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The best restaurants in New York City are also among the finest in the world. This list of New York City’s best restaurants for 2014 draws from a roster of 430 establishments across the country that were nominated and voted on by more than 100 dining experts from the city and across the country, as part of The Daily Meal’s most recent ranking of the 101 Best Restaurants in America.
#5 Momofuku Ssäm Bar
Meals at this ever-evolving East Village hot spot have wowed critics and won faithful followers since the beginning, and it’s no wonder. Chef David Chang offers bold, Asian-inspired flavors, like his duckaholic lunch and popular bo ssäm dinner (slow-cooked pork shoulder, oysters, rice, kimchee, and sauces to be wrapped in Bibb lettuce leaves). Chang continues to be the culinary cool kid while cementing his status as a top-tier chef by constantly expanding his empire, and everything he touches seems to turn to gold (his high-tech cocktail bar kicked off with Dave Arnold, Booker and Dax, is already ranked among the city’s finest). As an influence on younger chefs, as an animator of the downtown New York restaurant scene, and as a really good cook, Chang deserves a high spot on this list.
This very grown-up restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Daniel Boulud’s flagship, maintains standards of service and cuisine — French haute cuisine, very much an endangered species today — that harken back to an earlier era. But the cooking is up-to-date and really, really good, while the menu changes daily. If you are lucky enough to score a reservation, you may sample such dishes as black truffle-stuffed Dover sole; Elysian Fields roasted lamb chops with vadouvan sauce; grilled artichoke, ricotta barbajuan, and fennel salad; and caramelized puff pastry, bourbon vanilla cream, lingonberries confiture, and almond florentine. (Click here to watch The Daily Meal’s interview with Daniel Boulud on cooking across continents.)
#3 Per Se
In an elegant dining room overlooking Central Park in the Time Warner Center, Per Se upholds the standards set by Thomas Keller at The French Laundry; receiving an annual three-star rating from Michelin since 2006. As at the French Laundry, there are two $295 tasting menus, one of which is vegetarian, but the Keller classic "oysters and pearls" is most definitely included in the non-vegetarian version. Here there is also a salon menu, with à la carte offerings including mascarpone enriched Yukon gold potago agnolotti with cipollini onion shoots and pea tendrils; and butter-poached Nova Scotia lobster with Brussels sprouts, ruby red grapefruit, and smoked butternut squash purée. Chef Eli Kaimeh does Keller proud with his skillful interpretations of this most refined style of cooking.
#2 Eleven Madison Park
Like many of the finer things in life, Eleven Madison Park seems to get better with age. Although it opened to much fanfare and subsequent acclaim in 1998, it was Danny Meyer’s hiring of Swiss-born Daniel Humm to helm the kitchen in 2006 that elevated the place to the level of the finest restaurants in the country. Humm — who has won such plaudits for the restaurant as four stars from The New York Times and three from Michelin — bought Eleven Madison from Meyer in 2011, in partnership with his front-of-house counterpart, Will Guidara, and didn’t miss a beat. The chef is firmly in control here: While Humm will tailor his single $225 multi-course tasting menu to accommodate allergies, dietary restrictions, and ingredient preferences, there is no à la carte selection or smaller menu available. The particulars of the dishes change frequently, but the technique is contemporary French and modernist. The ingredients are heavily New York-based, and the culinary traditions on which the food is based are often those of Gotham street or deli food, producing notably unique results.
#1 Le Bernardin
This elegant seafood restaurant, headed by chef Eric Ripert, has topped many “best of” lists and has several accolades under its belt, including repeat four-star reviews from The New York Times (the first of them written within only a few months of its opening), perfect food ratings in the Zagat guide from 2011 to 2013, and more James Beard Awards than any other restaurant in New York City. Ripert is an artist working with impeccable raw materials. The prix-fixe dinner here features a long list of delicacies from the sea, ranging from “almost raw” first courses to “lightly cooked” mains. Eat in the newly revamped modern dining room against a backdrop of painted waves and enjoy dishes like layers of thinly-pounded yellowfin tuna, foie gras, and toasted baguette with chives and olive oil; king fish sashimi with caviar in a light marinière broth; baked snapper with charred green tomatoes and Baja-style shrimp sauce; or pan-roasted lobster with truffle salsify and red-wine sauce Américaine.
5 star restaurants in NYC
Over the years, Time Out New York has awarded the coveted five stars to just a handful of NYC restaurants, who have all achieved that damn-near-perfect balance of cuisine, decor and innovation. Among this select group are fine-dining titans, long-standing hotel restaurants and international imports running the gamut from Mexican to Korean cuisines. Say hello to the ten 5 star restaurants in NYC, as determined by our critics.
RECOMMENDED: See all of the best restaurants in NYC
The 50 best restaurants in NYC right now
Including Korean skewer sets, a brand new throwback and erstwhile favorites.
May 2021: New York City is within air-kissing distance of reopening. The CDC says that fully vaccinated people can lower their masks (even if the state of New York is recommending that we wear them a little longer) and restaurant capacity restrictions will be lifted on May 19. We&rsquoll still be mindful of the people around us, whether dining inside or out, and with so many service workers on the frontlines, we hope you&rsquoll be gracious and tip kindly.
