New York City is one of America’s food meccas where you can eat your way around the world. The cultural melting pot introduces you to new flavors, culinary techniques and gastronomic traditions that are near impossible to find elsewhere. So if you are lucky enough to be travelling there, you will want to know the best places to eat in New York.
When you arrive in the Big Apple, the chaotic pace fills you with excitement as you work up an appetite exploring the city’s iconic landmarks. With literally hundreds, if not thousands, of options to choose from, finding the best places to eat in New York can be an overwhelming task.
No clue where to begin searching for your next meal in New York? Check out this list of 10 popular restaurants for a dynamic list of options. If you want to make the restaurant your first stop, consider storing your travel bags in NY for a smooth transition from the airport or train station.
The Best Places to Eat in New York
Established in 1888, Katz’s Delicatessen is a New York City staple that has shaped the local restaurant scene for generations. Katz’s became a local gathering point for immigrants living in the Lower East Side pre-WWII, and its modern traditions were born during this influential period.
Family-run for over a century, Katz’s remains the premier deli for pastrami on rye, corned beef, brisket, and other quality cuts of meat. Numerous celebrities have visited the restaurant for a taste of their mouthwatering sandwiches and platters, and patrons can see pictures of past guests plastered all over the walls.
Peter Luger Steak House
A trip across the river to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg is required to visit Peter Luger Steak House. New York’s most celebrated steakhouse has been in business since 1887 and even earned a Michelin star. The dry-aged porterhouse is cooked to perfection, burgers are packed with intense flavor, and the restaurant’s signature steak sauce has been used for generations.
Much of the décor for the Brooklyn location has remained intact for decades with its long wooden bar and beer-hall tables. You must pay with cash or a debit card when stopping by to see if the steaks live up to the hype.
Russ & Daughters Café
Russ & Daughters has been a New York City institution for over 100 years but only recently opened its café to allow patrons to sit inside. The iconic eatery’s loyal customers can enjoy the famous smoked salmon available at the original storefront, but don’t have to eat standing up.
Watch the staff expertly prepare every slice of salmon and soothe your palate with classic drinks such as homemade sodas and egg creams. Apart from the superb lox, the café serves all the timeless favorites the store offers like herring, caviar, and soups.
World-renowned chef Thomas Keller exceeded expectations with his New York City edition of the award-winning French Laundry in California. The French restaurant treats customers to a glorious view overlooking Central Park and a daily nine-course tasting menu. Veggie lovers have the alternative of snacking on the restaurant’s nine-course vegetable tasting menu.
Per Se is one of the few New York City eateries to earn three Michelin stars and the team of chefs brilliantly prepares every ingredient delivered to its table. The restaurant boasts a spectacular collection of wines from around the world to ensure the right pairing for the constantly evolving menu, and is certainly one of the best places to eat in New York.
Mercado Little Spain
Located in Hudson Yards, Mercado Little Spain treats you to a bustling food market that transports your taste buds to the heart of Spanish cuisine. Chef José Andrés brings to life his memories of Spanish mercados and gives New Yorkers a cornucopia of options to satisfy their cravings.
The market hall contains all sorts of food kiosks, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops that serve every Spanish culinary flavor imaginable. Drop by for filling morcilla with eggs for breakfast, grab some bocadillos for lunch, or have a sociable gathering over tapas for dinner.
If you’re arriving in New York City at Grand Central Terminal, make Sushi Yasuda your first stop for a sensational meal tailored to sushi lovers. The master chefs craft each menu item with delicate care using years of training to perfect the art of sushi making.
The staff imports fish and rice from much of Japan and various parts of the world, but each selection is hand-picked to ensure the highest quality. Each customer receives a personalized dining experience and the chefs cater to the taste preferences of every guest.
Café China will single handedly change the way you look at Chinese food in New York City. The chic establishment transports you to the elegance of 1930s Shanghai for a night that enthralls the senses with upscale Chinese cuisine. Have typical Sichuan delights like Dim Sum and Cold Noodles with your choice of cocktails, spirits, or wines.
The restaurant has a Michelin star under its belt and impeccable service adds the final touches to an exquisite dining experience. Don’t forget to check out their lunch specials to score an incredible deal on items that appease your taste buds.
Llama San fuses Japanese and Peruvian ingredients to create a unique dining experience for foodies. Reservations are fully booked upwards of one month in advance, and the exclusive setting is ideal for a date or small dinner party.
Meals eloquently blend beloved dishes from both cultures and tasting menus can include items like scallop ceviche, tuna sashimi, duck nigiri, and Japanese eggplant. The cocktail menu features innovative creations that balance the flavors of each culinary tradition.
Complete your visit to the Museum of Modern Art with a fabulous meal at this two Michelin-starred restaurant. Customers wishing to see the chefs in action can grab a seat at the Kitchen Table and try the multi-course tasting menu.
The Modern combines French and New American gastronomic fare with a picturesque view of the MoMA’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. No detail is overlooked with your meal as the seasonal, a la carte menu is partnered with scrumptious desserts and top-shelf wines. There is no denying it is one of the best places to eat in New York.
The River Café
Enjoy your dinner with an unbelievable view of the Manhattan skyline in one of New York City’s most beautiful dinner settings. The River Café is a Michelin-starred restaurant blending traditional and modern culinary practices to prepare classic American dishes.
Dine on delicious land and sea offerings such as lamb, wild shrimp, lobster, oysters, and Amish chicken. The restaurant features one of the country’s most revered wine programs with selections from around the world. Complete with its romantic ambiance and impeccable service, the River Café is a favorite for couples and exclusive parties.
We hope this has inspired your foodie wanderlust and that you enjoy the best places to eat in New York during your travels!