clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
A rice cake on top of a sesame cracker laid on a plate with colorful toppings piled on top of the rice cake. A dipping bowl with sauce is set nearby. Both dishes are set on a light wooden table.
Banh dap, central Vietnamese street food.
Rachel Vanni/Eater NY

The 38 Essential Restaurants in New York City

From a Taiwanese American restaurant in Brooklyn to a famous Neapolitan pizza spot in Manhattan, here’s where to eat in the city right now

View as Map
Banh dap, central Vietnamese street food.
| Rachel Vanni/Eater NY

It’s the most simple and difficult question to answer, whether it’s coming from a lifelong New Yorker or a first-time visitor: “Where should I eat in New York City?” The type of food, price, neighborhood, and occasion are just a few factors to consider, but those only go so far in a city of more than 25,000 restaurants. Enter the Eater 38.

This guide is our shortlist of the city’s must-hit restaurants, updated quarterly to reflect changing tastes and trends. Overhauled for the new year, the list includes a longtime Bronx kosher deli, a Michelin-starred Indian restaurant, an updated Chinese mainstay, and a luxe sushi omakase counter overseen by a master.

All of the restaurants on this list have been open for at least six months, and we visited them many times throughout the course of putting together this guide. For guides to the hottest new openings in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, see our Heatmaps for those boroughs.

Read More
Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Liebman’s Deli

Copy Link

Open since 1953, Liebman’s is the last kosher deli in the Bronx that’s as much of a destination as its Manhattan rivals. Get the pastrami and corned beef on rye, the chicken soup, and the $5 frankfurter to dine in a seating area that’s delightfully retro.

The outside of a Kosher grocery.
The exterior of Liebman’s Deli in Riverdale.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Roberto's

Copy Link

When Roberto Paciullo established his eponymous restaurant in Belmont in 1989, it was surprising: There among the red-sauced joints of Arthur Avenue was a different kind of Italian restaurant, closely approximating the food you might find in a rural trattoria, with the farmhouse furniture to match. Check the chalkboard specials, which might include radiatori in cartoccio or fricasseed rabbit.

A seafood and white bean starter at Roberto’s.
A seafood and white bean starter at Roberto’s in the Bronx.
Roberto’s

Sylvia's

Copy Link

Dubbed “the queen of soul food,” Sylvia Woods opened the doors on Sylvia’s in 1962, bringing generous servings of Southern comfort food to Harlem. The neighborhood restaurant is famous for its timeless cooking and Southern charm, which still endures decades after opening. While Woods died in 2012, her family continues to run the restaurant. Order the daily special such as meatloaf, the chicken and waffles, or the cornmeal-fried whiting.

A large breaded fish filet with two side dishes.
Catfish at Sylvia’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Bánh Vietnamese Shop House

Copy Link

New York’s Vietnamese food scene has changed drastically over the last half decade, welcoming a new wave of restaurants with less common dishes. Bánh brought the fried, crispy rice cakes known as banh chung chien and brothy bun rieu (tomato, crab, and pork soup) to the Upper West Side in 2021. There are plenty of classic Vietnamese sandwiches and noodle soups, but the rotating selection of smaller plates steals the show.

A large sandwich laid face-up on a blue and white plate to show its contents of chicken, strips of carrot and onion, and green cilantro
Banh mi from Banh.
Rachel Vanni/Eater NY

Hyderabadi Zaiqa

Copy Link

Haderabadi Zaiqa is a modest walk-down space in Hell’s Kitchen decorated with a map showing nearly 30 regional biryanis of India. There are plenty of them to choose from, like gongura chicken biryani with fragrant leaves of a type of hibiscus, and others that show off shrimp, eggs, lamb, paneer, and various vegetables — even a bright orange one that features the Andhra mango pickles called avakaya. Also consider the soups and appetizers, like tomato pepper shorba, with a thin and strikingly orange broth laced with chiles, or chicken vepudu in a creamy herbal sauce. And don’t miss the goat dum biryani.

