25 Best Italian Restaurants in NYC for 2022

Published on November 23, 2022 | 0 Comments
If you haven't tried these best Italian restaurants in NYC, you're missing out.
Published on November 23, 2022 | 0 Comments

The competition for the best Italian restaurants in NYC is a heated race. There are neighborhood trattorias, corner cafés and posh dining rooms, all serving up some of the most creative Old World cuisines anywhere in the U.S. This is great news for fans of Italian food, but bad news for hungry eaters who need to make a quick decision — and a quicker reservation!

In a city filled with amazing possibilities for lunch, dinner and beyond, how can you pinpoint the best Italian restaurants in NYC? It all depends on your appetite. We’ve collected our picks for the 25 best Italian restaurants in NYC for you to try. Whether you’re looking for pizza and cocktails or a luxury dinner, there’s a little something for everyone’s taste. 

 

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Find the Best Italian Restaurants in NYC

With food tours in NYC, you can explore the dining scene and find the best Italian restaurants in NYC with expert guides in tow. These city treks are designed with the discerning diner in mind. You’ll take to the streets with like-minded food fans and discover where NYC keeps its best Italian restaurants. There’s something special waiting around every corner.  

25 Best Italian Restaurants in NYC 

1. Carmine's

The reviews alone call out Carmine's status as one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC. With a four and a half-star average and more than 13,000 reviews, it's a winner with diners all around the web.

The Vibe

Old-fashioned family style with the comfort of a neighborhood haunt.

What to Order

Spicy scarpariello wings are a favorite among the Carmine's crowd, as is the 45-ounce Porterhouse, cooked to order.

Carmine's | Multiple Locations | $$

Carmine's is one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC.
via Carmine's

2. Tony's Di Napoli

Tony's Di Napoli makes family-style Italian dining an occasion to remember. Visitor reviews rave about the warm atmosphere and being welcomed for drop-in dining, a must in the best Italian restaurants in NYC.

The Vibe

Friendly trattoria spirit with bold traditional décor, down to the red checkered tablecloths.

What to Order

Try the twin-broiled veal chops for a taste of true Italian dining, or Tony's chicken to sample the house specialty.

Tony's Di Napoli | Multiple Locations | $$ 

3. Via Carota

A true trattoria from top to bottom, Via Carota brings the soul of Florence to NYC. Visitors are spirited away to Old Italy thanks to the design and dishes inspired by the owner's former home, a touch of Italia in one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC.

The Vibe

Charming boutique-style, tidy and warm for the modern diner.

What to Order

Pollo alla griglia brings free-range chicken grilled with traditional salmoriglio marinade to the table, while the more adventurous Italian diner can try polipo, an octopus and pesto dish.

Via Carota | 51 Grove St., New York, NY 10014 | $$$ 

tender meat on bone
via Via Carota

4. Carbone

Diners looking for an up-to-date Italian American experience will find Carbone among the best Italian restaurants on the NYC dining scene. With a trim menu and gourmet food stylings, this upscale eatery doesn't skimp on style or flavor.

The Vibe

Cool, contemporary spot for authentically modern Italian bites and drinks.

What to Order

Lobster ravioli is a lunch menu choice that brings seafood sensibilities to handcrafted pasta. Spicy rigatoni vodka will make a pasta lover's dream come true.

Carbone | 181 Thompson St., New York, NY 10012 | $$$

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5. Locanda Verde

Urban Italian dining at Locanda Verde is a cozy yet stylish affair. The spirit of good living and an earthy menu makes this eatery a top choice among the best Italian restaurants in NYC.

The Vibe

The comforting corner trattoria every New York neighborhood should have.

What to Order

The breakfast menu offers a frittata caprese that's sure to start your day off right, while the shaved porchetta sandwich makes a hearty, full-spirited lunch.

Locanda Verde | 377 Greenwich St., New York, NY 10013 | $$$ 

Italian fish dish
via Locanda Verde

6. Uva

The name Uva means "grape" in Italian, an apt moniker for a restaurant where wine is a star player. The Bohemian feel of the space matches the eclectic dining options for a whimsical entry among the best Italian restaurants on NYC’s vast culinary landscape.

