Top Classic Restaurants in New York City

When it comes to culinary icons, New York City is a treasure trove. Its diverse food scene, characterized by a delightful mix of traditions and innovations, is a testament to the city’s enduring love affair with good food. In the midst of this bustling metropolis, there are ten restaurants that stand out not just for their delectable dishes but also for the rich histories they represent. They are more than places to eat; they are historical landmarks, symbols of the city’s enduring spirit. So, step into these time-honored establishments and savor the flavors of New York.

Gage & Tollner

Gage & Tollner is not just a restaurant; it’s a portal to the past. Located in the heart of Brooklyn, this culinary gem offers an inviting dining room with a cozy fireplace, where tales of New York’s yesteryears come to life. Its historic charm is matched by its delectable dishes, making it a must-visit for those seeking both nostalgia and exquisite cuisine.

Nathan’s Famous

Nathan’s Famous is more than a hot dog joint; it’s a living piece of New York’s history. Established in 1916 in Coney Island, it started with hot dogs for a mere five cents. While prices have changed, the tradition hasn’t. This iconic eatery has retained its charm, with original subway tiles and iconic signage, crinkle-cut fries, and mouthwatering corn dogs.

Katz’s Delicatessen

Katz’s Delicatessen is a cavernous cafeteria that serves as a repository of New York history, nestled in the Lower East Side. It’s renowned for its classic Jewish deli offerings. From all-beef hot dogs to legendary sandwiches with horseradish-drenched brisket, this place is where culinary traditions are cherished.

Peter Luger

Peter Luger Steakhouse, located in Williamsburg, is a quintessential New York experience. While several copycats have sprung up, none capture the elusive charm of this beer-hall style eatery. Wooden floors, vintage tables, and bow-tied waiters create an atmosphere of timeless indulgence. Their massive porterhouse for two is a singular New York delight.


Sylvia’s, nestled in the heart of Harlem, has been serving the city’s best soul food for over 60 years. From mouthwatering chitterlings to smothered chicken and waffles, their dishes are truly unforgettable. With nearly a dozen divine side dish options, including candied yams and collards, Sylvia’s remains a beloved soul food haven.

Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

The 103-year-old Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant has been a legendary part of the Grand Central Terminal since its opening. With iconic vaulted ceilings, this seafood haven continues to impress. Offering a variety of freshly shucked oysters and classic pan roasts, this place is an ode to New York’s maritime history.

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Nom Wah Tea Parlor, a dim sum favorite in the heart of Chinatown, has been a New York City institution since 1920. Their extensive menu features roast pork buns, rice rolls, and an array of dumplings that keep diners coming back for more. It’s a taste of old New York that has stood the test of time.

Keens Steakhouse

Dating back to 1885, Keens Steakhouse is a testament to old-school charm. The interior, adorned with the smoking pipes of legendary guests like Babe Ruth and J.P. Morgan, evokes a bygone era. From thick mutton chops to steaks that rival any in town, Keens upholds a rich tradition of hearty dining.

Tavern on the Green

Tavern on the Green, situated in Central Park, was a New York hallmark for 75 years. After a reimagining, it now boasts wood-beam ceilings, leather-covered tables, and multiple hearths. This transformation has turned it into an urban farmhouse that pays homage to the city’s ever-changing dining landscape.


Bamonte’s is a quintessential red-sauce Italian restaurant located in the heart of Williamsburg. It’s a place where you go for timeless classics, not avant-garde experiments. Superb dishes like clams casino, seafood fra diavolo, and succulent lamb and veal chops make it a cherished old-school favorite.