster of wood-fired pizzas divided by sauce color (red, pink, green, or white/sauceless), Hyland's burger threatens to...
Best Burger (Non-Beef Division)
While hamburger aficionados argue over minutiae like beef blends, fat ratios, and grind coarseness, we'll be over here getting gruff with Humberto Guallpa's goat burger at the modern Cuban-Chinese Calle Dão. The Ecuadorian-born chef sears his barnyard patty until it has a satisfying char, its interior just slightly pink and...
Best Hot Dog
Jonah Miller makes the chistorra sausage at Huertas himself, something he's done since opening the convivial neo-Basque restaurant in 2014, but he didn't start offering a concession-style version until this year. The garlic-and-paprika-loaded pork links approach Papaya-dog levels of snappiness, but with far more assertive spice. Snuggled by a toasted...
Best Fried-Chicken Sandwich
Meat Hook Sandwich
It's been a great year for fried-chicken sandwiches. And at Meat Hook Sandwich, the bready offshoot of cult Brooklyn butcher shop the Meat Hook, Gil Calderon puts together a crow-worthy crown jewel to top his cast of quirky, mammoth creations. His hot chicken sandwich pays tribute to Nashville's tongue-searing delicacy...
Best Fried Chicken
Montana's Trail House
While the Jefferson L stop isn't exactly "upstate," the vibe at Montana's Trail House is certainly cozy enough to feel like it could be some quaint Airbnb along the Appalachian Trail. The rustic aura extends to the menu, with its traditional mountain-man fare filtered through a Bushwick lens; many of...
Tempura Fish Taco
Talk all you want about the trendy quest to "redefine the taco" — if anything, chef/owner Alex Stupak of Empellón Taqueria is doing the opposite: taking the simple components of a traditional street food and refining them. A taco, after all, is essentially nothing more than a tortilla topped with...
If anything is poised to become New York City's next "it" food, it's the torta. For the uninitiated, a torta is more or less a burrito on a roll: a hearty stuffing of all the great Mexican accoutrements — queso, avocado, jalapeño — and more! It's the kind of sandwich...
Best Chicken Wings
Convincing proof that compelling innovation in the chicken wing category is possible comes from Han Dynasty, the Philadelphia import that now boasts a pair of New York City locations. (We're going with the East Village site; there's one on the Upper West side as well, at 215 West 85th Street,...
Billy Durney is a pitmaster with a vision: one that graciously includes dazzling jerk baby back ribs and lamb belly banh mi sandwiches. And at Hometown Bar-B-Que, the sprawling Red Hook meat emporium he opened in 2013, the ample crowds all leave with the same glazed-over gazes. They revel in...
Ramen joints are a dime a dozen here in New York City, but one sip of the flavorful broth and one bite of the mouth-wateringly tender pork at Chuko may well be enough to convince you that this is the best of them all. Even better than the heartily sized...
Don't let the name fool you — this place bears about as much resemblance to a restaurant as a Duane Reade. To the untrained eye, this is just a dumpling factory — there's flour and massive machinery everywhere. Step a little farther inside and you'll see a DMV-style Plexi service...
El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette
Head chef Gerardo Gonzalez hails from San Diego, so he gives his falafel a California twist at El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette, a tiny café on the Lower East Side. At first glance, the health-conscious menu — with everything from green mole on zaatar bread to kale salad to...
Best Food on a Stick
Lovers of kushiyaki — skewered and grilled Japanese meats and vegetables — ascend the stairs to Yakitori Totto, as they have for more than a decade. Chefs at the sleek and perpetually packed midtown hideaway torch more than 30 different wooden-stick-punctured offerings on a wide electric grill, but chicken is...
Best Power Lunch
Peter Luger Steak House
New York City boasts a number of restaurants where you can run up a hefty noontime tab in an attempt to impress a V.I.P. client, but if you've got the time, and you really want to knock someone's socks off, call a black car and head to Peter Luger Steak...
Best Restaurant When Someone Else Pays
Under the command of Danish chef Ronny Emborg, Atera, once the playground of progressive Portland (Oregon) import Matthew Lightner, now whirs with a New Nordic sensibility. Emborg's elegant tastings, served twice nightly at the restaurant's large U-shaped counter, encompass nearly twenty visually stunning courses doled out over a leisurely two...
Bowery Meat Company
Caviar-topped deviled eggs? Forty-eight-dollar duck lasagna for two? The modern steakhouse might be going through a New American existential crisis, but trust skilled restaurateurs and affable showmen John McDonald and chef Josh Capon to steer the brawny, staid format toward a prosperous future. At Bowery Meat Company, the team behind...
