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Ultimate NYC Restaurant Guide

July 13th, 2017

The Ultimate NYC Restaurant Guide

New York City has an amazing selection of fine restaurants throughout its five boroughs. Still, discovering the perfect restaurant in NYC to meet your dining party’s individual needs, from its party size to dietary preferences, can pose a challenge when planning a special occasion or get-together.

A restaurant guide, based on every party’s needs and factors, offers a solution to these event-planner challenges — with recommendations to the best NYC restaurants for families, couples and large groups, or those wanting to dine with pets or have a discreet dining experience.

Check out our NYC Restaurant Guide below for help finding a restaurant that meets every occasion, diet and party size.

Best NYC Restaurants for Families

Dining with little ones, especially those under three years, can be daunting. Especially if you’re looking for a restaurant that offers fine dining and amenities for children under three. NYC, however, hosts several fine-dining restaurants that are family-friendly.
Some of the best NYC restaurants for families include:
  • Fred's at Barney's
  • Café Boulud
  • Gramercy Tavern

1. Fred’s at Barney’s

Fred’s offers a kid-friendly, fine-dining experience with American cuisine. Vegetarian and vegan menu items are also available throughout Fred’s brunch, lunch and dinner menus.

Children’s menu items include smaller portions of favorite meals, such as:

  • Fred’s margherita pizza
  • Fred’s spaghetti with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes
This family-friendly restaurant offers stroller parking, as well as high chairs. If your child is napping or is still too small for a high chair, you’re welcome to bring your family’s stroller to the table. You’ll find Fred’s at Madison Avenue in Barney’s flagship store.

2. Café Boulud

Café Boulud is a Michelin-starred restaurant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The café’s French cuisine, along with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, is popular among parents and children. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on Sundays.

Children’s menu items include:

  • Petite filet mignon
  • Belgian waffles
Café Boulud has grown as one of NYC’s best restaurants for families because of its friendly and patient wait staff, as well as fine-dining offerings for both parents and children. Café Boulud also offers private dining if you’re planning an occasion with numerous children. The children’s menu is appropriate for children ages 7 and up.

3. Gramercy Tavern

Gramercy Tavern includes a dining room separate from its main bar area. The Michelin-starred restaurant serves lunch and dinner with American cuisine and vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan dishes. Menu items are available in half-portions, allowing your child to try meals separate from the normal children’s menu items.

Sample menu items include:

  • Mushroom lasagna
  • Leek and potato soup
The tavern also offers a stroller check-in service to parents and provides children with free milk and a peanut butter or molasses mini-cookie. Gramercy Tavern also offers full restaurant buyouts for special occasions, such as a wedding reception or a company gathering. A 22-person private dining room is available as well.
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Best NYC Restaurants for Couples

Finding the best restaurant for an intimate evening is an undeniable challenge. You’re searching for the right ambiance, as well as unparalleled cuisine and unmatched service to create the perfect evening. NYC provides a series of restaurants that capture and deliver your dream evening of dining.

The best NYC restaurants for couples include:
  • The River Café
  • Candle 79
  • Hangawi

1. The River Café

The River Café is considered one of the best restaurants in Brooklyn. Its waterside location beneath the Brooklyn Bridge provides breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline.

The iconic, Michelin-starred location serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Its menu includes vegetarian-friendly, vegan and gluten-free platters of American, European and international cuisines.
river-cafe-nyc-couple-friendlyCouples have relied on The River Café since its opening in 1977 for romantic dinners and proposals, as well as elegant wedding receptions.

2. Candle 79

Candle 79 offers an elegant and intimate dining experience for couples in NYC. For vegans, it’s one of the best restaurants in NYC for couples because its vegan platters are created from local, seasonal and organic ingredients.

Candle 79 serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant also offers a selection of organic wine and beer, as well as hand-crafted eco-cocktails. Dining is spread across two floors at Candle 79, with the second floor offering a more romantic and intimate experience for couples.

3. Hangawi

Hangawi provides couples with an unforgettable dining experience in Midtown. The restaurant’s authentic floor seating captures its Korean cuisine for a dining atmosphere that is both memorable and intimate. Famous faces, such as Nicole Kidman and many others have relied on Hangawi for discreet dining.

The restaurant’s lunch and dinner menus are infused with seasonal options, as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals.
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Best NYC Restaurants for Large Groups

Restaurants throughout NYC offer dining rooms for larger groups, whether through private events or a complete buyout of the dining location. Finding a restaurant for private events is easy, but finding the best restaurant for large groups is the challenge. Luckily, NYC offers a selection of fine-dining restaurants for large parties.

Discover the best NYC restaurants for large groups below:
  • Eleven Madison Park
  • Tamarind TriBeCa
  • Tavern on the Green

1. Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options across its menu of seasonal Americancuisine. The Michelin three-star restaurant overlooks Madison Square Park and provides stunning views.

Private dining rooms at Eleven Madison Park feature floor-to-ceiling windows. The two private rooms can seat 18 and 34 guests, respectively. Use of the entire restaurant is also available, allowing parties of 110 guests to mingle and enjoy the award-winning cuisine.

2. Tamarind TriBeCa

Tamarind TriBeCa features Indian cuisine with vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options created by an award-winning team of chefs. The restaurant also offers an extensive selection of teas, from black and oolong to green and herbal teas.

You’ll find a mezzanine for private events as well, providing you and your family and friends an exclusive location to gather and celebrate. Both levels of the restaurant can be used to host a private event for as many as 175 guests.

