The 10 Best Italian Restaurants in NYC

Categories: Our 10 Best

For decades, Italian cuisine in New York meant red sauce and lots of it. With the opening of Bamonte's in 1900 and Ferdinando's Focacceria four years later, tomato-heavy Neapolitan and Sicilian restaurants enjoyed a certain sustained verisimilitude, carrying the torch for their motherland while paving the way for other regional Italian cuisines to follow suit. By contrast, where would Italian dining in 2013 New York be without Apulian burrata? With establishments representing regions from Piedmont to Sicily and everywhere in between, the city's Italian restaurants offer a fairly well-rounded picture of cooking from all over the boot. Here are the 10 best.

MD Kitchen
10. MD Kitchen, 1012 East 15th Street, Brooklyn

After huffing and puffing from customers wistful for a taste of Di Fara's defunct menu of Italian-American dishes--items that were gradually phased out as the Avenue J pizza shop attained Kardashian levels of fame for its pies--the DeMarco family opened this sliver of a takeout spot around the corner from their moneymaker to focus on reviving these flavors for a new audience. Just as Dom Sr. still clips leaves of basil onto his pies, daughter Maggie and her staff display a level of devotion to quality that produces knockout hero sandwiches (including sausage with broccoli rabe and an exceptional shrimp parmigiana), generously-portioned pastas and old-school platters of meatballs, Italian sausage, eggplant parmigiana, and chicken scallopini. Feel like enduring a night of delicious regret? Stop into MD Kitchen before hitting up madhouse Di Fara. The wait for your pizza will melt away like the blistered mozzarella on a plate of parmigiana.

9. Porsena, 21 East Seventh Street

Sara Jenkins' pasta-centric East Village hideaway is a boon for noodle know-it-alls who think they've seen every al dente shape under the Tuscan sun. Inside these brick walls, the chef tosses thick rings of anelloni with spicy lamb sausage and mustard greens. The greens appear again paired with tiny, curled gnochetti pasta slapped with saline anchovies and lifted by chili heat. Composed appetizers and entrees echo the rustic charms of the restaurant's design, including a roast chicken perfumed with chestnuts and an inventive take on vitello tonnato that replaces the standard veal with gamier lamb. But above all else, what makes Porsena so damned special is Jenkins' willingness to capitalize on the freedom that comes with owning your own place--specifically, with the experiments taking place next door at Porsena Extra Bar, experiments that have yielded things like "Grilled Kimcheese" and a deservedly popular summer taco pop-up.

8. Dominick's, 2335 Arthur Avenue, Bronx

A perennial favorite among nostalgic devotees of Italian-American food, Dominick's has been an Arthur Avenue destination for over 50 years. Although an a la carte menu is now on display, most diners prefer to order the original way--by simply asking their waiter what the kitchen is cooking up that night. Among the cavalcade of items recited, standouts abound, like Linguine all Gianni sporting chunks of chopped shrimp and clams and a skull-sized stuffed artichoke packed with olive oil-soaked breadcrumbs. In fact, channel your future self and order anything stuffed, particularly stuffed peppers and stuffed veal breast. Portions are massive and necessitate at least one other dining partner--dining here alone seems almost masochistic--though be careful. Sharing a platter of pepper-smothered pork pizzaiola studded with sauce-soaked potatoes is as dangerous as sharing a needle. Don't let the occasional celebrity appearance fool you; this is and always will be a neighborhood joint.

Location Info


2335 Arthur Ave., Bronx, NY

Category: Restaurant


2 Lexington Ave., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Al Di La Trattoria

248 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant


18 Greenwich Ave., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Il Buco

47 Bond St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant


24 Minetta Lane, New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Del Posto

85 Tenth Ave., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant


235 Mulberry St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help

Says the newbie transplant from Podunk midwest. Aprroximately 80% of the restaurant here are poseurs. Then again the poster is most likely a poseur.  I'm surprised the poster did not include Carbone, since the Fork in the Road "staff" recommended that poseur restaurant, in addition to Sunburnt Cow, etc.,  to a place to eat/be  during Labor Day. This is what you get when you fire or  experienced and long stalwarts Village Voice food writers/critics, or they quit, who know the restaurant scene expertly. NYC and the Village Voice have become a place for the poseurs and pretentious.

OH PLEASE!!!!!!!!!! Del Posto was the biggest joke of a restaurant EVER

Scott Hueston
Scott Hueston

Sadly, despite Pinterest being the best way to "bookmark," the Village Voice uses "Pocket." Even this person who posted this article knows that nobody uses "pocket." Village Voice - if you want people to bookmark, and for your content to be seen by many more people, put Pinterest right next to Twitter and Facebook

Natali Wind
Natali Wind

I think maybe Monte's Trattoria should be on this list. I just ate there the other day with my mother. It's been around forever, the service is impeccable and the chef is one of the nicest people you'll meet.


I don't think you're allowed to call a publication "pretentious" when you're lambasting someone that is "from [the] Podunk Midwest."

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