Breakfast sandwiches at 4 p.m., Laotian sticky rice with fermented sausage, olive oil croissants, cauliflower Buffalo wings, and churros and fudge folded into oat milk ice cream: This is 2023, and according to data from DoorDash and Caviar, comfort food reigns, vegetables come first, and no one’s afraid to get a little fancy.
We ran the numbers on the New York City restaurants with the highest year-over-year growth to determine what trends to expect in 2023, and a few major themes stood out. First, New York really is the city that never sleeps. Our users are on their own clock, ordering coffee and breakfast all day — and bagels (plus the smoked fish and other Jewish deli–inspired foods that often go along with those bagels) remain an important part of the NYC diet. So too do street-food favorites like tacos, burritos, and shawarma. Thai food is also very popular for delivery, but New Yorkers are looking way beyond pad thai to regional specialities that showcase the diversity of the cuisine. And although juice, salads, and vegan fare are in demand, premium and inventive ice cream is as well.
Whatever your order, no restaurant is off limits — whether the dining room sports white tablecloths or counter service — and no time of day is off limits, either. The restaurants where we’ve seen a major uptick in orders, however, are the ones that make us feel good, whether they’re dishing out healthy bowls or straight-up comfort food. Here are the major trends on DoorDash and Caviar to look out for this year, and the restaurants where you can enjoy them.
All Day, Every Day
Breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and great coffee are no longer relegated to the morning. Whether 8 a.m. or 4 p.m., oat milk latte–loving avocado toast eaters don’t even have to get out of their pajamas to get their fill, thanks to the coffee shops, bakeries, and cafes serving excellent breakfast fare at all hours. All-day cafes were already multiplying before the pandemic, but the rise of remote work that pushed even more people into their own schedules have sealed the deal for these establishments, which are now commonplace fixtures on the restaurant landscape — delivery included — and the quality is top-notch.
Many of our users embrace carbohydrates, particularly when it comes to Italian food. Can’t get a table at I Sodi? Get the goods delivered. But the carb adoration also extends to another very important NYC staple: bagels, which are as on-limits for ordering from home as coffee and breakfast sandwiches are, whether it’s from classic spots, like H&H Bagels and Ess-A-Bagel (both open since the 1970s), or relative newcomers like Baz Bagel. All hail the carb!
Beyond Pad Thai
Pad thai, spring rolls, and pad see ew are all popular orders, but Thai restaurants across the city are guiding their customers beyond these well-known dishes and providing a real taste of the diversity the cuisine has to offer. At Thai Diner, one of the hottest restaurants in town and the successor to the now-closed but beloved Uncle Boons, that means comfort-driven Thai American dishes. At equally hip Tong, it’s Isaan-style dishes. There’s always a place for pad thai, but it might get squeezed out of the spotlight when dishes like khao soi, a coconut curry stew with chicken and crispy noodles, are on the table.
Between the bagels and any-time-of-day breakfast sandwiches, the cravings of Caviar and DoorDash users are undoubtedly carb-driven and nonstop, but a niche category within those inclinations is the popularity of Jewish deli food. Here, bagels and breakfast sandwiches come with smoked fish, a side of pickles, and some latkes for good measure. Modern takes on Jewish deli cuisine have been trendy nationwide for a few years now, and they’re still going strong in a city where you’d expect nothing less. The buzz about relative newcomer Agi’s Counter in Crown Heights is deserved.
Something to Taco ’Bout
It’s no surprise that New Yorkers love their tacos, but when it comes to delivery, one restaurant dominates the Caviar and DoorDash scene: Tacombi, a fast-casual chain that feels new and comforting at the same time. And with a $27.5 million investment from Danny Meyer’s Enlightened Hospitality, the taqueria plans to open 75 new restaurants in the next five years. Of course, it’s not just tacos garnering orders. Burritos are a beloved take-out item, too, and a handful of newcomers have seriously risen New York’s burrito bar in recent years. A small sample includes Electric Burrito, which brings the french fry–filled California burrito to NYC, and the hypeworthy Ursula, which is relocating and adding cocktails and dinner to its menu after previously focusing on breakfast burritos and pastries. Time will tell if Tacombi continues to dominate delivery on Caviar and DoorDash, but some healthy (and delicious) competition is never a bad thing.
