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Round circles of black truffle sit atop striped bass tartare, while a waiter sauces the white plate with Perigord vinaigrette
A black truffle dish at Le Bernardin.
Alex Staniloff

25 Splurge-Worthy Restaurants in NYC

Where to go for a long overdue blowout meal

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A black truffle dish at Le Bernardin.
| Alex Staniloff

Maybe you got that new job. Maybe you got that paycheck a day early. Maybe you quit that awful job. Or perhaps you’re just excited to be eating out again. Sometimes these occasions call for fiscal prudence — the prevailing ethos for so many people right now — but sometimes, these occasions call for a splurge. This list concerns itself with the latter situation.

New York is home to some of the country’s most expensive restaurants, but not all of them are very good restaurants. The venues here are a curated selection of the best blowouts at diverse price levels; to some, a $100 solo dinner might be as much of a study in excess as a $1,000 meal for two. Over half of these restaurants offer a la carte options; some, however, are tasting menu-only. Many offer indoor dining exclusively, without outdoor or takeout options.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

For more New York dining recommendations, check out the new hotspots in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Hamptons and our guides to brunch, food halls and Michelin-starred restaurants right now.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
If you book a reservation through an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

1. Sushi Noz

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181 E 78th St
New York, NY 10075
(917) 338-1792
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After a pandemic hiatus, this omakase stunner is back to offering sedate indoor tastings of some of the city’s best sushi. A meal by chef Nozomu Abe in the hinoki room runs $400. A shorter sushi meal in the ash room costs $230. The chef places each piece of nigiri in front of you, directly onto the smooth wood bar. Real Cost: Anywhere from $300-$550 per person after beverages and tax. Prices are reflective of service.

Noz chef Nozomu Abe blows over a portable grill he’s using to lightly smoke sea eel
Noz chef Nozomu Abe blows over a portable grill for smoking eel.
Matt Taylor-Gross/Eater NY

2. Yakitori Torishin

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362 W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 757-0108
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One of the city’s best yakitori spots is open for both indoor and outdoor dining. Indoor omakase offerings run $70 to $125, or $180 to $210 at the luxury chef’s counter. More affordable options are available outdoors or at the tables. Dinner might involve skewers of chicken thigh, heart, liver, crunchy knee bone, or prized chicken oysters. Meats are grilled directly over binchotan charcoals. Real Cost: About $125 per person or more for a full meal after tax, beverage, and tip.

[The counter at Tori Shin]
The counter at Tori Shin.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

3. Le Bernardin

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155 W 51st St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 554-1515
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Eric Ripert’s three-Michelin-starred temple to French seafood remains one of the top places to dine in New York, which makes Le Bernardin a tough reservation. But the bar and lounge, where the full menu is served, is open to walk-ins. The four-course menu is $190 while the chef’s tasting runs $290. A vegetarian menu is $230. Real Cost: Over $300 per person after wine, tax, and tip.

A server pours orange Thai shellfish broth onto a white plate, which holds a slide of poached skate covered by a multi-colored dice of papaya and squash
Poached skate at Le Bernardin.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

4. Aquavit

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65 E 55th St
New York, NY 10022
(212) 307-7311
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Chef Emma Bengtsson’s two-Michelin-starred Scandinavian restaurant is open for indoor dining and takeout. Bar room dishes include herring trios, lojrom roe, gravlax, and Swedish meatballs. The more extravagant tasting menus run $155 and $275. Real Cost: Over $200 per person for the tasting.

Aquavit grav
Smoked gravlax at Aquavit.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

5. Sushi On Me

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71-26 Roosevelt Ave
Queens, NY 11372
(929) 268-5691

New York has no shortage of reverent omakase temples, places where diners can pay upwards of $400 per person for pristine morsels of fatty bluefin served in serene dining rooms. This is not one of those places. Sushi on Me is a $89, cash-only, expletive-laden all-you-can-drink party. It’s a place to enjoy chef Atip “Palm” Tangjantuk’s fun approach to nigiri; he serves about 12 pieces, one at a time, the best of which might be Thai-style chile garlic sauce over seared white tuna. Real cost: About $120 per person after tax and tip. Beverages are included.

