This Is Where You Should Eat in NYC

Written by | Things to Do

dining pov

Photo By ArtOfPhotos/shutterstock

If you’re a gay traveler in New York for the first time and looking for somewhere good to eat, or if you’re an LGBTQ local and looking for new restaurants, we’ve compiled a big list of some of our favorite NYC restaurants. This article can help you find restaurants the following areas. Click the neighborhood link to jump to a neighborhood.

Chelsea
East Village/lower East Side
Gramercy Park/flatiron District
Harlem
Hell’s Kitchen
Hudson Yards
Meatpacking District
Midtown/times Square
Soho/tribeca
Upper West Side
West Village
Brooklyn

Chelsea

The Breslin

The Spotted Pig folks are behind this vintage-rustic restaurant in NoChel’s Ace Hotel. The British-inspired fare is egg-centric at breakfast and meat-and-terrine heavy for lunch and dinner, while martinis are the thing to drink at the bar. 16 W. 29th St. between Broadway & Fifth Ave., NYC  212-679-1939. www.thebreslin.com

Cafeteria

Super-popular 24-hour dining scene offering great American fare and a trendy, heavily gay clientele. In warm weather, the sidewalk becomes one of the sexiest spots in town. 119 Seventh Ave. at 17th St., NYC  212-414-1717. cafeteriagroup.com

Elmo

This mod restaurant, featuring comfort food with a spicy edge, takes its name from fabulous 40’s nightclub El Morocco. Whether it’s a burger, a hearty salad, some down to Earth comfort food, or just an after work cocktail with friends Elmo is always a quality hotspot where you’ll likely run into a familiar face.156 Seventh Ave. between 19th and 20th Sts., NYC  212-337-8000. elmorestaurant.com

The Park

There’s something very ski chalet about this restaurant, serving American and Mediterranean cuisine in a sprawling space. There’s a large patio and, after dinner, the entire venue becomes a party. 118 Tenth Ave. between 17th and 18th Sts., NYC  212-352-3313. theparknyc.com

Salinas

Tapas go upscale at this Spanish restaurant where the fare highlights regional specialties and the luxurious setting features blue velvet chairs, limestone walls and art glass galore. The tapas bar and main dining room are augmented by a charming garden that’s good for all seasons, thanks to its retractable glass roof and fireplace. 136 Ninth Ave. between 18th and 19th Sts., NYC 212-776-1990. salinasnyc.com

TAO Downtown

The downtown pan-Asian hotspot features a 400-seat, 40-foot staircase with elaborate murals by Hush, two custom-made 16-foot tall Buddhas, and a koi pond. Guests enjoy Cantonese-style cooking with hints of Japanese, Malaysian, and Thai flavors while rubbing elbows with models, starlets, and random local and international glitterati.  92 Ninth Ave. at West 16th St., NYC  212-888-2724. taodowntown.com

Tenth Avenue Cookshop

Executive chef Marc Meyer takes American cuisine to the next level by keeping it real. Only hormone-free animals, humanely raised in local farms, are used in simple but flavorful meals. The furnishings are at once rustic and urbane. 156 Tenth Ave. at 20th St., NYC  212-924-4440. cookshopny.com

East Village/lower East Side

Beauty & Essex

A singular sensation on the Lower East Side, this lounge/eatery’s entryway is set up like a pawn shop, which leads to two sprawling levels, multiple dining rooms, two bars and fancy mid-century trappings. The menu of shareable small plates brims with eclectic tastes, while the drinks of choice are classic cocktails and champagne, the latter offered gratis in the ladies’ restroom. 146 Essex St. between Rivington and Stanton Sts., NYC 212-614-0146. beautyandessex.com

Metrograph Commissary

The restaurant at the Lower East Side’s popular cinema is inspired by the great studio eateries from Hollywood’s golden age. Back in the day stars like Greta Garbo would enjoy their meals alongside the crew, stagehands, and producers. The Metrograph Commissary includes a swank lobby bar, restaurant bar, and private dining room with snacks like burrata, panzanella, Sardine Nicoise, and Chicken Paillard. 7 Ludlow Street between Hester and Canal St., NYC 212-660-0312. metrograph.com

