Best Restaurants in New York – The Ultimate Guide for Newcomers

Known as The City That Never Sleeps, it’s also famous as the city that never stops eating. With over 27,000 eateries and 76 of them with Michelin stars, moving to this metropolis means a chance to discover the best restaurants in New York one by one. The ability to try different specialties from all over the world is just one of the many perks of living in NYC.

If moving to New York is your intention, you should know that Big Apple is one of the top foodie spots in the United States. Its dining scene is infinite, guaranteeing an explosion of tastes. Even if you’re not a passionate gourmet, you’ll be surprised how many outstanding meals there are, always only a block away. And for every true gourmet, that is reason enough to contact a reliable relocation company and hire its long-distance moving services.

Each neighborhood takes pride in its great diners, specific cuisines, and its own greenmarkets.  Some of the most famous markets are Chelsea Market, Gansevoort Market, and Union Square Greenmarket, among many others. If you’re not sure which area to choose, don’t worry, because even moving to the suburbs presents you with numerous delicious opportunities.

When it comes to food, this metropolis offers a wide variety of international, exotic cuisines from all continents. For example, in Manhattan alone, you can try Ethiopian, Russian, Laotian, Armenian, Cambodian, Iranian, or Algerian cuisine. Even the ordinary staples like Asian or Italian food get a whole new dimension here. This city has it all and will satisfy palates of even the pickiest ones.

Many things have changed since 1837 when the first dining establishment in the US that used tablecloths was opened. As NY culinary scene is vibrant and ever-changing, with chefs who are constantly offering experimental fare, we’ve put together a list of Big Apple’s top-notch eateries you have to visit after moving cross country.

Best Restaurants in New York City Are Scattered All Over Its Major Neighborhoods

Did you know that the first diner established in the US was Delmonico’s –it opened its doors in 1837 right here in NYC. Many things have changed in the Big Apple since those days, including the number of eateries per capita. With more than 8 million residents, it has just 2.8 eateries for every 1,000 people, which explains why it is often very difficult to find a table in the desired eatery. And not just a free seat, but parking space too. So, if you’re thinking about using auto transport, be aware of the fact that NY streets are crammed with cars.  Public transportation is usually more efficient and practical than your own vehicle.

NameAddressFounded
1. Fraunces Tavern54 Pearl Street1762
2. Bridge Cafe279nWater Street1794
3. Ear Inn326 Spring Street1812
4. McSorley's Old Ale House15 East 7th Street1854
5. Pete's Tavern129 East 18th Street1864

5 oldest bars in NYC
Source: bucketlistbars

If you’ve already chosen one of the New York boroughs to relocate to, you should know that each district has plenty to offer, and no area has a shortage of top-notch diners. But for those with a unique palate, more commonly known as pickier foodies, there are a few areas in NY where you can enjoy excellent meals, great service, and pleasant ambiance:

  • Chinatown
  • Chelsea
  • Harlem
  • Koreatown
  • Williamsburg
  • Flushing
Chinatown takes pride in a specific cuisine

Best Restaurants in Chelsea New York

Located on the West Side of Lower Manhattan, Chelsea is a neighborhood packed with many great eateries. It has become a well-known destination in NY because of its food culture, but also Chelsea Market. That iconic culinary destination, located in the heart of NYC’s Meatpacking District, is considered as one of the most significant retail and indoor food marketplaces worldwide. There you can find Asian specialties, different cheese products, and fresh veggies and fruits.

However, if you’re a Mediterranean food-lover, you can enjoy Spanish meals and order platters with fish you’ve never heard of before. One thing is for sure – your cravings will be satisfied here, and even more, you’ll be part of a specific buzz: Chelsea is a beloved destination for local foodies and travelers alike.

If You’re Looking for Classic and Unique Spanish Dishes, El Quinto Pino Will Make Your Day

Places with a tradition and specific flavors bring people together. El Quinto Pino is a comfortable diner that boasts authentic Spanish cuisine and an excellent wine list. Here you will enjoy not only mouth-watering meals, such as Pinchos Moruno (Moorish spiced lamb skewers) or Bomba Toledana (“shepherd’s pie” style spiced beef croquette) but the pleasant ambiance as well. Furnished with midcentury and vintage furniture, this venue will provide you with a specific feeling of coziness and elegance.