A row of patrons seated on one side of the sushi bar are show toasting and drinking sake with chefs, who are standing on the opposite side of the counter
Patrons toasting at Sushi on Me.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

6. Ilili

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236 5th Ave
New York, NY 10001
(212) 683-2929
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Chef Philippe Massoud continues to run one of the city’s top Middle Eastern restaurants at Ilili in Flatiron. Expect silky kibbeh nayeh steak tartare with mint and bulgur, duck shawarma with fig jam, and generous mixed grill platters with beef kebab, kofta, lamb kebabs and other assorted treats. Real cost: About $100 per person after drink, tax, and tip.

7. Cote Korean Steakhouse

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16 W 22nd St
New York, NY 10010
(212) 401-7986
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Simon Kim’s Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse offers indoor and outdoor dining, where diners can enjoy the $64 or $185 set menus, with extensive a la carte beef, shellfish, and caviar selections as well. Real Cost: Expect to spend at least $125 per person or more after tax, tip, drinks, and extras. Delivery also available.

A circular beef-filled tabletop grill sits at the center; around that gold-rimmed grill are small banchan, including kimchi and egg omelet
An assortment of grilled meats and sides at Cote.
Daniel Krieger/Eater

8. Rezdôra

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27 E 20th St
New York, NY 10003
(646) 692-9090
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Chef Stefano Secchi, an alum of famed Italy restaurant Osteria Francescana, has gifted New York with one of its most popular Italian restaurants in years, serving up hearty (but rarely heavy) a la carte specialties from the butter-and-cheese-loving region of Emilia-Romagna. The $95 pasta tasting is a smart move, showing off rich preparations like tortellini en brodo, and a tagliatelle bolognese packing a profound, perception-altering meatiness. Indoor or outdoor seating is available. Real Cost: At least $125 per person a la carte, or more for the pasta tasting.

The tagliolini al ragu, held up by a fork, at Rezdora
Tagliolini al ragu at Rezdora.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

9. Sona

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36 E 20th St
New York, NY 10003

Sona: Priyanka Chopra Jonas’s and chef Hari Nayak’s Flatiron restaurant is a sedate and luxurious counterpart to the excellent and more face-melting regional fare one will find at Dhamaka downtown. Expect very good crab puri with caviar, creamy butter chicken, and a take on Floyd Cardoz’s spicy Goan fish curry. Real Cost: About $100 or more per person after beverage, tax, and tip. Takeout and delivery also available.

Stuffed chicken wings sit on a platter next to crab puri topped with quenelles of black caviar
Stuffed chicken wings at Sona
Ryan Sutton/Eater

10. Shuko

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47 E 12th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 228-6088
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Masa alums Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau, two of the city’s best and most innovative sushi chefs (think: torched toro sinew with Thai bird chiles), have reopened for indoor dining. Dinner is $228 per person for a series of small plates and 16 pieces of sushi. Supplemental items like toro with uni and caviar is also available. Real Cost: About $300 per person or more.

A slice of pink fatty tuna, marbled with fat, sits over a small mound of rice
Bluefin tuna nigiri.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

11. I Sodi

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105 Christopher St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 414-5774
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Rita Sodi’s Tuscan cuisine is unequivocally bare bones: She adds no cream to her polenta. But with carefully sourced ingredients, studied cooking, stellar cacio e pepe, killer brick chicken, and a head spinning selection of amari, she ensures that I Sodi in the West Village remains one of the city’s best Italian restaurants. Real Cost: About $110 per person for four courses.

Customers dine at a busy I Sodi, with one wall lined with wine bottles
The dining room at I Sodi.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

12. Llama San

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359 6th Ave
New York, NY 10014
(646) 490-4422
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Erik Ramirez’s creative take on Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei fare initially made Llama San one of the city’s toughest-to-get-into restaurants with tables for two regularly booking up a month out. Amid the COVID-19 era, however, reservations are easier to come by. Diners will encounter visually striking and delicious compositions like scallops with yuzu kosho, aged duck breast nigiri with banana, and Iberico pork tonkotsu with green udon. Real Cost: At least $125 per person before for a four-course a la carte meal with wine.

