16 Of New York City's BEST New Restaurants

Photo: Courtesy of SRO Pizza.
Nothing changes more frequently in New York City than the ever-rotating selection of hot new restaurants you have to visit. Each season, hopeful chefs (both aspiring and seasoned) open their doors with ambitions to become the next best culinary thing. But out of the vast number of eateries added to the city's repertoire, only a handful make a serious impact.

With 2015 in full force, we sifted through all the openings that have happened so far this year and found 16 restaurants definitely worth fighting to get into (because with overnight popularity comes two-hour waits, right?). From a completely revamped Ramen Lab with a rotating selection of Japanese noodles to some seriously authentic Italian fare in the heart of Bushwick, these new New York gems are guaranteed to satiate every craving. Just do us a favor and be sure to wear comfortable heels when you check them out.
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Photo: Courtesy of Gardenia.
The new West Village eatery from The Black Ant's Jorge Guzman and Mario Hernandez is the kind of cute neighborhood hangout every New Yorker dreams of. But it goes beyond the modern fixtures and more greenery than you would ever expect in Manhattan; the space is also home to a seriously delicious selection of Latin/Mediterranean fare: think Catalan noodles paella, garlic flatbread, and black-tortilla tuna tacos.

Gardenia, 64 Downing Street (between Bedford and Varick streets); 212-604-0500.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hugo & Sons.
Hugo & Sons
Nestled inside a 1940s butcher shop, Hugo & Sons boasts a historic interior and an out-of-this-world menu. Love Italian food? The not-too-pricey selection of pizzas, perfectly al dente pastas, and meat and fish faves will have you feeling like you've landed in Sicily, the homeland of head chef Andrea Taormina. Oh, and don't forget to order their soon-to-be-famous Maccheroni Dome, a puff pastry that explodes with meatballs, ham, tomatoes, and besciamella. It's heaven on earth.

Hugo & Sons, 367 Seventh Avenue (at 11th Street), Brooklyn; 718-499-0020.
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Photo: Courtesy of Dominique Ansel Kitchen.
Dominique Ansel Kitchen
When the King of the Cronut takes his talents to the kitchen, you know it's bound to be a sweet deal. Pastry lovers will go wild over the brown sugar DKA (a new twist on an old classic), while those in search of something savory will be satisfied with the gooey, oversized XL croque monsieur (it's even been described as "the size of a newborn's torso"). Plus, come July 17, the eatery will be launching a dessert-tasting table, which will feature an eight-course menu centered around life's "first experiences."

Dominique Ansel Kitchen, 137 Seventh Avenue South (between Charles and West 10th streets); 212-242-5111.
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Photo: Courtesy of L'Antagoniste.
Okay, so this Bed-Stuy bistro may have made headlines for serving up a $1,900 bottle of Bordeaux, but there's much more to this restaurant than a pricey wine selection. Restaurateur Amadeus Broger knows a thing or two about classic French fare, so the menu selection is super-reliable and authentic: We're talking duck à l'orange, steak frites, frogs' legs, and more.

L'Antagoniste, 238 Malcolm X Boulevard (at Hancock Street), Brooklyn; 917-966-5300.
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Photo: Courtesy of El Colmado Butchery.
El Colmado Butchery
Carnivores, rejoice! This culinary newbie on Little West 12th Street is a nod to the Meatpacking District's early days, with a full-service butcher's counter and a too-good-to-be-true menu of sandwiches and tapas. Remember, a little Serrano ham, beef and lamb meatballs, and shishito peppers fried in olive oil can go a long way.

El Colmado Butchery, 53 Little West 12th Street (between Tenth Avenue and Washington Street); 212-488-0000.
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Photo: Courtesy of Loosie Rouge.
Loosie Rouge
Loosie Rouge may be Williamsburg's hottest new bar, but that doesn't mean its food selection should go unseen. Taking over where Fatty 'Cue left off, this New Orleans-inspired hotspot serves up Bluepoint oysters broiled with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, house-made hot andouille sausage with pecan-smoked molasses mustard, and beer-battered frogs' legs. Wash it down with a custom creative cocktail. Bottoms up!

Loosie Rouge, 91 South 6th Street (between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street), Brooklyn.
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Photo: Courtesy of Rebelle.
Everything from the ambiance to the decor to the cuisine is très français, and that's exactly what Rebelle is going for. The new Bowery brasserie gives us a little slice of la vie Parisienne in downtown Manhattan, with dishes like a classic rotisserie chicken, duck breast with smoked almonds, and a soft-boiled egg with leek vinaigrette, making our tastebuds run wild.

