Best-of Guides New York

Best MICHELIN Guide Restaurants to Make Your Friends Jealous in New York City

8 Restaurants
There’s nothing that inspires more FOMO than a friend who scored that next-to-impossible reservation at the coolest table in town.
Updated on 26 June 2024

Torrisi, located in the Puck building, is how a trendy New York restaurant would be depicted in a Hollywood movie, complete with black SUVs idling out front and a doorman standing guard at the entrance. Bartenders in white jackets shake and stir drinks with abandon at the mile-long bar (it seats 35), which faces the open kitchen. The grand dining room features white tablecloths and a checkered marble floor. The food is an homage to Italian food with a touch of outlier inspirations like cavatelli with Jamaican beef rags and Asian-style smashed cucumbers. It feels like the New Yorkiest of restaurants and exactly where you want to be on a Saturday night.

If Torrisi is big and bold, I Sodi is the epitome of discreet luxury dining. Since opening her eponymous restaurant on a seedy strip of Christopher street in 2008, chef Rita Sodi has amassed an “ if you know, you know” crowd who comes for her Nonna-style food like homemade lasagna and grilled rabbit with rosemary. The restaurant recently moved around the corner but the vibe is still the same: simple and delicious food, a warm intimate setting, and always a cool vibe.

Some people equate dining at Per Se, Thomas Keller’s temple of fine dining in Columbus Circle, as an almost religious experience. It’s certainly a long one—you’ll get bragging rights for just sitting through a meal that can take up to four hours. But you will delight indulging in a procession of some of the most intricate and ambitious plates coming out of any kitchen. Highlights include his signature dish of oysters and pearls (a sabayon of pearl tapioca, Island Creek oysters, and sturgeon caviar), Hudson Valley duck with foie gras and charcoal grilled Waygu beef. The kitchen takes pride in showcasing the finest bounty from local farms and no ingredient is ever repeated during the meal. All served on Limoges china and presented by a team of expert waiters who seem to float through the room, this is a meal for the books.
See the other spots that made the list below.

4 Charles Prime Rib
4 Charles St., 10014 New York
$$$$ · Steakhouse

Brendan Sodikoff's destination makes the case that NY should be home to more Chicago influencers. Some dishes may break with tradition, but offer nothing short of tasty results. Additionally, the menu showcases a sense of depth by going beyond the eponymous dish, which is coincidentally served in three different ways.

Inspector notes: "Bookend your meal with cocktails and a wedge of Valrhona dark chocolate pie in an Oreo-cookie crust."

Don Angie
103 Greenwich Ave., 10014 New York
$$$ · Italian

Married couple, Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli, are the brains behind this venture, where the team takes risks that result in highly creative and enriching cuisine. While the menu feels like an American story as told through an Italian lens, Asian elements also make guest appearances as in the spicy pepperoni fried rice gussied-up with tender grilled calamari.

Inspector notes: "Pastas are similarly prolific, like the paprika-tinted sopressin with smoked mussels or sourdough pasta in a 'Nduja sauce with mezcal-braised chicken."

Jeju Noodle Bar
679 Greenwich St., 10014 New York
$$$ · Korean

Settle in to your perch at one of the tables, or (preferably) at the engaging counter where you can watch each dish come together. If that doesn't have your taste buds tingling, the kitchen's concise number of unique items at a steal of a price will hit the spot.

Inspector notes: "Persian cucumber kimchi with a spicy plum dressing, shiso and sesame seeds is a delight, while the aroma of pork bone broth that precedes the arrival of gochu ramyun brimming with curly noodles, bean sprouts and pickled cabbage is a veritable thesis on ace ingredients."

I Sodi
314 Bleecker St., 10014 New York
$$ · Italian

Manhattan has classic Italian and new Italian, but not many thoughtful Italian restaurants. Tuscany native Rita Sodi is out to change that with this ristorante, where it's not an easy feat to score a reservation.

Inspector notes: "The coniglio in porchetta combines bacon-wrapped loin with a sweet wine- rosemary- and garlic-sauce. The herbal quality of such savoriness brings out the almost austere nature of the lean rabbit, showing how truly intuitive and innovative Italian cooking can be."

Per Se
10 Columbus Circle, 10019 New York
$$$$ · Contemporary

An experience at Thomas Keller’s Per Se is one to be savored, recounted and remembered. Despite stellar views and a clever design allowing each table a view, your attention won’t stray from the plate. Such is the appeal of the place.

Inspector notes: "There are two menus, one of which is vegetarian and may highlight a playful twist on borscht, with red beet agnolotti and crème fraîche. Both menus end in a grand dessert finale, like seasonal confections as well as such classics as a cappuccino semifreddo served with brioche donuts."

70 Pine St., 10005 New York
$$$$ · Contemporary

Saga is the crown of 70 Pine Street, a landmark tower that rises over 60 stories. The space is unique and features an open-air balcony where an aperitif can be enjoyed alongside the stunning views. Chef James Kent never allows his cuisine to be overshadowed by the setting, however. Along with his talented team, he presents diners with compositions that embrace luxury and urbane inspiration.

Inspector notes: "Caviar and foie gras are on tap, as is seafood with laksa sauce or a dry-aged duck influenced by the chef's Moroccan background that comes complete with griddled flatbread, whipped yogurt flavored with preserved lemon, carrot hummus and harissa."

Sushi Noz
181 E. 78th St., 10075 New York
$$$$ · Japanese

There is a certain energy that courses through this sacred space, where every detail recreates an intimate Japanese refuge. Some of the tools alone are marvels, and Chef Nozomu Abe is a meticulous and engaging craftsman.

Inspector notes: "Commence with cooked dishes like pearly sea perch with fresh ponzu dipping sauce and slender pieces of meltingly tender ice fish."

275 Mulberry St., 10012 New York
$$$$ · Contemporary

There is perfection in the details at Torrisi, where waiters are crisply dressed in dinner jackets and tables are draped in pressed linens, but the buzzy warmth is as charming as the good looks. Nestled inside the landmark Puck Building, this highly imaginative restaurant expertly balances the creative and the familiar.

Inspector notes: "The team caters to excited diners who feast on items like the escarole and endive salad and chicken stracciatella soup with textbook chicken broth, fluffy egg and savory meatballs."