Hudson & Charles
This relative newcomer to Hudson Street in the West Village hit all the on-trend buzzwords while marketing itself ("local," "sustainable," "nose to tail"), especially after co-owners Jay Fox and friends added "craft beer, cider, and growlers" to their butcher shop's list of offerings. Hey, nothing wrong with giving the people...
Wife-and-husband team Jayantha and Lakruwana Wijesinghe first ran their Sri Lankan restaurant, Lakruwana, from a midtown office building — surreptitiously. Then they went legit and moved to Staten Island, joining some 5,000 other Sri Lankan expats, the largest community of its kind in the U.S. At their stately restaurant, decorated...
Cup & Saucer
The term "diner" is one that gets thrown around a lot these days. In 2015, it seems any restaurant with a laminated menu and a couple of vinyl booths is able to claim it belongs to this time-honored American tradition. But while almost anyone can fry up a few eggs...
Best Cheap Eats
Named for the Lebanese street food Ziyad Hermez yearned for most after moving stateside, Manousheh sells eight varieties of its namesake crisp-edged, baked-to-order flatbread. The scent of zaatar (a popular Middle Eastern spice blend of thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds) wafts through Hermez's smartly decorated Greenwich Village bakery. Its versatile,...
Best Fast/Casual Restaurant
Sri Lanka's godamba roti, a pancake-like griddled flatbread, shares DNA with Malaysia's roti canai and enjoys notoriety among street-food enthusiasts. Chopped and stir-fried with chopped cabbage, shredded carrots, and thinly sliced leeks, it forms the base of the namesake dish at Kottu House on the Lower East Side, where mother/son...
Best Food Truck
Zsolt Prepuk is positive he's the first person in New York City to sell langos from a truck. "The only!" he says as he doles out plates of the traditional Hungarian street food to a hungry crowd gathered at the side of his traveling lunch stand, Langos Truck. Langos (pronounced...
Best Food You Can Have Delivered
Grand Sichuan House
Ignore the restaurant's confusing website: Grand Sichuan House — which is not related to the Grand Sichuan chain located on St. Marks Place in Manhattan and Grove Street in Jersey City — takes orders by phone and through websites like GrubHub and Seamless (though only until 10 p.m.). If you...
Best Coffee Shop (For Coffee)
Devoción owner Steven Sutton gambled when dedicating this airy, industrial Williamsburg roastery and café solely to Colombian coffee. While the South American leader in arabica production has long held a reputation for good coffee, it wasn't until recently that pioneers like Sutton, spending regular intervals at the origin, pursued traceability...
Fred Hua handles the culinary side of this East Williamsburg art gallery and Vietnamese coffee shop, which hosts a rotation of contemporary visual and performance artists. Inside the cozy-meets-industrial lofted space at Nhà Minh, Hua offers a constantly changing all-day roster of multilayered grain bowls, sandwiches, baked goods, and the...
When it comes to brunch, Cookshop can be relied upon to Bring It on a regular basis. First off, you can book, so instead of waiting an hour for eggs, you'll be ushered to your table and offered baked goods, which you want. The menu changes daily, but whatever pastry...
Best Dim Sum
Nom Wah Tea Parlor
The city's oldest dim sum restaurant, Nom Wah Tea Parlor anchors one of Chinatown's most charming side streets — the elbow-like Doyers — and has for nearly a century. But it wasn't until restaurateur Wilson Tang (Fung Tu) took over the family business that its popularity exploded. Five years under...
Hot Bread Kitchen
Jessamyn Rodriguez launched this socially conscious bakery and business incubator in 2010, after time spent working for the United Nations and baking under Daniel Boulud. Nestled beneath an elevated railway in the middle of Spanish Harlem, Hot Bread Kitchen sells a staggering array of baked goods with recipes whose origins...
The Bagel Store
This year's winner has earned its definite article: It's not "A Bagel Store"; it's The Bagel Store, as in the only place to buy bagels this creative and delicious. Scot Rossillo, proprietor and self-proclaimed "World's Premier Bagel Artist," is no newcomer to the biz. A native of Gravesend, Brooklyn, he...
Moist is a cringe-worthy word, but no other descriptor feels fitting after sampling the doughnuts fine-dining veteran Scott Levine serves at Underwest Donuts. That they're found opposite the Intrepid museum, tucked inside a West Side Highway car wash co-owned by the chef's father-in-law, only further cements their cult status. But...
Best Ice Cream
Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream
Get cerebral about frozen desserts at stylish, retro Lower East Side parlor Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream, where restaurateur and former pastry pro Nick Morgenstern doles out dreamy, egg-less Philadelphia-style and custard-based ice creams in modern and often cheeky flavors like sesame caramel, rose-pepper-cherry chocolate, and "black ass" licorice. Enjoy them...
