NYC's culinary landscape is a shifty one. Following food trends and restaurant openings is exhaustive work, sometimes shifting from a passion to near mania. You need to try the dish your favorite food critic lauded, score a table at that chef's latest venture, or just impress the hell out of the gastronomically-inclined woman you're dating. 

The conundrum? The more difficult the table is to get, and the more a certain foodstuff is spoke about or scrutinized on social media, the more pressing your need to nab a table becomes. Is it the hype that has you hungry, or legitimate merit? 

Hype Eats sets out to investigate just that: is it all smoke, mirrors and heavily-filtered Instagram shots, or is the restaurant legitimately worth your time and hard-earned pesos? 

In the spirit of replicating a typical diner's experience (and because we are not food critics; we're just hungry) we've visited each restaurant just once. This month we take on Carbone, All'Onda, Chez Jef, Black Seed Bagels and CafĂ© El Presidente. Each spot got just one shot to impress us. Read on to see which were hot spots and which were just hype and mirrors.

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