Skip to main content

These 10 NYC restaurants are worth splurging for

Ready to splurge on a memorable meal in the Big Apple? Here are your ten best bets for a fantastic dining experience

Most New Yorkers have an opinion on the best restaurants in their city and no two ever seem to be exactly alike. Makes sense, given the countless number of great eateries in the Big Apple. From incredible ethnic food to high-end fusion, New York City has it all.

But if one really had to whittle it down to a list of must-visits while there, what would that list look like? We did the homework and came up with a top ten for the ages, full of restaurants that offer jaw-dropping culinary experiences. You’d be lucky to land at any one of these tables over a lifetime as these restaurants are home to some of the best chefs in the world.

Related Videos
Eleven Madison Park
Make It Nice

On par with the greatest culinary cities on earth—Paris, Rome, Buenos Aires—New York is teeming with exquisite meal after exquisite meal. It’s a landing spot for great talent, home to some of the most James Beard Award-winning chefs anywhere. Furthermore, it’s a place that draws all of the other talent that make a good meal and exceptional one, from top sommeliers to daring mixologists and hospitality pros.

Here are the ten best restaurants in New York City. There are places not only where New Yorkers eat, but where people travel all over the world to dine at.

Eleven Madison Park

A bird view of the kitchen at Eleven Madison Park.

Daniel Humm is one of the top chefs in New York, a Switzerland native who came to the NYC restaurant in 2006 after a successful stint in San Francisco. Eleven Madison Park has since become synonymous with New York dining, garnering tons of awards and critical acclaim, and for good reason. Not a restaurant to ever sit still, Eleven Madison Park switched to a fully vegan menu during the pandemic in 2021. It remains an enchanting restaurant, full of creativity and thoughtful dishes.

Gramercy Tavern

A scene from Gramercy Tavern in New York.

The brainchild of lauded restauranteur Danny Meyer, Gramercy Tavern is an Americana spot located in the Flatiron District. The menu is always changing, lining up with the very specifics of the season and whatever great produce is being harvested from local farmers and purveyors. The place is currently in the custody of a Michelin Star, offers three unique dining experiences, and is captained by the tasteful mind of chef Michael Anthony.

Per Se

A dish at Per Se in NYC.
Facebook/Per Se

Responsible for perhaps the best overall dining experience in all of NYC, if not the nation, Per Se is chef Thomas Keller’s east coast outpost. Known for his amazing restaurant in California wine country (a little old place called French Laundry), Keller is behind some of the most intricate and innovative dishes around. Per Se boasts three Michelin Stars, Central Park views, and easily the best one-two punch that is immersive dining and unrivaled service. Just look at the presentation points on display above.

Jean Georges

Interior of Jean Georges.

Jean Georges has become a household name in the dining realm. He has restaurants all over the country now but none quite like his eponymous NYC spot, which opened in 1997. It offers pure edible harmony by way of the cuisines of America, France, and Asia. Presently holding two Michelin Stars, Jean Georges offers a beautiful setting and dishes so full of flavor you’ll wonder how.


The dining room at Aquavit in NYC.

Named after the tasty nordic spirit, Aquavit is set in Manhattan and cooks up some delectable northern European fare. The menu is the work of Swedish chef Emma Bengtsson, the proud holder of two Michelin Stars. Her nordic dishes are absolute eye candy, presented so beautifully you won’t be able to resist photographing them. There are lunch and dinner menus, but we suggest the chef’s tasting menu, known to marry things like seafood and produce in unexpected, immensely artistic ways. The cocktail program is equally impressive, full of craft and seasonality.

Le Bernardin

The dining room at Le Bernadin in NYC.

Another name that’s become part of the fabric of the NYC culinary landscape, Le Bernardin has stood the test of time. It launched in the 80s and continues to be the spot for unbelievable seafood. Chef Eric Ripert holds one of the strongest resumes imaginable, having cooked at some of the best French restaurants around before heading stateside. His upbringing, a mix of time spent in coastal France and Andorra, rubs off on his cooking, which blends tradition and modern techniques. If you like the many flavors of the sea, not to mention a restaurant with one of the best reputations around, book a resy at Le Bernardin.

Sushi Yasuda

how to make sushi

New York has some of the best sushi restaurants in America. If you can’t get to China or Japan to experience its homeland, this is your next best bet. Sushi Yasuda is New York’s best, featuring all the best feature of the amazing cuisine. The rice is from heaven, the fish is fresh, vibrant, and cut expertly, and the environment is serene. It’s all about style points and robust flavors here, with no music to distract and bright enough lights to really see what you’re eating. We love you, dimly-lit restaurants, but you’re often hiding something. Belly up to the bar and watch these magicians do their magic.


A tostada from Claro in Brooklyn.

A relative newcomer, Claro brings mind-blowing Oaxacan food to the borough of Brooklyn. All cheeses and sauces are made in house and the intimate setting is inviting and warm. It’s all about authenticity here, from hand-made masas and moles to the tostadas cooking on wood-fired comal. And the details can’t be beat, like the clay dinnerware made by hand in Oaxaca. The chef may reside in New York but wears the many extended trips to Mexico on his sleeves (and dishes).

