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The Best Restaurants in Manhattan, According to our Tastemakers

Any list of the best restaurants in Manhattan certainly overlaps with those ranking the best restaurants in the world. As a cultural capital of unrivaled cosmopolitanism, Manhattan entices the most elite chefs from across the globe and invites them to express their culinary creativity without limits. Add to such a scene countless landmark venues transformed into some of the most glorious dining spaces imaginable, and it's clear that Manhattan's restaurant scene is truly unrivaled. But where do the savviest, smartest local and visiting foodies dine when only the best restaurants in Manhattan will do? Welcome to our Tastemaker List. We gathered data covering thousands of restaurants to determine the best in the borough according to OpenTable's most experienced diners. Anyone seeking a life-changing dining experience in Manhattan can find it immediately by booking a table at any one of these incredible restaurants.

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The OpenTable Team
8 Restaurants
Updated January 28, 2021
Restaurants:Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, Villard & the Gold Room, Le Coucou
Price Range:$$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:French / Japanese, Contemporary American, French
Neighborhoods:Midtown West, Midtown East, SoHo
A photo of Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare restaurant

Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare

$$$$
French / Japanese
Midtown West
4.7
346 reviews
Tucked within Brooklyn Fare, an upscale grocery emporium in midtown Manhattan, is a kitchen counter helmed by the acclaimed chef Cesar Ramirez. Discerning diners who score a seat at the Chef’s Table experience a 20-plus-course tasting menu that’s earned the absolute highest of critical acclaim. Ramirez’ world-class cuisine is characterized by a focus on the natural flavors of impeccable seasonal ingredients, with strong influences of traditional Japanese and French cuisines. The chef takes a relatively straightforward yet perfectionist approach to centerpieces of mostly fish and seafood, and lets his showmanship shine with innovative and complex sauces. Expect luxury accents like caviar, uni and foie gras throughout. The result: Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare is not only one of the best restaurants in Manhattan, but in the entire culinary world.

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A photo of Villard & the Gold Room restaurant

Villard & the Gold Room

$$$$
Contemporary American
Midtown East
4.2
340 reviews
VILLARD, an upscale eatery inside the Lotte New York Palace hotel in midtown Manhattan, is open only for breakfast and weekend brunch. Its venue – the circa-1882 Villard Mansion with its original vaulted ceilings, ornate wood and gold accents and sparkling chandeliers – garners as much acclaim as the cuisine. Breakfast and brunch menus created by chef Oscar Granados are comprehensive, spanning sweet and savory, classics and original creations. Expect excellent versions of favorite egg dishes, healthy fare including parfaits and a farro porridge, and decadent dishes like butter-poached lobster Benedict and lemon marscapone pancakes with dulce de leche butter. Brunch adds more comfort food and lunch-leaning entrees including a king crab roll, roast chicken and a signature burger, as well as a bloody Mary bar.

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A photo of Le Coucou restaurant

Le Coucou

$$$$
French
SoHo
4.7
3908 reviews
Le Cocou is undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in Manhattan for French fine dining. The sophisticated SoHo venue is decked out with taper candles, white linen and copper pots aplenty in the exhibition kitchen. Here, the acclaimed American chef Daniel Rose, who made his name with his bistro Spring in Paris, puts a modernized spin on classical French cuisine. Many of Rose’s dishes showcase ingredients uncommon stateside, such as veal head, sweetbreads and duck with its heart as a side accent. A stand-out dish the “tout le lapin,” or “all of the rabbit,” a trio of distinct preparations. Also consider the intriguing hor d’oeuvre of “navets en guise d’escargots,” or turnip, mussel and sea urchin disguised as snails.

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A photo of Tempura Matsui restaurant

Tempura Matsui

$$$$
Japanese
Midtown East
4.9
505 reviews
Tempura Matsui, a small and elegant eatery in Manhattan, is a showcase for chef Matsui’s masterful interpretation of traditional Japanese tempura. His whisper-thin, dashi-infused batter encases impeccable ingredients from shrimp legs and shiso leaf-wrapped squid to coins of sweet potato and Japanese ginger. Seats at the chef’s counter give diners a chance to witness the acclaimed chef fry his signature morsels in bubbling vats of sesame and cottonseed oils with unmatched precision. Augmenting tempura throughout the omakase-only experience are seasonal small plates of sashimi, house-made sesame tofu, miso soup and rice dishes.

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A photo of The Clocktower restaurant

The Clocktower

$$$$
English
Gramercy / Flatiron
4.4
1711 reviews
British wunderkind Jason Atherton brings his brand to a handsome, wood-adorned dining room inside the Edition Hotel on Madison Square Park. With the vibe of an exclusive supper club (complete with pool table) and cocktails that have critics singing their glory, The Clocktower quickly earned a reputation as one of the best restaurants in Manhattan among the hip foodie crowd. Atherton’s signature high-end comfort food more than capably lives up to the considerable hype. Notable nods to the chef’s British heritage feature on the Clocktower’s breakfast, prix-fixe lunch, dinner and brunch menus. The restaurant even serves a two-course afternoon tea with traditional fare like cucumber and paprika cream cheese sandwiches, chamomile biscuits and an almond Bakewell tart.

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A photo of Aquavit restaurant

Aquavit

$$$$
Nordic
Midtown East
4.6
1884 reviews
Intrepid foodies seeking the best restaurant in Manhattan for Scandinavian cuisine need look no further than Aquavit. The restaurant launched in New York in 1987, and in 2005 relocated to its current venue, a study in sleek, sophisticated minimalism. Here, executive chef Emma Bengtsson presents tasting menus representing a refined take on Scandinavian culinary traditions. Expect a focus on fish and seafood, with herring, crab, turbot and halibut often featured along with Nordic icons like redcurrants, sheep’s cheese and pumpernickel. Also note the restaurant’s various house-infused aquavits (Sweden’s national drink) in bold flavors like horseradish and anise-caraway-fennel.

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A photo of Cote NYC restaurant

Cote NYC

$$$$
Steakhouse
Chelsea
4.9
176 reviews
The concept behind Cote, the brainchild of Simon Kim, is Korean barbecue in the style of an old-school American steakhouse. Elevating the idea to a level befitting one of the best restaurants in Manhattan are a commitment to sourcing beef of the highest quality, dry-aging cuts in house and presenting a top-notch wine list over 1200 labels long. The prix-fixe “butcher’s feast” for the table is a popular option. It includes four cuts of prime and American wagyu beef plus two Korean stews with rice, a savory egg souffle, two salads, a basket of seasonal vegetables and other accompaniments, along with soft serve ice cream to finish. A la carte steaks range from USDA prime and American wagyu to reserve cuts including A5 Japanese wagyu.

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A photo of Bistrot Leo restaurant

Bistrot Leo

$$$$
Italian
SoHo
4.4
118 reviews
On the first floor of Sixty SoHo hotel is Bistrot Leo, an upscale-casual restaurant that subtly adjusts classic French bistro cuisine to suit Manhattanites. Chef Brian Loiacono (formerly of Bar Boulud) presents a dinner menu of mostly classics, among them foie gras terrine, salmon Provencale and steak frites. The menu also includes a series of small plates including potato mille feuille, escargots and raw East Coast oysters. Lighter lunchtime highlights include a French omelette with gruyere cheese and fines herbs, moules frites and an avocado toast with miso vinaigrette and puffed quinoa. Bistrot Leo is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour daily, and brunch on weekends.

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