A chef uses tweezers to place purple borage flowers over a bowl of scallop ceviche with cherimoya
A chef prepares scallop ceviche at Llama San.
Louise Palmberg/Eater NY

13. Nami Nori

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33 Carmine St
New York, NY 10014
(646) 998-4588
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Lisa Limb, Taka Sakaeda, and Jihan Lee’s temaki spot is a rare affordable option among the city’s ambitious class of sushi spots. Take a seat at the bar, order five to seven hand rolls, and enjoy the brilliant combination of ultra-crisp nori, gently warm rice, and precisely calibrated fillings. Among the top rolls to look out for are chopped toro with scallions, scallops with spicy XO sauce and tobiko, and expensive varieties of uni, including a creamy $34 option with Hokkaido urchin. Delivery is also available; in fact its’ some of the city’s best takeout sushi. Real cost: About $50 or more per person. Those who select daily temaki specials or premium uni can easily spend $100 or more per person.

A u shaped sushi roll is cradled in nori and contains green summer squash, scallions, and micro
Temaki hand rolls at Nami Nori.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

14. Dame

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87 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012
(929) 367-7370
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Ambitious seafood restaurants that don’t cost a fortune are a relative rarity in New York, which is what makes this jewel box of a British-leaning spot by Ed Szymanski and Patricia Howard such a gift. Make a reservation — not an easy task — and order anything off the concise and frequently changing menu. Expect dishes like squid and scallion skewers, tuna tartare with bottarga on toast, crab with ‘nduja and braised beans, and an absolutely epic fish & chips. Real cost: About $125 per person after drinks, tax, and tip.

A colorful spread of dishes and cocktails laid out on a table
Fish & chips and other dishes at Dame.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

15. Momofuku Ko

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8 Extra Pl
New York, NY 10003
(212) 203-8095
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Momofuku’s two Michelin-starred restaurant, under the helm of chef Esther Ha, is finally offering its longer counter tasting again, at $280 per person. Patrons in the smaller bar room can choose from a la carte fare including cold fried chicken and caviar. Real Cost: About $80 per person or more after beverage and tax in the bar room, or $350 per person and up for the counter menu. Prices are inclusive of service.

Disclosure: David Chang is producing shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of those shows, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.

A few tongues of orange uni sit next to a yellow chickpea puree in a pool of green olive oil
Uni with chickpea hozon.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

16. Estela

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47 E Houston St 1st floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 219-7693
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Estela easily ranks as the most creative — and expensive — establishment in the Ignacio Mattos empire, serving up some of the city’s best small and medium-sized plates. Take a seat at the bar and build your meal out of a collection of European-leaning dishes. Mattos hides rich ricotta dumplings under a layer of mandolin-thin mushrooms. He amps up the richness of beef with a wonderfully funky taleggio sauce. And he still offers his famous arroz negro, with almost every grain of rice magically crisped up like a paella-style socarrat. Real cost: At least $125 or more per person for about three plates and two drinks each.

17. Frenchette

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241 W Broadway
New York, NY 10013
(212) 334-3883
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Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson’s modern French restaurant and natural wine hub is open for indoor dining. Expect the duo’s signature oysters with sausages, soupe de poisson, and tartare frites. Real cost: At least $100 per person for three courses after drinks, tax, and tip.

Frenchette duck frites
Duck frites at Frenchette.
Louise Palmberg/Eater NY

18. Dhamaka

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119 Delancey St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 204-8616
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The $190 Rajasthani rabbit, which can be quite difficult to reserve, might be the one literal splurge item at Chintan Pandya and Roni Mazumdar’s breathtakingly spicy Indian spot, but the other more affordable preparations are so unique and expertly prepared it would be remiss not to include this venue on a special occasion map. Expect fiery gurda kapoora (goat testicles and kidneys), a flaky fish fry, and fragrant goat neck biriyani. Real Cost: About $75 or more per person after beverage, tax, and tip.

An overview shot of various Indian dishes in colorful plates at the restaurant Dhamaka.
A spread of dishes at Dhamaka.
Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

19. Lilia

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567 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 576-3095
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This Williamsburg Italian restaurant from chef Missy Robbins and partner Sean Feeney remains one of the city’s best and toughest-to-get-into pasta spots; reservations often book up a month out. In exchange for these efforts, however, diners are treated to spectacular baked clams with Calabrian chiles, ruffled malfadini pasta with pink peppercorns, and heady lamb steaks. Real Cost: About $100 or more per person.

