As the year draws to a close, there are two things that have New York restaurant fiends buzzing: The shuttering of the classic Broadway coffee shop Cafe Edison, and the triumphant, phoenix-from-the-ashes return of Mission Chinese on the Lower East Side. It’s the cruelty and hope of NYC dining thrown into stark relief—while we mourn the loss of storied institutions, the excitement of regeneration and promise of new flavors keeps us coming back for more. We may cry along the way, but we cling to the idea that if we just keep on eating, we’ll eventually find what we’re looking for.

And so, once again, we have a crop of newcomers here to battle it out in the country’s craziest restaurant market. Some of them—like the sit-down spinoff of the venerable Russ & Daugters, and the already-timeless red-sauce joint Il Falco in Long Island City—seem equipped for the long haul. Others are so fiercely of-the-moment that it’s impossible to know how their oxtail spring rolls (Tuome) and corn-husk merengues (Cosme) will age. Either way, one thing’s certain: These are the best new restaurants in NYC that you should be eating at right now.

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