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New York City’s 18 Greatest Restaurants

New York is undoubtedly a restaurant city. In a place where most people live in small apartments with even tinier kitchens, restaurants aren’t just a convenience—they stand in for New Yorkers’ living rooms and backyards, giving residents spaces to gather outside their homes.

While there are restaurants on every city block, there are some that make such an impact on the city’s culture that it’s hard to imagine New York without them. Some have been around so long that they’ve become synonymous with a cuisine or neighborhood, such as Grand Central Oyster Bar and its 100-plus years inside its namesake train station. Some are newcomers that immediately expand the restaurant landscape, like Rangoon’s singular approach to Burmese food in Brooklyn. And some, like Harlem’s Red Rooster, support their community as much as their community supports them.

These are the qualities that make up The Greats: a list of 18 restaurants, ranging from laidback to dressed up, that define what it means to eat, live, and love in New York City.

Una imagen de Otlogo
Marion Brewer and Alexandra Ilyashov
19 restaurantes
Actualizado: 01 de agosto de 2022
Restaurantes:Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, Cote NYC, Grand Central Oyster Bar
Rango de precio:$$$ - $$$$
Gastronomía:Francesa/japonesa, Asador, Pescados y Mariscos
Zonas:Midtown West, Chelsea, Midtown East
Una foto del restaurante Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare

Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare

$$$$
Francesa/japonesa
Midtown West
4.7
295 opiniones
This tasting menu restaurant launched in a space attached to the grocery store with which it still shares a name (Brooklyn Fare) on Schermerhorn Street in pre-development Brooklyn. Its unorthodox location, combined with chef César Ramirez’s luxurious, truffle-laden menu at a fittingly high price point, forced recognition that the borough could finally compete with Manhattan’s fine dining restaurants, earning it three MICHELIN stars. It has since relocated to Manhattan, but the experience is the same—an expensive ticket that pays off in plates of uni, lobster, and a front-row seat to watch the chef at work.

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Una foto del restaurante Cote NYC

Cote NYC

$$$$
Asador
Chelsea
4.6
175 opiniones
Combining the service standards of a fine dining restaurant, the meticulous sourcing of a steakhouse, and the flavors of Korean barbecue, Cote is the quintessential modern MICHELIN-starred NYC restaurant. Expertly trained servers grill house-aged beef on custom tabletop grills which diners then eat with pickled vegetables and lettuce, all while enjoying the restaurant’s stellar list of wines, often offered in large format bottles.

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Una foto del restaurante Grand Central Oyster Bar

Grand Central Oyster Bar

$$$$
Pescados y Mariscos
Midtown East
4.2
6670 opiniones
There are few restaurants more iconic than Grand Central Oyster Bar, located in New York’s equally iconic Grand Central Station, sharing the building’s glorious scale and dramatic vaulted tile ceiling. With U-shaped lunch counters spanning end to end in part of the room and red-checked tablecloths covering wooden tables in the dining room, the place feels like it did when it opened in 1913. And while the clientele might dress differently now, all come for the reasons people have for a century: a quick bowl of chowder before exploring the city, or a dozen oysters and a cocktail before catching a train home.

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Una foto del restaurante Hearth

Hearth

$$$$
Italiana
East Village
4.6
3208 opiniones
Hearth, with its single word name, unadorned East Village dining room, and farm-to-table philosophy, helped usher in an era of other ingredient-driven dining rooms after opening in 2003. But Hearth’s faithfulness to simple Italian cooking, along with its excellent service, has ensured that it outlasted almost all of them. If you’ve had bone broth lately, a nutritional powerhouse experiencing a recent rebound, thank Hearth’s chef, James Beard Award-winning Marco Canora, who serves up the healing liquid in a to-go cup here. The restaurant’s appeal lies in its consistently excellent food: the cacio e pepe polenta is freshly milled, the beef and ricotta meatballs are grass-fed, and the vegetables are green market fresh.

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Una foto del restaurante Ivan Ramen

Ivan Ramen

$$$$
Asiática contemporáneo
Lower East Side
4.8
2754 opiniones
You may recognize the name Ivan Orkin from Netflix’s Emmy-nominated series Chef’s Table, which tracked his obsessive pursuit of perfect noodles from his time in Tokyo to his opening of Ivan Ramen on the Lower East Side. Orkin’s odyssey has paid off; his noodle shop is consistently listed as one of the city’s best for both its technical execution of the dish and the sheer variety on its menu. Diners can choose from six different types of ramen, differentiated by broth, as well as equally delicious sides and starters such as steamed pork buns and Japanese fried chicken.

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Una foto del restaurante Red Rooster Harlem

Red Rooster Harlem

$$$$
Americana
Harlem
4.7
9052 opiniones
James Beard Award-winning celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson once claimed, “...restaurants are the soul of a neighborhood,” a belief that drove him to forgo fine dining and instead, open up a community-focused soul food spot in Harlem in 2010. From a menu that nods to the neighborhood’s culinary history to the space he made for local artists to showcase their work and local musicians to play, Red Rooster always went beyond just serving food. When the pandemic struck, Samuelsson immediately partnered with World Central Kitchen, chef and humanitarian José Andrés’s non-profit, to serve free meals to anyone who needed them. Now that the restaurant is back to business as usual, New Yorkers can once again head uptown to enjoy the famous yard bird—aka fried chicken—deviled eggs, and other comfort food favorites.

