After hours of making reservations, leaving Secret NYC stamps of approval, and of course feasting on delicious cuisine, we’ve arrived at what we deem the best overall restaurants here in NYC! From staff picks to NYC staples to even brand new spots already making waves in the food scene, we’ve got them all! Check our list below:
1. Tuome, East Village
Starting off our list is Tuome, an affordable Michelin-starred restaurant serving up American fare with Asian influences. Chef/owner Thomas Chen and his incredibly fresh ingredients are behind some of the standout dishes like Octopus with XO Sauce, or the fan-favorite Pig Out for two (Berkshire pork, spicy peanut noodle and condiments). Plus, their rustic interior makes it the perfect East Village hideaway. Make your reservation here.
Where: 536 E 5th St
2. Le Bernardin, Midtown
This 3 star Michelin French restaurant has collected many awards over the years, so it’s no surprise it makes our best restaurants list too! Le Bernardin’s seafood menu is one of the best in NYC, and their 4-course meal makes for the perfect culinary experience. It’s separated into three sections, “Almost Raw,” “Barely Touched”, and “Lightly Cooked”…with each portion being equally delicious. Think everything from oysters and scallops to poached lobster and steamed halibut! Make your reservation here.
Where: 787 7th Ave
3. Jajaja Mexicana, Multiple Locations
This vegan Mexican joint is truly one-of-a-kind, thanks to their offerings and drinks that are both delicious and hip. Jajaja’s multiple locations around the city make it easy to find, and their “vacation-like” atmosphere makes it a place you want to hang out in for a while. Coconut queso, crushed Mayan pumpkin seed dip, and mock chorizo are just some of the vegan substitutes they add to their street tacos, nachos and more! Oh…and don’t forget about their extensive mezcal and tequila menu that they proudly boast alongside their delicious eats. Check out their menu here.
Lower East Side – 162 E Broadway
West Village – 63 Carmine St
Williamsburg – 119 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn
Hudson Yards @ Whole Foods – 450 W 33rd St
4. Bad Roman, Columbus Circle
You’ve think you’ve seen an Italian restaurant…until you step foot into the playful new NYC spot Bad Roman. This whimsical eatery comes from the people behind Don Angie and Quality Italian, and their one-of-a-kind menu items deserve your reservation. Dine on unhinged twists of Italian classics in their Rainforest Cafe-looking space, like the ‘Roni Cups and Ranch, Roasted Garlic Babka, and Filetto with Cacio e Pepe Raviolo. It’s one of the hottest reservations to snag in NYC right now, but it’s definitely worth the visit. Plan your visit here.
Where: 10 Columbus Circle, 3rd Floor
5. Chinese Tuxedo, Chinatown
Chinese Tuxedo in Chinatown is one of our favorite neighborhood hangouts, and it’s all because of their reimagined traditional Chinese banquet dishes by international executive chef, Paul Donnelly. Housed in the old Chinese Opera House, this bi-level space is gorgeous and compliments their wide-ranging menu of rice & noodles, dim sum, seafood, and so much more! Check it out and make your reservation here.
Where: 5 Doyers St
6. Claro, Gowanus
This Brooklyn restaurant specializes in Oaxacan cuisine and has one of the cutest hidden outdoor patios in the city. Under the watchful eye of head chef T.J. Steele, diners can expect divine moles, potent mezcals, and other Mexican classics. Get the full experience with an $80 four course dinner, or mix and match bar food options with a one-of-a-kind mezcal flight! Check out the full menu and make a reservation here.
Where: 284 3rd Ave, Brooklyn
7. Via Carota, West Village
This West Village trattoria attracts all sorts of crowds, from neighborhood locals to celebrities. It’s a joint venture between owners Jody Williams (Buvette) and Rita Sodi (I Sodi) and it’s become the sweet spot in the triad of their restaurant flagships. Their menu consists of tasty Italian options (with the main highlight being the pasta dishes). Some of our favorite dishes include the Gnocchi with gorgonzola and any of their flavorful veggie specials in the “Verdure” section. Plan your visit here and see what the hype is about.
Where: 51 Grove St
8. Planta Queen, NoMad
Since 2016, Planta Queen has been continuing to improve accessibility and acceptability of plant-based dining. This vegan spot specializes in plant-based Asian bites, ranging from traditional sushi, to tasty dumplings, to even their cult-followed item, the Bang Bang Broccoli (w/sweet chili, peanut sauce). They also have many Asian-inspired cocktails, like the Herb Your Enthusiam (thai chili-infused tequila, lime, pineapple, mint, thai basil) which add even more levels of flavor to your palette. Check out the menu and plan your visit here.