A corner of Lilia’s dining room with lights that hang over the tables
The light-filled dining room at Lilia.
Paul Crispin Quitoriano/Eater NY

20. Aska

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47 S 5th St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(929) 337-6792
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Fredrik Berselius’s Williamsburg restaurant is quite expensive — dinner runs $295 before service charge and wine — but it’s an expense worth considering for diners seeking thoughtful and creative New Nordic fare. Expect dishes like trout belly with albino caviar or buttermilk ice cream with honey and strawberries. Real cost: About $500 or more per person after wine, tax, and service charge. Bookings are for a minimum of two people and are fully prepaid and nonrefundable.

Aska
A mushroom dish at Aska.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

21. Aldama

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91 S 6th St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(929) 298-0233
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With Aldama, Christopher Reyes and Gerardo Alcaraz have given New York one of its best and most ambitious Mexican restaurants since Cosme opened in 2014. Highlights include stellar al pastor tacos made with modernist pineapple-serrano gel, carrot-daikon tostadas laced with electric levels of acidity, and a breathtaking vegan mole negro that you mop up with aromatic corn tortillas. Real cost: About $100 or more per person for a full meal plus drink, tax, and tip.

Rolled ribbons of daikon and radish sit over slices of avocado on a tostada
A daikon and radish tostada at Aldama.
Gary He/Eater NY

22. Falansai

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112 Harrison Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11237
(718) 381-0980
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Chef Eric Tran’s Vietnamese American hangout in Bushwick is a fine place for a quick weeknight dinner, but the longer $83 tasting offers the type of elegant, spicy, sometimes offal-y experience that one would hope to find more frequently at fancier restaurants. The menu changes nightly but one might encounter beef tartare-stuffed spring rolls; chicken liver brulee; or fish head, collar, and belly meant for wrapping up in lettuce leaves. Real Cost: About $75 or more per person for an a la carte dinner after beverage, tax, and tip, or over $120 per person for the tasting menu plus beverages.

Fish head, collar, and belly sits on a plate next to a separate dish of lettuce leaves
Fish wraps at Falansai.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

23. Saga

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70 Pine St 63rd Floor
New York, NY 10005
(212) 339-3963
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Chef James Kent and restaurateur Jeff Katz have teamed up for this sky-high tasting menu sequel to Crown Shy, located on the 63rd floor of the Art Deco 70 Pine building. The $245 menu earns you some quality pre-dinner cocktail time on a terrace with stunning nighttime views. Then you move inside for a modern European meal with occasional Japanese, Latin-American, and North African influences. Expect dishes like fluke six ways (ceviche, rolled into a shiso leaf, bruleed as a tiny chop), egg custard with caviar, and a large format duck with harissa aioli and m’smen flatbread. Real cost: About $400 or more per person after drinks, tax, and tip. Bookings are for a minimum of two people and are fully prepaid and nonrefundable.

Assorted fluke preparations, in green shiso wrappers, in scallop shells, and in pastry shells, sit on a two-tiered platter
Fluke six-ways at Saga.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

24. La Vara

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268 Clinton St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 422-0065
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Tucked into a tree-lined residential street in Cobble Hill, La Vara is one of the city’s best Iberian spots. Chefs Alex Raij and Eder Montero pay homage to the Moorish and Sephardic traditions of Spain, serving up beef jowl terrine with pistachio and mustard oil, toasted fideos with squid, shrimp, and aioli; and roast suckling pig with tximitxurri. Real Cost: About $100 or more per person for a full meal with multiple plates, drinks, and dessert.

Chef Alex Raij stands in front of La Vara in a white-and-black-striped search with her hand on her hip
Chef Alex Raij stands in front of La Vara.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

25. Claro

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284 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(347) 721-3126
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Tostadas, moles, and mezcal flights are all up for grabs at this Gowanus sensation. The Oaxacan restaurant from chef TJ Steele serves a four-course, $72 menu by reservation through Resy, with a short a la carte menu available at the bar. Real Cost: About $115 or more per person at dinner after beverage, tax, and tip.

