The 100 best restaurants in NYC you have to try

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

When it comes to food, New Yorkers are spoiled AF with the best restaurants in NYC. With an endless supply of buzzy restaurant openings, well-worn stalwarts and quirky locales, us Gothamites are never bereft of uber delicious dishes to order around town. So when we had to narrow down the list of the 100 best restaurants in New York City, we knew it would be no easy feat. But we put in the grunt work, detailing everything from the city’s best Italian restaurants and best sushi, to the cheap eats and Michelin stars—all so we could present to you the best of the best. Here are the 100 best restaurants that we—and New York itself—can’t live without.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best dishes and drinks in NYC

1
Eleven Madison Park
Photograph: Courtesy Gary He
Restaurants, American creative
Eleven Madison Park
icon-chevron-right
Swiss chef Daniel Humm still mans the kitchen post-revamp at this Gramercy 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. 
Why go? It's consistently ranked one of the best restaurants in the world
icon-location-pin Flatiron
2
Le Bernardin
Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Caste
Restaurants, French
Le Bernardin
icon-chevron-right
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. 
Why go? For delectable French seafood
icon-location-pin Midtown West
Advertising
3
<p>Masa</p>
Restaurants, Japanese
Masa
icon-chevron-right
When world-renowned sushi chef Masa Takayama arrived in New York, he came offering the most expensive dining experience in the city’s history. To be clear, Takayama doesn’t overcharge for his meals: He overspends, and the mystique of it all—his exquisite materials, his rare ingredients and his labor-intensive techniques—can be lost on a diner who doesn’t know the ins-and-outs. Takayama prepares each perfect bite-size gift, then places it in front of you on a round slate; you almost eat out of his hands, and the sushi seems to melt in your mouth. This process is, to some serious food lovers, a priceless experience.
Why go? Takayama doesn’t distract diners from the meal: the space feels like a temple 
icon-location-pin Upper West Side
4
Peter Luger
Restaurants, Steakhouse
Peter Luger
icon-chevron-right
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, the famous porterhouse for two or the decadent 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.
Why go? For 44 perfect ounces of sliced prime beef
icon-location-pin Williamsburg
Advertising
5
Daniel
Restaurants, French
Daniel
icon-chevron-right
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 with unusually generous entrees consisting of seafood stunners. Sure, Daniel is still a big-ticket commitment, but Boulud and his team make a powerful case for keeping the high-end genre alive.
Why go? No place does better nouveau French fare
icon-location-pin Lenox Hill
6
Regular pie at Di Fara Pizza
Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson
Restaurants, Pizza
Di Fara Pizza
icon-chevron-right
The painstakingly crafted Neapolitan pies—cracker-thin crust with a pleasing char and a subtle Parmesan zing—are widely considered among the city's best; dough is made fresh several times a day. To keep kids occupied during what feels like an interminable wait, point out the window boxes full of herbs used to flavor the sauce.
Why go? It’s NYC—we take our pizza very seriously 
icon-location-pin Midwood
Advertising
7
Gramercy Tavern
Photograph: Lauren Spinelli
Restaurants, American creative
Gramercy Tavern
icon-chevron-right
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. Ingredients-worship is evident as soon as the first course (of the main dining room’s mandated three-course prix fixe) is rolled out.
Why go? To see where the Danny Meyer empire all began
icon-location-pin Flatiron
8
Sushi Ginza Onodera
Photograph: Teddy Wolff
Restaurants, Japanese
Sushi Ginza Onodera
icon-chevron-right
After decades of New Yorkers’ sushi shrugs, this one-stop Little Tokyo flips that script, and its revenge is a nigiri best served cold—and aged (Ginza hews to edomaezushi). Ginza’s seasonal omakase is not just freshly flown in from Tokyo’s prestigious Tsukiji market, nor is it dependent on exotic varieties. Ginza delivers fish the way a diamond delivers carbon: with spectacular flawlessness lush with luxury. This is fish that traps us. 
Why go? It’s the only Michelin two-star Japanese restaurant in the city
icon-location-pin Midtown
Advertising
9
Momofuku Ko
Restaurants, Contemporary American
Momofuku Ko
icon-chevron-right
Make it through the reservations ringer to gain access to chef David Chang’s minimal 12-seat spot. Here the chefs double as waiters, serving eight or so dazzling courses from behind a counter. The ever-evolving menu can feature dishes like raw fluke, in a coating of tangy, mellow buttermilk, poppy seeds and sriracha chili sauce. A frozen foie gras torchon is brilliantly shaved over lychee puree and pine-nut brittle. 
