Think food in New York, and you'll think of hot dogs, bagels, and subs. However, scratch the surface of the city's restaurant scene, and you'll find something for everyone. From fine dining to a comfortable dive, French restaurants, and a roadside food truck.
Whether you're looking for something in downtown Brooklyn, the Upper East Side, or with a view of the Manhattan skyline, these are 11 of the best restaurants New York offers.
If authentic Italian pasta is your thing, Via Carota is the place to go. Although very popular, this restaurant does not take reservations, so it's worth planning and putting your name down a couple of hours before you want to eat. Then head off, do some sightseeing or see a show, and come back for the most exemplary plate of cacio e pepe in New York.
Since it opened in 2019, Van Da has established itself as New York's premier Vietnamese restaurant in New York, thanks to the tasteful simplicity of its menu. Diners will be wowed in particular by the beef, shrimp, and pork tapioca dumplings which will tickle your taste buds and leave you desperate for more.
One of the city's most popular Chinese restaurants before closing in the 1980s, Hwa Yuan rebooted in 2017 and is located in the original space on East Broadway. Standout dishes include the pork soup dumplings, Szechuan style braised oxtail, and double sauteed pork belly, while the range of noodle soups on the expansive menu will sate any taste.
This outstanding Lower East Side restaurant offers one of the most refined tasting menus in New York City. Wildair also doubles up as a casual French-inspired wine bar. With comfortable bar seating in this narrow space, customers can enjoy French classics like beef tartare and smoked cheese or a spicy Caesar salad. And the best part is that you don't need to reserve; most of their tables are kept for walk-ins.
One of the favorite restaurants in New York for locals and tourists alike, Katz's Deli found fame as being the location for that scene in When Harry Met Sally. With their famous hand-sliced pastrami, corned beef, and enormous ground beef rye bread sandwiches, Katz's is instantly recognizable with its unchanged interior.
Initially established in Harlem, Charles serves arguably the finest comfort food in the city. Rather than being deep-fried, the chicken here is made in a cast-iron skillet, producing a stunning crust under which lies the tenderest meat. The equally great pork ribs and turkey wings complement the relaxed vibe at this hidden gem amongst NYC restaurants.
This simple set-up of an indoor taco stand in Chelsea Market is reminiscent of a traditional roadside van serving authentic tacos and quesadillas right in the heart of Manhattan. The small menu items include marinated pork, steak, chicken, or cactus, while the range of salsas and dips will have you drooling.
For a never-to-be-forgotten Indian culinary experience, Dhamaka takes some beating. Dishes such as Gurda Kapoora, which consists of a goat kidney, testicles, red onion, and pao, are sure to live long in the memory. A restaurant from the same people behind Adda in Long Island City and Semma in Greenwich Village, this is a pricey but necessary feasting experience.
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Opened by husband and wife team Ria and Kevol Graham, Kokomo combines authentic flavors from the Caribbean, such as jerk chicken, with pasta and flatbreads. As well as the exquisite food menu, every day between 4 and 7 pm is Happy Hour with discounted drinks and live DJs regularly appearing during the weekend.
There aren't many restaurants in the Big Apple that match the experience of dining at Gramercy Tavern. With a set five-course tasting menu including small plates of scallops, risotto, and duck available in the dining room, the front-facing tavern area provides a-la-carte options with every main course, such as a braised short rib, fried swordfish, or a half roast chicken, complemented by a superb natural wine list few restaurants can match, and all at affordable prices.
These ten New York restaurants are amongst the city's best. However, there is far more to explore in the city. If you're after a Thai restaurant, Me Thai in Park Slope is highly recommended. Teranga in the Africa Center, within walking distance of Central Park, offers a wonderfully authentic taste of West Africa.
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