High-End at Home
By now it’s well understood that nothing is off-limits for delivery. Bagels and coffee, yes, but also dishes from upscale restaurants that might even sport white tablecloths and coat checks. So while it’s unsurprising that these high-end establishments — some even carry a Michelin star — are in-demand with Caviar and DoorDash users, it’s fun to see the variety of cuisines represented within the most popular restaurants. The sample on our list proves that patrons not only have good taste but an interest in myriad kinds of tastes, too. So whether you’re craving sushi from Nobu or ribeye from Sant Ambroeus, have at it.
The premium, small-batch ice cream wave (Malai, Sugar Hill Creamery, and Oddfellows, to name a few) that swept New York City in the past decade, washing away all the frozen yogurt in the process, has transcended the scoop shop and joined the delivery movement. But in the past few years, one might argue the city has also entered a golden age of laminated pastries, with bakeries of all stripes making superb, wait list–worthy croissants, kouign-amanns, and new creations, like Win Son Bakery’s Laminated Bolo Bao. We’re here for all of it.
On what some would consider the other end of the spectrum of popular delivery trends from the just-described decadent desserts lies a category of health-conscious restaurants delivering vegetable-forward, vegan, and/or nutrient-dense dishes that run the gamut from superfood-packed burritos to green juices and bone broth. Given the proliferation of juice shops and salad bars across the city for New Yorkers on the run (Sweetgreen, Chopt, etc.), it should come as no surprise that they want their healthy items at home, too.
Middle Eastern fare is perennially popular, day or night. Hummus, shawarma, falafel — they’re go-tos for pretty much any hour or occasion. Specific Middle Eastern ingredients like tahini, a sesame paste; za’atar, a spice blend; and labneh, or strained yogurt, continue to become more ubiquitous, too, making appearances beyond Middle Eastern menus. So it’s no wonder that Middle Eastern fare remains a darling for delivery, whether it’s Israeli or Middle Eastern with Mediterranean flair. Taboonette and 12 Chairs are two of our favorites.
Word got out early about the pillowy crullers at this self-described “neighborhood kitchen” with locations in Union Square, in the West Village, on the Upper West Side, and near Hudson Yards. But then word spread about the breakfast sandwiches — available all day — the caramel chocolate chunk cookies, and everything else about this cafe, which, as the name suggests, also sells a handful of provisions, like sauces, coffee, and granola. In typical Danny Meyer fashion (the expanding chain is part of Union Square Hospitality Group), everything on the menu is just right.
While dinner at this Brooklyn restaurant might leave some diners looking up certain ingredients on their phones, the all-day delivery menu at Otway is a little more straightforward, but no less special. The egg sandwich comes with Gruyere cheese, green garlic, and scallions, with the option to add on avocado, bacon, or a lamb merguez sausage. A fried chicken sandwich comes with pickles and the option to add a fried egg, and a mortadella sandwich calls your name. Don’t skip the crispy potatoes.
Both locations of this all-day cafe — one in Fort Greene and the other in Williamsburg — serve healthy sandwiches, toasts, soups, salads, and nutrient-packed bowls. That might mean a bowlful of cheddar scrambled eggs, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, salad greens, and avocado; a cup of bone broth; or a kale salad with green apple and almonds. With beverages like iced raw cacao lattes and the Fort Greene Fog, with Earl Grey tea, vanilla, and wildflower honey, ordering a drink from Baba Cool will make you feel — ahem — cool, too.
