New York City restaurants took a big hit this year due to the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic. Regardless there were still plenty of incredible hotspots that we headed to before and during COVID that were nothing short of absolutely wonderful to digest.
2020 was like no other. It challenged us to think differently about how we operate both from a personal and professional point of view. It was devastating for me, as a food writer for almost a decade, to see so many amazing spaces in NYC temporarily or permanently close down due to what COVID has done to them.
There has been a bit of an uptick recently though in the New York City restaurants scene when it comes to new places opening and ones that were closed for months welcoming customers back in. This is something that warms my heart and then some as I want to see these amazing establishments thrive as much as possible even with so many things working against them.
Today we are looking back at 10 of the best spots Manhattan Digest visited this year. If you live here or are planning to visit they are all incredible and unique in their own way when it comes to decor, cuisine and so much more. And remember folks… be safe and support small businesses (all of which are listed below).
Bella Luna: 574 Columbus Avenue
If you love Italian cuisine then Bella Luna is here to help. One of the best New York City restaurants to head to for all things pizza, pasta and anything related to the word delicious. And yes, they even have a poster of the classic movie Moonstruck hanging in one of the bathrooms. SNAP OUT OF IT!
Marie Blachere: 301-303 6th Avenue
Need a little taste of Paris from thousands of miles away? Marie Blachere, conveniently located right outside the W. 4th street subway station stop, is an incredible bakery filled with delicious French pastries. They also have a wonderful array of sandwiches and salads, perfect for the busy New Yorker on the go.
Salted. On The Harbor: 14 Woodbine Avenue in Northport, LI
Some of our foodie travels this year took us outside NYC and into other parts of the state. Salted. On The Harbor, located in the breathtaking downtown area of Northport in Long Island, was a fantastic new space that opened during COVID which serves scrumptious surf and turf options for you to enjoy.
Ilili: 236 5th Avenue
Lebanese food was something I had not discovered until I stopped by Ilili in Flatiron earlier this year. I’m still blown away by all the dishes I had at this chic and sophisticated spot that highlighted Mediterranean cuisine in the most blissful of ways. One of the best restaurants I’ve been to in years.
Ed’s Lobster Bar: 222 Lafayette Street
Ed’s is a downtown classic that’s been open for over a decade now. And yes, the picture above is exactly the kind of quality you’ll expect from every bite that you devour in and out of this space as the food there (especially the lobster, duh) is that freaking good.
Casa Del Toro: 626B 10th Avenue
In need of some delicious tacos with a tasty drink? Casa Del Toro to the rescue! It’s situated in the middle of Hell’s Kitchen and was one of the best restaurants to dine at during the al fresco months of this year.
Utsav: 1185 6th Avenue
Utsav is an Indian cuisine staple located blocks from Times Square. Classic dishes like Chicken Tikka Masala to other wonderful staples like their Bhuna Shrimp and Butter Chicken make this place one you should stop by and order from asap.
Lolo’s Seafood Shack: 303 W. 116th Street
Arguably the best restaurant I’ve ever been to in Harlem. Lolo’s prides itself in pumping a ton of flavor into every dish they make at their Caribbean inspired-location. I recommend you go there hungry and order everything from their steampot combos to Glazed Chicken Wings which are simply DIVINE.
Nonna Beppa: 290 Hudson Street
Nonna Beppa, located in the heart of Soho, was one of the last spots I went to before COVID took over. I still have memories of this amazing Italian space where authenticity meets yummy are exactly the kind of dishes that you’ll be served.
CheLi: 19 St. Mark’s Place
A great spot I was fortunate enough to review before indoor dining closed again. CheLi’s Shanghai cuisine is nothing short of mouthwatering as its family style options will make you sweat a bit with how spicy they are but cool you down as you continue devouring.
Again: SUPPORT LOCAL. THINK LOCAL. Here’s to a hopefully better 2021 in the restaurant industry and the world overall.