Mole negro with duck leg at Claro
Mole negro at Claro.
Amber-Lynn Taber/Eater NY

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1. Sushi Noz

181 E 78th St, New York, NY 10075
Read Review |
Noz chef Nozomu Abe blows over a portable grill he’s using to lightly smoke sea eel
Noz chef Nozomu Abe blows over a portable grill for smoking eel.
Matt Taylor-Gross/Eater NY

After a pandemic hiatus, this omakase stunner is back to offering sedate indoor tastings of some of the city’s best sushi. A meal by chef Nozomu Abe in the hinoki room runs $400. A shorter sushi meal in the ash room costs $230. The chef places each piece of nigiri in front of you, directly onto the smooth wood bar. Real Cost: Anywhere from $300-$550 per person after beverages and tax. Prices are reflective of service.

181 E 78th St
New York, NY 10075

2. Yakitori Torishin

362 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
[The counter at Tori Shin]
The counter at Tori Shin.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

One of the city’s best yakitori spots is open for both indoor and outdoor dining. Indoor omakase offerings run $70 to $125, or $180 to $210 at the luxury chef’s counter. More affordable options are available outdoors or at the tables. Dinner might involve skewers of chicken thigh, heart, liver, crunchy knee bone, or prized chicken oysters. Meats are grilled directly over binchotan charcoals. Real Cost: About $125 per person or more for a full meal after tax, beverage, and tip.

362 W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019

3. Le Bernardin

155 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
A server pours orange Thai shellfish broth onto a white plate, which holds a slide of poached skate covered by a multi-colored dice of papaya and squash
Poached skate at Le Bernardin.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Eric Ripert’s three-Michelin-starred temple to French seafood remains one of the top places to dine in New York, which makes Le Bernardin a tough reservation. But the bar and lounge, where the full menu is served, is open to walk-ins. The four-course menu is $190 while the chef’s tasting runs $290. A vegetarian menu is $230. Real Cost: Over $300 per person after wine, tax, and tip.

155 W 51st St
New York, NY 10019

4. Aquavit

65 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022
Read Review |
Aquavit grav
Smoked gravlax at Aquavit.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

Chef Emma Bengtsson’s two-Michelin-starred Scandinavian restaurant is open for indoor dining and takeout. Bar room dishes include herring trios, lojrom roe, gravlax, and Swedish meatballs. The more extravagant tasting menus run $155 and $275. Real Cost: Over $200 per person for the tasting.

65 E 55th St
New York, NY 10022

5. Sushi On Me

71-26 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372
A row of patrons seated on one side of the sushi bar are show toasting and drinking sake with chefs, who are standing on the opposite side of the counter
Patrons toasting at Sushi on Me.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

New York has no shortage of reverent omakase temples, places where diners can pay upwards of $400 per person for pristine morsels of fatty bluefin served in serene dining rooms. This is not one of those places. Sushi on Me is a $89, cash-only, expletive-laden all-you-can-drink party. It’s a place to enjoy chef Atip “Palm” Tangjantuk’s fun approach to nigiri; he serves about 12 pieces, one at a time, the best of which might be Thai-style chile garlic sauce over seared white tuna. Real cost: About $120 per person after tax and tip. Beverages are included.

71-26 Roosevelt Ave
Queens, NY 11372

6. Ilili

236 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001

Chef Philippe Massoud continues to run one of the city’s top Middle Eastern restaurants at Ilili in Flatiron. Expect silky kibbeh nayeh steak tartare with mint and bulgur, duck shawarma with fig jam, and generous mixed grill platters with beef kebab, kofta, lamb kebabs and other assorted treats. Real cost: About $100 per person after drink, tax, and tip.

236 5th Ave
New York, NY 10001

7. Cote Korean Steakhouse

16 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10010
A circular beef-filled tabletop grill sits at the center; around that gold-rimmed grill are small banchan, including kimchi and egg omelet
An assortment of grilled meats and sides at Cote.
Daniel Krieger/Eater

Simon Kim’s Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse offers indoor and outdoor dining, where diners can enjoy the $64 or $185 set menus, with extensive a la carte beef, shellfish, and caviar selections as well. Real Cost: Expect to spend at least $125 per person or more after tax, tip, drinks, and extras. Delivery also available.

16 W 22nd St
New York, NY 10010

8. Rezdôra

27 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003
Read Review |
The tagliolini al ragu, held up by a fork, at Rezdora
Tagliolini al ragu at Rezdora.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Chef Stefano Secchi, an alum of famed Italy restaurant Osteria Francescana, has gifted New York with one of its most popular Italian restaurants in years, serving up hearty (but rarely heavy) a la carte specialties from the butter-and-cheese-loving region of Emilia-Romagna. The $95 pasta tasting is a smart move, showing off rich preparations like tortellini en brodo, and a tagliatelle bolognese packing a profound, perception-altering meatiness. Indoor or outdoor seating is available. Real Cost: At least $125 per person a la carte, or more for the pasta tasting.

