At the rate that new restaurants open and shutter in NYC, six months can easily feel like several years in another city when it comes to navigating the food and drink options.

Just when you feel like you’re catching up on the best of 2013, the newcomers start piling up: highly anticipated openings like Ivan Ramen and Black Seed Bagel practically demand a visit, while buzzed-about new dishes—like Narcissa’s carrots Wellington—fill your Instagram feed until you have to try them yourself. As if to demonstrate that you never know what to expect in this town, TV star Bobby Flay opened a restaurant that critics actually liked (though we’re not middle-aged white men here, so you won’t find Gato in this list—sorry, Bobby).

To help you sort through the noise and prioritize your culinary adventures, we polled our team to pinpoint the restaurants and bars that have made the strongest first impression so far in 2014. From a game-changing bagel joint to a nouveau Peking duck house, these are the 15 best new places to eat and drink in NYC. Now get out there and feast!

Written by Chris Schonberger (@cschonberger), Erin Mosbaugh (@JayBlague), Alia Akkam (@aliaakkam), Nick Schonberger (@nschon), Regan Hofmann (@regan_hofmann), Foster Kamer (@weareyourfek), and Scarlett Lindeman