Saxon + Parole

A name referencing two racehorses from early last century explains this NoHo hot spot’s stable-chic decor, which was designed by AvroKO. Chef Brad Farmerie helms the grill, turning out upscale, eclectic spins on meat and seafood. There’s also a “secret” bar, dubbed Madam Geneva, accessible only to diners and only through the restaurant. 316 Bowery at Bleecker St., NYC 212-254-0350. saxonandparole.com

Veselka

Nightlife legends dine beside eclectic locals at this Ukrainian comfort food staple after wild nights in the East Village. Handmade Pierogies have been the star of the show since Veselka opened in the 50s. The restaurant is open 24 hours/7 days a week and always there for you when you’ve had one too many and looking for a late night bite. 144 2nd Ave. at 9th St., NYC  212-228-9682. veselka.com

Gramercy Park/flatiron District

Blue Smoke

Barbeque meets a jazz at Danny Meyer’s casual Flat Iron hotspot. The restaurant, inspired by America’s regional barbecue traditions, is named after the curl of tinted smoke that rises out of perfectly smoked meat. Pop in for dinner before heading upstairs to hear live jazz at the upstairs Jazz Standard. 116 E. 27th St. between Park and Lexington Ave. NYC 212-447-7733. bluesmoke.com

View this post on Instagram

Before & After 💪 📸: @vxdollface

A post shared by Blue Smoke (@bluesmokenyc) on

Boqueria Flatiron

At this Spanish tapas destination, the casualness of a Barcelona cerveceria is invoked with barstools set around raised tables, elevated banquettes and a communal table in the rear. The tapas are, while authentic, completely adventurous. 53 W. 19th St. at Sixth Ave., NYC 212-255-4160. boqueriarestaurant.com

Craft New York

Opened by Tom Colicchio in 2001, this Gramercy go-to has launched a series of popular restaurants across the company. Colicchio’s goal is to create wonderful experiences for guests through providing delicious food and warm hospitality. It’s no surprise won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant when it first opened. Colicchio was awarded another James Beard for Best Chef in 2010. Choose from the a la carte menu or splurge on the seven-course tasting extravaganza. 43 E. 19th St. between Park and Broadway NYC., 212-780-0880. craftrestaurant.com

View this post on Instagram

From our #family to yours.

A post shared by Craft Restaurant (@craft_newyork) on

Eataly NYC Flatiron

Five eateries, each with its own focus (pizza and pasta, cheese and wine, fish, vegetables, meat), make this massive Italian Flatiron food hall a dining destination. Only upscale Manzo, the beef specialist, takes reservations. 200 Fifth Ave. at 23rd St., NYC  212-229-2180. www.eataly.com

Gramercy Tavern

Danny Meyer’s creative American emporium (as famous for its relaxed service as its award-winning wine list) never fails to please. Meals can be enjoyed in the formal dining room or in the easier-on-the-wallet Tavern Room. 42 E. 20th St. between Broadway and Park Ave. South, NYC., 212-477-0777. gramercytavern.com

!

Harlem

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Consistently voted the “best BBQ in New York” Dinosaur kicked off the fun as a mobile concession in Syracuse back in 1983. The expansive Harlem location opened next to the Hudson River in 2004 and then quickly moved and expanded to meet the demands of long tables full of New Yorkers skipping their diets and living it up over fried green tomatoes, St. Louis Ribs, and Churrasco Chicken. 700 W. 125th St., NYC 212-694-1777 If in Brooklyn, try their Gowanus location at 604 Union St., between 3rd & 4th Avenues, BKLYN  347-429-7030. dinosaurbarbque.com

Lido Harlem

Brunching in Harlem? Look no further. Three words: bottomless mimosa brunch hunties. Get into this adorable Italian hotspot in the center of one of the most popping gayborhoods in the city. Harlem is where it’s at! 2168 Frederick Douglass Blvd. at 117th St., NYC 646-490-8575. lidoharlem.com

Red Rooster

This Harlem hot spot features regional American comfort food by Marcus Samuelsson and a casual, lively environment filled with neighborhood-centric art and artifacts. 310 Lenox Ave. between 125th and 126th Sts., NYC  212-792-9001. redroosterharlem.com

