20 Fine Dining Restaurants in NYC
New York City is the perfect Mecca of fine dining. The city that never sleeps has a multitude of restaurants, from local eateries, bodegas, food trucks, but also many fine dining establishments. Only Tokyo, Paris, Kyoto, and Osaka surpass NYC when it comes to fine dining.
New York is one of the few places in the world where you can get food at any time of day or night, and the variety is without limits. Whatever you’re in the mood for, chances are you can find it in NYC.
A foodie’s paradise, you haven’t experienced the real New York until you’ve dined at one amongst many of their excellent restaurants. But be prepared to dish out some serious money.
Most of us mere mortals frequent those fancy restaurants for special occasions, but in New York, many people eat at those places on a regular basis. Some prices are astonishing, and NY has a bustling restaurant business. I guess when you’re a millionaire, what’s a couple of grand on a typical Wednesday evening?
But what sets some of those fine dining restaurants apart from the rest is the quality of food and the impeccable service they offer. Like anything else, pricier does not necessarily mean better, but we carefully chose 20 of the best restaurants that are guaranteed to please you.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the restaurants we recommend you try next time you’re in the city, or even if you’re a local.
- 20. The Polo Bar: Ralph Lauren Restaurant
- 19. Marea
- 18. Masa
- 17. The Modern
- 16. Shuko
- 15. Per Se
- 14. Ilili
- 13. Batard
- 12. Momofuku Ko
- 11. Aquavit
- 10. Yakitori Torishin
- 9. Daniel
- 8. The Grand Salon at the Baccarat Hotel New York
- 7. The NoMad Restaurant
- 6. Sushi Noz
- 5. L’Artusi
- 4. Eleven Madison Park
- 3. Le Bernardin
- 2. Jean-Georges
- 1. Atomix
20. The Polo Bar: Ralph Lauren Restaurant
Address: 1 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022
Like many fine dining restaurants, you need a reservation if you want to eat at The Polo Bar. A more casual American menu that features the classics, the portions are huge but delicious. Owned by the famed designer Ralph Lauren, the decor of this fine dining restaurant is inspired by the designer’s amazing style. The green walls are adorned with equestrian-inspired art.
The leather banquettes as well as the wood details that are all around the restaurant give the place a homey yet exclusive feel. Located right on the corner of 55th St and the famous Fifth Ave., this American-style restaurant will give you a taste of what living large means.
Address: 240 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019
As the name suggests, Marea is a seafood lover’s dream come true. The restaurant offers excellent seafood and homemade pastas created by Chef Michael White. Make sure to pair it with their amazing wines, which are largely imported from Europe.
Sommelier Francesco Grosso picks the best array of wines, so skipping on a glass of wine would be a shame. If you want to fully enjoy your meal, take the expert’s advice and you won’t regret it.
Address: 10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019
You have to walk into Masa with an open mind and be prepared to eat whatever Chef Masa Takayama decides he’s in the mood for. You cannot be fussy and order from a menu, and that’s what many New Yorkers apparently love about this place. No doubt, the food is excellent and your personal preferences are considered at this three-Michelin star restaurant.
The 26-seat meal can last up to three hours, so don’t plan an outing there if you’re in a rush. The omakase meal is meant to be savored for the best culinary experience ever.
17. The Modern
Address: 9 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
This elegant and contemporary restaurant is situated in the Museum of Modern Art. It is a carefully crafted venue decor-wise, and their excellent food is rated a two-Michelin star. You get the best of both worlds when you dine at The Modern.
You can enjoy an art show then head over to the restaurant and feast your palate on some excellent creations by Chef Abram Bissell. The menu is filled with refined contemporary dishes that will surely impress you.
Address: 47 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003
Gotta love New York for their unmarked places and word of mouth little hidden gems. This amazing sushi place is an example of that. Located in Greenwich Village, you absolutely need to have reservations in order to dine at this jewel. Shuko is one of the smallest places we discovered, but definitely worth your while.
Trust the chefs to decide what you will eat with their kaiseki menu. Depending on what’s available, you are guaranteed to experience sushi at its best, prepared with the freshest ingredients.
