Best Trendy Asian Fare in NYC

April 18, 2017
by Zagat Staff

Heat up your taste buds with spicy foods from one of these Asian street food-inspired spots.

Uncle Boons
Thai · NoLita · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

This "cutting-edge" NoLita hangout offers a "new-school" take on Thai cuisine via "vibrant flavors" and very "serious spicing" ; an "attentive" team tends the "knickknack" -filled basement space, where "must-try" beer slushies can be ordered from the "cozy" bar; its tiny Mott Street sib is a counter-serve, credit card–only outfit offering a takeout menu based on the original, with some seating available.
Filipino · East Village · $$$
Food 3.9 · Decor 3.5 · Service 3.7

You can "be as adventurous (or as cautious) as you want" at this "dope" East Village gastropub offering "equal parts daring and gourmet" takes on traditional Filipino comfort food; a "knowledgeable" crew can help guide "neophytes" through the menu, and the colorful decor (e.g. pin-up photos) keeps the space "interesting."
East Village · $
Food 4.0 · Decor 2.9 · Service 3.2

The "savory" Taiwanese steamed buns are "tasty and surprisingly filling" at Eddie Huang’s East Villager, whose "fast-food vibe" gets a boost from "blaring hip-hop music" ; despite "teenage" service and "no decor to speak of" , "cheap" checks keep its "college" crowd content.
Somtum Der New York- East Village
Thai · East Village · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.5 · Service 3.7

"Nuanced" Thai flavors – from "subtle" to "bold" to "knock-your-socks-off spicy" – mark this "terrific" East Village offshoot of a Bangkok eatery, specializing in "authentic" dishes from the Isan region; with "reasonable" prices and a "lively" , "modern" interior, it's made for groups and "sharing lots of plates."
Korean · East Village · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

Specializing in "out-of-the-box" Korean fare, this East Villager matches "excellent renditions" of "modern" dishes (the "honey butter chips are a must" ) with "high-quality sojus" ; the "pint-sized" space is "tight" , but once you "cram yourself in" the food "speaks for itself."
Chinese Tuxedo
Chinese · Chinatown · $$$

Contemporary Chinese cooking is celebrated at this two-story locale set inside a former Chinatown opera house, offering both large and small plates including charcuterie, housemade noodles, bone-in steak and both spicy pork and vegan dumplings. Rustic walls, cozy booths and marble tables enhance the lofty environs.
Pig and Khao
Filipino · Lower East Side · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.2 · Service 3.7

The "adventurous will be rewarded" at chef Leah Cohen’s "offbeat" LES Southeast Asian where "tongue-tingling" Thai and Filipino flavors inspire an "innovative array" of pork-centric dishes (e.g. "mouthwatering sisig" ) that make for "happy sharing" ; "good-deal" pricing helps keep the patio-equipped space "bustling."
Drunken Dumpling
Chinese · East Village · $

Best known for its oversized 'XL XLB' soup dumpling, this order-at-the-register Chinese spot in the East Village uses locally farmed meats and veggies in its potstickers, pork buns and other dishes. Tables fill up quickly, but there’s counter seating too.
Tim Ho Wan
Dim Sum · Greenwich Village · $$

The first U.S. branch of an acclaimed Hong Kong–based chain, this East Village spot attracts long lines with dim sum cooked day and night. Expect a check-off menu of dumplings, rice rolls and various steamed and fried items, served in a simple space designed with light woods.
Fish Cheeks
Seafood · NoHo · $$

Thai chefs who earned their chops in Bangkok and NYC, the brothers behind this NoHo spot go back to their roots for authentic, spicy preparations of Thai seafood served family-style. Hanging lamps brighten the simple space, while cocktails get a boost from Southeast Asian herbs.