To choose the best restaurant in New York City is a difficult thing to do, because they are all amazing. To make a choice on which one to pick however depends on the occasion, mood and the time of year. All the restaurants are not the same, each has its own distinctive quality that makes it unique and that is one of the things we love about these restaurants.

We have taken the time to compile a number of the top best restaurants in New York City in no particular order. These restaurants do not have to be the newest or most famous but these are places you would love to book a reservation and be guaranteed of having a swell time so this article is the answer to questions like “which restaurant do I check out in NYC?” This article covers the type of cuisine, price point, outdoor dining options and the neighborhoods.

Best New York City’s Restaurants

1. Playground

Playground

This is located at 71-30 Roosevelt Ave. Jackson Heights, NY 11372. The menu is packed with sumptuous dish from crispy crunchy, curried rice croquette salad with preserved pork. This restaurant is a beloved veteran among Woodside’s proflic Thai Scene.

Dishes served at Playground are not common in New York. At Playground, you’d get dishes like pad hoy lai, a pile of shucked calms tossed in a chili oil with small heat that builds on each bite. There is a happy hour with $4 bottles of Thai beer, pineapple cocktail and lychee for less than $10. Cash only.

2. Africa Kine Restaurant

Africa Kine Restaurant

This restaurant is located at 2267 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, New York, NY 10027. Africa Kine is founded by Kine and Samba Niang who grew up in Dakar. The restaurant has been open in NYC since 1996. The restaurant runs in various locations in NYC. Few years ago, they moved north into a more compact space with a bigger menu.

The menu mainly available at lunchtime comprise of Senegalese mainstays as thiebu djen (Jollof rice with stuffed fish and vegetables), yassa (fish or chicken in a lemon and onion confit) and Mafe (lamb or chicken in a peanut sauce). At dinner, they serve shrimp skewers, baked fish, fish balls in tomato sauce and grilled leg of lamb.

3. Oaxacan bunuelos

This restaurant is located at 35-03 Broadway Queens, NY 11106. Over the past decades, this restaurant has gained much attention in NYC. It is hard to ignore the historic moles of Oaxaca and the comprehensive treatment given to each and every of their guest.

At the restaurants specializes in moles prepared in shades of green, dark brown, yellow and scarlet. They serve food on festive plating which might make you feel as though you are vacating on the beach. They serve drinks such as tequila etc.

4. Hudson Smokehouse

Hudson Smokehouse

The restaurant is located at 37 Bruckner Blvd, Bronx, NY 10454. There are several restaurants opening on the South Bronx neighborhood of Mott Haven and Hudson Smokehouse is one of them. What makes this restaurant to special is the range of barbecue styles it serves and its dedication to extensively smoking the meat using lots of wood.

They serve one of the best barbecues in its neighborhood. The restaurant has a spacious beer garden featuring local brew with indoor and outdoor space.

5. Liebman’s

Liebman’s

This restaurant is located at 552 W 235th St, Bronx, NY 10463. This restaurant was founded in 1953 by Joe Liebman, in this restaurant, you are guaranteed of enjoying pastrami or corned beef, a hot dog topped with potato salad in their blue Naugahyde booth.

This restaurant has survived decades due to their obscure location that is free from the usual challenges of New York City real estate. You can make a stop at the restaurant and be guaranteed of enjoying yourself.

6. Golden Palace Gourmet

Golden Palace Gourmet

The restaurant is located at 140-09 Cherry Ave. Queens, NY 11355. The restaurant serves dishes they make from the scratch such as shredded and fermented cabbage and loamy blood sausage.

The food served at this restaurant shows many influences and reflect the region’s early industrialization. Their dishes are amazing; the popular one is their pork cabbage cake as well as steaming bowls of sorghum and loaves of cornbread.

7. Mariscos El Submarino

Mariscos El Submarino

This is located at 8805 Roosevelt Ave. Queens, NY 11372. You can order aguachile negro at this restaurant, its packed with shrimp, octopus and avocado in a molcajete, it is seasoned with a touch of soy sauce. In 2020, the owners of this restaurant, Amy Hernandez and Alonso Guzman opened this restaurant in Jackson Height. It is known for its mustached submarined mascot served with tastadas and saltines on the sides.

