Diner Most-Loved

The Most Popular Restaurants in NYC

Flavors as bold and brash as the locals.

16 min read
4/25/2022
Cav Blog: King's Co Imperial

New York City is arguably the country’s foodie capital, so being considered one of the Big Apple’s best is no small feat. New Yorkers will tell you that you can find the best of everything here, no matter what type of cuisine you’re craving — and they’re not wrong. Caviar diners know what’s good, so to come up with our list of the best restaurants in the city, we simply took a look at your favorite places. Behold: The 40 restaurants you’re getting delivered most often this year.

1. Daily Provisions - Union Square

Danny Meyer’s four all-day cafes started with a bakery and gourmet-to-go shop adjacent to his flagship Union Square Cafe in 2017. At Daily Provisions, you can count on finding just the right meal (or ingredients for home cooking). For lunch, try the kale Caesar with crispy chickpeas and soft-boiled eggs, with dressing so good you can buy a bottle.

Daily Provisions

2. King's Co Imperial

The Kings Co Imperial menu depends on locally sourced ingredients, cooked with care by chef Josh Grinker.

Dim sum and dumplings are a huge reason to love Kings Co, particularly the wok-seared long dumplings — slender potstickers filled with Berkshire pork and garlic stems. Larger plates, like Hong Kong-style noodle with Chinese barbecue hanging pork, are great served family-style.

3. Ruby's Cafe - East Village

Restaurateur Nick Mathers opened the first Ruby’s Cafe in 2003 to capture the essence of the café scene in his native Australia. Today the cozy, all-day spot is as popular as ever for “brekkie,” with offerings from ricotta hotcakes to vegemite toast. For lunch and dinner, try the Bronte burger, served on a panini, or one of the many veg-forward options.

Ruby's Cafe

4. Win Son Bakery

At this Taiwainese bakery run by fine-dining-trained chefs, turnip cakes are made with Benton’s country ham from Tennessee, there are pecans in the moon cakes, and the soy milk is housemade. Chinese ingredients go Western, European ones find their way into Taiwanese pastry, and the whole enterprise is bound to leave you deliriously happy.

5. Levain Bakery - NoHo

Levain Bakery, which started on the Upper West Side 26 years ago, is best known for its giant, ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies. Triathletes Pamela Weekes and Connie MacDonald created the cookie to fuel their long workouts. If, on the off chance you want something else, Levain also sells top-notch pastries, bread, and pizzas.

6. Silver Rice

Silver Rice in Brooklyn offers creative takes on sushi favorites like the real crab California roll. Owners Hideki and Sonny are longtime friends from Japan, and everything they make just tastes better, including vegetarian options like the vegan eel roll. Don’t miss one of the most beloved dishes: the homemade miso soup bobbing with three plump shrimp dumplings.

Silver Rice

7. Barano

Former Rubirosa chef Albert DiMeglio opened this South Williamsburg restaurant in 2016 with a menu tailored to invoke the kinds of dishes his immigrant grandmother cooked for his family, like the two-hour-braised artichoke finished in the wood-fired oven, but his calling card is fresh mozzarella, handmade daily and served smoked or salted with extra-virgin olive oil.

8. Westville (Dumbo)

Westville, first opened in 2003, is a New York City staple known for serving up casual, eclectic American cuisine that’s reasonably priced and equally reliable for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. There’s something for everyone; indulgent favorites such as Westville’s award-winning smoky mac and cheese share menu space with bountiful salads and the Market Plate, a selection of four vegetables.

9. Birds of a Feather

At Birds of a Feather, a dazzling Williamsburg mainstay from Xian Zhang and Yiming Wang (the Michelin-starred duo behind Cafe China), the menu focuses on the Sichuan region. Start with the poached wontons in high-heat chile sauce and follow up with kung pao chicken. The spicy fish fillet is also terrific: battered sole studded with chiles, scallions, and cilantro.

