The 21 Best Restaurants in New York City

Wagyu tartare at Le Bernardin

Courtesy of Le Bernardin

New York City has some of the best restaurants in the world. All five boroughs are bursting with thousands of dining spots, so there are bound to be more than a few good ones. The options are endless, from upscale fine dining that costs a small fortune to cheap hole-in-the-wall eats that are often just as delicious. And because New York City is so home to so many immigrants and well-traveled folk, diners can find excellent renditions of every cuisine from Japanese and Korean to Italian and French and everything in between.

While choosing the best restaurants in NYC is almost a fool's errand—and we're by no means the final word—this is our attempt at selecting the best of the best in one of the world's best cities for gastronomes. Hope you're hungry!

01 of 21

Arepa Lady

Arepa Lady food cart

Credit: Devorah Lev-Tov

What started as a late-night food cart in Jackson Heights, Queens, in the 1980s has since grown to a small brick-and-mortar restaurant, plus a downtown Brooklyn outpost inside Dekalb Market food hall. The Arepa Lady is Maria Piedad Cano, who, along with her sons, makes the most incredible, cheesiest arepas in the city. What’s an arepa? A griddled corn-based pancake popular in South America, mainly Colombia (where Cano is from) and Venezuela. There are four different types here, including the Arepa de Queso, which is more salty and savory and can have various meats and other toppings added, like juicy morsels of pork or chorizo; the fluffy Arepa de Choclo, which is sweeter and gooier; and the Arepa de Relleno, which cuts the corn arepa open like a pita and stuffs it with various fillings. Also on the menu and worth sampling are items like mini empanadas and street corn. Tack on one of the freshly squeezed tropical juices to wash it all down.

77-17 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372, USA
Phone +1 917-745-1111
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02 of 21


Cote Korean Steakhouse

Credit: Gary He

This gorgeous spot is not just the best Korean steakhouse; we think it’s the best steakhouse period in New York City—which is saying a lot for a city that’s also home to Peter Luger’s and Keens. But this one-Michelin-starred restaurant breaks the mold on what a steakhouse can be while at the same time serving some of the best meat in the country. Don’t believe us? Just head downstairs and gape at the windowed aging room filled with hanging meat. Then head back upstairs and order the Butcher’s Feast, which includes four different cuts of USDA Prime beef, an egg soufflé, and a wide selection of banchan and stews. A server will bring over the meat raw so you can inspect and appreciate the marbling and color. Next, they’ll rub the smokeless grill inset on your table before expertly cooking the meat. Pair your meal with wines from the excellent list by sommelier and partner Victoria James.

16 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10010, USA
Phone +1 212-401-7986
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03 of 21


Dhamaka NYC

Credit: Will Ellis, Courtesy of Dhamaka

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Chef Chintan Pandya and Roni Mazumdar have had a massive impact on the city’s Indian food scene. As the people behind Adda Canteen in Long Island City, the recently-debuted Semma (which took over their first spot, Rahi, in the West Village), and Dhamaka inside the new Essex Market, the duo is changing how New Yorkers experience South Asian cuisine—it’s not just runny Punjabi curries with their spices tamped down anymore. Instead, they’re embracing lesser-known regions and styles and serving authentic Indian cuisine with no apologies. While any of their restaurants could have easily scored a spot on our list, Dhamaka wins out because it celebrates “the forgotten side of India,” according to their website. Without sticking to any one region, it shares little known (in the U.S. anyway) but delicious regional dishes like the Kashmiri tabaak maaz (lamb ribs), Rajasthani khargosh (whole rabbit); and a 16-layer goat neck dum biryani.

119 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002, USA
Phone +1 212-204-8616
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04 of 21

Di An Di

Di an Di Brooklyn

Credit: Devorah Lev-Tov

Greenpoint, Brooklyn, has become one of the city’s best food neighborhoods over the last few years and this Vietnamese beauty is one of the drivers. The chic, intimate plant-filled space is inviting and cool, but it’s the food that’s the real stand out (and the cause for massive lines and hard-to-score reservations). Start with one of the refreshing salads like Bánh Tráng Trộn (rice paper salad with beef jerky and peanuts) before moving onto one (or both) of the fantastic Vietnamese “pizzas”—Bánh Tráng Nướng—which are actually a popular street food made from a crispy rice crust topped with either mushroom and black garlic aioli or onions and fermented chili with Laughing Cow cheese (it works, we promise). One of the steamy noodle soups is a must, and the com gá (BBQ chicken served with crispy rice) is excellent.