Solomon & Kuff Rum Hall

Harlem elites and Columbia giants mix and mingle at this delicious upscale Caribbean  restaurant. Named for the sons of a slave who purchased his freedom and went on to become a successful landowner, Solomon & Kuff offers incredible rum cocktails bites like yuca fries and dishes like Sangria Braised Short Ribs as well as mouth watering desserts. Come in for the food, stay for the eye candy. 2331 12th Ave. between 133rd St. & 12th Ave., NYC  212-939-9443. solomonandkuff.com

Hell’s Kitchen

Añejo

Upscale, creative, beautifully prepared Mexican small plates are served in a rustic setting at this hotspot with a hopping bar scene and plenty of pavement tables in nice weather. Just as big of a draw is the cocktail selection, featuring a variety of refined margaritas (available by the pitcher) and tequila and mezcal flights.  668 Tenth Ave. at 47th St., NYC  212-920-4770. anejonyc.com

44 & X Hell’s Kitchen

A bit of South Beach on Tenth Avenue, this sleek haven of upscale comfort food has large and plentiful windows and a sidewalk cafe. The perfect spot for people watching… 622 Tenth Ave. at 44th St., NYC  212-977-1170. 44andx.com

El Centro

The tiny space packs a big punch with low-priced Mexican street food, tumblers of frozen margaritas and light fixtures made of Corona bottles. El Centro recently celebrated their ten-year anniversary in Hell’s Kitchen, pop in for a fajita and stay for more! 824 Ninth Ave. at 54th St., NYC  646-763-6585. elcentro-nyc.com

Hell’s Kitchen

Just when you thought NYC didn’t need another Mexican restaurant Hell’s Kitchen brought a taste of the south over the border of Ninth Avenue. Whether it’s tacos, quesadillas, or an after work margarita you crave they’ve got it. Grab a booth or a seat at the bar for the best eye candy in the gayborhood. 754 9th Ave. between 50th and 51st Sts., NYC 212-977-1588. hellskitchen-nyc.com

Huascar & Company Bakeshop

Dominican-born Chef Huascar Aquino won Cupcake Wars on Food Network in 2013, the same year they opened. They’ve since moved to 54th Street offering cupcakes, brownies, cookies, flan, French macarons, coconut macaroons, brigadeiros and custom cakes for everyone to write home about. The bakery is small but mighty, you may have caught the adorable Huascar was a contestant on Food Network’s Chopped in the summer of 2018. If you’re looking for delicious Latin American and Caribbean inspired treats do not pass go, do not collect $200, get to Huascar! hbake.com

Ippudo Westside

Decadent Japanese bites, small plates, craveable ramen and cocktails that could be considered arousing, Ippudo throws it down like no other.  Discreetly nestled on 51st Street just between the theatre district and the gayborhood, this stylish outpost is worth a visit…every week. 321 W. 51st St., NYC  212-974-2500. ippudony.com

Pio Pio

Guests sip pisco cocktails and craveable sangria while grazing over family-style Peruvian dishes, Chinese-Peruvian stir fries, steak, and fish below an elaborate ceiling made from thousands of tree branches intricately woven together. Pio Pio has eight locations but this one is takes the cake (Tres Leches, of course!) 604 Tenth Ave. between 43rd and 44th Sts., NYC  212-459-2929. piopio.com

ViceVersa

ViceVersa puts a sublime spin on run-of-the-mill Italian. The atmosphere is also darn near perfect — with elegant accents and a nicely tended outdoor seating garden. 325 W. 51st St. between Eighth and Ninth Aves., NYC  212-399-9291. viceversanyc.com

West Bank Cafe

This elegant neighborhood fixture attracts not only theatergoers, but also tons of Broadway, off-Broadway performers, & former (and upcoming) contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race who load up on the latest gossip while downing American eats. Be sure to check out “Showbiz Spitfire Paige Turner” and Jackie Cox whenever they perform, you won’t be sorry. 407 W. 42nd St. between Ninth and Tenth Aves., NYC  212-695-6909. westbankcafe.com

