The Five Best Italian Restaurants in New York

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Having lived in Italy, I take my Italian very seriously… food that is.

From pasta to vino, the scene and the service, here are the top five Haute Living picks for Italian cuisine in New York.

1 Rao's

Unless you know someone, or a lot of people know you, don't expect to eat at this little piece of old New York any time soon, but do put it on your bucket list.  This spot is one of New York's most desirable and year-long waits for one of its ten tables are not uncommon but it's not just the challenge that attracts fans. From the ziti, baked clams, and a flat of lasagna, the Neapolitan cuisine is exceptional and the unmatched hospitality, and charming space offer an experience rarely found.


455 East 114th Street


2 Cipriani

For fine Italian fare, Cipriani is consistently one of the top choices. With several locations to choose from in New York and worldwide, we can't seem to get enough of Harry Cipriani and Cipriani Downtown.

Harry Cipriani is a fashionable restaurant, designed as an almost  exact duplicate of the original Harry's Bar in Venice. It is packed daily with chic New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world. Offering the classic Harry's Bar menu of unique Cipriani specialties and classic Italian favorites.

Cipriani Downtown is considered the more casual version of Harry Cipriani but I must say, I've never seen a woman in this location who's outfit I didn't lust after or a man who wasn't dressed in the finest Italian trends. The slightly less formal menu offers the same quality and the beautifully designed space with sky-high ceilings, fun artwork and an outdoor dining dining space makes for the perfect atmosphere, serving lunch and dinner in an often party-like atmosphere.


376 West Broadway



781 5th Avenue


3 Nello

Restaurant owner Nello Balan has built a haven for celebrities, socialites and New York's most prominent clientele who find themselves regularly flocking to the Upper East Side to see and be seen at Nello’s restaurant on Madison Avenue. Surrounded by top designer shops with a chic yet simple interior décor, regulars keep coming back for more than just the scene. Nello, who has built a business on providing top food, service and atmosphere for New York's elite, delivers a savory yet simple Italian fare prepared from a menu designed by Nello himself.


696 Madison Avenue


4 Il Mulino

For more than 20 years, chefs/founders Fernando and Gino Masci have delighted guests and gourmands from around the world with the vibrant flavors of Italian cuisine and an absolute devotion to exemplary service. With cuisine hailing from the Abruzzi region, Il Mulino uses the best ingredients prepared with unforgettable flavors and sauces making this one of the top authentic Italian meals in NY.

Il Mulino

86 West 3rd Street


5 Del Posto

May I just say that the service here deserves five stars alone, but the tastes and presentation of the food at Del Posto is what keeps me coming back. With towering columns and floor-to-ceiling plush curtains, Del Posto is the ultimate expression of what an Italian restaurant should be. Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali represent a convergence of different styles and experiences. Del Posto creates the highest quality dining experience in what is one of the greatest indoor spaces in New York City.

Del Posto

85 Tenth Avenue


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