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Saga
Photograph: Courtesy Adrian Gaut

The 12 best fine dining restaurants in NYC

Whether you’re splurging for a special occasion or it's just another night of opulence, these are NYC’s best fine dining destinations.

Written by
Christina Izzo
,
Jake Cohen
&
Amber Sutherland-Namako
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In New York City, tabs at our top fine dining destinations can easily meet and exceed the cost of plane tickets to Paris, the latest iPhone or a Schott jacket. In this moneyed town, however, there are plenty of people for whom the best of the best is just their weeknight go-to. It’s kind of bonkers! 

For the rest of us, however, those for whom only the most special of occasions merit a sky-high price tag, there is no margin for error. The food, drinks and experience at these rarified destinations must exceed our plebeian expectations and launch us, if even for a moment, into a truly decadent dimension. And these fine dining restaurants, these bastions of gold cards, trust funds and expense accounts do just that. 

Whether you’ve recently uncovered a dusty old stock certificate in your eccentric aunt’s attic, sold an NFT or charmed the right Shark Tank shark, these are NYC’s best fine dining destinations where you should start spending your riches. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best new restaurants in NYC

Best fine dining restaurants in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • Korean
  • Midtown East
  • price 4 of 4

Discreetly set in a walk-up apartment building on the border of Nomad and Murray Hill, Atomix started wowing crowds when it first opened in 2018 and it’s still a difficult reservation to land. Each modern Korean menu item is detailed on a series of cards you collect throughout the $270-per-person 10-course tasting. Perusing the descriptions at the intimate chef’s counter feels like you’re being debriefed on classified intelligence which, in a way, we suppose you are. 

  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Upper West Side
  • price 4 of 4

Synonymous with fine dining, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s flagship is the archetype of its category. It’s collected the restaurant world’s most coveted accolades in its 24 years, and served as an inspiration for more than a few spots to follow suit. Tasting tiers have previously included fanciful caviar interpretations, foie gras, Wagyu beef and Maine lobster. 

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Midtown West
  • price 4 of 4

Le Bernardin is the city’s original temple of haute French seafood. 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. It is still a formal place, with white tablecloths and decorous service, but recent changes have modernized the space and relaxed its jacket policy from required to recommended. 

  • Restaurants
  • Financial District

All things considered, it was a little unexpected how many fine dining restaurants opened in 2021, and, for our money, ($245 per person, paid in advance, to start), Saga is the best of them. The follow-up to the also excellent (and much more affordable) Crown Shy starts with inimitable skyline views from its downtown Art Deco building’s 63rd floor and continues on throughout a three-hour experience that spans multiple courses of a Moroccan-inspired menu and even spaces across the restaurant’s terraces and seating areas. They aren’t exactly disrupting fine dining at Saga, but they sure are elevating the genre. 

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Lenox Hill
  • price 3 of 4

Daniel is a big-ticket commitment, but Daniel Boulud and his team make a powerful case for keeping the high-end category kicking. The four-course seasonal prix-fixe that tops white tablecloths in Daniel’s classic dining room is $275, and might include courses like wild Scottish pheasant, Long Island fluke, and Highland Farm venison. Some of those items are also available à la carte for $40 to $78 in the lounge area. 

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • Tribeca
  • price 3 of 4

Drew Nieporent returns to the hallowed halls of his restaurant past in the space that held his formative debut, Montrachet. Here, the notable two, three and four-course menus are all under $100, and include items like beef tartare, duck and Atlantic cod. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Midtown West
  • price 4 of 4

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. 

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Upper West Side
  • price 4 of 4

Expectations are high at Per Se—and that goes both ways. You are expected to pay a $200 deposit. You are expected to trust that the day’s ever-changing tasting menu will transcend your own palate’s proclivities. And you are expected to pretend you aren’t eating in a shopping mall. The restaurant, in turn, is expected to deliver one hell of a tasting menu. And it does. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • East Village
  • price 4 of 4

David Chang’s frequently-evolving 10 course tasting has previously included plates like raw fluke in a coating of tangy, mellow buttermilk, poppy seeds and house-made chili sauce and a frozen foie-gras torchon, shaved over lychee puree and pine-nut brittle. It’s all brilliantly executed and mercifully a little easier to get a table than in years past.

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Midtown West
  • price 2 of 4

Indian Accent’s design and menu execution is a fine dining blueprint, appointed in shades of charcoal and cream and with structural plating. Artful three and four-course dinner menus might include potato sphere chaat, tofu masala, ghee roast lamb and saag paneer kulcha. 

Looking to have a BIG meal?

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