Biryani with goat on a serving plate.
Biryani with goat at Zaiqa.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Gallaghers Steakhouse

Copy Link

With places like Luger, Cote, and Keens stealing the spotlight, Gallaghers is something of a sleeper among New York steakhouses. Gallaghers was founded in the late 1920s as a speakeasy, and the down-low atmosphere prevails. Ribeye steak and prime rib are house specialties, the last to be ordered in advance.

An overhead shot of the rosy pink prime rib, sitting in brown jus.
Prime rib at Gallaghers
Eater NY

Le Bernardin

Copy Link

Eric Ripert’s temple of fine dining has still got it, holding onto a rare four-star status that it’s held since 1986, the year it opened, from the New York Times. The classic French restaurant is a celebration of seafood, with a tasting menu that includes tuna tartare, sea urchin, Dover sole, and halibut. And yes, there is a vegetarian tasting menu that rivals the pescatarian one, with courses centered around hearts of palm, artichokes, and white asparagus.

Speckled maine lobster tail sits next to leek cannelloni and dark brown red wine rosemary sauce
Lobster tail next to leek cannelloni with a wine rosemary sauce at Le Bernardin.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Ci Siamo

Copy Link

A chef with an enthusiastic following, Hillary Sterling runs this Italian spot from the Danny Meyer empire. Adjacent to Hudson Yards, the two-level restaurant offers a front lounge for walk-ins with a focus on aperitivi and cocktails, and a more formal reservation dining area upstairs. Look for live-fire cooking with dishes like focaccia or pizza bianca; onion torta; pesca fritti; cavatelli with crab; and a roast chicken among mains.

A spread of dishes from Ci Siamo’s menu laid out on a light wooden table interspersed with two glasses of wine.
A spread from Ci Siamo.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Grand Central Oyster Bar

Copy Link

Grand Central Oyster Bar has occupied the subterranean space in Grand Central Station since 1913. The dramatic dining room, with its vaulted, tiled ceilings is one of the main attractions here. And the bar is one of the best seats for sampling among 25 varieties of seafood, from a menu of raw oysters, stews, pan roasts, sandwiches, and more. Note new hours mean it’s closed Saturday and Sunday.

Grand Central Oyster Bar’s dining room with high ceiling arches
The dining room at Grand Central Oyster Bar.
Eater NY

Café China

Copy Link

With its revamped stylish dining room, comely bar, and three floors with nooks for date night, booths for tables of four, as well as big tables for a crowd, Cafe China is that Midtown Chinese restaurant that will please everyone. Consider dishes like the mouthwatering chicken appetizer, braised beef in red soup, a whole fish, sauteed squash, and more.

A spread from Cafe China, including melon and ma po tofu.
A spread from Cafe China.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Mariscos El Submarino

Copy Link

Mariscos El Submarino is a small restaurant in Jackson Heights known for its massive portions of seafood served in volcanic stone bowls. The restaurant has been hugely influential since it opened in 2020, inspiring a new wave of interest in the Mexican seafood dishes known as mariscos. The most popular order is the aguachile, a cousin of ceviche that’s ubiquitous in Mexico but harder to find in New York. They come in shades of more mild green, red, yellow, and spicy dark brown with a generous portion of shrimp, avocado, and sliced cucumber for around $20.

The aguachile negro at Mariscos El Submarino in Jackson Heights comes served out of a hulking molcajete.
The aguachile negro at Mariscos El Submarino.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Jongro Gopchang

Copy Link

Like the best Korean barbecue spots, Jongro is a little hard to find. The restaurant, the first U.S. location of a South Korean chain, is located in the middle of bustling West 32nd Street, above a Citi Bank. You’ll forget all that once you’re inside. Customers crowd around tables with sizzling slabs of pork belly and jowl or slurp on kimchi stew and spicy tteokbokki. When Jongro opened, in 2015, it was more affordable than other restaurants in Koreatown; cheaper spots have since come along, but the quality of its meats is very good. There will almost certainly be a wait, but don’t worry: There are lots of ways to kill time on this busy street of Manhattan.