Why go? David Chang is the contrarian pioneer that the city needs
icon-location-pin East Village
10
Per Se
Photograph: Roxana Marroquin
Restaurants, Contemporary American
Per Se
icon-chevron-right
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 a pretty penny 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 even more pretty pennies. And it does. Dish after dish is flawless and delicious.
Why go? The 30-for-30 deal for the millennials is not to be missed
icon-location-pin Upper West Side
Advertising
11
Cosme
Restaurants, Mexican
Cosme
icon-chevron-right
Enrique Olvera is 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. 
Why go? Cosme brought a much needed Latino flavor to upper echelon NYC restaurants 
icon-location-pin Flatiron
12
Nomad
Restaurants, French
The NoMad
icon-chevron-right
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 into seasonal French-inflected fare. The food, like the space, exudes unbuttoned decadence. 
Why go? Ditching EMP's tasting menu–only format, Humm takes a more democratic approach with an à la carte menu
icon-location-pin Flatiron
Advertising
13
Le CouCou
Restaurants, French
Le Coucou
icon-chevron-right
It’s a scene out of Ratatouille: the open kitchen lined with copper pots and hand-glazed tiles, churning with chefs whose two-foot-high toques blanche skim the range hoods as they plate hazelnut-freckled leek vinaigrettes and foie-marbled veal terrines with an almost cartoonish hustle. It’s no movie—rather, it’s the animated stir of Soho’s Le Coucou, the graceful French spot from the prolific restaurateur Stephen Starr (Buddakan, Morimoto). 
Why go? For the revival of fine-dining French
icon-location-pin Little Italy
14
<p>Hay-smoked skipjack at Sushi Nakazawa</p>
Restaurants, Japanese
Sushi Nakazawa
icon-chevron-right
Last we saw Daisuke Nakazawa, he was toiling over egg custard as the modest apprentice in the film Jiro Dreams of Sushi, humbled by the rigors of an 11-year stint under the world’s most distinguished sushi chef, Jiro Ono. The pupil has emerged as the teacher at this sleek West Village sushi bar. Nakazawa swiftly sets each of the 20 or so pieces on your plate in succession. And the fewer the embellishments, the better.
Why go? Nakazawa is a jokester who places a live squirming shrimp on your plate just for a laugh
icon-location-pin West Village
Advertising
15
Gotham Bar and Grill
Photograph: Courtesy Gotham Bar and Grill
Restaurants, American
Gotham Bar and Grill
icon-chevron-right
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. It’s pricey, but Gotham delivers.
Why go? For upscale food that’s not too esoteric
icon-location-pin Greenwich Village
16
Del Posto
Restaurants, Italian
Del Posto
icon-chevron-right
With four-star ambitions and prices to match, Del Posto set the bar awfully high when it opened in 2005, but the cavernous restaurant has become nothing less than one of the city’s top destinations 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 challenges its French competition in butter consumption. 
Why go? For casual celeb spotting (hi, Bey and Jay)
icon-location-pin Chelsea
Advertising
17
The Grill
Restaurants, American
The Grill
icon-chevron-right
The real surprise is how deftly Major Food has silenced such critics of a Four Seasons revamp with this dazzling remake of the famed Grill Room. And it’s not just the deference for the landmark interior. It’s also that Major Food has finally returned to form. Inspired by midcentury menus from Delmonico’s and 21 Club, chef Carbone reconstructs continental classics like filet Peconic, lobster Newburg and three iterations of Dover sole.
Why go? The prime rib
icon-location-pin Midtown East
18
Roberta's Bee Sting
Restaurants, Pizza
Roberta’s
icon-chevron-right
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. 
Why go? Large groups can nosh on a multicourse meal with three kinds of stellar wood-oven pizza
icon-location-pin Bushwick
Advertising
19
Mifune
Photograph: Courtesy Mifune
Restaurants, Japanese
MIFUNE New York
icon-chevron-right
Super high-profile Japanese fare from the Michelin-starred chefs Hiroki Yoshitake and Yuu Shimano moved into midtown to serve "New Washoku" cuisine. Choose from either eight- or- six-course tasting menus with options like red shrimp and caviar or broiled cod in parmesan foam, or a la with options like braised pork belly with roasted chicory and cream cheese or roasted Wagyu steak.