Best New Ice Cream Shop
MilkMade Tasting Room
It's been a big year for Diana Hardeman, founder of MilkMade ice creams, or 'screams, as her legions of Instagram followers know them. MilkMade Tasting Room has been luring crowds since it opened this spring, with flavors like cinnamon toast, and double-cream brie with cabernet caramel. This in addition to...
Best Ice Cream Sandwich
Jacques Torres Chocolate
You could take six bites of this whopping confection at Jacques Torres Chocolate and still feel like you've consumed an entire football-size Carvel ice cream cake. Two hefty scoops of whatever ice cream flavor you choose, from the heartbeat-exploding espresso to the ancho and chipotle chile-infused "wicked" chocolate, are squeezed...
Best Wine List in a Restaurant
Untitled at the Whitney
The newest addition to Danny Meyer's expansive restaurant collection, Untitled at the Whitney has tourists, gourmands, and aesthetes alike swarming to score coveted cherry-red Saarinen seats. Amid the warm glow emanating from eggshell-hued umbrella fixtures, patrons can peruse beverage director Eduardo Porto Carreiro's carefully chosen wines-by-the-glass and bottle list. Rather...
Best Wine Shop
Chambers Street Wines
When your goal is to track down old vintages of Austrian whites from local wine retailers, you accept that your quest has an inherently high failure rate. But when the wine buyer at Chambers Street Wines emails you back with a list of two dozen options recently secured at auction,...
Best Wine Bar
Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels
A wine bar run by management that understands specialty coffee immediately scores points with discerning drinkers of both liquids. Put one on the board, then, for Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels: This summer, head sommelier Caleb Ganzer introduced a seasonal pop-up daytime café offering single-origin cold brew, optionally sweetened with concentrated...
Best Oyster Bar
Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.
Any bar can shuck a few bivalves at happy hour, but if you want real oyster expertise, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. is North Brooklyn's safest bet. Carefully sourcing sustainable staples for every item on a menu full of thoughtful, elegant seafood dishes (like green curry mussels, fish tacos, or...
Best Bar Food
Mother of Pearl
Faced with a sinking building foundation, Ravi DeRossi was forced to close Gin Palace, his dark and moody ode to everyone's favorite juniper-based spirit. But its unavoidable demise only invigorated the busy restaurateur and bar owner, who went for a complete overhaul. The result: Mother of Pearl, a cheeky nod...
Best New Bar
If you're trying to prove that the Upper East Side is a destination for great drinks, referencing Pam Wiznitzer (the Voice's Best Bartender 2014) is what you might call a game-changer. Wiznitzer, as creative director, is responsible for developing the roughly 50 classic elixirs that fill the leather-bound menus at...
Best Hotel Bar
The NoMad Bar
With help from restaurateurs Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, star bartender (star-tender?) Leo Robitschek turned the original bar inside the NoMad hotel's eponymous restaurant into a world-class drinking destination. Their follow-up, the NoMad Bar, sits around the corner from the original, a pub-inspired version of its older sibling. The boozy...
Best LGBTQ Bar (Manhattan)
Therapy has a longstanding reputation for being one of the city's hottest gay bars. And sure, Hell's Kitchen may be a bit of a gay cliché, but still: Therapy embodies everything a gay bar should be. Equipped with reasonably priced drinks, drag, trendy beats, and flashy neon lights, Therapy gives...
Best LGBTQ Bar (Not Manhattan)
The name says it all — this divey lair beneath elevated subway tracks is both happy and fun, imbued with the queer, quirky, DIY spirit of its Bushwick surroundings. With pinball machines, video art, and rotating wall art made by locals, Happyfun Hideaway is both creative and unpretentious, a sister...
Best Apéritif Bar
Pearl & Ash
Out of the thousands upon thousands of watering holes populating our grand city, Pearl & Ash demands distinction for its unique cocktail program, which is built exclusively from low-ABV apéritifs/digestifs. Working with vermouths, amaros, and herbal and root-based liqueurs traditionally reserved for before or after the meal, cocktail consultant Eben...
Best Whiskey Bar
Dead Rabbit is one of those places that's been lavished with such bombastic praise, it somehow seems destined to disappoint when you finally acquaint yourself with it. It is just a bar, after all. Or is it? The three-story townhouse in the nether regions of the FiDi (of all places)...
Best Cocktail Bar
Hotel Delmano gives off the impression of having been abandoned — the front door, fastened shut with a heavy silver padlock, is blocked by an elevator gate complete with wayward plants jutting out of it. Large light bulbs peer out the windows like sentinels. Go around the corner, though, and...
