New York City is (arguably) known for being home to some of the best Italian cuisine in the country. We've rounded up some of the best options for trying tasty dishes with attention to quality ingredients. It doesn't hurt if you can try some Italian wine or a Negroni while you're at it. Our selections attract top performers from every county, even if all of these restaurants are worth traveling by train or taxi.
And yes, Little Italy and the West Village are obvious options. New York has lived and breathed Italian food for centuries. Food is an important factor that has shaped the history of many places, especially modern and culturally inclusive cities such as New York. The blending of cultures from two completely different physical places in the world can only be achieved by equating something that is common between the two.
Besides food, what could bring New York and Italy together?. For these reasons alone, the best Italian restaurant in New York, along with many other Italian restaurants, has opened throughout the city. Outside of Italy, New York is one of the best places in the world to eat Italian food. So, yes, this list could have been much longer than 20 restaurants.
It could also have included places that specialize in pizza. But that's a completely different list, so you don't need to start tweeting us about Lucali. For the most part, these are the places you go to for a special occasion. Or maybe you just have some extra money handy and want to sit in a bar on Wednesday and eat delicious pasta.
Whatever the situation, if you want the best of the Italian cuisine that this city has to offer, check out this list. There are a lot of Italian restaurants in Brooklyn, but there's nothing like Lilia. The space looks like a glamorous whitewashed warehouse, and their modern Italian food is always perfectly executed. While this place is ideal for special occasions and impressing outsiders, our favorite way to eat here is by taking a few seats at the bar.
Start with a negroni and a serving of soft focaccia, and plan to dig deeper into pasta. Agnolotti are a mandatory order, and Cacio e Pepe style mafaldini should also be in front of you. Via Carota, from the people behind I Sodi, doesn't take reservations and you almost always have to wait two or more hours. Obviously, that's a little annoying, but it doesn't stop us from eating here.
This place manages to stand out among the thousands of Italian restaurants in New York by consistently preparing a simple and delicious meal. A meal here should include some of the more than twelve vegetable dishes, the Svizzerina type steak tartar and the cacio e pepe (which is not optional). If you want to treat yourself to a very Italian experience in New York, Babbo has to be your place. It has some incredible and original dishes, such as pasta amatriciana and grilled lamb chops “a scottadito” (made on the grill and intended to be eaten, when they are still very hot, with your hands).
Keep in mind that Babbo is a Michelin-starred restaurant, and the prices reflect that. An informal and welcoming place, Il Buco states that its “culinary philosophy is firmly rooted in the Italian tradition of seasonality and the integrity of all ingredients”. Everything is sourced locally from exporters and, if they can't find something, they do it directly in Italy. Try Torchio pasta (homemade pasta, guanciale, local asparagus, Tuscan pecorino cheese) and any of the desserts on the menu accompanied by Italian wine.
Expect basic dishes from mid-20th century Italian-American restaurants, such as veal, parmesan and seafood salad. If they tell you to go to Little Italy, in Manhattan, to see the best Italian restaurants in New York City, your source probably doesn't know the city well. Chef and owner Missy Robbins opened Lilia in Brooklyn after running Michelin-starred Italian restaurants in Chicago and New York. On the ground floor of a nondescript three-story apartment building where Bushwick meets Williamsburg, this intimate candlelit spot feels like the neighborhood Italian restaurant you've always dreamed of.
Carbone is known for being a place to visit and for its delicious Italian-American cuisine with red sauce, unlike other notoriously popular destination restaurants in New York with notoriously bad food. According to the Travel Channel, Queens is one of the most ethnically diverse urban areas not only in New York City, but in the world, in addition to being part of the most densely populated counties in the country. The Times also calls Tosti di Valminuta “the Empress of East Second Street” because it is one of the main Italian restaurants in the city. You get the feeling that a lot of special moments have happened at Michael's, an old school Italian restaurant that opened in 1964 on the outskirts of the Marine Park.
Roberto's restaurant uses all fresh ingredients, makes fresh pasta and uses a wide range of raw ingredients to prepare classic Italian-American dishes. This high-end restaurant, which has been operating since 1981, is known for being festive and crowded, even in New York. Enjoy a starlit date with your partner at New York City's best outdoor Italian restaurant. Since Italian food plays an important part in the American food consciousness, there are plenty of Italian-American places to eat in New York.
Art Deco decor and private outdoor booths seem like conveyors, rather than repetitive, with the mauve details and coffee chairs that too many New York City restaurants have decided are a requirement of modern dining. .