Why go? You can sit in either the main dining room or the eight-seat sushi bar
icon-location-pin Midtown East
20
<p>Rigatoni alla vodka at Carbone</p>
Restaurants, Italian
Carbone
icon-chevron-right
The Italian-American supper clubs immortalized in mob movies and sepia-toned photos were never as dreamy as they seemed. The young guns behind Carbone, though, have moved beyond sentimentality in their homage to these restaurants by flipping the whole genre onto its head. The spot, rom tag-team chefs Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone, is a Godfather hangout on steroids, more fantastical set piece than history-bound throwback. Like Torrisi and Parm, their earlier projects together, it’s a hyped-up spin on a vanishing form, a restaurant where, bread sticks to bowties, everything looks, tastes and feels like much more of itself. 
Why go? For a 21st-century restaurant sporting 20th-century charm
icon-location-pin Greenwich Village
Advertising
21
Katz's Delicatessen
Restaurants, Delis
Katz’s Delicatessen
icon-chevron-right
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, 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.
Why go? You’ve seen Meg Ryan's bit, no?
icon-location-pin Lower East Side
22
Marea
Photograph: Courtesy Marea
Restaurants, Italian
Marea
icon-chevron-right
Michael White's extravagant, spectacular shrine to the Italian coastline is a worthy indulgence. Spend you shall, and with great rewards with elevated crostini and seafood-focused pastas.
Why go? If you had to pick one Michael White restaurant, it would be this one 
icon-location-pin Midtown West
Advertising
23
La Grenouille
Photograph: Ilenia Martini
Restaurants, French
La Grenouille
icon-chevron-right
La Grenouille, which opened in 1962, is 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 culinary execution remains near flawless.
Why go? For old-world, over-the-top romance
icon-location-pin Midtown East
24
Blue Hill
Restaurants, American
Blue Hill
icon-chevron-right
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. Start to finish, there’s a garden on every plate. Once among the most sedate little restaurants in the Village, this cramped subterranean jewel box has become one of the most raucous.
Why go? You went to the upstate iteration and crave a more local taste
icon-location-pin Greenwich Village
Advertising
25
Pearl Oyster Bar
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Seafood
Pearl Oyster Bar
icon-chevron-right
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. Finally, a restaurant worthy of its hype.
Why go? For the eternal summer meal
icon-location-pin West Village
26
Estela
Restaurants, Contemporary American
Estela
icon-chevron-right
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. 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.
Why go? Because if it’s good enough for Michelle and Barack, it’s good enough for you
icon-location-pin Nolita
Advertising
27
Black sea bass
Photograph: 2012 Francesco Tonelli
Restaurants, French
Jean Georges
icon-chevron-right
Unlike so many of its vaunted peers, Jean Georges has not become a shadow of itself: The top-rated food is still breathtaking. The prix fixe dinner menu purveys classical French fare with some subtle global influences.
Why go? For a hotel restaurant you'll actually want to dine in 
icon-location-pin Upper West Side
28
SHUKO toro tartare milk bread caviar
Restaurants, Seafood
Shuko
icon-chevron-right
That populist streak follows from Neta, and softly colors this 20-seat follow-up—the beanie-clad chef remains, as does the thumping “99 Problems”—but where a pricey omakase was an option at Neta, here it’s mandatory. But it's for 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.
Why go? The rock-star chefs were longtime disciples of sushi demigod Masa Takayama
icon-location-pin Greenwich Village
Advertising
29
Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare
Photograph: Noah Fecks
Restaurants, French
Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
icon-chevron-right
Chef César Ramirez spends his days preparing deli-case items at the Brooklyn Fare supermarket—and one luxurious 15-course meal in the store’s kitchen at night, which is some of New York's best small-plate cuisine. The dinner-party vibe is convivial: Diners perch on stools around a prep table, the menu changes daily, and wine is BYOB. 
Why go? It’s Brooklyn’s only three-Michelin-starred restaurant 
icon-location-pin Boerum Hill
30
Keens Steakhouse
Restaurants, Steakhouse
Keens Steakhouse
icon-chevron-right
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. 
Why go? Sirloin and porterhouse (for two or three) hold their own against any steak in the city
icon-location-pin Midtown West
Advertising
31
806tamarindtribeca04
Restaurants, Indian
Tamarind Tribeca
icon-chevron-right
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. But the most consistent pleasures come out of the twin tandoor ovens, visible from the main dining room.
Why go? For some of the best Indian food in the city
icon-location-pin Tribeca
32
Sushi Yasuda
Filip Wolak
Restaurants, Japanese
Sushi Yasuda
icon-chevron-right
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. Still craving a California roll? Move along.
