grub guides

Where to Eat on Sunday If You Don’t Want to Watch the Super Bowl

Go eat the Loyal’s burger instead. Photo: Melissa Horn

For many restaurants, Super Bowl Sunday is the slowest night of the year. What that means is that for anyone who doesn’t care about football (or doesn’t mind watching it later on DVR), it’s also the best night to eat out. Plenty of otherwise-busy spots offer Super Bowl–free zones (and the staff will be extra happy to see you). Here, 15 notable restaurants around town where you’ll be able to drop by and enjoy your night.

Sunday is the day to finally go to New York critic Adam Platt’s best new restaurant of 2017, where you can munch on excellent guacamole and fish Milanese.
Availability: There are tables for two until 6:30 p.m. and from 8 p.m. on, and tables for four at 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Bar Primi
Sunday is forecast to be chilly and wet, and what better antidote for that is there than short-rib ravioli?
Availability: You won’t have any trouble finding a table for two or four anytime.

El Atoradero Brooklyn
The Prospect Heights restaurant serves some of New York’s best Mexican food, and even if you aren’t watching football, Sunday is still a great night for nachos.
Availability: Walk-ins only.

The Flatiron District restaurant feels like a slice of Bushwick, so head here if you don’t want to stray from Manhattan, but do want Japanese sweet potato with pumpkin mustard, or duck breast with charred-eggplant jam.
Availability: There are a few tables for two from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and for four at 7:30 p.m., 7:45 p.m., and 9:45 p.m.

The Four Horsemen
If you’re more of a wine geek than a football fan, your Sunday will be much better spent chowing down on beef tartare while trying out new natural wines.
Availability: The restaurant keeps space for walk-ins, but also has reservations available for parties of two, three, and four all night long.

Ha’s Chinese Bar & Eatery
For Queens’ vegetarian contingent, there are rice cakes with cashew and chilies, flat noodles with smoked tofu, meatless mapo tofu, and more.
Availability: There are tables for two and four from 6:45 p.m. on.

Eat salmon rillettes and a bistro steak with sauce Bordelaise while pretending you’re in Paris.
Availability: There are still plenty of tables for parties of two and four all night long.

The Loyal
If you’ve had burgers on your mind since New York’s recent roundup of new ones, this is a good time to go try John Fraser’s Piedmontese burger with 22-step tomato and duck-fat tots.
Availability: There are tables for two left at 6 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 8:45 p.m., and 9 p.m.

Madre Mezcaleria
Maybe you’d like to spend the night drinking smoky Mexican liquor? The sister bar to El Atoradero serves a top-flight selection of mezcal along with house cocktails.
Availability: Walk-ins only.

Head to this Fort Greene favorite for wood-fired steak, flatbread with tzatziki, and — why not? — a magnum of Gamay.
Availability: There are tables for two and four available throughout the night, from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (should you want to dine after the game).

Go eat khachapuri and drink cocktails at John Fraser’s bar in the Standard Hotel, where his restaurant Narcissa will be open (with tables available all night long), and so will the hotel’s Winter Garden, where you can eat fondue.
Availability: Walk-ins only.

Been meaning to get back to the hugely popular, always-busy Brooklyn neighborhood spot? They reserve lots of tables and bar seats for walk-ins, and the menu keeps evolving, so you’ll have plenty of new dishes to try.
Availability: There are a few tables from 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., and they also keep space for walk-ins.

Drop by Gabriel Stulman’s newest all-day restaurant, located in the Freehand New York, for a New American menu with Middle Eastern touches. Think a club sandwich with spicy carrot slaw, or black-kale bourekas with onion jam.
Availability: Walk-ins only.

Union Square Cafe
The revived restaurant is open for business, along with fellow Union Square Hospitality Group restaurants Gramercy Tavern, Maialino, the Modern, North End Grill, and Untitled. All of which promise to be slightly less busy than usual.
Availability: There are tables for two available from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., as well as a few for parties of four during the same stretch.

Where to Eat If You Aren’t Watching the Super Bowl