68 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222, USA
Phone +1 718-576-3914
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05 of 21

Dowling's at the Carlyle

Dowling's at the Carlyle

Courtesy of the Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel

New York City has any number of classic, upscale American restaurants that might’ve earned a spot on our list. Still, after a recent meal at the newly renovated and refreshed restaurant at The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel, we had to have Dowling’s on our list. The new executive chef Sylvain Delpique comes from another classic, the now-closed 21 Club (and yes, the burger here is as good as it was there), while the completely new design is sophisticated yet modern, with an impressive and diverse art selection covering the storied, more-than-100-year-old walls. The name comes from Robert Whittle Dowling, an urban planner who took over ownership of the hotel in the 1940s, and the restaurant celebrates that era. Menu items include classics like a wedge salad at dinner, Caesar salad at lunch, Dover sole filleted tableside, steak tartare with quail egg, and steak Diane flambéed with Cognac. At lunch, they’re bringing back the martini lunch with a “Mini Martini,” a half portion of the classic cocktail made with your choice of Bombay Sapphire or Grey Goose, poured tableside. Save room for desserts like a flaming Grand Marnier sundae and a perfect chocolate tart.

35 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021-1827, USA
Phone +1 212-570-7192
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06 of 21

Golden Diner

Golden Diner, NYC

Credit: R’el Dade + Marcus Lloyd of @theplaceiwastellingyouabout

Walking into Golden Diner underneath the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown, you can’t help but smile at the classic diner décor, complete with metal bar stools at the small counter, an exposed brick wall, and not-that-attractive stained glass pendant lamps hanging above the handful of tables. But it’s the menu that will make you grin, with classic diner dishes that sometimes have a Chinese accent and use mostly farm-sourced ingredients. The Chinatown Egg and Cheese Sandwich is one of the best renditions of the city classic, with fluffy scrambled eggs, melted American cheese, and a crunchy hashbrown patty served on a scallion milk bun, and the matzo ball soup is a sincere homage to the area’s Jewish immigrant history. Add on a chunk of the Green Tea Coffee Cake, and you won’t be sorry.

123 Madison St, New York, NY 10002, USA
Phone +1 917-472-7800
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07 of 21

Gramercy Tavern

Gramercy Tavern, NYC

Credit: Francesco Sapienza

Restaurateur Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group are responsible for some of the best (and best known) restaurants in NYC. Even though he’s expanded to new cities (mostly with burger outpost Shake Shack), his empire remains here—along with his most exciting dining outlets. And while he’s had several new openings over the last few years, this nearly-30-year-old classic is the one that makes our list. Rustic elegance, contemporary American food, and Executive Chef Michael Anthony’s constantly evolving seasonal menu showcasing local produce combine to make one of the city's most beautiful and illustrious restaurants. There’s a reason it’s won nine James Beard Awards and a Michelin star.

42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003, USA
Phone +1 212-477-0777
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08 of 21


Haenyeo, NYC

Courtesy of Haenyeo

Named after the legendary female divers from Jeju Island, South Korea, this restaurant from owner and chef Jenny Kwak (who also runs Dok Suni and Do Hwa in Manhattan) has become a Park Slope mainstay in just a few years. Its cozy quarters and menu of Korean home-cooking-inspired hits attract diners from across the five boroughs and beyond. Don’t miss the dukboki fundido, a saucy and spicy rice cake topped with crumbled chorizo and stretchy Oaxaca cheese; crispy chicken wings with yang-yum sauce; deji kalbi, tender pork ribs with ginger and chili; and the soy-garlic sauce sautéed sablefish with baby bok choy. The cocktails are also well worth a taste, like Merle the Pearl (Calvados, lemon, and egg white) and Seoul Train (rye, absinthe, ume plum wine, and bitters).

239 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA
Phone +1 718-213-2290
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09 of 21


Iris NYC

Courtesy of Iris

Over the last decade, Chef John Fraser has been behind some of Manhattan’s most exciting restaurants (Dovetail, Nix, The Loyal, 701West, to name a few) and was one of the first chefs to embrace vegetarian fine dining. While his newest spot isn’t vegetarian, it still espouses clean, local ingredients—and a vegetarian diner would have plenty to choose from. At the sleek, light-colored midtown dining room, Fraser cooks Aegean and Mediterranean cuisine, offering dishes like Turkish flatbread topped with either spiced lamb, winter squash and goat cheese, or spinach and feta; moussaka; a traditional Aegean stew with poached lobster, fluke, and Greenlip mussels, in a shellfish broth; and a large selection of mezze and raw seafood. Save room for pistachio baklava, Greek cardamom doughnuts with pomegranate molasses, and a mastic ice cream sundae showered with olive oil, caramel, apple butter, and labne. Beverage director Amy Racine’s wine list has a diverse and unexpected list of primarily Greek and Turkish bottles, and inventive cocktails also feature Mediterranean ingredients.