Hudson Yards

Legacy Records

This Hudson Yards chic and fun 85-seat restaurant brought to you by the team behind Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones. The menu features fresh, flavorful cuisine inspired by Italy’s northern coasts. Be sure to have a close look at the cocktail menu, curated by mixologist Jeff Bell from P.D.T. or work with Arvid Rosengren, the reigning “Best Sommelier in the World”. Step in and stay for awhile, you’ll definitely “see and be seen” at this hotspot. 517 W. 38th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Aves., NYC legacyrecordsrestaurant.com

View this post on Instagram

Live diver scallop with sweet garlic and almond

A post shared by Legacy Records Restaurant (@legacyrecordsrestaurant) on

Mercado Little Spain

José Andrés and his team have been cooking up a love letter to Spain and its finally open, Mercado Little Spain, an all-day dining destination for food lovers. This foodie destination, which includes a series of three restaurants, two bars, fifteen tapas kiosks, and a market sits on 35,000 square feet of brand new Hudson Yards real estate. Whether you’re heading to Lena, Mar, or the all-day casual diner there’s no way you’ll leave hungry. 10 Hudson Yards between Tenth and Eleventh Aves., NYC 646-495-1242. littlespain.com

TAK Room

Thomas Keller’s latest Hudson Yards adventure, TAK Room takes a contemporary look on the classic Continental meal. Think throwback style, glamour, sweeping views, champagne carts, old school New York glamour in brand new digs. Go ahead, order the Oysters Rockefeller, you know you want to. 20 Hudson Yards between Tenth and Eleventh Aves., NYC 929-450-4050. takroomnyc.com

Meatpacking District

Bathtub Gin

Take a step back in time with this dark and sexy 10th Avenue speakeasy. Gin was the predominant drink during prohibition-era 1920’s. Saunter up to the secret bar in this discreet Chelsea favorite for a stiff Hipster Reviver, hearty Eagle’s Dream, or a nip of Dorothy Parker’s Gin stirred, not shaken. 132 9th Ave., between 18th & 19th Sts, NYC 646-559-1671. bathtubginnyc.com

Buddakan NYC

Dining guru Stephen Starr’s destination draws gasps from the moment you step down the grand staircase. A hodgepodge of modern Asian cuisines is served in a golden space of European tapestries, chandeliers, cozy banquettes and a lengthy communal table. 75 Ninth Ave. between 15th and 16th Sts., NYC  212-989-6699. buddakannyc.com

Morimoto

Two floors of high-design touches — like a wall made of 17,000 Ty Nant water bottles and upholstered walls and ceilings — create a fitting setting for the haute Japanese cuisine of Masaharu Morimoto. 88 Tenth Ave. between 15th and 16th Sts., NYC  212-989-8883. morimotonyc.com

Standard Grill

The hip cafe just beneath the southern tip of the High Line offers a long bar in the front, a dining room with arced red-leather booths, an open kitchen, plus a sidewalk patio for entertaining Meatpacking people-watching. Surprisingly, the prices are pretty moderate throughout. 848 Washington St. between Little W. 12th and 13th Sts., NYC 212-645-4100. thestandardgrill.com

Midtown/times Square

21 Club

Belmond’s crown jewel in Manhattan is the most infamous speakeasy from the Prohibition Era.  Designed with a disappearing bar and secret wine cellar chock full of epic stories about Ernest Hemingway and Zelda Fitzgerald, this landmark remains the ultimate spot to live it up or have a fun night out with friends. 21 West 52nd St. between 5th Ave. and 6th Ave., NYC  212-582-7200. 21club.com

Hakkasan

Upscale tourists mix with knowing locals at the modern Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant created by Chef Ho Chee Boon. The striking 11,000 sq. ft Hakkasan opened in 2012 and features dishes like stir-fried lobster, Salt and pepper squid, and Wagyu beef cheung fun. 311 W. 44th St. between Eighth and Ninth Ave., NYC 212-776-1818. hakkasan.com

Lamb’s Club

This gorgeous Theater District destination serves casual yet upscale contemporary American fare in a retro-swank supper-club environment with long red-leather banquettes, chrome torchères, head shots of movie stars and a huge, roaring-in-the-winter 18th-century fireplace. 132 W. 44th St. between Sixth Ave. and Broadway, NYC 212-997-5262. thelambsclub.com

