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Our Favorite Places to Eat in Hell’s Kitchen

Where to eat on Manhattan’s West Side.

Hell’s Kitchen is a neighborhood in Manhattan that initially got its name from reporters in the 1880s. It was once an unfavorable location but is now considered a desirable place to live and a place to meet up for some delicious food before a theater or play.

This area is home to many museums, next to the theater district, and just blocks away from Times Square. It is a neighborhood in NYC that you must see if you have the time. While you’re there, check out my list of the best restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen.

group of friends enjoying wine at a restaurant in Hell's Kitchen

I lived in NYC for 10 years, and during my time spent there, I’ve visited hundreds of restaurants. One of my favorite areas of New York City is Hell’s Kitchen. There are so many great places to eat, and these are the restaurants I consider to be the best in this neighborhood.

Best Restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen

  1. Capizzi
  2. Empanada Mama Hell’s Kitchen
  3. 44 & X Hell’s Kitchen
  4. Añejo
  5. Tacuba
  6. Bocca di Bacco
  7. K Rico Steakhouse
  8. Kashkaval Kitchen
  9. El Centro
  10. Nizza
  11. Friedman’s Hell’s Kitchen
  12. Mamasita Bar & Grill
  13. Pure Thai Cookhouse
  14. The Marshal
  15. Il Melograno
  16. The Meatball Shop
  17. OBAO

Capizzi

547 9th Ave, New York, NY 10018
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This is a small family-owned pizza place that uses brick ovens and serves Neapolitan-style pies. They use fresh ingredients to make mouth-watering specialty pizzas. Capizzi’s is located on 9th ave and is a small hole in the wall, but you will be transported into an old-fashioned space once you step foot inside.

 What should you try?

  • Sicilian Eggplant Pizza (no mozzarella) This pizza comes with tomatoes, garlic, sliced eggplant, garlic roasted eggplant, olive oil, Reggiano, and pecorino cheese.
  • Prosciutto & Arugula Pizza This yummy pizza comes with prosciutto di parma, arugula, shaved reggiano, olive oil.

Empanada Mama Hell’s Kitchen

765 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 698-9008
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If you are out wandering around 9th ave and stumble into empanada mama, you must go in. An empanada is a fried turnover with some of the tastiest stuffing ingredients. One of the best things about this restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen NYC is that it is open 24 hours. This restaurant does take-out, catering, and sit-in.

 What should you try?

  • Cuban empanada- Inside of this delicious fried turnover, you will find pulled pork, ham, and mozzarella, and sofrito; it is super tasty and one of a kind.
  • Buffalo Chicken Empanada- Buffalo chicken is one of the tastiest things you will ever eat, and empanada mama does it best. In this empanada, you will find spicy, tangy, shredded chicken pulled to perfection and has a blue cheese sauce on the side.

44 & X Hell’s Kitchen

622 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 977-1170
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This is a brightly lit, fun, and friendly place to sit and eat. This restaurant is New American eats and comfort food. They have outside seating, brightly colored plants lining their patio and entryway. 44 & X is the best place to go for a fun brunch with friends or a relaxing dinner with family. This spot is located on 10th ave but is still considered part of hell’s kitchen neighborhood. 

What should you try?

  • Pistachio Crusted Tilapia- This crumbly white fish has been reinvented by this restaurant and is one of the best things you can eat this summer. This dish is paired with one of these options: roasted sweet potatoes, caramelized brussel sprouts, baby zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, Maine lobster jumbo, and crab ravioli.
  • 44 & X Hamburger- Unlike a regular hamburger, this one comes on an English muffin and is a hit for brunch. It comes with crispy fries and a garlic pickle. 

If you are in the mood for some amazing dessert, try out their warm cherry tart.


Añejo

668 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 920-4770
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If you’re wondering where to it in Hell’s Kitchen, this is it! Once you walk into this restaurant, you will fall in love with the wood and brick space that is exceptionally inviting. If you love imaginative drinks and bartenders who reinvent the classics, you will love this space. This restaurant focuses on serving small plates, which is best for people who want to try multiple dishes with their friends. You can go for brunch, lunch, and dinner. 

What should you try?

  • Drunken Lamb Barbacoa- This dish consists of braised lamb shoulder, adobo, salsa borracha, and corn tortillas.
  • Octopus- It comes with pan negro (brown bread), kabocha squash confit, chorizo cream, and cilantro.

 Tacuba

802 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 245-4500
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On 9th ave, you will find a brightly colored and spacious restaurant called Tacuba. This is a restaurant perfect for taco lovers, ceviche eaters, and other Mexican dishes. Also, they have a fine selection of tequila for some of the best margaritas you will find in New York.

