NYC’s Best New Restaurants and Bars of 2013 (So Far)

It's shaping up to be another banner year in New York dining—don't fall behind.

bunker

Photo: Liz Barclay

Bunker

Neighborhood: Ridgewood, Queens
Address and phone: 46-63 Metropolitan Ave (718-386-4282)
Website: bunkervietnamese.com

In the bathroom at Bunker, you'll find a washer and dryer. The light fixtures? Those are hacked coffee posts. Throughout the whole restaurant, upcycled furniture (sometimes made from skateboards) sets the tone. The DIY approach extends to the dining experience as well. Need water or utensils? Collect them yourself. That's the charm of this little Vietnamese eatery on a commercial strip between Bushwick and Ridgewood. Brothers Jacky and Jimmy Tu run the kitchen, while childhood skate-buddy Roy Zapanta manages the front of house. All are amiable, welcoming, and sharply in-tune with the composition of a hip restaurant. Bunker, you could argue, follows the Kanye West model of understated marketing genius. It hits the zeitgeist—classically trained chef cooks street favorites in a funky space—and introduces chowhounds to a new neighborhood (what Zapanta calls "Ridgewick"). Eat the suon noung xa, a perfect grilled pork tenderloin seasoned with lemongrass and topped with a fried egg. You'll want to share the exceptional bánh xè too—slice the crepe, wrap it in lettuce, and dip. Finish with some coconut tapioca pudding, and don't forget to BYOB. — Nick Schonberger

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