Meet our 25 highest-rated restaurants.Less
You could make the argument that old-school fine dining is boring and antiquated. And that would be a pretty compelling argument, if it weren’t for Le Bernardin. This Midtown institution, which has been open for over 30 years now, is a well-oiled machine that’s been fine-tuned to perfection. Geoduck chawanmushi with uni and soft-crunchy sea beans in pork dashi, langoustine and buttery leeks in uni sauce americaine—you book a reservation at Le Bernardin primarily to get your hands on these.
The inside of this place quite literally sparkles like a disco ball, with golden Nolita light hitting its bamboo-weaved walls and bakery case of cakes and pastries. Most importantly, every section on Thai Diner’s menu has undeniable “f*ck yeah″ energy. Order the disco fries smothered with massaman curry, the cabbage rolls stuffed with turkey and jasmine rice, and the sai oua breakfast roti whose blend of textures would win Project Runway.
Lucali serves the best pizza in the city. Their crust is thin, crispy, and just a little bit chewy, and it maintains immaculate posture while supporting velvety tomato sauce and three types of cheese. This is simple pizza made exceedingly well, and it’s greater than the sum of its parts. (The fresh basil is key.) The mammoth ricotta-stuffed calzone, which is the only other item on the menu, also happens to be just as essential as the pies.
Even after a decade of operation, Estela is one of the best restaurants New York has. Most of the dishes at this compact spot on Houston Street accentuate whatever is in season, which means you might find celeriac and cuttlefish in warm beurre blanc, or dried shrimp on top of Cara Cara orange wedges. Always order the beef tartare and the (world’s most glamorous) endive salad, and don’t be afraid to try any newer additions to the menu. The food here never misses.
From the moment you step into the palatial dining room of La Mercerie, you know that you’re in for a special experience. The Soho restaurant serves consistently excellent classic French bistro food in an opulent setting that’s good for a surprisingly wide variety of uses, from a random weekday breakfast when you want to feel a little fancy to holiday dinners and special occasion meals. It’s very hard to pick a favorite meal here, but if you pressed us, we’d say it’s actually breakfast.
The best tacos in the city are in Greenpoint, and if you disagree, you better have a specific place in mind that you think is better. That way, we can tell you, “We’ve been there, and you’re wrong.” When you get to Taqueria Ramirez, you’ll see a choricera and comal (both custom made in Mexico City), colorful plates, and a long line. Don’t worry, the line moves quickly. Get the suadero or order our favorite taco, the tripa.
Out of all the French restaurants in this city, why does Frenchette stand out as one of the very best? The answer is (mostly) butter. The chefs at this Tribeca spot love to use it, and we frankly love to eat it. A couple of Balthazar vets opened Frenchette in 2018 and decided to create a menu of almost exclusively rich and decadent dishes like duck frites and escargots over creamy scrambled eggs. This place also has one of the top natural wine lists in town.
Teranga’s bowl components range from Nigerian beef suya to Moroccan chermoula and ancient grains eaten all over West Africa. Nothing on the menu costs more than $18, and there are plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. We love this restaurant for a quick solo meal or a relaxed business meeting uptown, and we inevitably wind up here whenever we find ourselves within walking distance. The next time you’re planning a picnic in Central Park, this is where you should grab your food.
Via Carota gets a lot of hype, and that hype is well-deserved. But we prefer I Sodi. This place is from the same owners, and it’s the quiet, understated, more mature version of its sister restaurant. The food here is simple, perfect, and (mostly) Tuscan. The pastas on the menu change frequently, but two always remain: the lasagna and the cacio e pepe. That cacio e pepe is chewy, spicy, and doused in cheese, and the lasagna is one of the most iconic dishes in the city.
Hwa Yuan was one of Chinatown’s most popular restaurants until it closed in the 1980s, and it’s credited with introducing New York to cold sesame noodles. The reboot, which opened in 2017, is located in the original space on East Broadway, and everything in the massive two-floor space feels brand new. The whole Peking duck is a bucket-list NYC dish, and it’s worth a trip on its own. Another must-order, the famous cold sesame noodles have just the slightest kick of spice.