When you’re visiting New York City, one of the best things to do (aside from taking in a Broadway show and exploring the Big Apple) is to wine and dine at one of their outstanding eateries. From gourmet restaurants to popular bars with views of the Statue of Liberty, there’s no shortage of exceptional places to eat and drink in NYC.
6 Iconic Restaurants To Wine & Dine in New York City
To help you narrow down your choices to some of the best places to go, here are 6 of the most iconic restaurants to wine and dine in New York City. Whether you’re looking for a dreamy outdoor terrace that sets the mood for romance, or you’re craving a lively scene that’s ideal for people-watching, here are some of our fave spots to visit.
Tavern On The Green
Renowned for being one of the most notable historic landmarks in New York City, this renowned restaurant (which is set in the heart of Central Park) underwent a beautiful renovation several years ago. From their outstanding menu to the breathtaking setting (that offers both indoor and outdoor seating), Tavern On The Green is one of the most iconic restaurants in NYC. Ideal for date nights, special celebrations, and intimate get-togethers, this idyllic restaurant is truly a must-visit when you’re in New York City.
PJ Clarke’s Restaurant and Bar at Lincoln Square
If you’re looking for views of the bustling city streets and notable landmarks, then head to PJ Clarke’s Restaurant and Bar at Lincoln Square. Overlooking Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic performing arts center, this popular casual eatery offers great food (like fresh scallop appetizers and juicy burgers) and a lively atmosphere. With traditional red-and-white checkered tablecloths and a dark, moody setting, the restaurant exudes a classic NYC vibe, perfect for wining and dining with your beau.
Located in the Upper West Side, The Smith has quickly gained recognition as one of the best places to eat in New York City. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this popular place is known for an upbeat and lively atmosphere, classic American fare, and specialty cocktails. With classic subway tile walls and a retro vibe, the indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar make for a fun spot, whether you’re heading there with your girlfriends or on a date.
If you’re looking for a unique and Insta-worthy place to wine and dine in New York City, head down to Pier 25 for oysters, seafood and Champagne at the Grand Banks. Set aboard the historic wooden schooner, Sherman Zwicker, this rocking place (literally!) is one of the coolest spots to pop open some bubbly. The restaurant (which is only open from April through October), offers a variety of sustainable, wild-caught fish and seafood dishes. Step aboard the boat to watch the sunset over the water while peering out toward the iconic Statue of Liberty off in the distance.
If you’re looking for a colorful, jumping spot that’s perfect for people-watching, look no further than 1803 NYC. This tropical-inspired restaurant and bar make you feel like you’re in New Orleans the moment you walk inside. With floral printed wallpaper and black-and-white checkered tile floors to a live band, this bustling hotspot is a great place to wine and dine in New York City. Boasting Cajun-Creole food & drink, with a vibrant and cheery atmosphere that was inspired by NOLA’s French Quarter, this renowned eatery is a fun spot to see and be seen. Plus, they offer brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner!
Rock Center Café
If you’re looking for an iconic restaurant to enjoy brunch at (followed by a few hours of shopping), we recommend heading to the Rock Center Café at Rockefeller Center. This American cafe offers both indoor and outdoor seating, with a view of the legendary gold Prometheus sculpture. Since the outdoor patio turns into the famed ice skating rink during fall and winter, the best time to eat at this landmark destination is during spring and summer. From vegetarian omelets to fruit-topped granola and yogurt, this classic NYC restaurant is a great spot for brunch. After brunch, walk upstairs to discover the best luxury fashion brands and retail stores (like Louis Vuitton and Bergdorf Goodman), located on the world-famous 5th Avenue.
For more restaurant recommendations, check out the Travel section on Inspirations & Celebrations.