Here are our best New York restaurant recommendations because making a decision about food is difficult enough in your own hometown, let alone a place like New York City. With some of the best culinary options in the world, it can be overwhelming, to say the very least. Who wants to leave New York unsatisfied with their restaurant choices? With that being said, here are some of our highest recommendations to leave your palate feeling satisfied and broken down into categories to satisfy you. Be sure to click the links below to find out if you might need an advance reservation. Bon Appetit!
Impressive Dinner Reservation
Eleven Madison Park $$$$
A recent recipient of a Michelin star, Eleven Madison Park’s culinary offerings divine service are proving to be as impressive as the Art Deco building in which the restaurant sits. Chef Daniel Humm delivers a truly unique eight to ten-course tasting menu seven nights a week. Prepare for a dramatic culinary experience.
If anyone thought that Africa does not have any special dishes, they will be proven wrong when they visit Teranga. This place does not have waiter service, and people take their food from the counter in the semi-open kitchen. The interior is Africa – traditional drawings, masks, and other vibrant decorative items adorn the walls, while the food is served in customizable plates on simple metal trays as a part of the casual everyday feel of the place. Ethiopian coffee, Senegalese black-eyed pea stew, Ghana plantains, and many other carefully prepared dishes by Chef Pierre Thiam strongly reflect African culture and comfort food.
Presenting the varied flavors of the Far East, the Buddakan restaurant in New York is a true testament of opulence and lavishness blended with the exquisite tastes of Asia. The interior is divided into several rooms that can be booked for a private event or a celebration. Impressive chandeliers hanging from the high ceiling cast a warm glow on the wood and mirror paneled walls of the main dining room. The more private dining rooms have green leather seats, natural stone walls, and framed photos of historical artifacts. The menu is reflective of the interior, with every item prepared and served to perfection, and the attentive, professional staff adds to the excellent dining experience.
Fish Cheeks $$
Named for the tastiest part of a fish, the Fish Cheeks restaurant serves seafood-inspired Thai menu in NoHo in Lower Manhattan. The place is owned and run by two brothers, Chat and Ohm, which have worked in fine dining establishments, but decided to break it on their own, opening Fish Cheeks, deciding on serving the traditional Thai seafood-based recipes learned from their parents. Not much in terms of fancy interior, this restaurant is mostly about the food, as each meal served here is crafted and seasoned to perfection. To accompany the good food, people can try Thai-influenced cocktails prepared by Dev Johnson.
Quite a popular place, Nyonya serves a Malaysian fusion cuisine that is borderline comfort food for its herbs, spices and other authentic Malaysian ingredients. The place is relatively large, but very popular, which makes it very busy, so a reservation is preferred. If you enjoy spicy food and trying new dining experiences, then Nyonya in NYC is most definitely a place you should visit. Roti canai, satay, Chow Kueh Teow are just a few of the amazing dishes that one can try here. Remember to bring enough money with you, as the only downside is that it is cash only.
A pub full of old-world charm, the Ginger Man pub in NYC has a selection of over 70 beers on draft and about 150 types of bottled beers, so it is a kind of beer heaven for the beer-lovers. Besides these, Ginger Man carries a good selection of wines and a fine assortment of whiskey, scotch, rye, and bourbon. The pub has a long wooden bar, large wooden booths with benches, leather seating, very high ceilings, and beautiful oriental rugs. To accompany the plenty of beers, there is a good pub fare menu prepared in an open kitchen. The Ginger Man is a very popular place, with a hopping crowd of beer-lovers during the week.
The perfect restaurant for a late Sunday brunch, Legends is a great choice for a hearty English breakfast. Not only that, but Legends is home to the New York Football Factory, making this restaurant a match made in heaven for sports lovers up early to catch the game.
42 Grove St New York, NY 10014
If you’re looking for the best avocado toast in the city, Buvette wins by a landslide. An elegant French cafe with sister locations in Paris and Tokyo, Buvette is dedicated to providing a superior dining experience. With locally sourced, fresh ingredients, you won’t soon forget this breakfast.
