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The Most Fun Restaurants in New York City

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.

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The OpenTable Team
8 Restaurants
Updated January 28, 2021
Restaurants:Craft, Lincoln Ristorante, La Grenouille
Price Range:$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:American, Italian, French
Neighborhoods:Gramercy / Flatiron, Upper West Side, Midtown East
A photo of Craft restaurant

Craft

$$$$
American
Gramercy / Flatiron
4.7
6380 reviews
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" Tom Colicchio opened Craft after successfully heading Gramercy Tavern with the idea that "simple doesn't mean simplistic." The down-to-earth man seen on TV is also represented on Craft's menu—simple foods done well with seasonal, fresh ingredients. Divided by ingredient such as "mushroom," "salad," "vegetables," and "fish & meats," diners can choose from several different preparations that all aim to bring out the ingredient's natural flavor through professional techniques. Yes, guests have certainly had a romaine salad before, but it's unlikely that the care used while sourcing and plating ingredients equal what they'll find at Craft.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of Lincoln Ristorante restaurant

Lincoln Ristorante

$$$$
Italian
Upper West Side
4.6
5890 reviews
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 the background? At Lincoln Ristorante, traditional Italian cuisine meets Hollywood, and all of the above scenarios could happen during dinner at this fun restaurant in NYC! Overlooking Lincoln Center Plaza, who knows what celebrities will be spotted during dinner?

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of La Grenouille restaurant

La Grenouille

$$$$
French
Midtown East
4.8
3519 reviews
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 Dali, or Yves Saint Laurent, as La Grenouille's spectacular three-tiered skylight room with a grand fireplace will keep that illusion alive. The French menu is as rich and detailed as the decor, which is unlike any other restaurant in New York. This is old-school glamor at its finest, from the opulent floral decorations to the menu studded with French classics like celery root veloute with crab meat, sauteed frog legs, and braised oxtail. For fun restaurants in NYC, it's guaranteed that nothing looks or feels like La Grenouille.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Aquavit restaurant

Aquavit

$$$$
Nordic
Midtown East
4.6
1880 reviews
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 from this region? It relies heavily on pickling and preserving as methods to last long Norwegian winters, lots of seafood, and a balance of salty and sweet flavors. Food from this region recently received recognition as one of the world's unknown and underrated cuisines, so scoring a reservation at Aquavit will put guests on-trend with "in-the-know" food fiends.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Le Coucou restaurant

Le Coucou

$$$$
French
SoHo
4.7
3767 reviews
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 restaurants in France. The menu uncovers classics of French cuisine that American diners may be unfamiliar with and adds savory or locally sourced ingredients. A perfect example of this concept is tete de veau au caviar, a traditional dish of fried veal head garnished with creme freche and caviar to add additional levels of flavor to an already beloved dish. Friends who appreciate food will drool at the descriptions of the carefully created dishes of Le Coucou at this fun restaurant in NYC.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of The Clam restaurant

The Clam

$$$$
Seafood
West Village
4.8
1302 reviews
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 both traditional and modern presentations. Look for traditional raw clams served with cocktail sauce, clam dip with potato chips, and New England clam chowder served alongside modern offerings like fried clam and lobster sliders. Greenwich Village isn't exactly seaside, but The Clam makes sure their menu is seaboard-fresh.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of Temple Court restaurant

Temple Court

$$$$
American
Financial District
4.8
1261 reviews
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 the sophisticated and stunning Beekman Hotel. Traditional osso bucco centers on monkfish instead of veal shank, and there's also old-school classics like lobster thermidor, duck a l'orange, and oysters Rockefeller updated with modern techniques and seasonal touches.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
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A photo of The Clocktower restaurant

The Clocktower

$$$$
English
Gramercy / Flatiron
4.5
1667 reviews
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 of a 24 karat gold-leafed bar, and then visited a billiards room for a quick game of pool? At The Clocktower, both can be done, and then followed with high-end pub grub such as roasted venison tenderloin and foie gras parfait.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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