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The 100 best restaurants in NYC

From unimpeachable classics to buzzy newcomers, these are the best restaurants in NYC you need to know about right now

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Braised rabbit at al di là

Narrowing down the 100 restaurants in NYC is no easy feat, given the sheer number of quality eateries Gotham has to offer and the buzzy upstarts joining the fold week in and week out. But we put in the grunt work, detailing the city’s best BBQ restaurants, best Japanese food, best tacos and more. Here’s the best of the best: The 100 restaurants that Time Out New York’s food editor—and New York itself—can’t live without.

100 best restaurants in NYC: Top 25

1

Le Bernardin

New York dining mores have experienced a seismic paradigm shift in the past decade, toppling Old World restaurant titans and making conquering heroes of chefs that champion accessible food served in casual environments. But Le Bernardin—the city’s original temple of haute French seafood—survived the shake-up unscathed. Siblings Gilbert and Maguy Le Coze brought their Parisian eatery to Gotham in 1986, and the restaurant has maintained its reputation in the decades since. Le Bernardin is still a formal place, with white tablecloths, decorous service and a jackets-required policy in the main dining room. But a recent overhaul modernized the room with leather banquettes and a 24-foot mural of a tempestuous sea by Brooklyn artist Ran Ortner. Guests who find the $190 tasting menu or $120 four-course prix fixe out of reach can still experience the kitchen’s finesse in the lounge area, via stunning bar snacks.

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Midtown West
2

Bouley

The eponymous Bouley—the newly relocated airy flagship of his growing empire—exists in its own fantastical bubble: a place where the Dow still surges and expense-account spending never dried up. The original Bouley, once one of the city's great haute cuisine destinations, has over the years becomet increasingly marginal—the chef's dated devotion to an opulent late-'80s aesthetic is as unwavering today as it was when the restaurant first opened 22 years ago. The new locale is a tricked-out version of the old one (where the sprawling Bouley Market now is). The aromatic apples that greeted diners as they walked through the door are still at the entrance—but now there are more of them, a whole wall on wooden shelves. The vaulted ceilings have also returned—constructed from scratch and given an over-the-top coat of golden paint.

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Tribeca
3

Eleven Madison Park

Swiss chef Daniel Humm mans the kitchen at this vast Art Deco jewel, which began life as a brasserie before evolving into one of the city’s most rarefied and progressive eateries. The service is famously mannered, and the room among the city’s most grand. But the heady, epic tasting menus are the true heart of Eleven Madison Park, a format that spotlights Humm’s auteur instincts. Tableside flourishes are part of the fun: Look out for even more dazzling showmanship—including one dish presented by way of a sleight-of-hand trick.

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Flatiron
4

Jean Georges

Unlike so many of its vaunted peers, Jean Georges has not become a shadow of itself: The top-rated food is still breathtaking. A velvety foie gras terrine with spiced fig jam is coated in a thin brûlée shell; a more ascetic dish of green asparagus with rich morels showcases the vegetables’ essence. Pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini’s dessert quartets include “late harvest”—a plum sorbet, verbena-poached pear and a palate cleanser of melon soup with “vanilla noodles.”

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Upper West Side
5

Gotham Bar and Grill

Chef-owner Alfred Portale made his name with towering New American constructions, and though the menu doesn’t push any boundaries, the execution is impressive—as is the restaurant’s soaring masculine space. A beet and mango salad with fennel, red onions and feta sounds like any other upscale beet salad. But the beautifully simple dish—deep red and vibrant orange cubes with ribbons of shaved vegetables on a narrow rectangular plate—has a presentation as sharp as its crystalline flavors. Juicy fried soft-shell crabs with morels, fresh peas, ramps and couscous is a thoroughly satisfying, borderline architectural tangle of bodies and legs. It’s pricey, but Gotham delivers.

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Greenwich Village
6

Daniel

A vibrant redesign by Adam Tihany has brought Daniel Boulud’s classically opulent restaurant into the 21st century. The food is as fresh as the decor: A raw starter of wasabi-kissed hamachi tartare is paired with hamachi sashimi marinated in a subtle tandoori rub. Unusually generous entrees include astonishingly tender halibut, roasted on a slab of Himalayan sea salt and served with Thai basil, hearts of palm and a mellow yogurt-curry sauce. Sure, Daniel is still a big-ticket commitment, but Boulud and his team make a powerful case for keeping the high-end genre alive.

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Lenox Hill
7

Gramercy Tavern

Gramercy is the restaurant that transformed Danny Meyer from a one-shop restaurateur to a full-blown impresario, made Tom Colicchio a star and launched a citywide proliferation of casual yet upscale American eateries. It’s delicate constructions of vegetables and fish that dominate now. The influence of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a restaurant given to ingredients-worship, is evident as soon as the first course (of the main dining room’s mandated three-course prix fixe) is rolled out. 

