New York has plenty of options if you can’t make the trip to Italy to feed your cravings. Here you can find some of the best Italian restaurants in NYC! Some of the favorites have been around for decades showing just how good their Italian food can be and that you don’t need a fancy setting to enjoy something authentic. If you’re looking for some of the best classic Italian dishes around, check out this list below! Each of these locations gives off the perfect vibes and mood to ensure a great time out with friends or family.
1. Rezdôra, Flatiron
Get ready to be transported to Italy without having to grab your passport. Walk into the rustic atmosphere that is known as Rezdôra and try some classic Italian dishes. The head chef once worked in Italy and now brings his craft to the US, cooking up a variety of pastas, salads, and other favored dishes, including Gnocco Fritto and Bistecca perdue.
In 2020, Rezdôra earned its status as a Michelin restaurant. With a focus on handmade pasta, this restaurant doesn’t stray far from its original roots.
Reservations can be made on their website up to 21 days in advance.
Where: 27 E 20th St
2. Lupa, Greenwich Village
If you find yourself in Greenwich Village, you will find Lupa, which has been in the area since 1999.
This is the perfect spot to spend an evening with friends and loved ones in a classic Italian restaurant. Once you walk in, smiling faces will welcome you into their casual restaurant with the feel of a cozy Italian retreat. The wine pairing is worth the extra money if you are evaluating the tasting menu and trying to find an excellent wine for your evening.
Any one of Lupa’s dishes is a way to experience an Italian home-cooked meal while staying in NYC. Here are the classics, including their appetizers of marinated artichokes to the main course of Charred octopus with kabocha squash caponata. You’re in for a treat with any of their dishes!
Reservations can be made on their website for both lunch and dinner options.
Where: 170 Thompson St
3. Di Fara, Brooklyn
Pizza is one of the first things you think of when you think of classic Italian dishes. Di Fara, a family-run pizza joint, is one of the best in the area. Here, you’ll get a mix of locals and visitors from all over the world dying to enjoy one of the best pizzerias in NYC.
Buy a slice or a whole pie of Domenico DeMarco’s handmade pizzas. Made with the love for good pizza, cheese, basil, and tomato sauce, the wait is worth it. Grab a friend or take the family in for a casual atmosphere and the guarantee of a great pizza.
Where: 1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn
4. Malatesta Trattoria, West Village
Over in the West Village, the spot you’ll want to hit for one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC is Malatesta Trattoria. The calm way the light flickers on wood tables sets the perfect mood for get-togethers of all kinds.
Although the menu is ever-changing, there is no doubt that you’ll find a classic Italian dish sure to curb any craving you have for Italian. From pasta to chocolate mousse, their house red seems to go with any dish on the menu.
Where: 649 Washington St
5. Piccola Cucina, SoHo
Piccola Cucina is a tight-knit and delicious Sicilian restaurant located in SoHo. At this spot, you’ll get an authentic Italian experience complete with the best-of-the-best staff with lovely personalities. The reason we love this spot so much is because they’ve mastered the art of seafood, all while remaining true to its Italian roots! If you head there with a group, be sure to try out one of their big seafood plates to share before you move onto your individual entree. Trust us, you don’t want to miss out!
Where: 75 Thompson St
6. Forsythia, LES
Previously a pop-up take-out restaurant, Forsythia opened a permanent location on the Lower East Side. You’ll be able to enjoy your meal outdoors under a heated and waterproof area or you have the option to dine inside a cozy and quiet restaurant.
Not only will you find some classic dishes, but you can also learn to cook them yourself. Forsythia does weekly pasta classes which give hands-on experience with their chef. The menu is frequently changing, but there is always something for everyone.
Make reservations on their website for either dining or the pasta class.
Where: 9 Stanton St
7. Lucali, Brooklyn
Pro-tip: Get on the waitlist early! The restaurant recommends showing up by 4 pm.
This is one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC for a classic pizza. Cooked in a brick oven, Lucali has perfected its cooking process to deliver the best pizza to your table.
Ingredients change based on what is fresh that day, so you’ll never know what you’re going to get until you get there! BYOB and know that this restaurant is cash only. Without all the extra bells and whistles, you’ll be in for a treat!
Where: 575 Henry St, Brooklyn
8. I Sodi, West Village
A classic neighborhood favorite, I Sodi is the place to stop in and get all your favorite Italian classics. When food is made with passion, you can taste it in every dish. Rita Sodi learned from her mother’s cooking and is carrying on the tradition with her own hands. This quaint space is a great spot to hit with friends for dinner.
Either sit at the bar or grab a table and enjoy some time enjoying the space. From Italian dishes to the classic lasagna, you’ll feel transported while you sip on red wine. Knowing all the ingredients are fresh, you’ll be dining fine.
Where: 105 Christopher St
9. Frankies 457 Spuntino, Brooklyn
Here you’ll get a three-in-one. Frankies 457 Spuntino consists of its main restaurant, F&F Pizzeria, and Franks Wine Bar. They are located side-by-side, so there is easy access to whatever you’re craving.
At Frankies 457, you’ll get the classic Italian dishes, house-made plates of pasta, sandwiches, and even a chance for mozzarella tasting. F & F Pizzaria is located in a converted garage where they serve up the classic pies with the freshest ingredients. Lastly, Franks Wine Bar has the outdoor seating to enjoy a small plate and a glass of imported Italian wine to enjoy.
