Top 10 Most Read Eater NY Stories in 2021

We created it. At the start of this year, we were shivering in outdoor dining shacks, and now we’re … well, at least there’s the vaccines. Yet the second year of our mid-pandemic reality was more optimistic than 2020. Our coverage last year was marked by lockdowns, unemployment updates and an endless deluge of restaurant closings. This year, we have carefully stepped back inside the restaurants. Over the year, we covered more openings than closings. We anticipated new hot restaurants and paid tribute to those we lost.

Over the past 12 months, we’ve published hundreds of stories chronicling this year’s food scene. Below, we’ve rounded up our top 10 stories of 2021:

Eleven Madison Park vegan caviar.
Getty Images

10. Eleven Madison Park is not ready to be a world-class vegan restaurant

It was the announcement heard around the world: Eleven Madison Park, Chef Daniel Humm’s famous food sanctuary, was going vegan when it reopens in June. The change was followed by a second title that was heard just as loudly: the vegan version was not very good. Oh, and there was a secret meat room in the back.

A mix of plates and bowls with Chinese and Japanese food.

A food mix from Cha Kee, which opened in Chinatown in September.
An Rong Xu / Eater NY

9. New York’s Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings, Fall 2021

Fall is usually the biggest and brightest opening time for restaurants in the city, a time that pulls us out of the late summer slumps and brings us back to the energy of the big food industry that the city thrives on. . In 2020, we concocted a makeshift guide to restaurants anticipated between lockdowns and unemployment updates; in 2021, the list returned in a more complete form – and readers responded enthusiastically.

An arrangement of fried chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, fries, sauces and two milkshakes on a purple background.

Shake Shack’s Korean-Style Fried Chicken Sandwiches.
Shake Shack

8. Shake Shack Responds to Criticism of Launching ‘Korean Style’ Fried Chicken Menu

One week in 2021, cool-kid burger chain Shake Shake tore our inboxes with a new limited-time launch at its U.S. stores: fried chicken, coated in gochujang frosting and layered with a white kimchi salad. , stuffed between two buns and sold as a Korean-style fried chicken sandwich. It was a catch-all term lacking the necessary nuance and context – what does “Korean-style” mean anyway? – and Korean customers and restaurateurs in New York City have been talking about this lazy and damaging language. (Also: the sandwich sucked.)

7. Tribute to 52 New York restaurants that closed during the pandemic

In March 2021, we published a year-long retrospective commemorating 52 restaurants – including Uncle Boons, 88 Lan Zhou, and Glady’s – that closed permanently during the pandemic. It’s heartwarming to see that some of those who have died have since been resuscitated in various forms, such as at Meme’s Diner, where former co-owner Libby Willis now runs a small business incubator called Kit that aims to empower other queer restaurant owners. Of the industry.

A square slice of Prince Street pepperoni pizza lies on white paper

A slice of Prince Street Pizza.
Nick Solares / Eater NY

6. Prince Street pizza owners step down after series of racist comments surfaced online

Remember this? It didn’t seem to shake the lines along Prince Street, but still: let it remind you that there are other slices loaded with roni cups in town.

A pastrami sandwich on toast white bread and a thick blackened spice rim.

A barbecue pastrami sandwich from Hometown BBQ.
Robert Sietsema / Eater NY

5. A tribute to the 11 New York sandwiches that are helping us get through the pandemic

We’ve all been treated to this remarkable sandwich roundup, photos of which are said to be edible, from Eater reviewer and resident sandwich enthusiast Robert Sietsema in April, and the reader’s response has been so overwhelming that he has since posted several lists of. subsequent sandwiches. In short: long live the sandwiches.

Anne Saxelby stands in front of Saxelby Cheesemongers, her cheese factory in New York

Anne Saxelby.
Christine Han

4. Anne Saxelby, who helped redefine the American independent cheese industry, dies at 40

The industry was heartbroken in October when they learned of the passing of Anne Saxelby, the beloved founder and co-owner of Saxelby Cheesemongers. Saxelby, known for championing cheeses made in the United States, was a supplier to many New York restaurants and was instrumental in elevating brands like Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont to national spotlight.

Van Leeuwen

Van Leeuwen’s Hudson Yards location.
Alex Staniloff / Eater NY

3. NYC Finishes Upscale Ice Cream Shop Van Leeuwen For Violating Cashless Payments Ban

This story established two very important points: 1) The city was keeping its promise to enforce the cashless ban that came into effect at the end of 2020; and 2) Van Leeuwen, the chic and minimalist ice cream shop – some might say stuck – found itself caught in its sights. Weeks later, we reported that the $ 12 pint supplier was still not accepting cash at its New York City stores, and the city confirmed it was reviewing the business.

New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang arrives for a press conference with Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein on June 21, 2021 in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

Former mayoral candidate Andrew Yang campaigned in New York City earlier this year.
Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images

2.Andrew Yang, candidate for mayor of New York, was roasted on Twitter for a video of Bodega

Does Andrew Yang know what a bodega is? Still not sure. Did his antics on social media help him win – or even come close to victory – as mayor of New York? Not by far.

Tables inside Jua

Jua in Flatiron received a Michelin star in 2021.
Dan Ahn / Jua

1. Michelin announces the 2021 stars for New York City

Michelin, the European tire maker and occasional publisher of controversial restaurant rankings, abandoned its 2021 New York guide in May after a pandemic year-long hiatus. Every restaurant on the previous list that had not closed permanently retained its current star status – whether open or temporarily closed – and seven newcomers joined the list, including Korean tasting menu Jua at Flatiron and the Italian hotshot Don Angie in the West Village.

Addition of bonuses: There is already a story that upsets this end-of-year ranking, less than 24 hours after its publication. Yesterday, we reported that a large number of restaurants in New York City had temporarily closed their doors this week as staff members tested positive for COVID-19. By the end of the week, this could be our most read story of the year. Stay safe there, boost yourself and be nice if and when you dine out.

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