If you're looking for the best dive bar burger, this is it. While other burgers in town may be topped with truffles and golden leaves, Corner Bistro Bistro's Bistro Burger is still one of the most loved in the city, as eight ounces of beef with crispy American bacon on a paper plate can make even the worst day in New York bearable. Since 1965, when it comes to classic New York pizza, Di Fara has been considered the gold standard. This legendary store owned by Domenico “Dom DeMarco” (who died recently at the age of 8) specializes in round and square cakes topped with high-quality ingredients from Italy.
And although DeMarco modified his recipes over the years and allowed much of his pizza making to be guided by sensation and not by a strict recipe, the place has continued to maintain a reputation for serving one of the best slices in town. When Eleven Madison Park reopened during the pandemic, chef Daniel Humm redesigned its menu and mission. Since then, the acclaimed fine-dining restaurant has been meat-free and offers an all-vegan tasting menu for 8 to 10 courses. Packed with ingenious plant-based creations that show how the textures and flavors of meat can be achieved without animal products, fans can also try the restaurant at home with the recently released meal kits, Eleven Madison Home.
The supreme glory of the influential restaurant empire of the influential restaurateur Danny Meyer in New York is, without a doubt, Gramercy Tavern. Among its other popular spots under the Union Square Hospitality Group umbrella, such as Ci Siamo, Daily Provisions, Blue Smoke and Manhattan, this dining destination stands out for its fine American farm-to-table cuisine. Depending on your mood, there is a more informal à la carte option in the front tavern space, accompanied by a more sophisticated tasting menu in the main dining room. Visiting the Big Apple and wondering about the most iconic restaurants in New York City, restaurants you can't miss? I was in your place once, too, before I moved to New York six years ago.
I can attest that your search is worthwhile, because no visit to the Big Apple is complete without an adequate (and unforgettable) meal. Well, I know that vacation days are precious (and limited) and I don't want you to waste yours in mediocre places. That's why I decided to embark on the search for truly iconic restaurants in New York City that are sure to impress. Without further ado, let me share the 10 most iconic restaurants in New York City, based on first-hand experience.
Yes, you read that right, I have visited all these places first hand and I have the waist to prove it. Don't you have time? This is our favorite hotel in New York, without a doubt. Peter Luger's unforgettable steaks make them one of the most iconic restaurants in New York City. This establishment, which dates back to 1887, only accepts cash, is proud to offer perfectly cooked and dry-aged steaks and reduces decorations to a minimum (lucky for us).
We opted for the creamed spinach garnish and were impressed, but the bacon on the next table seemed too tempting to pass up on our next visit to this iconic New York City restaurant. Omitting Katz Deli from the list of the most iconic restaurants in New York City is an unforgivable crime. This cafeteria-style deli has been serving New Yorkers since 1888 and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The interior walls are adorned with photos of celebrities who can't resist the mile-high thick-cut pastrami sandwiched between rye.
The exterior walls are adorned with long lines of locals and tourists, eager to get hold of the tempting sandwiches at one of the most iconic restaurants in New York City. The biggest challenge when visiting Katz Deli (aside from the long lines and crowds) is knowing how to use the ordering system, but that's where I come in. You'll be handed a ticket when you walk into this iconic New York restaurant, keep it in your pocket and head to the order line. One of the people behind the bar will call you and ask you what you would like.
Tell them your order and give them your ticket (they'll write down what you ordered). When you finish eating, you will have to pay (with the ticket) at the counter on the left with the large “cashier” sign. When the bill is paid, you can leave the iconic New York restaurant by handing your paid ticket to the person who works at the front desk. Melon is one of the youngest iconic restaurants in New York City on this list, but it deserves a mention.
It's worth walking around town for the juicy burgers produced at this bar-type restaurant (trust me, I do it weekly). You can find this joint only with your nose. The tempting smells come from the semi-open kitchen, which occupies a central place in the restaurant, making it clear what the priorities are. Once seated, you'll quickly notice the lack of open tables and the absurd watermelon-inspired decor on the walls.
Place your order for a delicious hamburger (the French fries garnish is not negotiable) and enjoy the peculiar decoration while you wait. My husband and I enjoyed J, G. So much melon that we have made it a Sunday tradition to visit the iconic New York restaurant (we visited it after visiting the Met). The Minetta Tavern, which dates back to 1937, has served artists such as Ernest Hemingway and E, E.
But we all know that history alone doesn't qualify it as one of the most iconic restaurants in New York City. Far from being so, we all know that resting on our laurels is the beginning of the end. The star of the show is the impressive Minetta burger, often considered one of the best burgers in New York City. In terms of ambience, Minetta Tavern is one of those places in New York that look as old and charming as it seems.
Leather booths, cozy wooden panels and waiters in rolled-up vests make up one of New York City's most iconic restaurants. Reservations will need to be made, as walk-in visits are limited. Once booked, finding this iconic New York restaurant shouldn't be too difficult. Head to the West Village and look for the legendary neon sign.
If you're brave enough to put a flashy neon sign in front of your ad, you'd better be really good. Lucky for us, Minetta Tavern lives up to expectations. Oysters have played a fundamental role in the history of the Big Apple. Heck, it's estimated that approximately half of the world's oyster population was found in New York Harbor.
This abundance benefited immigrants in search of a better life. Those looking for housing and work had access to an affordable food supply. I suppose at that time you could have considered the Hudson River as one of the most iconic restaurants in New York City. So it's inevitable that the Grand Central Oyster Bar has become an icon and has managed to stand the test of time.