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Flatiron
8

Peter Luger

Although a slew of Luger copycats have prospered in the last several years, none have captured the elusive charm of this stucco walled, beer-hall–style eatery, with well-worn wooden floors and tables, and waiters in waistcoats and bow ties. Excess is the thing, be it the reasonably health-conscious tomato salad (thick slices of tomato and onion with an odd addition of steak sauce), the famous porterhouse for two, 44 ounces of sliced prime beef, or the decent apple strudel, which comes with a bowl full of schlag. Go for it all—it’s a singular New York experience that’s worth having.

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Williamsburg
9

Per Se

Expectations are high at Per Se—and that goes both ways. You are expected to come when they’ll have you—you might be put on standby for four nights, only to win a 10pm Tuesday spot—and fork over $150 a head if you cancel. You’re expected to wear the right clothes, pay a non-negotiable service charge and pretend you aren’t eating in a shopping mall. The restaurant, in turn, is expected to deliver one hell of a tasting menu for $250 ($280 if you want foie gras). And it does. Dish after dish is flawless and delicious, beginning with Thomas Keller’s signature salmon tartare cone and luxe oysters-and-caviar starter. Have you tasted steak with mashed potatoes and Swiss chard, or burrata cheese with olive oil drizzled on top, or chocolate brownies with coffee ice cream? Possibly. Have you had them this good? Unlikely. In the end, it’s all worth every penny (as long as someone else is paying).

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Upper West Side
10

La Grenouille

New York’s haute French dinosaurs (including Lutece, La Cote Basque and La Caravelle) have basically gone extinct over the past few years. La Grenouille, which opened in 1962, is the last survivor, a window to when stuffy waiters and chateaubriand were considered the highest form of dining. It doesn’t get much snootier: jackets are required, cell phones and kids forbidden, and the electric red décor, full of mirrors and flowers and deco details, has the feel of a Mad Men power lunch. That said, La Grenouille endures for a reason: the execution, whether tender, fried sweetbreads, buttery Dover sole with a mustard sauce or five types of pillowly soufflé, remains near flawless. You pay for the flashback—the three-course prix fixe runs what a full-blown tasting menu does at other top spots, and that’s before numerous insulting supplements and the heavy-hitter wine list. Living history comes at a price.

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Midtown East
11

Annisa

Anita Lo’s ten-year-old West Village flagship, Annisa, was shut down following a fire. Earlier that year, its casual spin-off, Bar-Q, had opened and closed after a critical drubbing. Meanwhile, Lo’s Rickshaw Dumpling Bar chain had contracted to a single location. Sometimes, bad luck is the creative kick in the pants one needs. Stripped of distractions, Lo has spent the time rebuilding Annisa—recently reborn from the rubble—into a restaurant once again worthy of citywide buzz. The understated jewel box, as sparely appointed as a Japanese rock garden—with a brittle branch in one corner and a few tropical fronds in another—isn’t any flashier than it used to be, but the food is more exciting than ever. The compositions, often inspired by the chef’s own eating adventures (in 2009 she was crisscrossing the globe), are so intensely personal, they seem to exist in a vacuum. 

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West Village
12

Marea

Michael White's extravagant, spectacular shrine to the Italian coastline is a worthy indulgence. Spend you shall, and with great rewards: Start with crostini topped with velvety sea urchin and petals of translucent lardo, then move on to seafood-focused pastas, like fusilli spiraled around chunks of octopus in a bone marrow–enriched sauce or sedanini (like ridgeless rigatoni) in a smoky cod-chowder sauce with potatoes and speck.

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Midtown West
13

Pearl Oyster Bar

This convivial New England–style joint was a forerunner of the city’s fish-shack trend. The outstanding lobster roll—sweet, lemony meat laced with mayonnaise on a butter-enriched bun—is Pearl’s raison d’être, but more sophisticated dishes fare equally well: A bouillabaisse features briny lobster broth packed with mussels, cod, scallops and clams, with an aioli-smothered crouton balanced on top—a great value at $20. For dessert, try a bittersweet chocolate mousse topped with a quenelle of barely sweetened whipped cream. Finally, a restaurant worthy of its hype.

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West Village
14

Dovetail

This upscale gem occupies a small class of UWS restaurants that justify a special trip uptown. Though the earth-toned look smacks of a hotel restaurant, the successful menu from chef John Fraser (Compass) has a rich, seasonal emphasis. Foie gras and butter infuse many dishes (monkfish, pillowy veal short-rib gnocchi), and meat, such as a charred sirloin accompanied by beef cheek lasagna layered with paper-thin slices of turnips, is equally hearty. Though the clientele skews local, Fraser’s permanent residence might change that dynamic.

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Upper West Side
15

Del Posto

With four-star ambitions and prices to match, Mario Batali’s Del Posto set the bar awfully high when it opened in 2005, but the cavernous restaurant has become nothing less than the city’s top destination for refined, upscale Italian cuisine. The clubby dining room, serenaded nightly by a twinkling grand piano, feels like the lobby of an opulent grand hotel. The kitchen, under the stewardship of longtime Batali protégé Mark Ladner, challenges its French competition in butter consumption. A gorgeous mixed mushroom appetizer is drowning in the stuff, as do ethereal ricotta-filled gnudi and flaky thyme-flower sprinkled turbot fillets. The most showstopping dishes, intended for sharing, include hunks of lamb and veal and pitch-perfect risotto for two. The all-Italian wine list is suitably encyclopedic and exorbitantly priced.