When planning to go for a stroll through Soho, you simply cannot skip Jane. It is an American eatery with a warm atmosphere for tourists and locals alike. It’s casual enough to bring your friends for lunch, but also classy enough for a business breakfast. With specialties like their Vanilla Bean French Toast or Kale & Egg, you are sure to be pleased no matter what you order.
ABC Kitchen $$
ABC Kitchen is a New American eatery providing fresh, organic ingredients every day. Perfect for the environmentally conscious, their ever-changing menu is seasonal and focuses on sustainable produce that is free of pesticides, GMOs, and insecticides. Not only this, but their dining room is furnished with reclaimed and recycled building materials, giving it a unique and pleasant ambiance. Their awareness along with their extensive brunch menu with dishes like Buttermilk pancakes with lemon curd or French toast with vanilla poached strawberries will keep you coming back time and time again.
This is the perfect restaurant to treat your NYC guests to. We all often struggle to find the right balance when picking a restaurant for your friends, but RH has got it all. This rooftop restaurant is glamorous, romantic, and features a rooftop deck with an incredible view. It embodies New York perfectly, and the decadent Avocado Toast doesn’t hurt either.
Serving Californian food in the heart of NYC, Jams is a part of 1 Hotel Central Park. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere, with exposed brick walls, lots of reclaimed oak items and nice oriental rugs on the floors. Jams is run by Chef Jonathan Waxman, who uses lots of fresh local ingredients to bring a menu that is seasonally changing to the satisfaction of many. Jump-start your day with a Jams specialty breakfast and coffee or any of their house-made pastries and seasonal jams and fruits.
Jackson Hole $$
Located on the Upper East Side, Jackson Hole is a New York staple when it comes to burgers. Often recognized for having “the best burgers in the city” you won’t be disappointed. With burgers featuring a fresh beef flavor, loaded fries that you’ll dream of, and even salads for vegetarians, Jackson Hole offers something for everyone. We’d also like to note for our Friends lovers that Jennifer Anniston used to work there.
A part of a global coffee chain, the Aroma Espresso Bar is located in TriBeCa, in the heart of the Financial District, right across from the Four Seasons Hotel. A great place to stop by and get a quick bite to eat and enjoy a coffee while you go on a tour of the 9/11 museum, Aroma Espresso Bar has a pleasant interior, high ceilings, and a professional staff. They serve a nice selection of pastries, light breakfast foods, and most importantly, excellent, fresh coffees.
Great for first dates, Cafe Reggio is the perfect little Italian cafe to meet for coffee while still keeping it casual. It’s proud to be an iconic New York landmark from the 1920s that has still kept its charm. Be sure to order their hot chocolate and depending on how the date is going, maybe a cheesecake to share. This cafe will keep you coming back time and time again to try every pastry on the menu.
The Smith $$$
A quaint gastropub, the Smith NoMad location is one of those perfect places for a meal after a long day at work or getting a nice breakfast. The interior is beautiful, with subway tile walls, wooden panels on the ceilings, and plenty of modern-meets-rustic light fixtures. Shelves full of all kinds of spirits line the wall behind the bar, which are not just for show. The patrons can freely order any type of drink, and be assured that it will be delivered. An eclectic menu with tasty items only completes the Smith appeal.
Abyssinia hails from humble beginnings selling Injera and catering from a Harlem apartment. Now, only 8 years later, they boast some of the best Injera in the city loved by Ethiopians and locals alike. Some highlights of their menu include the chicken tibs and the veggie platter, paired along with a few glasses of honey wine. It’s perfect for a date night out of trying new cuisine.
This restaurant and smokehouse offer slow smoked meats, craft beers and live music on weekends. There is no waiter service, and people get their order on the counter and get to enjoy a farm-style meal. The interior is decorated in a rustic style, with reclaimed wood tables and vintage chairs, barn-like walls and ceilings and interesting light fixtures all over. The menu is what attracts a large crowd, with brisket, pulled pork, lamb belly, turkey, house-made Italian sausage, and ribs all smoked in-house with a good serving of sides. The only thing patrons noted was a long waiting crowd, which only proves the popularity and quality of this place.