Where: 15 W 27th St
9. Gramercy Tavern, Gramercy
Gramercy Tavern is one spot that many New Yorkers vowed they would eat at for their rest of their lives, and we have to whole heartedly agree! No matter whether you dine in their front “Tavern” room or maneuver your way into their back dining room, you’ll definitely be impressed by their American menu. Expect an ever-evolving seasonal menu consisting of rustic pastas, meats, vegetables, and more delicacies. Dining in the Tavern room is typically a la carte, while the Dining Room is prix-fixe! Plan your visit here.
Where: 42 E 20th St
10. Misi, Williamsburg
If you’re after a good dish of pasta, Misi is probably your best bet. Inspired by “simple Italian cooking,” chef and owner Missy Robbins serves a wide range of pasta and antipastis, including the Fettucine (w/ buffalo butter, parmigiano extra vecchio, black pepper) and Sheep’s Milk Ricotta filled occhi (w/ bottarga, lemon). Don’t forget about their famous ricotta toast as an appetizer and an in-house gelato for dessert! Plan your visit here.
Where: 329 Kent Ave, Brooklyn
11. COTE Korean Steakhouse, Flatiron
COTE is the cream of the crop when it comes to both Korean BBQ and American steakhouse classics. It’s Michelin-starred so you know it’s quality, and their menu features all sorts of traditional cuts of beef, short ribs and fish. Snag a table inside and you’ll be delighted to smokeless grills situated in every table so you can further customize your already finely aged meats. The COTE team is also set to open up a new dining concept later this year as well! View their menu and plan your visit here.
Where: 16 W 22nd St
12. Rubirosa, NoLita
Although we’ll try to enter the conversation of best pizza in NYC, we have to at least throw Rubirosa’s name into the ring! This Little Italy restaurant is well known for their thin-crust pies that come drizzled in vodka sauce, pesto, and sausage (we’re looking at you The TIE DYE™ Pizza). They also have other Italian dishes like pasta, salads, and mini rice balls that you can snack on while you wait for your pizza. See menu and plan your visit here.
Where: 235 Mulberry St
13. Sauced, Williamsburg
Sauced is a more of a wine bar than a traditional restaurant, but it still deserves a night of your attention. With a range of variations ranging from red wine to orange, this spot has virtually no menu and invites you to have your server guide you along. Sit in their backyard and taste test wines, or grab a bottle and split with friends. It’s a perfect night out really. Plan your visit here.
Where: 331 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn
14. L’artusi, West Village
There’s a reason why L’Artusi’s reservations are hard to get…and it’s because of their perfectly crafted pasta dishes. The 110+ seat restaurant features two floors of banquette seating, a traditional bar, a cheese bar, and a chef’s counter. As for the food, it’s exactly what you’d expect, with standouts like the Bucatini (pancetta, tomato, chilies, pecorino) and Pici ‘Cacio e Pepe’ leading the way. Don’t worry though, if you’re looking beyond carbs, you can find other mains like the Roasted Chicken or Branzino Filet. Check out their menu and plan your visit here.
Where: 228 W 10th St
15. Palma, West Village
Add Palma to your dining out checklist, where the Italian cuisine is family-rooted, always fresh, and utterly delicious! Owner Palma and her husband Pierre have spent over 20 years perfecting their craft and serving classic dishes within their 35 seat restaurant. We recommend the Arancini (cripsy risotto bites) as an appetizer and either the Ravioli Cacio e Pepe (handmade gluten-free pasta filled with ricotta, pecorino & freshly cracked black pepper) or Pappardelle alla Bolognese (handmade pasta, veal, beef & pork ragu) as a main. Do not leave either until you try the Tiramisu (Layers of mascarpone, ladyfingers, espresso & rum) for dessert! Plan your visit here.
Where: 28 Cornelia St
16. Mesa Coyoacan, Williamsburg
Take a seat at one of Mesa Coyoacan’s rustic communal tables and enjoy a Mexican meal like you never have before. They use organic ingredients, grass fed beef, and old family recipes to create menu masterpieces like the Suadero Tacos (a thin cut of beef from the brisket with onion, cilantro and avocado salsa) and Ceviche de Camaron (Mexico City style shrimp cocktail in an infusion of tomato, onion, avocado and cilantro “Ivan’s family recipe”). Combine these with one of their margaritas from their endless tequila collection and you’ll be in for a treat. Plan your visit here.
Where: 372 Graham Ave, Brooklyn
17. Buvette, West Village
Jody Williams’ individual venture Buvette also makes the list, since her genius is on display in more than one spot. Buvette and its French-themed fare is extremely appetizing and features the likes of artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, and more. Why we love this place so much though is because of their adaptability. Come in the morning when it’s a cafe, afternoon for a restaurant, and by night it turns into a cozy wine bar. This is one of the closer feelings you’ll get to entering a Parisian establishment. Check out their menu and plan a visit here.
