Italian restaurants in NYC, Indulge your taste buds in a culinary journey through the vibrant streets of New York City as we unveil the ultimate guide to the top 10 Italian restaurants in NYC that will transport you straight to the heart of Italy. From the sizzling aroma of wood-fired pizzas to the tantalizing flavors of handmade pasta, prepare to be mesmerized by the artistry and passion that have made these eateries true gastronomic gems.
Whether you’re seeking a romantic candlelit dinner or a lively gathering with friends, these authentic establishments blend tradition and innovation to create an unforgettable dining experience. Join us as we explore the vibrant ambiance, exquisite dishes, and impeccable service that make these Italian hotspots must-visit destinations for both locals and tourists alike. Prepare to savor every bite and fall in love with the rich culinary heritage of Italy, right in the heart of the Big Apple.
10. Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca (Italian restaurants in NYC)
Babbo is the gold standard for today’s New York Italian restaurants and has spawned a hundred copycats. Still, no one does the high-low mix (think casually elegant dining room, but with a Led Zeppelin soundtrack) quite like this place.
Babbo is a Michelin-starred Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village that has been serving traditional Italian dishes since 1998. The restaurant is known for its large portions, friendly service, and extensive wine list.
People come to Babbo with intent. In other words, it’s a special treat eating here, and the atmosphere reflects that.
Babbo has one of the best wine lists in the city, so take advantage of its depth, clocking in at over 2,000 bottles. It seems overwhelming, but luckily there are always two sommeliers on hand in the dining room to help narrow down the choices.
Go ahead and splurge on the pasta tasting menu, which includes a killer pappardelle bolognese and black tagliatelle with parsnips and pancetta. Otherwise, the gnocchi with braised oxtail is basically heaven on a plate.
One of the best service staffs in town, hands down. They know exactly what they’re doing and the passion they have for the food really comes through.
It’s actually a great place to treat yourself for a solo meal at the bar (and that’ll allow you to focus 100 percent on the amazing plates of pasta in front of you). Of course, whoever you bring here will know you’re hoping to impress.
09. Scarpetta (Italian restaurants in NYC)
Scarpetta is a modern Italian restaurant in the heart of Manhattan that is known for its delicious food, lively atmosphere, and chic decor. The restaurant was opened in 2008 by chef Scott Conant, who is known for his simple yet elegant take on Italian cuisine.
Some of the most popular dishes at Scarpetta include the spaghetti pomodoro, the roasted chicken, and the grilled branzino. The restaurant also has a great selection of pasta dishes, pizzas, and desserts.
Scarpetta is a great place to go for a special occasion or a casual meal with friends. The atmosphere is lively and the food is always delicious. If you’re looking for a truly authentic Italian dining experience in NYC, Scarpetta is the place to go.
08. Osteria Morini (Italian restaurants in NYC)
MICHAEL WHITE cooks pasta and people go crazy. This has been the case since he was the chef at Fiamma Osteria on Spring Street in the early years of the century, and it remains the case at Osteria Morini, a casual new restaurant on Lafayette Street.
Osteria Morini is dedicated to the food and drink of Emilia-Romagna, in the north of Italy. So Mr. White makes the little Modenese hats known as cappelletti, pillowy little numbers that he stuffs with truffle-scented mascarpone and tops with garlands of wispy prosciutto. He serves them on a little grandma plate with a puddle of melted butter. You can sometimes hear gasps when people tuck into these, as they react to the feel of the dough in their mouths — the slickness, the taste, the excess in each bite.
He rolls beautiful garganelli, squares of eggy pasta shaped into quills, and cloaks them in cream and truffle-scented butter, adds more of that prosciutto and achieves the same result. He cuts wide ribbons of tagliatelle and serves them floppy and coated with a ragù antica: onion, carrots, celery, tomatoes, beef, pork, veal, chicken livers, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It is Sunday sauce from some alternate world in which immoderation is only a starting point.
Mr. White’s pastas glisten with pork fat, with butter, with cream, with oil. They are aggressively salted. They hang around on the outskirts of Too Much.
07. Risotteria Il Mulino (Italian restaurants in NYC)
This little bolt hole of a restaurant down on Third Street used to be famous as the small, extravagantly expensive, semi-exclusive dining club for assorted Wall Street plutocrats and wiseguys. But the original family owners, who were from the Abruzzo region of Italy, sold out several years ago, and now there are Il Mulinos of varying quality and reputation scattered around the globe in far-off locations like Miami Beach, Puerto Rico, Atlantic City, Tokyo, and even, God forbid, the Upper East Side.
This kind of rampant empire building has inevitably diluted this original restaurant’s once-impressive sense of terroir, but the plutocrats still haunt the place, and maybe even a wiseguy or two, and although the prices are now officially insane, the time-honored dining formula — mountains of complimentary antipasti, a multitude of familiar red-sauce pasta dishes, great Gulliver-size cuts of meat — remains unchanged.
06. Via Carota (Italian restaurants in NYC)
Via Carota is the West Village trattoria of cherished downtown chefs Jody Williams and Rita Sodi. Inspired by the 17th-century villa in the hills near Florence which Sodi once called home, Via Carota honors old-world Italian roots, life style, food and décor.
Their Village trattoria is thoughtfully renovated: wooden floors reclaimed from an old gymnasium, vintage chapel chairs from England and rustic wooden cabinets filled with heirloom china. Servers wear crisp white shirts and long linen aprons, there are communal tables and even a private room tucked away amongst the wine bottles. Baskets of crusty bread and bowls of oranges are scattered throughout the sun drenched space. For bel tempo pleasure there are eight outdoor tables on the tree-lined sidewalk.