Why go? For high-quality sushi without the stuffy atmosphere
icon-location-pin Midtown East
Advertising
33
<p>Radishes at Harts</p>
Restaurants, Mediterranean
Hart’s
icon-chevron-right
There are some serious restaurant chops behind this Mediterranean-breezed Bed-Stuy spot: chef Nick Perkins is a veteran of Andrew Tarlow’s Williamsburg empire of Diner and Marlow & Sons. In a 30-seat dining room (marbled-topped bar, cushioned banquettes) designed by Perkins’s brother, Russell, the toque turns out elevated coastal plates. 
Why go? For high-quality coastal fare that's not fussy
icon-location-pin Bedford-Stuyvesant
34
Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern
Photograph: Filip Wolak
Restaurants, French
Minetta Tavern
icon-chevron-right
Keith McNally’s lovingly restored Minetta Tavern may be the first iconic restaurant of postmillennial New York. The place is as buzzy now as it must have been in its 1950s heyday, yet the food is as much of a draw as the scene. 
Why go? The pricey Black Label burger is worth every penny
icon-location-pin Greenwich Village
Advertising
35
Brushstroke
Restaurants, Japanese
Brushstroke
icon-chevron-right
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
Why go? To experience food from not one, but two, of the world’s leading chefs
icon-location-pin Tribeca
36
Cafe Boulud
Restaurants, French
Café Boulud
icon-chevron-right
This uptown mainstay recently received a face-lift, but the food remains a reflection of the iconic Daniel Boulud. Accomplished chefs prepare modern variations of French cuisine, plus more-whimsical seasonal and international dishes. 
Why go? To dip into classic uptown elegance
icon-location-pin Lenox Hill
Advertising
37
Salmon at 15 East
Restaurants, Japanese
15 East
icon-chevron-right
Toqueville co-owner Marco Moreira returned to his aquatic roots—he was trained as a sushi chef—when he opened this solemn temple of Japanese cuisine in 2006. The room, designed by architect Richard Bloch (Masa), feels like a sanctuary, and, fittingly, the food has a near-religious following among raw-fish fanatics. Sushi is punitively expensive, but consistently luscious.
Why go? For tuna aficionados, there's a sampler with five different cuts
icon-location-pin Union Square
38
Photograph: Andrew Fladeboe
Shopping, Specialist food and drink
Russ & Daughters
icon-chevron-right
For New Yorkers, lining up at Russ & Daughters is a time-honored tradition—pull a ticket, wait for your number to be called, then sidle up to the glass-covered cases to gawk over the stunning sable and sturgeon. The routine hasn’t changed much since the smoked-fish emporium launched more than a century ago.
Why go? For fresh fish in an institution 
icon-location-pin Lower East Side
Advertising
39
Gabriel Kreuther
Restaurants, French
Gabriel Kreuther
icon-chevron-right
The big-box room, situated on the ground floor of the Grace Building, is too comfortably cream-toned for cool, fixed with timber barn beams and folky stork wallprints evocative of the Alsatian farm country where Gabriel Kreuther—the man, not the restaurant—hails. But Kreuther isn’t concerned with cool, nor should he be. After an acclaimed decade at Danny Meyer’s MoMA restaurant, the Modern, the veteran chef joins the grand pantheon of name-bearing flagships—the Daniels, the Jean-Georges—with cooking that’s as personal as it is precise.
Why go? Dine in a space as beautiful as the food
icon-location-pin Midtown West
40
KANG HO DONG BAEKJEONG prime boneless short rib
Restaurants, Korean
Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong
icon-chevron-right
For the yet-to-be converted, Korean barbecue can seem like utter chaos—a frenzy of pounding K-pop hits and smoke-spewing tableside grills always an inch or two away from firing up a lawsuit. Despite the noise and crowd, the cooking speaks of a quiet refinement courtesy of young-gun chef Deuki Hong, who previously put in kitchen time at Jean Georges and Momofuku. 
Why go? Hong wet-ages his Omaha beef for three weeks before the servers showcase the carne in escalating degrees of flavor and heft
icon-location-pin Midtown
Advertising
41
Cote
Restaurants, Korean
Cote
icon-chevron-right
Korean food as a whole has expanded in breadth and ambition in recent years, but nothing has seen a boost quite like Korean barbecue. Cote—a sleek Flatiron District effort from Simon Kim of the Michelin-starred Piora—is the latest in the upswing. Set 10 blocks south of K-Town proper, the restaurant is deliberately billed as a “Korean steakhouse,” a distinction felt in its swank decor and starters you’d more likely find at an all-American meat temple than at a bulgogi grill.
