The votes are in! Today Zagat reveals the results of its 2015 New York City Restaurants survey covering more than 2,139 restaurants as voted on by 30,592 avid diners. Ratings and reviews are available today on Zagat.com and across Google Maps and Search. Zagat guidebooks will be hitting shelves at local retailers starting tomorrow.
New Yorkers report eating out 4.7 times per week (lunch and dinner) and spending on average $48.15 for dinner (per person), which is well above the $39.40 national figure. When eating out, New York diners are generous and leave 19.3% for gratuity. As for home cooking, respondents prepare 5.7 meals per week at home, compared to 6.8 meals per week, nationally.
This year New York welcomed 160 noteworthy newcomers vs. just 82 closings, the largest differential since 2005. Big name chefs and restaurateurs are investing in the local dining scene with major openings: Danny Bowien (Mission Cantina), Andrew Carmellini (Bar Primi), Bobby Flay (Gato), Marc Forgione (American Cut), Daniel Humm (NoMad Bar), Keith McNally (Cherche Midi) and Danny Meyer (Marta).
The city’s big winners this year are Le Bernardin (Food, Service) which continues to break records for its 13th year in the survey as Top Food (6th consecutive year for Top Food), Daniel (Decor), reclaiming its throne and ending Asiate’s 7-year winning streak, Gramercy Tavern (Most Popular), edging out Le Bernardin (now #2) for Most Popular and the omakase-only Sushi Nakazawa (Newcomer).
Another positive sign of the times: dining in Brooklyn has hit an all-time high. The borough is now home to an unprecedented 340 Zagat-rated restaurants - a 28% increase over last year - the biggest jump in 20 years. Key Brooklyn newcomers include Bergen Hill, Berg’n, Cherry Izakaya, Dover, French Louie, Humboldt & Jackson, and Marco’s.
While fine dining may always be in, casual dining options are on the rise as suggested by shake-ups on the Most Popular list - 5 Napkin Burger (No. 3 up from No. 29), Shake Shack (No. 4 up from No. 25), 2nd Ave. Deli (No. 14 up from No. 32), and Katz’s Deli (No. 18 up from No. 27). Moving down the ranks are haute establishments: Daniel (No. 11 down from No. 4), Eleven Madison Park (No. 23 down from No. 6), Per Se (No. 28 down from No. 14), and The Modern (No. 34 down from No. 21).
Indicating the depth and diversity of the New York market, there were 18 cuisine categories with new winners this year including Barbeque: Mighty Quinn’s; Ice Cream: Ample Hills Creamery; Noodle Shops: Chuko; Pizza: Paulie Gee’s; and Spanish/Tapas: La Vara. Chef-restaurateur couple Alex Raij and Eder Montero sweep the Spanish category with La Vara, Txikito and El Quinto Pino taking the top three spots, respectively.
A cut above the rest, this year we welcomed eight new steakhouses into the mix: American Cut, Charlie Palmer, Fogo de Chão, Il Mulino Prime, M. Wells Steakhouse, Raizes Churrascaria, Reserve Cut and Texas de Brazil. As for French restaurants, New York says ‘Oui’ to newcomers Cherche Midi, Claudette, Dirty French, French Louie, Ladurée, Margaux, and Rotisserie Georgette.
When asked what irritates them most about eating out, diners cite Noise (27%), Service (27%), Prices (21%), Crowds (15%) and Food (5%) as their top complaints. 41% of diners say they are less inclined to go to a restaurant with a cash-only policy, 84% admit to having eavesdropped on a conversation at the next table, and 49% say they “love” Brussels sprouts.
Visit zagat.com/newyork to search and discover this year’s best New York City Restaurants.
Tim and Nina Zagat, Co-Chairs, Zagat