New York City is rapidly becoming one of the best cities in the world for Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pan-Asian cuisine, and foodies have never had it so good.Dishes native to Asia. This is because of the city’s international and increasingly diverse population, but it’s also due to Instagram, which has brought a lot of attention to the best Asian restaurants in New York City, leading to a meteoric rise in their popularity.
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The following is a list compiled by a New York City food critic and her extremely picky Southeast Asian husband of the finest Asian dining establishments in the city.
After a decade of successful eating in New York City, this is our must-have list of Asian restaurants, which we use whenever we are asked for recommendations.
You can’t go wrong with any of the places on this list, whether you’re after a true taste of the city, a taste of the country, or a fusion of the two with a uniquely New York twist.
Even the sandwich is a work of art at Momofuku Ssäm bar. || Photo courtesy of Momofuku’s Instagram
Momofuku Ssäm Bar (& Other Momofuku Restaurants)
Momofuku Ssäm Bar in the East Village encapsulates the magic that has made David Chang’s restaurants something of a religion in New York. One of the finest Asian dining experiences in New York City, it’s no surprise that this trendy, stripped-down eatery has garnered such acclaim.
Excellent pork buns and exquisite fried duck put Chang on the map of New York City’s elite chefs a long time ago, and the ambiance and umami-filled menu at Ssäm Bar never fail to impress. (Please note that our menu changes daily; however, we do occasionally bring back some of our fan favorites.)
As for the rest of Chang’s empire, Momofuku Noodle Bar is a top pick among Columbus Circle restaurants.
In Hudson Yards, you can find Kwi, a restaurant serving Korean food and cocktails. In South Street Seaport, you’ll find Bar Way, a top spot for Japanese-themed cocktails and bar snacks. Meanwhile, Fuku has the best fried chicken in Downtown.
Meanwhile, Momofuku Ko is an intimate walk-in bar that serves a variety of Asian-American small plates across multiple courses.
Finally, Momofuku Nishi in Chelsea serves beautiful Italian plates; they aren’t exactly Asian, but they show a lot of influence from the region.
(There’s also Milk Bar, a restaurant in the Momofuku chain and the domain of birthday cake empress Christina Tosi; however, we’ll save room for dessert.)
The traditional chicken biryani at Adda is absolutely stunning. || Photo: Adda
Located in the heart of Long Island City is the hip and trendy Adda Indian Canteen.AddaIn its original context, it meant “a place where people congregate.” Reviews have called the eatery “one of the best” inA New York Magazineas one of 2018’s Best Restaurants; it’s easy to see why.
Adda’s intense flavor profiles and hip design are welcome additions to a city with surprisingly few excellent table serve Indian restaurants. The restaurant’s walls are covered in Hindi newspapers, giving the space an air of chic authenticity. (The owners of Adda are also reportedly leading the way in a new trend of using virtual reality at fine dining establishments, the James Beard House, but that’s another story.)
You won’t find anywhere else outside of India the kind of authentic Indian food and hearty bites that Adda serves up.
Some of the house specialties include bheja fry (goat brain; not for the weak of stomach!) along with biryanis topped with the requisite naan bread.
Try the Masaledar Lipatwan Murgh (chicken in a tomato-onion curry with plenty of garam masala). The Lucknow Dum Biryani, which features goat and is served with a traditional bread cap, is another fan favorite.
These staples are great, but you should also try the seasonal Saag Paneer and the Lotus Root Kofta.
(Public service announcement: Get an Uber to take you home. The trip home from Long Island City on the subway can belong, most notably at night.)
The Chicken Paitan at Ivan Ramen is among the finest dishes in all of New York. Photo by Daniel Krieger
We can confidently say that until you’ve tried the ramen at Ivan Ramen in New York City, you’ve never had ramen like this.
Ivan Ramen’s profile on Season 3 of the Netflix documentary series led to a meteoric rise in the dish’s popularity.Indulge at the Chef’s Tablewith its touching tale of how a white guy from Brooklyn, chef and owner Ivan Orkin, learned to cook perfect ramen after years of struggle and running his own restaurant in Japan.
Orkin has a devoted fan base in his adopted hometown of New York City today. Having already been tried and tested in Asia, Ivan Ramen has earned its reputation as one of the best Asian restaurants in New York City.
The signature Chicken Paitan ramen (above) is a fan favorite, and it tastes even better when topped with tomato. If you’re a first-time customer, you can only order this. (It is imperative that you purchase it!)
This ramen combines the traditional flavors and textures of Japanese ramen with Orkin’s “Jewish, chicken-noodle-soup” heritage, and people travel from Japan specifically to eat it.
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Orkin has made a truly original fusion dish by bringing together the tastes of New York and Japan in a single dish. If you’re looking for a great meal in New York City, look no further than Ivan Ramen’s Chicken Paitan.