27 E 20th St
New York, NY 10003

9. Sona

36 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003
Stuffed chicken wings sit on a platter next to crab puri topped with quenelles of black caviar
Stuffed chicken wings at Sona
Ryan Sutton/Eater

Sona: Priyanka Chopra Jonas’s and chef Hari Nayak’s Flatiron restaurant is a sedate and luxurious counterpart to the excellent and more face-melting regional fare one will find at Dhamaka downtown. Expect very good crab puri with caviar, creamy butter chicken, and a take on Floyd Cardoz’s spicy Goan fish curry. Real Cost: About $100 or more per person after beverage, tax, and tip. Takeout and delivery also available.

36 E 20th St
New York, NY 10003

10. Shuko

47 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003
A slice of pink fatty tuna, marbled with fat, sits over a small mound of rice
Bluefin tuna nigiri.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

Masa alums Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau, two of the city’s best and most innovative sushi chefs (think: torched toro sinew with Thai bird chiles), have reopened for indoor dining. Dinner is $228 per person for a series of small plates and 16 pieces of sushi. Supplemental items like toro with uni and caviar is also available. Real Cost: About $300 per person or more.

47 E 12th St
New York, NY 10003

11. I Sodi

105 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014
Read Review |
Customers dine at a busy I Sodi, with one wall lined with wine bottles
The dining room at I Sodi.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Rita Sodi’s Tuscan cuisine is unequivocally bare bones: She adds no cream to her polenta. But with carefully sourced ingredients, studied cooking, stellar cacio e pepe, killer brick chicken, and a head spinning selection of amari, she ensures that I Sodi in the West Village remains one of the city’s best Italian restaurants. Real Cost: About $110 per person for four courses.

105 Christopher St
New York, NY 10014

12. Llama San

359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10014
Read Review |
A chef uses tweezers to place purple borage flowers over a bowl of scallop ceviche with cherimoya
A chef prepares scallop ceviche at Llama San.
Louise Palmberg/Eater NY

Erik Ramirez’s creative take on Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei fare initially made Llama San one of the city’s toughest-to-get-into restaurants with tables for two regularly booking up a month out. Amid the COVID-19 era, however, reservations are easier to come by. Diners will encounter visually striking and delicious compositions like scallops with yuzu kosho, aged duck breast nigiri with banana, and Iberico pork tonkotsu with green udon. Real Cost: At least $125 per person before for a four-course a la carte meal with wine.

359 6th Ave
New York, NY 10014

13. Nami Nori

33 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014
A u shaped sushi roll is cradled in nori and contains green summer squash, scallions, and micro
Temaki hand rolls at Nami Nori.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Lisa Limb, Taka Sakaeda, and Jihan Lee’s temaki spot is a rare affordable option among the city’s ambitious class of sushi spots. Take a seat at the bar, order five to seven hand rolls, and enjoy the brilliant combination of ultra-crisp nori, gently warm rice, and precisely calibrated fillings. Among the top rolls to look out for are chopped toro with scallions, scallops with spicy XO sauce and tobiko, and expensive varieties of uni, including a creamy $34 option with Hokkaido urchin. Delivery is also available; in fact its’ some of the city’s best takeout sushi. Real cost: About $50 or more per person. Those who select daily temaki specials or premium uni can easily spend $100 or more per person.

33 Carmine St
New York, NY 10014

14. Dame

87 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012
A colorful spread of dishes and cocktails laid out on a table
Fish & chips and other dishes at Dame.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Ambitious seafood restaurants that don’t cost a fortune are a relative rarity in New York, which is what makes this jewel box of a British-leaning spot by Ed Szymanski and Patricia Howard such a gift. Make a reservation — not an easy task — and order anything off the concise and frequently changing menu. Expect dishes like squid and scallion skewers, tuna tartare with bottarga on toast, crab with ‘nduja and braised beans, and an absolutely epic fish & chips. Real cost: About $125 per person after drinks, tax, and tip.

