The quirkiest list of NYC restaurant recommendations is out.
Zagat's guide to the city's best restaurants for 2016 dropped this morning, ranking restaurants based on food, decor, service and price on a 30-point scale.
Unlike the Michelin guide, Zagat’s ratings are given by locals rather than professional food critics, so there’s less weight of prestige since the restaurants that succeed are the ones we’ll have to keep eating at.
While there’s not a lot of change in the top 10 — mostly French and splurgy — the rest of the categories are a much livelier exploration of trends within the city, with plenty of space for newcomers to shine.
Best Restaurant: Eric Ripert’s French institution Le Bernardin tops the list for the seventh year in a row.
Best Newcomer: For the second year in a row, the best new spot is an omakase-focused restaurant. This time, the 20-seat sushi/kaiseki counter Shuko gets top billing.
Best Under $20 Quick Bite: This is a new category this year, and the first winner is Alidoro's Italian sandwiches.
Best Asian Restaurant: Chef Leah Cohen’s fusion of Filipino and Thai cuisines at Pig and Khao is best when it brightens “the other white meat” with fruits and fresh herbs.
Best Ice Cream: You already knew Ample Hills Creamery had this category on lockdown, and rightly so.
Best Pizza: Zagat singled out Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint for its sweet-spicy Hot Honey sauce. They have a no take-out policy to ensure an optimal pizza experience.
Best Taqueria: Chelsea Market isn’t hurting for great food options, but don’t overlook the unassuming corrugated metal counter of Los Tacos No. 1, which serves up a simple menu of Tijuana-style family recipes.
Best Ramen: Three self-proclaimed ramen geeks run Chuko, where the noodles and the sake comes by the glass, bottle — and can.
Best Italian: If seafood is not what you think of when it comes to Italian food, let chef Michael White’s Marea change your mind.
Best Chinese: The Upper West Side doesn't get a ton of foodie press, but the duck-focused concept Decoy got a deserved nod.
Best Food Hall: The OG is still its best. Smorgasburg is the place to eat what you’ll be seeing at the coming year’s newest food halls.
Best Burger Restaurant: The transgressive ambiance of Burger Joint certainly makes it a unique experience.