Why go? Cote earned a Michelin star within its first year of opening
icon-location-pin Flatiron
42
Coppola's
Restaurants, American creative
Dovetail
icon-chevron-right
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, Narcissa) has a rich, seasonal emphasis. Though the clientele skews local, Fraser’s permanent residence might change that dynamic.
Why go? For an uptown date night
icon-location-pin Upper West Side
Advertising
43
<p>Tempura Matsui</p>
Restaurants, Japanese
Tempura Matsui
icon-chevron-right
In the überindulgent world of three-figure omakase thrills, sushi reigns, with finance whales and deep-pocketed diners kneeling at the throne of trumped-up toro. But tempura, Japan’s battered-and-fried preparation of seafood and vegetables, was never a part of that fine-dining fawning. Enter Masao Matsui. 
Why go? The tempura batter includes Dash, a Japanese soup stock made from fish and kelp  
icon-location-pin Murray Hill
44
The Modern
Restaurants, Contemporary American
The Modern
icon-chevron-right
Good looks aren’t everything, but they’re serious business here, where tables overlook the MoMA’s sculpture garden and diners carve their meat with Porsche steak knives. The pre-fixe menus are as carefully curated as any museum show, from vibrant opening bites to hearty mains. 
Why go? If you get an early reservation, you can look out at the garden while the sun’s still out
icon-location-pin Midtown West
Advertising
45
Rubirosa
Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson
Restaurants, Pizza
Rubirosa
icon-chevron-right
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. 
Why go? 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
icon-location-pin Nolita
46
<p>Casablanca chraime at Nur</p>
Restaurants, Israeli
Nur
icon-chevron-right
If you want falafel, go to Mamoun’s. You won’t find the chickpea spheres anywhere at Nur, the forward-thinking, pan–Middle Eastern restaurant in Gramercy from Israeli-Moroccan celebutoque Meir Adoni (of Tel Aviv’s acclaimed Blue Sky and Lumina) and Breads Bakery founder Gadi Peleg. Instead, Adoni—the latest in a growing line of chefs who are retooling Israeli eating in New York, such as Dizengoff’s Michael Solomonov and Miss Ada’s Tomer Blechman—stretches beyond Israeli comfort cooking to pull influences from all over the Levant, from Jewish and Arab traditions as well as his own North African roots.
Why go? The restaurants bread options come from Breads Bakery
icon-location-pin Flatiron
Advertising
47
Kasha and bowtie pasta with veal meatballs at ABC Kitchen
Noah Fecks
Restaurants, Contemporary American
ABC Kitchen
icon-chevron-right
The haute green cooking at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s artfully decorated restaurant is based on gorgeous ingredients from up and down the East Coast. The local, seasonal bounty finds its way into approachable dishes. ABC delivers one message overall: Food that’s good for the planet needn’t be any less opulent, flavorful or stunning to look at.
Why go? Go shopping for upscale home goods right in the same building 
icon-location-pin Union Square
48
Ippudo NY
Restaurants, Japanese
Ippudo NY
icon-chevron-right
This sleek outpost of a Japanese ramen chain is always packed with New Yorkers and Nippon natives who queue up (often for two hours or more) for the simple pleasure of a bowl of soup. The chain’s self-styled “Ramen King,” specializes in tonkotsu, a pork-based ramen from southern Japan. 
Why go? Sometimes chicken noodle soup just won’t do it 
icon-location-pin East Village
Advertising
49
Barney Greengrass
Restaurants, Delis
Barney Greengrass
icon-chevron-right
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.
Why go? If you can’t travel to get bubby’s homestyle cooking on the weekends
icon-location-pin Upper West Side
50
St. Anselm, restaurants
Photograph: Virginia Rollison
Restaurants, Steakhouse
St. Anselm
icon-chevron-right
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.
Why go? It’s one of the best deals for steak in the city
icon-location-pin Williamsburg
Advertising
51
Uncle Boons
Restaurants, Thai
Uncle Boons
icon-chevron-right
Thai restaurant Uncle Boons is part of a riptide of upstarts repackaging homey Asian food—once relegated to holes-in-the-wall or fusty midtown warhorses—in buzzy, forward-thinking joints. So at this dark-wood-paneled rathskeller, you’ll find tap wine and beer slushes, vintage Thai flatware carved from teak and brass, and perhaps major foodies plowing through noodles in the back dining room.
Why go? For some of the hippest Thai in the city
icon-location-pin Nolita
52
Balthazar
Restaurants, French
Balthazar
icon-chevron-right
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. Don’t hate the patrons because they’re beautiful; just join them.
