NYCGuide

The Best Restaurants In Noho

Where to eat in that area just north of Houston.
The Best Restaurants In Noho image

photo credit: Gentl & Hyers

Noho is like Soho’s tinier, lesser-known sibling, but this neighborhood has plenty of great places to eat packed into a small area. You’ll be thankful for these spots when you realize every restaurant south of Houston is overrun with people in the middle of all-day shopping marathons. On this guide, you’ll find a few Italian places, a Japanese speakeasy that you can’t get into without a secret phone number, and more.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Andrew Bui

Thai

NOHO

$$$$Perfect For:Dinner with the ParentsFirst/Early in the Game DatesImpressing Out of Towners

The first thing you need to know about this Thai restaurant is that there will likely be a long wait if you roll up without a reservation. But the spicy coconut curry with chunks of crab meat alone is worth standing around for. Everyone here tends to be in a good mood—partially because of the bright room and also because they actually scored a table. Most of the dishes are ideal for sharing, so bring some friends and get some zesty chicken wings or crab fried rice if you’re looking for something with less of a kick.

Sometimes, we dream that we’re in an old farmhouse in the Italian countryside. And we can come pretty close to recreating this dream IRL by heading to Il Buco. A night at this restaurant—which opened as an antique store in 1994—feels like a rustic escape from the city, and the mains here really shine. You can't go wrong with a medium-rare bistecca and lamb chops, but if you order just one thing, get what might be the best risotto in the city. Also, don't just order one thing here—that's a terrible idea.

Atla is the casual, downtown version of Cosme (from the same owners). You’ll see all types of diners here—from people in gym clothes drinking avocado-lemon agua frescas to families sharing churros and tres leches cake. They make great shrimp tacos, and we’re also fans of the chicken soup filled with tons of crunchy veggies and a handful of cilantro. The bright space with floor-to-ceiling windows makes this place a good destination for a daytime meetup, so plan your next brunch here.

photo credit: Gentl & Hyers

$$$$Perfect For:Date Night

Raf’s is a fantasy. It’s that home in Architectural Digest that never goes on the market, and the dinner party you’ll always try to throw but never quite achieve, in part because you don’t have Raf’s vintage wood-burning oven. Come here for perfect roast chicken topped with a pile of fresh herbs, and a simple little gem salad that should be boring, but isn’t. The small dining room has a perpetual sunset glow, and it features all the distressed mirrors, iron chandeliers, and fancy crown molding that your apartment currently lacks.

photo credit: C as in Charlie

RESERVE A TABLE

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This unique small-plates spot is serving dishes that combine Korean and Southern food. Their take on Salisbury steak has galbi jus on top of gruyère grits, and they also have a carbonara-like pasta with a seolleongtang-based cream sauce. (Order both.) Nothing costs more than $16, and the portions are surprisingly big. The intimate space is lit by a red neon sign, which makes you feel like you’re a photographer in a dark room, and the atmosphere is boisterous. There’s no better spot in the neighborhood for non-fast food at 10pm on a Wednesday.

A lot of NYC restaurants have set up shop in Miami, but Kyu is one of the few places that did the opposite. The menu, inspired by Thai, Japanese, and Korean cuisines, leans upscale, with some entrées exceeding $60. But the dishes have big portions, so we recommend coming with a group and sharing the stone pot fried rice with king crab and the smoked, on-the-bone beef rib. With super high ceilings, black columns, and a whole wall covered with a mural of a pair of eyes, the dramatic space would fit right in on the Vegas strip.

If you can’t get into Il Buco, this casual sister restaurant is a more-than-acceptable backup. It’s only a block away and has a market in the front where you can buy things like bread loaves and salumi. The space isn’t quite as charming as Il Buco’s, and a lot of the seating is communal, but it’s still good for a date night. Order the cacio e pepe if you prefer your pasta extra al dente, or stop by for brunch and get the short rib panini.

Vic’s is where you go in Noho when you don’t want to do too much thinking and just want to eat somewhere easy and reliable. The Italian-ish food is solid across the board, from the satisfying pastas to the vegetable-topped pizzas to the salads. Nothing costs more than $30, and while Vic’s probably won’t supplant whatever’s at the top of your favorite restaurants list, you’ll leave happy. Put this place in your back pocket and leave it there.

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