1740 Broadway, New York, NY 10019-4315, USA
Phone +1 212-970-1740
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10 of 21

Katz’s Delicatessen

Katz's Delicatessen NYC

Courtesy of Katz's Delicatessen

 New York City’s traditional Jewish-style delis are integral to the city’s food scene and while it’s hard to pick just one, we had to go with a classic original and Lower East Side landmark. Since 1888, Katz’s has been serving the masses its legendary towers of pastrami, corned beef, brisket, and other smoked meats on rye bread. The no-frills deli isn’t known for its service or low prices, but most customers (who come from across the globe) agree the food is well worth it. Complement your choice of meaty sandwich with an order of their potato latkes, matzo ball soup, potato knish, or chopped liver, plus a can of Dr. Brown’s soda for the full experience.

205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002, USA
Phone +1 212-254-2246
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11 of 21


Kimika NYC

Courtesy of Kimika

When Kimika opened in 2020, some may have been skeptical of a place offering Japanese-Italian fusion. But any doubt quickly vanished once Chef Christine Lau’s food was tasted, thanks to dishes like the Instagram-famous crispy rice cake lasagna, sticky rice risotto with seasonal veggies, and eggplant katsu. Brunch is well worth a separate visit, where you’ll want to have enough room for the gorgeous pastry bento box, filled with tiramisu katatsumuri, mortadella fontina cornett, kinako graham cracker donut, and seaweed focaccia served with nori butter, plus one (or more) of the fried pizzas or calzone, and the over-the-top delicious milk bread French toast with matcha mochi and vanilla custard.

40 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012, USA
Phone +1 212-256-9280
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12 of 21

Le Bernardin

Le Bernardin NYC

Courtesy of Le Bernardin

Partners chef Eric Ripert and restaurateur Maguy Le Coze’s temple to French cooking and seafood is as upscale a restaurant as they come with prices to match, and it’s worth every penny. One of a handful of NYC restaurants with three Michelin stars, Le Bernardin’s dining experience—from the stunning dining room to the five-star service to the refined cooking—is unforgettable. Other accolades it has received over the years since its debut in 1986 include the most James Beard Awards of any restaurant in New York City and a consistent retaining of a four-star review in The New York Times since just after opening, throughout five reviews. Guests can choose between a chef’s tasting menu, a vegetarian tasting menu, and prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner. They should expect some of the best and most perfectly prepared caviar, lobster, Dover sole, langoustine, tuna, and more.

155 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019, USA
Phone +1 212-554-1515
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Lucali pizza Brooklyn

Credit: Devorah Lev-Tov

Pizza and New York go together like peanut butter and jelly, so of course, we had to include at least one pizzeria on our list. While the competition is fierce, our vote goes to Lucali, pizzaiolo/owner Mark Iacono’s Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, spot that has been drawing lines down the block every night since 2006 (just ask Jay-Z and Beyoncé). The intimate space manages to be romantic and rustic (as opposed to many delicious but bare-bones operations), and its short menu contains everything you want and nothing you don’t. Plus, it’s BYOB. Order a pizza and a calzone (seriously, don’t sleep on the calzone) with or without toppings like pepperoni, shallot, and hot or sweet pepper, and enjoy some of the best pizza in Brooklyn, NYC, and the world (yup, we said it).

575 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231-2707, USA
Phone +1 718-858-4086
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Courtesy of Nur

All across NYC (and the country), Middle Eastern and Israeli food have increased in popularity over the last five years. A category previously dominated by a few falafel and hummus joints has blossomed into a full-fledged and diverse roster of restaurants, ranging from cheap eats to fine dining and serving everything from the falafel as mentioned earlier to lesser-known dishes like kubaneh, lamb arayes, and brunch favorite, shakshuka. Acclaimed Israeli chef Meir Adoni opened the chic and modern Nur in the Flatiron district in 2017. There, he serves the above dishes and more to the satisfaction of New Yorkers and tourists alike.

34 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003, USA
Phone +1 212-505-3420
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Olmsted Brooklyn

Credit: Noah Fecks, Courtesy of Olmsted

When a chef that has Alinea, Per Se, Atera, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns on his resume decides to open a restaurant, there’s a good chance it will be terrific. Luckily, when Chef Greg Baxtrom opened Olmsted in the Prospect Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn in 2016, he exceeded all expectations. Instead of opening an upscale fine dining outlet like the places he had worked, Baxtrom decided to open a more accessible, affordable neighborhood spot that still utilized these fine dining chops on the delicious and creative food. A built-from-scratch backyard garden that supplies the restaurant and provides a lovely seating area, plus partners like wine director Zwann Grays and pastry chef Alex Grunert, complete the picture. The seasonal menu changes often, but the kale and crab Rangoon and whipped lavender honey frozen yogurt are mainstays and worth ordering.