You Can Try Over 30 Different Kinds of Fish at Seamore’s

Are you a fish aficionado? If so, at Seamore’s, you’ll experience healthy plates and affordable local seafood. The chef Michael Chernow has a goal to expand the range of taste with preparations of underutilized local species. He says that of the 27,300 fish species on Earth, we only consume about five – tuna, salmon, halibut, cod, and sea bass. Because of that, fishermen overfish certain species, and that’s how the ocean’s ecosystem is destroyed. So, here you can find over 30 different fish species like blackfish, fluke, golden tilefish, mahi mahi, monkfish, etc. Each order is a pure taste of fresh catch with the chef’s plan to save the oceans.

Seamore's paradigm is simple - instead of focusing on supply, it focuses on demand

Best Restaurants in Chinatown New York

One of the most popular districts in the Big Apple for foodies is probably Chinatown, situated in Lower Manhattan. As its name suggests, it is a perfect spot for people who can’t imagine their lifestyle without Chinese cuisine. If you’re open to culinary adventure and looking for affordable meals, Chinatown is packed with a mixture of old, authentic dishes and new, modern plates.

Spicy Village Is the Place NYC to Enjoy Outstanding Chinese Cuisine

The best things come in small packages. This is an excellent description of a hidden gem in Chinatown with only 30-40 seats. Despite the constant crowds, eating here is worth waiting for. Spicy Village offers affordable and delicious Chinese specialties and has welcoming staff. If you ask locals where they can find the tastiest hand-pulled noodles, there’s no doubt they will tell you it is right here. But you can’t go wrong with sesame chicken or soup dumplings either.

Insider tip: this diner is BYOB, and $12 is a minimum to spend on your meal. But fear not – that means a lot of good bites.

If You Come Across Doyers Street, Don’t Miss Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles

If you’re looking for the hole in the wall, Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles is an inexpensive site with authentic flavors. You’ll get fresh-made noodles with an abundance of green vegetables. If you order sesame chicken or any other protein meal, it will be cooked to perfection – the meat will melt in your mouth. Prices are low, portions big, and service kind and welcome. Make sure to bring cash with you because it’s cash only.

If you're looking for the most delicious hand-pulled noodles, you can't go wrong with Chinatown's diners

Best Restaurants in New York Theatre District to Share Pleasant Moments With Family and Friends

Theater District is an area in Midtown Manhattan where most Broadway theaters are located, but also diners and other entertainment venues. If you come across this corner of Manhattan and are looking for a bite before or after a Broadway show, you can eat well. Here you will find some of the top-notch eateries where meals are finger-licking and service fast and efficient. And all that within a short walking distance of most theaters.

American Classic Dishes Await for You in Joe Allen

Whether you’re looking for a quiet business lunch or dinner after the theater, this diner is perfect. In Joe Allen, a small, family-run place, you will find excellent service, ambiance, and classic, American meals, such as scrumptious eggs royale, juicy burger, or grilled steak. If you’re lucky enough, piano accompaniment happens on weekdays or “Musical Brunch.” This special performance features songs from West End musicals with actors as the main singers.

The Place of Cheese – Casellula

Are you looking for a cheese-focussed wine bar with a wide selection of small plates of foods, different kinds of cheese, and sweets? And all tucked in a cozy, rustic setting? Casellula is a diner where you can enjoy over 40 hand-made cheeses from all over the world paired with pedigree wines. Don’t miss the mozzarella Monday, and watch how fresh mozzarella is made from scratch right at your table.

Don Antonio – Just for Pizza Lovers

If you’re a pizza buff, in Don Antonio, you’ll taste an authentic Neapolitan style pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven. Besides, on the menu, you can find a homemade mozzarella and carefully selected craft beers. The bar is always filled with seasonal cocktails. Everyone who likes pizza will have a difficult task here – to choose only one kind. However, you can always come with family or friends and try different slices of each, for example:

  • Montanara pizza (Montanara Truffle, Montanara, Montanara Genovese)
  • Fried pizza (Pizza Pianeta, Via Tribunali, Calzone Fritto)
  • White pizza (Mast’Nicola, Sorrentina, Quattro Formaggi, etc.)
  • Red pizza (Vegetariana, Vegana, Padrino, Capricciosa, Margherita, Marinara, Puttanesca, Ricotta, etc.)
  • Pizza specials (Vesuvio, Giorgia, Burrata Roberto, Pizza del Re, etc.)Insider tip: each pizza can be made gluten-free for extra four bucks.
Spend a pleasant afternoon with friends nibbling cheese in Casellula

