- Ping F/Yelp
No matter what type of food you’re itching for, you can find it in New York City.
From smoky barbecue to flavor-packed ramen to handmade falafel, there’s a top-rated spot to curb every craving.
There were also a few repeats on the list this year, with Le Bernardin and Pearl Oyster Bar each making multiple appearances.
Food ratings are out of 5 on the Zagat scale.
It’s nearly impossible to choose what to order at Kingsley, where the innovative dishes range from roasted bone marrow with bacon marmalade to scallops doused in a roasted poblano sauce.
The East Village spot also features a nine-course tasting menu that includes a selection of the chef’s favorites for $125 a head.
- Mandy W/Yelp
Located in the Mandarin Oriental hotel, Asiate wows guests with its top-notch fare, including dishes such as basted Hudson Valley foie gras, seared Icelandic cod, and homemade tagliatelle with white truffle butter.
It’s on the 35th floor of the hotel, so it has stunning views of the surrounding NYC skyline.
- Wallsé / Yelp
The flagship restaurant of Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner’s hospitality group, Wallsé serves refined Austrian cuisine that combines classic techniques with modern simplicity. Branch out with an unusual protein, such as snail ravioli or braised rabbit.
And leave room for dessert – the hot Salzburger Nockerl and chocolate Mozart Kugel are customer favorites.
BARBECUE: Hometown Bar-B-Que
- Jason L/Yelp
Though it only opened in 2013, Red Hook’s Hometown Bar-B-Que is already a must-try. The spot specializes in pit-smoked meat prepared in myriad ways that represent the diverse communities found across Brooklyn.
Come for the brisket and falling-off-the-bone ribs, and stay for the Vietnamese wings, lamb belly bahn mi, and fried Korean sticky ribs.
BURGER: Black Iron Burger
- Ping F/Yelp
At Black Iron Burger, high-quality ingredients and creative toppings combine for flavor-packed burgers that never disappoint.
Diners love “The Masterpiece,” which features stout caramelized grilled onions, applewood smoked bacon, and a fried egg. You can also build your own creation with everything from avocado to jalapeños.
CARIBBEAN: Ali’s Roti
This Brooklyn restaurant serves mouthwatering Trinidadian roti made with fresh dough and exquisitely prepared meat.
Order the mofongo (a dish made with fried plantains) and pernil (roast pork) if you want to eat like one of its (many) loyal customers.
CHICKEN: Pio Pio
- Kwasi M. / Yelp
This chain of delicious Peruvian restaurants serves crispy, juicy rotisserie chicken alongside an addicting green sauce.
Now in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, these family-friendly restaurants also serve fantastic rice, beans, and plantains.
Come to Decoy for one thing and one thing only: the signature Peking duck, often called the best in New York City. It’s served alongside duck-consomme shots, tissue-thin pancakes, and a selection of three sauces.
Or try the $65-a-head prix-fixe menu, which includes the duck along with a selection of appetizers and other entrees.
DELI: Russ & Daughters
- Fatima K. / Yelp
Since opening in 1914, this family-owned shop on the Lower East Side has become a New York staple known for its smoked fish and classic deli fare.
The relatively new cafe has quickly garnered its own following as a go-to brunch spot as well. Stop by for more of the classics, such as lox on bagels, potato latkes, matzoh ball soup, and knishes.
DIM SUM: Pacificana
- Elaine W. / Yelp
Load up on everything from crispy roast pig to shark fin soup when you head to Pacificana in Sunset Park for a round of dim sum. The spot features traditional fare alongside more modern takes on Chinese dishes.
A popular spot for brunch, Pacificana fills up quickly on the weekends, so get there early and bring cash.
FRENCH (AND SEAFOOD): Le Bernardin
- Lori L. / Yelp
Expect a night of luxury at high-end French seafood restaurant Le Bernardin.
The chef’s tasting menu goes for $220, and the Le Bernardin-branded tasting menu goes for $180; both feature delicacies such as scallops in a brown butter sauce, lacquered lobster tail, and pan-roasted monkfish.
Le Bernardin took home gold in Zagat’s French and seafood categories.
FRENCH BISTRO: Wallflower
- Edlynne L. / Yelp
Since opening its doors in 2013, Wallflower has quietly garnered attention for its elevated seafood bites – think black sea bass crudo or sea scallops topped with smoked caviar – and handcrafted cocktails.
This semi-secret gem sits tucked away in the West Village, with no sign marking its entrance.
- Monique C/Yelp
You can be sure everything’s as fresh as possible at Milos – the menu changes daily based on what’s available. The airy space features whitewashed walls and high ceilings, which serve as a clean backdrop for outstanding seafood.
Fish is priced by the pound, which can get expensive quickly, but the prices for lunch or for pre-theater hours are a lot more palatable.
INDIAN: Indian Accent
- Elaine H/Yelp
Indian Accent’s upscale Indian cuisine features inventive takes on traditional dishes, including beef kebabs with bone marrow, sweet potato shakarkandi, and pepper garlic paneer.
Guests can choose between three prix-fixe options: A three-course menu for $75, a four-course menu for $90, or the chef’s tasting menu for $120.
- Michelle L. / Yelp
Marea – which means “tide” in Italian – puts a luxurious spin on Italian food, focusing on delicacies from the sea. The seafood-centric menu features everything from octopus with chili oil to grilled swordfish with braised cabbage and green apple.
And with two Michelin stars and a James Beard Award under its belt, Marea is sure to live up to the hype.
JAPANESE/SUSHI: Sushi Yasuda
- London L/Yelp
The proprietors behind Sushi Yasuda aim to maintain the purity of their vision – to serve remarkable sushi with impeccable service – at all costs.