3. Tavern on the Green

Tavern on the Green is an iconic NYC restaurant in Central Park. The fine-dining restaurant offers American cuisine with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options to meet every member of your party’s dietary needs. Meals at Tavern on the Green are created with local and seasonal ingredients.
tavern-on-the-green-nycPrivate events at Tavern on the Green have access to indoor and outdoor spaces to create a sophisticated and magical setting for weddings, baby showers and more. Menus for private events are created exclusively for your event using seasonal ingredients.

If you’re interested in simply dining at the Tavern on the Green with a larger party, reservations are available two months in advance. Parties between eight and 30 guests can take advantage of the restaurant’s seasonal prix fixe menu, which is served in the restaurant’s main dining room.
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Best NYC Restaurants for Celebrities

Restaurants popular among celebrities offer privacy and a quality dining experience. NYC has a selection of restaurants that allow stars to dine discreetly, without interruptions.

Some of the best NYC restaurants for celebrities and discreet dining include:
  • The Spotted Pig
  • The Polo Bar at Ralph Lauren
  • Bagatelle 

1. The Spotted Pig

The Spotted Pig, located in the West Village, offers vegetarian-friendly options across its menu of American cuisine. The favorite haunt of Kanye West serves brunch, lunch and dinner. It also features a selection of sparkling, red and white wine.

The restaurant features an upper level for private events or discreet dining. Famous faces like Taylor Swift, David Schwimmer and Jay-Z have all dined and taken advantage of The Spotted Pig’s commitment to their privacy, as employees are prohibited from discussing visits.

2. The Polo Bar at Ralph Lauren

The Polo Bar at Ralph Lauren captures the brand’s commitment to sporting with equestrian artwork and murals of polo matches. The restaurant’s dinner menu consists of American cuisine, with vegetarian and gluten-free options. A dress code of smart elegance is enforced.

Politicians, such as Hillary and Bill Clinton, as well as entertainers like Barbara Streisand and Gwyneth Paltrow have all dined at The Polo Bar at Ralph Lauren, which offers a dining experience sans interruptions or inquiries.

If you want to ensure your party is uninterrupted, take advantage of the restaurant’s private dining room, The Equestrian Room. The enclosed room can seat 16 guests and has two available menus, as well as options for flower arrangements, wine pairings and personalized cakes.

3. Bagatelle

Bagatelle has become a staple of NYC and the West Village due to its unmatched French cuisine and 10-year history with the area. The restaurant is also known for its over-the-top brunch parties. Bagatelle serves lunch, dinner and, of course, brunch.
The exclusive NYC restaurant has quickly become a favorite of stars like Helen Mirren, Billy Zane, Beyoncé and Jay-Z. The popular spot also hosts private events for intimate or large-scale parties, such as its hosting of the cast from Netflix’s newest television series, “Versailles,” to celebrate the series’ U.S. debut.
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Best NYC Restaurants for Pets

Pet-friendly restaurants are quite common in populated areas, such as Los Angeles and NYC. While cities such as L.A. offer all-year-around service to dogs, NYC restaurants tend to offer pet-friendly areas during the summer, spring and fall only since winters can be cold. Those warmer periods, however, provide a fantastic opportunity to take your pooch out for a walk around town, while grabbing a bite to eat.

Find the best NYC restaurants to visit with your pet this summer below:
  • Cookshop
  • Match 65 Brasserie
  • The Marshal

1. Cookshop

Cookshop serves American cuisine with vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options to meet every dietary need. The restaurant and bar features a selection of seafood dishes as well, which are prepared on the grill, split rotisserie or in a wood-burning oven using seasonal ingredients. Numerous wines are also offered to pair with your meal.

Indoor and outdoor seating is available, though if you’re dining with your furry friend, you’ll want to sit outdoors in the shade. Cookshop’s location in Chelsea offers a distant view of Clement Clarke Moore Park and sounds from the Hudson Bay.

2. Match 65 Brasserie

Match 65 Brasserie is an upscale, dog-friendly restaurant in NYC’s Upper East Side. The restaurant serves French cuisine with vegetarian and gluten-free options. It offers weekend brunches and lunch and dinner daily. Match 65 Brasserie captures the quintessential Parisian café through its outdoor terrasse, interior decorating and traditional French cooking methods.

The outdoor terrasse is pet-friendly and offers a view of Central Park. Staff provides water for your dog throughout your stay. Match 65 Brasserie also offers options if you’d like to visit as a larger group with pets. Private events for 25 people are available, as well as restaurant buyouts for as many as 65 guests.

3. The Marshal

The Marshal serves American cuisine with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. The restaurant is open throughout the week, serving dinner on the weekdays and brunch on the weekend. Pet-friendly seating is available outdoors, with a complimentary water dish for your dog.
dog-friendly-restaurants-nycThe Marshal is one of the best pet-friendly restaurants in NYC if you’re passionate about environmental sustainability. The dog-friendly NYC restaurant relies on wind power for electricity and uses replanted apple and cherry wood from local orchards to burn in its brick ovens. The restaurant also sources its food, wine and liquor from local producers. Due to health department regulations, pet-friendly seating is reserved for outdoor dining only.

It’s an undertaking to discover the perfect restaurant for every occasion, diet and party. In a city like New York, however, the options are endless. Fine-dining restaurants in NYC provide sophisticated and elegant locations, options for private dining and restaurant buyouts, as well as menu items for every dietary need, such as vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free meals.
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Make Your Choice?

Start your next fine-dining search with this comprehensive guide to NYC restaurants for families, couples, large groups and pets. You can also help a friend plan theirs by sharing this guide across social media.