New York City is known worldwide as one of the best places to eat. Whether you live here or are just visiting, it can be hard to pick a place to have a meal. This is particularly true because it seems that the restaurant scene is always changing due to the steep costs and pressure of operating in the city.
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If you’re ready to grab a bite, take a moment to peruse our list of the 51 best restaurants in New York. There are a ton of great options, whether you are into Asian-inspired cuisine, authentic Persian fare, or old school Italian.
Atoboy features modern Korean-inspired cuisine offered as a fixed price tasting menu. While many tasting menus are too expensive for the average dinner, Atoboy’s set price of $75 for five courses is a more affordable way to sample great Korean fare. You can also add on a side of fried chicken with spicy peanut sauce for just $27.
Kochi is a must for anyone who is a fan of Korean food. Inspired by Jorean royal court cuisine, this restaurant features Korean food on skewers, such as spring sprout bibimbap and spanish mackerel. You can also get a tasting menu for $135 and a Sool pairing for $95 (including wine, beer, and Korean soju). Kochi has a Michelin star.
For people who don’t necessarily associate Mexican food with fine dining, Oxomoco is here to prove you wrong. Located in Greenpoint, this Michelin-starred restaurant features wood-fired dishes like beet “chorizo” tacos, asparagus and morel tacos, and beef tartare tostada. Don’t miss Oxomoco’s frozen drink menu.
Crown Shy is the perfect place for a special occasion dinner, with a range of innovative foods from chef James Kent. It features foods like gruyere fritters with a chili lime sauce to start, pork katsu with umeboshi and stone fruit, and a 40 day dry aged ribeye with a baked potato and kale salad. Located in the financial district, it is also a great spot for after work cocktails.
While many of the restaurants on our list are relatively new additions to the NYC dining scene, Gramercy Tavern is a well-established classic. It is a destination dining experience, with an option to eat à la carte in the tavern itself, the garden, or the more upscale dining room with its $165 tasting menu.
If you’re into Indian cuisine, Dhamaka is an absolute must. This relatively new star of the Lower East Side features foods that are often not seen in most Indian restaurants, such as gurda kapoora, champaran meat, paplet fry, and goat belly seekh. It is little wonder, then, that the restaurant bills itself as the “forgotten side of India.”
Sushi Nakazawa is the brainchild of chef Daisuke Nakazawa, who famously was featured in the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. If you are a fan of omakase, then you can’t miss Sushi Nakazawa. While Sushi Nakazawa is pricy, it offers comparatively affordable chef’s menus that start at $150 in the dining room and $180 at the counter.
Gage & Tollner
Located in downtown Brooklyn, Gage & Tollner has a menu that features both throwback items (parker house rolls, anyone?) and new classics. You can order everything from crispy hen-of-the-woods mushrooms with black garlic aioli and housemade sriracha to pork pot pie to clams on the half-shell to veal chops. Its innovative dessert menu, featuring items like a chévre cheesecake and a coconut layer cake with lime curd, cashew-pink peppercorn brittle and cherries, can’t be missed.
Located in Carroll Gardens, Ugly Baby is billed as “aggressive Thai” with spices. In other words, if you like spicy food, Ugly Baby is the place for you. Don’t miss the spicy Udon Thani’s duck salad and the tue ka ko to soothe your palate.
Located in Crown Heights, Rangoon began as a pop-up Burmese food spot before opening up a physical restaurant in 2020. The southeast Asian menu features items like lemongrass fish noodle soup, onion fritters, tea leaf salad, and tamarind pumpkin stew. Many of its menu items are allergen-friendly, with notations under each dish to let you know if it is vegan, dairy-free, gluten free, and/or peanut-free.
There is nothing more New York than an Italian restaurant. If you’re looking for upscale Italian, Rezdôra is the place for you. This Flatiron district spot has everything from stracciatella to gramigna giallo e verde to frittata from reggio emilia. While it isn’t an old school red sauce joint, it is sure to impress any fan of Italian cuisine.
A true gem in Brooklyn, Olmsted features upscale options at affordable prices. You can sample duck liver mousse with spring onion and baguette for just $16, for example, or a za’atar smoked duck breast (served with fruit preserve, labneh, and m’smen) for $38.
If you’re into seafood, you’ll want to check out Astoria’s Elias Corner. This neighborhood spot doesn’t have a menu. Instead, they display the catch of the day so that you can choose the freshest seafood and method of preparation. Be forewarned: they don’t take credit cards.
East Village newcomer Van Da opened in 2019 to fanfare, with a star in the New York Times and a nod from Michelin as well. It features modern Vietnamese cuisine, with a menu that features both classic dishes as well as street food. Be sure to try the Pho short rib grilled cheese, the banh beo, the turmeric noodles, and the Mi Vit Tiem. You can also check out the regional menu for $50 per person, choosing from onne Hue sampler, an appetizer, and an entree.
Pata Pa-plean is a Thai noodle restaurant and bar located in Elmhurst. This tiny restaurant doesn’t have a website and almost everything is written in Thai – but you can’t go wrong when you visit this spot. The noodle bowls are only served on the weekends, and cost just $5 (cash only).