Why go? For two things that usually don’t mix: bread and buzz
icon-location-pin Soho
Advertising
53
Restaurants, American
Sunday in Brooklyn
icon-chevron-right
Contrary to what the name might suggest, Sunday in Brooklyn is open for brunch and dinner every day of the week. The rustic three-story space boasts an outdoor patio, marketplace, private dining room and rooftop garden. The brunch menu includes their viral hazelnut-maple praline while dinner sports dishes like togarashi fried chicken.
icon-location-pin Williamsburg
54
Charlie Bird
Restaurants, Italian
Charlie Bird
icon-chevron-right
Sipping wine out of a pricey Zalto stem is an activity typical of more formal surroundings, but at Charlie Bird, you swirl a smoky Rodano chianti riserva while nodding your head to the Notorious B.I.G. Devoted in equal measure to seasonal cooking and serious wine, this West Village spot roughs up its own polish with subtle hints of the street, like large graphic prints of boom boxes and the now-ubiquitous restaurant soundtrack of early-’90s hip-hop. 
Why go? For wine bravado in addition to delicious eats 
icon-location-pin Soho
Advertising
55
LUCALI basil pizza
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Pizza
Lucali
icon-chevron-right
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. 
Why go? BYOB, baby
icon-location-pin Carroll Gardens
56
Carrot crepe at Olmsted
Restaurants, Contemporary American
Olmsted
icon-chevron-right
Sure, with the carrot crepe's ribboned strands and sunflower petals, it initially smacks of veg-forward fussiness, but plumb its expertly balanced depths and—surprise! You’ll find one of the best dishes of recent years. That’s the case with much of Olmsted, the Prospect Heights blow-in from Baxtrom (Per Se, Blue Hill at Stone Barns) and farmer Ian Rothman. On paper, Olmsted’s partiality for hyperfresh produce isn’t exactly a distinctive quality, but its sheer dedication to freshness sets it apart.
Why go? Rothman oversees an urban minifarm behind the modestly dressed restaurant
icon-location-pin Prospect Heights
Advertising
57
Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria
Restaurants, Italian
Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria
icon-chevron-right
Il Buco’s casual offshoot—one part winecentric restaurant (Vineria), one part gourmet food pantry (Alimentari)—pulls off the retail-restaurant mash-up more elegantly than most. The store in front is artfully curated like a miniature Dean & DeLuca, with dangling hams and bespoke hunks of cheese. In the evenings, though, you'll find plenty of inducements to abandon shopping in favor of a family-style dinner in the back. 
Why go? To go grocery shopping while you eat
icon-location-pin East Village
58
Momofuku Ssam Bar
Photograph: William Hereford
Restaurants, Pan-Asian
Momofuku Ssäm Bar
icon-chevron-right
In the years since the 2006 opening of Ssäm Bar, chef and owner David Chang has added to his résumé cookbook author (Momofuku), magazine editor (Lucky Peach) and—with the ascendency of his pastry chef Christina Tosi—even talent scout. To understand his astounding success and cult of personality, one need look no further than this perpetually buzzy restaurant, still a crown jewel of the East Village dining scene. Waiters hustle to raucous rock music inside this wood-paneled 50-seat space, ferrying platters of oysters and regional American hams, oozing pork buns, and daring offal dishes to tables still packed with food cognoscenti.
Why go? You couldn’t get a reservation at Momofuku Ko
icon-location-pin East Village
Advertising
59
Corn ravioli at Locanda Verde
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Italian
Locanda Verde
icon-chevron-right
Owner Robert De Niro swapped his train-wreck trattoria, Ago, for this blockbuster replacement. The bold family-style fare is best enjoyed as a bacchanalian banquet at the stylish, downtown locale. 
Why go? You want a flashy dinner in the quieter Tribeca nabe
icon-location-pin Tribeca
60
<p>Duck crostone at Union Square Cafe</p>
Restaurants, American
Union Square Cafe
icon-chevron-right
The force is strong with the new incarnation of Union Square Cafe, the beloved flagship of the formidable Danny Meyer empire that stood on East 16th Street since 1985. For all of his updates, Rockwell also seasoned the space with nostalgia, little Easter eggs for the devoted set: the cherrywood service stations, the dark-green wainscotting, the quirky and colorful paintings that line the walls. But the most crucial holdover is in the kitchen, where executive chef Carmen Quagliata—who headed the original USC for a decade—can still be found overseeing scrumptious staples.