For more breakfast sandwiches, salads, and bowls, Blank Slate Coffee + Kitchen, open in Midtown and NoMad, is another favorite. In addition to scrambles, avocado toast, and a signature chopped salad, Blank Slate also makes breakfast pizza topped with an egg, Parmesan, mushrooms, and truffled pesto. If you need any other indication that they know what’s up, their gooey M&M’s Cookie Skillet is “served medium rare.” Of course, Blank Slate’s coffee is another main attraction, and with options like Vietnamese iced coffee, flat whites, and dirty chai (a chai latte with a shot of espresso), there’s something for everyone.
Speaking of baked goods and coffee, Partners Coffee Roasters is another top choice. Locations in Williamsburg, the West Village, and Long Island City serve and deliver croissants, cookies, and an array of coffee-based drinks. Beyond the usual suspects (lattes and cappuccinos), there are seasonal options, like the maple sage latte, as well as teas and bags of whole-bean coffee.
What started with owner Allison Arevalo selling fresh pasta from her Brooklyn stoop during the pandemic has turned into a darling of Park Slope: a lovely Italian restaurant that offers a different fresh pasta every day with an array of toppings and sauces. Appetizers like the whipped ricotta with fennel oil and the Caesar salad with house-made dressing channel Arevalo’s Italian roots, while certain offerings, like the self-explanatory Dad’s Famous Red Pepper Sauce, honor her own family. For delivery, Pasta Louise also offers kits that include ingredients, cooking instructions, and beverages for a complete at-home dining experience. Dad’s Famous Kit, for example, comes with that popular red pepper sauce, prosciutto, focaccia, and two cans of Louise’s Lager, an Italian-style pilsner brewed by Wild East Brewery just for the restaurant.
For comforting Italian classics, Serafina is a favorite in New York, where it has multiple locations, and worldwide, where it can be found as far as Japan, India, and Brazil. That’s probably because the good stuff here doesn’t get lost in translation, from the pizza, which was the dish that owners Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato started with, to the penne alla vodka and grilled Atlantic salmon.
Big-night-out flavor at home? L’Artusi, a West Village mainstay since 2008, serves it up right, whether it’s à la carte or in a fixed Dinner Pack, which comes with an appetizer, two pastas, an entrée, and dessert. Though this stylish haunt delivers the classics, like hanger steak and a Sicilian chopped salad, L’Artusi’s pastas have always been the major draw, and some, like the the bucatini with pancetta, tomato, chiles, and pecorino, have remained on the menu since the restaurant opened.
In addition to the obvious, Baz Bagel serves Jewish diner–inspired items like latkes and matzo ball soup, as well as smoked fish, challah French toast, and banana pancakes. Though the hand-rolled, kettle-boiled bagels at this Lower East Side shop are the reason to go, the bagel sandwiches and beyond-bagel options are just as good. As for the bagels, a topping of salted honey butter is a great move, and the rainbow bagels are a big hit. (Baz also offers the option of customizing the colors!) Finally, for the ambitious baker, the shop offers an at-home bagel-making kit.
At Buschwick’s Tong, which opened in the summer of 2020, chef Chetkangwan “Jade” Thipruetree serves Isaan-style dishes, which hail from northeast Thailand. Small plates, like yum naem, Laotian crispy rice with fermented pork sausage and chile, are meant to be paired with alcohol — the menu says they’re “good with a drink or three.” Larger dishes, like tom zaab, a spicy-and-sour broth with baby pork spare ribs, are “good for after drinking.” Whatever your poison, it’s wise to keep those drinks close at hand, because the spice level is legit.
Indoor and outdoor seating makes eating at Thai Diner feel like a party, and the party comes home for anyone ordering delivery from this trendy restaurant that serves a unique take on Thai food, at once celebratory and comforting. In the Snacks section of the menu, disco fries with massaman curry sit next to vegan roti with a red pumpkin curry dipping sauce, while larger dishes include a fried chicken sandwich with nam prik noom (green chile relish) and traditional Thai offerings like a som tom (papaya salad) and tom yum soup. To keep the party going, order the frozen Thai Tea Morning Buns to bake at home.
