Top 10 Most Famous Restaurants in New York City: These are not necessarily the best, or hottest or most trendiest in the City, but a lot of them are. However, what we have listed here are the New York institutions, i.e. the most famous New York restaurants, each a landmark. These are the fine dining eateries that make New York cuisine what it is. Like the City itself, the dining rooms listed here are an eclectic lot. They range from haute cuisine, to leading popular and ethnic establishments, to landmarks with incredible views.
|Rank||Restaurant||Where||What makes it famous|
|10||Le Cirque||Midtown||Another East 50th Street fine dining experience. We debated whether to include them on this list after a poor dining experience at their cramped Las Vegas outpost in the Bellagio Hotel. However we decided to include them on the list, because really at least in NYC they are among the city’s fine dining landmarks.|
|9||The Four Seasons||Midtown||One of several restaurants on this list that set the trend nationally for excellent service and cuisine. Not as hot as it once was, but still making the list of the most great restaurants in NYC.|
|8||The Rainbow Room||Midtown – Rockefeller Center – on top of 30 Rock.||Now closed, but an expected remodeling began in 2011. We decided to keep them on this NYC restaurants list with the hope they really will reopen. Nothing beats the views from the 65th floor in Midtown.|
|7||Per Se||Columbus Circle||If you liked the French Laundry in Napa, then you will like Per Se, the NY bow of famed Chef Thomas Keller, which many rated best in the Big Apple after opening. Time will determine whether inclusion of this relatively new establishment was warranted.|
|6||Peter Luger Steakhouse||Brooklyn||Steak house destination across the Brooklyn Bridge.|
|5||Sardi’s||Midtown / Broadway||In the middle of the Broadway tourist area, Sardi’s attracts a geographically diverse clientele to this landmark destination.|
|4||Russian Tea Room||Midtown||Coming back after a recent renovation. All the fine dishes a budding Holly Golightly could desire.|
|3||Carnegie Deli||Midtown||Not haute cuisine, but Jewish soul food. One of many superb NY delicatessens, we selected Carnegie as representative. Other great choices: Katz’s, Stage Deli, Artie’s, Ben’s.|
|2||Windows On The World||Downtown||The sentimental favorite for New Yorkers who decline to be knocked down. Closed since 9/11, but everyone remembers this as the leading destination downtown for people around the world. 101 floors up. New York anticipates new dining options in the rebuilt World Trade Center.|
|1||Nathan’s||Coney Island||The one and only and original Nathan’s Famous Frankfurters, established in 1916 still provides what are probably the most famous hot dogs and fries in the world. Their Coney Island location is where it all started. Now they have expanded nationally and become a famous brand, ironically as their name implies. There is nothing like an original Nathans frankfurter, and Nathan’s fries to go with it. But other delicacies abound, from corn on the cob to pizza slices. The fries are thick crinkle cut steak fries, made with real sliced potatoes, with a sweet lingering after taste, even at the franchised locations. No skinny reconstituted strip fries here. The frankfurters have been declared the “world’s best hot dog” by ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and in our estimation, he was correct in that review. Nathan’s provides perhaps the epitome of popular New York cuisine earning the number one ranking on this list.|
Honorable mention: We’re hoping there will be a way to revive perhaps the most famous of all – the Tavern On The Green in Central Park, off Central Park West. The restaurant now is closed and run by Parks Department as a visitors center. Formerly, good cuisine, and a relaxing setting in Central Park. Featured in the Ghostbusters movie as perplexed diners look on at a panicked Rick Moranis being chased by the gatekeeper.
How to use this list: if you are traveling to New York and want ideas on where to go out to eat, you likely will not go wrong with any of these choices. If you live here in The NY area, you can use the listing like a checklist of places to try out or impress a date or spouse.
There are so many other great restaurants in NYC, since New York is one of the culinary capitols of the world. However subjectively speaking, only those listed can make our list of the Top 10 most famous restaurants in New York.
What do you think? Let everyone know in the comments.