Running a restaurant in New York City in any era is a herculean task. We tend to love any place willing to feed us, but some simply stand out for their excellent ingredients, well-crafted cocktails, booze pairings, concept, ambiance, and occasionally an X factor that gives a place its spirit. And these are those: our favorite places to eat and drink, and our favorite places to tell everyone else to eat and drink, at this very moment. Some are old, some are new, some are finally getting their due, and each one is worth your time, money and attention.
Note: A number of the best chefs, restaurants and concepts in the city have been welcomed into the Time Out Market. Because that is the highest honor we can award, and we now have a tighter relationship with them, establishments related to market vendors have all been included in the EAT List but not ranked alongside other great establishments in the city. You can find those places below.
2. Le Botaniste
Following a &ldquofood is thy medicine&rdquo motto, NYC-based Le Botaniste is 100 percent botanical (aka plant-based), 99 percent organic and gluten-free. Le Botantiste charms with savory &ldquoprescriptions&rdquo like the Tibetan Mama Rice Bowl (curry peanut butter curry sauce served over brown rice with steamed vegetables and kimchi) and the Pasta Bolo, a gluten-free fusilli with botanical bolognese, green herbal oil and superseed mix. Also, they are the first plant-based organic restaurant to be certified CO2 Neutral. Currently open for take-out and delivery.
You're back in that one Paris café you particularly loved, right down to the tiny tables and soft lighting. Your most important move is to order the anchovies on warm toast slicked with cold butter. After that go for hearty mains like gigot dɺgneau (leg of lamb) or one of the croque monsieurs, and maybe skip the buzzed-about chocolate mousse—we found it not worth the hype—in favor of sweet tarte tatin. Also, in case it wasn't clear from the jump: you’re drinking wine. Chef-owner Jody Williams takes a lot of pride in her list. Go for rosé with friends over brunch or open a well-priced bottle of something from the Loire Valley to sip with charcuterie in the evening.
9. Imani Caribbean Kitchen & Bar
Imani has dishes ranging from spicy spare ribs with pineapple to an ackee and saltfish spring roll, but the restaurant most notably has a slew of options for vegans looking to satisfy a craving for Caribbean comfort food. The cozy brownstone restaurant in Fort Greene serves a jerk vegan ramen that packs a hearty punch and is a must-try — even for meat lovers, who can also opt to add chicken. Note: Imani will often serve off-the-menu items only available on certain days of the week, like a jerk rasta pasta that’s offered on Wednesdays.
Bouley at Home
Newcomer Bouley at Home debuted in the Flatiron District in 2017, manifesting lauded chef David Bouley’s multi-concept culinary vision for the space. More than just a restaurant, the immersive venture goes beyond traditional dining to afford patrons an educational experience, with a home kitchen aesthetic that lends well to the hands-on cooking classes offered here (incorporating the freshest organic ingredients and an ethos of healthy eating), as well as the on-site food lab and bake shop. Of course, there’s plenty of eating to be had, too, including signature nine-course fine-dining tasting dinners (or more affordable five-course tasting lunches) that unfold at individual chef-led cooking stations (the cooks double as servers), where visitors can watch the meal being prepared before sampling it. Menus change based on seasonal ingredients. and chefs’ whims just be sure to book in advance, as seatings are limited.
2. Eleven Madison Park
Chef: Daniel Humm
Swiss-born chef Humm earned his first Michelin star at the age of 24, and brought his creative refined cuisine to this New York City restaurant. Eleven Madison Park also took second place on our overall list.
Awarded four stars by The Times, three stars by Michelin, and the Five Diamond Award by AAA, Eleven Madison Park recently ditched its à la carte concept in favor of an elaborate prix fixe tasting extravaganza. The multicourse menu, which focuses on the agricultural offerings of New York, costs $225.
The best places to eat lunch
(Photo by Shutterstock)
Because you should always have what she&rsquos having. Yes, it&rsquos touristy and yes, the line can get massive, but Katz&rsquos is an icon. Get either pastrami or corned beef on rye, a knish and a diet Dr. Brown&rsquos cream soda &mdash and whatever you do, don&rsquot lose your ticket.
It&rsquos nearly an impossible task to narrow down the most perfect, classic slice of New York City pizza. Almost as impossible as finding award availability in Emirates&rsquo new first class suite. But Joe&rsquos has been making some of the most delectable slices of pizza you&rsquoll ever find, and if you haven&rsquot been to one of their New York City locations yet, you&rsquore doing it wrong.
Prince Street Pizza
You come here for two reasons: The spicy spring pizza (a square slice with pepperoni cups) and to never look at pizza the same way again. This is my personal favorite slice in all of Gotham.
Yes, another pizza place, but you&rsquoll thank me for it later. Again, a debatable topic, but you can&rsquot argue that it&rsquos among the city&rsquos absolute best. Little known fact: They take reservations one week out. Make one.
31 of the Best Restaurants for Outdoor Dining in NYC Right Now
While Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that local restaurants will be allowed to increase their indoor dining capacity from 25 percent to 35 percent starting February 26, many of us aren&rsquot comfortable eating indoors just yet. Don&rsquot fret&mdashyou can still get a great meal and support local restaurants with outdoor dining in NYC right now. Top restaurants around the city are revamping their outdoor setups, offering safe and cozy dining experiences throughout the colder months. From heated lamps to yurt villages, check out these 31 restaurants featuring seriously creative outdoor dining options that will keep you warm all season long.
Editor&rsquos note: All the restaurants listed are currently operating with recommended safety recommendations in place, but be sure to read up on the latest NYC COVID-19 guidelines before you dine.