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Chelsea
16

Tamarind Tribeca

A stunning spin-off of the original Tamarind in the Flatiron District, the Tribeca location convincingly draws from all corners of the subcontinent with its sprawling menu. Beyond the requisite chicken tikka masala (one of the best we’ve had), the dishes delight at every turn: A lamb appetizer (Nizami Keema) combines tender grilled strips with soft minced meat and pillowy nan, while Punjabi Mutton—actually made with goat—falls off the bone in a rich, vibrant curry. But the most consistent pleasures come out of the twin tandoor ovens, visible from the main dining room; superlative lamb chops—tangy, spicy and tender—and moist sea bass slathered with thick yogurt and a subtle blend of roasted spices that enriches the flaky fish without overwhelming its delicate flavor.

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Tribeca
17

Estela

Here you are at 8pm on a Monday, in a packed restaurant with an hour-and-a-half wait. The fashionably cookie-cutter decor—exposed brick, globe lights, hulking marble bar, you know the drill—suggests you’ve stumbled into another bustling rustic restaurant-cum-bar that’s not worth the wait. Far less common are talents like Ignacio Mattos, the imaginative Uruguayan-born chef cooking in this Mediterranean-tinged spot. With this new venture, Mattos and partner Thomas Carter have slouched into a more relaxed posture than during previous stints, Carter as the elegant suit-sporting beverage director of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and Mattos straining to sell his brilliant brand of “primitive modern” cooking to a Williamsburg crowd at Isa (regrettably sacked less than a year in). Mattos has reined in his modernist tendencies at Estela, with an ever-changing, mostly small-plates menu that pivots from avant-garde toward intimate, bridging the gap between space-age Isa and the homey Italian he used to cook at Il Buco.

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Nolita
18

Blue Hill

More than a mere crusader for sustainability, Dan Barber is also one of the most talented cooks in town. He builds his oft-changing menu around whatever’s at its peak on his Westchester farm (home to a sibling restaurant). During fresh pea season, bright green infuses every inch of the menu, from a velvety spring-pea soup to sous vide duck breast as soft as sushi fanned over a slivered bed of sugar snap peas. Start to finish, there’s a garden on every plate—from buttery ravioli filled with tangy greens to just-picked cherries under a sweet cobbler crust. Once among the most sedate little restaurants in the Village, this cramped subterranean jewel box has become one of the most raucous.

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Greenwich Village
19

Keens Steakhouse

The ceiling and walls are hung with pipes, some from such long-ago Keens regulars as Babe Ruth, J.P. Morgan and Teddy Roosevelt. Even in these nonsmoking days, you can catch a whiff of the restaurant’s 120-plus years of history. Beveled-glass doors, two working fireplaces and a forest’s worth of dark wood suggest a time when “Diamond Jim” Brady piled his table with bushels of oysters, slabs of seared beef and troughs of ale. The menu still lists a three-inch-thick mutton chop (imagine a saddle of lamb but with more punch) and desserts such as key lime pie. Sirloin and porterhouse (for two or three) hold their own against any steak in the city.

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Midtown West
20

Cosme

New York is a rough town for newbies—whether it’s bright-eyed hopefuls yearning for a Swiftian utopia that doesn’t exist or an out-of-town chef who’s proved his culinary clout in the global arena, only to be chewed up and spit out by Gotham’s surly dining public. This city has devoured the best of them: Spain’s Dani García, Toronto’s Susur Lee and, most glaringly, France’s Alain Ducasse. Enter Enrique Olvera, the megawatt Mexico City talent behind Pujol, regularly ranked one of the 20 best restaurants in the world. His stateside debut Cosme, a bare-concrete Flatiron dining room, wasn’t met with the disregard that crippled his carpetbagging comrades. The response was the opposite: a bellow of buzz that hit before doors were even hinged, let alone opened. That’s because this is the Mexican restaurant New York has been missing.

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Flatiron
21

Shuko

To gauge the change in New York sushi, just listen to the soundtrack. The soothing strings and serene jazz of topflight toro temples have been swapped out for the devil-may-care swagger of Jay Z and the Notorious B.I.G., pumped out at decibels more commonly befitting a beer dive than a sushi counter. From behind a minimalist ebony counter, rock-star chefs Jimmy Lau and a beanie-capped Nick Kim—longtime disciples of sushi demigod Masa Takayama—brazenly served peanut-butter ice cream and uni-rich risotto alongside their gleaming, à la carte tiles of nigiri. That populist streak softly colors this 20-seat follow-up—the beanie remains, as does the thumping “99 Problems”—but where a pricey omakase was an option at Neta, here it’s mandatory. A cool $135 prompts a parade of exceptionally made edomaezushi served in its purest form, each lightly lacquered with soy and nestled atop a slip of warm, loosely packed rice.