The Vibe

Warm and rustic, like walking into a European diner filled with spirits from dinners past.

What to Order

Spiedino di gamberetti presents skewers of tender grilled shrimp over plum and avocado salad, perfect for the light eater, and gnocchi di ricotta features a black truffle and chive sauce for more soulful fare.

Uva | 1486 Second Ave., New York, NY 10075 | $$ 

7. Mercato

This homey haunt in vibrant Hell's Kitchen brings one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC’s most food-friendly district. Mercato favors local ingredients and Italian deli imports, a winning formula for unfussy, heartfelt cuisine.

The Vibe

Super casual styling gives the impression of a last-minute dinner party thrown for friends and family.

What to Order

Homemade pastas, an extensive wine list and some adorable Italian sweets for dessert complete a cheerful meal at this winsome diner, a great choice for a cute date night in NYC.

Mercato | 352 W. 39th St., New York, NY 10018 | $$ 

Mercato is one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC.
via Mercato

8. Trattoria Trecolori

A family-owned trattoria in the theater district, Trattoria Trecolori's name is a tribute to Italy's tri-colored flag. With modest spacing and humble offerings on the menu, one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC is also one of its simplest.

The Vibe

Red brick warmth with a post-and-beam patio makes for wraparound comfort in a no-nonsense space.

What to Order

Classic lasagna alla Bolognese will bring back memories of family dinners at Nonna's house, even for non-Italian diners.

Trattoria Trecolori | 254 W. 47th St., New York, NY 10036 | $$ 

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9. Il Cortile

If Il Cortile weren’t one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC, it could be a movie set. With the enchantment of a Roman courtyard and a menu filled with Old World classics, its atmosphere is enough to spirit you away to a culinary dreamland.

The Vibe

Enchanted Italian gardens with magical surprises hidden throughout.

What to Order

The a la carte menu offers quintessential dishes like chicken parmigiana and veal scaloppine prepared with thoughtful sophistication.

Il Cortile | 125 Mulberry St., New York, NY 10013 | $$ 

Il Cortile is one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC for vibes and food.
via Il Cortile

10. La Lanterna

An Italian caffe in the heart of Greenwich Village, La Lanterna adds to the Little Italy feel of the neighborhood. A listening bar with live jazz next door to the dining room brings the flavor of nostalgia to one of NYC's best Italian restaurants.

The Vibe

Snuggly greenhouse dining room feels, with glass roofs and creative patio-scape seating.

What to Order

A menu dedicated to lasagna, including clever sampler lasagna flights, makes an intriguing must-try order for curious diners.

La Lanterna | 129 MacDougal St., New York, NY 10012 | $$ 

11. Olio e Più

The upscale spirit of Olio e Più channels the Mediterranean in both décor and dining. Simple Neapolitan cuisine may be the inspiration for one of the best Italian restaurants NYC has to offer, but elegant sophistication is a key ingredient.

The Vibe

Light-filled dining rooms give coastal freshness to the open dining space.

What to Order

Dig into brunch selections that include charcuterie displays, handmade pasta and egg dishes prepared with true Italian verve.

Olio e Più | 3 Greenwich Ave., New York, NY 10014 | $$ 

a table laid with charcuterie and an array of Italian dishes
via Olio e Più

12. Paesano of Mulberry Street

Paesano of Mulberry Street gets right to the business of eating with a straightforward approach to the classics. All the greatest hits of Italian cuisine are here, making Paesano the best Italian restaurant in NYC for family-style dining.

The Vibe

Clean, cute interiors invite customers to linger for great food and warm company.

What to Order

Baked ziti and linguine with red clam sauce are stand-outs at the best Italian restaurant in NYC for soothing specialties.

Paesano of Mulberry Street | 136 Mulberry St., New York, NY 10013 | $$

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13. Scarpetta

Good living tops the menu at Scarpetta, one of NYC's best Italian restaurants for the upscale set. Locations worldwide speak of refinement, but this high-end eatery does it with an allure that's relatable and welcoming. A great choice for a special birthday dinner in NYC.

The Vibe

Ultra-modern and warm, with earth tones, wood fittings and glowing fixtures.