An assortment of gopchang parts with vegetables in a black cast iron pan.
An assortment of gopchang parts with vegetables.
James Park/Eater NY

Tosokchon

Copy Link

With branches in Palisades Park, New Jersey; and Annandale, Virginia, Tosokchon affects a rustic demeanor, done up like a house in the country. The food is often commonplace and homestyle, with no fireworks intended, just good eating at reasonable prices. Soups are the heart of the menu, including one hangover soup that bobs with bracken and organ meats. And there are dumplings and noodles galore, as well as barbecued ribeye in the Los Angeles Korean style.

A spread from Tosokchon.
A spread from Tosokchon.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Nepali Bhanchha Ghar

Copy Link

Yamuna Shres’s casual restaurant that opened in 2015 joins a number of Nepali restaurants that have opened in Queens, specializing in, among other dishes, the unctuous delight of momos, the South Asian dumplings. At Nepali Bhanchha Ghar, momos are served fried or steamed in a glistening tomato-based sauce stuffed with potato, paneer, goat, shrimp, beef, or chicken. It’s no wonder that for they’ve won the Jackson Heights Momo Crawl several years in a row.

A half-dozen momo float in a brown broth in a bowl.
A half-dozen momos from Nepali Bhanchaa Ghar.
Emma Orlow/Eater NY

Sushi On Me

Copy Link

In a city with $400 omakase parlors crawling with sushi bros, Sushi On Me is in a league of its own. This subterranean restaurant located in Jackson Heights is an all-you-can-drink, raucous affair. The meal here will run you less than $100, and you’ll leave feeling like you went to a house party. If you don’t drink this place might be a skip, since there’s less bang for your buck without it. There’s now a sibling spot in Williamsburg, but the Queens version is still the one to hit.

Black caviar sits above a pink slab of fatty tuna sushi.
Black caviar on a slab of fatty tuna at Sushi On Me.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Koloman

Copy Link

Koloman is an overhaul of what had been the Breslin at the Ace Hotel, now in a room with restored tin ceilings, a clock-themed bar, and a modern Austrian menu by head chef and co-owner Markus Glocker. Choose among dishes like celery root tartare, gougeres, souffle, and veal schnitzel. Pair them with a compelling selection from an Austrian wine list. After-dinner consider their hard-to-find collection of schnapps. Save room for desserts like the Lübeck marzipan, apple strudel, or caramelized milk bread, all of which live up to superlatives.

A collection of dishes arranged on a black background.
Find Kolomon in the old Breslin space in the Ace Hotel.
Gary He/Eater NY

Founded in 2008 and now with a branch in Chelsea Market, Ayada is the anchor of the Elmhurst neighborhood known as Little Bangkok. It was one of the first places in town to offer Thai cuisine with an urban Bangkok flair, not only with dishes from various regions (most notably Isan and Chiang Mai), but with Bangkok street food as well. Two of its early hits were a heavily spiced raw shrimp dish something like ceviche, and a jungle curry that, notably, didn’t contain coconut milk.

Raw shrimp salad with a green sauce and Thai bird chiles.
Raw shrimp salad at Ayada.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This year has become the year of the modern luncheonette: S&P is one of the forerunners of the group, a counter-service restaurant from the team behind the sandwich shop at Court Street Grocers. It’s menu is stocked with tuna melts, peanut butter bacon with rye, cottage fries, and egg creams: Few places feel more New York.

A hairy hand passes a plate with a ham and cheese sandwich on white bread.
A ham and cheese at S&P.
Melanie Landsman/Eater NY

Chama Mama

Copy Link

For the last decade, the food of the former Soviet republic of Georgia has been taking off in New York City. Launched by our love of khachapuri, the traditional dish in which an oval of bread envelops a lake of cheese. The bread is available in several variations at Chama Mama, along with charcoal kebabs, stews in which herbs function as vegetables, and a distinguished wine list with some lesser-seen varietals. There are several locations now in the city.