659 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238-3817, USA
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Oxalis Brooklyn

Courtesy of Oxalis

Affordable tasting menus are hard to find in this city, yet many expensive ones don’t deliver their purported value. The one-Michelin-starred Oxalis satisfies both categories, offering a $105 nine-course tasting menu whose value easily exceeds its price tag. Plus, there’s a different, still affordable, a la carte menu in the lush garden room if you’re not in the mood for an all-out food fest. But really, if you manage to snag a reservation at the intimate restaurant, you should make sure you’ve got plenty of room for the perfectly executed, seasonally inspired dishes. There’s also a $40 prix fixe family-style brunch on weekends that always satisfies.

791 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238, USA
Phone +1 347-627-8298
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17 of 21


Oxomoco Brooklyn

Credit: Devorah Lev-Tov

The Mexican food in New York has improved dramatically over the last decade and it’s no longer incorrect to say that the city has no good tacos. Oxomoco is one of the places leading the charge and for our money it’s easily one of the best restaurants overall, not just in the Mexican category. Utilizing a wood-fired oven, chef and co-owner Justin Bazdarich turns out dishes like shrimp ceviche tostadas, lamb barbacoa tacos, and chicken a las brazas with honey and salsa, plus addictive snacks like spicy roasted peanuts, popcorn with mole negro oil and escabeche powder, and guacamole with smoked cherry tomatoes. The tequila and mezcal list is long and the cocktails will keep you coming back for more.

128 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222, USA
Phone +1 646-688-4180
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Rezdôra NYC

Credit: Casey Giltner, Courtesy of Rezdôra

New York is full of very good Italian restaurants. But when Rezdôra opened in a narrow and rustic brick-walled space in 2019, it made a splash and hasn’t slowed down since. Chef Stefano Secchi (who previously worked at Massimo Bottura’s legendary Osteria Francescana) and partner David Switzer have crafted a menu based on the cuisine of the Emilia Romagna region, which means utilizing ingredients like prosciutto, black truffles, and intensely rich ragus. We suggest starting with the gnocco fritto, which is a kind-of-sweet hollowed out ball of fried bread topped with cured meat, before moving on to however many portions of pasta you can handle—you pretty much can’t go wrong with any of them. Add on some grilled meat and vegetable sides, and you’ll be a happy customer.

27 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003, USA
Phone +1 646-692-9090
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Sushi Noz

Sushi Noz NYC

Courtesy of Sushi Noz

When Hokkaido, Japan, native Chef Nozomu Abe opened Sushi Noz in 2018, it brought high-quality, Edomae-style sushi to the Upper East Side, but it also raised the bar for this ancient type of Tokyo sushi in the city, quickly becoming one of NYC’s most authentic and delicious places for sushi. The gorgeous minimalist design featuring antique wood sourced from Japan and the U.S.’s only Edomae-style ice chest—a 19th-century Japanese storage container that uses giant blocks of ice—makes sitting at the omakase counter an extraordinary experience. And, there’s good news for downtowners and those not looking to spend a small fortune on sushi: Abe just opened a more affordable outlet in Chelsea.

181 E 78th St, New York, NY 10075-0418, USA
Phone +1 917-338-1792
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Via Carota

Via Carota

Courtesy of Via Carota

Chef partners (in business and life) Jody Williams and Rita Sodi, who each own other fabulous restaurants on their own (Buvette and I Sodi, respectively) teamed up for this delightful spot offering simple but delicious Italian fare. Vegetables get the royal treatment here, plates of pasta are perfect, and the meats and fish are just as delicious as their veggie counterparts. It’s an ideal West Village spot with high-quality food that attracts patrons from far and wide who dine on the delectable food in a rustically charming atmosphere.

51 Grove St, New York, NY 10014, USA
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X'ian Famous Foods

X'ian famous Foods NYC

Credit: Simi Vijay, Courtesy of X'ian Famous Foods

Founded in 2005 inside Flushing’s Golden Shopping Mall, this family-owned eatery focusing on the food of X’ian and Western China has since become a local chain of fast-casual eateries with 10 locations across three boroughs. Diners should be ready for some heat when they order popular dishes like the spicy cumin lamb burger, liang pi cold skin Noodles, and any of the hand-ripped noodles (like cumin lamb, spicy and tingly beef, or spicy hot-oil seared).

41-10 Main St, Queens, NY 11355, USA
Phone +1 212-786-2068
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The 21 Best Restaurants in New York City