10. Thai Villa

This restaurant is definitely Thai, but it’s a little more than typical pad thai and green curry. They have those, too, of course, but Thai Villa specializes in offerings like the yum pla duke foo, crispy catfish salad with shredded mango, and the Salmon Kaew-Wan, served with eggplant, pineapple, and basil. Try something new; it could become a favorite.

11. Rubirosa

Rubirosa’s founder, AJ Pappalardo, was New York pizza royalty. His father founded Joe & Pat’s, a Staten Island classic. AJ took the 57-year-old family recipe and made it his own. We like to get a couple — maybe a cheesy Classic Pizza and the pesto-swirled Tie-Dye Pizza. Get a Caesar salad too; it's very, very good.

Rubirosa

12. Chavela's

Chef Arturo Leonar was born in Mexico City and, after moving to New York City in his twenties, worked his way up at some of the best kitchens in town. At Chavela’s he serves the traditional Mexican food he grew up with; our favorites are the enchiladas, flautas, and, of course, the guacamole.


13. Via Carota

It’s good news that one of the hottest tables in town delivers. Now there’s no need to wait for hours to get your hands on West Village restaurant vets Rita Sodi and Jody Williams’ legendary insalata verde or tonnarelli, aka cacio e pepe. Go heavy on the vegetables because they are all delicious; we recommend the carote and funghi.

14. Cafe Mogador - Williamsburg

The Williamsburg location of the East Village dining institution shares its older sibling’s devotion to Morocco with a menu that spans breakfast through dinner. It has a serious following for their mezzes like hummus, labneh, spicy Moroccan carrots, and matbucha, but the showstoppers here are clay tagines made with fall-off-the-bone-tender lamb shank or chicken.

Cafe Mogador

15. DOMODOMO

Started in 2015 by two brothers-in-law, DOMODOMO is a true family business. Chef Brian’s unique take on Japanese cuisine offers something for everyone. Try the Sushi Domokase, with hand roll choices including oyster mushroom, snow crab, spicy yellowtail, and more. Entrees like tobiko pasta and miso black cod are utterly delicious and showcase the team’s best flavor experiments.

16. Parm (Mulberry Street)

At Carbone, Major Food Group has done much to show that Italian-American food, when made with care, is fit for a splurge. At Parm, the flavors are just as compelling, but the dishes are for every day, with prices to match, like Italian combo heroes and baked ziti so thoroughly bound by cheese it can be cut into slabs.

Parm

17. Tacombi (Fort Greene)

This acclaimed taqueria offers delicious tacos and more from Baja and beyond. If seafood is your thing, order a couple of crispy fish tacos made with beer-battered wild-caught Alaskan cod. Back on land, choose from al pastor, carnitas, pollo, or a hearty black bean and sweet potato taco. Can’t choose? Try one of each.

18. Buvette (42 Grove Street)

Who wouldn’t want to spend the morning sipping café au lait and eating buttery croissants? That’s what acclaimed chef Jody Williams asked when she opened her gastrothèque in Greenwich Village in 2011. From scones and chocolate mousse to salade de poulet and tarte tatin, the menu reads like an elegant and mouthwatering love letter to France.

Buvette

19. Emily (Fulton Street)

New Yorkers take their pizza seriously; good thing Emily does, too. The husband-and-wife partners fell in love over a pie, and they put that love into their ingredients. Think handmade mozzarella and long-simmered sauce. If you have to choose one, go with their namesake Emily, topped with mozzarella, pistachio, truffle cheese, and honey.

20. Mesa Coyoacan (Brooklyn)

At Mesa Coyoacan, chef Ivan Garcia, who grew up in Mexico City, translates his family’s recipes into authentic comfort food like handmade tortillas and rich, silky mole. Enchiladas are fantastic and customizable — rojo or verde — and both come with your choice of protein: grilled skirt steak, chicken, cheese, or sautéed garlic shrimp and octopus.

21. Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill (58th Street)

Eric and Bruce Bromberg opened the first Blue Ribbon with sushi master Toshi Ueki more than 30 years ago and have since built an empire that’s topped "Best Of" lists across the U.S. Their famed dishes run the gamut from the Blue Ribbon lobster sushi roll to crispy chicken wings to kanpachi usuzukuri, sliced amberjack with yuzu sauce.

Blue Ribbon

22. Greenberg's Bagels

Few things are more important to a New Yorker than their bagel order. Are you Team Everything or Team Poppy Seed? Good thing Greenberg’s has it all, even vegan bacon, egg, and cheeses. For those that lean sweeter than savory for breakfast, they have Balthazar Bakery croissants, too.

23. DIG (Williamsburg)

DIG is a farm-to-table restaurant group that offers fast, fresh meals perfect for an affordable lunch or dinner. Go with DIG’s Build Your Own bowl and choose from grilled tofu, Alaskan salmon, or herb-roasted chicken, along with sides like cauliflower with Parmesan and roasted Brussels sprouts. And their family meals are a great way to feed a group.

24. Sant Ambroeus - West Village

This all-day Italian staple has multiple locations throughout the city, so it’s easy to get your hands on their artful pastries or plates of satisfying pasta, like the spicy spaghetti all'arrabbiata or rich fettuccine alla Bolognese. Don’t miss dessert; their namesake Sant Ambroeus is some of the best chocolate mousse cake we’ve ever had.

SantAmbroeus

25. Emmy Squared - Brooklyn

Part of the beloved Pizza Loves Emily mini-chain, Emmy Squared, serves, yes, square Detroit-style pies. A classic Margherita is always good, but more inventive takes include the Colony, with red sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, pickled jalapeños, and honey. Emmy Squared is also home to one of the city’s best burgers, Le Big Matt, named for chef and partner Matt Hyland.

26. Weekends

Weekend food that makes you smile — eggs, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes — is all on the menu at Weekends in Williamsburg. This joyful café serves a mean brunch, like the So-Cal egg sandwich with avocado and smoked turkey bacon, and the fluffy, fresh berry Belgian waffle. Later in the day, grab salads and wraps; weekends don’t end after breakfast.

27. Han Dynasty (Dekalb Market)

Han Dynasty has given New Yorkers spicy flavors and craveable Sichuan dishes since 2013. Don’t skip the spicy tofu fish, a pot of tofu and white fish in chile-red broth, or the dry pepper chicken wings, rubbed with a mix of dry chiles, long hot peppers, and Sichuan peppercorns, which will make your lips tingle — really tingle.

Han Dynasty


28. L'Artusi

L’Artusi in the West Village has been one of NYC’s most lauded Italian restaurants for more than 10 years. Executive Chef Joe Vigorito serves up delicious, uncomplicated dishes like roasted chicken and cacio e pepe. The fan-favorite hanger steak is extravagant in all the best ways, and for dessert, don’t miss the olive oil cake with golden raisin marmellata.

29. Ciao, Gloria (Vanderbilt Avenue)

Fans of Red Hook’s beloved Baked rejoiced when founder Renato Poliafito and head baker Ginger Fisher Baldwin joined forces again to open Ciao, Gloria. Their sandwiches are top-notch, from the breakfast sandwich with Calabrian chile aioli to the Italo Disco Club with turkey and tomato compote on homemade focaccia. On the sweet side, we love the tricolor bars.

30. Mikado (6th Avenue)

New York has endless options for Japanese, from omakase counters to izakayas. Mikado has a bit of it all. An order could include a Mikado Any Rolls combo of two sushi rolls, pork katsu, and vegetable tempura. If you’re dining solo, go with the Chicken Teriyaki Dinner Bento Special for a taste of it all.

