New York City is a hub of fantastic food and creative chefs, from their street halal food to the classic NYC bagels. There’s always something tasty around the corner.
But to experience the pinnacle of New York cuisine, you have to venture to one of the dazzling NYC Michelin star restaurants.
From the best Japanese cuisine to inventive American food, I tried out the best of the best in the city that never sleeps. Check out my list of the best NYC Michelin star restaurants below!
65 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022
Aquavit is a stunning restaurant in Park Avenue Tower that serves up inventive Nordic cuisine. It’s been awarded two Michelin stars and has held them for two years.
With simple, symmetrical plating and bright yet earthy flavors. The restaurant offers a truly unique dining experience.
I found the staff to be charming and knowledgeable about every intricate course, acting as a guide through the dinner.
And nothing compares to their impeccable Princess Cake with the most succulent raspberry jam I’ve ever had.
431 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018
This three-Michelin star restaurant is known for its extravagant and refined melding of French and Japanese cuisine, executed by renowned Chef César Ramirez.
Located in Hudson Yard off Dyer Avenue, it’s tucked away, so only people in the know venture to visit. I found each dish to be created around a premium ingredient, whether steak or salmon.
Each plate was small and focused, so I could taste the richness of the main ingredient without being overwhelmed by a circus of flavors.
60 E 65th St, New York, NY 10065
Daniel has been a culinary staple on Park Avenue since 1993, taking over the location where the famous Mayfair Hotel once was.
My server explained how each ingredient in the kitchen is treasured, from the premium proteins to wild game to foraged fruits and vegetables.
It has two Michelin stars and uses classic French-cooking techniques to cultivate new flavors. Every plate looked like my own personal food forest, with plating that mimicked the natural lay of a woodland area but tasted of luxurious ingredients.
153 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
This Michelin restaurant is currently run by Head Chef Eric Ripert, who combines his French-style schooling with his roots in Andorra. Each course was crisp and refreshing while also being indulgent.
The scallop-caviar course stood out to me as a unique combination of flavors, unexpected from two ingredients I thought I was familiar with.
Le Bernardin Privé sits just seven blocks from the south side of Central Park, a short walk from Rockefeller Center in NYC.
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019
Per Se emphasizes farm-to-table or foraged-to-table dishes that I found earthy, inviting, and impossible not to eat.
While I enjoyed the chef’s regular tasting menu, I was pleased to know they offer a vegetable tasting menu that highlights the beauty of foraged ingredients and freshly harvested vegetables.
It sits close to Columbus Circle, making it the ideal place for a decadent dinner after a day in Central Park.
9 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
This contemporary American restaurant has a lively atmosphere to match the vibrant cuisine. With two-Michelin stars, they proudly serve a substantial and flexible menu that combines captivating and refreshing ingredients.
Of the many dishes I devoured, the one that stood out was the hamachi with miso and brussels sprouts. It delivered both sweet and savory flavors that mingled perfectly on the plate.
The Modern is two streets from Rockefeller Center, nestled between retail shops and other restaurants.
11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010
Eleven Madison Park is a unique three-Michelin starred restaurant that focuses on the lighter side of culinary excellence, serving an entirely plant-based tasting course.
Chef Daniel Humm aims to rewrite the culinary language into something new that emphasizes the freshness and depth of vegetables.
Located along Madison Square Park, it serves inventive dishes like cucumbers with black truffles. But my favorite was the refreshing strawberry dessert with plant-based gelatin that tasted magical and looked like a work of art.
41 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036
Located along Bryant Park between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, this two-Michelin star restaurant is run by the culinary genius Chef Gabriel Kreuther, who focuses on Alsatian using French techniques.
He is classically trained but puts his twist on familiar ingredients like lamb lollipops and spinach salads.
While everything was wonderful I must highlight how phenomenal the handcrafted chocolate was. Kreuther chocolate is heavenly, and I couldn’t help myself but order some truffles to go.
240 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019
Marea is directly next to Columbus Circle by the Artisan’s Gate at Central Park. It is a chic one-Michelin star restaurant that offers both small plate tasting menus, along with a large portion of a la carte items.
Executive Chef Lauren DeSten curated the fabulous menu, which combines classic cooking techniques and ingredients with modern twists.
My favorite dish was the Polipo, featuring magnificently grilled octopus, smoky potatoes, radish pickled red onion, and chilis.
10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019
Masa is run by Executive Chef Masayoshi Takayama and is the best of New York’s Japanese food. Every dish was colorful and fresh, with vivid vegetables and eccentric proteins.
If you love raw seafood like me, Masa is an oasis of flavor, and I highly recommend the tuna and caviar tartare.
Located inside The Shops at Columbus Circle just beside the Mandarin Oriental, it’s easy to find and enticing to all that walk by.
77 Worth St, New York, NY 10013
At Atera, you get to experience a full-sensory journey thanks to the ravishing decor and flawless tasting menu that constantly evolves to match the season.
To my surprise, my favorite dish was a simple rye cracker with piped ham on top and crispy chicken skin.
They offer a variety of ingredients, from premium Wagyu beef to gently braised cucumbers to confit quail egg yolks. It’s in the trendy neighborhood of Tribeca near the Mendik Library.
265 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012
The Musket Room is one of the most lavish restaurants I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. The restaurant is near the New York Public Library, a block away from the Elizabeth Street Garden.
They serve an omnivore tasting menu, as well as a vegan tasting menu, so they can accommodate almost anyone.
While the Kristal caviar, the anchovy butter, and the Wagyu tartare were all stellar and a bit life-changing, the spring peas with king crab and uni will forever have a place in my heart.
536 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009
Tuome is a contemporary American restaurant that incorporates Japanese influences into every dish. It’s in the East Village, two blocks south of Tompkins Square Park.
Chef Thomas Chen combines the zest and beauty of Japanese food with the comfort and earthy flavors of American cuisine.
Everything was novel yet soothing, from the cauliflower with raisins to the chicken liver mousse with milk bread.
But the highlight for me was the Wagyu beef with maitake, white truffle espuma, and jus. All around, an unforgettable dining experience.
NYC Michelin star restaurants offer incredible culinary journeys that are unique from one another. While not every tasting menu will appeal to your palate, the excitement of trying new creations and understanding flavors in an unfamiliar light will change how you view food.
I never knew how enchanting a carrot could be or how surprising a cucumber can taste, but visiting any one of these Michelin restaurants will wow your tastebuds.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!