New York City is one of the most visited cities in the world and a place with great variety when it comes to cuisines and places to eat. I love Italian cuisine and since it is one of my favourites, today I compiled the 20 best italian restaurants in NYC in my opinion! See below the list of 20 places to eat amazing italian food in New York City:
1. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: DEL POSTO
Del Posto is the richest and most refined creation of Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich and partner/Executive Chef Mark Ladner. In October of 2010, Del Posto received a glowing four-star review from The New York Times, the first Italian restaurant to do so in nearly 40 years. At Del Posto, the ambiance of European luxury, palate-enlightening cuisine, polished service, and a world-renowned wine list culminate in an Italian dining experience unlike any other. Del Posto holds the coveted Relais & Chateaux distinction, a 5 Diamond Award from AAA, and the Grand Award from the Wine Spectator.
2. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: BABBO
Opened by Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich in June 1998, Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca is an exuberant celebration of the best of Italian food, wine and lifestyle. Hailed with a glowing 3-star review by Ruth Reichl of the New York Times shortly after its opening, Babbo has since been met with much critical acclaim, and was the recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s Best New Restaurant Award for 1998. The menu is a roster of Chef Mario Batali’s lusty creations, incorporating the best and freshest seasonal produce, Italian cheeses, meat, game and seafood, accented with fine Italian olive oils, traditional aceto balsamico and many unusual ingredients that will surprise and delight.
3. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: L’ARTUSI
Opened in December 2008, L’Artusi is named for Pellegrino Artusi, (1820-1911) and his self-published cookbook La Scienza in Cucina e L’Arte di Mangiare Bene (The Science of Cookery and the Art of Eating Well). The kitchen is the second in the Epicurean Management family where Executive Chef Gabe Thompson, Executive Beverage Director Joe Campanale, and Managing Partner August Cardona share their expertise in Italian epicurean hospitality. It presents Gabe and Katherine Thompson’s modern take on traditional Italian Cuisine. The mostly Italian wine list is presented by region with a map DOCs and DOCGs as well as traditional local dishes, helping to demystify Italy, the most diverse viticultural nation in the world.
4. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: CARBONE
Carbone is an Italian-American restaurant created by Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick. The restaurant pays homage to the essence of the great Italian-American restaurants of mid-20th century in New York, where delicious, exceptionally well-prepared food was served in settings that were simultaneously elegant, comfortable and unpretentious. The food nods to that same history, but take its culinary cues from the great talents and techniques of the present and of the future. Familiar dishes like Seafood Salad, Linguini Vongole, Lobster Fra Diavola, Chicken Scarpariello and Veal Parmesan elevated to a new level.
5. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: IL BUCO ALIMENTARI & VINERIA
Inspired by simple, authentic food made with an uncompromising ethic and the joy of sharing it with friends. il Buco Alimentari and Vineria, a natural extension of il Buco Restaurant – a NoHo favorite for more than 20 years – offers house-made products crafted using traditional methods, as well as artisan provisions handpicked from independent producers .
6. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: FRANKIES SPUNTINO
Frankies Spuntino opened its doors on September 13, 2004. The building at 457 Court Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn had been an Italian social club, and it was a classic “fixer-upper” when discovered by friends Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli in 2003. The Franks, both chefs and local residents, had a distinct vision for the property. They set out to create a comfortable dining space, serving seasonally-inspired Italian fare that they themselves would enjoy on a frequent basis. Frank and Frank grew up together as friends and neighbors
in Queens, New York. After losing touch for 18 years, they reunited by lucky coincidence in November 2003. Both were consulting in food and nutrition at the time, and after catching up, they decided to join forces. Together, they conceptualized Frankies—a unique restaurant that would embody the sum of their travels, food philosophies and experiences.
7. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: MULINO A VINO
Everything in the menu has three different versions: Small (to taste), Medium (to eat) and Large (to share). I suggest you order many different small plates so you can taste as many different dishes as possible while enjoying dinner at Mulino a Vino: everything is delicious!
8. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: ESCA
ESCA– Italian for “bait,” the stuff of temptation and enticement– is a southern Italian trattoria devoted to celebrating the fruits of the sea. Created by James Beard award-winning chef Dave Pasternack, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich in 2000, ESCA is revered for its less-is-more approach to cooking. Its elegant simplicity. In his 3-star New York Times canonization of ESCA as the ultimate Italian seafood destination, Frank Bruni coined Dave “an honest-to-God fisherman, in love with the ocean, and ESCA is his ongoing ode to it.”
9. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: MAREA
Marea, meaning “tide” in Italian, redefines the seascape of high-end Italian cuisine serving regional foods of Italy that are heavily influenced by ingredients drawn from the four bodies of water that surround the boot, and at Marea, Chef Michael White presents a fresh interpretation of this coastal cuisine. At Marea, the menu reads like a study of the sea. The crux of the cuisine is devoted to the freshest and most seasonal fish and shellfish sourced from both the Mediterranean and waters worldwide. The breadth of the menu offers you the opportunity to select and choose your dining experience.
10. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: PEASANT
The menu is a multi-regional array of traditional, rustic dishes that changes seasonally and focuses on local farm to table as well as imported Italian products. The menu includes signature dishes like whole grilled orata, spit-roasted suckling pig, wood roasted squab & several hand made pastas. DeCarlo emphasizes the authenticity of his dishes, “everyone is so excited about farm to table in this country but in Italy that’s the norm. I’m just trying to give my customers the authentic experience, no prosciutto from Wyoming, it has to be from Parma, or it’s just ham.”
11. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: AL DI LA TRATTORIA
al di la Trattoria is owned and operated by husband and wife Emiliano Coppa and Chef Anna Klinger. The restaurant consists of the main dining room and the bar (which is located on the other side of the kitchen and entered from Carroll St). The restaurant has been featured in publications around the world. It received 2 stars from the New York times when it was reviewed by Frank Bruni. The Michelin Guide perennially recommends al di la Trattoria, and Slow Food awarded al di la the Snail of Approval for its commitment to responsible sourcing.
12. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: RISTORANTE MORINI
Morini offers pan-Italian regional cuisine with a menu that covers various seasonal specialties, both inland and coastal. The broad range of cuisine covers traditional and modern influences, allowing Chef Michael White and his culinary team an open canvas from which to draw on their several years of collective Italian journeys. Ristorante Morini’s seasonal and regional influences can be seen throughout each course of the menu with dishes like burrata with farro, pomegranate and shaved fennel or handmade orichette pasta with fennel sausage, broccoli rabe, and chilies and wild dover sole with charred lemon.
13. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: ENOTECA MARIA
Enoteca Maria was conceived by Joe Scaravella and opened in March 2007. The goal was to create an authentic Enoteca on the North Shore of Staten Island similar to those experienced while traveling around Italy. Each of the cooks represents a different region in Italy. They share a passion for cooking traditional local dishes that have been handed down from mother to daughter, generation after generation. The food isn’t “like Nonna used to make….” Nonna is making it!
14. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: LITTLE PARK
Little Park is a seasonal restaurant highlighting the best ingredients from Chef and owner Andrew Carmellini’s longtime partnerships with local farmers, anglers, vintners, ranchers and foragers. His menu of small and mid-sized plates encourages a shared and variable dining experience that is meant to be comfortable and elegant. Peak ingredients like organic vegetables, free-range poultry, grass-fed meats, line-caught fish and heirloom grains are sourced for their level of quality, sustainability and nutrition. Little Park also offers breakfast and lunch service daily and weekend brunch.
15. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: FRANNY’S
The two owners of franny’s, Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg, have a strong commitment to creating an environmentally responsible business. While their commitment to sustainable agriculture has been part of franny’s since it’s inception—defined as purchasing locally grown foods and serving them in the seasons during which they are grown—their business itself continues to grow increasingly sustainable year after year. The vegetables, fruits, eggs, dairy, and fish are largely sourced from local and/or organic producers; all the meats at franny’s are from sustainable sources, containing no hormones or antibiotics.
16. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: TRA DI NOI
Located in the heart of famous “Little Italy” of the Bronx, Tra Di Noi’s awe inspiring Italian cuisine will give you an unforgettable dining experience. Our food is freshly prepared using only the finest ingredients hand picked by Italian born and trained, Chef Marco.
17. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: FRANK
Frank Prisinzano’s inspiration to build Frank Restaurant came largely because he realized there was a huge gap in the restaurant community – between ego-driven pricey restaurants and cheap fast food dumps. He conceived a restaurant using his wealth of professional experience but based on his family’s time-honored traditions.
18. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: TRATTORIA L’INCONTRO
In 1999, under the direction of Chef Rocco Sacramone, Trattoria L’incontro opened its doors. Chef Sacramone’s goal was to provide his guests with the highest level of quality and service thus ensuring a unique dining experience. The restaurant features high ceilings, hand painted murals done by a local artist which reflect images of Rocco’s hometown and an open brick oven in the dining room. The cuisine is a combination of traditional classics and state-of-the-art fare. All of the dishes are prepared with an emphasis on using on the freshest, prime ingredients, keeping the integrity of traditional dishes while incorporating a new style, with the focus on taste.
19. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: SANTINA
Santina is a coastal italian restaurant created by Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick. situated on what used to be the coast of manhattan where some of the city’s first farmers markets once stood, santina takes inspiration from the neighborhood’s history with a menu that highlights vegetables and fish. dishes like giardinia crudite, spaghetti blue crab and bass agrigento integrate italian coastal cuisine with modern culinary sensibilities. santina is located underneath the gansevoort entrance to the high line park in a structure designed by renowned architect renzo piano.
20. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: ROBERTA’S
Popular Bushwick destination known for its wood-fired pizzas, with a separate takeout area