Ortzi NYC

Nestled in the swank new LUMA Hotel, Iron Chef Jose Garces brings a scrumptious journey through Basque Country cuisine. Perfect for an after work Charcuteria or a pre-theatre bite. For the ultimate experience plan for the four-course traditional Basque Tapas Experience with Chef Jose Garces’ Tasting Menu. Bring your appetite! 120 W. 41st St. between Sixth Ave. and 7th Ave., NYC 212-730-8900. ortzirestaurant.com

Nobu 57

The David Rockwell design of celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s uptown showplace for his peerless Latin-shaded sushi is a sexy, bubbly delight. 40 W. 57th St. between Fifth and Sixth Aves., NYC  212-757-3000. noburestaurants.com/fifty-seven

Soho/tribeca

Dos Caminos

This intimate hipster offers fine Mexican cuisine in a stylish setting, with a warm-weather dining garden. Highlights include guacamole made tableside and 150 types of tequila. 475 W. Broadway at Houston St., NYC 212-277-4300. Also, check out the other branches in the Meatpacking District, Times Square, Midtown East, and Murray Hill. doscaminos.com

The Dutch

Though it looks like a neighborhood joint, this multi-room eatery is actually SoHo’s sizzling boîte du jour, with a crowd that’s half Downtown scene-makers, half-foodies and all hot. Opt for Andrew Carmellini’s comfort-skewing menu, featuring imaginative renditions of American Southern staples, international leanings and raw fare at an oyster bar. 131 Sullivan St. at Prince St., NYC  212-677-6200. thedutchnyc.com

Sushi Nakazawa

Daisuke Nakazawa, the former apprentice to sushi guyu Jiro Ono, opened this posh new West Village sushi kitchen to serve “New York-mae”.  Comfortable high back leather chairs at the sushi bar set the scene for an impressive twenty-course meal and dynamic tasting menu in the style of Edomae sushi fluffing even the most seasoned sushi foodie to a state of euphoria. 23 Commerce Street between Seventh Ave. and Bedford St., NYC 212-924-2212. sushinakazawa.com

Upper West Side

Cafe Luxembourg

Ladies who lunch, incognito celebrities, and high rolling executives mix and mingle at this classic French-American Bistro on the Upper West Side. Regulars nuzzle up to the full service bar while locals gossip over power lunches at this unpretentious neighborhood gem. 200 W. 70th St. at Amsterdam Ave., NYC 212-873-7411. cafeluxembourg.com

Jean Georges

A spare décor means there’s nothing to distract you from Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s haute French cuisine. Reservations for the more casual Nougatine Cafe are slightly easier to procure. 1 Central Park West between 60th and 61st Sts., NYC  212-299-3900. jean-georges.com

View this post on Instagram

How about discovering Turkish cuisine at ⚜️GEORGES⚜️tonight? . Our restaurant @galatada24 offers an outstanding set of traditional meze / Turkish tapas, a large set of raki brands and of course one of the best panorama of the city, stretching from the first bridge up to the whole historical peninsula 💫 . Both @georgeshotelgalata and @galatada24 are listed in the brand new Louis Vuitton Istanbul City Guide 🙏🏻❤️ . Come to Istanbul, stay at @georgeshotelgalata ❤️🇹🇷 . #restaurant #louisvuittoncityguide #istanbul #meze #tapas #turkishcuisine #turkiye #turkey #turkish #gastronomy #gastronomie #hotel #luxurytravel #luxury #travel #vacation #boutiquehotel #rooftop #raki #terrace @alexvarlik @domainefiesole @bfulyau @louisvuitton

A post shared by ⚜️GEORGES HOTEL GALATA⚜️ (@georgeshotelgalata) on

Landmarc

This Time Warner Center eatery serves wonderfully flavorful, affordable French bistro fare all day in a setting that stylishly mishmashes industrial and woodsy, with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Central Park. 60th and Broadway, 3rd Floor, NYC  212-823-6123. landmarc-restaurant.com

