The history of New York City is deeply intertwined with Italian heritage. From 1880 to 1924 more than 4 million Italians immigrated to the United States, almost all of them passing through New York City. To this day, our great city has a larger population of Italian Americans than any other American city.
What does this mean for us? Well, for one it means we have some of the absolute best Italian restaurants in the world scattered across our city.
It also means there are a whole bunch of mediocre imitators. How do you separate the average Italian spots from the very best? By following our advice, of course!
This is Stonehenge NYC's Top 10 Italian Restaurants.
Are you looking for something that’s a little less like Mom used to make, and a little more like a work of delicious art? Look no further than Carbone, where founding chef Mario Carbone delivers masterfully prepared, elegant dishes that satisfy like no other. This is traditional Italian fare elevated to the next level of sophistication.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that great Italian food isn’t just limited to Manhattan. In fact, you can find some of the most incredible fare in Brooklyn, particularly at Lalia. Inspired by Italian spring gardens and seaside restaurants, chef Missy Robbins proves that simplicity isn’t necessarily a weakness. This is essential Italian food, prepared by a true master.
One of the most appealing things about Italian food (aside from the taste) is the comforting rustic atmosphere found at the most authentic spots. There may be no other restaurant in this entire city that feels as uniquely Italian as Babbo. Chef Mario Batali delivers a fresh, fun celebration of modern Italian dining.
There are plenty of wine bars in NYC, but what really sets Via Carota apart is the food. This isn’t a wine bar where the eats are an obligatory afterthought--they’re the main event. From grilled octopus to fried rabbit, Via Carota provides a flavorful journey as complex and layered as the wine you’re sipping alongside it. This restaurant is particularly renowned for their take on the classic American burger, which somehow works without a bun or a side of fries. Seriously. Check it out.
Barbuto is an Italian restaurant that succeeds not by being authentic, but by standing apart. The front of Barbuto is actually a massive, transparent garage door which opens up in the summer to let the good vibes spill out onto the seat. The menu is tiny, but every dish is has been innovated to an insanely high level. There’s a reason head Chef Jonathan Waxman was named the Best Chef in New York City in 2016.
Bar Pitti (across the street from 10 Downing) started its life as a casual West Village diner, but its cutting-edge dining soon transformed it into a spot as popular with locals as it was with celebrities. You’d be hard pressed to find a better Italian spot at which you can ‘people watch’ while enjoying amazing cuisine. This truly is a place to see and to be seen.
You’ve probably heard of the coveted Michelin star--the crowning achievement on any chef’s resume. At Marea, you’ll instantly discover what earned this restaurant such a prestigious award. Named for the tide, Marea is Italian seafood perfection. It’s menu is a map of the sea, promising expertly prepared culinary wonders from across the watery parts of the globe.
Residents of The Ritz Plaza are no doubt familiar with La Masseria, which is all-to-conveniently located in the buildings commercial space. In the farmland of Italy, La Masseria is the building where produce is preserved and where everything, from tools to live animals, are housed. It’s the heart and soul of any table, and the birthplace of the very best of foods. La Masseria serves superb wine and top-notch southern-Italian inspired cuisine. If you’re a resident of one of our other buildings, come see what the fuss is all about and if you live at The Ritz Plaza, just take the elevator down!
The Gramercy Hotel isn’t just a good place for your relatives to stay when they’re visiting from out-of-town, it’s also home to an undeniably wonderful Italian spot. Maialino will transport you to the streets of Rome with its passionate yet introspective menu. Nab a table here and you’ll find yourself totally engrossed in the the delicious and the sublime. In Italian, Maialino means ‘little pig’ so be careful you don’t pig out too much!
Chef Sandro Fioriti fell in love with New York City in the mid-eighties. So much so, he decided to permanently immigrate but he brought his love for traditional Italian food along with him. Though the original Sandro’s closed down in 1992, it didn’t stop Sandro. He opened another successful restaurant in the caribbean, which was unceremoniously destroyed by a hurricane. In 2007, to the joy of Italian foodies everywhere, he returned to the greatest city on earth to open a new Sandro’s. Check it out before something happens to this one!