87 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012

15. Momofuku Ko

8 Extra Pl, New York, NY 10003
Read Review |
A few tongues of orange uni sit next to a yellow chickpea puree in a pool of green olive oil
Uni with chickpea hozon.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

Momofuku’s two Michelin-starred restaurant, under the helm of chef Esther Ha, is finally offering its longer counter tasting again, at $280 per person. Patrons in the smaller bar room can choose from a la carte fare including cold fried chicken and caviar. Real Cost: About $80 per person or more after beverage and tax in the bar room, or $350 per person and up for the counter menu. Prices are inclusive of service.

Disclosure: David Chang is producing shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of those shows, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.

8 Extra Pl
New York, NY 10003

Related Maps

16. Estela

47 E Houston St 1st floor, New York, NY 10012

Estela easily ranks as the most creative — and expensive — establishment in the Ignacio Mattos empire, serving up some of the city’s best small and medium-sized plates. Take a seat at the bar and build your meal out of a collection of European-leaning dishes. Mattos hides rich ricotta dumplings under a layer of mandolin-thin mushrooms. He amps up the richness of beef with a wonderfully funky taleggio sauce. And he still offers his famous arroz negro, with almost every grain of rice magically crisped up like a paella-style socarrat. Real cost: At least $125 or more per person for about three plates and two drinks each.

47 E Houston St 1st floor
New York, NY 10012

17. Frenchette

241 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013
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Frenchette duck frites
Duck frites at Frenchette.
Louise Palmberg/Eater NY

Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson’s modern French restaurant and natural wine hub is open for indoor dining. Expect the duo’s signature oysters with sausages, soupe de poisson, and tartare frites. Real cost: At least $100 per person for three courses after drinks, tax, and tip.

241 W Broadway
New York, NY 10013

18. Dhamaka

119 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002
An overview shot of various Indian dishes in colorful plates at the restaurant Dhamaka.
A spread of dishes at Dhamaka.
Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

The $190 Rajasthani rabbit, which can be quite difficult to reserve, might be the one literal splurge item at Chintan Pandya and Roni Mazumdar’s breathtakingly spicy Indian spot, but the other more affordable preparations are so unique and expertly prepared it would be remiss not to include this venue on a special occasion map. Expect fiery gurda kapoora (goat testicles and kidneys), a flaky fish fry, and fragrant goat neck biriyani. Real Cost: About $75 or more per person after beverage, tax, and tip.

119 Delancey St
New York, NY 10002

19. Lilia

567 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Read Review |
A corner of Lilia’s dining room with lights that hang over the tables
The light-filled dining room at Lilia.
Paul Crispin Quitoriano/Eater NY

This Williamsburg Italian restaurant from chef Missy Robbins and partner Sean Feeney remains one of the city’s best and toughest-to-get-into pasta spots; reservations often book up a month out. In exchange for these efforts, however, diners are treated to spectacular baked clams with Calabrian chiles, ruffled malfadini pasta with pink peppercorns, and heady lamb steaks. Real Cost: About $100 or more per person.

567 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222

20. Aska

47 S 5th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Aska
A mushroom dish at Aska.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

Fredrik Berselius’s Williamsburg restaurant is quite expensive — dinner runs $295 before service charge and wine — but it’s an expense worth considering for diners seeking thoughtful and creative New Nordic fare. Expect dishes like trout belly with albino caviar or buttermilk ice cream with honey and strawberries. Real cost: About $500 or more per person after wine, tax, and service charge. Bookings are for a minimum of two people and are fully prepaid and nonrefundable.

47 S 5th St
Brooklyn, NY 11249

21. Aldama

91 S 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Rolled ribbons of daikon and radish sit over slices of avocado on a tostada
A daikon and radish tostada at Aldama.
Gary He/Eater NY

With Aldama, Christopher Reyes and Gerardo Alcaraz have given New York one of its best and most ambitious Mexican restaurants since Cosme opened in 2014. Highlights include stellar al pastor tacos made with modernist pineapple-serrano gel, carrot-daikon tostadas laced with electric levels of acidity, and a breathtaking vegan mole negro that you mop up with aromatic corn tortillas. Real cost: About $100 or more per person for a full meal plus drink, tax, and tip.

91 S 6th St
Brooklyn, NY 11249

22. Falansai

112 Harrison Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11237