Sat. May 18th, 2024

The best restaurants are a must for any trip to a major city. From high-end cocktail lounges to tried-and-true neighborhood escapes, these dining spots are the places where discerning palates and thrill seekers alike find their bliss. And three years after COVID forced the city that never sleeps to dim its lights, New York’s restaurant scene feels energized again. Some established eateries, like Michelin-starred Le Bernardin and pizza destination Lucali, have emerged even stronger. And new genres of dining, like contentious vegetarian spot Contento and wildly spicy Dhamaka, have carved out their own distinct niches.

Food & Wine’s 2022 Restaurant of the Year, Locust, started out as an ode to dumplings and shaved ice—and would still deserve a place on this list if it stayed that way. But now this gorgeous, photogenic space serves up a menu that defies expectations with dishes like grilled oysters slathered in crab fat curry and bone marrow paired with crunchy shrimp tempura.

In a hypothetical Restaurant Olympics, NYC’s Estela would be hurling raw scallops over flattened dates and dabbing uni on top. The opulent and playful eatery has a seductive charm that continues to win diners over decade after decade. And while the restaurant’s idiosyncratic approach to fine dining is bold and risky, it always pays off. best restaurants

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