15. Per Se
Address: 10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019
Chef Thomas Keller will impress you with his perfectionist vision and excellent standards. Since 2006 Per Se has been rated a three-star Michelin venue, and the food will prove it time and time again. There are two tasting menus that are offered daily, a vegetarian nine-course tasting menu, or the chef’s nine-course tasting menu.
All dishes have ingredients of the highest quality, which will not be repeated throughout the meal. Located at Ten Columbus circle, you can enjoy your scrumptious meal while admiring the striking views of your surroundings.
Address: 236 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001
For a taste of Middle Eastern cuisine, we suggest you try chef Philippe Massoud’s place in Flatiron. Very creative and delicious Lebanese-inspired dishes await you to devour them in this modern, trendy restaurant. For tartare lovers, their kibbeh nayeh steak tartare is out of this world. If you’re a meat-lover and unsure what to choose, why don’t you give the mixed grilled platter a try?
Their lamb, kofta, or beef kebabs are cooked to perfection, and you will enjoy every bite. Literally. But we suggest giving some of their more creative dishes a try, they are like nothing you’ve tasted before. Dining at Ilili will surely prove be a memorable experience.
Address: 239 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013
Drew Nieporent’s new venue is located in Tribeca, on the site that was home to his former restaurant Montrachet. Along with partner and Chef Markus Glocker, they bring you a Michelin starred menu with modern European influences.
Pair your favorite dishes with their excellent wines, and you will leave fully satisfied. You can choose from a two, three, or four-course meal that is prepared to perfection. And John Winterman, the Maitre d’, will welcome you with open arms upon entering.
12. Momofuku Ko
Address: 8 Extra Pl, New York, NY 10003
Located in the east village, Chef Esther Ha brought this restaurant to a two-star Michelin scale. They offer a longer tasting menu at the counter or the shorter version in the bar room. If you prefer, they also have an à la carte menu, but their tasting menus are worth every penny.
It is hard to score reservations at this eatery owned by David Chang because their food is that good. It is a different take on Asian-inspired American food that you will not find at other venues that make it so high in demand.
Address: 65 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022
You don’t hear about too much Scandinavian cuisine in North America. If you want to taste it for yourself, we would recommend going to two Michelin star Aquavit, where Chef Emma Bengston prepares some traditional Swedish dishes. Located on East 55th St. in the heart of Manhattan, it is one of the first Nordic restaurants in the city.
The setting and the food will make you feel as if you’ve just landed in Sweden. They offer a tasting and a fixed-price menu, which is great if you’ve never had Scandinavian food before.
10. Yakitori Torishin
Address: 362 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
If you want to experience the traditional Yakitori Japanese specialty, then you must head over to West 53rd St. in New York. Called Torishin, this sophisticated eatery offers charcoal-grilled skewers and sake, as well as a chef’s choice option. You can choose to dine inside or out on their terrasse.
The luxury counter, like most upscale restaurants, offers a more expensive tasting menu. The more affordable choices can be ordered at the tables, it’s all up to you. Either way, you will get a taste of traditional Yakitori specialty, which is a must-try at least once in a lifetime.
Address: 60 E 65th St, New York, NY 10065
Another French restaurant where jackets are required, Daniel offers you great French food in elegant surroundings. Located on 65th St. in Manhattan, expense account holders are known to frequent this place. Chef Daniel Boulud and a team of about 30 cooks prepare a variety of dishes daily, served with impeccable professionalism.
Try their tasting menu in the grand dining room if you like variety. If you want something smaller you can get something at the bar, along with a delectable cocktail. Whatever your heart desires, you will not be disappointed.
8. The Grand Salon at the Baccarat Hotel New York
Address: 28 W 53rd St floor 2, New York, NY 10019
If you want to impress your date, there’s no more romantic and elegant place in town than this ‘crystal palace’. The 22-foot ceilings, silk-covered walls, and the Baccarat crystal chandeliers will make you feel like royalty while dining there. Chef Gabriel Kreuther, who received many Michelin-starred reviews, will impress you with his French and German influences.
The menu is scrumptious, the cocktails opulent, you will want to come back again and again. That is, if you can snatch a reservation. If not, just sneak in for your afternoon tea, that is very decent as well.
