The Best Italian Restaurants In New York City

There’s no shortage of Italian food in New York City: In some neighborhoods, there’s a pizza place on every corner.

So how do separate the excellent from the merely passable?

We asked the restaurant experts at The Infatuation for a list of New York City’s very best Italian spots.

Try one for your next client dinner or date night. And don’t forget your after-dinner mints.


110 Waverly Place, Manhattan

Babbo is run by Mario Batali of 'Iron Chef America' fame. He's written nine cookbooks and owns 20 other restaurants, but this one is widely considered to be the best of the best.

The menu is staggering; it includes multiple tasting menus and more than 50 a la carte options, but the best way to go is the pasta tasting, according to The Infatuation's Andrew Steinthal.

Batali's pastas are the David to his Michelangelo.

Check out The Infatuation's review of Babbo here


181 Thompson St., Manhattan

Carbone pays homage to the classic Italian-American restaurants found in New York during the mid-20th century. It strives to provide an elegant, comfortable, and unpretentious atmosphere.

Favourite dishes include seafood salad, chicken scarpariello and veal parmesan.

Check out The Infatuation's review of Carbone here


228 W. 10th St., Manhattan

L'Artusi is one of several beloved Italian spots from Epicurean Management (the team also runs dell'anima and Anfora).

The menu is loud and proud -- heavy on garlic, olives, chiles, and fat, according to The Infatuation.

And they're known for their lengthy wine list (and cellar) and exceptional cheese menu.

Check out The Infatuation's review of L'Artusi here

Al Di La Trattoria

248 5th Ave., Brooklyn

A husband-and-wife duo run this gem in Park Slope. Guests dine on northern Italian cuisine at communal tables, most of which are reserved for walk-ins.

The Infatuation's Andrew Steinthal calls it a low-key spot that doesn't abuse the credit card.

Check out The Infatuation's review of Al Di La Trattoria here


240 Central Park South, Manhattan

The guys at The Infatuation say Marea's pasta is the best in New York City. That's quite the statement for a town with this much Italian heritage.

They're also known for their seafood. To get the best of both worlds, the tasting menu is always a good (if pricey) bet.

Check out The Infatuation's review of Marea here

Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria

53 Great Jones St., Manhattan

This popular Italian spot recently had a changing of the guard and lost its longtime head chef, Steven Starr, according to The Infatuation's Chris Stang.

But for the most part, the place hasn't changed a bit. Some classics include the short rib sandwich and the grilled octopus with chickpeas.

Don't forget to check out their bakery, cheese shop, or gelato counter while you're there.

Check out The Infatuation's review of Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria here


2 Lexington Ave., Manhattan

If you don't mind sitting next to 'one Olsen twin and a bunch of old guys that wear stonewashed jeans and suede driving shoes,' as The Infatuation describes the crowd here, Maialino is a great spot for some fine Italian dining.

If you can't get a dinner reservation then try popping in for brunch -- the roast pork and fried egg sandwich comes highly recommended.

Check out The Infatuation's review of Maialino here

Locanda Verde

377 Greenwich St., Manhattan

'Locanda Verde' means 'green inn' in Italian. The word 'locanda' is used for favourite local spots to grab a bite and a drink with friends, and perfectly describes this bustling corner restaurant in Tribeca.

According to The Infatuation, it's also a good place for celebrity sightings.

Try the blue crab, piled high with jalapeño and tomato, or the lamb meatball sliders with caprino and cucumber. And definitely consider stopping in for brunch.

Check out The Infatuation's review of Locanda Verde here


24 Minetta Lane, Manhattan

Perla is one of the highest-ranked Italian restaurants on The Infatuation's list. The menu has some fun specialties, like chicken liver, quail and the octopus appetizer, but their pastas are fresh and delicious and more than a safe bet.

And if you don't feel like a wine pairing, take a peek at their offbeat cocktail list.

Check out The Infatuation's review of Perla here


234 Court St., Brooklyn

One of the top Italian spots in Brooklyn, this Cobble Hill restaurant has an organic- and locally themed dinner menu that changes seasonally.

They also offer a lasagna pan drop-off service. Choose between classic meatless, kale pesto and ricotta, goat cheese and mushroom, or roast pork lasagna. How cool is that?

Check out The Infatuation's review of Brucie here

Da Umberto

107 W. 17th St., Manhattan

Da Umberta serves a mix of classic and contemporary Tuscan food. The vibe is old-school Italian, but with a cosmopolitan twist. And, as The Infatuation puts it, they rely more on quality ingredients than 'lots of crushed red pepper and 'gravy.''

Check out The Infatuation's review of Da Umberto here


235 Mulberry St., Manhattan

Rubirosa is a family-run pizzeria. The thin crust recipe is a 54-year-old family secret, but Rubirosa's menu has expanded to include a variety of pastas, meats, and an impressive drinks list.

You know you want to try their vodka sauce pizza -- it's the most popular item on the menu. This place is perfect for a big group dinner, but be sure to call ahead of time.

Check out The Infatuation's review of Rubirosa here

Frankies (457) Spuntino

457 Court St., Brooklyn

Before it became Frankies Spuntino restaurant, 457 Court Street in Carroll Gardens was an Italian social club. Two chefs named Frank decided to fix it up into the popular cozy joint that it is today.

If you're in Brooklyn and in the mood for a 'spuntino' -- an informal meal or a snack -- then make your way to Frankies. But be prepared for a wait.

Check out The Infatuation's review of Frankies 457 here


88 2nd Ave., Manhattan

Frank Prisinzano, who opened Frank back in 1998, is a leader in the East Village food movement, according to The Infatuation's Andrew Steinthal.

It's a beloved spot to East Village diners of all walks of life. In the summertime, the outdoor patio is bustling.

Try it out -- the food is great, and so is the famous wine cellar.

Check out The Infatuation's review of Frank here

Zero Otto Nove

2357 Arthur Ave., Bronx

It's nice to have a restaurant outside of Manhattan and Brooklyn on this list (though there now is a Manhattan location on W. 21st St. for those who hate to travel). One of the best parts of visiting this spot, as The Infatuation's Jackie Bryant points out, is getting to see Arthur Avenue in Belmont, the Little Italy of the Bronx.

The cuisine is southern Italian, and chef Roberto Paciullo's signature dishes include roast rabbit, broccoli rabe with beans and sausage, and pasta with cartoccio-baked vegetables.

The decor's pretty fun too, and includes an old blue Fiat out front.

Check out The Infatuation's review of Zero Otto Nove here

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