Craving something new? We've got you covered.
Whether you are just in need of a change, looking for your new neighborhood spot or want to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the next big restaurant trend, the city is always delivering with new food destinations.
Here's a look at some recent openings that offer a little variety for your dining life.
THE CHEAP(ER) EATS
FryGuys: An all-French fry restaurant on the border of the East Village and the Lower East Side, FryGuys prepares its entire menu from Idaho russet and sweet potatoes hand-cut daily. Get them plain for $6, or add a sauce like sriracha ketchup, maple gravy or basil mayo for a $1 extra. If you choose to take your spuds to the next level, an $8 order of "loaded fries" comes with topping combinations such as bacon, guacamole and queso. Inside, the décor will take you back to the '90s, when Lisa Frank designs covered every school folder. 150 E. Second St.; opened Sept. 26; fryguysnyc.com
La Chula: The second location of this Mexico City-style taqueria — by the chef behind Toloache, Yerba Buena and Coppelia — brings its tacos, ceviches and margaritas to East Harlem. For taco fillings, there's pastor (rotisserie pork marinated in chilies), sweet potato and chorizo and camaron (spicy garlic shrimp). As an alternative to tacos, go for the ceviche, a Mexican sandwich called a torta, or a “gringa,” an open-faced quesadilla. The cocktail menu features several of chef Julian Medina’s signature margaritas, such as El Barrio (mezcal, roasted pineapple, agave and lime), and a new offering named for the neighborhood (tequila, tamarind, lime and tajin), but there's also sangria, mojitos, beer and agua frescas to drink. The restaurant decorated with Mexican art seats 35 at tables and a counter. 127 E. 116th St.; opened mid-September; lachulanyc.com
Broken Coconut: Billed as a "beach to bowl" restaurant, Broken Coconut's founders are targeting "food conscious urban bohemians," according to a news release. The menu is centered around a dairy-free, coconut-based yogurt, but as man and woman cannot survive on coconut alone, the eatery is also serving up smoothies, salads, toast and grain bowls. Its 1,200-square-foot space evokes an ocean-side tropical resort with palm trees, pineapples and a wicker swing. A pink neon sign on one wall reads, "Eat Pretty." 15 E. 4th St., East Village; opened Oct. 5; brknccnt.com
Wagamama: The British fast-casual chain, which opened its first New York City location in NoMad last fall, is now serving its “Japanese-inspired” cuisine in the East Village. The menu features Japanese steamed buns and customizable ramen, curry and donburi (rice) bowls. Items range in price from $5 for some appetizers to as much as $17 for entrees. To drink, there’s only soda and water for now, but expect sake and sake cocktails once the outpost obtains a liquor license. The design aesthetic of the restaurant’s interior is sleek and modern, anchored by the chain’s hallmark wooden tables and booths. 55 Third Ave.; opened Oct. 4; wagamama.us
THE WEEKNIGHT GO-TOS
Hwa Yuan Szechuan: The original Hwa Yuan closed in the '80s, and its founder, restaurateur "Shorty" Tang, has since passed away. But Tang's son Chen Lieh is reopening the Chinatown institution that introduced New York to cold sesame noodles next door to the old location, according to The New York Times. The new Hwa Yuan is serving noodles, along with such dishes as scallion pancakes and Sichuan kung pao chicken. The modern space with traditional Chinese accents, such as hand-carved doors, seats about 350 on three floors. 42 E. Broadway, Chinatown; opened Oct. 5; 212-966-6002
Tali: “Top Chef” winner Harold Dieterle is behind this counter-service Italian restaurant and bar in Murray Hill, where the menu is entirely gluten free. Tali is serving up pastas, like a penne with roasted butternut squash, sage, brown butter, pecorino cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds ($13.50); paninis with chicken saltimbocca ($12.25) and wild mushrooms, taleggio and spinach ($11.75); and entrées like eggplant parm ($18.25) and salmon caponata ($21.75). On tap, there's wine, prosecco, cider and dry rosé. A connected bakery, Tali Dolce, is selling coffee, smoothies, house-made ice cream and gluten-free pastries and desserts. 77 Lexington Ave.; opened Sept. 20; talirestaurant.com
Thaimee: On the basement floor of the McCarren Hotel in Williamsburg, this Thai restaurant is serving weekday dinner and a weekend Bangkok buffet-style brunch. Guests at dinnertime can choose items like fried pumpkin balls ($10), beef green curry ($20) or a Thai iced tea affogato a la carte, or commit to a nine-course tasting menu selected by chef Hong Thaimee. For brunch, which is said to reflect the chef’s “immigrant love of NYC brunch culture,” there’s a Pad Thai carbonara that comes with your choice of rice or zucchini noodles ($18), a creme brulee French toast with apple compote ($14) and popovers with housemade jam ($12). If you want to see something miraculous happen at Thaimee, order the “magic noodle salad,” which changes from blue to purple with a spritz of lemon. 160 N. 12th St., Brooklyn; opened Sept. 21; thaimeeatmccarren.com