8. Vietnamese

Vietnamese

This is located at 942 Amsterdam Ave. New York, NY 10024. Over the past 5 years, New York City’s Vietnamese food scene has improved; they no longer just serve the usual pho and banhi mi which we love every time but have added new dishes to their menu. There are other new restaurants serving lesser-seen dishes such as the glutinous banh chung chien, crispy rice cakes, crab, rieu, brothy bun, pork soup and a tomato.

There are several classic noodles soups and Vietnamese sandwiches. It’s important to check the menu before ordering plates at the restaurant changes from time to time.

9. Birria

This restaurant is located at 77-99 Roosevelt Ave. Queens, NY 11372. This restaurant has been in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco and now it’s in New York City. Birria serves several dishes from their home state of Jalisco, Mexico. The restaurant run by two brothers, Jose and Jesus Moreno serves fat-slicked, brick-red meat on a disposable plate. The restaurant is often credited with putting birria on the city’s radar.

They have inspired other vendors with similar version across the city. This is an amazing place to be and you can order one of everything on the menu.

10. Nepali Bhanchha Ghar

Nepali Bhanchha Ghar

The restaurant is located at 74-15 Roosevelt Ave. Queens, NY 11372. It was opened in 2015 by Yamuna Shres and since then, it’s known to be one of the city’s most essential restaurants. This is similar to several Nepali restaurants in Queens.

They serve fried or steamed dumplings in a glistening tomato-based sauce coupled with paneer, beef, goat, chicken or potato. At Bhanchha Ghar restaurant no alcohol is served this has not stopped the restaurant from winning the Jackson Heights Momo Crawl consecutively.

11. Bread & Salt

Bread & Salt

This spot is located at 435 Palisade Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07307. This is amazing place to get one of the country’s best pizza, although located in New Jersey. At Bread & Salt, they sell Roman-style al taglio slices in Jersey City Heights. At the restaurant, you’d also get tart, umami-rich tomatoes, and ultra-milky mozzarella. They also sell bread whose airiness and crispness resembles a good croissant than a typical slice of pizza. Takeouts are only on weekends.

12. Jua

Jua

This restaurant is located at 36 E 22nd St. New York, NY 10010. This is a beautiful wood-fired restaurant in Flatiron. Chef Hoyoung Kim, the owner of this restaurant, worked at Jungsik in Tribeca for eight years. He contributed immensely to thrust modern Korean fare into the New York spotlight. Now, in his own restaurant, with just $130, you can get seven precise courses such as intricate banchan, jook, and delicate caviar kim, and hotteok dessert pancakes. Although its expensive but its also worth it and a better alternative to the tasting menus at Korean restaurants Jungsik or Atomix.

13. Shuko

This restaurant is located at 47 E 12th St. New York, NY 10003. This is one of the best spot for sushi. Unlike other restaurant where their price is constantly increasing, you can get caviar with toro tartare and nigiri sushi for $228. Owners of this restaurant, Jimmy Lau and Nik Kim continue to serve serious selection of small plates.

This is one of the best sushi diners in NYC where you are guaranteed of not spending up to a grand on dinner for two. At Shuko, you can order spicy trout handrolls for $28, caviar handrolls for $120, charcoal-seared tuna belly for $28, and lots more.

14. Bolivian Llama Party

Bolivian Llama Party

This restaurant is located at 44-14 48th Ave. Queens, NY 11377. Bolivian food is not so common in New York but the Oropeza brothers have done what most people will consider difficult during the pandemic. These guys have taken their fast-casual saltena and sandwich concept and transformed it into a proper sit-down restaurant with amazing menu.

They serve silpancho (pounded and fried beef cutlet), a stunner of a vegan jackfruit sandwich, chola pork sandwich and fricasa (spicy pork soup). You can also get the classic saltenas Bolivian soup empanadas. Outdoor only, self-serving dining.

Also See – Best Restaurants in Manhattan

15. Yellow Rose

Yellow Rose

This spot is located at 102 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10003. This restaurant is devoted to the Lone Star State. This restaurant has a beautiful structure with playful interiors and state-of-the-art decor.

There is always something new to find on each visit, the owners, Krystiana and Dave Rizo has made this place an affordable spot and a fun environment. They serve San Antonio-style tacos made with fresh, handmade flour tortillas. The menu is incredible. You’d never regret your time in this restaurant.