Best Steak Restaurants in New York

Even though vegetarians, vegans, and gluten intolerant people can find all the necessary groceries in the Big Apple, NYC is still a meat-loving megalopolis. Best BBQ and cheap burgers support this, but the most crucial are steakhouses and steak places. The truth is that classic steakhouse was practically invented in NY, so if you’re a newbie, there are plenty of must-visit prime cut destinations.

Place Where Legendary Rib Eye Is Grilled to Perfection – Old Homestead Steakhouse

The oldest NY establishment, the Old Homestead Steakhouse, was founded in 1868, and it’s said that the “doggie bag” was invented there. Portions were, and still are, so large that guests always bring leftovers with them. It is located three minutes away from Chelsea Market and is appealing to many tourists who want to visit an old-school diner that combines tradition and elegance. If you would like to spend an enjoyable evening with your family, reserve your table, order prime-aged USDA Texas-size slabs of beef, and spend many unforgettable moments.

Try “Flintstones-Size” Mutton Chops in Keens Steakhouse

Located in the Garment District in Manhattan, Keens Steakhouse is an iconic NY spot that serves the most delicious mutton chop around – rubbed and aged to perfection. If you want to spend pleasant moments celebrating special occasions, make reservations at least a couple of weeks in advance.

We’re pretty sure this site will leave speechless everyone who steps over its threshold for the first time – it has the largest collection of churchwarden pipes in the world. And they literally hang from its rafters. Wherever you look, you’ll be surrounded by tradition, and whatever you taste, you’ll feel pure pleasure.

Staying for Lunch at 212 Steakhouse Will Provide You With a Memorable Experience

You don’t need to travel to Japan to enjoy authentic Japanese Kobe beef. In 212 Steakhouse, known as the only eatery in the entire East Coast serving it, you can order this specialty. Locals say that if you come once and try the unforgettable flavor of Kobe beef, you will always return to this diner in Midtown Manhattan. And you can rest assured that this beef is top-quality thanks to the following:

  • Climate – Tajima-Gyu cows originally came from Tajima, a mountainous region
  • Privileged qualities – this meat is ideal for eating, with thin bones and firm, tight muscles
  • Outstanding strong genetics
  • The pure lineage of seed-stock cattle
Old Homestead Steakhouse takes pride in 15 different steaks on the menu

Meet Best Italian Restaurants in NYC – Each of Them Has Its Own Story

It is said that you can’t throw a meatball in NY without hitting an Italian diner. The Big Apple is packed with one on every block, and you can find plenty of Italian-style options: Venetian, Italian-American, Roman, Neapolitan, etc. Put simply, you can enjoy a new meal in a different eatery every day. And you won’t get bored.

The real question is – how to choose the right pasta and pizzas? Luckily, with this cuisine, you can’t get wrong. The first step is to find out the diners where the top-notch portions are served, and memories are made. And second is to taste their dishes and feel the magic.

Feel at Home at Casa Nonna

As soon as you enter Casa Nonna‘s door, you’ll feel at home. Its name means “Grandmother’s House” in Italian, and is not given just like that. It is a tribute to the pure and bold flavors of authentic Italian cuisine. This midtown eatery is perfect for family people eager to enjoy the unique flavors – a peak of traditional Roman and Tuscan fare and wines from Italy.

Caravaggio Ristorante Offers the Art of Enjoyment

Featuring authentic Italian cuisine, based on traditional family recipes, this eatery named after artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio is located near the Whitney Museum of Art in Manhattan. At Caravaggio Ristorante, you will take pleasure in both elegant and artistic ambiance (sculptures and paintings by Stella, and stencil lithographs by Matisse) and Italian fare. An interesting fact is that the restaurant itself serves as an art gallery.

