Best 22 Italian Restaurants NYC You Must Try
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Top 3 Pasta Making Classes
New York City
2 Michelin Stars
New York City
1 Michelin Star
New York City
1 Michelin Star
Table of Contents
New York City is filled with some of the best Italian restaurants and Italian cafe that will bring you classic Italian dishes as well as Italian-American classics. These restaurants specialize in their craft and some have even been running for more than one generation which means that they are full of love, commitment and amazing recipes.
These Italian restaurants in New York use some of the best ingredients in the city such as fresh mozzarella, seasonal vegetables, fresh seafood and of course they specialize in fresh pasta, tomato sauce, and wood fired pies. You will also find other classic Italian dishes such as cacio e pepe, pumpkin ravioli with a browned sage butter and all different kinds of handmade pasta.
From a casual restaurant to a fine dining restaurant adorned with Michelin stars, you will find a wide variety of different types of Italian restaurants in NYC but you can be guaranteed that the menu will be filled with classic dishes and the wine list will be fantastic.
$ – cheaper than most
$$ – affordable
$$$ – more expensive than most
$$$$ – expensive
1. Al Coro
With 2 Michelin stars, it is not difficult to believe that this is one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC. They aim to make you feel welcome, comfortable, and drawn to return again and again, which means that they have an exceptional passion for hospitality, excellent attention to detail, and a commitment to provide you with a truly unique experience every time.
Their menu changes with the seasons and it is always simply exceptional, with their tasting menu featuring dishes such as canneloni with lobster, basil, and saffron, and a decadent chocolate and pistachio budino which consists of dark chocolate mousse, sicilian pistacchios, and mascarpone gelato. They have the option of a 3-, 5-, and 7-course tasting menu that has the option of wine pairings as well as a separate 5-course pasta-tasting menu.
With Chef Stefano Secchi and Partner David Switzer at the helm, this restaurant has achieved great heights and sits among the best Italian restaurants in NYC. Their Michelin star has been earned through a lot of hard work and of course great food.
The menu celebrates dishes from the Emilia Romagna region in Italy and boasts with house made pasta, traditionally prepared meat, fish, and local vegetables, along with Northern Italian wines. Some of the dishes include cacio e pepe, grandma walking through forest, which consists of Cappelletti verdi with roasted, sautéed leeks & black mushroom puree, and even a parmigiano reggiano tasting, a vegetarian tasting menu, and so much more.
This Williamsburg restaurant made its debut in December of 2020 and is the first independent collaboration between Chef-Owner Christopher Cipollone and Owner-Operator John Winterman. The menu is inspired by European flavors and is designed in a way that allows the guest flexibility.
The layout of the menu is snacks, along with shellfish, and the first courses, and those are followed by handmade pasta and the main courses. Some of the dishes include souffle cakes with seaweed butter, green meyer lemon, and caviar, market salad, pappardelle with a duck bolognese and vacca rosse parmigiano-reggiano, as well as a rhubarb tartlet with chamomile and shortbread, and so much more.
4. Locande Verde
Since 2009, this restaurant has always been known for its warm and comfortable atmosphere and welcomes New Yorkers all hours of the day showcasing a leisurely Italian spirit that is accompanied by a lovely menu full of food that gets made with the utmost love such as their Jersey corn ravioli and Catskill rainbow trout with cauliflower and sicilian condimento.
Chef Andrew Carmellini’s American roots and Italian heritage is showcased in his food, soulful and flavorful, with a rustic yet refined style of cooking. He has worked in some of the world’s best fine dining restaurants and is also the author of 2 cookbooks along with his wife, “Urban Italian” (Bloomsbury Press, 2008) and “American Flavor”. (Ecco: Harper Collins, 2011).
Forsythia is the first flower that blooms each spring and represents a symbol of hope, anticipation, and renewal, surrounded by an abundance of warmth, which is exactly the way that this restaurant feels.
With fresh pasta at the forefront along with delicious seasonal produce, every meal will be a unique experience. The tasting menu is well known among foodies and seasonal dishes keep everyone coming back for more with dishes such as pappa al pomodoro with focaccia and pici pasta with artichoke alla romana, white wine and mint.
