Top restaurants in New York

Where to eat in New York

A world-class culinary scene meets multicultural comfort food in New York. From street food to haute cuisine, it’s here, it’s excellent and it’s in abundance. Explore this gastronomic paradise with our New York holidays, offering a taste of the city's diverse and exceptional culinary offerings. This trend-leading city is no different when it comes to eating; food trucks are scattered around town, serving lobster rolls, Korean tacos and much more. Here’s our guide to the best restaurants in New York.

  1. Prune
  2. Artichoke
  3. Oyster Bar
  4. Delmonico’s
  5. Zenon Taverna
  6. Al Di Là
  7. Casa Enrique
  8. Balthazar
  9. Mercer Kitchen
  10. Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too
  11. Sarita’s Mac & Cheese (S’Mac)
  12. Babbo
  13. Buvette
  14. Gramercy Tavern
  15. Yakitori Totto
  16. La Grenouille 

New Yorkers take their food very seriously, and are obsessed with new cuisines, new dishes and new restaurants. You can generally find whatever you want, wherever (and whenever) you want.

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Prune

Dinky but adventurous and full of surprises, this modern American bistro on the Lower East Side delivers one of the city’s most exciting dining experiences, with dishes such as sweetbreads wrapped in bacon, seared sea bass with Berbere spices, and buttermilk ice cream with pistachio puff pastry. A choice of over ten Bloody Marys gives weekend brunch a bit of a kick.

Nearby attraction: Julie’s vintage shop

2. Artichoke

Cheap holidays to New York all feature that iconic NYC budget snack: the pizza slice. It’s done to perfection at this tiny, low-key East Village joint. The late-night pizza slices to take away in the early hours are fabulous, with just a few choices: sumptuous cheese-laden Sicilian ($4.75), Margherita ($4.75), crab ($5) or the trademark artichoke-spinach pie, topped with a super-creamy sauce ($6).

Nearby attraction: Union Square Park

3. Oyster Bar

Down in the vaulted cellars of Grand Central station, the fabled Oyster Bar draws Midtown office workers for lunch and seafood-lovers for dinner, choosing from a staggering list of daily catches including barramundi and steamed Maine lobster. Prices are moderate to expensive, but if you’re on a budget you can always choose chowder, a pan roast or a sandwich from the counter, and still get the Oyster Bar experience.

Nearby attraction: International Center of Photography Museum

4. Delmonico’s

Many a million-dollar deal has been made at this fancy 1837 landmark restaurant, which features pillars from Pompeii. Classics like lobster Newburg (market price) and succulent steaks (from $49) all hit the spot; finish with a baked Alaska ($13) - the dessert created here in 1867.

Nearby attraction: Wall Street

5. Zenon Taverna

Astoria, a neighbourhood in Queens, is filled with cheerful, family-friendly Greek restaurants along the lines of this affordable spot. Charred octopus ($19), grilled meatballs ($11) and taramasalata dip will get your meal off on the right foot at the super-friendly Greek-Cypriot tavern; whole fish or one of the lamb specials ($28) keep it headed in the right direction.

Nearby attraction: Astoria Park

6. Al Di Là

Stand-out New York restaurants aren’t confined to Manhattan: Venetian country cooking is at its finest at this husband-and-wife-run restaurant on Brooklyn’s Fifth Avenue. Highlights include beet ravioli ($13), Swiss chard gnocchi ($16) and braised rabbit ($29). Expect an hour-long wait for a table, though (no reservations).

Nearby attraction: High Dive - a popular neighbourhood taproom

7. Casa Enrique

A Michelin-starred Mexican restaurant – a rarity in NYC – can be found near Long Island City’s main stretch in Queens. Made-to-order guacamole, tongue tacos and roast pork ribs highlight a menu of homespun regional dishes

Nearby attraction: MoMA PS1

8. Balthazar

Still one of the hottest reservations in town, Balthazar - between Crosby St and Broadway – has tastefully ornate Parisian decor and stylish clientele to keep your eyes busy until the food arrives. Then you can savour highlights such as the fresh oysters ($24/dozen) or exquisite pastries.

Nearby attraction: Shopping galore

9. Mercer Kitchen

This hip basement hangout and restaurant for scenesters entices with the casual culinary creations of star chef Jean Georges Vongerichten, who makes ample use of his raw bar and wood-burning oven. Brunch items between $15 and $25 and dinner plates from $25.

Nearby attraction: The Bitter End live music club

10. Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too

Tuck into some excellent soul-food at this Southern kitchen with a 1950s-themed interior. Serving up addictive North Carolina ribs ($18.95) and some of the best fried chicken ($17.95) in the city. Wash it down with homemade iced tea.

Nearby attraction: Central Park

11. Sarita’s Mac & Cheese (S’Mac)

Italian-American restaurants in New York deliver the ultimate comfort food. Indulge your macaroni and cheese cravings at this homey joint, with ten creative varieties on offer, blending cheddar, gruyère, brie and goat’s cheese with herbs and meats. Pick your portion sizes: nosh, major munch or mongo ($6.25–21).

Nearby attraction: East Village bars

12. Babbo

Some of the best pasta in the city; this mecca for Italian food-lovers is a must. Try the mint love letters ($23) or goose liver ravioli ($26) – they’re worth the pinch on your wallet. Find it at Waverly Place, between MacDougal St and Sixth Ave.

Nearby attraction: Washington Square Park

13. Buvette

An exquisite but casual and reasonably priced French restaurant. Serving the best egg breakfasts in the city, tempting small plates like salted butter and anchovies and beautifully crafted classics like coq au vin and cassoulet (mains $14–18). Sit in the garden if it’s warm enough.

Nearby attraction: The Friends apartment

14. Gramercy Tavern

One of NYC’s best restaurants; its neo-colonial decor, exquisite New American cuisine and perfect service make for a memorable meal. The seasonal tasting menus are well worth the steep prices ($134 three-course prix fixe), but you can also drop in for a drink or cheaper meal in the casual front room.

Nearby attraction: Broadway

15. Yakitori Totto

This popular upstairs hideaway is perfect for late-night snacking – though you may miss out on some of the more esoteric grilled skewers (soft knee bone served rare, anyone?), which can be gone by this time. Chicken heart, skirt steak and chicken thigh with scallion all burst with flavour (most $3–5 each). Reasonable set lunches, too ($11–14).

Nearby attraction: Studio 54 theatre

16. La Grenouille

The haute French cuisine here has melted hearts and tantalized palates since 1962. All the classics are done to perfection, and the service is gracious. Its prix-fixe lunch is $68, and dinner is $172 per person. Men, don’t forget your jacket or blazer.

Nearby attraction: Madison Avenue

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