Best Italian Restaurants in New York City

It seems that New York City has an Italian restaurant on every block or at least a spot you can stop in for pizza and some pasta. After all the recent requests on where to go for my favorite Italian food, here is a list of the best by category which ranges from my #1 at Scalinatella where you drop down to a brick basement where the waiters with thick Italian accents read off the menu for that evening from their notepads, to my first fine dining experience in New York at Mario Batali’s Babbo where I ate Beef Cheek Ravioli and Octopus for the first time, to a healthy-ish revamped menu at Hearth, to my most favorite under the radar Union Square spot, Ribalta.

  1. All Time Favorite: SCALINATELLA  get the bouillabaisse special every time
  2. Old School: Emilio Ballato’s
  3. New Old School: Carbone the veal parm lives up to all price and expectations
  4. Date Night: L’Artusi pasta, pasta, pasta
  5. Pizza and Wine: Pasquale Jones the leek appetizer and clam ‘Za
  6. BYOB: 11B just make your own pizza and get a side of baked ziti
  7. Parents: Osteria Morini
  8. Healthy-ish: Hearth 
  9. Best Bread Basket: Scarpetta we’re talking salami and cheese in a roll…
  10. Most Unique: Babbo you’re safe with anything here
  11. Danny Meyer: Maialino
  12. Thin Pizza: Marta 
  13. Under the Radar Pizza: Ribalta
  14. Big Groups: Lil’ Frankie’s 
  15. Best Burrata: Frank’s now this is what burrata is supposed to taste like
  16. Dining Room: Emporio 
  17. Seafood: Marea
  18. Vegetarian: Le Verdure in Eataly
  19. Celeb Watching: Morandi
  20. Chicken Parm: Parm  I like the eggplant just as much
  21. Neighborhood Spot: Le Pecora Bianca
  22. Short Rib and Pizza: Upland
  23. Brooklyn: Lilia I actually like Missy’s fish more than the pasta. The sauce is refreshing.
  24. Good Brunch: Locanda Verde
  25. Blow Your Mind: Via Carota every dish makes you giddy
  26. Intimate: Lupa
  27. Always Get In: Vic’s
  28. Lighter Fare: Santina
  29. Every Night: Malaparte
  30. Steakhouse + Midtown: Quality Italian a little pasta, and a little steak…

Bonus: Best Italian Bakeries: Pasticceria Rocco in West Village and Ferrara’s in Little Italy