LAVO Is an Excellent Entertainment Spot

If you’re looking for a place where you can have an excellent meal while being lightly dressed, choose this diner. Restaurant’s name means “to bathe,” and it’s famous for its Bikini Brunch held every summer Saturday. This is an eatery where one can spend unforgettable moments with friends thanks to its ground plan – it’s a combination of a nightclub and subterranean playground. Also, LAVO is known for its unique bites, such as:

  • Meatball topped with sheep’s milk ricotta
  • Homemade pasta
  • Brick oven pizza
  • Chicken Marsala
  • Truffle French fries
Don't miss to try wine pairings with pasta or pizza

Taste the European Flavors in Upper East Side Restaurants and Bar

Known as the posh and wealthy district in Manhattan, Upper East Side has many fancy eateries situated in pretty streets. These are a mix of classic brownstones and upscale high-rises. Since everything here is a synonym for many diverse lifestyles, it’s no wonder there’s a wide choice of different fares. If you would like to try something special, this neighborhood offers a wide range of European-style eating places.

Feel Austria’s Vibes in the Middle of New York – Visit Heidelberg Restaurant

As one of the oldest family-run Austrian eateries in the US, Heidelberg has remained the same since its beginnings. It preserves one hundred years of history, from a time when Yorkville was a lively German neighborhood. The menu alone tells the story:

  • Bratwurst and other sausages
  • Schweinebraten (roast loin of pork, served with a boiled potato and sauerkraut)
  • Wiener schnitzel
  • Cheese fondue

Best of Typical Czech Cuisine in Bohemian Spirit

This is a simple and classic European style tavern with a warm and friendly atmosphere. Its delicious cuisine is something that singles out this spot as a different and unique:

  • Beef goulash
  • Confit duck leg
  • Veal schnitzel
  • Roasted beef, “Svíčková” sauce
  • Apple strudel
  • Fruit dumplings
  • Prune filled buns

Even if you’re not feeling hungry, Bohemian Spirit is a beautiful diner to come for Pilsner beer and enjoy the tranquil and peaceful ambiance in a pleasant company.

Go to Budapest Cafe And Try Dishes Straight From the Kitchens of Hungarian Grandmothers

If you’ve ever tried chicken paprikash or Zacher pastry, you must know how exceptional Hungarian cuisine is. This small inviting cafe serves lots of specialties you can hardly resist. Besides, excellent service and professional staff are an additional reason to drop by alone or with friends and fill a stomach with domestic and tasty meals in Budapest Cafe. If you have children, this eatery might become one of your favorite things to do in New York City with kids.

 

If You’re Asian Food Aficionado, Flushing Is Perfect for You

Flushing is a large neighborhood in the NY borough of Queens, and it is known as the fourth-largest central business district in the Big Apple. Thanks to Flushing’s population, of which more than two-thirds claim Asian heritage, the neighborhood’s culinary scene is based on a Korean, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and Fuzhou cuisine.

Enjoy Korean-Chinese Culinary Delights in Joong Koog Jip

Joong Koog Jip restaurant’s philosophy is simple – it serves a platter with refreshing flavors instead of something that you’ve eaten a million times. In this family-owned diner, you will enjoy great food and create memories that last forever, because meals are designed to bring you an explosion of aroma and savor. The menu is rich and has a bit of something for everyone:

  • Noodles
  • Dumplings
  • Sea cucumber and abalone
  • Cold dishes
  • Vegetable and bean curd
  • Shrimps
  • Chicken and meat
Korean-Chinese cuisine is full of spices and specific flavors

Best New York Restaurants According to Locals

We’ve already compiled a quite long list of interesting, popular, and hidden gems in the Capital of the World where your gourmet’s cravings can be satisfied. This metropolis is packed with plenty of spots where locals eat, enjoying both quality and low prices. So, to expand your knowledge and check taste buds, our additional list might be a real revelation for your period of adjustment:

  • Kyma Flatiron (Flatiron District) – Greek specialties
  • Gansevoort Market (Meatpacking District) – Korean BBQ
  • Joe’s Shanghai (Chinatown) – Asian food
  • The Halal Guys (Midtown) – food trucks with beef, rice, and pillowy pita
  • Hell’s Kitchen (Midtown) – steaks
Greek cuisine is also present in NY

New York City Has the Most Michelin-Starred Restaurants in the US

Being an authentic New Yorker means having a certain attitude – totally unique and a bit quirky compared to residents of other US cities. In the City That Never Sleeps, people work 70 hours a week, have roommates, and lack patience, but boast a sense of community, and know where the best $1 pizza is. Also, if you want to become “one of them,” you should definitely be proud of tons of Michelin dining venues in NY. Being the city with most Michelin-starred eateries, 76, Big Apple gives you an opportunity to visit some of the most expensive diners with ambiance and a menu designed for special occasions.

