New York City’s best hotel restaurants aren’t just good—they are among the best Manhattan restaurants, and often the best restaurants in all five boroughs. Once upon a time, hotel restaurants were a culinary no man’s land. Those days are ancient history—many of New York City’s most fantastic breakfasts, lunches, dinners and cocktails can be found within hotels. In fact, many of these culinary meccas can be considered among the best New York attractions. From low-key, yet killer burger joints to celebrity chef hot spots to the best bars in NYC, here are the hotel restaurant where we’re eating and imbibing, or at least dying to get on the list.
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Best hotel restaurants in NYC
Danny Meyer’s take on a Roman trattoria is super polished and highly delicious. In the morning, sip an espresso at the long, handsome walnut bar, then switch to a Campari in the afternoon, a boozy cocktail at night. The name Maialino means “Little Pig,” and it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to stay all day devouring variations on the theme of pork. For breakfast: chicken and pork sausage on a house-made English muffin with melted provolone and a fried egg. For dinner: malfatti pasta tossed with braised suckling pig and arugula.
When Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick put their mind to a French bistro, we know a few things for sure. It’s going to be big; it’s going to be uber sleek; and you’re going to leave a whole lot fuller (and maybe a tad poorer, too). Their cool brasserie-esque space in The Ludlow is outfitted with chandeliers and plush banquettes—the better to enjoy foie gras terrine wrapped in buttery brioche dough and brik pastry and their take on steak au poivre (Wagyu short rib pickled pastrami style in Kaffir lime and lemongrass).
Daniel Humm and Will Guidara's (of Eleven Madison Park) dark, sexy restaurant is all about the drinks, which is not to say the casualish bar food is not superb. It better be, because you’ll probably have to wait for a coveted seat—and definitely have to pay a pretty penny—in which to dig into chicken potpie with morels and seared foie gras, or a hot dog wrapped tight in bacon and topped with plenty of truffled aïoli. The Philadelphia Fish House Punch, a concoction of apple brandy, Jamaican and Guyanese rums, creme de peche, ginger and angostura bitters will leave you happy and wobbly.
It’s for good reason that this tiny eatery hidden inside Midtown’s posh Parker-Meridien Hotel has a cult following. The fancy hotel is an unlikely place for The Burger Joint, which eschews the “elevated” burger trend—no truffles or foie here—for a classic, no-frills burger done absolutely right. Part open voluptuous, velvet hotel drapes to reveal this unfancy, greasy spoon vibe and the spot-on burgers to match. The menu features hamburgers, cheeseburgers, French fries, milkshakes, beer and not much else. But really, what more do you need?
Michael White’s Altamarea Group turns their focus on cuisine from the Italian and French Riviera at this fine-dining spot at the Langham Place Hotel. There are shiny marble stairs, shades of earth tones and plenty of opulence, which is most demonstrated in its menu. Start with lobster velouté with truffles and chestnuts or silky crudo, continue to White’s famous veal-stuffed agnolotti and then to branzino. Baba al rhum with passion-fruit coulis and a small pile of tropical fruit makes for a sweet, but not too sweet, happy ending.
One of two restaurants from British celebutoque April Bloomfield in the too-cool-for-school Ace Hotel, the Breslin, is dark, clubby and fragrant with meat, especially from their much-adored lamb burger. For something heartier—and if you’re in the mood to share—the dry-aged rib eye for two with béarnaise and thrice-cooked chips will put the kibosh on any after-dinner activity. Hopefully you’ve snagged a room just upstairs.
Bloomfield’s second Ace Hotel restaurant, the John Dory, is light and airy, with a big fish tank and a wonderful raw bar. The floor of the restaurant is buzzing come happy hour as 9-5ers heed the call of $2 oysters and clams, and half off select drinks. Should you choose to linger into dinner, a perfect meal may be a glass of rosé and an umami-packed carta di musica (a sandwich made of thin, crispy flatbread, bottarga and red chilies), followed by the JDOB Lobster Roll. Don’t skimp on the basket of Parker House rolls, a must for the table.
Fun fact: Robert De Niro is a partner in Andrew Carmellini’s Greenwich Hotel restaurant. The name means “green inn” and the food is elegant without being fussy, and satisfying without being heavy. A pile of fresh sheep’s-milk ricotta, topped with a generous drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt, is a reminder of why simple is so often best. Garlicky roast chicken for two is everything you want your roast chicken to be. For lunch, you’d be wise to order Locanda Verde’s sausage grinder, with more of that fluffy sheep’s-milk ricotta.
Get your buzz on in style with Bodega Negra’s handcrafted mezcal and tequila cocktails, maybe with an Atlantico Mojito, mixed up with atlantico private cask rum, fresh lime juice, mint and sparkling wine. The New York-based outpost of the London-based Mexican restaurant (whew!) is decked out in rawhide and a whole wall of tequila barrels, the better for feasting on snapper roasted in banana leaf and Peking duck tacos with mole negro, sesame seeds and kumquat compote.
On the ground floor of the Bowery Hotel, Gemma serves Italian-by-way-of-New York fare to the downtown chic masses. Cozy up to the copper bar and sip a glass of fizzy Lambrusco under thatched wine bottles hanging from rafters. The fritto misto is addictively crispy and generously dusted with lemon zest, and veal cutlet topped with prosciutto di Parma and sage is comfort food at its finest.