Leland Eating and Drinking House
Brooklyn’s Leland Eating and Drinking House is a great neighborhood restaurant that features a charming atmosphere. Its small menu puts a spotlight on local food and natural wines, such as charred lemon skillet mussels. They also have some of the best bread in NYC – and it’s made in-house.
For many New Yorkers, fine dining simply isn’t an option, with some restaurants charging astronomical prices. Tribeca’s Bâtard is an exception: it offers a modern European tasting menu for as little as $79 per person. With menu items like beef tartare, branzino, and tarte au citron vert, you can’t go wrong no matter which dishes you choose to sample.
Most people wouldn’t associate Southern soul food with veganism, and yet Cadence somehow makes that combination shine. This East Village spot isn’t just vegan – it is also entirely organic and soy-free. Here, you can try dishes like fried okra, potato salad, black eyed pea garlic pancakes, and Southern fried lasagna.
Brooklyn-based Lillo isn’t for everyone: it doesn’t have alcohol or a bathroom, it is tiny, and it doesn’t accept credit cards. That being said, this Italian restaurant has fantastic pasta with ingredients imported directly from Italy. If you’re a pasta fan, then you simply must check out Lillo.
If you’re into vegetarian food, Dirt Candy is the place to go. The restaurant features a five course tasting menu – no à la carte items – that changes seasonally. The tasting menu costs $90 per person, with an option to add a wine pairing for an additional $50.
The Freakin Rican
As you might have guessed from its name, The Freakin Rican in Astoria features Puerto Rican cuisine. There, you’ll find everything from pasteles to empanadas to pernil to mofongo. In addition to its restaurant menu, The Freakin Rican offers a catering menu for your parties and events.
In recent years, Korean barbecue has become incredibly popular. If you’re into this cuisine, then you should check out the Flatiron District’s Cote, This Michelin-starred Korean barbecue/steakhouse allows you to cook meat right at your table while you enjoy a selection of ban-chan and other delicacies.
Fans of Indian food would be well-advised to take a trip to Queens to visit Usha Foods, a fast casual restaurant that features combo platters and generous portions. There, you can order a range of puri and chaat, along with sweets and snacks that can be purchased in decorative boxes for gift-giving.
Chinatown’s Bo Ky is one of the few restaurants in New York that features food from China’s Chaoshan region. It has a lengthy menu of truly fantastic noodles, along with roasted duck and rice dishes. Although Bo Ky is inexpensive, it has some of the best noodles in the city.
Located in East Williamsburg, Bunna Cafe offers a range of vegetarian Ethiopian food. Main dishes come with the classic injera along with your choice of options like shiro (ground chickpeas), yatakilt alicha (cabbage) and misir wot (red lentils).
Despite the diversity of New York City, there aren’t many Persian restaurants – but Sofreh is one of the top choices for this cuisine. Located in Prospect Heights, Sofreh was named one of the best new restaurants in the city by the New York Times. Its menu includes items like kofteh, tahini and date salad, saffron rice, and pomegranate beef ribeye kebab.
Located in Flushing, White Bear is a tiny spot with just five small tables. It is well known for its dumplings. In particular, its pork wontons with chili oil and diced pickled vegetables are a cult classic. What this restaurant lacks in ambiance, it more than makes up for it with sheer deliciousness.
Di Fara Pizza
When most people think of New York, one of the first things that comes to mind is pizza. For most New Yorkers, Di Fara Pizza is the place to go for the best pizza in town. Since 1965, this restaurant has served pizzas with standard toppings like pepperoni and mushrooms, as well as newer add-ons like broccoli rabe, soppressata, and artichokes.
When you approach Red Hook’s Hometown Bar-B-Que, you might be put off by the long line. But trust us when we say that the wait is worth it: this restaurant has the best barbeque in NYC. Its menu has everything that you expect, like brisket, pulled pork, spare ribs and turkey – plus some unexpected additions like Oazacan chicken, Korean pork ribs, and Char Sui baby back ribs.
Charles Pan-Fried Chicken
At Charles Pan-Fried Chicken, the top menu is – unsurprisingly – fried chicken. This restaurant also offers a range of other options at its Harlem and Upper West Side locations, including barbecue smoked chicken, pulled pork, and smoked ribs. You can get a combo plate to sample a few different meats, and add on à la carte items like cornbread, mac and cheese, potato salad, and black eyed peas.
B&H Dairy is one of the few remaining kosher lunch counters in New York. Based in the East Village, this diner serves up classics like challah french toast, borscht, matzo ball soup, tuna salad sandwiches, blintzes, smoked whitefish sandwiches, and stuffed cabbage. Many of its options are vegetarian.
At Via Carota, you won’t find nouveau cuisine. Instead, this Italian restaurant in the West Village features simple favorites like insalata verde, chopped steak, and pasta. This rustic spot is a perfect place for a date night or just to grab a bite with friends.
Teranga takes the fast casual concept to somewhere a bit different in this east Harlem spot: West Africa. Its menu features “African super food,” like jollof topped with roasted salmon and veggies, the yassa yassa grilled chicken bowl, and the casamance kale salad bowl. Many of its options are gluten free and/or vegan. You can also make your own bowl using Teranga’s list of ingredients.
