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Best Italian restaurants in NYC?

I have a restaurant blog where I feature Italian restaurants every Monday (for MangiaMonday). If you have any restaurant recommendations for future spots to check out, please let me know! I am always looking for more suggestions for restaurants to try and feature! Thanks in advance!

16 Answers

top answer by
Sheila from New York City

Stay away from Little Italy. No one has anything good to say about Little Italy. I've always been disappointed.

For a casual lunch, Parm has the best eggplant parm. Seriously. They are also connected to Torrisi Italian Specialties which is very small and a special occasion-type of place. Only does tasting menus.

I'm not particularly a fan of Mario Batali's TV personality, but I've only heard good things from most of his restaurants. OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria is a solid spot that won't blow a hole in your wallet.

Then there's PLENTY outside of manhattan, particularly in Brooklyn. I've never had pasta noodles like Frankies Spuntino. It's springy and fresh and magical.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Parm (restaurant)
  2. Torrisi Italian Specialties (restaurant)
  3. OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria (restaurant)
  4. Frankies Spuntino (restaurant)
6 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Courtney from Los Angeles

Most of the restaurants in Little Italy are pretty overpriced and few self-respecting Italians would ever step foot in them, but I love La Mela Ristorante and have recommended it dozens of times Very cheap, excellent food, and a very lively, less touristy place to eat than most of the places on Mulberry St

Another good one is Coppola's East. Nothing much to look at, but excellent Italian food that is pretty easy on the budget. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Little Italy (neighborhood)
  2. La Mela Ristorante (restaurant)
  3. Mulberry St (attraction)
  4. Coppola's East (restaurant)
5 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Amy from Washington

L&B Spumoni Gardens in

You can get a delicious meal of Sicilian pizza and dessert, then enjoy it at one of the picnic tables when the weather is nice. Or you can get some of the best pasta in the sit-down restaurant.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. L&B Spumoni Gardens (restaurant)
  2. Brooklyn (neighborhood)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Cheryl from Edina, Minnesota

My favorites for Italian are Novitá (Gramercy), Supper (Alphabet City) and Lil' Frankie's (East Village). 

Novita is upscale and a bit pricey but worth it. Supper and Little Franks are both very reasonably priced.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Novitá (restaurant)
  2. Supper (restaurant)
  3. Lil' Frankie's (restaurant)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Eva from New York, New York

Carmine's restaurant in Manhattan.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Carmine's (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Winnie from West Hartford

Personal favorite is Babbo. Looking forward to trying Scarpetta perhaps even Rao's one day.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Babbo (restaurant)
  2. Scarpetta (restaurant)
  3. Rao's (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Amanda from United States

Pepolino in Tribecca has fantastic food and and a cute farmhouse type setting. 

Trattoria Belvedere in Murray Hill has great authentic food, good service and is always a crowd pleaser. 

A bit more pricey, Gradisca in Chelsea is great for a modern Italian dinner

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pepolino (restaurant)
  2. Trattoria Belvedere (restaurant)
  3. Gradisca (restaurant)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Chris from Yorktown, New York

You can try Marchi's in Murray Hill. Old school spot that serves only a chef picked 5-7 course meal. Only open some days. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Marchi's (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Terri from Napa Valley

28 Carmine StNumero 28 Pizzeria Napolitano in the West or the East Village.  Their place is very small and nothing fancy, but the pizza is the best and most authentic.  The Pizza Bianca Tartufo is to die for.  I could eat the whole thing!  Family is from Napoli and Signora Eugenia still comes in every day.  My second choice would be Alfredo 100.  And, of course, get the fettuccine Alfredo.  And don't forget the shaved truffles on top!  Mangia bene!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. 28 Carmine St (address)
  2. Alfredo 100 (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Jeff from Brooklyn, New York

My favorite in the city, because the food is fresh, delicious, and reasonably priced, and the wine by the glass is outstanding, is Ristorante Il Melograno.  Check it out, but please don't tell anyone else as it's too small and I don't need more competition for a table.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ristorante Il Melograno (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Jon from Alexandria (Virginia)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Meatball Shop (restaurant)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered by

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Piccolo Angolo (restaurant)
  2. al di la Trattoria (restaurant)
  3. Emilio's Ballato in NYC (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Alexandra from Queens

I've always been happy with my selections at i Trulli which focuses on food from Puglia, and it's a quick walk to Eataly Gelateria for some gelato or picking up some other goodies.  

Also, try Cacio E Vino for Sicillian food.  Just note that they only credit card they take is AMEX. :/

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. i Trulli (restaurant)
  2. Puglia (state)
  3. Eataly Gelateria (attraction)
  4. Cacio E Vino (restaurant)

answered by
Kathy from Toronto, Ontario

I love Supper on 2nd St. Very rustic homey feeling in a hip space.

Il Gnocchi on 10st is very yummy and they have brick oven thin crust pizza too.

Perbacco on 6th or 5th, has a very inoovative approach to Italian cusine.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Supper (restaurant)
  2. Il Gnocchi (restaurant)
  3. Perbacco (restaurant)

answered by
Luis from New York City

It is a bit out of the way, but to me some of the best Italian restaurants are on Arthur Ave in the Bronx. Pasquale Rigoletto Restaurant is one of my favorites. Whenever I think of great chicken parmigiana, I think of Pasquale's.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Arthur Ave (attraction)
  2. Pasquale Rigoletto Restaurant (restaurant)

answered by
Kat from Brooklyn

Excellent question!  I love Uva for really classic Italian food (best mozzarella in town IMHO), Antica Pesa for their twist on Italian, Ai Fiori for fancy Italian food, and for what's it's worth, I thought IL Cortile in Little Italy was great too.  And the best Italian bakery is Ferrara Bakery & Cafe on Mulberry.  I have been buying cannolis there since high school and the smell alone will transport me to Italy OR my bestie's grandma's kitchen (circa 1996) in an instant.  Granted, Mulberry is a bit of a tourist trap but it's fun to go there once in a blue moon on a warm summer night.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Uva (restaurant)
  2. Antica Pesa (restaurant)
  3. Ai Fiori (restaurant)
  4. IL Cortile (restaurant)
  5. Ferrara Bakery & Cafe (restaurant)

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