Mikado

31. Noods n' Chill (Brooklyn)

Noods n’ Chill in Williamsburg channels the flavors of Thailand into a menu that’s nothing but hits. Noods is the third NYC restaurant from chef Manadsanan Sutipayakul who, with her three children, turns out some of the best pork dumplings in Brooklyn. And the lamb, served in a chile-lime sauce, is outstanding — choose your own heat level.

32. RedFarm (Broadway)

RedFarm debuted in NYC’s West Village in 2011, serving inventive Chinese food and dim sum. A collaboration between chef Joe Ng and Chinese restaurateur Ed Schoenfeld, the menu at RedFarm includes whimsical Pac-Man dumplings, pastrami egg rolls, and must-try pork-and-crab soup dumplings.

REDFARM

33. Speedy Romeo (Brooklyn)

This Clinton Hill pizzeria is cooking with fire. Their menu of elevated classics is made in a hardwood Italian oven and on a Mesquite, Texas, grill. Try the Saint Louie with pepperoni, pickled chiles, and p]{rovel cheese, and the Speedy Romeo Caesar salad with sky-high shaved Parmesan. You can even get a ball of pizza dough to create your own.

Speedy Romeo

34. Milk Bar - Williamsburg

Founded by award-winning pastry chef Christina Tosi, Milk Bar is a dessert empire that first opened its doors in NYC’s East Village in 2008 and has grown to 14 locations. Their signature desserts include the fan-favorite Milk Bar Pie, Cereal Milk Soft Serve, and kitchen sink–style Compost Cookie.

Milk Bar

35. Momoya - Chelsea

Momoya’s Chelsea flagship has been attracting crowds for 15 years thanks to the breadth of its menu, which makes room for both eggplant roasted with sweet miso and a tuna tortilla with white truffle oil and kalamata olive aioli. The must-order dish is the signature crispy rice with spicy tuna, shiitakes, and jalapeño — you may need two orders.

36. Lil' Frankies

Lil Frankie’s, an East Village institution, is just one of Frank Prisinzano's three neighborhood restaurants. This one is all about the pizza, but they have your pasta needs covered, too. We love their Pizza Bianca for extra mozz-y goodness, but if you’re feeling like getting some extra veg, go for the Pizza Ortolana, topped with a garden’s worth.

Lil' Frankies

37. Court Street Grocers

It’s not uncommon to hear the words “best” and “unbelievable” in conversations about Court Street Grocers, Brooklyn’s beloved sandwich shop. Roast beef, French's fried onions, arugula, and horseradish mayo come together for a cult favorite called The Droopy. Vegetarians aren’t overlooked here; try the yam & cheese, with sweet potatoes, pickled beet spread, goat cheese, and sumac vinaigrette.

Cav Blog: Court Street Grocers

38. Dominique Ansel Bakery (Spring Street)

Yes, you can get a Cronut®, the famous croissant-doughnut hybrid, delivered. But beyond the main character is an excellent cast of supporting actors. The Perfect Little Egg Sandwich is a cloud of steamed scrambled eggs and Gruyère cheese, and the lunch menu offers sandwiches and quiches. For pastry, try the kouign-amann: think croissant, surrounded by a caramelized, crunchy crust.

39. 12 Chairs Cafe (Wythe Avenue)

Israeli food is thriving in New York City, and 12 Chairs is as good as it gets, with perfect takes on the classics: creamy hummus, fresh falafel, grilled eggplant, and labneh sprinkled with za’atar, all served with pita bread flown in from Israel and baked on-site. While you won’t miss the meat, Sammy’s beef kebabs are hard to ignore.

12 Chairs

40. Clinton St. Baking Company

Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman opened this beloved Lower East Side spot in 2001, filling the menu with their favorites — pancakes, biscuits, muffins filled with bananas and chocolate, and gorgeous layer cakes. Their cheeseburger is a winner, or if you prefer a veggie version, their housemade patty is crowned with avocado and sprouts.

Clinton St Baking Co


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Caviar Staff

Caviar Staff

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