Where: 42 Grove St
18. Tim Ho Wan, East Village & Hell’s Kitchen
The dim sum specialists at Tim Ho Wan make sure every meal is delivered by hand and with the utmost quality. Their ingredients make the product incredibly fresh, and their menu has tons of highlights. We usually opt for their world-famous BBQ Pork Buns, or maybe even the Steamed Rice Rolls stuffed with BBQ Pork, Pan Fried Turnip Cake and the Steamed Egg Cake. Everything here is pretty affordable as well making it a great little Hong Kong getaway. Plan your visit here.
East Village – 85 4th Ave
Hell’s Kitchen – 610 9th Ave
19. Sushi Nakazawa, West Village
Moving into the sushi category we have Sushi Nakazawa, a 10 seat restaurant that serves an omakase experience curated by head chef Daisuke Nakazawa. Let your tastebuds explore a 20-piece journey of nikiri, freshly sourced from Japan and onward! You’ll dine on hand-chosen pieces of salmon, tuna, rice, and so much more (which are all of course packed with flavor). If you’re a sushi fanatic, you’re going to want to see what all the praise is about. Plan a visit here.
Where: 23 Commerce St
20. The Fulton, Seaport
Just one of the many restaurants under the Jean-Georges wing, The Fulton is the first seafood one. Choose between Jean Georges’ Friends & Family Feast at $128 per person, or go a la carte and enjoy their signature Egg Toast Caviar, Warm Octopus and Fresh Mozzarella, or the Longevity Noodles. The space itself is beautiful too. We’re talking floor to ceiling windows, views of the Brooklyn Bridge, an outdoor patio, and giant nautical murals. It’s the perfect spot to feel the breeze and eat good. Plan your visit here.
Where: 89 South St
21. Douska, Lower East Side
Head to Douska for Japanese handrolls that are perfectly crafted by Chef Koji Kagawa. Besides the freshness of the fish, rice, and nori, the reason we love this place is because you can dictate your own dining experience. Their “Sushi Sets” are collections of rolls that you can purchase at a package price, or you can take things into your own hands and mix and match options. I think we’ll take a few sushi rolls, sashimi, and saki while we’re at it… Check out their crazy combinations and plan your visit here.
Where: 63 Delancey St
22. Bahari Estiatorio, Astoria
Get a glimpse into Bahari Estiatorio’s open-air kitchen when you visit and experience their authentic Greek cuisine inspired by the cozy and inviting family gatherings of Greek hospitality. It’s a great spot for big groups, and offers a range of options including Kreatika Sta Karvouna (charcoal grilled meats), Psari (charcoal grilled fish), and of course the Greek dips. Grabe some friends and snag a table here, it’ll be worth it. Plan your visit here.
Where: 31-14 Broadway, Queens
23. Lucali, Carroll Gardens
There’s a reason celebrities like David Beckham, J Balvin, and Beyonce have chowed down a pizza at Lucali…and it’s because it’s seriously that good. This walk-in only spot is slightly a pain in the neck, and requires a little bit of effort to gain entry into. The restaurant opens in the afternoon and typically you’ll have to wait in line for a few hours. However, it’s totally worth it! Their menu only consists of pizzas and calzones, which are both equally incredible. If you claim to be a foodie, you have to tackle the Lucali wait and pie at least one time. Plan your visit here.
Where: 575 Henry St, Brooklyn
24. Ugly Baby, Carroll Gardens
Ugly Baby is one of, if not the best Thai restaurant in NYC. They offer curated set menus based on the size of your party, with the availabilty to add even more a la carte options too. Expect all sorts of Thai creations like Gai Toon Prik (Bone-In Skin-On Chicken, Thai Chili, Lemongrass, Galangal, Shallot & Garlic), Turmeric Sea Bream, and Khoong Muk Kai Kem (shrimp, squid, salted egg yolk, ecallions, chilies). Go with a large group, get a bunch of things and divide and conquer. Thanks us later.
Where: 407 Smith St, Brooklyn
25. Nura, Greenpoint
Nura in Brooklyn is a Mediterranean joint that has a gorgeous interior with skylights, tall ceilings, and lots of plants. Their dinner menu is pretty concise, consisting of an array of tasty breads, dips, and meats. Come with a group and split some dishes like the Prawns and Carrot Turrmetic Dumplings and you surely will be getting your money’s worth. We also suggest this spot quite a lot for brunch, since they have elevated breakfast items that are sure to hit the spot! Plan your visit here.
Where: 46 Norman Ave, Brooklyn