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Una foto del restaurante Smith & Wollensky - New York

Smith & Wollensky - New York

$$$$
Americana
Midtown East
4.5
8240 opiniones
In a town dripping with beloved classic steakhouses, Smith & Wollensky stands out. Everything about the restaurant exudes vintage luxury, from the presence of a doorman to the white-coated servers to the menu of pitch-perfect steakhouse fare such as a full raw bar and sides like creamed spinach and potatoes au gratin. And of course, lots of beef, which is what really sets Smith & Wollensky apart: The restaurant’s dry-aging expertise is still the gold standard, often imitated but never duplicated. Come hungry and order the beloved 26-ounce prime rib, along with several martinis to wash it down.

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Una foto del restaurante TAO Downtown - New York

TAO Downtown - New York

$$$$
Fusión/ecléctica
Chelsea
4.5
5463 opiniones

To many, TAO Downtown resembles a Vegas nightclub. But it might be more accurate to say that many Vegas nightclubs actually resemble TAO—the hybrid club and restaurant pioneered the genre and exported it all over the world. Now, TAO is the place to have a night, whether it’s for bachelorette and bachelor parties, birthdays, or other celebrations. The restaurant is equal parts show and service, with tables tiered into steps on one end of the dining room so diners can survey the scene below them while enjoying potstickers and Peking duck. Those who want to continue the night can head to the nightclub, hidden in the same building, where hopes of celebrity-spotting and high-priced bottle service have helped TAO become one of the highest grossing restaurants in New York.


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Una foto del restaurante The Odeon

The Odeon

$$$$
Francesa
TriBeCa - Downtown
4.8
3000 opiniones
The Odeon has been an anchor for Lower Manhattan since it opened in 1980, long before Tribeca was a trendy neighborhood. The restaurant has weathered the ups and downs of several recessions, 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, and now a global pandemic, all while remaining a symbol of downtown cool that counts celebrities as regulars. It is, in the truest sense of the word, timeless—providing a stylish and comfortable room (its French bistroesque interiors influenced restaurant design for decades) to enjoy comforting bistro classics such as frisée salad and roast chicken while doing some of Manhattan’s best people watching. 

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Una foto del restaurante The Smith - Midtown

The Smith - Midtown

$$$$
Americana
Midtown East
4.5
7077 opiniones
When The Smith opened in the East Village back in the aughts, it didn’t scream “future chain.” And that’s exactly what makes this mini-chain so endearing, even after its expansion within and beyond New York City. The menu, which at dinner includes everything from a solid burger to a pot of mussels to a blackened pork chop, is reliable, reasonably priced, and served in a well-designed room. It works for client lunches in Midtown, after-work drinks in NoMad, pre-theater dinners near Lincoln Center, and weekend brunches in the East Village; all reasons why it’s become a vital part of New York dining life. 

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Una foto del restaurante Casa Mono

Casa Mono

$$$$
Española
Union Square
4.6
2216 opiniones
Long a standout when it comes to a reliably excellent meal in the Union Square vicinity, Casa Mono has been turning out consistently superb tapas since 2003, with rave New York Times reviews and a MICHELIN star to prove it. The kitchen, led by longtime chef-owner Andy Nusser, whips up classic small plates that will transport you to Spain—think pan con tomate, bacalao croquetas, razor clams a la plancha, and topnotch jamon iberico. Larger plates are equally delightful, be it something more traditional such as fideos with chorizo and clams or unique combos like bone marrow served with smoked trout roe, horseradish, and everything bagel spice. End on a sweet note with the crème brulée-like crema Catalana con buñuelos, a rich caramelized vanilla custard trimmed with deep-fried bay leaves. 

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Una foto del restaurante Kappo Masa

Kappo Masa

$$$$
Japonesa
Upper East Side
4.7
500 opiniones
Celebrated chef Masa Takayama's fifth fine-dining destination, Kappo Masa, opened in collaboration with art world kingpin Larry Gagosian, is suited for special occasions. Let the kitchen choose for you with the nine-course $350 chef's tasting menu or sushi omakase, which comes with 15-18 pieces for $245. Or, choose your own adventure by going a la carte, starting with the menu's chilled section, opting for toro wasabi ceviche or deep sea snapper ponzu, and warmer picks such as spicy dancing shrimp or roasted sea urchin served on the half shell. For the main event, mix and match from the meat-focused hibachi grill section, various fried rice dishes, and sushi. For a taste of the Masa mini-empire on a (relative) budget, the two-course bento box lunch special ranges from $42 to $98 depending on entree choice; there's also a $195, 13-piece lunchtime omakase. 

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Una foto del restaurante Rangoon - Brooklyn

Rangoon - Brooklyn

$$$$
Burmesa
Prospect Heights
3.9
154 opiniones
One of the city’s best spots for Burmese food almost didn’t open through a combination of delays compounded by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (more on that here). But fans of Burmese cuisine and the newly converted are relieved that the creativity and grit of owners Myo Moe and Daniel Bendjy have kept the restaurant afloat, serving a small menu of reimagined Burmese dishes that include the seasonally available tea leaf fried rice and tamarind-laced fish curry.