6. Bar Primi
This Italian pasta shop on the border of NoHo and the East Village will make you rethink everything that you have ever known about pasta. Their house-made pastas are made using a variety of non-GMO semolina as well as specialty ‘00’ flours, organic eggs and family recipes that will fill you with joy every time you eat them.
With dishes such as ricotta agnolotti with a vodka sauce, grilled octopus, squid ink campanelle, and of course tiramisu, there is surely something for everyone no matter your taste. They also have a wine list that can rival most so you are sure to find your blend and can be guaranteed that the house red will blow you away.
7. Don Angie
Angie has had a love for food since a very young age and has worked in some of the finest establishments honing her skills and gathering knowledge. In 2017, she and her husband, Scott, partnered with Michael Stillman and his restaurant group Quality Branded to open Don Angie and have their dream come true.
They have received many awards and well-deserved recognition for all their hard work including a Michelin star in 2021. The menu is carefully curated with dishes such as a sourdough pasta cacciatore, chocken scarpariello, a decadent black cocoa tiramisu with marsala caramel and crispy feuilletine, and much more.
They also have a selection of wines available that will compliment your dishes perfectly as you enjoy the lovely atmosphere in the dining room that will have you coming back time and time again.
This pizza restaurant might be one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC for anyone who loves traditional Neapolitan pizza. From the flour that gets used for the dough, to the natural yeast, the beautiful tomatoes, and of course the buffalo-milk mozzarella from Campania, everything about this experience will transport you straight to Naples.
The people here believe that pizza is not just food, it is an experience, and they are very traditionalist as far the dough is concerned. The chef only uses the mixture of flours for pizza certified by the Italian flour mill and natural yeast that comes from Italy. They have a fantastic selection op pizzas but customers are able to customize their pizza toppings to their own taste which makes every meal here a unique experience.
This lovely restaurant was brought to life by Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick and focuses on the type of cuisine that you would have found in any of the Italian-American restaurants of the mid-20th century in New York City.
The food is delicious and very well prepared, and the atmosphere is elegant but still comfortable. Dishes such as seafood salad, linguini vongole, lobster fra diavola, chicken scarpariello and the veal parmesan have all been taken and elevated to a new level by the very talented chefs for you to enjoy.
10. San Carlo Osteria Piemonte
This restaurant tells a story, and that story is of the history and traditions of Piedmont through its aromas and flavors. Born from the passion of six friends, this restaurant aims to share its culinary and cultural traditions with the world.
You will find dishes such as Chicken Milanese with roasted potatoes, fresh tagliatelle pasta with Bolognese sauce and even Piedmontese panna cotta. You will return time and time again and think about the meals that you have had for the days to come.
11. Una Pizza Napoletana
This restaurant in the lower east side is the sixth iteration of Anthony Mangieri’s pizzeria, which has been focused on naturally-leavened, wood-fired pizzas since the very beginning. With a stunning menu and a beautiful dining room, it is not difficult to see why it was named as the top pizzeria in the world in 2022.
You will always find delicious wood fired pizzas, ice cream that is made daily and a selection of seasonal sorbetto, as well as a wide variety of Italian wines and beer. They also have a special pizza flavor that rotates weekly so there is always something new to try and you will be surrounded by one-of-a-kind art as you dine and enjoy a glass of house red alongside your fresh pizza.
12. Charlie Bird
Coming from some of the finest dining establishments in the world, this team aims to take all of their knowledge and use it to bring you a neighborhood joint that focuses on an organic approach and a comfortable atmosphere for all to enjoy.
Their menu draws inspiration from New York’s farmer’s markets, Long Island fishing boats and country fields and their wine list will keep you coming back every night. With dishes like Tuscan fried chicken, spaghetti with parsley, lemon and breadcrumbs, and a decadent chocolate budino, these is something for everyone along with some delicious vegetarian options as well.
