New York City is a town known for its top-notch Italian, which means pasta is a specialty. There are plenty of places to get this addictive food, including neighborhood trattorias and destination dining. Here are some stellar places to get pasta in NYC.Read More
19 Pasta Destinations in NYC
Carb load in the most delicious of ways
Celeste is the Italian choice of Upper West Siders for its old-school charm, affordability, and reliable pizzas and pastas. Many are handmade, including the popular tagliatelle with shrimp, cabbage, and sheep's milk cheese. Cash only.
Here’s a spot for late night dining, when pastas are half-priced for pasta happy hour in the bar and lounge, starting at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10. p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant from Daniel Boulud makes pastas in-house, and options change seasonally but have included a lemon saffron linguini with bottarga, a lobster risotto with lemon, and braised wild boar rigatoni.
Union Square Cafe
The pastas change regularly with the seasons at Union Square Cafe, the flagship restaurant from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. Options might include a squash tortelli with sage brown butter, a lamb ragu pappardelle, or a ricotta gnocchi topped with pecorino romano and a tomato-basil puree. Pastas range from $25 to $45 but include tip, and for an extra $10, get a bigger portion.
Rita Sodi and Jody Williams’ homey restaurant in the West Village excels at rustic Tuscan cuisine, with a regularly changing menu with dishes worthy of sharing. Via Carota is particularly known for its vegetables, but the pastas can be addictive, too. The cacio e pepe — made with thick, chewy tonnarelli noodles — is one of the city’s best. Expect waits at prime times, though it’s a perfect spot for late-night Italian.
John's of 12th Street
Few Italian dishes deploy multiple forms of pasta, but this one does. Brought to the U.S. by southern Italian immigrants, pasta e fagioli (“pasta and beans”) is a quintessential peasant dish, made by stewing beans with odds and ends of dried pasta found in the cupboard. The result is a savory vegetarian soup guaranteed to fill one up when times are hard. Find a perfect version at East Village old-timer Johns of 12th Street.
Chef Sara Jenkins’ neighborhood restaurant has a simple approach to its decor and pasta menu. There are everyday staples like a cacio e pepe and a pappardelle with hen of the woods mushrooms and a feel-good brown butter and sage sauce. But the star is her anelloni topped with spicy lamb sausage, mustard greens, and bread crumbs.
With rickety tables, tin ceilings, and crumbling walls, the décor at this Tuscan restaurant might be termed East Village rustic. In the back corner stands a table outfitted with a pasta-maker, and one of the cooks often steps out of the kitchen to tend it, turning out delicious pastas like the spaghetti con bottarga. The wines by the bottle are quite nice and priced right.
The general rule that an Andrew Carmelini restaurant will please a crowd applies at this late-night Italian restaurant on the Bowery. A meticulous pasta menu here pays careful attention to over ten different pasta shapes, smartly paired with combinations like crab with squid ink or sausage and broccoli rabe with orechiette — each one no more than $25. Do not sleep on the linguine with its four cloves of garlic and breadcrumbs, or the casarecce with mushroom ragu.
The old-school Italian restaurant is known for being a celebrity hotspot — with everyone from Rihanna and Naomi Campbell to Barack Obama having visited. Emilio Vitolo serves solid fare, from the tagliatelle Bolognese to the spaghetti and meatballs. Good luck getting a seat during prime time, but the scene and the food make it worth the wait.
Osteria Morini Manhattan
Chef-owner Michael White opened Osteria Morini in 2010 and has consistently served up excellent pastas of the Emilia Romagna tradition in a space full of decor from a dismantled Italian 1700s-era farmhouse, lending a cozy, rustic look to the casual but reliable restaurant. The ragu-sauced options stand out in particular, like the fusili with pork shoulder ragu and the squid ink pasta with sepia and shrimp ragu.
Lilia was the city’s finest new Italian restaurant of 2016, with chef-owner Missy Robbins serving dishes you can’t find anywhere else, like the intoxicating sheep’s milk agnolotti drenched in enough saffron and honey to qualify as dessert and the ruffled malfatti ribbons where the fragrant pink peppercorns taste as luxurious as truffles. It’s very hard to get into, but worth trying to snag a reservation.
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This low-key South Williamsburg spot from chef Albert Di Meglio has a stable of affordable pastas on the menu, with lots of more experimental options like green garlic shells with spicy goat ragu, gochujang, breadcrumbs, and cheese.
This Michelin-starred restaurant tucked into a Bushwick side street turns out a changing menu of pastas with rich flavors and enticing combinations. Chef Kevin Adey’s menu might include a squid ink spaghetti with crab, uni cream, and chile, or perhaps a ravioli with cloumage, carrot, and black garlic. They all fall under $24.
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Though Bushwick standby Roberta’s is more known for its pizzas, the pastas here are almost always on point, with the torchietti with garlicky clam sauce holding its own as one of the city’s finest clam pastas.
Frankies 457 Spuntino
The charming neighborhood restaurant in Carroll Gardens nails Italian fare, including dishes in its short but solid pasta list. The fan favorite among adults and kids is the cavatelli with hot sausage and brown sage butter, which is a perfect pick to go along with the restaurant’s generous carafe of house red wine.
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The warm, yellow-toned space, congenial service, and eclectic wine list at Fausto makes it a stand-out restaurant option to have a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine. The orechhiette with fennel-braised pork and the bucatini nero, with shrimp and soprressata, are both worth trying.
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al di la Trattoria
Known as one of Park Slope’s finest restaurants, stalwart Al Di La is known for its northern Italian food and its petit and perpetually-packed space. Pasta standouts include the tagliatelle with ragu and the spaghetti neri alla chitarra, a squid-ink pasta with octopus confit.
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Aita Trattoria, a spinoff of Clinton Hill’s Aita, is a cozy little neighborhood restaurant in Crown Heights with a reliable menu of pastas that are traditional but far from basic, with lots of shapes and sauces represented, like a bucatini with pancetta and a scialatielli with a seafood ragout. Aita also has a strong selection of aperitifs and digestifs to pair with those pastas.
Joe's of Avenue U
Joe’s of Avenue U in Gravesend is Brooklyn’s foremost Sicilian restaurant and is known for its pasta con sarde, made with bucatini. It’s thickly sauced with sardines, fennel, and currants that give the sauce a slightly sweet flavor, along with the pungency of fennel.