There's Flavor for Every Palate and Budget in America's No. 1 Food City

New York City's reign continues as the top destination for culinary culture.

<p>Maremagnum/Getty Images</p>

Maremagnum/Getty Images

New York City's culinary scene is often celebrated for its enormous diversity, reflecting the city's population. The wealth of cultures and cuisines, along with an astounding number of dining establishments — more than 25,000, according to the City of New York — offers locals and visitors endless options for having a great meal.

Despite confronting challenges such as the lingering impact of the pandemic, workforce volatility, and ongoing inflation, the city’s restaurant industry has proved triumphantly resilient, leaning into its “New York tough” mindset. In many ways, the dining landscape feels more robust than ever —packed houses are once again the norm, and people eagerly await Resy “Notify” alerts to snag in-demand tables all over the city.

Notable newcomers include Café Carmellini, the stunning signature restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chef Andrew Carmellini in the Fifth Avenue Hotel (don’t miss the adjacent Portrait Bar); Sailor, a bistro in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood from powerhouse duo April Bloomfield and Gabriel Stulman; and Coqodaq, a lively temple of fried chicken and Champagne from the Michelin-starred Cote team. Additionally, historic steakhouse Delmonico’s, founded in 1827, recently reopened after a three-year hiatus in its landmark Financial District location.

Related: 10 Top US Cities for Food and Drinks, According to the Experts

One only needs look at the array of cuisines represented among many of the city’s most sought-after reservations — modern Korean from 2019 F&W Best New Chef Junghyun Park at Atomix, creative Thai at Bangkok Supper Club, Southern Indian at Semma, Afro-Caribbean from 2019 F&W Best New Chef Kwame Onwuachi at Tatiana, hip Japanese at Tokyo Record Bar, Italian at Torrisi — to get a feel for the extent of the city’s culinary range.

The streets of Gotham are saturated with every type of eatery imaginable, from hole-in-the wall to high-end and everything in between. Fine-dining landmarks, such as Daniel, Gramercy Tavern, Le Bernardin, and Per Se, are still making waves. More casual spots with cult followings like Birds of a Feather, Bernie’s, and Red Hook Tavern, are popping up all over town. You’ll find an uptick in vegan restaurants and bars serving zero-proof cocktails. And, of course, bagels and pizza continue to reign supreme.

A resurgence in food halls across the city has led to an influx of innovative concepts, often fronted by heavy hitters in the culinary world. Mercado Little Spain from José Andrés and Ferran Adrià opened in 2019, followed by The Tin Building by Jean-Georges and Singaporean street food-inspired Urban Hawker launching in 2022.

In nearly every neighborhood, you can taste and sip your way through bustling marketplaces offering an array of local eateries under one roof. DeKalb Market Hall in downtown Brooklyn’s has become the borough’s largest food hall, while Essex Market, which was founded on the Lower East Side in the 1940s, moved to an updated location in the nearby Essex Crossing building in 2019. During warmer months, seasonal open-air markets like Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg and Queens Night Market further amp up the vibes and offer street eats from around the globe.

As arguably the birthplace of the modern craft cocktail movement, it’s no surprise that New York is home to several of the world’s most acclaimed bars including Double Chicken Please, Katana Kitten, Manhatta, Overstory, and The Dead Rabbit. You can also find countless opportunities to imbibe at excellent wine bars, speakeasies, and craft beer distilleries.

Simply put, there’s something for every palate, every budget, and every cuisine in New York City.

Global Tastemakers is a celebration of the best culinary destinations in the U.S. and abroad. We asked more than 180 food and travel journalists to vote on their favorites, including restaurants and bars, cities, hotels, airports, airlines, and cruises. We then entrusted those results to an expert panel of judges to determine each category’s winners. In many categories, we’ve included a Plus One, hand-selected by our expert panel, to shout out more culinary destinations we don’t want our readers to miss. See all the winners at

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