13. Via Carota
In the west village you will find one of the best Italian restaurants for a lunch with friends that consists of some of the best dishes that can be eaten in a dining room with beautiful wooden floors, vintage chapel chairs all the way from England and rustic wooden cabinets filled with delicate heirloom china, or at one of their outdoor seating tables in the fresh air and company of friends.
With great dishes such as tagliatelle with prosciutto and parmesan, pappardelle with wild boar ragu, grilled sea bream and wilted escarole, and grilled octopus with a green olive pesto, and so much more, you will definitely find what you are looking for and want to come back for more many times.
14. Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria
There is, arguably, no better way to start your day than with a fresh cup of coffee and a delicious house-made pastry, and lucky for you and anyone in the neighborhood, Il Buco does all that and more extremely well.
They are tucked behind the bar of a very extensive market, and you will find products such as house-cured salumi, as well as local and imported cheeses such as their selection of cave aged pecorinos, along with Italian anchovies, bottarga, and much more.
They make all of their pasta fresh and bake their bread daily. They make use of organic grains and long ferment their doughs for a rich flavor and crusty exterior. You will find dishes such as bucatini cacio e pepe, roasted short rib, a great selection of pizzas, charred duck, a delicious panna cotta, affogato and so much more, so there is surely something for everyone.
15. Gelso & Grand
Along with beautiful outdoor seating and a wood-fired oven, this restaurant also boasts an open kitchen, which gives their guests a rare look inside the kitchen as the chefs prepare their food with skill, precision and of course love.
By showcasing local, fresh produce, this restaurant is bringing back what Mulberry Street was all about. You will find dishes such as cacio e pepe, chicken parm, and of course, wood-fired pizzas on the menu along with many more dishes and a wine list that is simply to die for.
16. I Sodi
This small, intimate restaurant in the west village will bring to you an atmosphere that feels upscale but still comfortable and it is the perfect place for any kind of celebration with friends and family. The menu changes frequently but you can be sure to always find their signature lasagna and cacio e pepe.
Their lasagna is one of the most iconic dishes that you will ever have the pleasure of eating, with its 20 layers of pasta and a velvet smooth sauce. You will also find Tuscan delicacies and a wide variety of house-made pasta dishes including pappardelle al limone. The wine list will leave you wanting more and any of their cocktails are always a good addition to a meal with friends.
When this much-beloved restaurant opened in the year 1999, Chef Frank DeCarlo had built much of it with his own two hands and started serving the rustic Italian food that everyone now knows and loves along with his wife Dulcinea Benson who ran the front of house.
Twenty years later Chef Marc Forgione takes over and he continues to focus on the ancient method of cooking with live fire and smoke.
The chef takes pride in working with local farms and purveyors to get seasonal as well as wild vegetables, animal products and sustainable seafood, and of course all of their pastas are made daily. Some of the dishes include cacio e pepe, gnocchi with a lamb ragu and of course a wide selection of flame grilled dishes. Their wine list also features a wide range of Italian sparkling, white, and red wines.
With a beautiful outlook over the river, and a homey atmosphere, this quaint restaurant boasts delicious Italian dishes on a limited but very tempting menu.
You will find dishes such as chicken milanese, handmade pasta dishes, and even arancini that gets accompanied by a delectable saffron honey. This is the perfect place for a lunch with friends and it will always be made better with their fantastic wine selection.
Known for its legendary thin-crust pizzas, it is not the only thing that makes this wonderful restaurant so great. They also feature a menu that contains hand-made fresh pasta, along with gluten-free options and Italian American classics. The atmosphere is homey and welcoming and their doors are open to everyone.
Their menu features dishes such as chicken milanese, ricotta ravioli with tomato sauce, squid ink pasta, a selection of pizzas, NYC-style cheesecake, tiramisu, and so much more. They also have a bar and a fantastic wine list that is sure to keep everyone happy.
20. Altro Paradiso
Featuring a dining room with beautiful high ceilings and adorned with glimmering brass, this restaurant in the heart of SoHo will leave you mesmerized every time. You will come for the atmosphere and the excellent service but stay for the delicious food and great wine.