Why go? It’s a downtown classic that just gets better with age 
icon-location-pin Gramercy
Advertising
61
Emily's
Photograph: Courtesy Jill Futter
Restaurants, Pizza
Emily
icon-chevron-right
Pizza, categorized by sauce color, is the star of the show. On the menu, there's a red column and a white column. The namesake White pizza, the Emily, surrounds you like a hug—topped with mozzarella, pistachios, truffle sottocenere and honey, it’s a performance in restraint. The drizzled sweet honey dances with the sumptuous mozzarella, all mingling with a slight crunch from the pistachios and that craveable truffle.
Why go? For some of the city's buzziest new pizza in the last couple of years
icon-location-pin Clinton Hill
62
Soogil
Photograph: Gabi Porter
Restaurants, Korean
Soogil
icon-chevron-right
Time Out says
Tucked away in the East Village, this petite gem is packed with downtown dwellers sipping soju cocktails at a long, wooden communal table while awaiting the culinary creations of NYC’s latest in a trending class of contemporary Korean restaurants. Lim’s refined French technique infuses with his Korean heritage for exceptional dishes that stay true to both. The best thing on the menu? The price tag: Almost nothing exceeds $20.
icon-location-pin East Village
Advertising
63
Frenchette
Photograph: Teddy Wolff
Restaurants, French
Frenchette
icon-chevron-right
Time Out says
The modern Parisian brasserie below Canal Street is not trying to reinvent the French wheel but drive home classics in a more refined (and pricier) manner than your average bistro. The atmosphere is cool, decor is tasteful and the dishes are masterfully executed.
icon-location-pin Tribeca
64
casa enrique
Restaurants, Mexican
Casa Enrique
icon-chevron-right
The owners of Bar Henry branched out to Queens with this 40-seat Mexican eatery, specializing in the regional cuisine of Cintalapa, Chiapas. Brothers Cosme and Luis Aguilar, the chef and GM respectively, pay homage to their late mother with traditional plates, including some based on her recipes, such as chicken mole and cochinito chiapaneco (guajillo-marinated baby pork ribs). 
Why go? The high-quality cooking garnered Casa Enrique a Michelin star, making it the first Mexican restaurant in New York to ever do so
icon-location-pin Long Island City
Advertising
65
Photograph: Courtesy Jeff Gurwin
Restaurants, American
Buttermilk Channel
icon-chevron-right
This bright, charming restaurant has a way with the locals, and the menu emphasizes its hometown flavor. New York State dominates the taps and the wine list; and first-rate, comfort-food starters, entrees and desserts hit close to home. 
Why go? For a near-perfect weekend brunch 
icon-location-pin Carroll Gardens
66
aquavit3
Restaurants, Contemporary European
Aquavit
icon-chevron-right
In 1987, Aquavit introduced New York to modern Scandinavian cooking, and for the first few years, its elegant upgrade of the region’s stereotypically bland fare did well enough. But when Marcus Samuelsson, a Swede of Ethiopian descent, took over the kitchen in 1995, it signaled a new era for Aquavit. His food—integrating Asian, African and Middle Eastern flavors into the Nordic repertoire—transformed it one of the city’s most exciting restaurants that continues today.
Why go? Chef Emma Bengtsson's current reign has earned the restaurant two Michelin stars and the distinguishment of being one of only three female chefs in the country to hold double stars
icon-location-pin Midtown East
Advertising
67
Braised rabbit at al di là
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Italian
al di là
icon-chevron-right
Aspiring restaurateurs in Park Slope should study this convivial Fifth Avenue pioneer. Stalwart al di là remains unsurpassed in the neighborhood. The affable owner handles the inevitable queue (due to the no-reservations policy) with panache. The wait is worth it for the delectable Northern Italian dishes. 
Why go? For neighborhood coziness with top-notch Italian
icon-location-pin Park Slope
68
Osteria Morini - New Jersey
Restaurants, Italian
Osteria Morini
icon-chevron-right
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. 
Why go? The toque spent seven years cooking in Italy's Emilia-Romagna region, and his connection to the area surfaces in the rustic food
icon-location-pin Nolita
Advertising
69
774.eo.x491.tanoreen.jpg
Restaurants, Central Asian
Tanoreen
icon-chevron-right
Since 1998, this cult destination in Bay Ridge has been alone at the top of local Middle Eastern establishments, a standard-bearer in a category that has few highlights. The Palestinian-born chef and owner takes extra steps in reviving the flavors of her Nazareth childhood—charring eggplants in charcoal, rolling out pita, hand-making savory yogurt. Her efforts pay dividends in an endless variety of silky spreads—lemony labna, smoky baba ghanoush—and almost-narcotic mains. 