This restaurant, which has occupied the underground space of Grand Central Station for more than 109 years, is the most emblematic restaurant in New York City for those looking for oysters without shells. Some people make the mistake of assuming that Lombardi's Pizza is reserved exclusively for tourists, and what a shame (for them, not for you). This iconic New York City restaurant has an incredible achievement: it is officially the first pizza place in the United States. In fact, Lombardi's is credited with creating New York-style pizza.
Just for the reason they call it one of the most iconic restaurants in New York City, right? If that's not enough to entice you, pizza is one of the best in New York City. The dough is perfectly charred in a charcoal oven and the toppings complement the chewy dough while letting all the flavors shine through. I suggest ordering the original marinara, pepperoni or clam pie. Russ %26 Daughters, which has been offering some of the best bagels and smoked salmon in New York City for more than 100 years, is a beloved staple food.
They have an impressive selection of smoked fish, cream cheese and appetizers. In addition, it is one of the few bagel places that offer caviar, which my husband always orders. This particular delicacy is a mile above the rest and is well worth the effort. Russ %26 Daughters has expanded over the years, but I suggest visiting the original store on the Lower East Side to enjoy one of the most iconic restaurants in New York City.
What do Teddy Roosevelt, Albert Einstein and Babe Ruth have in common? Everyone enjoyed a meal at one of the most iconic restaurants in New York City, Ken's Steakhouse. Contrary to what its name suggests, Keen's Steakhouse is best known for its lamb chops, of all things. The portions are generous, and each chop weighs 1.5 pounds. Cooked to perfection, the material practically melts on contact.
Another reason Keen's is one of the most iconic restaurants in New York City is its charming decor. There are more than 90,000 smoking pipes adorning the ceilings and walls. The reason? Well, that's just as fascinating. Like checking coats, customers used to check their pipes before sitting down to eat.
Abandoned pipes found a permanent home in the walls of this iconic New York restaurant. The most notable names you'll recognize include John F. Kennedy Jr. There is a tavern and a formal dining room that serve meals prepared with a wood burning grill in the kitchen.
In addition, each one offers its own exclusive menu. The tavern serves traditional American food. You'll find savoury starters, satisfying main courses and innovative versions of classic desserts. In fact, they have a caramelized cheesecake that will make you return without help from anyone on more than one occasion.
Every iconic restaurant in New York City has a signature dish and for Gramercy Tavern that's their burger. A fresh hamburger is combined with smoked onion aioli, bacon and cheese to create a hamburger that will reappear in your dreams. Combine it with fried duck fat and it's not hard to understand why this is a well-loved burger with a cult following. The dining room has a seasonal menu that revolves depending on the products available at local markets.
There is a fixed rate per person in the dining room, regardless of the dish you order. And dare I ask, what better way to end a romantic day in New York City than having a drink at one of the most iconic restaurants in New York City? After visiting Dante several times, I can confirm that his drinks are some of the best (and strongest) I've ever tasted in town. The dirty martini is particularly memorable, but my partner likes Negroni. Dante has two iconic restaurants in New York City, Dante West Village and Caffe Dante, both of which are just a few blocks away.
I haven't had luck getting into Caffe Dante without a reservation, so I suggest booking in advance. Try to book Friday nights during spring and summer because they usually have a nice live jazz band. New York City has many great dining options, but there are only a few famous people in Central Park. Tavern on the Green has definitely changed over the years, but in essence it's still a dazzling establishment with golden features that welcomed John Lennon, Grace Kelly and many more stars.
Immerse yourself in the glamour and vintage atmosphere at this extraordinary steakhouse in New York. With wooden panel walls and ceilings hung with tubes, Keens Steakhouse has served President Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Albert Einstein and many more influential people over the years. Magnolia Bakery, in the West Village, produces some of the best cupcakes in the world and is a real treat. Jumping to stardom after a brief cameo appearance in Sex and the City, stop by for a treat, imagine and discover for yourself the “delicious deserts of feminola”.
Check opening hours online, as the Grand Central Oyster Bar is currently closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Thanks to its consistency, extensive menu and genuinely delicious food, since its opening in 1990, SripRaphai in Woodside has been considered one of the best OG Thai restaurants in New York. From delicious dim sum at a Chinatown restaurant to Italian restaurants with red and white checkered tablecloths, here are 28 iconic New York restaurants that are timeless classics. However, not all restaurants are created the same way and narrowing down the list of the most iconic restaurants in New York is no easy task, I assure you.
From lamb chops to huge sirloin steaks, enjoy premium USDA meats at this elegant restaurant. Between the rich history, the impeccable seafood and the sophisticated atmosphere, you're sure to have a memorable time at this iconic New York restaurant. Whether you want to enjoy a hearty breakfast or a juicy hamburger for lunch, Tom's restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy an original family restaurant in New York City. Street food carts of all kinds can be found everywhere in New York, but there's no other classic like The Halal Guys.
With origins dating back to 1896, this legendary restaurant in a quiet corner of East Harlem is known for its unobtainable reservations. This charming oyster bar and restaurant offers impressive freshness, and its ambience really sets the mood. Take a look at the trendy East Village and find one of the oldest bars in New York: McSorley's Old Ale House. This small, once-small bakery has hit New York's top foodie hotspots, and a trip to the city isn't complete without seeing it.
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