51 NYC Restaurants to Try for the Best Foodie Frenzy Ever!
51 NYC Restaurants to Try for the Best Foodie Frenzy Ever
New York City is known for its bright lights, stunning sights, magnificent skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, history, and tough-as-nails vibe - but did you know that the Big Apple is also a foodie paradise? From the cheap restaurants in Times Square to the best NYC bars for singles, you'll find cuisine from just about every culture that can be savored with any budget? Even better, many NYC restaurants serve authentic dishes made from well-sourced ingredients in a chill ambiance that set them apart. Be it Italian, Asian, Vegan, when it comes to food in NYC, your greatest challenge will be deciding on which restaurant you like best!
Rooftop Restaurants NYC Foodies Recommend
There’s something magical about the rooftop bars NYC Manhattan locals flock - dining high above the Big Apple amid breathtaking views of the cityscape. Relaxing and enjoying a nice meal with a glass of wine while overlooking the sights below is truly is one of those “musts” to check off your list of things to do in NYC. If you’re searching for the best spots to gather and break bread, follow this complete guide to the 51 NYC restaurants to try for the best foodie experience ever!
1 | Fradei | Fradei is a tiny spot with just a few tables inside, but it’s definitely worth squeezing into - if only for the thrill of it. They serve a secretive five-course menu that you only get to see once it arrives at your dinner table. All you know beforehand is that the dishes are seasonal and use local ingredients. And we’d be remiss not to mention the excellent dining playlist and selection of wines available.
WHERE: 99 S Portland Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217 | WHO: 347-379-0660
2 | Rezdôra | Before founding Rezdôra, Chef Stefano Secchi worked at Osteria Francescana ranked number 1 in the world in 2018. Inspired by the Italian region of Emilia Romagna, Rezdôra serves a grand selection of pasta complemented by local vegetables, traditionally prepared protein and Northern Italian wines.
WHERE: 27 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003 | WHO: 646-692-9090
3 | Francie | Francie, one of the younger restaurants on this list, opened less than a year ago by chef Christopher Cipollone and owner-operator John Winterman. Inspired by European flavors, you’d be mistaken to think that Francie is one of those uptight fine dining restaurants. Sure, the prices are a bit steep but the place has a pretty relaxed vibe where you can just drop in for a few drinks and snacks.
WHERE: 134 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11249 | WHO: 718-218-7572
4 | Roberta’s | Roberta’s has been christened the “most important pizza in New York,” so this list wouldn’t be complete without it. I’m sure you’ve already seen their frozen pizzas in your supermarket but believe us that you need to try their freshly made pizza. Roberta’s menu is full of creative pizzas, so you really can’t go wrong with any choice.
WHERE: 230 Park Ave, New York, NY 10169 | WHO: 646-747-0820
5 | Joe’s Pizza | Joe from Joe’s Pizza originally hails from Italy, the birthplace of pizza itself. And at 75 years, he’s still running the place (it’s been over 50 years at this point). Talk about passion. Joe’s Pizza is a regular mention in pretty much every top 10 New York City restaurants article for a reason. It’s just got enough grease, a sweet sauce on top, and the mozzarella is goey in the best way.
WHERE: 1435 Broadway, New York, NY 10018 | WHO: 646-559-4878
6 | Empellon Al Pastor | Home-made tortilla tacos, snacks like chalupa and pork fried rice, and cocktails aplenty. All served in a super casual environment. What’s not to like?
WHERE: 132 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009 | WHO: 646-833-7039
7 | Los Tacos No. 1 | So for the longest time, the West Coast has us beat when it comes to Mexican food. But lucky for us, three friends from Mexico and California joined forces to bring that authentic Mexican flavor to the East Coast.
WHERE: 75 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011 | WHO: 212-256-0343
8 | Gran Eléctrica | Inspired by their travels abroad, three owners came together to create an authentic dining experience inspired by Mexican street fare. To keep their menu rooted in authentic Mexican cooking, Gran Eléctrica proudly emphasizes hand-made ingredients on-site and a Mexican flavored beverage program.
WHERE: 5 Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 | WHO: 718-852-2700
9 | Cosme | Cosme is Mexico City chef Enrique Olvera’s baby. This restaurant serves contemporary cuisine inspired by Mexican flavors and traditions. But aside from the food, a few things set Cosme apart on the surface. One, this Mexican spot is not filled with your typical Mexican decorations like sombreros. Two, it’s situated in a former strip joint. Don’t let that put you off though, the crowd of New Yorkers that pack the place every night certainly aren’t.
