The Best Restaurants In NomadWhere to eat above Madison Square Park.
Nomad is a part of town just above Madison Square Park with a bunch of hotels in addition to condos being built that you assume are going to end up being more hotels. Maybe you're in this area because you work nearby, or maybe you just like looking at the first ever Shake Shack. Whatever the reason, here's where to get Korean small plates, smoked brisket, vitello tonnato, and more when you get hungry.
Koloman serves decadent, inventive Viennese food with a French twist. The open kitchen gives major Ratatouille vibes, the service is tight, and every dish has a surprising element, from starters like a celery root tartare to a duck egg crème brûlée for dessert. Come hungry, and be sure to get the whole roasted chicken. It's dry-aged for over 90 days and served with the fluffiest, butteriest spätzle we’ve ever had.
Atoboy is a Korean restaurant from the team behind a bunch of other spots on this guide like Palpal and Her Name is Han. And like a lot of those places, the narrow, windowless, mostly-concrete space has a minimalist feel to it. Your only option is a four-course $75 (gratuity included) dinner. Dishes change often, but your meal might include a plate of meaty yellowtail with green mustard and some shrimp mandu in a lobster broth. This is one of the top prix-fixe options in the city, and it's always a fun, impressive, and surprisingly casual experience.
At LittleMad, you can add caviar, uni, and/or truffles to every dish, sort of like how you’d add parmesan crisps to a salad at Sweetgreen. But this isn't fine dining. The mostly-concrete space has an industrial feel—with scuffed floors and an open kitchen—and the menu is full of French and Korean-inspired small plates. Want a crispy pig ear salad with (optional) Burgundy truffle? Or how about a mandu/chou farci mashup in a silky lobster sabayon with a big dollop of caviar? The correct answer to both of these questions is yes.
Thankfully, not a lot has changed about this Italian spot since it moved to a cozy space with terrazzo floors in a Nomad hotel. The name is slightly different, but you can still get some great Roman-style food here. You’ll still be thinking about the spaghettini alle vongole and roasted lamb shoulder the morning after your visit, but you’ll remember the razor-thin slices of veal smothered in tonnato and fried capers for the rest of the year. Bring that person who would be your costar in a Nora Ephron movie for a romantic night out.
Her Name is Han is a cool, casual Korean restaurant on 31st Street that looks like a cross between a library, an East Village apartment, and a movie studio. As for the food, everything from the seafood stews to the spicy pork and noodle soups tend to be memorable. We've sent a lot of people here, and the texts we get after they eat always say something along the lines of: “Holy sh*t.”
If you want to eat a lot of inventive, delicious Korean food, gather your friends and head to Palpal. The service is easygoing, the space is sleek and industrial, and you'll find a bunch of highballs and a selection of sool on the drink menu. Since the small plates seem designed for soaking up alcohol, this place is a natural choice for a dinner that’s also kind of a party. Don’t skip the black bean noodles or the fresh cilantro kimchi.
It seems like this restaurant was put on this planet to please as many people as possible. Upland works well for almost any occasion, whether it's a casual lunch or a celebratory night out. The expansive dining room feels like the world's nicest Williams Sonoma, and the California-inspired menu includes pasta, pizza, and lots of veggies. Our orders here usually include the chicken liver pasta and the only-available-at-lunch-and-brunch cheeseburger (one of the best in the city).
When José Andrés isn’t busy trying to save the world, he’s opening restaurants like Zaytinya (a D.C. import) in the Ritz-Carlton. The spacious setting, with its blue and white accents and indoor trees, will make you feel like you’re at a seaside resort even if it's the dead of winter. Prioritize the seafood mezze like the smoky grilled octopus and sweet pieces of cold shrimp in a creamy mustard sauce. If you get two to three items per person, you’ll walk out of this place thinking that you got a good variety and amount of food for the price.
If you see a line out the door near 28th Street and Broadway, it's probably for KazuNori, a sushi handroll specialist from the team behind Sugarfish. Once you finally get a seat at the long U-shaped counter, you pencil in your order on a paper menu. Most people opt for one of the set menus (three to six handrolls for $18 to $34), and we suggest you do the same. The rolls are filled with things like toro, yellowtail, and bay scallops, and we always order an extra crab roll.
The specialty at this Japanese spot is yakitori, but there’s also a literal binder full of other dishes ranging from a sushi roll with shaved parmesan to chicken liver pâté served with ginger and little pieces of baguette. Plan on ordering a ton of small things, all of which will come out of the kitchen at lightning speed.
Hill Country works for just about any situation, assuming you’re looking to eat dry-rubbed, slow-smoked meat off of butcher paper. The upstairs part of this massive spot has outdoor, bar, and communal seating, and the equally large downstairs area has a stage for live music. You can get a combo platter with a variety of meats and sides, but we recommend focusing your attention on the brisket and spicy sausage, which, along with the cornbread, are the best things here.
Like Maialino (vicino), Marta is from Union Square Hospitality Group and is located in the same hotel (The Redbury New York). The pizzas here are Roman-style, and because they have such thin crusts, you can eat a whole one by yourself if you're really hungry. Go for the margherita or the meat-heavy butcher pizza with soppressata, guanciale, and sausage. The main dining room is spacious but pretty generic, so we prefer sitting at the bar or on a stool in front of the two huge wood-burning ovens.
When you look around at this huge upscale Lebanese restaurant, the walls and ceiling will bring to mind a Mondrian painting, and you'll notice that an entire bowling lane (or two) could probably fit into the dining room. There's also a very long bar, and it's a great place to enjoy some arak alongside fattoush and duck shawarma. Come here when you know you'll have a large party or when the headcount for an outing unexpectedly triples.
Plant-based sushi might sound like a gimmick, but we really enjoy the food at Omakaseed, an eight-seat counter inside Plant Bar. For $65, you’ll be served 15 lightning-fast courses over the course of an hour—including all kinds of whimsical things made from vegetables like a savory mushroom latte that’s shockingly delicious and a tomato nigiri that’s a dead-ringer for akami. The food is inventive, and the menu changes every week or two.