16. CheLi

CheLi

This restaurant is located at 19 St Marks Pl New York, NY 10003. New York City’s roster of Chinese restaurants includes various reliable options from regional cooking such as Cantonese, Sichuan, Hunanese and Shandong but CheLi has become the most popular spot where the menu goes beyond soup dumplings. They serve fork-tender pork belly braised with abalone, the menu is just amazing.

The interior of the restaurant is beautifully designed like am imperial palace with paper lanterns, bamboo rafters, clay pots. It’s just an amazing place to be.

17. NY Dosas

NY Dosas

This restaurant is located at 50 Washington Square S New York, NY 10012. For almost twenty years, this restaurant has been serving the best dosas New York City has ever seen. They serve dosas-crepe like creations made of rice and lentils. Their menu is incredible, the pondicherry special, packed with fresh vegetables and spicy potatoes is a must hit. You’d also get the pancake-style uthappams and samosas.

18. Dame

This restaurant is located at 87 MacDougal St. New York, NY 10012. This is a small-plate seafood restaurant. Although there is nothing serious about the menu but it is one of the nicest restaurants in NYC. One of their dishes was on Ryan Sutton’s Eater critic favorite dishes of 2021. This is a place you can go with friends, colleague or family and be sure to have a great time.

19. Taqueria Ramirez

Taqueria Ramirez

This restaurant is located at 94 Franklin St. Brooklyn, NY 11222. This restaurant is becoming an immediate hit for its tacos coupled with stewed meats plucked from bubbling choricera. This is a small restaurant with even a smaller menu of six items. There are some seats inside but when the weather is good, guests sit out and some enjoy their meal while standing with a plate of tacos in their hand. This place serves one of the nicest tacos in NYC.

20. Cadence

This spot is located at 122 E 7th St. New York, NY 10009. The chef at this restaurant, Shenarri Freeman serves vegan menu with her own unique touch on Black southern cooking. She has impressed guests at this restaurant with her Southern fried lasagna (coupled with a meatless red wine Bolognese), a maple cornbread, and a crab cake made of hearts of palm. Shenarri is offering creative, comfortable flavors and defining a new era of vegan dining in Ney York.

21. Dhamaka

This spot is located at 119 Delancey St. New York, NY 10002. This restaurant is dedicated to brilliant and spicy regional dishes. Chef-owner Chintan Pandya and Roni Mazumdarserve streak of modern Indian dishes. At this restaurant, you’d get ragda pattice, a potato patty with sweet tamarind chutney and green chile, a stew of goat kidneys and testicles alongside with soft pao bread. There are lots of incredible dishes served at this restaurant, its best you check it out for yourself.

22. Golden Diner

This restaurant is located at 123 Madison St. New York, NY 10002. At this restaurant, you can get egg sandwiches as well as a crisp, golden hash brown patty on a sesame scallion milk bun. Other items in the menu include a griddled tuna melt on rye bread, pastrami-spiced portobello mushroom are packed into quesadillas. The owner of this restaurant, Samuel Yoo, a Momofuku veteran runs this chilling spot in Two Bridges. You can chill here with friend, family or colleagues, the set is really amazing and the menu is packed with amazing dishes.

23. Saga

This spot is located at 70 Pine St 63rd Floor New York, NY 10005. At this restaurant, the $245 menu begins with pre-dinner cocktails. You can go inside for a modern European meal with occasional Latin-American, Japanese and North African touches. You can expect dishes such as egg custard with caviar, a large format duck with harissa aioli and m’smen flatbread. You can also go upstairs afterwards for more cocktail. This is a place to chill, eat and rejuvenate. If you have not checked it out you can do so now with friends, family.

24. Wu’s Wonton King

This restaurant is located at 165 E Broadway New York, NY 10002. This restaurant serves dishes that are more common in Chinatown. Wu’s Wonton King caters to any occasion whether it’s a weekend lunch or a Lunar New Year gathering.

The menu at this restaurant is amazing; one of the most popular orders is the Dungeness crabs. Others include wonton noodle soup, snow-pea leaves, congee. They have selection of barbecue from ribs to steamed chicken. This is an amazing restaurant; you can check it out with your family friends or colleagues.

25. The Four Horsemen

This wine bar is located at 295 Grand St. Brooklyn, NY 11211. This spot was opened in 2015, the bar and this dining room is still one of the best spots in town. This is an incredible restaurant where diners can enjoy their drinks and delicious meal. It is not common thing for a wine bar to have both drinks and food menus but The Four Horseman strikes the right balance by creating a space for wine lovers as well as those who would equally love to fill their belle with something other than wine.

