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Photograph: Alex StradaTotto Ramen

The 14 best restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen

Pizza, fried chicken, brunch and sweet treats west of Midtown

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Alyson Penn
&
Amber Sutherland-Namako
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Situated between the chaos of Times Square and the gentle current of the Hudson River, Hell’s Kitchen is packed with restaurants and bars. Stroll up and down Manhattan’s westernmost avenues and you’ll have your pick of eating and drinking destinations, some of the best in NYC scattered among them. Hit these spots for a little slice of heaven in the ominously monikered neighborhood. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Best Hell's Kitchen restaurants

  • Restaurants
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 2 of 4

Soft lighting warm, woodsy tones evoke a turn-of-the-century general store at this Midtown eatery and gourmet emporium. The restaurant, tucked behind the retail shop, hits its stride when tangy Mediterranean spreads—artichoke dip, hot-pink beet skordalia—hit the table. Resist the urge to make a meal of Kashkaval’s impressive roster of charcuterie; entrées are not to be missed.

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  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 1 of 4

This small Hell’s Kitchen canteen by husband-and-wife team David and Vanida Bank of Land Thai Kitchen is a gem among the dozens of restaurants lining Ninth Avenue. Pop in for budget-friendly wok dishes and crowd pleasers like the Ratchaburi homemade egg noodles with crab and roasted pork.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Hell's Kitchen

Like a traditional Japanese ramen-ya, this narrow, subterranean noodle joint is designed for quick meals. Most seats are at the counter, where chefs crisp pork slices with a propane torch and tend to bubbling stockpots. The specialty here is paitan ramen, a creamy soup that’s a chicken-based variation on Hakata, Japan’s famous tonkotsu (pork) broth. 

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 4 of 4

We’ve been fans of this expensive spot since it was actually in Brooklyn and you had to try to call at certain times to get a reservation. Now in Manhattan, on a reservation platform and with a $395 price tag even before drinks, tax and tip, it’s still pretty hard to get into. Once you do, you’ll see why the seafood-forward tasting menu continues to command so much buzz.

Guantanamera
  • Restaurants
  • Cuban
  • Hell's Kitchen

The restaurant locals might remember as Azucar became Guantanamera a few years back, and it's as popular as ever. Time your visit to a live performance for Cuban Cuisine and a show. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 2 of 4

Coffee drinkers can get a bit of downtown-cool right in midtown at Bird and Branch. The pastel café is lined with succulents and white-brick walls and filled with natural light. Order a latte with housemade almond-macadamia milk along with goodies like a sesame brownie and yuzu-ricotta toast.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 2 of 4

Terriffic wood-fired pizzas like the the truffle burrata and Margherita varieties top tables populated by locals and the occasional particularly clever toursit at Don Antonio. Pair your pies with Italian beer and craft cocktails unlike anything you'll get at the slice shop. 

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Nizza
  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Hell's Kitchen

Chef Andy D’Amico (Nice Matin) explores the interplay of French and Italian influences along the Mediterranean at Nizza (Italian for Nice). The sleek, mod space is an ideal pre- or post-theater spot, provided you don’t spend too much time navigating the extensive menu. 

  • Restaurants
  • Lebanese
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 2 of 4

A hip Middle Eastern restaurant, this lusty space is a welcome oasis on the western fringes of Midtown. Flickering candles, a tiled open kitchen and a working stone oven offer a nice backdrop to the piquant cuisine.

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44 & X Hell’s Kitchen
  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 2 of 4

This stylish Theater District restaurant reimagines American classics. We've spotted buttermilk-fried chicken with a chive waffle, and a blue-claw crab fritter is served with tomato-tarragon fondue. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 1 of 4

Ink48 Hotel's farm-to-table restaurant focuses on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, even employing an in-house forager. Dine on a new American menu in the mid-century modern space with recycled and repurposed decor.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 1 of 4

Career changer Zachary Schmahl—who transformed himself into a food entrepreneur after losing his marketing job—built a successful online cookie business before opening this Hell's Kitchen bakeshop. Choose from cookies in flavors like red velvet, peanut-butter cup, and gluten-free sweet corn with cranberries and pecans. Also on the menu: sticky buns, milk shakes and granola-and-yogurt parfaits.

  • Restaurants
  • Food court
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 2 of 4

Once devoid of gourmet-grocery options, Hell's Kitchen got a one-two punch with the opening of both Brooklyn Fare and this block-long food mall. With a whopping 15,000 square feet, the retail-dining mecca is divided into eight culinary stalls like Mikey Likes It and Corner Slice.

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