WHERE: 35 E 21st St, New York, NY 10010 | WHO: 212-913-9659
10 | Ruta Oaxaca Mexican Cuisine | You can get plenty of classic Mexican dishes at Ruta Oaxaca, such as tacos, but what they truly shine in is moles. You can get them in many varieties, each a different color like yellow, dark brown or green. And on the beverage side, Ruta Oaxaca specializes in mezcal cocktails.
WHERE: 35-03 Broadway, Queens, NY 11106 | WHO: 929-349-1228
11 | Rangoon | Rangoon was founded by Chef Myo Moe, and serves traditional Burmese dishes from recipes that were passed onto her from multiple generations. And in terms of presentation, Rangoon takes inspiration from the idea of a bistro, a small restaurant where everyone can afford to come and enjoy simple meals.
WHERE: 500 Prospect Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11238 | WHO: 917-442-0100
12 | Sushi Noz | Inspired by childhood memories of extraordinary fish from his grandfather's seafood company in Hokkaido, Sushi Noz is Chef Nozomo Abe’s attempt to transport you from New York City to Japan. The restaurant itself is designed to resemble an ancient Kyoto temple and the sushi counter is meant to act as a stage where Abe can perform his art.
WHERE: 181 E 78th St, New York, NY 10075 | WHO: 917-338-1792
13 | Gentle Perch | Gentle Perch has a relatively simple formula: Korean flavors mixed with Southern barbecue. And we can attest that it’s a match made in heaven.
WHERE: 112 Graham Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206 | WHO: 929-298-0041
14 | XI’AN FAMOUS FOODS | If you're craving some Chinese noodles on a budget, look no further than Xi'an Famous Foods. It started out as a small restaurant in Flushing, New York by an immigrant from Xi'an, China, who simply wanted to share his hometown food with others. Today, XFF has become so popular that they have multiple locations in New York and even sell cookbooks, meal kits and chili oil.
WHERE: 96 8th Ave., New York, NY 10011 | WHO: 212-786-2068
15 | Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine | Shu Jiao Fu Zhou might just have the best dumplings in Manhattan. They succeed on several levels: they’re soft and visually appealing, steamed, not fried, inexpensive and taste great even without any sauce (though the sauce does elevate it). What more could you want?
WHERE: 295 Grand St, New York, NY 10002 | WHO: 212-625-2532
16 | Blue Willow | Most of the Chinese restaurants in Midtown are focused on Cantonese cuisine. But Blue Willow sets itself apart by serving traditional Hunan & Szechuan dishes. From the moment you walk in, Blue Willow’s aromatic dishes and retro interior transports you back to old China.
WHERE: 40 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019 | WHO: 212-213-2299
17 | Golden Palace Gourmet | Golden Palace Gourmet serves meals inspired by the Chinese region of Dongbei. But what’s truly remarkable about this restaurant is that it produces many of its own ingredients - for instance, the blood sausage.
WHERE: 140-09 Cherry Ave, Queens, NY 11355 | WHO: 718-886-4383
18 | Mao Mao Restaurant | Mao Mao restaurant offers an experience like none other in New York City. They brand themselves as an old-school Thai restaurant & bar with a movie theater experience from the seats to the vintage posters and massive projection playing while you eat.
WHERE: 1000 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11221 | WHO: 929-600-5965
19 | Lil Chef Mama | Lil Chef Mama has a huge menu that is perfect for dining with a big group. Here you’ll find everything from burgers and noodle soup to duck curry, frog legs and deep-fried squid.
WHERE: 27 Cliff St, New York, NY 10038 | WHO: 646-964-5555
20 | Farida | Farida was founded by the husband-and-wife team of Farida Gabbassova-Ricciardelli and chef Umitjon Kamolov. The focus here is on the cuisines and traditions of Uzbek, Kazakh. And their influences don't stop there, the entire place is decorated with objects that transport you into the Central Asian region, complete with traditionally prepared meats, teas, salads and vegetables.
WHERE: 498 9th Ave, New York, NY 10018 | WHO: 646-863-2020
21 | FoHi Ramen |This is a well-known restaurant chain in Japan, and this is its only location in the west. Many of its NYC guests flock here to get their fix after having already tried this soft, chewy ramen once in Japan.
