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  1. Food & Drink
April 10, 2024

The 14 Best Restaurants in New York

The Big Apple is brimming with incredible restaurants spanning every type of cuisine.

By Elite Traveler

When it comes to food, New York really does have it all. The Big Apple is brimming with incredible restaurants spanning (just about) every type of cuisine you can possibly think of. From stylish sushi spots to laid-back pizzerias, you could spend a lifetime grazing your way through the city’s diverse array of eateries – and still find somewhere new to dine.

While the city is known for its legendary street food (think: hot dogs and pastrami sandwiches), it’s also got those with a penchant for fine dining covered. In fact, New York is home to 68 Michelin-starred restaurants, including four with the coveted three-star accolade, 12 with two stars and 52 with one star.

With so much choice – and new restaurants popping up almost every week – deciding where to begin can be tricky. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the very best restaurants in New York spanning everything from high-end omakase joints to eco-friendly farm-to-table dining spots.

[See also: The Best Rooftop Bars in NYC]

Le Bernardin

Le Bernardin dining room
Le Bernardin / ©Daniel Krieger

Ever since the Michelin Guide started sending undercover reporters to New York in 2005, Le Bernardin (pictured above) has scored the top, triple-star rating. And it’s not just the Michelin Guide that has fallen for chef Eric Ripert’s masterful seafood cuisine, Le Bernardin is a regular recipient of our own Reader’s Choice Award, was ranked No. 1 in the world by La Liste in 2019, and is the only New York Times rated four-star restaurant that has maintained its status for more than three decades.

With a focus on fresh dishes subtle in the flavors of Europe and East Asia, both lunch and dinner are immaculately presented, and the eight-course tasting menu is outstanding. Meanwhile, Head Sommelier Aldo Sohm – who also carries multiple accolades including Best Sommelier in Austria four times since 2002 and Best Sommelier in the World in 2008 – makes expert pairings from Le Bernardin’s wine cellar. Art aficionados will love the décor, as the quality of the art pieces lining the walls gives the experience of dining in an art gallery rather than in a restaurant.

Contact

Tel: +1 212 554 1515
Website: le-bernardin.com

Eleven Madison Park

The main dining room of Eleven Madison Park / ©Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park, embodying urbane sophistication, serves modern French cuisine borne of Swiss chef Daniel Humm’s obsession with simplicity and seasonal flavors, a passion that has taken this restaurant to the very top. Not just one of the best restaurants in New York, the three-Michelin-star eatery has been a regular presence in the top three of Elite Traveler’s Top 100 Restaurants in the World and has also been crowned the No 1 restaurant at World’s 50 Best.

Yet in 2021, Humm made headlines around the world after announcing Eleven Madison Park would be going vegan in its efforts to advocate for “equitable, sustainable food systems”. While many at the time saw the move as a risk, almost three years on and Eleven Madison Park has not only retained its prize three-star Michelin rating, the first and only plant-based restaurant to do so, but EMP continues to push the gastronomic boundaries – at the end of 2023, Humm debuted the world’s first “egg made without hens” at an exclusive event dinner.

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Contact

Tel: +1 212 889 0905
Email: info@elevenmadisonpark.com
Website: elevenmadisonpark.com

Per Se

per se new york scallop dish
Seared Scallop | Rancho Gordo White Bean “Ragoût,” Marinated Artichokes, Meyer Lemon, and Italian Parsley Oil / ©David Escalante

The cuisine, presentation, mood and surroundings of Per Se all reflect chef Thomas Keller’s perfectionist vision. With striking views of Central Park and its own fireplace and garden, the restaurant is a rare blend of open space and intimacy, offering discreet and understated luxury.

Per Se is Keller’s acclaimed interpretation of his Californian classic The French Laundry – both of which feature on Elite Traveler‘s Top Restaurants 2023 – and is his second restaurant to achieve the coveted three Michelin stars, making Keller the only American chef to have achieved simultaneous three-star Michelin ratings for two different establishments.

Along with a French-inspired daily nine-course chef tasting and vegetable tasting menu, there is also Per Se’s award-winning wine list on offer, boasting a selection of more than 2,000 bottles ranging from older wines as well as smaller producers and limited quantity wines.

Contact

Tel: +1 212 823 9335
Website: thomaskeller.com/perseny

[See also: The Best Private Dining Rooms in NYC]

Atomix

The husband and wife team of chef Jungyun and manager Ellia Park delivered Atomix in 2018 as a follow-up to their firstborn Atoboy. The two siblings, however, could not be more different; where Atoboy is well-loved for its family-style sharing plates, Atomix is applauded as a hyper-polished, boundary-pushing take on modern Korean cuisine.

