EXPLORE MORE Iconic Restaurants in New York
Whether you're a local or a traveler, these famous New York restaurants promise a memorable culinary journey through the heart of the city. Indulge in the best, and savor the flavors of the city that never sleeps. Here is the second part of our selection of famous New York restaurants where you can enjoy a delightful break between tourist attractions or end your day on a high note.
EDITOR'S NOTE: For some of these restaurants, booking well in advance is almost obligatory, especially during certain dates and/or peak seasons.
Restaurants to Try in NY (Part II)
Russ & Daughters Cafe
Russ & Daughters Cafe is where you can savor all the classic delights of the namesake, renowned deli, but in a comfortable seated setting. They've beautifully curated the space, giving it a retro diner look. The menu has been expanded, offering excellent dishes that make it one of the best restaurants in New York for Jewish cuisine. They serve breakfast all day, with eggs, bagels, smoked fish, matzoh ball soup, and every kind of Jewish comfort food.
- Must-Try: salmon and cream cheese bagels
Rao's is the most challenging restaurant to book in the United States, an institution in East Harlem. More like a private club than a public restaurant, it's notoriously difficult to gain entry, even for the most prominent New Yorkers. However, those fortunate enough to secure a reservation will have the privilege of tasting the cuisine of the Rao family (in operation since 1896), which celebrates the traditions and rituals of the finest Italian cuisine. The menu by Vincent Rao and Anne Pellegrino makes this establishment one of the best restaurants in New York.
Located in the heart of Manhattan's Nolita neighborhood, this Italian restaurant has a cozy atmosphere, perfect for a romantic evening or a small group of friends. Recently, they have allowed group dining for up to 7 people with reservations. Rubirosa serves some of the city's best (and most Instagrammable) pizzas. The tie-dye ones, with vodka sauce, tomato sauce, pesto, and fresh mozzarella, are irresistible.
- Must-Try: the tie-dye pizza
One of the best restaurants in New York, founded in 1888 by the Iceland Brothers, the restaurant was renamed "Iceland & Katz" in 1903 with the arrival of Willy Katz, a Jewish immigrant from Russia. In 1910, with another Katz family member joining, it officially became "Katz's Delicatessen." Known for its traditional Jewish cuisine, it's also famous for being the setting of iconic movie scenes, like "When Harry Met Sally," attracting numerous tourists.
- Must-Try: pastrami sandwich
In 1885, Keens Chophouse independently opened under the ownership of Albert Keen, who was a prominent figure in the Herald Square theater district at the time. This iconic steakhouse exudes the ambiance of "old New York," further enhanced by a legendary display of pipes. It is also recommended to start with the thick-cut smoked bacon, accompanied by creamed spinach. Incredibly enticing are the dry-aged porterhouse steaks, which arrive accompanied by melted butter.
- Must-Try: the "porterhouse" steaks
For dining in one of the best restaurants in New York, head to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Here, Mario's has been a staple since its debut in 1919. Owned and operated by the same family for five generations, the restaurant is beloved today for delicious Italian dishes like stuffed artichokes, homemade gnocchi, margherita pizza, sausage and peppers, and generous portions of chicken and eggplant parmigiana. Stepping into the restaurant, with its long bench tables, white tablecloths, and soft lighting, allows for a fabulous journey back in time.
- Must-Try: the "Chicken francese"
Born in Paris in 1972 by the brotherly duo Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze, Le Bernardin served only fish: fresh, simple, and prepared with respect. After receiving its first Michelin star in 1976 and two more in 1980, the Le Coze siblings decided to open Le Bernardin in the Big Apple in 1986, making it one of the best restaurants in New York. Located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, it is a must-visit for any seafood enthusiast.
- Must-Try: the tuna carpaccio
Roni Mazumdar and Chintan Pandya's restaurant, Semma, led by Chef Vijay Kumar, takes you on a journey through the soul of South India. It's an exploration of traditional South Indian cuisine, often reserved for local homes and neighborhoods. Chef Vijay, hailing from Tamil Nadu, authentically brings to the table personal moments from rural life on ancestral lands, offering explosive flavors and regional ingredients: one of the best restaurants in New York.
- Must-Try: the Gunpowder Dosa
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