Rebelle, 220 Bowery (between Prince and Spring streets); 917-639-3880.
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Photo: Courtesy of Ramen Lab.
Ramen Lab
When Ramen Lab completely revamped itself and relaunched in January, we didn't know what to expect from the tiny soup shop. What we got wasn't just the best bowl of ramen we've ever had — and a Japanese-style dining experience we won't ever forget. If you're lucky enough to score a seat at one of the eatery's ten stools, you'll be treated to a specialty from the visiting chef of the moment: Right now, you'll find a selection of three ichicoro bowls, which are described as "Florida fusion ramen."

Ramen Lab, 70 Kenmare Street (between Mulberry and Mott streets); 646-613-7522.
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Photo: Courtesy of Faro.
Introducing your new pasta haven in the heart of Bushwick. Here, you'll find creative twists on your average noodles and sauce, with hearty, carb-crazy dishes like bucatini with chicken confit, Alpine cheese, chili, and basil; grano arso stracci with morels, rosemary, and Parmesan-chili pangrattato; and pork-cheek lasagna with fresh mozzarella and parsley noodles. In other words, everything is local, seasonal, and seriously satisfying.

Faro, 436 Jefferson Street (between St. Nicholas and Wyckoff avenues), Brooklyn; 718-381-8201.
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Photo: Courtesy of Streetbird Rotisserie.
Streetbird Rotisserie
If there's anyone who knows a thing or two about soul food, it's legendary Harlem chef Marcus Samuelsson. His new eclectic, chicken-heavy eatery doesn't just have some awesomely playful decor: The crispy bird, rotisserie chicken, and "return of the mac" mac 'n' cheese (which features rigatoni doused in cheddar, Parmesan, and crispy shallots) are guaranteed to have you wanting to come back for more.

Streetbird Rotisserie, 2149 Frederick Douglass Boulevard (at West 116th Street); 212-206-2557.
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Photo: Courtesy of Willow.
A farm-to-table oasis in the heart of Brooklyn, Willow sources its ingredients from Upstate New York and Pennsylvania farms to deliver the best — and freshest — meals possible. Start with fluke crudo or beef tartare, slurp down some chilled asparagus soup, and let the monkfish in lobster sauce or the potato pierogi with mushrooms, ramps, and sour cream be your main attraction. Make sure to save room for dessert, though, as their toasted-rice panna cotta is unlike any other.

Willow, 506 Franklin Avenue (between Fulton and Hancock streets), Brooklyn; 718-399-2384.
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Photo: Courtesy of SRO Pizza.
SRO Pizza
The only thing better than an actual speakeasy is one that serves up some of the best brick-oven pizza in New York City. Hidden inside Gia Trattoria on Bowery, this teeny-tiny eatery (which will soon be adding tons of new tables) has become our go-to for some serious carb-loading. There are eight varieties of pizza to choose from (most are named after streets or landmarks in the area), and their prosciutto di Parma is sliced fresh right in front of your eyes.

SRO Pizza, 334 Bowery (between East 2nd and 3rd streets).
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Photo: Courtesy of Rosie's.
The first foray into Mexican food by NYC restaurant pair Marc Meyer and Vicki Freeman can be summed up in one word: authentic. Start with chips and guac (duh!), and order tons of entrees to share (warning: portions are on the smaller side). We recommend the ensalada de pulpo, pescado tacos, and chicken quesadillas. Oh, and don't forget a pitcher of margaritas. Arriba!

Rosie's, 29 East 2nd Street (at Second Avenue); 212-335-0114.
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Photo: Courtesy of Lupulo.
George Mendes' Portuguese restaurant has had critics and customers alike going crazy for items like the red-snapper crudo, piri-piri chicken, and charcoal-cooked lamb leg with red peas and tomatoes. Plus, tons of craft beers and wines fill the drinks menu, so you'll be throwing back some satisfying refreshers while you eat, drink, and feel seriously merry.

Lupulo, 835 Sixth Avenue (at West 29th Street); 212-290-7600.
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Photo: Courtesy of Bar Bolinas.
Bar Bolinas
Run by husband-and-wife culinary duo Nate Smith and Sophie Kamin, this Clinton Hill café boasts a California-inspired menu of grilled swordfish with salsa verde; papardelle with ramps, fava, pesto, and ricotta; and — of course — cheeseburgers with pickles and fries. The food is light and delicious, and the space is airy and relaxed. A win-win.

Bar Bolinas, 455 Myrtle Avenue (at Washington Avenue), Brooklyn; 718-935-9333.
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Photo: Courtesy of Zuma.
Take whatever you know or think about fancy Asian-fusion restaurants and throw it out the window. Zuma is the place that will change any misconceptions you may have about pricey Japanese food. Although it may cost a pretty penny, the cuisine is unlike any other: You'll find yourself swooning over the spicy beef tenderloin with sesame, red chili, and sweet soy; savory prawn-and-black-cod dumplings; and the most melt-in-your-mouth semi-fatty tuna nigiri outside of Japan.

Zuma, 261 Madison Avenue (between East 38th and 39th streets); 212-544-9862.

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