Within a modest, unassuming Murray Hill brownstone, Atomix has quickly become one of Manhattan’s most sought-after dining rooms. With two Michelin stars and the eighth spot on the World’s 50 Best list – the highest ranking of any restaurant not only in the city but in the whole of North America – it seems like all of New York are fighting for a place at the 14-seat chef’s counter.

And it’s easy to understand why. Atomix’s 12-course tasting menu offers delicate, elaborate and sophisticated dishes, varying from sea urchin with steamed carrot cake, kohlrabi with yellow beetroot and mussels, and sea cucumber served with shrimp and egg over rice. Each plate is served in beautiful ceramics, accompanied by a detailed card explaining the ingredients, origin and inspiration. 

Contact

Email: info@atomixnyc.com
Website: www.atomixnyc.com

DANIEL

Atlantic red mullet features on DANIEL’s 2023 fall menu / ©DANIEL

Continually being praised by critics – including ourselves – and with two Michelin stars to show for it, DANIEL has become a standard-bearer for quality and excellence in food, atmosphere and service. The namesake restaurant from chef Daniel Boulud is driven by classical French techniques and specializes in local seafood, vegetables and meats – complete with a basket of warm madeleines to finish.

Under the guise of executive chef Eddy Leroux, the team of 30 meticulously trained chefs presents an array of dining experiences: from traditional prix-fixe and seven-course tasting menus in the grand dining room, à la carte served in the more intimate lounge as well as made-to-measure events in the private dining room. There’s even a special vegetarian tasting menu designed so the meat-free don’t need to sacrifice those classical French flavors.

Contact

Tel: +1 212 288 0033
Email: danielinquiry@danielnyc.com
Website: danielnyc.com

Jean-Georges

This quiet, romantic restaurant from culinary superstar Jean-Georges Vongerichten is loaded with awards: two Michelin stars, four New York Times stars, five diamonds from AAA and receiving our own Readers’ Choice Award in 2023. Vongerichten may own more than 60 restaurants worldwide, but it is his namesake in New York that remains the crowning jewel in the Jean-Georges empire.

Despite the spectacular views of Columbus Circle and Central Park seen through the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows, it will be the immaculate plating that truly captures your attention, each an exquisitely crafted blend of French, American and Asian influences. Private dining and buyouts of the main dining room are available for a more exclusive experience in this world-renowned restaurant.

Contact

Tel: +1 212 299-3900
Website: jean-georges.com

[See also: Elite Traveler Reveals Top Restaurants Readers’ Choice 2023]

Marea

Shrimp gnocchetti not to be missed at Marea / ©Food Story Media Ltd – Marea

Dedicated to serving seasonal seafood cuisine, Marea (meaning ‘tide’ in Italian) is a restaurant not to be missed – at least according to Elite Traveler readers who crowned it with a Reader’s Top Choice Award last year.

The all-encompassing menu includes fusilli with red wine braised octopus and bone marrow and grilled Mediterranean cuttlefish. As well as offering an abundance of seafood and its famous house-made pasta, Marea also offers a mesmerizing array of wines and cocktails. The wine list is large – although not exclusively – drawn from Europe and is overseen by sommelier extraordinaire Francesco Grosso.

While Marea transitioned to an a la carte-only menu following the pandemic, they still offer (notably sizable) half portions of pasta, although it may not be advertised on the menu, so there’s no need to stuff yourself to sample additional plates of squid ink lobster ravioli and shrimp gnocchetti – although you may want to.

Contact

Tel: +1 212 582 5100
Email: info@marea-nyc.com
Website: marea-nyc.com

Masa

Don’t expect to order from a menu at Masa: chef Masa Takayama creates dishes and serves guests as he pleases, using a wide array of exquisite and exotic ingredients, often flown in from Japan.

The three-Michelin-star chef does consider your personal tastes, however, waiting for your response to the first taste of his sushi before tailoring the rest of your omakase meal. Food is prepared quickly and plated before guests as soon as, to use the restaurant’s own description, “they are ready to preserve the idea that each dish is still in a living, being state”. Attention to detail here is unsurpassed.

There’s only one nightly seating at the 26-seat Masa, and a culinary experience could last up to three hours. The best seats in the house are those around the Hinoki wood counter, where you can watch the sushi chefs prepare food and ask questions about the dishes – you may even be served right from their hands.

Contact

Tel: +1 212 823 9807
Email: reservation@masanyc.com
Website: masanyc.com

Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare

Chef’s Table’s executive chefs Max Natmessnig and Marco Prins / ©Brooklyn Fare

It’s safe to say that Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare didn’t have the easiest 2023. A difficult legal battle with its former head chef caused the New York institution to close temporarily in the summer of last year.