At Ho Foods, you can sample some of the best Taiwanese food in the city. Based in the East Village, the menu includes breakfast items like radish cakes, savory soy milk and yo tiao, noodle dishes like beef noodle soup, zha jian noodles, and sesame noodles, as well as small bites like scallion pancakes and garlicky cucumbers.
For fans of French cuisine, Raoul’s in Soho is a must. This restaurant features food from the Alsace region of France, like jumbo lump crab beignets, steak tartare, escargot ragout, and steak au poivre. They also have a great selection of French wines to pair with your dinner.
A&A Bake and Doubles
Located in Bed-Stuy, A&A Bake and Doubles is a tiny Caribbean spot that features three main dishes: bakes, doubles and roti. Bakes are a small, fried-dough bun stuffed with salt fish or fried sand shark, while doubles are a Trinidadian snack with numerous fillings. Finally, roti are large flatbread filled with various fillings. It is one of the best places in NYC for Caribbean food!
Sushi 35 West
Sushi 35 West is hard to find and only has two tables. That being said, this restaurant in Midtown west consistently produces some of the best sushi in the city. It is run by some of the top sushi chefs in the city who offer fare like salmon roe, sea urchin, Spanish mackerel and striped jack at more reasonable prices.
If you’re into Middle Eastern food, then there are few better places to go in NYC than Tanoreen. Based in Bay Ridge, this restaurant has featured incredidble Palestinian food sincne 1998. Don’t miss the labna, baba ganoush, kabob, or the baked kafta tahini.
Taverna Kyclades in Astoria is consistently ranked as one of the best Greek restaurants in New York City. Unsurprisingly, this restaurant is always packed with diners hoping to enjoy dishes like spanakopita, tzatziki, patzaria, souvlaki and more.
Com Tam Ninh Kieu
Based in the Bronx, Com Tam Ninh Kieu puts a spotlight on Vietnamese comfort food. Its menu has everything from house garlic noodles to bánh mí to pho. While many restaurants in NYC feature Vietnamese food, this is one of the few places that has homestyle food – which is one reason why it is so popular with the Vietnamese community.
Peppa’s Jerk Chicken
If you’re into jerk, then you have to hit up Peppa’s Jerk Chicken in Brooklyn. Peppa’s is the top restaurant in NYC for jerk chicken. Its menu also offers other Jamaican specialties like oxtail, curry chicken, curry goat, and stewed chicken.
Congee, or Chinese rice porridge, is an incredibly popular dish. At Congee Village on the Lower East Side, you can choose from a variety of congee options along with a variety of Chinese dishes. The vibrant space is also the perfect spot to have a cocktail.
Maya Congee Cafe
Maya Congee Cafe isn’t just a restaurant – it is also an Asian market. In addition to congee bowls, Maya’s offers bahn mi sandwiches, boba milk, fruit tea, soups, and salads. This Bed-Stuy store is a great place to stock up and to get a bite to eat.
Located in Williamsburg, Kokomo features inspired Caribbean cuisine with options for people on special diets as well. Be sure to check out their wood-fired flatbreads, crispy fish tacos, coconut curry mussels, slow braised oxtail, and coconut lime salmon filet.
No list of the best restaurants in NYC would be complete without Le Bernardin, Eric Ripert’s incredible seafood restaurant. While a dinner at Le Bernardin isn’t cheap, it IS an experience. If you’re not interested in the tasting menu, you can order à la carte in the lounge.
The Arepa Lady
The Arepa Lady began selling her delicious arepas in a cart in Queens before eventually opening up a restaurant in Jackson Heights. In addition to arepas, the restaurant offers other Colombian favorites like empanadas, street corn, chicharron, and patacones.
If French cuisine is your thing, then you have to check out Boerum Hill’s French Louie. This gorgeous restaurant can accommodate large parties and events as well as intimate dinners for two. It has brunch, lunch, and dinner menus that include items such as chicken liver pâté, duck au poivre, chilled tomato soup, and eggs louie.
Noreetuh is an American restaurant in the East Village that features Hawaiian-style food. Its popular menu items include teriyaki bowls, poke, and musubi – many of which spotlight that Hawaiian staple, SPAM.
Located in Long Island City, Astoria Seafood is the place for seafood lovers. Rather than a set menu, you can peruse the catch of the day and then tell your server how you’d like it to be cook. This casual spot is BYOB.
Los Tacos No. 1
There are five Los Tacos No. 1 locations in Manhattan, which makes it a perfect place to grab a quick lunch or dinner. The mini-chain is known for its pollo asado tacos, nopal plates, carne asada quesadillas and homemade aguas frescas. While it isn’t fancy, it IS delicious.
L&B Spumoni Gardens
This Bensonhurst pizza joint is a must for Siclian-style. L&B Spumoni Gardens offers saucy square slices of pizza, plus a full menu of heroes, pasta, seafood, and appetizers. Don’t forget to order its namesake spumoni for dessert!
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