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Greenwich Village
22

Telepan

Every New York neighborhood has an arbiter of local goods, and on the UWS, Bill Telepan is it. His restaurant, appointed in shades of eggshell and celery green, is a paean to what’s in season. A gratifying appetizer of a runny egg atop a fried green tomato slice and farmhouse cheddar cheese is all country simplicity, as is an entrée of juicy, salty roasted chicken with egg noodles and wild mushrooms.

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Upper West Side
23

Sushi Yasuda

Seeing the sushi master practice in this bamboo-embellished space is the culinary equivalent of observing Buddhist monks at prayer. Counter seating, where you can witness—and chat up—the chefs, is the only way to go. Prime your palate with a miso soup and segue into the raw stuff: petals of buttery fluke; rich eel; dessert-sweet egg custard; nearly translucent discs of sliced scallop over neat cubes of milky sushi rice. Still craving a California roll? Move along.

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Midtown East
24

Betony

If the prix fixe is a chef’s CliffsNotes, the tasting menu is their magnum opus—lengthier and denser, painstakingly edited, with many an all-nighter spent carving out both structure and statement. Sure, they can be self-indulgent, glacially slow, sometimes damn-near masochistic in their nonstop cortege of plates. But boy, what a way to eat when the chef’s got something to say—and Bryce Shuman has plenty. The Eleven Madison Park vet discarded the à la carte offerings at Betony, the ambitious two-year-old midtowner that garnered him a Michelin star, and recharged the fine-dining room with a four-course prix fixe and a 10-course chef’s tasting menu. But despite the luxe reworking—matched with a pleasant though militantly stiff waitstaff and those fussy trappings left over from the space’s days as the oligarchic Brasserie Pushkin—Shuman thankfully hasn’t lost his sense of fun.

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Midtown West
25

The NoMad

The luxurious setting, flawless service, and preponderance of foie gras and truffles call to mind an haute cuisine titan. But with its fashionable crowd and cool, voluptuous vibe there are clearly some young Turks behind the wheel. Chef Daniel Humm and William Guidara, the celebrated team behind Eleven Madison Park, turn the music up for their sophomore venture in the NoMad Hotel. Ditching EMP's tasting menu–only format, Humm takes a more democratic approach with an à la carte menu of seasonal French-inflected fare. The food, like the space, exudes unbuttoned decadence. A poached egg stars in one over-the-top starter, its barely contained yolk melting into a sweet, velvety soup of brown butter and Parmesan, with shaved white asparagus and toasted quinoa for crunch. And while there are plenty of rich-man roasted chickens for two in New York, the bird here—with a foie gras, brioche and black truffle stuffing under the skin—is surely the new gold standard.

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Midtown

100 best restaurants in NYC: A–J

ABC Kitchen

The haute green cooking at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s artfully decorated restaurant is based on the most gorgeous ingredients from up and down the East Coast. The local, seasonal bounty finds its way into dishes like a clam pizza, topped with pristine littlenecks, Thai chilies, sweet onions, garlic, lemon and herbs. Larger plates include a roasted chicken bathed in a vinegary glaze with wilted escarole and butter-sopped potato puree. Desserts, meanwhile, include a dazzling brown-butter tart with toasted hazelnuts and chocolate ganache. ABC delivers one message overall: Food that’s good for the planet needn’t be any less opulent, flavorful or stunning to look at.

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Union Square

al di là

Aspiring restaurateurs in Park Slope should study this convivial Fifth Avenue pioneer. Nine-year-old al di là remains unsurpassed in the neighborhood. Affable owner Emiliano Coppa handles the inevitable queue (due to the no-reservations policy) with panache. The wait is worth it for co-owner and chef Anna Klinger’s Northern Italian dishes. It would be hard to improve on her braised rabbit with black olives on steaming polenta; even simple pastas, such as the homemade tagliatelle al ragù, are superb.

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Park Slope

Aldea

This Portuguese eatery is a low-key stage for one of the city’s most original chefs: George Mendes. While the minimalist space is restrained, the food certainly isn’t. Tender baby cuttlefish is the centerpiece of a complex starter featuring coconut curry broth, sea beans, bonito flakes and mint. More-traditional fare also gets an haute spin. Beautiful garlicky shrimp alhinho are finished with an intense shrimp-and-brandy reduction. Desserts strike the same rustic-refined balance. Among the simple pleasures: custard-soaked brioche served with pink-peppercorn ice cream and blood orange gelée.

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Flatiron

Ayada

The menu of this pretty little Thai restaurant attracts foodies citywide: Not only does it span the culinary regions of Thailand, but it includes some Japanese twists, too, thanks to the owners’ experience working in Bangkok’s Japanese hotels. Even if you skip the sushi-inspired dishes (like the oft-namechecked raw shrimp appetizer), the spicy, incredibly complex curries (around $7) are still a radical departure from most pad thai–pushing joints.