Soothr (pronounced “sood”) serves up comforting Thai favorites, but this East Village restaurant specializes in regional Thai recipes that run the gamut from street food favorites to family recipes, particularly when it comes to noodles. That might mean the ba mii pu (dry egg noodles with crab), duck noodles, khao soi (a Northern-style egg noodle curry), or dry Sukhothai tom yum noodles, a dry version of Sukhothai tom yum noodle soup from central Thailand.
Thai Villa specializes in royal Thai cuisine, a culinary approach historically reserved for the royal family. According to Mom Luang Sirichalerm Svasti, a chef who goes by the name McDang, royal Thai cuisine resembles central Thai cooking, with a few exceptions. All food must be rid of bones, skin, pits, or stones. Food must also be of the freshest quality available and presented beautifully; floral garnishes and foods molded into flowers are common. Finally, flavors must be balanced, with no one particular taste standing out above the rest. With dishes like yum hua-phee tod (crispy banana blossom salad) and gai yang, a grilled, marinated, and deboned Cornish hen, Thai Villa makes this specific cuisine available to everyone, royalty or otherwise.
Crown Heights’ Agi’s Counter opened in 2021, and the buzz is strong (and well-deserved). There’s much to love about this spot, including the Ferdinand buns (soft vanilla-butter snail-shaped pastries), open-faced tea sandwiches cheekily named Duran/Duran after the ’80s band, and SLT sandwiches (the “S” is for szalonna, a type of Hungarian smoked bacon). Be sure to order the Gerbeaud cake, which alternates layers of yeasted cake, chopped walnuts, and apricot jam.
Featuring bagels, sandwiches, and sides inspired by Jewish delis and Israeli cuisine, Edith’s Sandwich Counter has been a hit since it opened as a pop-up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in August 2020. Now a brick-and-mortar location with another, all-day operation known as Edith’s Eatery and Grocery, the sandwich counter continues to draw attention for its BEC&L, a hand-twisted sourdough bagel with a latke, egg, cheese, and bacon; its Iced Cafe Slushie, a cold-brew slushie with tahini, oat milk, and simple syrup; and its chicken schnitzel.
Deli sandwiches, bagel sandwiches, and babka dominate the menu at this combination Jewish deli and appetizing shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, that brothers and native New Yorkers Zach and Alex Frankel opened in 2016 — but feels like it’s always been there. Orderers would be remiss if they didn’t try the excellent smoked fish and pastrami at Frankel’s Delicatessen. Can’t decide between the two? There’s always pastrami-smoked salmon, available by the quarter pound.
Speaking of delis that have always been there, 2nd Ave Deli has been a New York City icon since Abe Lebewohl opened it in 1954. Although the “there” has changed over the years (the original location closed in 2006, but Lebewohl’s nephews have since opened the 33rd Street location and another at 1442 First Avenue), the soul of the place — and the food, like matzo ball soup and pastrami sandwiches — remains a NYC fixture. Of course, now, with delivery from 2nd Ave Deli being so popular, the “there” has truly become anywhere.
Owner Dario Wolos started Tacombi in 2006 in Playa del Carmen out of a converted Volkswagen. Today, the chain has locations in six states, and in New York, Tacombi can be found in Nolita, Flatiron, the Upper East Side, Williamsburg, and Fort Greene, among other locations. Customers love the taqueria for its laid-back vibe, emphasis on hospitality, and, of course, the food — from the Baja fish tacos and al pastor to the corn esquites and avocado tostadas. Tacombi also sells its own house-made tortillas, and a Taco Plato, the proceeds from which go to feeding those in need.
Prospect Heights-based Maya Taqueria is a popular choice for burritos, including that french fry–laden California-style burrito. Indeed, the restaurant describes its food as “Mission-style Mexican,” referring to the Mission District in San Francisco. Tacos, quesadillas, house-made soups, and nachos appear on the menu, too, but burritos are the main event.
