So you’re in New York, and want Italian food a liiiiittle more authentic than what most of the tourist traps in Little Italy have to offer. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Besides learning, there’s nothing we love more than sharing some great food with friends. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite Italian restaurants in The Big Apple. Buon appetito!
This neighborhood hotspot is one of our absolute favorites. We love sitting at the bar, which is perfect for date night. The food is excellent, as is the all Italian wine list, but don’t skip past the negronis – there’s a whole page dedicated just to them!
What to order: Cacio e pepe, followed by the pannacotta
Neighborhood: West Village
This Brooklyn restaurant is a new love of ours. Reservations are hard to come by, so we recommend coming in with one other person and sitting at the bar. The space has beautiful high ceilings, and you can’t go wrong with anything on the pasta menu.
What to order: The sheep’s milk cheese agnolloti with saffron and dried tomatoes
Il Buco used to be an antique store, and you can still tell by the vibe! The owner, Donna Lennard, is known for bringing ceramics and glassware back from trips to the Italian countryside, which she fills her restaurants with – and we haven’t even mentioned the food yet! Don’t worry, just like the restaurant, the food’s pretty special too.
What to order: The menu is seasonal, but we love the fish here (and the pasta is a must, too!)
Al Di La
Looking for something outside Manhattan? This is the spot for you. Al Di La has been around for nearly 20 years, and has been great the whole time. It’s a little mom and pop restaurant in Brooklyn, and we know you’ll love it. The pastas here are extraordinary – get excited!
What to order: Seven hour tagliatelle ragu and the braised rabbit with black olives and polenta
Neighborhood: Park Slope
We couldn’t not have this one on our list! Carbone is a classic. From the maroon tuxedoed waiters, to the $85 pans of white lasagna, this place is definitely not your weeknight hangout. But it deserves being on our list, because the food is delicious, and the waiters put on such a great show you’ll feel like you’re in an old mob movie.
What to order: Spicy rigatoni and the Ceasare alla ZZ
Neighborhood: Greenwich village
If there’s a place outside of Italy known for it’s Italian food, it’s New York, so this list could definitely feature a lot more of our favorites! Let us know yours in the comments below!
Want to learn some Italian before your next bowl of cacio e pepe? Fluent City has the perfect classes for you! Sign up here.