New York City is well known for its fantastic cuisine from cultures all over the world. Especially Italy where, our restaurants and pasta bars come as close as possible to the homeland of noodle-y greatness. Whether you’re looking for a fettuccini Alfredo or delicious spicy vodka rigatoni, you can find dozens of world-class Italian restaurants in the Big Apple. But with so many options, it can be challenging to know where to start! To help you land the perfect dish, here’s our list of the top restaurants with the best pasta in NYC.
1. Carbone, Greenwich Village
Although many New Yorkers call Carbone one of the hardest reservations in NYC, the Greenwich Village restaurant’s pasta does not disappoint. Created by Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick, this popular spot for A-list celebrities serves upscale Italian pasta dishes including the Lobster Fra Diavlo and their famous Spicy Rigatoni Vodka (pictured above). The intimate and exclusive vibe only adds to the atmosphere, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you can snag a table.
Where: 181 Thompson St
2. Caffe Buon Gusto, Upper East Side
Café Buon Gusto is a quaint Italian café on the Upper East Side with a warm, romantic vibe, attentive staff and welcoming atmosphere. They are famous for their linguini, which comes in various styles, including alla vodka, Alfredo, pesto, and many more. Guests can choose any sauce they like with their meal, making their menu easy to customize to suit their tastes. They also have a bunch of specialty pastas that include fixins like shrimp, veal, calamari, etc.
Where: 236 E 77th St
3. Marea, Columbus Circle
Marea is not only one of the most romantic restaurants in our eyes, but also one of the best for pasta! Serving regional dishes from all over Italy, their delightful menu offers a perfect bite alongside gorgeous views of Central Park. They are best known for their seafood pasta dishes, which we highly recommend! Our two favorites include the pictured above Fusilli (red wine braised octopus, bone marrow) and the Mezzaluna (squid ink lobster ravioli, coral bottarga).
Where: 220 Central Park South
4. Fiaschetteria Pistoia, West Village & East Village
The pasta at Fiaschetteria Pistoia is as fresh as it gets, especially when you can watch them make it by hand in the window! This restaurant that began in Italy now has two NYC outposts, where they serve arguably the best dishes in downtown Manhattan. The two main dishes that are the talk of the town are the Pici Freschi Cacio e Pepe (hand-rolled spaghetti, pecorino, black pepper) and the thick noodled Pappardelle Al Ragu (slow cooked beef ragu bolognese style), but everything here is incredible. Don’t forget to try out the truffle too.
West Village – 114 Christopher St
East Village – 647 E 11 St
5. Lilia, Williamsburg
Even though it’s another difficult reservation, Lilia is the cream of the crop when it comes to pasta in Brooklyn. The industrial-style Williamsburg restaurants is one of fine luxury, a place where you can officially brag that you’ve at afterward. We always suggest the pictured above Rigatoni Diavola (San Marzano Tomatoes, Chilies, Oregano, Pecorino) which is a main menu highlight, or the Mafaldini (Pink Peppercorn, Parmigiano).
Where: 567 Union Ave, Brooklyn
6. Forma Pasta Factory, Greenpoint
If you’re looking for an affordable and yummy pasta dish in NYC, check out Forma Pasta Factory in Greenpoint! Dishes are only $13 with $7 sides available too, how couldn’t you want to stop by? The pasta is made fresh daily and sauteed to make mouthwatering meals like the Mafaldine Scampi (sautéed shrimp, white wine & lemon butter sauce, red chili flakes, garlic bread crumbs) and the pictured above Pappardelle Bolognese (ground beef ragu, parmigiano reggiano). Be sure to order a side of meatballs too!
Where: 14 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn
7. Malatesta Trattoria, West Village
This cozy cash-only Italian restaurant gives off the West Village vibes you’re looking for: warm eats in a dimly lit dining room. It’s a simple and charming spots that serve up all sorts of Italian classics like the Ravioli al Formaggio (homemade cheese ravioli with pink sauce) and the Spinach Gnocchi (homemade gnocchi with gorgonzola cheese). Be sure to pair it with a glass of wine and dessert for a romantic dinner! Full menu here.
Where: 649 Washington St
8. Forsythia, Lower East Side
Forsythia is a vibrant Italian eatery on the Lower East Side serving a diverse range of seasonal homemade pastas. After starting as a pop-up during the pandemic, they’ve since became a permanent restaurant and cemented themself into the Lower East Side’s food scene. Their signature dish is the agnolotti di coda alla vaccinara I, (braised short rib stuffed pasta with parmigiano Reggiano and duck jus) as well as the suppli I (fried cacio e pepe risotto, mozzarella di bufala) for an appetizer.
Where: 9 Stanton St
9. Via Carota, West Village
Via Carota is walk-in only and that means you’ll probably have to wait…because it’s pretty good. After you settle in with all of the lovely appetizers, move on to the one of the pasta highlights, which include the Tonnarelli (cacio e pepe), Pappardelle (wild boar ragu), and the Tagliatelle (prosciutto and parmigiano). Be sure to order the ’Nduja Arancini (rice and spicy pork bitters) before your pasta as well.
Where: 51 Grove St
10. Bar Primi, East Village
Bar Primi is a laid-back pasta shop in the East Village serving a variety of pasta-based dishes plus cocktails and Italian wine. The chefs at Bar Primi use 100% non-GMO and specialty ’00’ flour, organic eggs, and secret family recipes to create their unique selection of pastas. Their popular plates include the Spaghetti Pomodoro (parmigiano-reggiano) and the Squid Ink Campanelle (crab, garlic crema, fresno).
