Looking for the best restaurant near you at this exact moment? You’ve come to the right place. Follow this link to our Restaurant Finder. Not only will you be able to find the best restaurant in your location, but you can filter by cuisine or situation to find the best restaurant for whatever your occasion, craving, or preference. Planning a first date and looking for sushi? We got you. Mom wants Italian in SoHo? Our Restaurant Finder can help with that too.
If you’re not sure where to start, below you’ll find a handful of our favorite restaurants in different NYC neighborhoods. We only included those that don’t usually require a reservation, in case you’re looking for a spot to eat near you right now.
Looking for a casual neighborhood Italian restaurant in the East Village is like looking for a bong shop on St. Marks - it’s not hard. And they’re probably all fine. Il Posto Accanto doesn’t get talked about quite as much as others, like Supper nearby, and it’s on the low-key side. That’s why we like it so much. Plan to roll up to the bar and order some of the best meatballs in town along with a whole lot of red wine..
This place gets their fish flown in daily, and it’s easily some of the best in the East Village. Surprisingly, it’s also reasonably priced. Their sushi and sashimi combos are relative bargains, and they have a few exceptional miso soups that you should consider messing with. So stop in when you feel like having sushi last-minute. The food is great, but you won’t get laughed at when you try to get a table (or sit at the bar) without a reservation.
lower east side
A casual wine bar owned and operated by the team who run the much-acclaimed tasting menu restaurant Contra, this has quickly become one of our favorite spots around. With small plates that are best shared, Wildair is a great restaurant for a night out with friends. Assuming your friends are into things like beef tartare with smoked cheddar.
There are many places we would send you for bagels and lox. Some of those places would be excellent. But none would be quite like Russ & Daughters. Open since the beginning of time (1914), owned by the same family, and always selling the same comfort food, Russ & Daughters is the quintessential place for the quintessential New York tradition. Show up prepared to wait along with everyone else, grab a ticket, and fight for a square foot of personal space.
Jack’s Wife Freda serves an important purpose in Soho, and that purpose is an easy lunch or very casual dinner. There aren’t a ton of restaurants suitable for that as you go westward.
This tiny shop on Sullivan Street makes some of the world’s best Italian sandwiches. Fresh ingredients, fresh bread, and surly people behind the counter. What more do you want in life?
Edward’s is not the MVP of anything, but it’s one of Tribeca’s utility spots: a bistro that’s useful for a casual weeknight dinner, or a brunch where you likely won’t have to wait. We recommend the burger, fish tacos, and the grilled salmon.
Another one of those far-west West Village places that people love to think of as “their place.” And we don’t blame them: this restaurant is charming, fun, and serves nice takes on the usuals (pizza, pasta, branzino, et al.) that don’t cost too much.
It’s the million dollar (or at least $3) question: what makes an ideal New York slice joint? First, the slice has to be perfect. And second, it has to be there for you when you need it. Joe’s checks both boxes. The slices are everything a New York slice should be: hot, salty, crispy, chewy, always consistent, and a little bit greasy. Open until 4am every night, Joe’s is the answer when someone asks you where to find the best slice of pizza in this town. It’s always the answer.
Get tacos here already. If you like tacos, and you haven’t had these tacos, you should eat these tacos. Tacos. Eat theirs. This is a stand in Chelsea Market that tends to be busy, because a lot of people have heard that they might be the best tacos in the city. Maybe they heard it from us.
There are a million places to eat ramen in New York City. Many of them are excellent. None come close to Ippudo. Yes, the waits at this Japanese import are insane, and no, you probably won’t get in unless you show up at 5pm. But sometimes real love takes sacrifice. And this ramen is worth the sacrifice.
You can’t have an argument about the best burgers in the city and not have Burger Joint in the mix. This place gets slammed during high lunch hours, but by 3pm it’s dead. Eat a late breakfast to hold you over.
upper east side
Up Thai is a surprisingly good, surprisingly nice Thai restaurant on 2nd Avenue. You can actually eat many things other than just pad Thai here, including the excellent crispy duck and chicken larb. It’s great for takeout, too.
Whether it be for lunch, brunch, or to watch a “football” game at 7 a.m. with all the other healthy people of the Upper East Side, Jones Wood Foundry is one of our favorites. The food is good, the people are friendly, and most importantly, it’s casual and easy. Pull up a seat and do your best not to call it soccer.
upper west side
The Ribbon is a new restaurant from the people behind the Blue Ribbon empire, serving the kind of food Blue Ribbon became famous for: everything from bone marrow to oysters to roasted chicken. It’s also just a generally fun place to hang out, and is Perfect For everything from a night out with friends to watching sports on TV.
The restaurant that had a lot to do with not just Williamsburg eating as we know it today, but Brooklyn as the world knows it today. Housed in a (definitely slanted) dining car, Diner has, since the beginning, been all about simple, locally-sourced food and an environment that makes you feel like you’re probably in the coolest restaurant in the city. You have to try the burger at least once, but you really can’t go wrong here.
In a city saturated with great Italian food, it’s almost impossible for an Italian restaurant to prove it’s something special. But over in Park Slope, Al Di La’s been at it since long before Manhattanites realized Brooklyn existed. This place isn’t fronted by a celebrity chef, nor is it trendy. There’s no “buzz” around it, and you’re not going to see it on any internet lists (except this one). But this is simple, rustic, Italian cooking at its very best, and one of the most charming environments you can eat in in.
Paulie Gee’s is like a giant cave of pizza, and if that doesn’t sound like something you want to be inside immediately, we don’t have much else to say. When you want pizza, but you also want a place that feels decidedly different from your couch, you come to Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint. You’re going to encounter a wait, but it’s worth it. We promise.