26. Mel’s

Mel’s is located at 1 Ludlow St. New York, NY 10002. This is a bakery many New Yorkers are daydreaming about because of its selection of bread loaves such as marbled purple sweet potato country loaf using artisanal grains. They have several pastries always on offer ranging from pistachio-filled croissants, cinnamon rolls with candied citrus, rye chocolate chip cookies.

27. L’Industrie Pizzeria

This spot is located at 254 S 2nd St. Brooklyn, NY 11211. This restaurant was opened in 2017, although it recently underwent a major expansion to enable an indoor counter space and a bigger outdoor dining area. The restaurant serves mainly pizza with chewy crust that is as thin as matzoh. Other items on the menu include tart tomato sauce with cool, creamy dairy. You’d also get a chill cup of gelato.

Also See – Best Restaurants in Queens

28. Falansai

This restaurant is located at 112 Harrison Pl Brooklyn, NY 11237. In recent years, this restaurant as become one f the most preferred dinning destination. Although it is located among several other restaurant but they have an amazing setting as well as an incredible menu.

This Vietnamese restaurant is inflected with distinct Mexican and American touches like rice cracked paired with chicken liver brulee and avocados packed into spring rolls. There are several other items on the menu. If you have not been to this spot before, you can check it out and you’d be glad you did.

29. Gage & Tollner

This restaurant is located at 372 Fulton St. Brooklyn, NY 11201. They menu contain items like oysters Rockefeller, shrimp cocktail hulking ribeye steaks etc. You can grab a glass of martini at the bar. This amazing spot is a good place to be when you are in NYC. You’d be guaranteed of having a good time. If you have not checked it out you can do so.

30. Al Badawi

It is located at 151 Atlantic Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11201. Although it is a new venture but it’s already among the best in the NYC. The place is spacious and nice. The menu includes rice platters like ouzi beef and various flatbreads such as a pistachio-and-cheese version. They also have mezze platters and kebabs. The ingredients are sourced from Palestinian farmers but the restaurant owner, Abdul Elenani also has his own far in New Jersey where he rear his own halal lamb.

31. Bunna Cafe

This spot is located at 1084 Flushing Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11237. This restaurant is one of the vegan spots in New York City. In 2011, Sam Saverance and Liyuw Ayalew opened this restaurant and since then its known for its warm, welcoming vibes. Guest at the restaurant enjoy their plate of lentil and vegetable preparations coupled with injera, a thin and savory fermented flatbread. As an Ethiopian restaurant, they also serve Ethiopian coffee and a selection of cocktails as well.

32. A&A Bake Doubles and Roti

It is located at 1337 Fulton St. Brooklyn, NY 11216. This restaurant was opened in 2002, at this restaurant, they serve traditional Trinidadian breakfast item. You’d get a fluffy flatbread brimming with curried chickpeas. They won a James Bread Award in 2019; this is a good spot to hang out with friends and colleagues.

33. Coszcal De Allende

This Mexican restaurant is located at 6824 3rd Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11220. They have succeeded in channeling the vibe of San Miguel de Allende. The menu at this restaurant include Guanajuato signature, enchiladas de Allende, the sopa de panza, a tripe soup popularly known as a hangover remedy. There various amazing items on the menu, you can check it yourself. The restaurant is well decorated with carved wood folk motifs giving you a feeling as though you are in northern Mexican mountain village.

34. Chuan Tian Xia

This restaurant is located at 5502 7th Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11220. This is a colorful, upbeat restaurant, they serve amazing dishes they will make you want more. Their menu is packed with lost of goodies. You be served with zingy griddled cauliflower morphs and lots more. The place is well arranged and organized with a scented cloud at each table. You can check this place out and see what you might be missing.

35. Peppa’s

It is located at 738 Flatbush Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11226. This restaurant serves one of the best jerk chickens in the city. Over the last two decades, the owner of this restaurant, Gavin Hussy has perfected his own recipe. You’d get a perfectly spiced and perfectly charred chicken; you can add a few friend festivals to an order. This restaurant is scatters in different spot across NYC; they are one of Brooklyn’s restaurants, in neighborhoods like East Flatbush, Crown Heights, Lower East Side and Flatbush. You can check any of this spot out for yourself, you will not regret it.

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