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Queens

Balthazar

Not only is the iconic Balthazar still trendy, but the kitchen rarely makes a false step. At dinner, the place is perennially packed with rail-thin lookers dressed to the nines. But the bread is great, the food is good, and the service is surprisingly friendly. The $99 three-tiered seafood platter casts the most impressive shadow of any dish in town. The frisée aux lardons is exemplary. The skate with brown butter and capers and a standard-bearing roasted chicken on mashed potatoes for two are both délicieux. Don’t hate the patrons because they’re beautiful; just join them.

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Soho

Barney Greengrass

Despite decor that Jewish mothers might call “schmutzy,” this legendary deli is a madhouse at breakfast and brunch. Enormous egg platters come with the usual choice of smoked fish (such as sturgeon or Nova Scotia salmon). Prices are high but portions are large—and that goes for the sandwiches, too. Or try the less costly dishes: matzo-ball soup, creamy egg salad or cold pink borscht served in a glass jar.

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Upper West Side

Black Seed

Noah Bernamoff (Mile End) and Matt Kliegman (the Smile) are behind this Nolita bagel shop, serving hand-rolled, poached bagels and house-made spreads (scallion cream cheese, smoked mackerel).

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Nolita

Brick Lane Curry House

Specializing in phal, a habanero curry popular along London’s Brick Lane restaurant row, Curry House issues a how-hot-can-you-go challenge to every diner. The nine types of curry are ranked by burn level. Because the menu warns that phal, the hottest, is “more pain and sweat than flavor,” nonasbestos palates should go with gentle but bouncy jalfrazi sauce, which is excellent over lamb.

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East Village

Brushstroke

David Bouley’s name may be behind this venture, but the star chef is not in the kitchen. Instead he has handed the reins to talented import Isao Yamada, who turns out some of the most accomplished Japanese food in the city. The ever-changing seasonal menu, which rotates through 5,000 dishes that Yamada spent years testing, is best experienced as an intricate multicourse feast known as kaiseki. A meal might start with muted petals of raw kombu-wrapped sea bass before building slowly toward a subtle climax: asparagus tips with pristine lobes of uni leading to earthy stewed pork cheeks with cider reduction and green-apple puree. In keeping with the basic tenets of this culinary art form, the savory procession concludes with a rice dish—top-notch chirashi or seafood and rice cooked in a clay casserole—and delicate sweets such as creamy soy-milk panna cotta. 

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Tribeca

Buttermilk Channel

This bright, charming restaurant has a way with the locals, and the menu—from Stanton Social chef Ryan Angulo—emphasizes its hometown flavor. New York State dominates the taps and the wine list; and a first-rate starter layers vibrant local delicata squash with tart house-made ricotta. Comfort-food entrées—like duck meat loaf, packed with caramelized onions and raisins—also hit close to home. Try the pecan pie sundae for dessert: Nutty brown-sugary pie is pressed into a tulip cup and layered with butter-pecan ice cream—made nearby, of course.

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Carroll Gardens
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100 best restaurants in NYC: K–P

Kajitsu

Diners often compare eating great food to a religious experience, but at Kajitsu—possibly New York's only kaiseki restaurant to offer the centuries-old Zen Buddhist vegetarian cuisine known as shojin, from which modern-day Japanese cooking is thought to have developed—there's something literal in the restaurant's connection to the divine. The sparse, hushed interior suggests a reverence for nature that is also expressed in the food. For those accustomed to bold flavors, the preparations can at first seem understated to a fault. But with each jewel-like course, the meal emerges as an artful meditation on simplicity and seasonality. A clear soup with white yam harbors grassy yomogi (Japanese mugwort) paste; a mochi orb, speckled with bits of crisp lotus root, contrasts nicely with a dab of preserved-plum sauce, and wedges of grilled fresh bamboo shoots leaning against their own husks are mildly sweet. 

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Murray Hill

Katz’s Delicatessen

This cavernous cafeteria is a repository of New York history—glossies of celebs spanning the past century crowd the walls, and the classic Jewish deli offerings are nonpareil. Start with a crisp-skinned all-beef hot dog for just $3.10. Then flag down a meat cutter and order a legendary sandwich. The brisket sings with horseradish, and the thick-cut pastrami stacked high between slices of rye is the stuff of dreams. Everything tastes better with a glass of the hoppy house lager; if you’re on the wagon, make it a Dr. Brown’s.

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Lower East Side

Kesté Pizza & Vino

If anyone can claim to be an expert on Neapolitan pizza, it’s Kesté’s Roberto Caporuscio: As president of the U.S. branch of the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani, he’s top dog for the training and certification of pizzaioli (a former dairy farmer and mozzarella maker, he’s also intimately familiar with that most essential cheese). In addition to all the hallmarks of the Neapolitan product—San Marzano tomatoes, doppio zero flour, a scorching-hot wood-burning oven—Caporuscio uses a slow-speed mixer to work his dough. Then he gently stretches it into a round with his hands, since it’s far too soft for tossing. The resulting crust is tender yet resilient, puffed with warm pockets of steaming air. All over the golden surface is an even spotting of tiny black blisters, just enough to deliver that brick-oven sear, but not so much that any single bite tastes burnt. Whatever you put on it, from the classic Margherita toppings to butternut-squash puree with smoked mozzarella, it’s as close to the platonic ideal as we’ve found.

