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
Carl’s Jr.: The national burger chain company with roots in Los Angeles and franchises concentrated on the West Coast and in the Southwest has opened its first New York City location in Coney Island. (A second outpost is set to land in a far more accessible Manhattan neighborhood on Jan. 31, so you may want to hold off on trying your first Carl’s Jr. sandwich until the end of the month, but far be it from us to restrain your enthusiasm.) The menu includes a $5 “All-Star” meal, “Thickburgers” made with Black Angus beef patties weighing in at one-third or a half a pound, breaded chicken tenders and ice cream shakes. 1201 Surf Ave., Brooklyn; opened Jan. 9; carlsjr.com
Tacombi: The taqueria chain born in Volkswagon van on the beaches of the Yucatan brings a taste of Mexico to the ground floor of the Empire State Building. Tacombi makes its own tortillas in house, so they’re fresh when they come to your table under a helping or barbacoa, chorizo or shrimp. Black and white are the dominant colors in the new, brightly lit space. At the wide decorated with pineapples and Tacombi’s proprietary soda bottles, order cocktails like a mezcal mule, beer, or an espresso drink. 23 W. 33rd St.; opened Jan. 10; tacombi.com
West~bourne: Soak in some chill Cali vibes at this “veggie-centric” all-day café serving tea, coffee, wine and beer in SoHo. To order, there’s a selection of dishes inspired by what’s currently in season on the West Coast: a Malibu waffle made with buckwheat, vanilla crème fraiche and organic blackberry jam; an “over the rainbowl” with brown basmati rice, lentil falafel, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale and pickled beets; and an Echo taco with onion-pepper-potato hash and American cheese on a corn tortilla. Save room for custom pies from Brooklyn’s Four & Twenty Blackbirds. West~bourne’s 28-seat space showcases reclaimed wood finishings and graphics evoking the Los Angeles of the '60s. Through a partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation, a portion of proceeds to The Door, a non-profit mentoring young adults in New York City. 137 Sullivan St.; opened Jan.10; westbourne.com
Som Bo: The explosion of healthy fast-casual eateries in Manhattan continues with Som Bo, an Asian fusion addition with a Cantonese name that means “three treasures” (i.e. grains, proteins and vegetables). The formula here is the same at the one at Dig Inn, Indikitch and Two Forks: You choose a “main” like Korean short rib or grilled lemongrass chicken, a “base” like brown rice or wok-tossed farro, two sides and a sauce. A bowl costs no more than $13. You’ll find some Western ingredients on the menu, such as beets and Brussels sprouts, and drinks like Vietnamese cold brew ($3.95) and iced roasted barley tea ($3.50). The space itself is spare, a white palette that gets most of its color from plentiful bottles of Sriracha. 143 Eighth Ave., Manhattan; opened Dec. 8; sombofood.com
Egghead: The mascot of this all-day egg-centric sandwich shop inside the Moxy Times Square Hotel is an egg wearing spectacles, naturally. Its signature dish is the Classic ($7.50), a sandwich that comes loaded with fried egg, melty American cheese, fried shallots, spicy aioli, tomato and thick-cut Nueske’s bacon, all on a potato roll. Other BECs on the menu include the $8 Green & White, with baked egg whites and sautéed kale, and the $9 Ranchero, embellished with chorizo and cilantro. Start your day at the breakfast comfort food spot with a cup of juice or hot coffee ($3). 485 Seventh Ave.; opened Jan. 1; moxy-hotels.marriott.com
THE WEEKNIGHT GO-TOS
Soogil: This modern Korean restaurant in the East Village is named for chef/owner Soogil Lim, who trained in French cuisine at Daniel. Lim’s first eatery marries the flavors of his South Korean childhood and the techniques of French cooking. You’ll want to try the mung bean sprout Korean pancake (which is prepared by pureeing the sprouts with pork fat, then pan-frying the mixture); the sweet potato beignets paired with a chilled white kimchi soup; and the soy-braised short rib served with winter vegetables, marble potatoes, rice and kimchi. To drink, there are Korean spirits like soju and variations on traditional French cocktails. Traditional Korean pottery ornaments a space with large French windows, a seven-seat wooden bar and white oak tables. 108 E. 4th St.; opened Jan. 9; soogil.com
Fausto: Those mourning the loss of Franny’s have a consolation: its replacement, Fausto. Chef Erin Shambura and wine pro Joe Campanale (both vets of the West Village Italian spot L’Artusi) aren’t doing pizza, but they are putting a familiar focus on local, seasonal cooking at the Park Slope spot, much of it made in Franny’s old wood-burning oven. Start with bites like cured sardines ($10) and arancini ($9) before moving on to pastas like the tagliatelle with lamb shank ragu ($21), entrees like the whole roasted porgy ($26) and, for dessert, lemon ricotta cake ($10) and salted caramel panna cotta ($10). Campanale’s beverage program is also Italian-focused, including selections from small producers in Southern Italy, as well as plenty of aperitifs and digestifs. The décor has, of course, changed, with leather banquettes and rattan chairs making for a vintage look. But you can still find piles of wood ready for the fire. 348 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn; opened Dec. 9; faustobrooklyn.com