WHERE: 6860 Austin St Ste 10A, Queens, NY 11375 | WHO: 718-880-2938
22 | Bánh Vietnamese Shop House | Bánh Vietnamese Shop House serves all the classic Vietnamese plates like pho. But it’s the smaller, lesser-known dishes that you should be paying attention to here, like Banh Chung Chien (crispy sticky rice cakes) and Bún Cha Gio (crispy roll noodle salad).
WHERE: 942 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024 | WHO: 917-639-3151
23 | Kochi | The brainchild of chef Sunchul Shim, Kochi is a seven-course tasting of skewers inspired by traditional Korean cuisine. Open for just 2 years now, it has already been awarded a Michelin star. And the best part? The seven-course menu has a fixed $85 price, which is among the more affordable options in the same class.
WHERE: 652 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036 | WHO: 646-478-7308
24 | Adda | Acclaimed restaurant owner Roni Mazumdar and executive chef Chintan Pandya came together to create Adda, which translates to “a place where people hang out.” True to this name, Adda offers a casual vibe complete with authentic Indian dishes. There’s no modern twists on these meals, they’re made in the traditional manner: in-house with a wealth of spices.
WHERE: 31-31 Thomson Ave, Queens, NY 11101 | WHO: 718-433-3888
25 | Sona | Anyone who’s looking for Indian fine dining in New York City has to give Sona a visit. The restaurant was built to remind guests of a bygone era Indian fare within the heart of New York City. It has an extensive menu with all sorts of Mumbai favorites, and fun fact: Priyanka Chopra is one of the owners.
WHERE: 36 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003 | WHO: N/A
26 | Atithi Indian Cuisine | The word Atithi means guest in ancient Sanskrit. And that's exactly how you're treated from the moment you walk in, as a beloved guest. Serving up rich, spicy Indian cuisines that have been passed down from generations, Atithi is truly a place where you can sit down and feast. With budget-friendly options like the $18 three-course dinner, any guest is guaranteed to walk away stuffed and happy.
WHERE: 159 Grand Street. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC | WHO: 718-684-9192
27 | Dame | Dame is an English restaurant serving a small menu of inventive seafood like macerated strawberries with fish and chips (eton mess), squid and shishito pepper skewers and warm lobster tart with morels & snap peas. Fair warning though, the place is hard to get into. But once you do, it’s happy eating!
WHERE: 87 MacDougal Street, New York, NY 10012 | WHO: 929-367-7370
28 | Luke’s Lobster | When Luke Holden initially started Luke’s Lobster in 2009, he wasn’t able to find the same high-quality Maine lobster he was used to from back home. That’s when he decided to open his own seafood purchasing business in Maine so he could source lobster directly from fishermen he knew and trusted. All that hard work paid off, as Luke’s is one of the best lobster roll shacks in NYC, with locations all over the US, Singapore and Japan.
WHERE: 26 S William St, New York, NY 10004 | WHO: 917-882-7516
29 | Africa Kine | Africa Kine was founded by Dakar natives Kine and Samba Niang in 1996. It boasts a large menu of classic African dishes, including lunch items like thiebu djen (fish stew) and yassa (sauteed chicken). For dinner, they have items like brochette crevette (grilled shrimp skewers) and dibi (grilled lamb).
WHERE: 2267 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, New York, NY 10027 | WHO: 212-666-9400
30 | Hudson Smokehouse | Hudson Smokehouse started in Robin Hudson’s backyard, just cooking barbecue and ribs for friends and family. After word started spreading about Robin’s tasty meat, he decided to go all-in BBQ and open a location. Two decades later, loyal customers flock to Hudson Smokehouse for the well-smoked brisket, ribs, chorizo and pork belly.
WHERE: 37 Bruckner Blvd, Bronx, NY 10454 | WHO: 718-872-7742
31 | Jongro BBQ | Jongro BBQ has many characteristics that set it apart from other Korean BBQ joints. Chief among those is their commitment to freshness. To that end, they don’t ever use frozen meat but have their cuts delivered daily and butchered in house. They’ve gone above and beyond, even implementing laser thermometers and overhead smoke lamps at the dining table to increase the food’s freshness.