La Boite en Bois– $$$
A neighborhood French bistro serving amazingly prepared food, La Boite en Bois has an authentic rustic feel and an intimate dining experience. People usually go here with their partner on a date, as it takes reservations only and is within walking distance of the NYC Ballet, Metropolitan Opera House, Time Warner Centre, AMC Loews Theater and Central Park. It is in the basement of a typical NY brownstone but impeccably decorated, with lots of exposed brick, wooden wainscoting, and authentic rustic decorations. The menu is quite French, with French onion soup, fish stew, escargot and more, and to accommodate the theater-goers which seem to prefer this place for an early pre-show dinner, there is a Pre-Theatre Prix Fixe dinner with amazing dishes.
A place in the heart of Manhattan, the Almayass restaurant is a modern place serving traditional Lebanese and Armenian cuisine. Stylish, elegant interior, crisp white tablecloths, and impeccably prepared meals, Almayass is a restaurant where people go to experience the exquisite blend of a unique dining experience, pleasant atmosphere, and exotic flavors. Soft cream walls, exposed brick accent walls, exposed beams on the ceilings, hardwood floors, comfortable chairs, and the inevitable Middle Eastern details add to the appealing charm of Almayass. Along with the full bar and carefully created menu, it is no wonder how this restaurant has caught the eye of the most prominent food reporters from several notable magazines in the US.
A far cry from the Indian eatery one might imagine; Junoon is as high-class restaurant as they come. Meaning “passion” in Hindi, Junoon serves meals that are a reflection of the finest Indian cuisine. Dressy attire, recommended reservations, great foods, and good drinks list, Junoon is most definitely a place with an exquisite dining atmosphere that will show you another side of India right in the middle of New York. Just to note, since it was opened in 2010, Junoon has received the coveted Michelin star and is a regular on the Michelin guidebook.
A Brooklyn restaurant with an Italian soul, Flatbush Avenue’s Fausto is classified as “a restaurant for and of the neighborhood.” Known for their exceptional Italian dishes often paired with an extensive beverage program, Fausto aims to please the Italian food lover in us all.
Street-side setup place serving tacos and other Mexican handheld foodstuffs, the Los tacos No.1 is one f the best taco places in all of New York. There are high tables where people can stand and eat their tacos and enjoy a drink of pop. The tortillas are handmade, which can be seen in the open kitchen, and people can simply select their toppings from the displayed items. Always bustling with people means that the tacos served here are fresh and most definitely good, not to mention really affordable.
Yuca Bar $$
In business since 2008, the Yuca Bar is serving a menu that is a fusion from several Latin countries, reflecting the vibrant Latin culture. A “Viva La Vida” sign on the wall, fun cocktails and Latin music blasting from the sound system makes everyone feel welcomed. The menu served here is very varied and innovative, with great tasting dishes that bring a large following. Tapas, tasting menus, beers, mojitos, martini, sangria and other cocktails, fun atmosphere – what’s not to like here?
Bleecker Street Pizza is a fan-favorite pizza place, with its fresh thin-crust pizzas and pies, it has been voted as the “Best Pizza in New York” by the Food Network three years running. The dough is house-made, as is the marinara sauce, which is spiced with fresh basil, and each item is made-to-order. People can get a slice of delicious pizza on the go or order a take-out or delivery of the best pizza in NYC. No-fuss interior, simple chairs and tables, outdoor seating, friendly staff, and great pizza; this is what attracts people to this place over and over again.
Ever since 2010, Totto Ramen has been serving great ramen noodles with creative toppings to the people of New York. The place is known for extremely fast service, and most of the special touches, like charring the meat is happening before your eyes. Chicken base soup, house-made noodles, fun, delicious toppings; all of this in a hole-in-the-wall, basement location. The only downside – cash only.