Marea

Chef Michael White, famous for homemade pasta and a commitment to seafood, has been awarded two Michelin stars, the 2010 James Beard Award, and an impressive list of accolades.  Marea mean’s “tide” in Italian, and the collaboration of high-end Italian cuisine, over 750 wine options, and outstanding service makes it an exciting and fresh interpretation of “coastal cuisine”.  240 Central Park South Between Broadway and Seventh Ave., NYC 212-582-5100. marearestaurant.com

Pizzeria Sirenetta

The same people behind the Mermaid Inn opened a delicious pizzeria serving Neopolitan pizzas and rustic Italian fare. Stop by between 5-7pm for their happy hour (seven days a week) for one of their $12 pizza specials, an $8 aperol spritz and more! 568 Amsterdam Ave. between 87th & 88th Sts., NYC  212-799-7401. pizzeriasirenetta.com

TESSA

Chef Nicholas McCann blends French, Italian and Spanish fare in this neighborhood-approved hotspot. Perfect for a date spot, birthday dinner or drinks and light bites at the bar, you can’t go wrong with this fun find on the Upper West Side. Wine Lovers pay special attention to the TESSA Reserve list with over fifty labels. 349 Amsterdam Ave. between 76th & 77th Sts., NYC  212-390-1974. tessanyc.com

View this post on Instagram

Build it …….. Eat It #brunch

A post shared by TESSA Restaurant (@tessarestaurant) on

Read Next | 10 Restaurants near Christopher Street You Need to Try

West Village

Carbone

Infamously one of the Obama Family’s favorite places in town, Carbone is the creation of Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick. This dreamy Italian supper club is a throwback to the great Italian-American restaurants of mid-20th century New York. Order an Old Fashioned and channel your inner Godfather as you drool over the menu. 181 Thompson Street at Houston 212-254-3000. carbonenewyork.com

Cowgirl

This Texas-style West Village favorite is hopping every night of the week. Conceived after Sherry Delamarter visited the Cowgirl Hall of Fame Museum in Texas, the restaurant has been serving great food and no frills fun for twenty-five years. Blood Orange and Prickly Pear frozen margaritas in mason jars go perfectly with Tex-Mex food to make you feel like you’re that much closer to the border. 519 Hudson St. at West 10th St., NYC  212-633-1133. cowgirlnyc.com

Tea and Sympathy

The Queen would be over the moon at the adorable sliver of the village  serving traditional British fare. Indulge in classic British favorites like Afternoon Tea, Bangers & Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, Welsh Rarebit, Roast Beef with Yorkshire pudding. Be sure to save room for some Sticky Toffee Pudding and Rhubarb crumble (extra custard, please!) Pop into their shop next door for popular British groceries, sweets and maybe even a new tea-pot. 108 Greenwich Street, NYC between Jane & Horatio Sts., 212-989-9735. teaandsympathy.com

The Little Owl

Nestled in the middle of the historic Greenwich Village, this bold Mediterranean spot boasts gravy meatballs and pork chops that rival your grandmother’s secret recipe. No room at the inn? Try to get a seat at the bar so you can take everything in. 90 Bedford St. at Grove, NYC 212-741-4695. thelittleowlnyc.com

Read Next | 13 Williamsburg Restaurants You Need to Try

Brooklyn

Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare

The sophisticated, decadent summons foodies from all corners come to this intimate 18-seat space for a truly unique dining experience. Michelin-stars are difficult to come by and Brooklyn boasts one of the only three-starred restaurants in town! Immerse yourself in the mouth-watering French & Japanese infused brainchild of Moe Issa before taking a stroll through old-school Brooklyn. 200 Schermerhorn St. between Hoyt and Bond Sts., Bklyn, NYC 718-243-0050 brooklynfare.com

Clover Club

Frequently featured as one of the “Best Bars in America”, the Brooklyn hotspot leads with pre-Prohibition drinks, a decadent brunch, American Caviar Service, and Seasonal Specials like Steak Over Toast and Deviled Eggs. 210 Smith St. at Baltic St., BKLYN, NYC 718-855-7939. cloverclubny.com

shirtless in gay barRead Next | Our List of the Top Gay Bars in New York City

Last modified: October 17, 2019