Grub Street’s Restaurant Power Rankings: Tropical Drinks, Affordable Sushi, and Lots of Tacos

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Where to eat this week. Photo: iStockphoto

Welcome to Grub Street’s weekly survey of the most-talked-about, must-visit restaurants in New York City. The list below features spots both new and old ranked according to one important, ever-fluctuating (and admittedly subjective) metric: Who has the most buzz? Perhaps a famed chef has taken over the kitchen, or there’s a new dish you absolutely must order. Maybe the restaurant is just brand-new, or the critics are raving about it. Whatever the reasons, these are the 12 hottest restaurants in New York right now.

1. Frenchette (Previously: 1)
New York’s own Adam Platt has three stars — “One hearty star for the eggs, one for the chicken, and another for everything else on the menu at this fine new addition to the city’s dining scene” — for Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr’s very popular new brasserie, where he finds cooking that’s carefully considered and a room that’s never not crowded.

2. Broken Shaker (3)
It’s probably no surprise that the line to get into this tropical rooftop oasis already stretched to dozens of people as of 6 o’clock on a recent weekday evening. The draw of this Florida transplant is that it basically has everything you need for summer drinking: breezy vibes, icy cocktails, entire trays of uni, and a burger that should very much pique your interest.

3. Oxomoco (New this week)
While we’re on the subject of summer vibes, this new Mexican restaurant in Greenpoint — from the people behind Speedy Romeo —  hits all the right notes: Lots of grilling, top-flight cocktails, and a bright space that’s sure to attract a crowd.

4. Di An Di (7)
Also new in Greenpoint: an excellent-looking noodle shop from the An Choi crew. There is a lot of pho to be had, and there are also a few other non-pho noodle dishes, some shared plates, and — you guessed it — some very nice-looking cocktails.

5. Una Pizza Napoletana (2)
Anthony Mangieri’s new New York version of his Neapolitan-pizza landmark is here, and — unsurprisingly — it’s a scene. That’s because there’s pizza and a few small plates and tiramisu for dessert and, really, who wouldn’t like that?

6. Atomix (4)
Chef Junghyun Park — whose Atoboy has been a consistent favorite since it opened in 2016 — is behind this brand-new chef’s counter on East 30th Street. There’s a bar upstairs, and the luxurious 16-seat counter down below, where Park offers a multicourse fine-dining menu (and, of course, optional drink pairings). Snag your reservation on Tock.

7. Okozushi (6)
This place is very intriguing: Sushi from the team behind Okonomi that is creative in spirit, impressive in quality, and affordable in price. In fact, the most expensive omakase option tops out at $45 per person, and the whole place is BYOB (at least for now).

8. Dez (8)
If you love By Chloe but wish it had more meze, you are in luck: At this new fast-casual spot in Nolita, the branding is crisp, the energy is as sunny as it gets, and the menu is loaded with things like hummus bowls, shawarma burgers, curry shakshuka, and lots more. And, as of this coming Saturday, there will also be brunch!

9. Tacocina (New this week)
Danny Meyer and chef Barbara Garcia Madero are behind this brand-new, very bright taqueria in Williamsburg’s equally new Domino Park. Grab some tacos, some “crispy cheese chicharróns,” and a mezcal Negroni and enjoy the summer.

10. Court Street Grocers (Williamsburg) (New this week)
More tacos! This time, they arrive in breakfast form care of San Antonio native Wayne Surber and the Court Street Grocers crew, at their newest location (which just so happens to be Saltie’s former location). Given the parties involved, you had better bet that there are also lots of sandwiches involved here, including two kinds of roast beef and a muffaletta that looks like it’s already set to give the city’s best versions a run for their money.

11. Shabushabu Macoron (Off last week)
Times critic Pete Wells seems smitten with this Nolita spot, where chef Mako Okano has very successfully combined elements from shabu shabu restaurants and omakase sushi counters. There, Wells writes, he sat “in something like a state of wonder” as the chef prepared delicacies such as Japanese beef, “a small tongue of sea urchin combined with silky rags of yuba still dripping with soy milk,” and abalone poached in abalone broth.

12. The Polynesian (10)
If you want to feel like the tiki revival has finally arrived. Major Food Group has you covered at this brand-new mai-tai palace in the Pod Hotel Times Square. It’s got everything a Trader Vic’s fan could hope for, and in a somewhat surprising turn for a Major Food restaurant, the prices don’t even look all that bad.

Restaurant Power Rankings: Where to Eat Right Now