WHERE: 22 W 32nd St 2nd floor, New York, NY 10001 | WHO: 212-473-2233
32 | Russ & Daughters | The late Anthony Bourdain said that "Russ & Daughters occupies that rare and tiny place on the mountaintop reserved for those who are not just the oldest and the last — but also the best." We tend to agree. Russ & Daughters is a family-owned business that’s been operating in the same spot for over 100 years, serving New York favorites like: smoked fish, caviar, bagels, bialys, babka, and other traditional baked goods.
WHERE: 141 Flushing Ave Building 77, Brooklyn, NY 11205 | WHO: 212-475-4880 ext. 3
33 | Clinton Street Baking Company | Every city has a go-to breakfast spot that serves amazing food coupled with a cozy environment. Many would claim that Clinton Street Baking Co. has won that title in New York. Opened in 2001, CSBC initially only served hand-mixed muffins and scones. But as word of mouth spread, they expanded their offerings to include all of your favorite breakfast foods, including what is arguably the best pancake in New York. And yes, they serve it all day and night.
WHERE: 4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002 | WHO: 646-602-6263
34 | The Cookshop | THE best place in New York for huevos rancheros. Enough said.
WHERE: 156 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011 | WHO: 212-924-4440
35 | Meadowsweet | In 2014, Meadowsweet was opened in Williamsburg Brooklyn by award-winning chef Polo Dobkin and his wife and director of operations Stephanie Lempert. Named after the meadowsweet herb, this cool space serves Mediterranean-influenced New American dishes & craft cocktails, with fresh vegetables sourced from their own upstate Meadowsweet Farm.
WHERE: 149 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211 | WHO: 718-384-0673
RICE BOWL MENUS
36 | Fieldtrip | FIELDTRIP's mantra is "Rice is Culture." Chef JJ Johnson created FIELDTRIP as a celebration of culture told through the medium of rice, a food staple in almost every community around the world. This rich concept even influences the way their rice bowls are made and served -- freshly milled, unbleached, not enriched, paired with ethically sourced veggies and protein.
WHERE: 109 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10026 | WHO: 917-639-3919
MIDDLE EASTERN DISHES
37 | The Halal Guys | The Halal Guys started in 1990 as a humble hot dog stand at the intersection of 53rd Street and 6th Avenue. After they pivoted to serving halaal food to Muslim taxi drivers, word of their exotic platters quickly spread among other New Yorkers, and the rest is history. Visit the Halal guys for street food of all kinds, like pretzels and falafel sandwiches. And you don’t even need to be in New York to get a whiff of this, The Halal Guys has grown into a global franchise with almost 100 locations worldwide.
WHERE: 75 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019 | WHO: N/A
38 | Hangawi | Hangawi is rare among New York City Korean restaurants in that it is one of the few all-vegan ones. Hangawi was founded to introduce balanced vegetarian dishes from Korean cuisine to the western world. Aside from the meals, the traditional teas, folk and zen music and decor at Hangawi all come together to promote a harmony of body and mind.
WHERE: 12 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016 | WHO: 212-213-0077
39 | Superiority Burger | Superiority Burger is widely regarded as one of the best vegan restaurants in New York City, a place where even the vegetables don’t taste boring. And speaking of boring, Superiority Burger changes its specials on the daily, so there’s always something new to explore.
WHERE: 430 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009 | WHO: N/A
40 | Peacefood | Peacefood serves a variety of delicious vegan meals that prove that you don’t necessarily have to eat meat to feel full and satiated. But what really sets them apart is their unforgettable sides and pastries.
WHERE: 460 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024 | WHO: 212-362-2266
SNACKS, SANDWICHES & BURGERS
41 | J.G. Melon | New Yorkers don’t really want anything new or trendy when it comes to their burger joints. All they want is a juicy patty topped by soft buns with crispy fries on the side. J.G. Melon plays their role to perfection, serving a classic burger that isn’t going out of style anytime soon.
WHERE: 1291 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021 | WHO: 212-744-0585
42 | Shake Shack | Shake Shack was originally a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park that was such a raging success that they decided to open up a permanent establishment. Today, it's one of the most iconic restaurants in New York City and a classic American success story.