Only 5 Eateries Have Three Stars

Inspired by Japanese cuisine and French technique, this sparkling oasis is located in the middle of Manhattan’s concrete jungle. Seafood and shellfish-focused dishes don’t come cheap (on average $360), but this extraordinary eatery has only 18 seats available. Having dinner at Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare reminds most of having a meal in some of the best sushi diners in Japan – a single bar counter, a sushi master, finest ingredients, and focus on purity.

Founded in 1998 in the heart of the Big Apple, looking onto Madison Square Park in Manhattan, this fine diner was redesigned in 2017. Thanks to the innovative chef, Daniel Humm, the menu changes frequently. Still, guests can expect creative food arranged in a way to evoke specific feelings and moods. If you choose Eleven Madison Square, one thing is certain – it will provide you with experience to remember thanks to a unique and specific menu.

Seafood has never been so tasty and refined until Le Bernardin opened its door for New Yorkers in 1986. This Manhattan’s gem offers a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience that will literally rock your world. If you want a quiet and pleasant site to spend several hours tasting well-prepared French meals, this is the place to be.

Gourmets who like Japanese fare will be thrilled with this venue and its omakase and sushi menu. However, nice and cozy ambiance, top-notch service, and food ingredients are pricey. Still, keep in mind that being part of a three-star dining adventure in the middle of Manhattan is an experience that must cost. Having dinner in Masa will give you more than feeling full – being so close to chef Masa and watching him prepare each piece to perfection is one of the crucial parts of the dinner.

Are you looking for a lifetime experience while tasting French specialties? If so, Per Se will take care of you in a specific and unique way – this restaurant’s execution is at the highest level. Everything is perfect, from service, wine pairings, and mouth-watering dishes. If you’re looking for the spot to celebrate a special occasion, with this extraordinary location, you just can’t go wrong. Situated near Columbus Circle, Per Se is worth visiting and picking among the Chef’s tasting menu, Tasting of vegetables, and Salon Menu. The staff proudly points out that no single ingredient is ever repeated throughout nine-course meals.

NYC’s Most Affordable Standout Restaurants, According to the Local Chefs

Believe it or not, there are plenty of places in the Big Apple where you can eat well and cheaply. So, if you’re looking for vegetable salads, a slice of pizza, juicy burger, or even some unusual flavors, try some of these dining spots:

  • Bep Ga – Vietnamese cuisine in Chinatown
  • Corner Bistro – burgers in Chelsea district
  • Davelle – Japanese Cafe in Lower East Side
  • Totto Ramen – ramen in Midtown
  • Plant Love House – Thailand cuisine in Brooklyn area

Insider tip: you can get a perfect meal for as little as $12 to $25.

Sometimes, burgers are a perfect meal to sate your hunger

Discovering Big Apple’s Dining Scene Is a Process That Never Stops

You can easily fall into the trap to pay for overpriced meals and eat in posh places. Since the cost of living in New York is among the highest in the world, being tempted to enjoy costly plates can happen to everyone. However, when moving from a small town to a big city, as well as moving to New York City alone or with family, you should know how to save on moving costs. So, if you’re moving to New York from another part of the country, keep in mind that it is pricey, but has a bit of everything for everyone. Including your dog, too. Yes, although only some bars and diners are dog-friendly, there are about 24 places with patios where you can bring your four-legged friend. So, if you’re moving with pets, you’ll have a company during the first period of your adjustment.

Whatever your reasons to move to The Big Apple are, before hiring long-distance movers, in this case, professional New York movers who can help you with packing services as well, do some research. Learn as much as possible about hidden gems and top-notch eateries in West 4th Street between Charles and Perry Streets, or Grand Street between Kent Avenue and Marcy Avenue. The City That Never Sleeps has a culinary scene that inspires and attracts chefs and people from all over the world. So, have no doubt its specialties will seduce you too.

Written By: Mila Tacon