I hesitate to call this a “Best Restaurants in NYC” post because frankly there are just so many incredible restaurants in this city, there’s no way I’m going to know about all of them! BUT here’s a list of all the fun places to eat in NYC.
A curated restaurant list by yours truly that I wanted to share with you all through several New York City visits and lots of research.
P.S. Planning a trip to NYC? Book some of my favorite activities there through GetYourGuide below!
Where to go in NYC for Brunch:
You’ll find plant-based cuisine at this 100% vegetarian restaurant. Avocado toast with an egg on top, anyone?
The Butchers Grilled Cheese with adzuki bean bacon and basil is also delicious. They have multiple locations near West Village, lower Manhattan, and Williamsburg.
As the name suggests, you’ll find a fresh farm to table cuisine here. The lemon ricotta pancakes are incredible.
There’s also a very cute market next door so you can pick up some things for a picnic or snack later in the day.
This spot is known for having some of THE best smoked fish and bagels in the city. It is an absolute must if you’re visiting NYC.
Expect a long line to order at the counter, but know that it will be worth it. You can sample a few different smoked salmons to find your perfect pick, and get an incredible bagel, cream cheese, and smoked fish sandwich to go.
There’s also Russ & Daughters Cafe if you prefer a sit-down meal but expect at least a two-hour wait on weekends. You can also try some at the Jewish Museum if you’re in the upper Eastside.
Best Cafes in NYC
Chailat is known for its many matcha specialty drinks. They have some delicious food too.
This spot is great for morning coffee, breakfast sandwiches, and grabbing a few more snacks to go before starting a full day of sightseeing.
Best Restaurants in NYC for Asian Fare:
Cutting-edge Korean soul food paired with some seriously delicious cocktails. We loved this place!
High-end omakase if you’re up for a fancy (and pricey) night out.
After watching Ugly Delicious, we had to try one of Chef David Chang’s NYC restaurants. Momofuku Ssäm Bar features bold Asian dishes with a heavy lean towards pork (pork buns, pork belly…?).
Best Italian Restaurants in NYC:
Del Posto is a fantastic special occasion restaurant (or a, “Hey, I’m in New York—that’s special!” restaurant). You’ll have the option of a $149 four-course prix fixe menu, or there’s an eight-course chef’s tasting menu for $179.
You can also come for a more wallet-friendly lunch, where you can do a $49 three-course option and add a $10 pasta supplement.
This place has delicious, classic Italian food. We had the gnocchi and Tortelli Della Nonna and they were both fantastic.
This spot in Little Italy features adorable outdoor seating and perfectly cooked pasta. We loved their pizza as well, and the tiramisu was a killer.
Best of Brooklyn:
This place has some of the best lobster rolls I’ve ever had.
They were absolutely chock-full of huge, delicious pieces of sweet, sweet lobster meat. And who doesn’t love their bloody mary topped off with a lobster claw?
This place is so fun! Located on a vintage boat, you can come aboard and enjoy cocktails and oysters while soaking in the views of the New York skyline.
They’re only open during the warmer months so be sure to check their social media to see if doors have opened on their schooner yet (not that you’d even be trying to go and sit outside on the water during the winter).
If you’re looking for that old school soda fountain stop, Brooklyn Farmacy is the cutest place. They serve the classic ice cream sundaes and floats.
This is the perfect stop for those of you who have a sweet tooth or have kids. It’s just a lot of fun here with lots of flavors to try.
BTW, if you’re heading to New York with kids, check out this list of 29 family friendly things to do in NYC at night!
Where to go in NYC for delicious food and beautiful ambiance:
Buddakan could also be listed as a top restaurant for Asian fare, but the lavish decor places it neatly under the restaurants with a fantastic ambiance category.
You’ll find lots of yummy chicken dumplings here and probably feel like you’re in a movie— Carrie Bradshaw’s rehearsal dinner in the first “Sex and the City” movie was shot here in the elegant dining room with plenty of photo opportunities.
This place is a bit over the top, but it’s fun. You enter through a “pawn shop” and then the doors are opened to this massive, luxurious-looking restaurant. And the food is pretty damn good!
This one’s an NYC classic. I haven’t been for dinner, but I did have a fantastic lunch here.
The bar is a great spot to grab a drink and a la carte great food.
While this place does feel a tad stuffy with its white tablecloths and maître d’, last year they revamped the bar food offerings and they’re pretty delicious.
Best French food in NYC:
Ask a New Yorker for recommendations for fine dining or French cuisine in their city, and most will recommend Daniel. Their classic French cooking and impeccable service never go out of style.
Located in the upper west side, enjoy French-American cuisine at Tomas Keller prices—$295 per person for the nine-course tasting menu. I mean, it is three Michelin stars.
Also, if you want to read a really hilarious review of Per Se that probably exemplifies the staff’s snootiness, read this Infatuation review by Chris Stang.
I lolled. If you want to read another review be sure to check out the eater’s review as well!
So Beetle House doesn’t have your traditional beautiful ambiance, but it’s super cool. If you’re a big fan of Tim Burton, you’ll love it here because it’s based on all of his movies.
The menu includes themed dishes with clever names like Edward Burger Hands or Sweeney Beef. You can come here for drinks or for dinner—it’s up to you!
Where to get the best Pizza in NYC:
Inventive flavor combos that everyone raves about.
Delicious, big-slice pizzas. And they deliver if you’re tired from traveling and just can’t get out of your hotel room.
Vegan in NYC:
I’m a meat lover, but Ja Ja Ja made me forget who I was for a minute. If I could eat JaJaJa every day, I could be a vegan with no problem with all their amazing options.
My favorite was the nachos. So. Effing. Good. We tried several different tacos and they were all delicious.
The drinks were great too! So if you’re ever in the Lower Eastside be sure to make a stop here.
Healthy and delicious spot with a few locations in NYC. You’ve probably seen it on Instagram.
Those were all my favorite and fun restaurants in NYC. Being from San Francisco, I’m used to explore and trying a bunch of new places to eat around the city so this was a lot of fun.
If you end up hitting up any of these spots and unique restaurants, be sure to tag me on Insta @wtfab.
Thanks to essaywritercheap.org for partnering on this post.
Loving this best restaurants in NYC list? For more restaurant and travel guides, check out my travel map!
– Manhattan Clam Chowder
– New York Style Cheesecake
– New York Style PIzza
– New York Style Bagel
– New York Style Pastrami
It is recommended to spend at least 5 days in NYC to really explore the city and see what NYC has to offer.
The cheapest months to travel to New York are March, April, or during the winter months like October or November.
Elise Armitage is an entrepreneur and founder of What The Fab, a travel + lifestyle blog based in California. At the beginning of 2019, Elise left her corporate job at Google to chase her dreams: being an entrepreneur and helping women find fabulous in the everyday. Since then, she’s launched her SEO course Six-Figure SEO, where she teaches bloggers how to create a passive revenue stream from their website using SEO. Featured in publications like Forbes, Elle, HerMoney, and Real Simple, Elise is a firm believer that you can be of both substance and style.