New York, apart from its fame and glory, is also known as the ‘Italian American Capital’ for the Italian communities that have settled here, that have led to some of the best Italian restaurants NYC has to offer!
Best Italian Restaurants NYC
Here is a curated list, in no particular order, of the best Italian restaurants in NYC that you just cannot miss!!
Started in 2019, Rezdora takes up one of the top spots for the best Italian restaurants in NYC. Widely popular for their pastas, the gnocco fritto is to die for. With roots set in Emilia-Romagna, the legacy continues today in NYC. Situated at 27 E 20th Street, Rezdora operates every evening from 5pm to 10:30pm with extended hours from Tuesday to Friday between 12pm to 2:30pm, and opening from 11:30am for weekend mornings. It is a 2021 Michelin Star restaurant that you have to visit when in the City.
A yet another Michelin Star restaurant on the list that takes up a spot for great restaurants in NYC, Don Angie is known for its unique lasagna preparation that activates all your senses. Located at 103 Greenwich Avenue, Don Angie has been featured multiple places including the Conde Nast Traveler and The New York Times. Some other must try items on the menu here include Stuffed Garlic Flatbread, Pink Snapper Crudo, Chrysanthemum Salad, Strachhino Gnocchi Pasta and the Buffalo Milk Caramelle. One of the best places for some amazingly plated Instagram worthy food, it is quite impossible to get a table without prior reservation here, so make sure you book ahead!
A popular Italian restaurant that does not take reservations, be around the block to show up and put your name down at 5pm for a table at a reasonable hour, lest the wait times here peak as high as 3 hours! Taking inspiration from the 17th century villa in the hills near Florence, Via Carota appreciates the old-world Italian culture and traditions, and life style and decor – all through the food it offers. The Cacio E Pepe that Via Carota offers is outrageously delicious, and is known to be the best in town! Drop by any day between 11am to 11pm at 51 Grove Street to enjoy this slice of heaven on your plate.
Want to take your shot to spot some celeb stars? Head over to Carbone at 181 Thompson Street, and you might just run into the Kardashians or the Biebers! The spicy rigatoni is a must try staple at Carbone and it definitely is one on the list for best Italian restaurants in NYC. The carrot cake is also one of the most popular desserts the place offers. Remember to dress for the occasion, and get ready to be treated by the best of staff and service!
If wood-fired pizzas, handmade pastas and classic Italian cocktails speak to you, Lilia is the place for you to be. Located at 567 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, the Agnolotti is one of the top ordered dishes on the menu at Lilia. Missy, chef and owner at Lilia has been recognised as Best Chef New York City in 2018 by the James Beard Foundation. You can go enjoy the place and the experience yourself, but what better than wrapping up a gift card to yumminess for someone you love!
A first on this list is Bamonte’s – a family owned Italian restaurant that has been around since the 1960s. Bamonte’s has been on the 2021 Conde Nast Traveler list for the best Italian restaurants in NYC. Popular for its old school “red-sauce” Italian food, Bamonte’s is located at 32 Withers Street in Brooklyn. The Veal Parmigiana is something definitely not to miss, while pork chops are also quite popularly delicious. They operate from 12pm to 11pm Wednesday to Sunday, so make sure you plan your meals at other popular spots for Monday and Tuesday!
Frankies 457 Spuntino
Frankies 457 Spuntino was started in 2003 by two childhood friends. Offering a completely satisfying gastronomic experience, Frankies 457 Spuntino is a Brooklyn classic situated at 457 Court Street that has been serving guests in an irresistible setting for over 20 years now. Open 7 days a week between 11am to 10pm, their house-made cavatelli with sausage is one of the most frequently ordered dish on the menu. It is one of the most beautiful restaurant ratios in the City, and is the perfect spot for dinner on a lovely spring evening with your friends or family.
A yet another celebrity hangout spot in New York City, Emilio’s Balloto, started in 1956, is located at 55 E Houston Street and operates everyday between 12pm to 11pm and extends upto 12am on Fridays and Saturdays. With finest ingredients and wholesome meals, Emilio’s Ballato offers a taste of Southern Italy and the experience is often described as ‘Sunday dinner with Grandma’. The chicken parm on the menu is one of the best in the City, while meatballs comes in on a close second – do give both a try whenever you are in New York City!
Al di Là Trattoria
Recommended perennially by The Michelin Guide, Al di Là Trattoria has been features in publications all around the world as one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC. They usually have rotating specials that are quite remarkable, and often recommended, as much as Al di Là is known for their risottos. Al di Là Trattoria is located at 248 5th Avenue, Brooklyn and is open Monday to Thursday 5pm to 9:30pm, and Friday-Saturday 5pm to 10pm. Remember, they do not take reservations; it is first come first served!
