The Most Fun Restaurants in New York City

The OpenTable Team

Long before a culinary trend hits local grocery shelves or neighborhood restaurants, it's guaranteed that New York City has seen it first. With over 40,000 restaurants with a myriad of culinary points of view, the city's dining scene is a hub for new experiences and ideas. There are few cities as fun to eat in—and few cities with as many options for a night out on the town. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? Welcome to the Tastemaker 20. We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. Impress your friends and score a table; we wish we could join you.

Restaurants:The Modern, Felidia, Craft
Price Range:$$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Contemporary American, Italian, American
Neighborhoods:New York, Midtown East, Gramercy / Flatiron

The Modern

$$$$·Contemporary American·
New York
4,792 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Notable Wine List
If diners can't find cutting-edge cuisine located within the Metropolitan Museum of Art, they won't find it anywhere. The Modern prides itself on clean, contemporary cooking punctuRead more
95% recommended
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Felidia

$$$$·Italian·
Midtown East
5,508 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
Only in NYC could one see a “truffle menu” and not even bat an eye. The flagship restaurant of famed chef Lidia Bastianich, Felidia does indeed have a special truffle menu where evRead more
81% recommended
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Craft

$$$$·American·
Gramercy / Flatiron
5,943 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
Seeing a chef on TV that you respect and admire makes diners wonder what it would be like to eat at one of their restaurants. Will it hold up to what they see on TV? “Top Chef” TomRead more
91% recommended

Lincoln Ristorante

$$$$·Italian·
Upper West Side
5,629 reviews
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
How fun is it to finally visit a restaurant that recognized from TV? Even better, what if dinner occurred while an interview, fashion shoot, TV show, or movie was being filmed in tRead more
94% recommended
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La Grenouille

$$$$·French·
Midtown East
3,332 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Good for Anniversaries
SInce 1962, La Grenouille has drawn the world's biggest film, music, and artists to their doors on East 52nd Street. Pretend to rub elbows with Mick Jagger, Sophia Loren, Salvador Read more
93% recommended
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Gabriel Kreuther

$$$$·Contemporary French / American·
Midtown West
1,594 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Fit for Foodies
Gabriel Kreuther's eponymous restaurant takes its inspiration from the chef's childhood in Alsace, France. The interior space nods to the timber frame houses of Alsace with reclaimRead more
93% recommended
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Morimoto New York

$$$$·Japanese·
Chelsea
6,750 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
One of the original Iron Chefs, Masaharu Morimoto rose quickly to international fame on the first incarnation of the popular cooking shows made in Japan. To create the same type ofRead more
95% recommended
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Aquavit

$$$$·Nordic·
Midtown East
2,013 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Fit for Foodies
If guests have ever had the Nordic drink associated with this restaurant's namesake, they know that it's unlike any traditional American spirit they've ever tasted. Never had food Read more
100% recommended
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Le Coucou

$$$$·French·
SoHo
2,925 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Fit for Foodies
Once you find success in Paris, why not take on NYC? Chicago native and chef Daniel Rose opened New York's Le Coucou after attending school, apprenticing, and operating restaurantsRead more
92% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Indochine

$$$$·Vietnamese·
NoHo
1,873 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Special Occasion
The colonial roots of France's connection with Vietnam intertwined the two cultures' cuisines forever. Indochine, a Noho restaurant with a modern and tropical interior, mixes FrencRead more
91% recommended
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The Clam

$$$$·American·
West Village
1,117 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
This seafood-centered restaurant looks to highlight the East Coast's fresh Atlantic catches. One obvious highlight is the clam, and the menu highlights this humble mollusk with botRead more
99% recommended

LArtusi

$$$$·Italian·
West Village
2,404 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Neighborhood Gem
Little Italy is great for old-school Italian food, but sometimes diners want to see what newer chefs can do with this cuisine. Enter L'Artusi, a West Village restaurant that combinRead more
96% recommended
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Balthazar

$$$$·French·
SoHo
7,978 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Brunch
  • Authentic
An on-site bakery with daily pastries and breads, as well as fresh shellfish and seafood? Find all of that at Soho's romantic and bustling French brasserie Balthazar, located on SpRead more
92% recommended
Fit for Foodies in New York / Tri-State Area
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Temple Court

$$$$·American·
Financial District
1,135 reviews
  • Romantic
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
Another NYC restaurant from famed Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio is Temple Court, located in Lower Manhattan. Here, turn-of-the-century classics adopt New American touches inside theRead more
95% recommended
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The Clocktower

$$$$·English·
Gramercy / Flatiron
1,399 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Hot Spot
Fancy a bit of British sensibility just steps off Madison Avenue? The Clocktower serves modern U.K. cuisine with an interior that won't soon be forgotten. Ever had a pint on top ofRead more
83% recommended
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Raoul's

$$$$·Contemporary French·
SoHo
1,838 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Romantic
In the heart of Soho is Raouls, open for over 40 years. A casual, funky, eclectic French bistro makes diners feel like a Left Bank writer or artist when they saunter through the doRead more
95% recommended
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Sushi Nakazawa - Sushi Bar

$$$$·Sushi·
Greenwich Village
750 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Romantic
Considered a sushi connoisseur? Then Greenwich Village's Sushi Nakazawa is an absolute must on a culinary bucket list. Lucky enough to score a seat? Go for the omakase (translationRead more
97% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Aldea - Permanently Closed

$$$$·Portuguese·
Gramercy / Flatiron
2,231 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Creative Cuisine
Spanish for “village,” Aldea focuses on Spanish cuisine in NYC's trendy Flatiron district. The restaurant's mix of modern and natural decor gracefully moves diners between spaces iRead more
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Nix

$$$$·Vegetarian·
Greenwich Village
2,023 reviews
  • Vegan
  • Good Vegetarian Options
  • Healthy
Nix's entirely vegetarian and vegan menu is converting lifelong carnivores with their clever vegetable- and plant-based dishes. The philosophy behind Nix is not about what you can'Read more
92% recommended
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AQUAGRILL

$$$$·Seafood·
SoHo
2,170 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
Soho has still retained its title as a neighborhood full of fun restaurants in NYC, and AQUAGRILL is the place to head for the city's finest raw bar. With over 25 varieties of oystRead more
92% recommended
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