Best Italian restaurants in New York

The finest pastas, antipasti and wine from the North and South of Italy.

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New Yorkers are mad for Italian food, and whether you’re craving world-class pasta, fragrant roasted meats or a show-stopping spread of salumi, cheese and antipasti, there’s a place in Gotham to get your fix. We’ve rounded up NYC’s best Italian restaurants for regional eats both rustic and high-flying. Did we miss your favorite NYC spot? Join the conversation in the comments.

Osteria Morini

  • Critics choice

Chef Michael White (Alto, Marea) is one of New York’s most prolific and successful Italian-American chefs, and this terrific downtown homage to a classic Bolognese tavern is the most accessible restaurant in his stable. The toque spent seven years cooking in Italy's Emilia-Romagna region, and his connection to the area surfaces in the rustic food. Handmade pastas—frail ricotta gnocchi in light tomato cream, fat tortelli bundles oozing an absurdly rich mix of braised meats—are fantastic across the board. Heart-stopping meats, meanwhile, include porchetta with crisp, crackling skin and potatoes bathed in pan drippings. With so much butter and cream, you might skip dessert, but don’t miss head barman Eben Freeman’s riffs on classic aperitivi.

  1. 218 Lafayette St, (between Broome and Spring Sts)
Book online

Del Posto

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

With four-star ambitions and prices to match, Mario Batali’s 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 pianist on a grand piano feels like the lobby of a very opulent grand hotel. The most show-stopping 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.

  1. 85 Tenth Ave, (between 15th and 16th Sts)
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Il Buco

  • Price band: 4/4

The old-world charm of well-worn communal tables, dangling copper cookware and flickering lamps may help explain why a 14-year-old restaurant is still tough to get into on a Saturday night. Seasonal produce shapes the daily-changing menu, and the Umbrian olive oils used in much of the cooking are produced exclusively for the restaurant. You’ll have no trouble finding a wine to match your meal; il Buco’s list is one of the city’s best.

  1. 47 Bond St, (between Bowery and Lafayette St), 10012
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Gottino

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

With its long marble bar, piddling five tables and menu of choice Italian nibbles, Gottino isn't so much a restaurant as a very well-acoutered wine bar. Divided into salumi and cheese on one side, and prepared bites on the other, the provides multiple opportunities for memorable bites. Thick-cut cacciatorini (cured pork sausage) luxuriates in a shallow pool of olive oil infused with oregano and garlic, while in another wee dish, eye-poppingly tangy white anchovies keep company with celery, parsley and preserved lemon. Much of the food appears, almost magically, from behind the busy bar, where servers in civilized costumes of white shirts, ties and aprons whiz about, making sure everyone is well watered and fed. As tempting as it is to continue grazing on savories, reserve room for the astoundingly creamy fior di latte gelato, served with orange rinds candied in-house.

  1. 52 Greenwich Ave, (between Charles and Perry Sts)
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Locanda Verde

  • Critics choice

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.

  1. 377 Greenwich St, (between Franklin and North Moore Sts)
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Porsena

Sara Jenkins has built a strong local following for her comforting Italian cooking, and she plays the nonna role admirably at this modest spot—a throwback to the cheerful, reliable trattorias that used to define the East Village. Pasta is really the best thing going here. Toothsome anneloni rings are tossed in a generous jumble of wilted mustard greens and house-made spicy lamb sausage, while a soothing mac and cheese features cannolichie curls gooey with sharp and pungent scraps from the restaurant’s cheese plate. A short list of mains reads like an addendum, though the simply prepared proteins—like juicy roasted chicken and meaty parchment-wrapped hake—are wholesome and satisfying. Star-chef stalkers may yearn for more, but regulars are happy to have a dependable canteen that any ’hood would be lucky to call its own.

  1. 21 E 7th St, (between Second and Third Aves), 10003
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Maialino

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Danny Meyer’s first full-on foray into Italian cuisine focuses on the foods of Rome. The menu, from chef Nick Anderer, sets a new standard with faithful facsimiles of dishes specific to the area. Antipasti include delicate baby artichokes—deep-fried in olive oil—served with a pungent anchovy-bread sauce. Among the pastas that follow is an excellent spaghetti alla carbonara with egg yolks, guanciale and heaps of black pepper. Entrees, like the namesake maialino, a golden, fennel-rubbed piglet haunch presented with potatoes basted in pig fat, are a reminder of just how seductive authenticity can be.

  1. Gramercy Park Hotel, 2 Lexington Ave , (at 21st St)
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Salumeria Rosi

  • Critics choice

This tiny uptown Italian market-restaurant hybrid is helmed by one of the city’s most eccentric food personalities, chef Cesare Casella. The toque—who doubles as a front-of-house impresario—offers assaggi (small, sometimes minuscule, plates) like a rich lasagna al forno. His insalata pontormo is a fine, hot-cold medley of soft-scrambled eggs, pancetta and peppery greens. But the namesake artisanal meats are probably the best reason to visit (try the prosciutto and mortadella). Desserts like wine-poached pears don’t invite lingering, but the occasional complimentary shot of limoncello does.

  1. 283 Amsterdam Ave, (between 73rd and 74th Sts)
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al di là

  • Critics choice

Park Slope pioneer al di là remains unsurpassed in the bustling Brooklyn neighborhood. Affable owner Emiliano Coppa handles the inevitable wait (due to the no-reservations policy) with panache, dispatching diners next door to the restaurant’s slim annex, al di là vino, until tables clear. 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.

  1. 248 Fifth Ave , (at Carroll St), 11215
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Peasant

  • Critics choice

The open kitchen at Peasant is straight out of a fairy tale—a magical brick workshop where chef-owner Frank DeCarlo presides over a crackling fire. Fittingly, rustic dishes are best: Choose shimmery sardines; sizzling, golden-skinned hen; or pleasant suckling pig liver, all pulled from the wood-burning oven.

  1. 194 Elizabeth St, (between Prince and Spring Sts), 10012
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