Don Angie: The husband-and-wife team who invented Quality Italian’s famous chicken parm pizza now have their own restaurant in the West Village. Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito continue their playful approach to Italian-American cooking and regional Italian fare here, with dishes like a prime rib braciole for two ($116). Handmade pasta for this season include gnocchi coated in a white and white poppy seed pesto ($21) and buffalo milk caramelle ($22) made with a two-toned, zebra-striped dough. On the cocktail list, there’s a margarita with Calabrian chili honey and fennel liqueur ($15) and a blend of grapefruit, Campari and prosecco called Nonna’s Little Nip ($4). The 60-seat space features a checkerboard-pattern tiled floor, dark mahogany tables and leather-upholstered corner booths. 103 Greenwich Ave.; opened Oct. 10; donangie.com
Wokuni: Tokyo Ichiban Foods, which owns and operates 50 restaurants in Japan, is putting its stamp on the United States with its first American outpost in Murray Hill. The company is flying seafood directly from its aquafarm in Nagasaki to Wokuni, where you can order it fried in tempura, grilled on a skewer (this method of preparation is called “kushiyaki” on the menu), or prepared as sushi or sashimi. Prices are a little higher than your average sushi joint, topping out at $39 for a plate of five types of sashimi. The high-ceilinged space sets a somber mood with dark walls and booths. 325 Lexington Ave.; opened Oct. 18; wokuninyc.com
THE WEEKEND SPLURGES
Celestine: Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill isn't DUMBO's only buzzy opening anymore. Celestine is a new concept from Joe Campanale and Grand Army Bar’s Julian Brizzi and Noah Bernamoff. Located on the ground floor of the Brooklyn Bridge Park residential building 1 John St., the eatery boasts waterfront views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges and lower Manhattan. Pair that view with selections from executive chef Garett McMahan’s eastern Mediterranean-inspired menu, from mezze such as baked hummus ($5) and house-made yogurt ($6) to starters such as grilled delicata squash with kataif ($15) and braised rabbit kugel ($16). Many of the entrees, from the cod ($30) to the lamb for two ($52), are cooked on a wood-burning grill. Campanale oversees the wine, while Grand Army Bar’s Kevin Baird provides original cocktails. 1 John St., Brooklyn; opened Oct. 12; celestinebk.com
Bond 45: Make your reservations at this Italian restaurant for a meal before a Broadway show. The original Bond 45, which opened at the site of the historic Bond Clothing Store on 45th Street, has relocated to a two-story space where it's serving signature dishes like fettuccine Alfredo ($19) and fried artichokes ($12), as well as some new menu options. The drinks menu by a Roman sommelier and mixologist assembles wines from around the world, locally brewed craft beers and ciders and cocktails like the $15 Bond Cup (pineapple-infused vodka, lime, passion fruit, yuzu). The ambience here is classic New York style meets Italian details. 221 W. 46th St.; opened Sept. 25; bond45ny.com
Aviary NYC: Come here for the cocktails, but enjoy the small plates, too. This 90-seat branch of Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas' experimental Chicago bar has a bird's-eye view of Central Park from its perch in the Mandarin Oriental. Your dining options here are ordering a la carte drinks and bites, a three-course cocktail tasting menu ($90 per person), or a five-course tasting menu of drinks and paired bites ($135 per person). Inventive cocktails on the menu include the Wake and Bake (a mix of rye, coffee- and orange-infused vermouth and coffee liqueur served in a clear plastic pillow filled with the scent of an everything bagel for $24) and Cloche Encounters of the 46 Kind (graham, cinnamon, mocha chai, bourbon, $25). To balance out those sophisticated drinks, order tapas such as heirloom tomatoes with raspberry gazpacho, basil and burrata ($23) and pork belly curry with banana, cashew and iceberg lettuce ($24). 80 Columbus Circle at 60th St.; opened Sept. 27; aviarynyc.com
Legasea: Executive chef Jason Hall, an alum of Gotham Bar & Grill, and TAO Group partner Ralph Scamardella are leading this 145-seat seafood brasserie on the second floor of the Moxy Times Square hotel. A raw bar serves up oysters, clams and the like by the piece, or in two massive “towers” of shellfish. The rest of the menu offers appetizers like a spicy crab beignet with chipotle creme fraiche and butter powder ($16); classic salads; grilled fish; an entire lobster bake with shrimp, clams, mussels, corn, potatoes and garlic butter ($65); and a fish and chips plate served with remoulade sauce ($21). Legasea’s design plays with nautical themes and features colored tiles, polished copper and leather accents. 485 Seventh Avenue, opened Oct. 16; moxytimessquare.com