Photo: Clockwise from Left: Tacombi, Hugo Yu, Maanvi Kapur, Hugo Yu, Beth Sacca, Alex Lau

To cover restaurants and food is to watch fleeting trends zip past while long-understood truisms remain. The year 2023 offered both: As with every other aspect of our lives, social media fully took hold of this city’s dining rooms and stores, turning corner shops into Instagram galleries and dinner into a live theater tailor-made for TikTok. Is this what we want from our real-world experiences? Maybe, although when YouTube pizza reviews made the jump to an IRL festival, the results were… underwhelming. Meanwhile, a burger stand can still draw the city’s longest lines, the food world continues to be populated (unfortunately) with bad actors, and everyone still seems to hate the idea of tipping. Plus ça change …

Try as we might, it’s impossible to summarize an entire year of eating into a single, cohesive narrative, and the 20 stories below — our most-read of the year — certainly do not. Instead, they speak to the ever-varied interests of you, our audience. What does 2024 have in store? Whatever it is, we’re looking forward to documenting the best, worst, and weirdest stories we encounter. If you have not already, be sure to subscribe to follow it all.

Illustration: Maanvi Kapur

“I’m sad, but at least I’m full.” Read the story …

Photo: Ron Antonelli

Hamburger America is here. Read the story …

Photo: Hugo Yu/

Can a neighborhood learn to coexist with itself? Read the story …

Photo: Dario Wolos, Jeff Parker, his mentor, and the Tacombi team in Playa del Carmen.

Can Danny Meyer’s millions make the chain bigger than Shake Shack? Read the story …

Photo-Illustration: Grub Street; Photo: Getty Images

When undertipping becomes confrontational. Read the story …

Photo: Christian Harder

Is anyone even supposed to like Bad Roman? Read the story …

Photo: Chris Crowley

It was fine. Read the story …

Photo: Hugo Yu

Can we cool it with all the burrata balls? Read the story …

Photo: Beth Sacca/B) Beth Sacca

A Turkish feast among jet-skiers in Sheepshead Bay, dosas worth a drive to Jersey, and carnitas in someone’s Woodside backyard. Read the story …

Photo: Alex Lau

A family fight threatens the iconic Doyers Street restaurant. Read the story …

Photo: Vincent Tullo/Vincent Tullo for The New York Times

What would Shiv Roy think of the Polo Bar? Read the story …

Illustration: Sarula Bao

“We were open less than a year.” Read the story …

Photo: Alexei Hay

“This is like the Alamo.” Read the story …

Photo: Hugo Yu

How TikTok took over the menu. Read the story …

Illustration: Adam Mazur

“I’ve loved nearly every muffuletta I’ve ever had, but these are special.” Read the story …

Photo: Ezra Marcus

A rain-soaked afternoon eating pizza with the Stoolies. Read the story …

Photo: Lindsay Morris

Many saw Marie Eiffel berate her bakery employees. But they were surprised when she was sued for human trafficking. Read the story …

Photo: Teddy Wolff

Why does every store suddenly look the same? Read the story …

Photo: Lucky Tennyson

Chef Liz Johnson accused her husband Will Aghajanian of killing their cat. That’s just one part of the story. Read the story …

Illustration: Andrew Rae

Fifteen to 20 percent doesn’t cut it anymore. Read the story …

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