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West Village

Kuma Inn

A clandestine second-floor location makes this dinner-only spot feel like a true find. Chef King Phojanakong channels his culinary pedigree (including stints at Daniel and Danube), along with his Thai and Filipino heritage, into elegantly presented small plates, such as an omelette studded with plump Washington Bay oysters, and hunks of seared ahi tuna luxuriating in a spicy miso vinaigrette. Desserts like the coconut-ginger rice pudding, and a custardy twist on key lime pie made with calamansi, might inspire you to keep your discovery close to your vest.

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Lower East Side

Kyo Ya

The city’s most ambitious Japanese speakeasy is marked only by an open sign, but in-the-know eaters still find their way inside. The food, presented on beautiful handmade plates, is gorgeous: Maitake mushrooms are fried in the lightest tempura batter and delivered on a polished stone bed. Sushi (we tried the salmon) is pressed with a hot iron onto sticky vinegared rice. The fish is topped like a still life with its own microgreen forest. The few desserts—including an extra silky crème caramel—are just as ethereal as the savory food.

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East Village

Locanda Verde

Owner Robert De Niro swapped his train-wreck trattoria, Ago, for this blockbuster replacement helmed by chef Andrew Carmellini (A Voce). Carmellini’s bold family-style fare is best enjoyed as a bacchanalian banquet. A single charred octopus tentacle served with tangy romesco won’t last long in the middle of the table. Nor will the chef’s ravioli—as delicate as silk handkerchiefs and oozing pungent robiola. Locanda is the rare Italian restaurant with desserts worth saving room for: Try the rich, crumbly brown-butter plum cake.

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Tribeca

Lucali

Brooklyn’s pizza legacies are legion—from Grimaldi’s in Dumbo to Ditmas Park’s fabled Di Fara. To this noble lineup add Lucali. The artisanal intent at the candlelit pizzeria is visible in the flour-dashed marble counter where the dough is punched and stretched, and in the brick oven from which it later emerges crisp and blistered. There are just two items on Lucali’s menu: pies and calzones, adorned with milky, elastic mozzarella and simple toppings like chewy rounds of pepperoni or slivers of artichoke. There’s no wine list, but the unobtrusive staff will happily extract a cork from your own bottle; Grimaldi’s could learn a thing or two.

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Carroll Gardens

Mable's Smokehouse and Banquet Hall

At first glance, this saloonlike roadhouse looks like a place to get sloppy drunk: The crowd is young and rowdy, and a big wooden bar across from the chow line serves Lone Star beer, pickle-juice cocktails and trashy snacks like Frito Pie. But the grub is far better than your average alcohol sponge. Riffing on his own family recipes, artist-turned-pit-master Jeff Lutonsky executes moist, fatty Texas-style brisket, plus succulent, beautifully charred pork ribs. Save room for surprisingly delicate house-baked pies, plus a few more of those pickle-juice cocktails. No one said you can't eat well and get drunk.

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Williamsburg

Marlow & Sons

Before there was a destination restaurant on every Williamsburg corner, there was Marlow & Sons—a pioneer in the kind of rustic aesthetic and farm-to-table fare that’s become the knee-jerk norm in Kings County. The restaurant, opened in 2004, wears its relative age well, functioning as an alluring neighborhood coffeeshop during the afternoon and a subtly ambitious eatery come nightfall. In the back room, an oyster shucker cracks open the catch of the day while a bartender churns out potent drinks. Settle in and order a round of iced bivalves and something to share—brick-flattened chicken, say, or a pot of liver pate—from the aggressively seasonal (and frequently changing) menu.

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Williamsburg

Mighty Quinn's

Many of Gotham’s barbecue sanctuaries claim legitimacy via faithfulness to one specific tradition, but meat buff Hugh Mangum takes a different tack. Drawing on the Carolinas (mustard and vinegar) and Texas (dry rub), the chef melds traditions from his father and in-laws, respectively, into a self-styled “Texalina” category. In the bright former Vandaag space—now staged with white-painted brick, Edison lightbulbs and stacks of splintered logs—’cue-hounds can dig into superlative statehopping grub that upends purist ideals with gut-busting glory.

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East Village
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100 best restaurants in NYC: R–Z

RedFarm

Restaurateur Ed Schoenfeld and head chef Joe Ng (Chinatown Brasserie) offer a playful homage to the golden age of Chinese fine dining at this groundbreaking eatery. The farm-to-table decor makes an unconventional backdrop for a Chinese joint, and the eclectic menu is just as hard to pin down. You might begin with a few old-school Chinese-American bites, like room-temperature shards of extra-crispy spicy beef, and playful seafood dumplings dressed up to resemble Pac-Man characters. Some of Ng’s creations can be extraneously showy, but he turns out plenty of hits: sautéed black cod with black bean and thai basil, and a beautiful Creekstone Farms rib eye, all served family-style. In a neighborhood with a dearth of Sino options, RedFarm isn’t just filling a void—it’s reinventing a genre.

