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The journey never stops, people. And part of that journey is celebrating all of life’s big moments - from graduations to anniversaries to promotions. The key to a great celebration? Awesome #EEEEEATS, and the perfect restaurant for whatever life event you’re celebrating. We’re no strangers to that quest for quality - this website was started to help people find the ideal restaurant for their particular occasion.
That's why we teamed up with American Express on this Guide To The Best Restaurants for Celebrations In NYC. We picked places we think are especially perfect for all those important celebrations in life that you want to do just right. Another way to do those times right? By using the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express – it’s the card to use if you eat out anywhere near as much as we do. Follow this list, use that card, and you’ll be golden.
Here’s to your celebration, and look out for our upcoming Celebrations Guides for our other cities.
The post is promoted by the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. Card Members now get more rewards like 2X Membership Rewards points at U.S. restaurants, and a $100 airline fee credit on one airline for incidental charges like in-flight food and drink. Learn more here. This list was selected by The Infatuation.
There are plenty of occasions when you want to try the hottest, newest restaurant. Your anniversary is not one of them. Il Buco has been open for over 20 years, and like your relationship, it only gets better with time. Not only is the food excellent, but the rustic, cozy ambiance feels like something you'd find in a little town in Italy. Very few NYC restaurants are more romantic without really trying than this one.
Babbo is the ultimate feel-good restaurant. There's just something about this place that makes you want to park it in your seat and never stop eating that pasta, drinking that wine, and reveling in the land of Batali. And what could be more perfect for celebrating an anniversary? While you're at it, do yourself a favor and go all in with the pasta tasting menu (with wine pairing, if you're really serious). You're already balling out - might as well do it right.
Q: What is the proper way to celebrate a promotion? A: Gathering your crew and immediately getting to eating and drinking. And Seamore’s’ big, open space is the perfect place to do it. The place is trendy, but also casual enough for a laid-back evening. Bonus: Seamore’s is not only reasonably healthy, but also reasonably priced, so you can actually feel good about going out afterwards. Drinks are on you.
Want to mix your dinnertime with your partytime? Of course you do, you just got promoted. Mission Chinese was made for big groups, and made for having fun - settle into a big booth, get the cocktails flowing, and prepare yourself for a borderline insane, Chinese-inspired, family-style meal. Required eating: the prime rib and crab leg plate. Go ahead, you deserve it.
The challenge: finding a restaurant that everyone in your family - from your super picky aunt to your super picky three-year-old niece - will like. The solution: Maialino. The approachable Italian menu, polished yet relaxed ambiance, and top-caliber food make it a restaurant everyone can appreciate. What makes Maialino extra graduation-appropriate? For one, it has a special-occasion feel without feeling too fancy. You can also come at any time of day and know you’re going to get a great meal. If your family likes to spread out, there’s even a back room you could take over.
Teddy Roosevelt and Babe Ruth knew a good spot when they found it. Keen’s has been open since 1885, and is loaded with history - it used to be a members-only hangout for NYC’s most powerful. Which makes it the perfect place to celebrate the newfound power of a diploma. Sit down to a mutton chop and you’ll be initiated into the club of Keen’s on graduation day.
Imagine the ideal birthday spot. What does it have? Let us guess: lots of space, good music, solid food, reasonable prices, and a fun scene. Tijuana Picnic has you covered on all counts. this Mexican spot feels like it was designed to host your birthday party. As an added perk, the basement level turns into a dance party later in the evening. Keep those margarita pitchers coming and you’re in for the best birthday party ever.
Homestyle Korean food may not immediately sound like birthday dinner territory, but Her Name Is Han isn’t your typical homestyle Korean food. Somehow, everything here tastes light and fresh and modern, despite the fact that your table will be filled with bubbling stews and spicy meats. (Which by the way, are all ideal for sharing with a big group.) The vibe of the place lives up to its name: this is the kind of fun, funky spot you’ll only find in NYC. Add to that Soju cocktails and jazz soundtrack, and this is a restaurant that is sure to make your birthday a very happy one.
MEETING THE PARENTS
The parents will love it because it’s in a museum, and you’ll love it because the food is excellent. Entertaining (and impressing) parents in town is tricky work, but the Whitney/Untitled combo is the one-two punch of doing it right. Cultural outings plus top-caliber food equals the key to Mom and Dad’s hearts. The people watching doesn’t hurt, either.
So the parents from Minnesota want to see “what Downtown is like.” But you know better than to take them anywhere that would really show them what Downtown is like (i.e. noisy and uncomfortable). So you’ll take them to Virginia’s, an unexpectedly polished and really great spot deep in the East Village where you’ll actually be able to hear them well enough to have a conversation. Just have the cab drop you a few blocks away, so they can feel like they get to see where the kids hang out.
Ah, the time-honored ritual in which the groom goes out for one last night of freedom with his friends. Whether or not you’re going the stripper route, one thing is for certain: you need to start your night with a blowout meal. Bowery Meat Company is the actually-cool, un-stuffy steakhouse you’ve been waiting all your adult life for. No matter what you order, you’re going to enjoy it. So sit back, relax, and enjoy that freedom.
If ever there was a time to buy a $28 burger, your bachelor party is it. Minetta feels like a place where great things happen, partly because of its storied history, and partly because the scene is always a party. If you want to have a truly classic New York night out for your bachelor party, it should start at Minetta.
Every bachelorette these days seems to take place in some tropical location or another, so if you’re hosting yours in NYC, might as well find a restaurant with island vibes. Santina’s food is the kind of light Italian stuff that everyone will be happy with (pasta not required), the cocktails are excellent, and it’s a very cool space. This is the best of all bachelorette worlds: 50% beach party, 50% New York scene, 100% destination.
We do not judge you for secretly wishing you could have your bachelorette in Las Vegas. Dirty French is where you come for a Vegas-like experience without the tourists and Avicii. The music is loud, the mood is excessive, and there’s lots of action happening everywhere. If you’re looking to have a nice catch-up meal with your closest friends, this isn’t where that’s happening. But if you’re looking for a party, you can’t do much better.
GOING AWAY DINNER
Whether you’re making a big move, or just going on the trip of a lifetime, if it’s your last night in NYC, you want a true New York experience. And nothing’s more authentically New York than Korean street food. Ok, so that’s not exactly true. But nothing is more authentically New York than eating Korean street food at Momfuku Ssäm. There’s just something special about consuming those pork buns, spicy rice cakes, and giant Ssäm meal in a cramped, tiny space that you would never even notice if you were a tourist walking by. But lucky for you, you’re not a tourist, and you know that this is one of the greatest meals NYC has to offer.
New York City is full of things you can’t get anywhere else: 24-hour Chinese delivery, bodegas on every corner, pizza slices on every block, and Blue Ribbon Brasserie. While there are many examples of those first three things, Blue Ribbon stands alone. As far as we’re concerned, this is the absolute greatest meal you can have in the world at 3am. No matter how late it is, or what night of the week it is, you will be served bone marrow, fried chicken, and oysters on a white tablecloth as if it is 8pm on Saturday night. This is where you leave New York City with a bang.