Quality Eats, with locations on the Upper East Side and in the West Village, is not your average steakhouse — in the best way. Instead of serving overpriced porterhouses, this modern chophouse serves underrated but just as tasty cuts, like hanger steak and bavette steak. Traditional sides have gotten an upgrade, too; think corn crème brûlée instead of creamed corn. Others, like cacio e pepe orzo, are wholly unique. Carnivores craving a steakhouse experience for this day and age will be at home at Quality Eats — and that goes for dining in and taking out.
Charred Spanish octopus and burrata ravioli may sound like date-night fare, and Brooklyn’s Evelina — with its sleek bar and cozy two-tops sheltered by beautiful exposed beams under dim lighting — is indeed a charming date spot. But as many couples know, a night in together often trumps a night out. Turns out charred octopus travels well when it comes from this Mediterranean-inspired charmer.
A now-global Japanese restaurant group where patrons go to see and be seen as much as they go for the famous black cod with miso, Nobu has been a New York establishment since it opened in Tribeca in 1997. Its enduring popularity proves that food like this, pricy and elegant, never goes out of style, even if it now feels reminiscent of a former dining zeitgeist. Thanks to Instagram and TikTok, patrons can still see and be seen while enjoying Nobu’s crispy rice with spicy tuna, rock shrimp tempura, and Wagyu tataki with ponzu from the comfort of their own homes.
A restaurant, salumeria, bakery, and market, Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria is a miniature Italian world unto its own, and the charming, rustic atmosphere translates right into the focaccias, Prosciutto di Parma, crispy artichokes, and cavatelli with fennel-chile sausage that customers are ordering from home. With ingredients that are simple but a cut above, the NoHo hot spot has earned its reputation as one of New York’s best Italian restaurants, and one that holds a candle to its beautiful, antique-filled, forebearer, Il Buco.
White tablecloths may don the tables at this opulent Tribeca institution, but the fine dining Indian restaurant, open in its current location since 2010, is a popular take-out choice, too. Popular dishes at Tamarind include the expected chicken tikka masala, samosas, and saag paneer, but also lavish dishes like lobster masala—made with shiitake mushrooms, chopped onions, garlic, and white wine — and wild mushroom and truffle oil naan.
With a mid-century modern aesthetic and market-driven menu, Park Slope’s Fausto represents what fine dining feels like in 2023, which is to say it’s decidedly more casual but no less carefully presented and attuned to the details. For delivery, that means a pared-down menu, one that focuses on dishes that will shine after delivery. This includes a Little Gem salad with Marcona almonds and a wildflower honey vinaigrette, orecchiette with fennel-braised pork and Tuscan kale, and an olive oil cake for dessert.
The celebrity sightings and old-school bread service delivered by a waiter with silver tongs in hand might not travel, but the food from Sant Ambroeus — which started as a pasticceria and confetteria in Milan and now has various locations around Manhattan and in the Hamptons — sure holds up in transit. The fettuccine alla Bolognese is a must. It even keeps well for leftovers, so there’s no excuse not to add it to your order, no matter what else you’re getting. Everything on the menu tastes like they’ve spared no expense, and they probably haven’t, so whatever you fancy, enjoy the taste of Milan via Manhattan.
French pastry chef Dominique Ansel may have become famous for the Cronut, the croissant-doughnut hybrid that brought him and his Soho bakery celebrity status in 2013, but Ansel’s other creations — sweet or savory, pastry or otherwise — are just as worthy masterpieces to behold. All of that becomes clear at Dominique Ansel Workshop, the chef’s flagship bakery that opened in the summer of 2021. The chocolate-striped pain au chocolat encases three batons of chocolate instead of the usual two; the DKA, or Dominique’s Kouign- Amann (another laminated pastry that’s like a croissant spun with sugar) is made with brown sugar; and there’s even a croissant made with cold-pressed olive oil. The wizardry on display is too good to enjoy only in person, and Caviar and DoorDash users are clued in.