Khachapuri at Chama Mama.
Khachapuri at Chama Mama.
Chama Mama

Semma opened two years ago at a time when Indian restaurants specializing in regional cuisines were on the increase, but even among that august lot, this West Village restaurant is distinguished. Chef Vijay Kumar grew up in Tamil Nadu, but nearly all come from far southern Indian states. The gunpowder dosa, configured as a triangle, is unbeatable, and many of the dishes, like lobster tail in coconut milk and mustard and Goanese oxtail, are so pretty you won’t want to cut into them. 

A red clay dish filled with snail shells and plated with nathai pirattal on a patterned tile background.
A dish from Semma.
Molly Tavoletti/Eater NY

Via Carota

Copy Link

Rita Sodi and Jody Williams have several popular restaurants in a couple-block stretch of the West Village (including Buvette, I Sodi, and Bar Pisellino). Via Carota remains the crowd favorite for good reason, with its simple Italian dishes dressed up to perfection. Long known for being walk-in only, these days the restaurant thankfully has some tables open for reservations.

Via Carota’s insalata verde salad.
Via Carota’s insalata verde.
Gentl & Hyers/Alfred A. Knopf

Taqueria Ramirez

Copy Link

Blowtorched tripe or cactus with chicharron? Longaniza on its own or mixed with suadero? These aren’t the type of questions New Yorkers are used to asking in north Brooklyn, but standing at the counter of Taqueria Ramírez, their answers are obvious: We’ll take it all. This small taqueria with an even smaller menu — six tacos most days — opened in 2021, and became an immediate hit for its stewed meats plucked from a bubbling choricera. There are a handful of seats indoors, but most people spill out onto the sidewalk.

A gloved hands hold a sieve of crumbly red meat over a vat of orange fat and oil, also filled with other meats
Suadero (left) and crumbly longaniza stew in a choricera.
Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

Order a perfect bowl of udon and tea for under $40 including tax and tip at this neighborhood Japanese noodle restaurant with a second location in Soho, part of Cloud Nine Hospitality Group. Here since 2016, chef Norihiro Ishizuka’s restaurant has assembled a menu of vegetables and gyoza, donburi, hot and cold udon in a soothingly minimalist space that’s on track to expand next door.

A bowl of udon at Raku.
A bowl of udon at Raku.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Superiority Burger

Copy Link

Founded by former pastry chef Brooks Headley, Superiority Burger started out closet-sized space, serving a small selection of mainly vegan dishes and gelato of the day, with a vegetable burger as its centerpiece. Now in new digs in the former Odessa space, its vegetarian menu includes dozens of surprising selections, such as the collards-on-focaccia sandwich, stuffed cabbage, and funnel cake, among many other great desserts.

A sesame seeded flatbread with collard greens in the middle.
Collards on focaccia.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Balthazar

Copy Link

Balthazar, restaurateur Keith McNally’s French brasserie, opened in 1997, changing the tide in what had been an industrial, art-filled downtown Manhattan. Today, the menu still includes mainstays like raw bar seafood towers, French onion soup, steak frites, and profiteroles. It remains relevant as ever, thanks so McNally’s running Instagram commentary, and his insistence on treating solo diners as VIPs with a glass of Champagne. The people watching is like few places in New York.

Balthazar’s red awning.
The iconic Balthazar awning.
Balthazar

Katz's Delicatessen

Copy Link

Katz’s has stood on the corner of East Houston and Ludlow streets since 1888, and the pastrami alone is a New York institution. The expansive, cafeteria-style dining room is almost always bustling, and diners have to know how to navigate the system. Get in line, remember to tip the slicer (they might give you an extra piece to snack on), and no matter what, don’t lose that ticket.

The front of a sprawling corner store at night, with red neon letters that read “Katz’s Delicatessen” in capital letters.
Outside of Katz’s Delicatessen.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

Sushi Ichimura

Copy Link

Sushi Ichimura displays an East-meets-West aesthetic in a 10-seat counter restaurant where you will be wowed. Eiji Ichimura, the sushi master who helped fine-tune the stateside practice of aging fish for modern diners, has crafted a menu that includes fish from Hokkaido and elsewhere around Japan, along with wares from suppliers at the Toyosu Market, with many items unavailable in the United States. It is a special occasion, indeed: The high-dollar, luxe 20-course omakase is listed on Resy at $900 for two before tax and tip.

