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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: Filip Wolak
Gabriel Kreuther

Narrowing down the 100 best restaurants in New York City is no easy feat, given the sheer number of top-rate eateries NYC has to offer, from long-time favorites to the buzzy upstarts joining the fray week in and week out. But we put in the grunt work, detailing the city’s best Italian restaurants, best sushi, best Mexican spots and more. Here’s the best of the best: The 100 best restaurants that Time Out New York’s food editor—and New York itself—can’t live without.

100 best restaurants in NYC

1

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
2

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.

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Midtown West
3

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 $325 (service included). 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. In the end, it’s all worth every penny (as long as someone else is paying).

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Upper West Side
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

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
6

Bouley

Bouley 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—David Bouley/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 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
7

Shuko

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 at Neta. 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
8

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
9

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
10

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
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Comments

20 comments
Sergio Z
Sergio Z

For me the best Italian food by far in NYC is Barilla Restaurants, located in Herald Square...(I actually think they have 2 more spots in Manhattan). It has become my favorite place as they serve the best pastas ever! Lasagna is great! If you´re interested i will be stopping by tomorrow Nov 17th because they´ll be giving a free sample of typical food from Italy. Can it get better than that!? 


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.

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 

GigiValenti
GigiValenti

On my wedding day, we (20 of us) had quarter bottles of champagne (187ml) in the small park opposite City Hall (note: this is not a recommendation to drink in public), then we went to 230 Fifth Ave (rooftop bar with spectacular views) for a cocktail, and then we had dinner in the West Village. If money doesn't matter, then I would always go to a Michelin star restaurant. Otherwise, it really depends on what you want.

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