WHERE: 1700 Broadway, New York, NY 10019 | WHO: 917-942-6038
43 | Tudor City Tavern | This guide cannot be complete without a mention of one of the best local taverns around town, Tudor City Tavern in the historic Tudor City neighborhood of NYC. The cozy tavern inside Westgate Grand Central Resort is the perfect spot to relax and catch with friends. The menu offers seasonal soups and salads, delicious sandwiches, Starbucks coffee and a fully stocked bar with cocktails, spirits, beer and wine pairings.
WHERE: 304 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017 | WHO: 212-986-8800
44 | Tompkins Square Bagels | Christopher Pugliese got his start at Bake City Bagel where he learned to pay extreme attention to detail during the bagel making process. He then went on to apply those same lessons to Tomkins Square Bagels, which he credits with its success. TSB’s specialty is the warm, soft and creamy breakfast bagel.
WHERE: 165 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009 | WHO: 646-351-6520
45 | Gray’s Papaya | I know the movies make it seem like there’s a hotdog stand on every corner of New York City, but they’re mostly just concentrated in the most tourist-heavy areas and vary in quality. If you’re looking for the archetypical New York hot dog though, look no further than Gray’s Papaya.
WHERE: 2090 Broadway, New York, NY 10023 | WHO: 212-799-0243
46 | Blue Sky Deli | Previously called Hajji’s, Blue Sky Deli’s is the creator of the famous chopped cheese sandwich. Once upon a time ago, this sandwich was only known to a select few NYC foodies, but over the last decade, it has grown increasingly popular, touted as a classic comparable to the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich.
WHERE: 2135 1st Ave, New York, NY 10029 | WHO: 646-682-7488
47 | Dough | Dough was founded just two years ago in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn and expanded into Manhattan as it quickly grew in popularity. What sets Dough apart from other doughnut shops is its oversized donuts, unique flavors and doughnut-making philosophy. They take pride in the fact that their doughnuts are handmade in small batches throughout the day so that customers always enjoy them fresh.
WHERE: 14 West 19th Street at, 5th Ave, New York, 10011 | WHO: 212-243-6844
48 | Black Seed Bagels | Unsurprisingly, New York City is home to some of the best bagels in the world. You’ve got your fair share of good options here, but Black Seed Bagels is in a league of its own. This artisan bagel shop prides itself on using high-quality ingredients and unconventional baking techniques. Each bagel is hand-rolled and boiled in honey water, after which they are baked until lightly browned and cooled.
WHERE: 170 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012 | WHO: 646-915-1500
49 | Katz’s Delicatessen | Katz's Delicatessen is a family business with a long and storied history that goes back over 100 years. Founded by Willy Katz and his cousin Benny, Katz's became like a second home to millions of immigrants in the early 1900s and throughout World War II. The restaurant has since attracted all types and tastebuds and was even part of a memorable scene in “When Harry Met Sally.” Katz’s corned beef and pastrami are the stuff of legends, cured using a famously slow method that takes up to 1 month!
WHERE: 205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002 | WHO: 212-254-2246
50 | Magnolia Bakery | Magnolia Bakery first opened its door in 1996 in New York City’s West Village. In the 20-odd years since then, it’s become a well-known and beloved bakery with locations worldwide.
WHERE: 1240 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020 | WHO: 212-767-1123
51 | Dacha 46 | Dascha 46 is the creation of Jessica and Trina Quinn started from their apartment in Bed Stuy Brooklyn in 2020. The couple are both chefs who have put in their hours at restaurants like Rezdora and Red Hook Tavern before teaming up to start their own thing. Dascha 46 specializes in Banya Brunch, serving all sorts of warm meals and baked goods inspired by Ukrainian culture.
WHERE: 657 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238 | WHO: N/A
Use Our Handy Map to Find Your Way Around!
Last Tips for Choosing an NYC Restaurant
There are more than 24,000 restaurants in New York City, so choosing where to eat is a challenge in and of itself. Here are some final tips to help you make the choice you'll end up happy with:
● When it comes to exotic cuisine (e.g. Asian, Italian, etc.), go where the natives love to eat.
● Only eat at restaurants with an A grade from the New York City Health Department.
● To decrease the chances of a disappointing meal, order the restaurant's specialty.
● Any restaurant that is empty at peak times is probably not worth eating at.
At Westgate Resorts, when you Check-In, there’s a LOT to Check-Out! Your New York City vacation awaits! Explore our New York City hotel today or talk with a vacation planner at 888-852-2959 or 407-355-2690.
* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.
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