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West Village

Roberta's

This sprawling super-hip ode to market cuisine and artisanal pizza is a favorite for bargain-seeking locavores. In season, this green oasis located on an industrial Brooklyn block grows much of its own produce. Brick-oven pies feature inventive toppings such as guanciale and egg, or kale, Taleggio and Berkshire pork sausage. For $30 a person, groups of 10 to 18 can reserve a table in advance, then settle in for a multicourse meal: Share meats, cheeses and salads to start, three kinds of Roberta's stellar wood-oven pizza—we like the salty-creamy Specken Wolf, which pairs melty mozzarella with speck—and cookies and gelato for dessert. For an extra $10 each, the "bomber package" throws in another main, like the rich, tender pork butt.

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Williamsburg

Rubirosa

Owner Giuseppe Pappalardo of Staten Island pizzeria Joe & Pat's enlisted his son Angelo (Esca) as chef and pizzaiolo at this Italian restaurant, offering simple, thin-crust pizzas and classic red-sauce fare. Rubirosa's crisp yet pliable pies have a delicate char and a small ring of crackerlike crust around the edges. We've yet to go wrong with the no-frills vodka rendition, which boasts a layer of creamy, booze-spiked tomato sauce and a gooey patchwork of fresh mozzarella.

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Nolita

Sake Bar Hagi

This buzzy, underground izakaya defies its dowdy location in the heart of Times Square with authentic Japanese flavors that would scare the fanny pack off most tourists. Bring a group, order a few $12 pitchers of Sapporo, and keep the small plates coming: Japanese cucumbers are served with mayonnaise and sweet, funky miso for dipping. Okonomiyaki—a squid-and-cabbage pancake—is topped with a flurry of bonito flakes, while karaage (hunks of fried chicken) are crispy nuggets buried under mild grated daikon and ponzu sauce. With a menu this vast, a few misses are expected, but at less than $10 a plate, it’s worth taking a risk on a dish you can’t pronounce.

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Midtown West

2nd Ave Deli

After the 2006 shuttering of the deli’s original East Village location, Jeremy Lebewohl, the founder’s nephew, reopened the place at this misleading Murray Hill address, menu intact. Most things are as good as ever: Schmaltz-laden chopped liver is whipped to a mousselike consistency, and the deli meats, including juicy pastrami and corned beef, skillfully straddle the line between fatty and lean. Good news for wistful aficionados: The decor, from the Hebraic logo to the blue-white-and-brown tiles and celeb headshots made the trip uptown too.

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Lenox Hill

Semilla

Unlike more navel-gazing chefs, José Ramírez-Ruiz and Pamela Yung don’t let dishes marinate on their menu long enough to become signatures. Instead, the partners, in both life and the kitchen, cut their ever-evolving creations with a macabre glee to rival George R. R. Martin. There’s no set menu at Semilla (Spanish for “seed”), the pair’s intimate, vegetable-forward chef’s counter, with the rootsy output (8–10 courses) changing weekly, sometimes daily. That spontaneity allows for constant revisions and brainy inventiveness—not a surprise given the couple’s pedigree. Their cooking is as high-flying as it is powerfully fixed to the earth, a cerebral quality offset by genuinely warm service. (The chefs personally deliver dishes to diners at the stark, 18-seat ashwood bar.) 

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Williamsburg

Spicy & Tasty

Any serious trip to Flushing for volcanically spicy Szechuan food should begin here. Revered by in-the-know regulars, this brightly lit eatery serves plates of sliced pork in garlic sauce and beef tripe in hot pepper sauce that’s sure to set even the most seasoned palate aflame. Make sure to stock up on cold-bar options, like zesty sesame noodles, crunchy chopped cucumbers and smooth, delicate tofu—you’ll need the relief. Service is speedy and mercifully attentive to water requests.

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Queens

St. Anselm

Grilling may be the ultimate American art form, but New York restaurants rarely explore its greaseless flame-licked potential. With St. Anselm, Joe Carroll delivers one of the city’s most impressive exceptions. The well-rounded menu, heavy on veggies, combines Mediterranean, Asian and all-American flavors, but head chef Yvon de Tassigny uses the simple cooking method to tie it all together—from smoky slabs of halloumi to miniature fire-roasted eggplants with fried goat cheese and honey. Main-event proteins include a charred hanger packed with earthy flavor, and super-succulent sweet tea–brined chicken served whole. De Tassigny stumbles when it comes to the amateur-hour desserts, but he sure is an ace on the grill, adding wood chips like seasoning and moderating heat so the sear is always right for the job.