The restaurant focuses on traditional sushi techniques and flavors, and it serves only the highest-quality fish.
- Facebook, Jungsik
Jungsik’s contemporary decor and innovative menu – not to mention its two Michelin stars – certainly live up to the spot’s trendy TriBeCa location.
Jungsik puts a Korean spin on molecular gastronomy with dishes like crispy red snapper, corn crème brûlée, and royal bibimbap with truffles.
LOBSTER ROLL (AND RAW BAR): Pearl Oyster Bar
- Pearl Oyster Bar
From fried oysters to pan-roasted sea scallops to whole grilled branzino, Pearl Oyster Bar keeps things simple and lets the seafood itself shine. You can’t visit without trying the signature lobster roll served alongside a heaping pile of shoestring fries.
The West Village spot also took No. 1 in Zagat’s raw-bar category.
- Cristina X/Yelp
Husband-and-wife team Polo Dobkin and Stephanie Lempert consider Meadowsweet an extension of their home. And though its doors have only been open since 2014, the stylish spot already has a Michelin star under its belt.
Stop by for brunch or dinner, and try dishes such as duck confit hash with poached eggs, roasted cauliflower topped with apple butter, or heritage pork loin and sweet potato gnocchi.
MEXICAN: Los Tacos No. 1
- Sarah P/Yelp
Tucked away inside Chelsea Market, this quaint stand serves up authentic Mexican flavor straight from the proprietors’ family recipes.
The no-frills menu includes only four taco choices – steak, chicken, pork, or cactus – their quesadilla counterparts, chips, salsa, guacamole, and drinks. Simple, but delicious.
MIDDLE EASTERN: Tanoreen
- Amy N/Yelp
Stop by Tanoreen in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, for heaping portions of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food.
Chef Rawia Bishara’s recipes are inspired by her heritage and her mother’s legacy, and they combine traditional flavors with modern flair.
- Neal C/Yelp
A Brooklyn staple, Juliana’s sits next door to Grimaldi’s, the famous pizza shop that the proprietors of Juliana’s started and sold to a customer years before.
The spot serves coal-fired pies in simple, classic varieties, including margherita topped with tomato, mozzarella, and basil, and white pizza smothered in mozzrella and garlic.
RAMEN: Mu Ramen
- Lori L/Yelp
Mu Ramen’s tight Long Island City space gets crowded quickly thanks to its no-reservation rule, but its delicious ramen and creative appetizers never disappoint.
Before you get slurping, start your meal with an order of braised spare ribs, deep-fried stuffed chicken wings, or “okonomiyaki,” a scallion pancake topped with smoked trout and shaved fish flakes.
- Tim Z/Yelp
Alidoro does one thing and one thing only: Italian sandwiches. But with over 40 varieties to choose from, the extensive menu covers nearly every flavor possible, including plenty of mozzarella, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, soppressata, artichokes, eggplant, and prosciutto.
The shop started in SoHo, but it now has a second location in Midtown Manhattan.
SOUTH AMERICAN: Llama Inn
- Llama Inn/Yelp
Teeming with natural light and rustic accents, Llama Inn’s laid-back atmosphere makes you feel right at home as you dig into its flavorful Peruvian cuisine.
The beef tenderloin stir-fry – full of tomato, avocado, and French fries – is always a crowd-pleaser. But if you’re feeling adventurous, try a dish like goat neck or the charred squid and radicchio sandwich.
SOUTHERN/SOUL: Root & Bone
Customers rave about Root & Bone’s fried chicken and waffles, macaroni and cheese, and biscuits, but the whole menu is worth a try.
Southern comforts abound, including everything from cornbread soufflé to drunken deviled eggs to an entire bucket of crispy fried chicken.
SPANISH/TAPAS: La Vara
- Valery C/Yelp
Try a variety of affordable – and offbeat – Moorish tapas at this Cobble Hill restaurant, where the menu includes a variety of dishes like cumin-roasted lamb breast to Valencia-style noodle paella to slow-cooked crispy suckling pig.
If you’re feeling adventurous, give the stuffed rabbit loin or grilled chicken hearts a try.
STEAKHOUSE: Peter Luger
No other steakhouse in the world compares to Peter Luger, which has topped Zagat’s best NYC steakhouse list for 33 years running.
Get the aged steak – of course – which comes in sizes from a single serving up to one that’s shareable between four people, and add sides like fried potatoes, fresh broccoli, or creamed spinach.
Be sure to bring plenty of cash. Luger’s is pricey and doesn’t take plastic.
- Gary L/Yelp
The menu at this spacious Woodside mainstay is endless, but it’s hard to go wrong – though you should expect a heavy dose of spice whatever you choose.
The restaurant is cash-only, but the prices are low.
TURKISH: Taci’s Beyti
- Kelly M/Yelp
For authentic Turkish cuisine served in a warm, welcoming atmosphere, head down to Coney Island for a meal at Taci’s Beyti.
The family-owned restaurant relies on classic dishes and traditional flavors. Menu highlights include the shepherd’s salad, hummus platter, and a selection of kebabs.
- Courtesy of Caviar
Taim’s menu is simple, but flavorful, and everything is strictly vegetarian. Here you can choose from three types of falafel in an eggplant, hummus, or traditional falafel sandwich. Or you can try ’em all with the mixed falafel platter.
Taim’s also has a food truck that often parks in the Financial District, Flatiron, and SoHo.
- Kay C./Yelp
Park Slope’s Bricolage offers authentic Vietnamese cuisine for an affordable price, though the elegant atmosphere makes the food seem more expensive than it is.
If it’s nice outside, take a seat on the outdoor porch and enjoy bites of spicy yuba noodle salad, stir-fried pork maw, and spicy lemongrass tofu.