The Lower East Side’s Lowlife is “a minimalist experience for the neighborhood, and the food, which is cautiously French with some Japanese influences, follows the feeling.”

Lowlife’s Highbrow Pedigree

At Faro, a new Italian restaurant in Bushwick, the kitchen makes its flour from grains grown upstate and then turns it into inventive pasta shapes. There’s also a wood-burning oven that does wonders with asparagus and octopus, animal-welfare-approved meat, and a minimalist dining room so cool and spacious that it looks like an imagined Los Angeles. (Photograph by Jeremy Liebman)

You Can’t Eat the Zeitgeist

“At the Black Ant, in the East Village, the house guacamole varies; it has been studded with garbanzo beans, fried corn, orange slices, jicama, radishes, and even cheese. But it is always finished with ants.” Photograph by Dina Litovsky

A Guacamole Garnish More Shocking Than Peas

The atmosphere alone could be enough to warrant a visit: a burlap-walled, cedar-accented party hosted by a low-key, affable celebrity. (Photograph by David Brandon Geeting)

James Murphy’s Wine Bar

One recent afternoon, people at picnic tables sampled honey moonshine (flavored with honeycombs from the Brooklyn Grange’s apiaries) and bitter chocolate whiskey (infused with Mast Brothers’ cacao husks). (Illustration by Boyoun Kim)

Distilled in Brooklyn

Affordable, authentic Italian: "Milan native Gaia Bagnasacco has been preparing authentic Italian food at bargain prices not seen since the nineteen-nineties." (Photograph by Davide Luciano)

Tables for Two: Gaia Italian Café

A Harlem institution: "Most evenings, a crowd of familiar faces congregates at the long bar, helping themselves to trays of collard greens, mac and cheese, and fried chicken from a counter in the back, and tapping their feet to “Take the A Train” (though the 2 and 3 are closer)." (Illustration by Jeannie Phan)

Bar Tab: Just Lorraine’s Place

" can sit in an alcove booth or on a barstool around the piano, drink Hemingway Daiquiris, eat clams casino, and perform anything from Captain & Tennille’s 'Love Will Keep Us Together' to Joy Division’s 'Love Will Tear Us Apart.'" (Illustration by Matthew Hollister)

Sid Gold's Request Room

Streetbird: "The new place is a lively, endearing but painfully unsubtle homage to Harlem through the decades, from the graffiti on the rafters to the sneakers dangling from the sprinkler system and the booths upholstered in Louis Vuitton and Gucci leather." (Photograph by Brian Finke)

Streetbird Rotisserie

Rebelle: "Rebelle is one of those places that regard the wine with as much seriousness as the food." (Photograph by Landon Nordeman)


The Happiest Hour: “The bar is a sort of baby Bungalow 8, or, as one patron described it, a place for 'young people skewing old and old people skewing young.'” (Illustration by Daniel Krall)

The Happiest Hour

Astoria Seafood: "People of all ages, ethnicities, and economic brackets are drawn by a powerful common denominator: fresh fish, prepared simply and sold at a fraction of what it costs almost anywhere else." (Photograph by Lauren Lancaster.)

Astoria Seafood

Sweet Afton: "Few things are more intoxicating than the pairing of poetry and a good pint." (Photograph by Andrea Kalfas)

Sweet Afton

Momofuku Ko: "Chang has taught us at once how to take food more seriously and consume it more casually." (Photograph by James Pomerantz)

Momofuku Ko

Holiday Cocktail Lounge: “Fifty years ago, the Holiday opened at 8 A.M., a former bartender recently told a proprietor, so that high-rise window washers could come in 'to get a little courage.'” (Illustration by Rebecca Mock)

Holiday Cocktail Lounge

Racines NY: “The name means 'roots,' and from the savvy sustainable wines to the thoughtful service and the impeccable tweaked versions of French standards, Racines NY pays homage to tradition with a keen eye toward evolution.” (Photograph by Dina Litovsky)


Noreetuh: “The kitchen’s commitment to fun in every bite extends to even the most prosaic-sounding dishes, like the chow noodles, made up of uniform slivers of bean sprouts, shiitake, and spiced tofu.” (Photograph by Eric Helgas)


Stella 34: “Of the pizzas coming out of three wood-burning ovens, the one with cauliflower, cream, and Meyer lemon is the clear winner. (Gratin should always be served on bread.)” (Photograph by Lauren Lancaster)

Stella 34 Trattoria

Cosme: “The entire endeavor might be a very delicious excuse for dessert: a corn-husk meringue with its own hashtag, possessed of an intensely milky taste from the mousse of mascarpone, cream, and corn purée that spills out like lava from its core.” (Photograph by Aaron Graubart)


SixtyFive: “The sixty-fifth floor feels a bit like a dream: wraparound terrace, gorgeous views in all directions, a silvery geometric ceiling that looks like Gehry, or Georges Braque. You can stare at the ceiling—Is it stone? Is it velvet?—if you’ve chivalrously taken the non-view side of the table, or at the Empire State Building if you haven’t.”

SixtyFive - Rockefeller Center - New York, NY

Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.: “On a recent Sunday, the tacos shared billing with a hearty, house-smoked-bluefish hash topped with arugula and poached eggs; thick folds of arctic-char gravlax, strewn with capers and dill and served with a Black Seed bagel; and sweet, slippery lobes of sea urchin nestled in its spiny vessel.” (Photograph by James Pomerantz)

Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.

La Savane: "In truth, La Savane offers a kind of pan-African cuisine, thanks to a rotation of women from Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, and even Senegal who have overseen the kitchen. But the murals on the wall—of thatched-roofed huts and villagers tending a giant cauldron—were painted by an artist from Côte d’Ivoire, and some dishes represent that country distinctly." (Photograph by Jehad Nga)

La Savane - Central Harlem - New York, NY

Black Rabbit: "A fireplace for winter, a back garden for summer, dark-wood booths (“snugs”) with saloon doors for clandestine date-night canoodling in any season, and jovial Nerd Alert! trivia every Tuesday" (Illustration by Andrea Kalfas)

Black Rabbit - Greenpoint - Brooklyn, NY

The Library at The Public: "A restaurant and bar named for the building’s original incarnation as the Astor Library, with cozy leather armchairs and shelves of vintage scripts, props, and books."

The Library at The Public

Drunken Munkey: "A Bollywood flick plays, the churidar-outfitted waitstaff deliver railroad chicken on placemats mapping British India ... A first-time visitor chose a Wise Old Monkey (Old Monk rum, crème de banane, orange bitters) over a Lady Mountbatten (Scotch, Pamplemousse, strawberry gastrique), named for the wife of the last viceroy to India and a rumored lover of Nehru.” (Illustration by Rebecca Mock)

Drunken Munkey NYC