Located at 51 Grove Street in the West Village; Via Carota is just one block up from the couple’s other beloved restaurants Buvette and I Sodi. Via Carota is open all day long serving food and drink, early until late in a true trattoria fashion.
05. Don Angie (Italian restaurants in NYC)
Let me preface this by saying I walked out of Don Angie and immediately thought to myself, I’ll need to come back at least four or five more times to eat everything I want on that menu. Here’s the thing: It’s Italian-American, but ten times better than your local red sauce joint. The husband-and-wife chefs, Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito, have been cooking together for nearly a decade—most recently, they were at Quality Italian in midtown Manhattan—and they’re not just whipping up chicken parm with a side of ziti. This is some next-level Italian-American.
Let’s start with the apps: The stuffed garlic flatbread covers an entire plate and sort of looks like a pizza before it’s sauced and mozz’ed (this time, the cheese is on the inside). Pull off a “slice,” and before you know it, you’ve inhaled three quarters of it. For something a little lighter, there’s the chrysanthemum salad, which is sort of their version of the Chrysanthemum salad (it comes piled high with an avalanche of grated cheese), but keep digging—we swear there are greens under there somewhere.
Get a pasta or two to share before you move on to the main course, because seriously—I would go to Don Angie every single day if I could to eat the garganelli giganti. Imagine big fat strands of garganelli tucked into chunks of meatballs, and cooked in a salty, delicious guanciale and pecorino ragù: It’s basically the spaghetti and meatballs of your dreams. The shell steak al limone with a confit of lemons was extra tangy and charred, just what you want on a hot summer night.
04. L’Apicio (Italian restaurants in NYC)
FOUR cups of water, a cup of polenta and a lump of butter. Boil over medium heat for 10 minutes as it bubbles like Satan’s private hot tub. Then bring down the flame as low as it goes. An hour later, stir in salt, a spoonful of olive oil and three-quarters of a cup of grated cheese.
That recipe comes from Gabe Thompson, the chef of a new restaurant in the East Village called L’Apicio. I have studied and followed the directions, and I am still having a hard time understanding how such a simple formula can yield a cornmeal mush so satisfying. It is good enough to anchor a meal at L’Apicio, just as it anchors the menu, a single sheet with a section right in the middle dedicated to polenta alla spianatora.
The yellow grains are spread in a broad swath on a long wooden dish, the spianatora. At first they feel almost weightless on your tongue, like polenta foam, but gradually they surrender multiple waves of nutty melted Parmigiano-Reggiano. Compelling as this polenta is, it would be merely a side dish if not for Mr. Thompson’s well-advised habit of using polenta as a foundation for something more filling.
This might be tightly rolled, spicy little meatballs in a tomato sauce with fragments of bacon. Or it might be short ribs stewed in red wine and covered with golden fried shallot rings. Or shiitake and oyster mushrooms roasted to the brink of crunchiness, spiced with bits of pickled cherry peppers.
03. Marea (Italian restaurants in NYC)
Michael White’s famous gourmet Italian seafood destination has a little something for every deep-pocketed midtown diner — world-class pasta prepared by one of the masters of the genre, some of the finest high-end Mediterranean-style seafood this side of the Amalfi Coast (there were 12 varieties of raw fish crudo, the last time we checked the menu), and a posh, reasonably sized five-star venue right on Central Park South, across from the park.
There’s also a compact bar menu available at lunch or dinner if you’re in a hurry, a fine weekend brunch, and a surprisingly spectacular cut of sirloin beef “tagliata” served with a panzanella bread salad studded with bits of bone marrow
02. Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria (Italian restaurants in NYC)
Il Buco’s popular sister “market” restaurant, on Bond Street, has arguably surpassed the mother ship in terms of relevance and popularity since its smash opening, with Justin Smillie in the kitchen, several years ago. Regulars will tell you that the kitchen hasn’t quite been the same since Smillie departed, taking his famous porchetta recipe with him, but the latest chef, Victoria Blamey, also has a reputation for imbuing classic, hearty recipes with a sense of flair and style.
Making this a reliable destinations in this trattoria-cluttered neighborhood for a sturdy Italian country breakfast in the morning (the baked eggs “al forno”), or a bowls of Roman-style caccio e pepe, or spaghetti laced with lemons and shavings of bottarga at lunchtime or dinner. The store up front sells a beguiling variety of pasta, salumi, and baked Italian breads, which you can pick up any reasonable hour of the day or night.
01. Patsy’s Italian Restaurant (Italian restaurants in NYC)
Since 1944, Patsy’s Italian Restaurant has been a traditional, family-owned and operated Italian restaurant located on Manhattan’s west side just south of Central Park. Much like the restaurant, patsys.com is owned and managed by the family – so whether you’re watching our videos, reading our blogs, talking to us on Facebook or placing an order online, you’re spending time with our family!
“New York City is a melting pot of cultures, and its cuisine reflects that diversity. Italian food is one of the most popular cuisines in the city, and there are endless options to choose from. From casual pizzerias to fine-dining establishments, there are Italian restaurantS in NYC to suit every taste and budget.
The top 10 Italian restaurants in NYC offer a wide variety of dishes, from classic pasta and pizza to more innovative fare. They use the freshest ingredients and have talented chefs who are passionate about their craft. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a casual meal with friends, you’re sure to find something to your taste at one of these restaurants.