The "A Bunch of Best of 2021 Food Lists, Mostly" Edition
For boxing day, The Briefly is boxing up some "best of 2021" lists for your Christmas hangover.
Best New Restaurants of 2021
With lists from Pete Wells and The Infatuation, there was agreement on Dhamaka, which topped the Times’ list, Che Li, and Contento. For vegans, we have FatChoy making The Infatuation’s list and Cadence on the Times’ list. Cadence also received an Eater Award for Best Solo Dining. Chapli & Chips, a kebab food cart in Queens, makes the Times’ list, which was the only pick from Wells that wasn’t in Manhattan or Gage & Tollner in Downtown Brooklyn. The Infatuation’s list is nearly half outside Manhattan but neither list has anything from the Bronx or Staten Island.
• The 16 best new restaurants of 2021, ranked, with Dame at the top of the list. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, and Carlo Mantuano for The Infatuation)
• Pete Wells’s 10 best new restaurants of 2021, ranked, with Dhamaka at the top spot. (Pete Wells for The New York Times)
Best Dishes of 2021
Pete Wells and Ryan Sutton have best dish lists this year, with the only agreement between the two being on Dame, but on different dishes. Wells calls Dame’s cucumber mussel salad “easily one of the city’s best and most innovative new seafood dishes” and Wells says you just have to shut up and eat the fish and chips. A surprising entry to either list was Remember the Maine at Sunken Harbor Club in Downtown Brooklyn, a cocktail that has “the combination of elegance and raw power that enables our most heroic cocktails to set a drifting world spinning on its axis again.” You’ll also find Fat Choy from the “Best New” lists and the burrata slice at L’Industrie, our first pizza entry into the best of the year lists, on Sutton’s list.
• Ryan Sutton’s 23 best dishes of 2021, unranked, with tacos at Taqueria Ramirez, pirashki at Sofreh Cafe, and vegan mole at Aldama being noted as the top. A clean sweep for Brooklyn! (Ryan Sutton for Eater)
• Pete Wells’s top ten dishes of 2021, unranked. This list, as noted by the author, doesn’t include any from his list of the year’s best new restaurants (Pete Wells for NY Times)
Best Restaurants of 2021
• Ryan Sutton’s best restaurants of 2021, unranked. Aldama and Dhamaka are called out as taking the top spot in the list. You’ll find a lot of overlap with the best new restaurants list here. When I say that Ruyan Sutton is in love with the vegan mole at Aldama, I’m not talking about a passing infatuation, I’m talking about a love that rivals Cleopatra and Mark Anthony.
• The Times didn’t have a best restaurant list, but The 2021 Restaurant List has Atomix, Cadence, Dhamaka, Ernesto’s, and Gage & Tollner. The Restaurant List is the 50 restaurants in America the Times is excited about. Cadence makes the Restaurant list for the Times but not the best new restaurant list.
Other Food and Non-Food Lists
• The top ten Google searches of New Yorkers. No surprise to see all the covid-related searches but which ones of you are searching for hookah lounges in the year 2021? Bonus list: The top ten recipe searches. “Zucchini” made that list. (Anna Rahmanan for Time Out)
• The 2021 Eater Awards includes best place for solo dining, best meal under $10, best pandemic pop-up, best meal under $100, best meal in a bowl, and best bakery. Taqueria Ramirez makes another appearance for the best meal under $10. (Eater)
• 2021’s most-checked out books at the city’s libraries. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett is #1 on the list and in one of the top spots for each borough, except Staten Island where it wasn’t in the top ten. Lots of James Patterson and Danielle Steel on Staten Island’s list. (Shaye Weaver for Time Out)
• The Streetsies: The Best Project of the Year. The winners are split between Woodside’s 39th Avenue Bike Boulevard and the Brooklyn Bridge Bike Lane. Congrats to the winners. (Streetsblog)
• The top ten NYC theater productions of 2021 A rough year for theater for sure but Adam Feldman ranks the top ten productions he attended. (Adam Feldman for Time Out)
Some Quick Links:
• 15 hearty hangover-busting dishes. (Emma Orlow and Urvija Banerji for Eater)
• Mulchfest details. (Jen Chung for Gothamist)
• The Strokes postponed their NYE show with IDLES and Hinds with no new date announced. (Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan)
• It doesn’t look like you’ll be able to legally buy weed in 2022, but that won’t stop you. (Rachel Holliday Smith for The City)
• Vaccinated and asymptomatic health care workers can return to work after five days of quarantine instead of ten after testing positive for Covid-19. (Jessica Gould for Gothamist)
• Where to eat on New Year’s Day. (Beth Landman for Eater)
Have a great Sunday everyone!