Preparing Singaporean-inspired dishes made by Chef Max Ng, the Momofuku Ssam Bar is a stylish, modern eatery with plenty of seating. The menu is inventive and evolving, with prix fixe options and the possibility of private dining. You should get a reservation, but you can often find a seat by simply walking in. Various interesting options, pleasant atmosphere, good drink options, attentive staff, and affordable prices, all in all, a good place to spend an evening out in town.
Easy to miss place due to the small size, this is actually a very popular ramen place in NYC. The place is very long and narrow, with exposed brick wall, simple seating benches and narrow tables bunched together. Despite this, it is always bustling with patrons, as the dishes served here are must-try if you like ramen – and who does not? Miso broth served with house-made noodles and a selection of various delicious toppings along with cold beer, plus it works until midnight.
Ippudo is a Japanese-based restaurant with locations all over the world, and NYC is not the exception. The first international location was opened right here in 2008, on 4thAvenue, sparking a ramen craze. The place is decorated with noticeable Japanese influences, with plenty of bamboos, charcoal fireplace, brick walls, and other modern touches. If you have a craving for ramen noodles with any type of miso soup and plenty of flavorful seasonal toppings, you don’t need a reservation to dine at Ippudo.
The Russian Tea Room $$$$
You can’t find better fine dining than at The Russian Tea Room. If you really want to wow your guests for the weekend, a reservation here will do the trick. Located near the southern end of Central Park, it’s a perfect end to a day filled with seeing the sights of the city. Boasting an Afternoon Tea menu with flavors such as Rooibos Chai and Formosa Oolong, along with homemade seasonal scones and petits fours, we can assure you that you’ll never leave disappointed. With some of the most decadent items on the menu (think lobster, caviar, puff pasties) paired with over 100 variations of vodka, The Russian Tea Room assures you an experience that won’t soon be forgotten.
Del Frisco’s $$$$
Excellence in both interior design and in preparing steaks, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse offers a truly luxurious dining experience. The restaurant takes three stories, and with its floor-to-ceiling windows, it provides great views on Rockefeller Center and Sixth Avenue. The executive chef Guillaume Thivet prepares remarkable seasonal menus from fresh local produce and fresh market catch. With a wine list of over 1200 items and business casual dress code, this is not a place for everyone, but for the true connoisseurs of high-quality steaks and deep enough pockets.
57 West 58th Street, New York, NY 10019
A steakhouse in the true sense of the word, Quality Meats is designed to look like an actual New York Style butcher shop. The décor features exposed brick walls, hardwood floors and ceilings, and lots of wood and marble accents. The light fixtures are made from repurposed stainless steel meat hooks, with real meat cleavers used as decorative items. Perfectly prepared steaks, lamb, veal, seafood, fish, and other dishes, along with decadent house-made desserts makes the Quality Meats restaurant a true gem in NYC’s plethora of restaurants.
Ever since it first opened in 1990, Carmine’s been serving Italian food to New Yorkers. A great place to eat lunch or dinner after your visit to the Museum of Modern Art of the Rockefeller Center, or you’ve been on a walk through Times Square, Carmine’s works up until midnight. You can make a reservation or try your luck by walking in without one, but the greetings you will receive here will make you feel welcomed and esteemed. A nicely decorated interior, with professional staff and hearty Italian dishes, Carmine’s should be on everyone’s list of must-try restaurants in NYC.
JG Melon $$
Maybe the best burger place in NYC, JG Melon has been in business since 1972, and it still serves excellent hamburgers in a pub-like atmosphere. A cozy, inviting interior, large wooden bar with plenty of seats, simple tables with checkered tablecloths, plenty of melon decorations and framed art on the walls, even a traditional jukebox, all of this can still be found at JG Melon. There are street side tables great for people-watching while you wait for your hamburger. Many notable New Yorkers, including former mayor Michael Bloomberg, frequent this place and call JG Melon’s hamburgers the “best hamburgers in the world”.
Devoted to preparing real comfort food, this restaurant in the heart of Harlem is owned and run by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson. The interior is a reflection of the neighborhood, with plenty of traditional and plenty of modern styles mixed together to create a pleasant dining atmosphere. The menu is all about comfort food and the staff is all about making you feel like home. Items like cornbread, fried yard bird, donuts, meatballs, mac & greens, jambalaya and lots more. There is ample outside seating, and the guests are entertained by live jazz or DJ music on a nightly basis.
