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LA SIRENA casarecce broccoli rabe
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

The best Chelsea restaurants in NYC

New York’s best Chelsea restaurants include high-profile oyster bars, fine-dining spots and Middle Eastern joints

By Jake Cohen, Christina Izzo and Time Out New York contributors

The best Chelsea restaurants have something for every craving, from some of the city’s best Italian restaurants to beautiful outdoor dining spots, baking emporiums and the best seafood in NYC. Whether you’re after tapas or tacos, these are the best Chelsea restaurants in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Chelsea, New York

Best Chelsea restaurants in NYC

Del Posto
Photograph: Courtesy Kelly Campbell

1. Del Posto

Restaurants Italian Chelsea

With four-star ambitions and prices to match, 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 pianist on a grand piano feels like the lobby of a very opulent grand hotel.

Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

2. Txikito

Restaurants Spanish Chelsea

Txikito (pronounced “chi-KEE-toe”), whose name is a Basque term of endearment meaning “little one,” single-mindedly celebrates the small-plate cuisine of the country’s most culturally distinctive—and gastronomically blessed—region. Lounge while you wash down a few pinxtos with some Basque cider.

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Momofuku Nishi
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

3. Momofuku Nishi

Restaurants Contemporary Asian Chelsea

The Italian-Korean hybrid from David Chang has one of the most eclectic menus in the neighborhood. Start with a light and bright appetizer before jumping into the array of house-made pastas and roasted or grilled meats. If you can't pick just one noodle, opt for the four-course pasta tasting.

The Red Cat
Andrew Fladeboe

4. The Red Cat

Restaurants Contemporary American Chelsea

It’s calm, comfortable and the kind of place you can settle into and stay a while. The wide granite bar, topped with wee bowls of radishes, draws a mix of art lovers seeking refreshments and diners waiting for a table, but you’re free to order from the American-Mediterranean menu right where you are.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Miznon

5. Miznon

Restaurants Israeli Chelsea

This heralded Israeli pita shop in Chelsea Market is a key player in the renaissance of Middle Eastern cuisine in NYC. The menu is split up between in-a-pita and out-of-the-pita, though you're going to want to get a sampling of both (especially the whole roasted baby cauliflower).

Cull & Pistol
Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

6. Cull & Pistol

Restaurants Seafood Chelsea

Tucked in the back of the seafood section at Chelsea Market, this cozy nook nods to two types of lobsters: a cull lobster, which has only one claw, and a pistol lobster, which has no claws. Diners can tuck into heaping platters of seafood at snug, wooden tables in the narrow-but-warm dining room. 

Los Tacos
Virginia Rollison

7. Los Tacos No.1

Restaurants Mexican Chelsea

Three California transplants dole out casual Mexican eats like tacos quesadillasto be enjoyed with one of their homemade aguas frescas at this colorful stand in Chelsea Market. Decked out with hand-painted signs, it's a popular choice for casual bites any time of the day.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Miguel H.

8. El Quinto Pino

Restaurants Spanish Chelsea

New York’s first true Madrileño tapas bar offers its Spanish nibbles in cramped quarters, with only a few barstools and ledges for plates. The idea is to graze, have a few glasses of Spanish wine by the glass and chat before heading elsewhere for dinner. 

La Sirena
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

9. La Sirena Ristorante

Restaurants Italian Chelsea

A meal at the team’s splashy at the Meatpacking District’s Maritime Hotel is as much a status marker as the outfits sported by the diners. With a menu of refined Italian fare (get as much pasta as you can), it's the perfect spot to camp out with an Aperol spritz.

10. Cookshop

Restaurants American Chelsea

Cookshop looks to celebrate sustainable ingredients from independent farmers. And true to its mission, Cookshop’s produce, seafood and meats are consistently top-notch with a frequently changing menu of modern American fare.

Photograph: Filip Wolak

11. Toro

Restaurants Spanish Chelsea

The beloved Massachusetts has been repackaged as a Meatpacking District colossus, with soaring raftered ceilings and giant windows overlooking the whir of Eleventh Avenue. The mercurial menu sprawls as much as the space, offering 60 traditional and border-crossing tapas.

Sullivan Street Bakery
Photograph: Filip Wolak

12. Sullivan St Bakery

Restaurants Bakeries Chelsea

The bread emporium from acclaimed dough puncher Jim Lahey isn't just for carb lovers. The Italian-accented menu offers paninis, salads and morning egg dishes all with the same attention to detail as every loaf. The best part is you can pick up a baguette for later when you're done eating.

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