Best Cocktails With a View
There's no skyline quite like our skyline. SixtyFive (yep, 65 floors up) at the Top of the Rock puts you in the very heart of it. Martini in your right hand, Empire State at your left. "I have never seen a more breathtaking cityscape," says beverage director Molly Cohen of...
Best Beach Bar
Ruby's Bar & Grill
For the past several years, Brooklyn's Bushwick/Bed-Stuy gentrification set have been piling into party buses and heading to Rockaway Beach for their weekend sun-and-surf getaways. And, not surprisingly, the restaurants, bars, food trucks, and pop-ups have followed. But some of us are looking for an authentic Brooklyn beach experience, which...
Best Bloody Mary
Poor us. We've been going through life believing that bloody marys were reserved for breakfast and brunch. Leave it to venerable barman Kenta Goto, who found acclaim behind the stick at pioneering craft cocktail den Pegu Club, to prove us dead wrong. Now at his cozy, namesake Bar Goto, he...
Best Beer Selection in a Bar
Part bar, part bottle shop, Brouwerij Lane would stand out in either category. Combined, it's a craft beer destination worth battling the G train to get to. The frequently rotating tap list veers away from the vaunted selections common to many a Brooklyn watering hole, focusing instead on vastly underappreciated...
Best Cider Bar
Cider is surely having its moment. Already one of the fastest-growing alcoholic beverages in America today, the drink further elevated its stature with the opening of Wassail earlier this year. The elegant bar and vegetarian eatery on the Lower East Side is the city's first space wholly devoted to cider...
Best Place to Drown Your Sorrows
Karma Hookah Bar & Lounge
There are thousands of places in New York City where you can cope with life's disappointments in the most healthy, well-adjusted way possible — by tying one on and sobbing on a mahogany bar. But there is only one place in this city where you can do so for a...
Best Local Brewery
Other Half Brewing Company
It's been less than two years since this Carroll Gardens brewery blasted open in an explosion of West Coast hops. Within that short time, brewmasters Samuel Richardson and Matt Monahan have firmly asserted themselves as the Ones to Watch. And business is booming. Their frill-free tasting room — splitting the...
Best Local Distillery
Kings County Distillery
When Kings County Distillery started making whiskey in Brooklyn five years ago, it threw open some rather boozy floodgates. Since then, dozens of craft installations have set up shop nearby. Yet as the local field becomes precariously dense, Kings County has maintained its primacy. The formula for its flagship bourbon...
Best Dive Bar (Bronx)
Stan's Sports Bar
"So this is Stan's," Yankee royalty Derek Jeter said during a 2014 visit to Stan's Sports Bar. Established in 1979 and located within steps of Yankee Stadium, Stan's has since become a Bronx mainstay for Bombers fans and locals alike. Offering beer (the venue boasts forty different bottles and eight...
Best Dive Bar (Brooklyn)
Turkey's Nest Tavern
Located just far enough away from the hullabaloo that is the Bedford L stop, Turkey's Nest Tavern is an anomaly in an area where kale smoothies rule the streets. Looking like it came right out of 1976, this local watering hole has been serving large, cheap drinks for longer than...
Best Dive Bar (Manhattan)
Amid all the Irish pubs and fancy restaurants that currently dominate glittery midtown Manhattan, Jimmy's Corner stands as an oasis of a bygone New York City: an honest-to-God dive bar that makes no attempt to hide its griminess — cramped quarters, wooden bar and all. It also exudes fascinating personal...
Best Dive Bar (Queens)
Even if you get seriously tipsy, you'll always know what season it is as long as you're inside Kelly's. The decades-old institution — a true dive, rather than a painstakingly manufactured one — is perpetually decorated to the hilt, the particulars changing according to the time of year. What doesn't...
Best Dive Bar (Staten Island)
Liedy's Shore Inn
Liedy's Shore Inn in New Brighton, the oldest bar on Staten Island, celebrated its 110th birthday this year. Inside, the décor doesn't seem to have changed much over the past 50 years, and neither has the ownership: Jacob Liedy opened it, and it's been operated by his great-grandson, Larry Liedy,...
Best Restaurant Restroom
"Vegetable-forward" Semilla charges $85 for its produce-heavy tasting menus, in which the kitchen uses animal proteins and fats as accompaniments to flora rather than as the main event. Courses are dished out at a U-shaped counter in a can't-believe-it's-not-gentrified-yet section of Williamsburg. But despite the dazzling array of greenmarket bounty,...
Best Harbinger of Impending Gentrification
Ho'Brah: A Taco Joint
The success of this surfer-themed Mexicali bar and restaurant (a second location opened on Staten Island in late April) is the definitive sign that Bay Ridge, a family-oriented, largely Greek and Middle Eastern neighborhood, is being invaded by younger Brooklynites looking for a cheap and quiet place to hang. Ho'Brah...