Tapas and Drinks
Situated on top of the Museum of Arts and Design at Columbus Circle, Robert is an excellent restaurant offering a good dining menu, excellent drinks menu and amazing views. The interior is very modern and colorful, yet tasteful and elegant at the same time. The menu, created by Chef Gonzalo Colin, is amazing and is paired with an extensive, carefully curated beverages list. Robert is a place where people can enjoy a small plate and a drink while enjoying the amazing views of Central Park in a modern, sexy atmosphere. And be sure to head to the bathrooms for an incredible view.
Imagine the scene. Its 3AM. You’re starving and would rather die than eat at that one burger place down the street again. This is where Veselka comes in. Offering authentic Ukranian food since 1954, this no frills diner has won a place in the hearts of several New Yorkers. Located in what they call “the Heart of the East Village” Veselka is open 24 hours a day, serving up pierogi, potatoes pancakes and borscht that’ll have you coming back for more.
Candle 79 $$
Vegans in New York, rejoice! There is a high style vegan dining restaurant in the middle of Upper East Side and it is named Candle 79. No longer will the vegan dishes be only a footnote in the menus of restaurants, as this place is all about the organic plants and showing the world that sustainable vegan food is delicious. The ingredients used here are locally sourced, and each dish is prepared with fresh seasonal items. This two-story restaurant was opened in 2003, it has a fancy interior, cozy seating booths and colorful chairs, romantic feel, extensive menu and on top of it all, great selection of drinks. No kidding, one can see Woody Harrelson and Alicia Silverstone dining here.
Blossom (on Ninth) – $$
A completely vegan restaurant where people can enjoy “vegan for food lovers”, this place serves dishes that are a fusion between the classic dishes and innovative cooking trends. The Blossom restaurant opened in 2005 and is setting the standards for upscale vegan dining. To dine here, you need a reservation. It’s so popular, there is a high probability that you won’t get a table by simply walking in. The food served here is so good, as is the friendly service, and is popular among meat-lovers.
Wine Bar & Lounge
With four different locations across NY, Vanguard Wine Bar is one of the best wine bars in the Big Apple. The Upper East Side location is arguably their best location, with an excellent wine selection, this bar has self-service for both the drinks and cheese and charcuterie boards. It is low-key, cozy, relaxed, and is a great meeting spot for friends. The actual subway tiles on the walls scream New York, as do the plenty of vintage framed posters and photos. There are high tables with bar seats all over the place, making Vanguard a more every-day hang-out place for wine lovers, but not so much as a romantic first date kind of place.
The upper reaches of Manhattan’s Art Deco-era Beekman Tower have been lovingly transformed into an elegant aeriefor Upper East’s style set. The name “Ophelia” is a subtle homage to the popular women’s name of the 30s, from which the bar draws inspiration (vintage flapper hats, antique forks, and era-appropriate tarot cards are just a few of the oddities you’ll find hidden in nooks and crannies.) Red velvet upholstery, black-and-white tiled floors, and experimental cocktails incorporating ingredients like activated charcoal, cedar-scented smoke, and edible gold flakes do their best but cannot distract from the staggering East River and skyline views—best taken in on the outer terrace’s two balconies, which wrap around the rooftop’s edges.
Broken Shaker $$$
What was originally conceived as a pop-up bar at the Freehand Miami is making waves at Freehands across the country, including the one in Chicago and the newest branch in New York. Design firm Roman and Williams (behind Le Coucou and The Standard) were given free artistic reign over the hotel’s 18th floor. The result: two tropical-themed indoor bars and outdoor space exploding with patterns and color, from the hexagonal ottomans to the woven straw chandeliers, wicker armchairs, and custom ceramic tiki cups. Looks aside, the inventive drinks are equally outstanding and pair well with the Caribbean-meets-Middle East small-plates menu (think Yemenite bread with dips, arepas, and saffron shrimp).