1. Kaia Wine Bar, Upper East Side: South African

Photograph by Piko Sipamla. Courtesy of Kaia Wine Bar

Kaia, which takes its name from the Zulu word for “hut,” was conceived by South African native Suzaan Haupfleisch. One part South African small plates and entrees, one part South African wine and cocktails, Kaia has been a new type of African dining experience for New York City. It’s also been Michelin recommended for the past three years.

The cuisine itself is derived from Haupfleisch’s own Boer (Dutch) heritage– the technical name being “Voortrekker” cuisine. Among the small plates are takes on traditional Boer dishes such as wildevark– a wild boar with a cherry compote. It also serves a version of cured elk– elk carpaccio with arugula and hazelnut oil and sweet mustard.

Address: 1614 Third Ave., New York

To read more about New York City cuisine, check out the Top 10 Hidden Restaurants in New York City or look at Photos Inside the DeKalb Market Hall at City Point in Downtown, Brooklyn with First Outpost of Katz’s Deli. Get in touch with the author: @Erika_A_Stark