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Restaurants You Need to Try Right Now in NYC (2023)

Restaurants You Need to Try Right Now in NYC (2023)

Are you looking for the best restaurants in New York City? In that case, you came to the right place. You can’t deny that New York has some of the best restaurants in the whole world, and it’s definitely the place to be if you’re a foodie. Since New York City has endless options for places to eat, picking a restaurant can be difficult.

To make it easier for you, I’ve created a list of my personal all-time favorite restaurants. I always recommend these to friends and people who come to visit. They are not listed in any particular order. Enjoy!

Here you can read about the best pizza spots in New York.

Cecconi’s – The best Italian food

Cecconi’s is one of the best Italian restaurants in New York and is located in Dumbo, Brooklyn. I personally enjoy taking an afternoon or sunset walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to later enjoy a dinner at Cecconi’s. If you get seated by a window or outside, you’ll get a magical view of Manhattan’s skyline.

Address: 55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone number: +1 718 650 3900

The Odeon – Great New York vibe

best restaurants in new york the odeon
Image courtesy of The Odeon

The Odeon has this great New York vibe. Every time I come here, I get this feeling of “being in New York surrounded by New Yorkers”. This place has been around since 1980 and is located in Tribeca. I would recommend coming here for the atmosphere but also the good food and drinks.

Address: 145 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013
Phone number: +1 212 233 0507

Balthazar – Luxury and romantic dinner spot

Balthazar is a very well-known restaurant in New York City where both celebrities, New Yorkers, and tourist eat, and they never seem to get tired of it. Here you can enjoy some luxury dishes such as moules frites and cote de boeuf. Balthazar has the same owner as The Odeon and Pastis, which are also included on this list.

Address: 80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
Phone number: +1 212 965 1414

TAO – Perfect for a birthday dinner

If you’re looking to celebrate a birthday or start a fun night out, TAO is the place to be. This restaurant has a very festive and trendy feel and serves amazing Asian food. They have two locations in the city, one on the Upper East Side and one in the Meatpacking District.

Address: 92 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Phone number: +1 212 888 2724

Katz’s Delicatessen – The best pastrami sandwiches

Katz's Delicatessen Pastrami Sandwich best restaurants in New York

Katz’s Delicatessen is located in the Lower East Side and is a must-visit if you love to eat meat. This iconic restaurant has been around since 1888 and is famous for having the best pastrami sandwiches in New York City. You might recognize Katz’s from the movie When Harry Met Sally.

Address: 205 East Houston St, New York, NY 10002
Phone number: +1 212 254 2246

Buvette – Cozy brunch spot in West Village

This intimate and cozy restaurant in West Village is one of my absolute favorites in New York. Buvette is the perfect spot if you’re in the mood for a brunch on the weekend or a cozy dinner.

Address: 42 Grooce St, New York, NY 100014
Phone number: +1 212 255 3590

Catch – Dinner before going out

Catch is a trendy seafood restaurant located in the Meatpacking District. Come here for good service, amazing food, and a festive atmosphere. Catch will later at night transform into a nightclub which makes this the perfect place to start a night out.

Address: 21 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014
Phone number: +1 212 392 5978

French Louie – French restaurant in Brooklyn

best restaurants in new york french louie
Image courtesy of French Louie

I can strongly recommend French Louie if you’re in the mood for French food. This restaurant is located in Downtown Brooklyn and serves the absolute best vines and French dishes such as oysters, chicken liver pate, and steak tartar.

Address: 320 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone number: +1 718 935 1200

Thai Diner – Incredible Thai food

Just like it sounds, this is a mix of an American diner and a Thai food restaurant. Thai Diner even got a Michelin star for their delicious food. Here you can enjoy many great dishes but according to me, the best Pad Thai in the city.

Address: 186 Mott St, New York, NY 100012
Phone number: +1 646 559 4140

Surfbar – Floor covered with sand

This used to be my go-to place when I lived in Williamsburg, and I loved bringing both friends and visitors here. This is a real beach restaurant with the floor covered in sand, and walls covered with surf boards and other beach items. Surfbar has amazing drinks, the best shrimp tacos, and other great seafood inspired dishes. During the warmer months you can get seated in their backyard.