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Williamsburg

Sushi Azabu

This stealthy sushi shrine—tucked away in the basement of Greenwich Grill—attracts solo diners who happily hobnob with the talkative chefs while popping exceptional nigiri morsels into their mouths. You can order à la carte, but the $58 prix fixe is a generous bargain: First-rate sashimi and grilled salmon starters are followed by half a roll and seven plump pieces (among them luscious chutoro and sweet, silky raw shrimp). For dessert: Try the classic Mont Blanc chestnut parfait. Unorthodox in this setting, but delicious nonetheless.

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Tribeca

Takashi

Beef is the thing at this West Village yakiniku restaurant—Japan’s interpretation of Korean barbecue. The meal is balanced, refined and surprisingly light, thanks to modest portions and impeccably sourced sustainable beef. Start with raw small plates, like pristine steak tartare, before firing up your table’s electric grill. Small dishes of uncooked cuts, like buttery skirt steak and milky sweetbreads, are seasoned with your choice of salt, garlic or sesame oil, or marinated in a secret sauce. The sole dessert, vanilla-flecked soft serve with Japanese toppings (like sweet adzuki beans), is a lighthearted touch.

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West Village
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By: Christina Izzo

The best Irish restaurants in NYC

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Comments

19 comments
DEBORAH F
DEBORAH F

Telepan is closed, so.............

sabrina s
sabrina s

Marcony Ristorante and Gemma should 100% be on this list. It is just a shame that they are not. It is safe to say, in my opinion, the most authentic Italian food outside of Italy I've had in the states. 

Liz G
Liz G

12:30 weekday lunch, not a table to be had-sat at kitchen counter. 6:30 friday dinner 4 people-happy to have had a reservation,again, place was mobbed with eaters of all age groups-rightfully so.food is new italian,glistening, aromatic & w/o pretentious attitude-forgot to mention, Amazing. Chef Bonelli is one of the most down to earth under the radar & extremely talented chefs in town & the pastry chef is right up there. *reason i first tried the restaurant was because i recognized the name Simone Bonelli & was a fan of his food when he was at Perbacco-so was the ny times critic.

Chris R
Chris R

My favorite restaurant in NYC is Uncle Jack's Steakhouse. They have fantastic new brunch, lunch, breakfast cocktail, and sushi menus, all filled with delicious options. My personal favorite is their Prime Filet Mignon Sandwich, served on garlic bread with roasted onions, farm greens Buffalini mozzarella and herb fries. Plus, their new guys night (drink samples at the bar Wednesday nights) and ladies night (free drinks at the bar Thursday nights) are an absolutely blast!!! Their summer specials are fantastic too: I love the 2 pound Maine lobster, served with local corn on the cob and drawn butter. Check out Uncle Jack's Steakhouse, your mouth will thank you! 

Chuck D
Chuck D

There are some great restaurants on this list. My personal favorite in NYC is Uncle Jack's Steakhouse. Their new lunch menu is filled with delectable options. One of my favorites is the Local Striped Bass, topped with butter glazed English peas, fire roasted spring onion, English pea and roasted garlic puree, and lemon. It tastes as good as it sounds! Plus, they have a new guy's night (drink samples every Wednesday at the bar) and ladies night (free drinks every Thursday at the bar). I highly recommend checking out Uncle Jack's Steakhouse.

Daniel I
Daniel I

Can anyone help I'm looking for some where to eat in New York where there are up and coming actors waiting for you as you eat don't know what it's called thanks wendy

Kerry J
Kerry J

I'm getting married in City Hall in August and am looking for a restaurant where we can go afterwards.  They'll be 6 of us, and want somewhere fun and friendly where we can drink champagne, get some nice food (but not posh) and have a some fun.  Any suggestions gratefully received.  thanks 

alvin
alvin

Good to see Various Restaurants in One Website with the Reviews.Recently ,I visited MEGU Restaurant One of the Japanese Restaurant.The food was delicious.The Sushi was awesome.www.megurestaurants.com/

Sara Stone
Sara Stone

The #1 Italian Restaurant is Ecco- They are located on Chambers Street in Downtown Manhattan- They make the best Branzino and Dover Sole that I ever tasted. The flavors and the seasonings that they use are terrific. Once I put a piece of Branzino or Dover Sole in my mouth I feel as if it melts in my mouth. Also, their fresh vegetables-string beans, spinach or brocolli are cooked in garlic which is delicious. The tri color salad is a great appetizer. This is the only restaurant that I will go to whenever I am in the Downtown Manhattan Area. The service is excellent and the atmosphere is decorative. Don't go to lower Manhattan without experiencing ECCO. You will love it.

Doris Uzcategui
Doris Uzcategui

I love this product is very useful and convenience, plus I love NY

Jupiter Saturn
Jupiter Saturn

I vote on Fazoli's. They sell bow and arrows. (%Pr

STEPHEN LOHBRANNDT
STEPHEN LOHBRANNDT

LOOKING FOR HIGH END DINNING W/ VIEW COULD YOU SUGGEST ??? [[ MY WIFES BIRTHDAY]]

Elena
Elena

Whatever happened to the best 100 meals and drinks list? Also are you going to provide a map for this list? Thanks!

Carly
Carly

Finally a much needed best of list