What to Order

Creamy polenta with truffled mushroom fricassée is a tempting morsel, as well as the grilled branzino for fish lovers and quince spice cake as a one-of-a-kind treat for dessert fans.

Scarpetta | 88 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016 | $$$ 

warm, earth-toned modern dining room in Italian restaurant
via Scarpetta

14. Gelso and Grand

Wood-fired favorites served in a former marketplace keeps freshness front of menu at Gelso and Grand. This corner trattoria is a tribute to the great heritage of homestyle dining, and the best Italian restaurant in NYC for cannoli the size of baguettes.

The Vibe

Laid-back and lighthearted, in a meet-your-friends-here-for-dinner-every-night kind of way.

What to Order

House-made spaghetti pomodoro and roasted mushroom wood-fired pizza topped with crème fraîche offer indulgent gourmet bites. And there's no way you can leave without trying the giant cannoli.

Gelso and Grand | 186 Grand St., New York, NY 10013 | $$ 

15. Quality Italian

Nobody does Italian-style steakhouse dining like Quality Italian. Inspired by Old World butchers and focusing on high-quality meats for dining sensibilities, this modern trattoria is the best Italian restaurant in NYC for a balance of classic and contemporary.

The Vibe

Rich interiors and clean lines provide a clubhouse atmosphere where fine dining is the only way to fly.

What to Order

Choose your favorite from a list of impeccable beef choices, everything from hanger steak alla griglia to the Calabrian double filet mignon.

Quality Italian | 57 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019 | $$$$ 

Tomahawk steak, Italian-style
via Quality Italian

16. Dante NYC

A café with a pedigree dating back to 1915, Dante NYC is a staple of the Manhattan dining scene and the best Italian restaurant in NYC for elevated modern bites. In its current incarnation, Dante brings craft cocktails and clever plates together for moments of refined culinary magic.

The Vibe

Checkerboard floors and tiled ceilings will transport you to Italy, circa 1920.

What to Order

A trim but creative menu offers delights like flatbreads topped with mortadella, toasted pistachio and rosemary, and pappardelle pasta with wild boar ragù.

Dante NYC | 79-81 MacDougal St., New York, NY 10012 | $$$ 

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17. Rubirosa

For pizza, pasta and drinks, no spot in the city does casual better than Rubirosa. The red-and-white striped awning draped in rose vines outside lets you know you're in for a fun and colorful time inside this jewel among NYC’s best Italian restaurants.

The Vibe

Bar tables and a wooden counter provide a warm, countrified feel.

What to Order

Order a bowl of Italian wedding soup for a warm serving of good luck, and follow it up with a fresh caprese salad and handmade mushroom campanelle pasta like Mamma makes.

Rubirosa | 235 Mulberry St., New York, NY 10012 | $$ 

Rubirosa is one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC.
via Rubirosa

18. Il Corallo Trattoria

SoHo is home to one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC for lovers of funky modern spirit. Il Corallo Trattoria fits a wealth of character into a modest space and creates a trattoria to remember.

The Vibe

Colorful and kicky, with mismatched everything providing homey, down-to-earth comfort.

What to Order

If you're a seafood and pizza lover, combine your favorites into a pizza marina, topped with calamari and shrimp over tomato sauce.

Il Corallo Trattoria | 176 Prince St., New York, NY 10012 | $ 

19. Kesté Pizza & Vino

Kesté Pizza & Vino is the brainchild of Robert Caporuscio, one of the foremost pizza experts in New York. It's no surprise that his pizzeria is one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC for a pie and a bottle to share with friends.

The Vibe

Bright and inviting space with a long bar and small tables that inspire lively conversation.

What to Order

Montanara, a pizza made with fried dough, is a definite order, either as a cheese pizza or topped with pork or truffle cream sauces. Pizza fritte, fried pizza, is also an indulgent delight, with the cheese and salami-filled Via Tribunali being their most popular. 

Kesté Pizza & Vino | Multiple Locations | $$ 

a pizza made with fried dough
via Kesté Pizza & Vino

20. Ai Fiori

Italian dining in New York doesn't get more luxe than Ai Fiori. This top-shelf dining room caters to the well-heeled foodie, with refined creations that add jewels to the crown of the best Italian restaurants in NYC.