Why go? How many excuses do you get to go to Bay Ridge?
icon-location-pin Bay Ridge
70
Wildair
Restaurants, Contemporary American
Wildair
icon-chevron-right
They call it second-child syndrome: a loosening of the reins, a slight dimming of the overeagerness that comes with adding a sibling to that precious firstborn. Such is the case of Wildair, the 45-seat sister restaurant to chef Jeremiah Stone and pastry chef Fabian von Hauske’s avant-garde tasting-menu den, Contra, two doors down. Wildair is more low-pressure, set with sardine-packed bar tables, a fuzzy midaughts soundtrack and neighborhood affability. And though Wildair’s snacky, à la carte menu has less sharp-edged experimentation than Contra’s, there are low-key innovations at play here.
Why go? For one of the best wine lists curated at a restaurant
icon-location-pin Lower East Side
Advertising
71
Buvette
Restaurants, French
Buvette
icon-chevron-right
Jody Williams may have designed her intimate Gallic-themed eatery with friends and neighbors in mind, but the food here is too accomplished to keep gastro groupies at bay. Those who wait for an evening table are treated to excellent small plates, which arrive all at once like an indoor picnic. Every detail of the place is thoughtfully curated, leaving you to revel in the chef’s very good taste as you linger over perfectly prepared dessert.
Why go? For a little bit of Paris in NYC
icon-location-pin West Village
72
Prime Meats
Restaurants
Prime Meats
icon-chevron-right
The Germanish sibling of beloved trattoria Frankies Spuntino bears all of the hallmarks of a hot spot, with a salvage-lot look, artisan cocktails and locavore sourcing. Meat is the restaurant’s marquee draw—the dry-aged Creekstone Farms steaks have great, funky flavor and a beautiful char. Though you’ll find this sort of honest fare elsewhere in NYC, rarely will you find it as solidly executed or as reasonably priced.
Why go? For a more stylized version of a steakhouse 
icon-location-pin Carroll Gardens
Advertising
73
Khao soi at Pok Pok Ny
Photograph: Alex Strada
Restaurants, Thai
Pok Pok Ny
icon-chevron-right
What separates Pok Pok from other cultish Thai restaurants, like SriPraPhai in Queens, is the curatorial role of Andy Ricker, its minutiae-mad chef. Ricker, who flavors the water here with pandanus leaf and presses his own coconuts for cream, focuses mostly on the funky fare of northern Thailand. 
Why go? For finger-licking family-style Thai dishes
icon-location-pin Cobble Hill
74
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
Photograph: Teddy Wolff
Restaurants, French
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
icon-chevron-right
French chef Joël Robuchon has collected 32 Michelin stars to date and has mentored Gordon Ramsay and Éric Ripert. He retired in 1995—and thank God it didn’t stick. When his midtown outpost closed in 2012, New York was left as one of the only major food cities worldwide without his presence. Now Robuchon is back, this time in the Meatpacking District with an elegantly high-minded prix fixe menu. Our palates so enjoyed these pirouettes that L’Atelier is almost more ballroom than restaurant.
Why go? Robuchon is the most awarded chef alive
icon-location-pin Chelsea
Advertising
75
Egg roll at Nom Wah Tea Parlor
Restaurants, Chinese
Nom Wah Tea Parlor
icon-chevron-right
In 2010, Wally Tang passed Nom Wah on to his nephew Wilson Tang, a banker at ING Direct. The 90-year-old stalwart had fallen into disrepair, so Tang remodeled; the most important tweaks, though, were behind the scenes: Tang updated the kitchen and did away with the procedure of cooking dim sum en masse. Now each plate is cooked to order. Tang's nips and tucks transformed a health department nightmare into a charming old-school institution, completely unlike the chaotic banquet halls that dominate Chinatown's dim sum scene. 
Why go? For the city’s ultimate dim sum
icon-location-pin Chinatown
76
Hearth
Restaurants, American
Hearth
icon-chevron-right
The East Village needed a Hearth—an upscale yet relaxed place that wasn’t just another surprisingly good ethnic hole-in-the-wall. Skirting the small-plate trend, the hearty fare is big, rich and flavorful. There is a small hearth in the restaurant, but the real warmth comes from the staff, which takes pains in helping you pick the right dish, and is equally interested in finding out afterward what you thought of it.
Why go? If you’re into the whole seasonal, locally-sourced healthy-ish dinner
icon-location-pin East Village
Advertising
77
<p>Eggplant with truffles at Kajitsu</p>
Restaurants, Japanese