7. The NoMad Restaurant
Address: 1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001
This modern, French-inspired multi-room venue is not as stiff as many traditional French restaurants. Located on Broadway, it is a sophisticated upscale restaurant but with a contemporary flair. Each room has a mix of unsophisticated luxury to offer, and often you can spot celebrities frequenting it.
They definitely go for the atmosphere but mostly for the food, which is excellent. The menu has some classic French dishes such as foie gras or roasted chicken, but you can also try their seafood platter, which is out of this world. Unfortunately the property is now closed for renovations but hopefully it will be open soon.
6. Sushi Noz
Address: 181 E 78th St, New York, NY 10075
Sushi lovers will have to try this gem of a restaurant, located on 78th St. in Manhattan. Whether you decide to celebrate that promotion or simply splurge, chef Nozomu Abe will make your dining experience top-notch. The tasting menu in the kinoki room might be a bit hard to score, but the sushi meal in the ash room is just as good.
What’s cool about this place is that the chef will place each piece of nigiri directly onto the smooth wood bar. But don’t worry, their cleanliness is on par, so you can enjoy it as it’s meant to.
Address: 228 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014
The location in the West Village is excellent, although from the outside the restaurant may seem a bit nondescript. Upon entering, you will realize that first impressions can be misleading at times. The atmosphere is intimate yet energetic all at once, the decor contemporary, and the food excellent.
The chefs combine traditional food with a twist, and the result is amazing Italian dishes with an upgrade. Their wine list is something they are proud of as well, and you must pair your meal with at least a glass of their finest. For a cozy, wholesome meal, you must dine at L’Artusi to convince yourself that Italian food can be fancy too.
4. Eleven Madison Park
Address: 11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010
Located in the heart of NYC, this urban restaurant overlooks the historic Madison Square Park. This fine-dining restaurant features some delicious and sophisticated French cuisine. Swiss Chef Daniel Humm is passionate about his dishes, which he carefully prepares with the freshest ingredients available. You will likely enjoy the luxurious yet simple elegance of the decor.
The Art deco dining room and the dramatically high ceilings make you feel like you’ve stepped into another dimension. The restaurant is rated a Three Michelin Star, which has been maintained for years. Excellent service and exquisite food are always on the menu. Before heading to your table, you can sip on a lovely cocktail in the bar area.
3. Le Bernardin
Address: 155 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
Brothers Gilbert and Maguy Le Coze opened their Gotham restaurant in 1986. Since then, the Parisian-style eatery has been one of the most reputable French restaurants on the island of Manhattan. Le Bernardin is a formal restaurant where the jacket is recommended, but for decades it was required.
If you’re not lucky enough to score a reservation at this five star restaurant, you can enjoy the four-course prix fixe menu or the chef’s tasting right at the bar or in the lounge, where walk-ins are welcome. Right now it is chef Eric Ripert that is the one putting his signature on their exquisite meals. Their seafood and foie gras are exceptional, but everything you will eat there is excellent.
Address: 1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023
Located on the Upper West Side and overlooking Central Park, this excellent French restaurant will impress you. Not only because of the sophisticated decor, floor-to-ceiling windows, but the upscale haute cuisine they serve is incomparable. You will probably not experience any better French food on this side of the ocean, take our word for it.
Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten prepares his dishes with care and precision, and it won him two Michelin stars among many other culinary awards in his 24-year career. If you’re not sure where to start, the tasting menu is always a great idea. Their seasonal options are also one way to go if you want the best for that particular time of year.
Address: 104 E 30th St, New York, NY 10016
In our humble opinion, this Korean-style restaurant is one of the best restaurants in the city. Tucked in the foyer of a walk-up apartment building on E.30th St., it looks very unassuming from the outside. Once inside though, the decor takes you by surprise. You follow a staircase into the dining room, which looks very modern.
The lounge is scattered with geometric couches on the stone floors. The counter that you dine at is U-shaped, and you can see the chefs prepare your feast. The ten-course tasting menu is excellent and allows you to discover foods prepared as you’ve never experienced before.
I don’t know about you, but my mouth is watering just writing this article.
What about you, have you had the chance to dine at any of those fine establishments?
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