Sorbillo: This Neapolitan pizzeria has already been frequented by the likes of Mario Batali, Jimmy Fallon, Michael Symon and Liev Schreiber. It’s the latest from famed Naples pizzaiolo Gino Sorbillo, who first debuted in NYC this spring with the fast-casual calzone spot Zia Esterina in Little Italy before opening his namesake pizzeria. Sorbillo comes from a long line of pizzaioli; the original Sorbillo first opened in 1935 in Naples, and his father is one of 21 children who all became pizza chefs. At the New York outpost, find light, soft-crust pies, ranging from a basic marinara ($12) to the extravagant Alba, with black truffle and quail eggs ($35), alongside a menu of antipasti, pasta and dessert. 334 Bowery; opened Nov. 28; sorbillonyc.com
St. Tropez: As the name implies, this West Village wine bar channels French Riviera vibes. Yohann Pecheux, a Saint-Tropez-area native and alum of nearby Aria Wine Bar, is behind the all-French wine list, with glasses starting at $9. On food, there’s chef Gérald Barthélémy, who previously helmed the kitchen of the Michelin-starred Paris restaurant Les Élysées. Here he’s focusing on hearty, wallet-friendly Provençal fare such as beef meatballs with ratatouille ($12) and beef stew in red wine sauce ($17), as well as cheese and charcuterie to pair with your vino. For dessert, don’t miss the Tropézienne tart ($8), a Saint-Tropez specialty. 304 W. Fourth St.; opened Dec. 6; sttropezwinebar.com
THE WEEKEND SPLURGES
Jade Sixty: This fancy Asian steakhouse with executive chef Skinny Mei (an alum of Philippe Chow and Jue Lan Club) leading the kitchen is serving both American red meat staples and popular Asian-American dishes. For lunch, there's a three-course prix fixe menu focused on the latter ($20.18). For dinner, bring friends, because most dishes on the menu serve one to four people, such as the $75 seven-pound roast duck, the aged prime porterhouse ($54 per person) and the surf and turf platter for two ($155). The items fusing Eastern and Western influences are the ones that intrigue us most: wasabi mashed potatoes, white ponzu bearnaise sauce, crispy filet mignon. Start your night with a drink at the ground-floor bar and work your way up into one of two dining rooms dressed up in gray, black and red shades. 116 E. 60th St.; opened Jan. 4; jadesixty.com
DaDong: Chef-owner Dong Zhenxiang has opened the first U.S. location of his celebrated Beijing-based, roast-duck chain to a palatial, two-floor space in an office building across the street from Bryant Park. DaDong’s Manhattan branch has 440 seats stretched over 17,500 square feet. The menu features a staggering 80 dishes, but the obvious choice here is the signature Peking duck ($98 for a whole bird, $58 for half), which is served with pancakes, sesame buns and sauces. Dong has developed his own breed of duck with the help of an Indiana farm, and he’s having 450 a week delivered to his restaurant, where they’re cooked and crisped in five huge, vertical ovens. You’ll have to be patient about getting your foot in the door at DaDong: Reservations were booked through February within the first two hours of becoming available a few weeks ago, The New York Times reported. 3 Bryant Park, Manhattan; opened Dec. 8; dadongny.com
Baar Baar: This “Indian gastro bar” is from international chef Sujan Sarkar, the man behind a similar concept in San Francisco. While Rooh gives upscale Indian fare the California treatment, Baar Baar is re-examining the food of Sarkar’s youth with a New York lens. A menu, partitioned into sections for Indian flatbreads called kulchas, small plates, thali platters and larger entrees, features items like the Indian snack dahi puri served with avocado, tamarind, mint-cilantro chutney and yogurt mousse, tandoori guinea hen and a seafood platter including Malabar prawn sausage, Masala-baked oyster and South Indian crabcake with fermented chili mayo. Cocktails at Sarkar’s restaurant also pay homage to his Indian roots. Splashes of bright hues like turquoise booths and a multicolored mural enliven the space. 13 E. 1st St.; opened Dec. 1; baarbaarnyc.com
Brooklyn Cider House: You're going to want to set aside at least two to dine at this Bushwick cidery/restaurant/bar designed to capture the experience of a sagardotegi, or traditional Basque cider house. Head cider maker Peter Yi is serving four of the varieties he produces upstate (from "bone dry" to "half sour") in draught, flight and bottle form. Nibble on bar snacks like almonds or olives while you're tasting everything, or sit down at one of the restaurant's long communal tables to enjoy a prix-fixe Basque-inspired communal feast ($37 per person for the traditional version, $32 for the vegetarian one) including plates of cider-braised chorizo, tortilla de bacalao (a cod omelet) and grilled seasonal vegetables. It's $15 extra to pair those platters with a guided tour and cider tasting in between in each course. 1100 Flushing Ave., Brooklyn; opened Dec. 14; brooklynciderhouse.com
Caribbean Social: Flatbush, recently re-christened Little Caribbean, is getting more island flavor. This so-called “restaulounge” is from the same people behind East Flatbush Caribbean destination Suede. The two-level spot, located on the border of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens and Flatbush, features a menu from Gary Lewis, an alum of Miss Lily’s. Dine on jerk lamb skewers ($12), curry chicken ($14) and Creole shrimp ($22) in the downstairs restaurant space, or head upstairs for cocktails at The Christophe, a social club with its own bar and menu of small plates. As for drinks, you'll find plenty of rum, with cocktails including the Royale Society (Hennessey, spiced rum and guava juice with muddled strawberries, $14). 847 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn; opened Dec. 1; caribbeansocial.suedenyc.com