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 your food and drink options. Just when you feel like you’re catching up on the best of 2012, the newcomers start piling up: blockbusters like Carbone and Lafayette practically demanding a visit, outer-borough haunts stirring chowhound chatter, and pedigreed barrooms filling up your Instagram feed.

To help you sort through the noise and prioritize your eating adventures, we polled our team to pinpoint the restaurants and bars that have really made an impression this year (as well as a few that opened to later in 2012 to earn a spot in the end-of-year lists). From game-changing beer bars to Sichuan gems, these are the 20 best new places to eat and drink in NYC. Now get out there and eat!

Written by Chris Schonberger (@cschonberger), Sophie Brickman (@sbrickman), Erin Mosbaugh (@JayBlague), DJ Dieselboy (@DJDieselboy), Khushbu Shah (@KhushAndOJ), Alia Akkam (@aliaakkam), Nick Schonberger (@nschon), Liz Barclay (@liz_barclay), and Regan Hofmann (@regan_hofmann)