Address: 139 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Phone number: +1 718 302 4441

Via Carota – Italiensk restaurang

Italian restaurant in the West Village

Via Carota is hand down one of the best Italian restaurants in New York City. This restaurant has a very cozy vibe and is located in the West Village.

Address: 51 Grove St, New York, NY 10014

The Butchers Daughter – Healthy and vegetarian

best restaurants in new york brunch vegetarian the butchers daughter

I really enjoy going to The Butchers Daughter for a weekend brunch. Their menu is completely vegetarian and have a wide selection of dishes such as avocado toast, salads, smoothies, and even some vegan options. They have multiple locations around the city, but my personal favorite is in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Address: 271 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (also located in West Village and Nolita)
Phone number: +1 347 763 1421

Luke’s Lobster – Amazing lobster rolls for a good price

Image courtesy of Luke’s Lobster

If you love seafood you need to try a lobster roll when you visit New York City. This is one of my absolute favorite American dishes. Luke’s Lobster is scattered all over NYC and has the most amazing lobster rolls for a great price.

Address: You can find Luke’s Lobster in Dumbo, Financial District, Midtown, Upper West Side, and Upper East Side

SERRA by Birreria – Rooftop restaurant on top of Eataly

Image courtesy of Eataly

You can find this beautiful rooftop restaurant on top of Eataly. Come here to enjoy some amazing food in their beautifully decorated space.

Address: 200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010
Phone number: +1 212 937 8910

Jack’s Wife Freda – Perfect for brunch and people-watching

Jack's wife freda best restaurants in new york soho
Image courtesy of Jack’s Wife Freda

Brunch is a very popular weekend activity among New Yorkers and a must when you visit NYC. Jack’s Wife Freda is a popular brunch spot and is located in SoHo. Here you can enjoy their very delicious food as well as some fun people-watching if you’re seated outside. Today, they also have locations in Chelsea, West Village, and Williamsburg.

Address: 226 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012
Phone number: +1 212 510 8550

Aska – Swedish tasting menu with Michelin star

Image courtesy of Aska

If you have a love for food and have the budget for it, you need to try Aska’s Michelin star tasting menu. Aska offers a 12-course tasting menu rooted in Nordic sensibilities cooked with only locally handpicked ingredients. This the most mind-blowing and delicious food I’ve ever had in my entire life (I’m not kidding). The tasting menu costs $295 and the wine pairing $195.

Address: 47 South 5th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Phone number: +1 929 337 6792

The River Café – Beautiful view over Manhattan’s skyline

Why not combine a visit to one of the best restaurants in New York with a beautiful view of Manhattan’s skyline! You can do both at The River Café, who got a Michelin star for their delicious food. This super romantic restaurant is located right under the Brooklyn Bridge in Dumbo, Brooklyn. If you end up going, make sure to try their famous Chocolate Brooklyn Bridge desert.

Address: 1 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone number: +1 718 522 5200

Pastis – A very popular French restaurant

Pastis best restaurants in new york
Image courtesy of Louise Palmberg

This is a super trendy and popular French restaurant located in the Meatpacking District. Here you can enjoy some delicious French food such as oysters and boeuf bourguignon. Pastis is extremely popular so make sure to make a reservation before going.

Address: 52 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014
Phone number: +1 929 337 6792

Red Rooster – Great restaurant in Harlem

Red Rooster is a restaurant located in the heart of Harlem and is owned by the Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson who you might recognize from Top Chef and other tv shows. Red Rooster serves comfort food that celebrates the roots of the American cuisine and the neighborhood’s diverse culinary traditions. This is a very popular spot so make sure to make a reservation in advance. Come here for delicious food, great vibes, and on certain days live music.

Address: 310 Lenox Avenue, Harlem NY 10027
Phone number: +1 212 792 9001

Bunna Cafe – Ethiopian food in Bushwick

Bunna Cafe New York Vegan Best restaurants in NYC Etiopian
Image courtesy of Bunna Cafe

Bunna Cafe is a restaurant in Bushwick, Brooklyn that serves the best Ethiopian food. I love coming here for just the experience of sharing plates with your table and eating with your hands. Their food is so good and completely plant based.