Now, the eatery has reopened under the new leadership of chefs Max Natmessnig and Marco Prins, both of whom worked at the restaurant in the earlier stages of their careers before moving to notable spots across Europe.

And while they may be putting the last year behind them, the food has continued to remain true to what Chef’s Table is renowned for – food that previously had Michelin inspectors believing there was nothing “quite like it in the world”. With a 14-course tasting menu that changes seasonally, weekly or sometimes even daily, largely focusing on Japanese cuisines with French classical techniques, expect dishes such as king crab with yuzu marmalade to nori tartelettes with A5 Wagyu beef tartare.

Contact

Tel: +1 (718) 243-0050
Email: chefstable@brooklynfare.com
Website: brooklynfare.com

The Modern

Situated in the Museum of Modern Art, the food at The Modern is as carefully crafted as any of the works on the walls. Head chef Thomas Allan has created a menu filled with refined, contemporary dishes in a restaurant where diners look out on the stunning Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden.

The menu is seasonal and therefore ever evolving, complemented by desserts from a dedicated pastry chef and an award-winning wine program. Its consistent excellence has seen earn two Michelin stars, a three-star review in the New York Times, four James Beard Awards, and the Grand Award from Wine Spectator – it’s therefore no surprise it is also a recipient of our own Reader’s Choice Award.

Contact

Tel: +1 212-333-1220
Email: info@themodernnyc.com
Website: themodernnyc.com

Le Coucou

French-inspired classics served at Le Coucou / ©EvanSung – Le Coucou

American chef Daniel Rose broke significant boundaries in 2006 when he took Paris, the home of fine dining, by storm with his tiny 16-seat restaurant Spring. His modern approach to classic French techniques was a huge hit and upon returning to his home soil to reopen his first stateside establishment, Le Coucou proved that the essence of French dining can thrive in any time zone.

Yet despite its Francophile origins, there is a significant difference between Spring and Le Coucou. With its vaulted ceilings, crisp white tablecloths and shimmering handblown chandeliers, Le Coucou looks more in keeping with traditional Haute cuisine. The menu combines French classics with a modern American approach that appeals to both the classic crowd as well as trend-setting Millennials – proving itself good enough for one Michelin star.

Contact

Tel:  +1 212 271 4252
Email: lecoucou.info@starr-restaurants.com
Website: lecoucou.com

Sushi Nakazawa

Daisuke Nakazawa remains one of the most renowned sushi chefs in the world and he puts his skills to the test at this trendy West Village bar. His passion for sushi is evident in the 20-course meal that changes on a daily basis, with ingredients sourced both domestically and internationally to create dishes within the style of Edomae sushi.

The food at Sushi Nakazawa is unmistakably fine dining but the atmosphere here is far more relaxed than its contemporaries. Nakazawa aims to keep diners relaxed in a chic and informal environment and likes to put on a show from the open sushi bar.

Contact

Tel: +1 212 924 2212
Website: sushinakazawa.com

[See also: Chef Takuya Watanbe on the Rise of Omakase]

Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Blue Hill at Stone Barns is set on a sprawling estate in Upstate New York / ©Elena Wolfe

As one of the pioneers – arguably even the pinnacle – of the ‘farm-to-table’ method, few chefs have shaped culinary conversations around agriculture, sustainability and climate change quite like Blue Hill’s chef and co-founder, Dan Barber.

With two Blue Hill locations, including one within the city, it is the Stone Barns location in Westchester County, a sprawling estate an hour outside of Manhattan, that is worth making the trip. Most of the menu’s ingredients are sourced locally from the restaurant’s grounds or the eponymous farm in Massachusetts, including seeds and vegetable varieties developed by Barber himself, such as miniature, super-sweet honeynut squash or habanero peppers with no heat.

It’s no surprise then that the restaurant received a green Michelin star to add to its collection of two traditional stars, which were awarded in 2019 – some say Michelin’s decision to extend the New York Guide Upstate was specifically because of Barber’s restaurant.

Contact

Tel: +1 212 539 1776
Email: reservationsnyc@bluehillfarm.com.
Website: bluehillfarm.com/dine/new-york

Rezdôra

Last but by no means least on our list of the best restaurants in New York is Rezdôra. This pasta-centric Italian eatery is a showcase of the traditional cuisine of the Emilia-Romagna region and has quickly become a staple of Flatiron’s dining scene.

Chef Stefano Secchi has wowed New Yorkers with his range of seasonal pasta dishes inspired by his origins in Modena, with dishes such as spaghetti allo scoglio (ink spaghetti with seafood) and duck ragu. The restaurant’s meteoric rise was confirmed when it was awarded its first Michelin star in the 2021 guide.

Website: rezdora.nyc

[See also: The Chefs with the Most Michelin Starred Restaurants]

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