The best restaurants in NYC right now

Including Korean skewer sets, a dazzling new Indian restaurant and erstwhile favorites.

10. B&H Dairy

A kosher diner in the East Village serving up tuna melts, pierogies, kasha varnishkes and borscht.

Photo: Photograph: Ali Garber

The narrow space has a tremendous egg cream, and it's one of the last remaining old New York spots in the neighborhood

9. Congee Village

A jubilant Chinese restaurant with book-length menus and brightly colored cocktails.

Photo: Photograph: Ali Garber

Congee's sprawling interior is ideally suited to boisterous nights filled with stories you may have heard before that still elicit sonorous laughter.

Lines accrue fast, but the pretty bar area is a cozy place to wait if you can nab a spot, and the dining areas beyond have plenty of big tables to accommodate groups.

The menu’s almost as large as the space, with several congee varieties and an encyclopedia of Chinese plates.

8. Kokomo

One of a few spots here that also appeared on our best restaurants of 2020 roundup, Kokomo is a Caribbean restaurant from husband and wife team Ria and Kevol Graham.

Photo: Photograph: Courtesy Katrine Moite/Kokomo

As we wrote at the time, Kokomo’s wood-fired flatbreads, slow braised oxtail and chicken and waffles are all bonafide comfort foods.

The restaurant interior’s warm tones and florid design further set the mood, and we recently named Kokomo NYC's best outdoor dining spot in our Best of the City awards.

7. The Arepa Lady

What began as a modest cart is now a brick-and-mortar restaurant specializing in arepas and other Colombian bites in Jackson Heights. Maria Piedad Cano and her family run the kitchen.

Photo: Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

Arepa lady has a wide variery of that titular item, plus some of the best South American corn cakes found in New York.

6. French Louie

Easy, local-favorite French fare

Photo: Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Every neighborhood would be lucky to have a restaurant like French Louie, which serves as fine a special occasion spot as any fancy-address destination in the city.

If for example, you happened to be nearby, and it was your birthday, and a sudden blizzard made even local travel inadvisable, you could still drift into French Louie’s dimly honey-hued dining room for a suitable fête.

Its moules frites, duck au poivre and uncommonly generous portion of pȃté are priced decently enough to add to your regular weekend rotation, too.

5. Astoria Seafood

A choose-your-own seafood spot as close as many of us will get to fishing.

Photo: Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

Dining out and having fun are, shockingly, not always mutually inclusive.

At Astoria Seafood, you’ll peruse and choose from uncooked tuna, octopus, sardines, branzino shellfish, scallops, snapper, fluke and all manner of sea creatures before you tell ‘em how you’d like it cooked.

BYOB and a bubbly, casual environment make this popular spot worth its long lines.

4. L&B Spumoni Gardens

Classic, required eating for NYC pizza devotees.

Photo: Photograph: Courtesy Melissa Sinclair

L&B's saucy, pillowy squares are best in class, amplified even further with a few shakes of Parmesan and finished with an order of the tricolor ice cream that gave the place its name.

3. Peppa’s Jerk Chicken

NYC's undisputed top jerk chicken purveyor.

Photo: Photograph: Courtesy Peppa's Jerk Chicken

Peppa’s has a wonderfully fragrant goat curry and tender stewed oxtail, but it’s the smoky, perfectly grilled chicken that keeps us coming back.

You can easily pay a bundle for a roast chicken at some NYC restaurants, but we think this one is just as satisfying, if not more, than many of the most expensive birds in town.

2. Maya Congee Cafe

An East Asian general store with bites at the counter, Maya Bed-Stuy specializes in novel takes on congee.

Photo: Photograph: Courtesy of Maya Bed-Stuy

Maya serves noteworthy congee with additions like quinoa, avocado and other tasty ingredients.

1. Los Tacos No.1

A taqueria-style counter where cooks roll masa and slice spit-roasted pork with ease and speed to keep up with demand.

Photo: Photograph: Filip Wolak

Los Tacos No. 1's lively Chelsea Market location is our favorite of the micro-chain's outposts, which now number five throughout Manhattan.

But we'd visit any one of them for pollo asado tacos, carne asada quesadillas and homemade aguas frescas.

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