A scene behind the counter at Sushi Ichimura. Cole Wilson/Eater NY

Una Pizza Napoletana

Copy Link

Expect lines at this destination that inspires many a pizza pilgrimage. Anthony Mangieri is known for his almost militant approach to Neapolitan pizza making, and a simple menu featuring classics done well. Last summer, Mangieri’s Una earned first-place title in the U.S. and second place for the best pizzeria in the world by the organization 50 Top Pizza.

An overhead shot of a pizza pie with mozzarella, basil, and red sauce, and a charred outer crust.
Una Pizza comes with a knife.
Una Pizza Napoletana

The classic founded in 1980 by restaurateur Keith McNally and then-wife Lynn Wagenknecht is just as cool today under Wagenknecht’s leadership. Its retro neon, perfect lighting, cushy banquettes, excellent playlists, and classic menu items make it a Manhattan mainstay. Get the shrimp cocktail and Odeon burger, the steak tartare, or the three-egg omelet with fries.

A red neon sign of the Odeon.
The neon sign of the Odeon.
Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan

Uncle Lou

Copy Link

If you’re looking for old-school Chinatown, you might not think to start with a restaurant that opened in 2022. But Uncle Lou is one of the area’s most popular restaurants for a reason. The menu is large — as in, there are over 200 dishes — and most dishes are portioned for a family reunion. Start with the section called Loh Wah Kiu Favorites. There, you’ll find crowd-pleasing dishes and maybe something new: crispy, Chenpi duck flavored with mandarin orange peel, or marbled beef buried in crunchy garlic chives. At dinner, there’s almost always a wait.

Inside Uncle Lou, with a dragon, and people celebrating the new year.
The scene at Uncle Lou.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Misi is chef Missy Robbins follow-up to Lilia. But just because the restaurant is easier to get into than its sibling doesn’t mean it's any less of a pasta palace. In fact, we prefer the more lowkey energy at this restaurant located just steps from Domino Park. The calling card here is the decadent ricotta toast, and there’s no way to go wrong with your pasta selection. Don’t sleep on the creamy gelato desserts.

A spread of dishes at Misi
The ricotta toast is a must at Misi.
Louise Palmberg/Eater NY

The Four Horsemen

Copy Link

The wave of natural wine bar openings was just around the corner when LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy opened the Four Horsemen in 2015. Almost a decade later, the always-packed bar and dining room remains a gathering place for wine lovers, scenesters, Francophiles, and restaurant enthusiasts. It’s rare for a wine bar to hit a home run with both its drink and food menus, but this Williamsburg favorite strikes the right balance with its knowledgeable servers and Michelin-worthy small plates. Prices are in line with a celebratory night out.

A spread of food and wine from the Four Horsemen.
A spread of food and wine from the Four Horsemen.
The Four Horsemen

L'Industrie Pizzeria

Copy Link

Opened in 2017, L’Industrie was once one of Brooklyn’s best-kept secrets: a top-tier slice shop where it was possible to pop in for a pie or a cup of gelato with olive oil and salt. Now it’s wildly popular, both in Brooklyn and the new Manhattan location, often with lines down the block. Slices come out on greasy paper plates with crisp, naturally leavened crusts and ample toppings like burrata and pepperoni.

Slices with burrata, pepperoni, basil and other toppings from L’Industrie.
Slices with burrata, pepperoni, basil, and other toppings from L’Industrie.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Win Son

Copy Link

Win Son is as packed as it was when it first opened seven years ago. It’s no secret: This Taiwanese American restaurant has gotten better with time. Win Son has become our go-to for date nights, family in town, and big-group birthdays crowded around a lazy Susan. Bring a few friends, because the list of must-order dishes here has grown with time. Taiwanese staples like fly’s head and lu rou fan hit the spot, and there are tasty riffs on pork buns, pea shoots, and fried chicken sandwiches. For all the popularity, it’s almost always possible to walk in here with a short wait.

<