Where: 457 Court St, Brooklyn
10. Vic’s, NoHo
Keeping it low-key, Vic’s is perfect for either a night out with or without the kids. While the menu may look small, each dish listed is packed full of classic flavors. The menu will rotate with seasonal availability, but you can always count on receiving a great dish that packs a punch. They have pizza, pasta, steak, and plenty of sides to complement the main dishes.
Their wine and cocktail list gives the perfect addition to your meal, no matter if you’re in the mood for a spritz or Birra de Cedro.
If brunch is more your thing, Vic’s has that option too! Breakfast pizza anyone?
Where: 31 Great Jones St
11. Il Buco, Alimentari, e Vineria, NoHo
Down the street from the previous recommendation is Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, which is an Italian cafe. You’ll get a market-style cafe with the chance to purchase pasta, meats, and loaves of bread.
Head chef, Roger Martinez, has experience in whipping up classics with his background in restaurants crafting rustic Italian favorites.
No matter what time of day you head here, you won’t be disappointed!
Where: 53 Great Jones St
12. Osteria Morini, SoHo
This easy-going restaurant dishes out some of the best dishes from the Emilia-Romagna regions, so you’ll find all the best ingredients for a charcuterie board. Perfect for sharing with friends before ordering freshly made pasta or an entree such as Polletto.
If you are looking for a breakfast option, you can stop here at Osteria Morini on the weekends for their brunch menu, where you can still find a pasta dish if you’re in the mood for it.
Their restaurant includes pieces from an old farmhouse to bring a piece of Italy right to the SoHo neighborhood. Wines on their menu come from the same area, bringing their authentic flavors to you at home.
Where: 218 Lafayette St
13. Gaia Italian Cafe, Alphabet City
This little cafe packs more than it may seem. Nothing over the top here, but you’ll find the owner of Gaia Italian Cafe loves to make her own bread and pastries, while also serving up Italian salads, sandwiches, and plates of pasta.
Depending on the time you stop by to eat, make sure you check in with them. It is a small cafe and later afternoon dining requests that you make a reservation if you’d like to stop in. You are welcome to bring your own wine!
Where: 251 E. 3rd St
14. Pasquale Jones, Nolita
We’d be lying if we said Pasquale Jones doesn’t have some of the best wood fire pizza in the city. Besides their classic Margherita, their clam pizza is world renowned and their wine list is vast. If pizza isn’t your thing, they do have a handful of appetizers and pasta entrees to choose from. What could be a better pairing than a Neo-NY pizza and a glass of wine!
Where: 187 Mulberry St
15. Marea, Central Park South
Marea may be the priciest restaurant on this list, but their food quality is off the charts. This Michelin-starred Italian spot has been named one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC by many of the top critiques and has paved its way as one of NYC’s iconic restaurants. Along with their Italian, they boast some of the best seafood in the city, and their menu is the perfect blend of fresh catches and Italian classics!
Where: 240 Central Park S
16. Roberto’s, Bronx
Roberto Paciullo opened his own restaurant nearly 20 years ago and has been serving some of the best Italian food in The Bronx ever since. Roberto’s is an authentic Italian experience centered around its country-style meals, delicious and fresh selections of pasta, and their constantly rotating list of specials. This spot sits right in the middle of The Bronx’s version of “Little Italy” and has been a staple for both families and friends alike. Plus, the portions of food you receive make this place a no brainer next time you’re craving Italian food.
Where: 603 Crescent Ave, Bronx
17. Lilia, Brooklyn
Lilia is Williamsburg’s shining Italian restaurant gem that is both hard to get into and also delicious. This spot is headed by renowned pasta chef Missy Robbins and offers some of the best pasta in the whole city. Their assortment of seafood and wood oven steamed vegetables make the entire meal exponentially better and their wine and cocktail list is impressive. We suggest trying to make reservations as far out in advance as you can!
Where: 567 Union Ave, Brooklyn
18. Rubirosa, Nolita
Looking for a dimly-lit intimate restaurant with state-of-the-art vodka sauce pizza? Rubirosa is the gold standard! The deliciousness doesnt end there though. Between their freshly made-in-house pasta and their antipasti platter, Rubirosa serves up Italian classics like no one else. Of course, we can’t leave out the fact that their chicken parm is on another planet of greatness. Dinner reservations are difficult here so we recommend popping by during lunch for a slice or a quick bite!
Where: 235 Mulberry St
19. Carbone, Greenwich Village
There’s a reason some of the world’s most famous celebrities like Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, and Rihanna have eaten at Carbone, and it’s because of it’s incredible food and exclusivity. The restaurant itself offers an intimate atmosphere with a condensed menu and terrific cocktails. Be prepared to spend a bit of money if you’re able to snag a table at this exquisite Italian-American spot, but it may just be worth the price if you happen to catch a glimpse of a Hollywood star.
Where: 181 Thompson St
20. Via Carota, West Village
This women-owned restaurant in West Village focuses on their mission of “keeping a balance between authenticity and spontaneity.” Via Carota boasts a mouthwatering food menu of pasta, seafood, and even fried rabbit! Yes you read that right! Our favorite personal item has to be the svizzerina, a hand-chopped grassfed steak that comes out juicy and steaming hot. Don’t forget to grab a drink too because their cocktail and wine list is extensive.
Where: 51 Groove St