Chef Ignacio Mattos has created a wonderful menu that draws inspiration from several Italian regions and celebrates timeless craftsmanship throughout. Some of the dishes include squid ink pasta with cuttlefish and basil, monkfish with Brussels sprouts and butter beans, white prawn carpaccio with caperberries, and many other delicious choices.
This restaurant has a steady stream of regulars that range from neighborhood residents to world travelers who never miss a chance to sit down whenever they are in town.
21. Lilia Ristorante
Every time that you enter this restaurant, you will be met by a vibrant atmosphere and amazing smells coming form the kitchen. This is the stuff that dreams are made of and your experience here will not be forgotten soon.
The menu consists of wood-fired seafood, hand-crafted pasta dishes, and a fantastic selection of Italian cocktails and wine. Some of the dishes include grilled lamb leg steak with Roman spices, celery heart, and pecorino, ricotta gnocchi with broccoli pesto, pecorino and pistachios, grilled octopus with spring onions and cracked coriander, and many more wonderful dishes that will make a regular out of you!
With white tablecloths, fading signed photos of celebrities from a bygone era and a red sauce that is to die for, this is definitely the place to be. With décor that reminds you of an old-style mobster movie, the atmosphere is light and the food is delicious.
With dishes like consume with pastina/rice, spaghetti and meatballs. baked ziti, ravioli, rigatoni with a vodka sauce, and many, many more dishes, the food is reminiscent of an Italian home and lends to the relaxed atmosphere. This time capsule will give you an escape from the city and have you returning for more each time.
If these beautiful restaurants left an impression on you and you would like to recreate these dishes for yourself then don’t miss the chance to take one of these Italian cooking classes in NYC and create some magic for yourself!
Frequent Asked Questions
Many famous actors own successful restaurants in New York City such as Robert De Niro who owns Locande Verde, a very successful Italian restaurant in Tribeca, the beloved actress Priyanka Chopra who owns SONA, a sophisticated and lively Indian restaurant in the heart of New York City, and Lady GaGa, who owns Joanne Trattoria, an Italian-American restaurant, along with her parents.
New York City is without a doubt known for its Italian cuisine and the many restaurants that are spread across the city prove just that.
The popularization of Italian cuisine can be accredited to the immigrants that settled in the many regions of the United States during the nineteenth century and it was due to them that Americans were first exposed to the wonders of Italian cuisine.
Since then Italian cuisine is a common but welcome find in not only New York City but in the whole of America and over the years many classic Italian-American dishes have emerged because of this.
Don Alfonso 1890 in Toronto, Canada is without a doubt the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy itself. From the food to the atmosphere, the whole experience is a delight and an absolute marvel.
There are a total of 1195 Italian restaurants in New York as of July 14, 2023
Arthur Avenue in the Bronx is known for being home to a lot of Italian restaurants
Osteria Francescana has been named the best Italian restaurant in the world and it is owned and run by chef Massimo Bottura in Modena, Italy.
In 2016 and 2018, the restaurant was rated as the world’s best restaurant in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants It was the first Italian restaurant to ever earn the award and it was also voted second best in 2015 and third best in 2013 and 2014.
Osteria Francescana is also rated with three stars in the Michelin Guide and it holds the first position in the Italian food guide, l’Espresso – Ristoranti d’Italia, with a score of 20/20.
Olive Garden is one of the most famous Italian restaurant chain in the United States and has over 800 locations. The popularity of their restaurants are due to a few things such as inexpensive meal options, unlimited salad, soup, and breadsticks, as well as a vast menu.
The restaurant chains’ Alfredo sauce and breadsticks are especially popular and many people have been trying to replicate the items for themselves. A popular choice amongst patrons includes dipping the breadsticks in the Alfredo sauce.
Disclaimer: Note that the food images displayed on this website are for illustrative purposes only. They are not indicative of the actual dishes or presentations you should expect during the classes. We strive to provide the best culinary experience, but the appearance of dishes may vary. Always refer to class descriptions and details for accurate information on what to expect.