Where: 325 Bowery
11. Il Cantinori, East Village
Il Cantinori is a high-end Italian restaurant famous for its celebrity clientele and chic atmosphere, offering an ever-changing menu of Tuscan delicacies and wine pairings. The restaurant has a long and romantic history, and in the 80s, it was a popular hangout spot for artists like Andy Warhol, Keith Herring, and Dolly Parton. It remains a local staple today with some of the best pasta in NYC, such as their mouth-watering Pappardelle Alla Buttera (Homemade pasta w/crumbled sausage, peas, tom, cream) and the Penne Alla Frossetana (pasta w/ eggplant, garlic, mushrooms, black olives, tomato sauce).
Where: 32 E 10th St
12. Il Buco Alimentari, NoHo
Nestled in between NoHo and NoLita is Il Buco, an Italian restaurant serving fine cuisine in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. They are well known for their seasonal risottos and tagliatelle, and house-made egg pasta with Perigord black truffle parmigiano. While it’s romantic all year round, we suggest visiting at least once in the summer to check out their cute outdoor seating selection!
Where: 47 Bond St
13. Rezdôra, Flatiron
Rezdôra offers about 5-10 pasta options per any given night, but this place that feels like is straight out of Italy is still one of the most talked about pasta joints in Manhattan. If you go here, be sure to try out their iconic dishes Grandma Walking Through Forest in Emilia (Cappelletti verdi with roasted, sautéed leeks & black mushroom puree) and the Strozzapreti (Tomato sauce from emilia with lobster & basil).
Where: 27 E 20th St
14. La Pecora Bianca, Multiple Locations
If you’re looking for a quality meal every single time, you’ll be well off at La Pecora Bianca. They have a bunch of locations around Manhattan making it easy to find one, and their noodles are so good you’ll have to come back and try a new menu item the next time. Menu highlights for us are the Vodka Sauce Rigatoni and the Garganelli (roasted wild mushrooms, arugula pesto, garlic, pecorino), and we highly suggest adding a scoop of burrata on top for an extra $6!
Where: Find your location here
15. Felice, Multiple Locations
Italian restaurant Felice has a few locations around Manhattan where they sell their dazzling pasta and other cuisine. Our favorite locations are Felice 83 (UES), Felice 56 (Midtown), and Felice on Hudson (West Village), but there are even more. We recommend either the Linguine Alle Vongole (fresh Manila clams, garlic, Italian red peperoncino, fresh parsley, extra virgin olive oil) or the Mafalde al Limone (fresh mafalde pasta, lemon zest, ricotta, red onion). Menus will likely vary by location.
Where: Find your location here
16. da Toscano, Greenwich Village
Da Toscano in Greenwich Village has so many pasta options you may just think you’re in pasta heaven. The Orecchiette (Sweet Italian Sausage, Broccoli Rabe Pesto, Pickled Cherry Pepper) and Spaghetti al Telofono (Cheddar Cheese Curd, Pomodoro, Basil) should both be on your list next time you’re looking for a carb fix.
Where: 24 Minetta Ln
17. Piccola Cucina, Multiple Locations
With a few locations around Manhattan, with the main one being Piccola Cucina Estiatorio in SoHo, this spot combines Sicilian cuisine with seafood to make some of the most scrumptious dishes around. It’s super underrated and offers a ton of signature specials like the Ossobuco ravioli with veal sauce, pecorino fondue, thyme and lemon and the Gragnano fusilli with scampi langoustine, burrata cheese, cherry tomatoes and arugula.
Where: Find your location here
18. Ai Fiori, Midtown
Ai Fiori is a Michelin-starred restaurant and brainchild of chef Michael White and the Altamarea Group. With an extensive wine list of over 1000 varieties from Europe’s finest vineyards, the overall atmosphere is divine thanks to their elegant maple bar, banquette seating, and plenty of gorgeous floral arrangements. Some of their signature pasta include their Trofie Nero (ligurian crustacean ragù, scallops, seppia spiced mollica) as well as the Spaghetti (blue crab, lemon, bottarga, calabrian chili).
Where: 400 5th Ave
19. Nonna Dora’s, Kips Bay
Nonna Dora’s is a true pasta bar, and we suggest sitting at the bar when you go in order to get the full experience. Addolorata “Dora” Marzovilla is a real life nonna who comes in every morning to make the pasta by hand, so take your chances on spotting her while you’re there! As you can imagine, each dish is made with a mother’s love, including our favorites, the Orecchiette (in rabbit ragu) and the Cavatelli (with broccoli rabe and toasted almonds). If you’re really hungry, consider the Dora’s Classic Pasta Tasting (A flight of Cavatelli, Orecchiette, and Malloreddus).
Where: 606 2nd Ave
20. Quality Italian, Midtown
Last but not least is Quality Italian, an Italian American steakhouse that offers an array of timeless dishes. The two-level bistro offers a bunch, but their main highlights are the Dry-Aged Porterhouse Agnolotti (24 Month Parmesan, Brown Butter, Vincotto) and the Potato & Robiola Gnocchi (Melted Leeks, Chive Buds). They also have an insane Chicken Parm Pizza for two that is worth considering as well.
Where: 57 West 57th St