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Una foto del restaurante River Cafe

River Cafe

$$$$
Americana
DUMBO/Vinegar Hill
4.8
8161 opiniones
When owner Michael “Buzzy” O’Keeffe opened The River Café in 1977, DUMBO was a desolate neighborhood, full of underutilized waterfront warehouses, but he saw potential in the sweeping views of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. In many ways, the restaurant has always been ahead of its time, with chefs—among them, over the years: Larry Forgione, Charlie Palmer, and David Burke—basing fine-dining menus off locally sourced and foraged ingredients. As the neighborhood has grown around it, the MICHELIN-starred restaurant has kept up, remaining a destination for elegant dishes such as pan-roasted venison served over soft chestnut polenta, dressed with ruby port natural jus.  

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Una foto del restaurante Fonda Chelsea

Fonda Chelsea

$$$$
Mexicana
Chelsea
4.5
864 opiniones
Chef and owner Roberto Santibañez, who hails from Mexico City and trained at Paris’s Le Cordon Bleu, serves up a crowd-pleasing mix of familiar and lesser-seen dishes alongside tasty margaritas at both of Fonda’s locations. Crunchy cheesy appetizers such as queso fundido, flautas, and taquitos are perfect for sharing (and kid-friendly, too). Pescatarians will appreciate picks like ceviche or crab croquettes served with a trio of sauces: avocado serrano, pickled jalapeño mayo, and habanero roasted tomato. For something lighter, there’s a strong salad selection—starring ingredients such as jicama, watermelon, and apple—and hearty sharable entrees with a strong Oaxacan bent, spanning various regional Mexican cuisines.

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Una foto del restaurante Casa Ora

Casa Ora

$$$$
Venezolana
Williamsburg
4.9
329 opiniones
At this MICHELIN-recognized East Williamsburg spot, the creative Venezuelan menu comes courtesy of chef Isbelis Diaz, while the unique cocktails are devised by her son, Ivo Diaz, a former mixologist at The Nomad and Eleven Madison Park. Creative dishes include appetizers like beef tongue with honey pickled onion, tamarind, sweet plantain, cassava, and cilantro dust and entrees such as charcoal-seared octopus paella. Don’t miss whimsical drinks like the Purple Banana, made with tequila, dry vermouth, blue pea tea, sweet plantain, lemon, and egg white. In addition to celebrating their homeland’s cuisine, the mother-son duo is committed to supporting Venezuela by donating a portion of Casa Ora’s revenue to families forced to seek asylum from the country due to insufficient access to food, clean water, and government protection.

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Una foto del restaurante Faun

Faun

$$$$
Italiana
Prospect Heights
4.6
19 opiniones
Enjoy creative Italian-leaning fare in a charming, leafy setting at Prospect Heights’s Faun. Here, the seasonally driven menu, created by Vinegar Hill House alum Brian Leth, rotates often, showcasing richer fare such as chicken liver crostini or lobster, kombu, and gruyere spaghetti. Rest assured there are lighter options, too, like winter citrus salad with passion fruit vinaigrette and a grilled cabbage and radish-based twist on the Caesar salad. You can’t go wrong whether seated indoors or outdoors at Faun. At the former, there’s a handsome lengthy bar and cozy interiors. And when you’re craving a magical alfresco setting, Faun delivers, thanks to its lush garden patio. 

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Una foto del restaurante Aunts et Uncles

Aunts et Uncles

$$$$
Vegana
Prospect Lefferts Gardens
4.7
59 opiniones
Creative flavorful Caribbean classics and comfort food—that just so happen to be vegan—are dished up at Aunts et Uncles, an all-day cafe-restaurant from husband-and-wife team and first-time restaurateurs, Michael and Nicole Nicholas. The menu showcases Caribbean staples such as vegan Jamaican beef patties and a bake and saltfish that substitutes hearts of palm for fish. Aunts et Uncles opened in 2020, garnering a rave New York Times review in 2021, yet its origin story stretches back to 2016 when the couple first began whipping up vegan iterations of beloved Caribbean food at home. The labor of love was well worth it, quickly becoming a buzzing gathering spot for the local community.

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Una foto del restaurante Mario's Restaurant - Arthur Ave.

Mario's Restaurant - Arthur Ave.

$$$$
Italiana
Bronx
4.7
898 opiniones
Owned by the Migliucci family for five generations, Mario’s is a deeply personal restaurant. The interior is decorated with Italian landscapes painted by a distant relative, and until his passing in April, diners could expect to be greeted by patriarch Joseph Migliucci when they arrived. Which explains why for more than 100 years, neighbors and regulars from all over the tri-state area have flocked to the restaurant for hearty portions of Italian classics such as chicken parmigiana and homemade lasagna. Now in the care of Migliucci’s daughter, Regina, very little has changed except for one menu dish: the restaurant’s pizza, long a well-known, off menu-item, has finally found its place in print.

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