 What should you try?

  • Chile Relleno- If you love roasted red peppers, you will love this dish. It is stuffed peppers with quinoa, mushrooms, kale, oaxaca, crema, tomato, and habanero salsa. It is spicy, filling, and worth stopping to try.
  • Pulpo y Chorizo- This dish consists of tacos filled with octopus, chorizo, melted cheese, chipotle salsa, and pickled habanero red onions. It is absolutely tasty and one of the best dishes for a taco-lover to try.

Bocca di Bacco

828 9th Ave A, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 265-8828
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This rustic eatery features a wide variety of wines and scrumptious Italian food. Unlike the other options on the list, this restaurant is only open after 5 pm to 11 pm, making it the perfect place to eat dinner after a show. Bocca di Bacco is on 9th ave and, compared to other restaurants, is spacey and roomy. However, it is still a comfortable and intimate restaurant. It is perfect for a date night. If you’ve been looking for a brunch spot there are options at this restaurant. 

What should you try?

  • Garganelli- It is braised veal in osso buco sauce. This is a tomato-based sauce that is dripped perfectly over the veal on the plate. It is a must-try at this restaurant.
  • Tuna Tartare- This dish comes with avocado, chipotle mayo, homemade potato chips. Be careful this dish has raw fish and is a very acquired taste.

K Rico Steakhouse

772 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 757-9393
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If you’re on 9th ave looking for a South American restaurant K Rico Steakhouse should be where you wander to next. It has outside seating for the sunny days and also curbside pick-up for when you’re headed somewhere in a rush. It’s an upscale place with high-quality Latin dishes.

 What should you try?

  • Prince Edward Island Mussel- This dish comes with Shallots, Garlic, Chorizo, Cilantro, Coconut Broth. The coconut broth creates a delectable mussel dish.
  • Grilled Salmon- The salmon is cooked with crispy skin, over organic baby arugula with fresh mandarin orange segments. The zestiness of the orange creates a delicious combination with the salmon.

Kashkaval Kitchen

852 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 245-1758
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Have you been looking for a candle-lit wine bar with Mediterranean flavors? Kashkaval Kitchen is a must-visit. There is a delectable wine list and tons of cheese flavors to munch on. This place is smaller than others on the list. It is also open most hours of the day from 12 pm- 11 pm on 9th ave. 

What should you try?

  • Fondue- The most notable meal at this restaurant is their fondue option. You can grab a skewer and pick a cheese to cover veggies and meats in. It is a fun and interactive dinner that will leave you full and happy. 

They have a few types of salad, one being kale that is deep and crunchy with a lemon vinaigrette. If you’re looking for something sweet try their baklava.


El Centro

824 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (917) 409-1171
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This is a super small restaurant on the corner of 9th ave and has outdoor seating and some of the best food in Hell’s Kitchen. It is a vibrant restaurant that provides a fun space for everyone to eat at. Most days, this spot is open from 4 pm-11 pm, but on Saturday and Sunday, they are open from 11 am-12 am. 

What should you try?

  • Grilled Mahi-Mahi- This delicious fish comes with pico de gallo, guacamole, and chipotle aioli. It is perfectly grilled with fresh pico.
  • Burro Carnitas- This burrito comes with slow roasted pork, chipotle chile, red rice, and black beans. It is a delicious burrito with pork that has been cooking all day long.

Nizza

630 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 956-1800
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Have you been looking for a casual Italian restaurant in NYC? Nizza is small and intimate on 9th ave. One wall is covered in photos. This restaurant has been a favorite for years and has been a go-to for the pre-theater crowd. Nizza is in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen and hosts a bunch of special events throughout the week. 

What should you try?

  • Lasagna- Every Thursday this restaurant makes a massive amount of lasagna and will serve it until it’s gone. So if you’re in the area try out their lasagna which is filled with chef’s veal, pork and beef bolognese, white and green housemade pasta, bechamel, mozzarella, and parmesan.
  • Salmon Aqua Pazza- This is one of their specialty dishes that come with toasted fregola sarda, roasted kohlrabi, tomato, and seafood broth with lemon oil.

Friedman’s Hell’s Kitchen

450 10th Ave, New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 268-1100
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This classic American Restaurant is located on 10th ave and is a perfect place to eat comfort food with your family. One of the most notable things about this restaurant is that most of its menu is gluten-free and locally sourced. 

What should you try?

  • New York strip steak- This is served with a delectable mashed potato and sauteed spinach.
  • Fried Chicken and Cheddar Waffle- On top of fried chicken being paired with a waffle, it comes with hot honey. It’s a dish that you have to try once in your life.

