Summer Restaurant Week is prime time to expand your dining horizons, score a sought-after table or take a break from takeout (or all of the above). With more than 370 restaurants participating in this dining celebration, there are just as many directions in which your appetite could lead you. To help narrow it down, we asked seven of New York City’s top chefs to reveal which restaurants they’d be most excited to dine in during Restaurant Week—aside from their own reservation-worthy spots, of course. Read on for their expert recommendations, then book a table to get a taste for yourself.
Lido in Harlem serves modern Italian dishes and a crowd-pleasing brunch courtesy of executive chef and James Beard Award–winning author Serena Bass.
“Babu Ji is the most interesting and delicious Indian restaurant in NYC. I am always inspired and come away planning to add more color to my dishes. Indochine, because who would ever turn down a chance to go there—wonderful food and atmosphere and usually several friends dining in the shadows.”
Chow is the chef and co-owner of East Village restaurant Noreetuh, which serves beautifully plated, Hawaiian-inspired fare like big-eye tuna poke and kalua pork cavatelli.
“Restaurant Soogil is a hidden gem on East 4th Street, just a couple blocks from Noreetuh. Every time I go I make sure to order the glass noodles, mackerel and foie gras. If you’re up for getting a little bit of everything, go for the tasting menu.”
An alum of Gramercy Tavern and Annisa, chef Suzanne Cupps helms the Whitney’s onsite restaurant, Untitled, as well as the museum’s Studio Café.
“Le Coq Rico. I was working a few steps down at Gramercy Tavern when the restaurant was being built. I’ve always wanted to try their delicious heritage birds!”
Johnson won a 2019 James Beard Award for his cookbook Between Harlem and Heaven. He is currently the chef at Henry at the Life Hotel in Nomad.
“Tribeca Grill offers an amazing dining experience, and it’s a New York classic! It’s always a good option for Restaurant Week.”
Kluger served as the executive chef of ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina before moving on to his first solo venture, Loring Place, where he dishes up seasonal New American fare in Greenwich Village.
“Russian Tea Room and Tribeca Grill. Both are New York City institutions worth experiencing. To be able to enjoy the classic dishes these restaurants offer at an affordable cost is worth the visit during Restaurant Week.”
When he’s not busy judging the culinary creations on Food Network’s Chopped or authoring cookbooks, Samuelsson leads the kitchen at Red Rooster in Harlem as well as at Ginny’s Supper Club.
“Vinatería is an amazing example of what the power of women can do, and it’s right here in Harlem. Chef Mimi and proprietor Yvette are a powerhouse team, creating consistently great Italian and Spanish food and great vibes. I can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for NYC Restaurant Week—I know it's going to be delicious.”
Chef de cuisine Scott Schneider leads the Michelin-starred kitchen at the elegant Ai Fiori.
“Union Square Café. I actually used to work at their 16th street location, so I have a great appreciation for their food and service. Pasta is one of my favorite things to eat there, so I would advise guests to order their pasta option—and perhaps an extra one from their normal menu on the side. Their service is top notch, and you always get treated like family!”
This summer’s NYC Restaurant Week runs July 22–August 16. See the full list of participating restaurants and book your table starting July 9.