Address: 1084 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Phone number: +1 347 295 2227

Sadelle’s – Great brunch spot

This is one of my favorite spots for a weekend brunch. Sadelle’s has everything from pigs in a blanket, salads, and oysters to delicious breakfast dishes like avocado toast, eggs benedict and sandwiches. Their French toast is also one of my personal favorites.

Address: 463 West Broadway, New York, NY 11012

PLANTA Queen – Vegan sushi

Image courtesy of Planta Queen

Planta Queen is a dream for all vegetarians or vegans out there. Here you can enjoy some all vegan dishes such as sushi, dumplings, noodles, and more. One of my personal favorite dishes is a salmon look-a-like sushi, the ahi watermelon nigiri. It’s made from watermelon instead of salmon.

Address: 15 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001 (also located in Williamsburg and Soho)
Phone number: +1 917 675 7700

Cafe Cluny – French restaurant in West Village

Café Cluny is a restaurant located in the West Village and has a very cozy and intimate vibe. Here you can enjoy some delightful food inspired by the French and American kitchen. I would recommend coming here for dinner or brunch on the weekend.

Address: 284 West 12th Street, New York NY 10014
Phone number: +1 212 255 6900

Lilia – Italian food in Williamsburg

If you happen to be in Williamsburg, you need to try the food at Lilia. Here you can enjoy some amazing Italian dishes such as gnocchi and ravioli.

Address: 567 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Phone number: +1 718 576 3095

Brooklyn Dumpling Shop – Unique experience

Brooklyn dumpling shop new york best restaurants in nyc
Image courtesy of Brooklyn Dumpling Shop

A visit to Brooklyn Dumping Shop will give you a very unique experience. You order your food from your phone, or on the kiosk inside to later pick it up from a wall filled with lockers. The owner of Brooklyn Dumpling Shop said that he sees dumplings more like a sandwich. So, whatever he would put in a sandwich he would put in a dumpling. Here you can order cheeseburger or pepperoni pizza dumplings, spring rolls, bowls or even dumplings with dessert flavors such as peanut butter and jelly or chocolate.

Address: 131 1st Avenue, New York NY 10003
Phone number: +1 917 409 1691

Dirt Candy – Vegan tasting menu

Dirt Candy is located in the Lower East Side and offers a plant based tasting menu for $95. This is one of the best vegan restaurants in the city, but also one of few that got a Michelin star.

Address: 86 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002
Phone number: +1 212 228 7732

Little Ruby’s Cafe – The perfect brunch spot

Image courtesy of Little Ruby’s Cafe

Little Ruby’s Café is the perfect place for brunch or breakfast. Their menu truly has something for everyone. Here you can eat everything from pasta and hamburger to avocado toast and classic brunch food. One of their most popular dishes is their Bonte burger.

Address: 219 Mulberry Street, New York, NY 100012 (they have two more locations in NYC)
Phone number: +1 212 925 5755

Lucien – French bistro

This little goldmine is located in the East Village and is the perfect place for you to enjoy some delicious French food. One of my favorites!

Address: 14 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10009
Phone number: +1 212 260 6481

More information about the best restaurants in New York

How do I book a table at a restaurant in New York?

If you want to book a table in New York you can either call the restaurant, or use an app. The apps I recommend and personally use are Open Table and Resy.

How much do I tip in New York?

Tipping can be confusing if you’re not from the United States. Tip is important to the restaurant staff since it makes a big part of their total salary, so if you’re happy with your experience make sure to leave a tip. The tip is normally 15-20% but in NYC it’s more common to tip 20%.

An easy way to calculate the tip is to look at your receipt and take the tax amount which is 8.875% and double it. Then the tip amount will end up being around 18%.

Don’t forget to check the receipt in case the tip is already included. Sometimes they automatically add an 18% tip on your receipt if you are with a big group. You can find this charge by looking for words like service charge, or gratuity on the receipt.

What do you think is the best restaurant in New York City? Leave a comment!