The Vibe

Clean linens, fresh flowers and warm wood floors give the impression of dining in an indoor garden.

What to Order

Caviar is on the menu, an opulent treat for the high-end diner, while stuffed quail with rainbow chard and cranberry gremolata is a gourmet's dream dinner.

Ai Fiori | 400 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10018 | $$$$ 

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21. Da Andrea

Vining bougainvillea and wrought iron at the entrance give Da Andrea an enchanting fairy tale feel. Add live music and classic dishes, and you have NYC's best Italian restaurant for huddling with family over delicious dishes.

The Vibe

Homey, Old World charm, with fresh flowers topping every table.

What to Order

If the restaurant-made ravioli di noci with walnut cream sauce doesn't tempt you, try the filetto di manzo. A slice of homemade ricotta cheesecake topped with mixed berries will send you off in sweet style.

Da Andrea | 35 W. 13th St., New York, NY 10011 | $$

Da Andrea is one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC.
via Da Andrea

22. Tavola

From the vintage storefront armoire to the classic countertops and tiled ceilings, Tavola brings the heritage of old Italy to the list of the best Italian restaurants for NYC diners to enjoy. It's a slice of history that serves up regional fare, specifically from Sicily, Rome and Puglia.

The Vibe

A trip back in time to a glowing, mid-20th-century Italian delicatessen.

What to Order

Go for the eggplant parmigiana in vegan and non-vegan versions for a taste you'll recognize and love. Or be adventurous with a rustic vendetta sarda (Sardinian) pizza topped with wild boar sausage.

Tavola | 488 Ninth Ave., New York, NY 10018 | $$$ 

23. Becco

Restaurant Row is where you'll find Becco, a trattoria where creativity leads the menu. Celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich and her son Joe are the masterminds behind this easygoing dining room, the best Italian restaurant in NYC for simple pleasures made with exquisite execution.

The Vibe

Like stepping into a true Italian kitchen, this folksy space makes everyone feel welcome.

What to Order

Peperoni ripieni, or Italian stuffed peppers, will satisfy the hungry guest with a blend of tomato sauce-braised beef, veal and pork in cubanelle peppers.

Becco | 355 W. 46th St., New York, NY 10036 | $$ 

the cozy, warmly lit interior of an Italian restaurant
via Becco

24. L'Artusi

Modern Italian cuisine goes minimalist at L'Artusi, a space where simple and sophisticated are synonymous. By stripping the menu down to the basics, this trattoria brings food at one of NYC's best Italian restaurants into delicious focus.

The Vibe

Quaint and cozy interiors let the food be the star of the show.

What to Order

You can’t pass up L’Burger, a cheeseburger made with Italian flair. A slice of salted chocolate cake decorated with caramel corn and served with bourbon gelato makes a dreamy dessert.

L'Artusi | 228 W. 10th St., New York, NY 10014 | $$

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25. Piccola Cucina

The name translates to “little kitchen,” but the big flavors of Sicily find a home in the Big Apple at Piccola Cucina, one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC for authentic Sicilian flavor. Now you’re eating homestyle!

The Vibe

Farmhouse pastels and washed wood make you feel like you're dining at a friend's Italian hideaway.

What to Order

Stick with simple pleasures like spaghetti cacio e pepe or spinach and ricotta ravioli. That, or spice things up with ossobuco ravioli served with robust veal sauce and pecorino fondue.

Piccola Cucina | Multiple Locations | $$ 

spinach and ricotta ravioli
via Piccola Cucina

Creativity, comfort and a sense of hospitality are what make the best Italian restaurants in NYC so special. The vibe may vary from family-style and friendly to hip and happening to bold and Bohemian, but the heart is always the same. The best Italian restaurants NYC has to offer are all built around good food shared with great people.    

There’s no shortage of outstanding places to eat in NYC when you’re hungry for Italian, no matter your budget or your preference. The easiest way to choose the best Italian restaurant in NYC may be to try them all and decide for yourself! 

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