You can’t make a reservation at Emilio’s Ballato, but you can just walk in (early) and hope you get a table. There will likely be a wait, especially on weekends, but it’s worth it if you want to eat some excellent red-sauce Italian food in an NYC institution where both Barack Obama and Rihanna also like to hang out. The restaurant is behind a discreet entrance on the South side of Houston, and while the interior might not look that impressive, as soon as you settle in for a meal and start observing the scene around you, you’ll start to feel like you’re in a clubhouse.
Where we've featured it
More spots in SoHoSee more
Aquagrill is a West Village raw bar classic. If you're not prepared to eat a dozen oysters on your own, you're not prepared to eat here.
Salud is a California-style Mexican spot in Soho that’s great for something quick and healthy in the area.
More Italian spotsSee more
Pasta Al Forno
Pasta Al Forno is different from most West Village Italian spots. It’s tiny and BYOB, and it’s a great place to have unexpectedly good baked pasta.
Tiramisu is a casual Italian restaurant on the UES with some great sidewalk seating during the summer.
Scottadito Osteria Toscana
In Park Slope for bottomless brunch? Scottadito Osteria Toscana is the best deal you’ll find.
Suggested by our writers
Estela might not be the cushiest restaurant in NYC, but it’s still an excellent choice for a fun night out or next-level brunch in Nolita.
Peter Luger Steak House
Peter Luger is a New York City steakhouse institution, and eating here is an experience unlike any other in the city.
Bamonte’s is a red-sauce Italian spot that’s been open in Williamsburg since 1900, and things here don’t seem to have changed much since then.
Filter and browse restaurants near you
Text us for personalized recommendationsLearn more