Restaurant Daniel

The dining room at Restaurant Daniel in NYC.

Since 1993, Restaurant Daniel has been treating diners to some truly elegant European-inspired fare. It’s the work of chef Daniel Boulud and while larger in scale, a seamless experience full of class and deftly-made dishes that bring joy to the table. It holds a pair of Michelin Stars and while in Manhattan, will whisk you away to some of the most lauded dining rooms of France.


Vino Veritas Wine Bar and Bottle Shop

An East Village wine bar and restaurant, Claud only opened last year but has turned heads with its combination of satisfying cuisine, smart wines, and an atmosphere that feels like being well-serviced guest at a small dinner party. These aren’t finicky dishes that involve a lot of tweezers. Instead, it’s just good rustic food paired wonderfully with some great wine. But that’s not say it’s not sophisticated, as the menu is all kinds of refined, from the half chicken with foie gras drippings to the citrus and chicories with fiore sardo.

Dine at any one of the above restaurants and your NYC trip will go down in the history books. Knock out two or three, and you’ll be a living legend. Just know that if you love great food and the ultimate dining experience, all ten options above will more than deliver.

Editors' Recommendations

These foods high in melatonin will help you sleep better
Get a better sleep naturally by eating these 9 melatonin foods
Hands holding wine grapes.

Getting a quality night's sleep becomes more and more of a challenge as we age. Some of us have tried blackout curtains, sleep masks, weighted blankets, or any number of supplements promising better rest. If you're looking for an all-natural solution, though, melatonin is the way to go. Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally in the pineal gland in the brain. Among several functions, melatonin plays a key role in regulating the body’s circadian rhythms, or sleep-wake cycles. Accordingly, the pineal gland produces more melatonin when the sun goes down, and levels dip at daybreak. Foods high in melatonin or even melatonin supplements are a popular way to increase the concentration of melatonin and possibly improve the quality and quantity of sleep.
Melatonin supplements are typically non-habit-forming and safe for adults and children in doses of around 0.5 to 5 milligrams. However, melatonin supplements may cause drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness, and they can interfere with certain medications.

Fortunately, if you’re looking to support your body’s own natural melatonin levels but you don’t want to rely on supplements, there are several sleep-aid foods that contain melatonin. Adding any of these foods high in melatonin to your dinner plate or bedtime snack routine may help regulate your sleep patterns over time and help you get more restful sleep. Though little nutritional data exists about the specific concentration of melatonin in different foods, the following foods are known to be particularly high in melatonin.

Read more
The 8 best protein shakes that are ready-to-go
These shakes come with all the good stuff, and none of the crap

With as busy as we have become as a society, we always seem to be on the go. This can make life challenging, especially when it comes to wellness goals. In a perfect world, you could hit the gym hard, crush a workout, then immediately refuel with a balanced, home-cooked meal. But, since life happens and we are always on the go, it’s not always feasible to take the time to actually cook up a muscle-building meal right after your workout. Whether you’re on the go and short on time, or just can't stomach a full meal after exercising, having a quick and easy, protein-packed option that doesn’t require kitchen time, is a helpful alternative to refuel your body and maximize your results.

This is where protein shakes come in handy. Numerous ready-to-drink shakes are available that provide muscle-building protein, vitamins, minerals, and calories to fortify your body after a workout. They offer the benefits of protein powders with the convenience of eliminating the need for a shaker bottle, or high-speed blender, let alone making a mess with powders. Simply give the bottle a quick shake, pop the top, and you’re good to go.

Read more
This is the major change coming to Toblerone chocolate
Stripped of its "Swissness," Toblerone is getting a new look
toblerone chocolates new packaging

Toblerone, the nougaty, triangular chocolate bar we all know and love, will be getting a modern makeover later this year. US owner of the popular candy bar company, Mondelez International, has decided to relocate some of Toblerone's production a few countries over to Slovakia, stripping the chocolate of its "Swissness."
Under Swiss law, established in 2017, a product that's advertised with marks such as the Swiss flag, any references to Swiss cities, or, in the case of Toblerone, the Matterhorn mountain, must meet very strict origin criteria. The Swiss powers that be established this law to protect the prestige and reputation of genuine, high-quality Swiss-made products, including, of course, its chocolate.

While much of Toblerone's production will remain in Switzerland — even amping up by the end of the year — the strict laws dictate that it can't be considered a Swiss product anymore unless manufactured there exclusively.
Because the candy will now be partially produced elsewhere, it will no longer be allowed to advertise with any "Swissness," including the iconic Matterhorn logo. The label will also shift from reading “Swiss chocolate” to “Established in Switzerland in 1908” instead.
Reportedly, the hidden bear in the current mountainscape design will remain, but no word yet as to how prevalent it will be.
In a statement reported by CNBC, Mondelez International says that the Toblerone new logo will have a “modernized and streamlined mountain logo that is consistent with the geometric and triangular aesthetic.”
We think we speak for most when we say we couldn't care less what the box looks like. Just make sure it tastes the same.

Read more