The now-national scoop shop that started out of a yellow truck in 2008 delivers straight to home (to say nothing of its grocery store retail business), proving that there’s always room for ice cream, especially when it’s as creamy and wholesome as Van Leeuwen. Inventive flavors like Earl Grey tea and honeycomb (a good combo, FWIW), and an uber-popular, category-defying (or defining) vegan line don’t distract from the winning equation of simple but high-quality ingredients without unnecessary additives.
Another New York City original, Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream ships and delivers its ice cream on the regular, and with flavors like Cardamom Lemon Jam, Thin Mints ’n’ Chocolate, and Hazelnut Caramel, that’s a good thing. Morgenstern’s doesn’t just churn out ice cream of the finest quality, as its name promises; it also works in unexpected ingredients and playful combinations. Think Toasted Rice Yuzu Swirl, Tahini ’n’ Jelly, and Olive Oil Chocolate Eggplant. Enough said.
If you associate the word “vegan” with sprouts and kale, Brooklyn-based Modern Love will shake up your expectations (and welcome you to 2023, by the way). Seitan buffalo wings, a chickpea Parmesan hero, and mac and cheese made with cashew cheddar (the cheekily named Mac & Shews) are just a few of the comfort-driven dishes that bring long lines and many delivery orders to Modern Love, open since 2016. It sounds cliché, but this is a restaurant where even non-vegans will crave the food.
The catchall phrase “green juice” doesn’t really do a place like Juice Generation justice when beverages like the popular Peanut Butter Split (plant milk, peanut butter, banana, and frozen coconut milk) and the Watermelon Dragon (watermelon juice, dragon fruit, blueberries, and strawberries) are on order. There are fresh green juices, to be sure — celery, kale, spinach, and green apple, to name a few of the greens — but also acai bowls, baked goods, and bottled cold-pressed juice. In other words, it’s a menu for this generation, which means it’s only fitting that it’s a popular one for delivery, too.
Springbone Kitchen, which has locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and New Jersey, specializes in bone broth and dishes made with minimally processed ingredients and grass-fed meat. When “Broth Bros.” Jordan Feldman and Sam Eckstein opened the first location in Greenwich Village, bone broth was just beginning to skyrocket in popularity, and now it has earned its rightful place among all the other health foods that prove that everything old is new again. With cupfuls like the Liquid Gold (chicken broth with coconut milk and turmeric) and the Immunity Broth (chicken broth with ginger, garlic, and Vitamin C), we’ll take two of everything.
The offspring of the now-closed Taboon in Hell’s Kitchen, Taboonette is based on wood-fire Mediterranean cooking and located conveniently in NYU territory. Chicken and lamb shawarma are popular, as are the kebabs and the rich, creamy hummus, which you can order in bowl form with all manner of toppings, including sweet potato falafel and za’atar-crusted fresh Atlantic salmon. But the fluffy pita, which comes with so many dishes and is a cut above what you’d expect from similar quick-service spots, steals the show.
With locations in Williamsburg and Soho, this stylish Israeli cafe (with an equally stylish crowd) is known for its pita, which it flies in from Israel before baking it on-site. The schnitzel salad, hummus, cauliflower with jalapeño and tahini, and Greek salad are all popular take-out orders, but lesser-known items like the pelmeni (Russian dumplings) and the malabi (a pudding with coconut milk, pomegranate syrup, and pistachios) are worthy of attention, too.
The usual mezze and sandwiches are beloved by the local community at Bushwick-based Queen, but the hummus has always been the star here. This neighborhood fave also dabbles in more unexpected items like the Queen Caesar salad with hard-boiled egg and za’atar pita croutons and fun beverages like the cardamom hot chocolate.
Baba Cool by Giada Paoloni
Daily Provisions by Peter Garritano
Courtesy of Soothr Thai Noodle Bar
Courtesy of Tacombi
Ursula by Clay Williams
Courtesy of Pasta Louise