There’s a lot of umami, but not much time. Photos courtesy of Pig Khao
Excellent Southeast Asian fare with a focus on Filipino and Thai flavors can be found at Pig Khao. Crispy Pata, whole fried fish, and pork belly adobo offer an unrivaled variety of flavors in a single bite, but the modern, minimalist space only has a small menu.
As a result of its stunning food and flashy plating, this restaurant is consistently ranked among the best Asian dining options in New York City and appears on virtually every “best of” list.
Positioned as it is in the heart of the Lower East Side, there are numerous options for finding something sweet to eat afterward. (If you still have room in your stomach.)
Hanoi House’s chefs can whip up a delicious bowl of pho. || Photo courtesy of Hanoi House
The Vietnamese cuisine at Hanoi House is among the city’s best. Reviews for this hip East Village eatery have been nothing but glowing.Publication: The New York Times to EaterEven if you arrived right when it opened for dinner, you might not have been able to get a table for a while.
First and foremost, they serve delicious pho (described above).
We are also big fans of their enduring standards likeGoi Du Du(Green papaya, watercress, cucumber, toasted peanuts, crispy shallots, and a sweet soy dressing make up this salad featuring pig ears).
Hanoi House, which can be found on St. Marks near the park and not far from some great ice cream shops, has some of the best restaurant decor in the area.
You’ll feel like you’ve stumbled upon a hidden gem with the beautiful blue and white ceramic plates and bowls, ergonomic utensils, and sparse number of tables. (However, if you ask any connoisseur of Vietnamese cuisine, you will hear that this spot is well-known.)
Family-style meals are served at Khe-Yo in the traditional manner of Laotian cuisine. || Photo: Khe-Yo
As seen on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, this Laotian eatery serves its meals family-style.Pieces Missing“(“Laos in Five Dishes”). Khe-Yo (which translates to “Green” in Lao) is a dark and moody restaurant with a lively exposed brick bar and intimate tables suitable for both romantic dinners and large group gatherings.
To the credit of Chef/Owner Soulayphet Schwader (and business partner/former Iron Chef Marc Forgione), everything served here is fresh, local, in season, and sourced ethically.
Try the Berkshire Spare Ribs and the Wok Seared Lobster & Noodles for a taste of authentic Laotian-American cuisine. Other popular dishes include the Smashed Green Papaya salad and the Bamboo Ginger Quail with Bang-Bang sauce and Gai-Lan.
Dinner begins with rice rather than bread and the restaurant’s signature Bang-Bang red sauce, which is sure to please spice lovers. After all, Khe-Yo wouldn’t be considered one of the best Asian restaurants in NYC if it didn’t offer some unique starters.
Lhasa Tibetan Restaurant’s momos got the seal of approval from Anthony Bourdain. || Photo courtesy of Facebook
Lhasa Tibetan Restaurant
The best momos in town can be found at this tiny Tibetan restaurant in Jackson Heights. (At least, that’s the impression he got from eating here that Anthony Bourdain gave.)
Lhasa Tibetan Restaurant’s spicy beef and hand-pulled noodles are just two examples of the restaurant’s excellent Himalayan-inspired fare.
In addition to its tasty food, the restaurant’s appeal lies in the fact that it is so quaintly hidden and difficult to locate.
Passing through a store selling cell phones, DVDs, and jewelry is required. Only in Queens! The corridor leading to the food stand is a bit of a maze, so be prepared for that. There could be a sign out front, but there might not be.
In any case, once you get there, you’ll find a warm welcome at Lhasa Tibetan Restaurant. The staff is efficient, and the food is both reasonably priced and abundant. There are eight momos in a basket. Pile on the condiments and dig in!
There’s a beautiful fusion of culinary and artistic excellence at Her Name is Han. Photo: via Namely, Han is her given name.
Her Name is Han
One of the 50 best restaurants in the world in 2016, Her Name is Han is located in Koreatown. Try Kimchi Pancakes with soft poached eggs or rice cake with shishito peppers, kabocha squash, and yuzu gochujang sauce for a modern take on traditional Korean fare.
Korean-style crispy pancake with shrimp and spicy peppers is another great option. Numerous pork belly, chicken, seafood, and beef dishes are available in a wide range of preparations, including hot pot, BBQ, stir-fry, and more.
Your meal will be served in a contemporary setting, but the tables will have a rustic feel. Brilliant and stunning, cocktails are.
Don’t forget about dessert; how about some candied ginger on top of homemade ginger caramel, roasted plantain, and vanilla ice cream?
It is here that you must make your reservations.
Nyonya’s roti canai, a traditional Malaysian staple, is famous for its abundance of butter and other delicious toppings.