Offering a farm-to-table experience, this Italian restaurant in NYC also serves the highest quality wines. Apart from the food, it is the cozy interior and a warm, friendly atmosphere that lures most guests here. What is even special is the fact that most of the menu changes on a daily basis, but some staples like a burrata with a spicy oil and a couple of pastas stay on. Operating between 5pm to 10:30 all week, in addition to lunch between 11am to 3pm for the weekends, you can walk into Roman’s at 243 DeKalb Avenue in Brooklyn.
Lucali in NYC is best known for thin-crust pizzas – some may even say it is the best pizza in NYC. Not only that, Lucali also lets you bring in your own booze – wine and beer, but also remember, it does not take reservations and is cash only! Located at 575 Henry Street, Lucali is open 5pm to 11pm all days except Tuesdays. While Lucali serves some amazing calzones as well, make sure you enjoy their signature flavors – marhherita, pepperoni, hot pepper and shallot. With an open kitchen, watching the staff roll out the dough with wine bottles to make pizzas from scratch is an experience in itself!
One of the high-end Italian seafood and housemade pastas in New York City, Marea’s is an experience that is paired with delectable food and exceptional service. Recipient of multiple awards and mentions, Marea’s is located at 240 Central Park South and operates all week between 12pm to 2:45pm and 5pm to 10pm, except for Friday and Saturday between 5pm to 11pm. The octopus bone marrow fusilli is one of the signature dishes and quite flavourful – ask your server for the wine it pairs best with, while the silky panna cotta could well be your dessert to end this fabulous meal with!
Originally opened in 1994 as a rustic antique store, Il Buco is now an up-class rustic-chic spot with a wine cellar. Quite romantic, this is a perfect place to celebrate a special occasion. It has an Italian-Mediterranean inspired menu that changes daily and has the best produce sourced locally and in Italy. A unique experience Il Buco offers is the olive oil tasting, served with bread, which is must try. Operating between 12pm to 11pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, 12pm to 10pm on Sundays and 5:30pm to 12pm on Mondays, head to this restaurant to give it a go!
A Tuscan-styled romantic restaurant by 105 Christopher Street is I Sodi, one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC. The cache e pepe and the lasagna take the top spots on the menu for this restaurant. A small place, the restaurant is brought to life by the guests truly enjoying their delectable meals. This is one place that has a high number of regulars flocking in, and it can be tough to get a reservation. I Sodi operates daily between 4:30pm to 9:30pm – drop in to enjoy a slice of Florence on the table!
A family-run Italian restaurant opened in 2009 that serves Italian-American classics and pizzas, this neighbourhood favourite is located at 235 Mulberry Street and operated everyday between 11am to 11pm. Serving legendary thin crust pizzas, Rubirosa also offers signature Vodka Sauce, Marinara and Olive Oil for purchase. The Tie-Dye pizza is one of their most popular specials, and they do not sell by slice. Apart from that, Rubirosa also has a full bar and are known for their great wine and beer collection. You can also book Rubirosa for upto 22 people for a family-style lunch or dinner party – celebrate your good times here!
Bar Pitti started in 1992 and is a reliable spot for one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC. Located at 268 6th Avenue, Bar Pitti is open all days of the week between 12pm to 11pm. The large outdoor patio and celebrity sightings are just the other crowd pullers, while the Italian food is the big people pleaser. The chalkboard specials, veal meatballs, lasagna and spaghetti with lobster, if available, are not to be missed! A word of caution – they add a mandatory 18% tip and is cash-only restaurant, and although the wait may seem long, is quite the opposite.
Il Posto Accanto
A small, quiet wine bar that serves some amazing Italian vintages, Il Posto Accanto has some of the best meatballs and pastas in town. Their grilled calamari is full of flavor and a definite must-try. Their daily specials are always seasonal and made with the freshest ingredients sourced from the local farmers’ markets. Il Posto Accanto is located at 190 East 2nd Street, and is open from 12pm to 11pm daily.
It is one of the greatest restaurants in NYC that takes a modern take on traditional Italian cooking, this place situated at 234 Spring Street operates 12pm to 10:30pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, 12pm to 10pm on Sundays and 5:30pm to 10:30pm on Mondays. The restaurant has a rather upbeat vibe making it a fun place to hang out. A menu you can pick from with closed eyes, be ready to be happily satisfied with the food and service offered at Altro Paradiso. Sunny outdoors and airy wood-accented space with a marble bar elevate the ambience of the restaurant.
Ranging from Michelin Stars to menus that change daily to signature specials that taste just the same over decades, Italian food that is impeccable is what draws the crowds, as well as a wide list of celebrities, to frequent these spots regularly. New York City lives upto the expectations of some world class Italian food with this epic list of best Italian restaurants in NYC!
Which of these have you ticked as yet?