Mamasita Bar & Grill

818 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 315-9444
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This is a brightly colored restaurant that attracts a vibrant crowd, located on 10th ave. Mamasita prides itself on creating healthier versions of comfort food without msg, lard, and animal fat. There is a large vegetarian option at the restaurant. 

What should you try?

  • Queso con Hongos ó Verduras- This dish is a casserole of grilled mushrooms in salsa verde or steamed veggies in ranchera sauce topped with melted cheese.
  • Sizzling Vegetable Fajitas- This classic dish takes a spin and instead of meat includes grilled veggies marinated in lime, spices & garlic grilled to perfec- tion served on a bed of onions and bell peppers. Served with black beans, pico de gallo, and whole wheat tortillas on the side.

Pure Thai Cookhouse

766 9th Ave #2, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 581-0999
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If you’ve been looking for stir frys and sticky rice on 9th ave go to this brightly lit restaurant called Pure Thai Cookhouse. It looks extravagant on the outside and draws in a fun crowd. It’s quaint on the inside with brick walls and wood tables. 

What should you try?

  • Spicy Calamari Salad- This is grilled calamari with grape tomatoes, Asian celery, and lettuce. It’s the perfect snack, filling, without being too heavy.
  • Nakorn Patom Duck Noodles- Thin rice noodles, braised duck meat, bean sprout, Asian celery, five-spice soy broth. Every noodle at this restaurant is homemade and scrumptious.

The Marshal

628 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 582-6300
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One of the best things about this restaurant is that it is completely farm to table, everything on the menu is fresh. They focus on American cuisine plus divine cocktails with their fully equipped bar. It’s a rustic spot that is a wonderful place to lounge and enjoy good food. 

What should you try?

  • Vegan Pizza- This pizza comes with homemade marinara, roasted local hothouse arugula & fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and Martha’s Vineyard sea salt.
  • Smoked Duck Breast Pizza- A super yummy pizza that comes with Hudson Valley smoked duck breast, ricotta, aged mozzarella, caramelized onions, fresh thyme, sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil.

Il Melograno

501 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
(212) 757-9290
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This vibrant Sicilian restaurant sits on the corner of 51st street and provides lovely outdoor seatings for couples. The entire team believes in hospitality and good food. As soon as you walk in the door, you will be treated as if you were family, and you will be welcomed with homemade pasta and well-crafted dishes.

 What should you try?

  • Orecchiette Pugliese Alle Cozze- This high-quality dish comes with fresh Apulian orecchiette pasta with fresh mussels, grape tomato sauce, and arugula.
  • Pesce Spada in Umido- This dish is a pan-seared Swordfish with tomato sauce, basil, capers, olives, and shallots, served with roasted potatoes.

The Meatball Shop

798 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 230-5860
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The Meatball Shop not only serves a wide variety of meatballs and yummy sauces, but they also serve delicious ice cream sandwiches. This restaurant has a unique vibe because it’s been painted black and sits right on the corner with seats outside on 9th ave. It’s a busy place and one of the best places to book a reservation for a date. 

What should you try?

  • Spicy Pork Bowl- This bowl is one of their specials that come with spicy pork balls with spicy meat sauce over rigatoni.
  • Chicken Parm- This is a classic dish that comes with buttermilk marinated, mozzarella, tomato sauce served with a side of spaghetti

OBAO

647 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 245-8880
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This is a sleek restaurant that has a nightclub vibe to it, located on 9th ave. They serve an Asian fusion BBQ cuisine that is one of the best mixes you will ever find. They serve small plates and custom cocktails that are so unique you won’t find them anywhere else. Every dish is made with high-quality ingredients and is put together so well it looks like art. 

What should you try?

  • BÚN BÒ HUE- This noodle soup comes with a spicy lemongrass broth, braised pork belly, beef brisket, red onion, cilantro, and round rice noodles served with a side of bean sprouts, and crusted chili garlic jalapeno, and lime wedge.
  • Eggplant Tofu With Spicy Garlic Sauce- This vegetarian option comes with stir-fried eggplant, tofu, onion, chilies, garlic, and Thai basil.

Final Thoughts

If you have the chance to make it to this neighborhood in NYC, you will find many delicious restaurants. It may be overwhelming finding a spot to eat, so I hope this list can help you make a decision.

Did I leave your favorite restaurant off the list? Leave us a comment and I’ll be sure to check it out!

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Written by Kyle Green

Kyle lives in Center City, Philadelphia, and never passes up the opportunity to try a new restaurant. As a former New Yorker of 7 years, he enjoys regular trips up to NYC to visit friends and enjoys all the restaurants and activities both cities have to offer.