What Are the Best Italian Restaurants in New York City?

College dining hall food is notoriously bad and despite the convenience of being able to just swipe a meal card rather than fish for change in the couch, sometimes you just need something different. And you would be doing yourself an injustice if you went to college in New York City and didn’t scope out where the best Italian food is. We are here to help you find the best Italian gluteny goodness (even if you want Gluten-Free in NYC)!

Best Italian Restaurants in New York City

Del Posto 

A high-end authentic Italian restaurant with a 4.7 Zagat rating. With many 5 course options our taste buds will be pleased! While the drinks are a little on the pricy side they sure pack a punch and you get your money’s worth.


Specializing in seafood and homemade pasta, the food is not the only thing worth remembering. The wonderful service and complimentary decor turn this meal into an experience.


Looking for modern Italian fare? This bi-level restaurant with an extensive wine list is called ‘date-worthy’ with its romantic lighting with still an affordable menu. While the chicken has a reputation for being dry, the small plates a perfect for sharing.


Forget the fancy frill and high prices, this place has reliably good food, great prices and is conveniently located next to Carnegie Hall. With rave-worthy signatures cocktails and pasta dishes are a great addition to any night out.

Scarpetta NYC 

The food trumps the dining experience. With terrific options including Goat Cheese Cream Pasta, Beet Salad and Mushroom Polenta, the attempt at trendy decor and pushy waitstaff can be ignored.

Patzeria Family & Friends 

Also adorned with no-frills or mood lighting, this is a hearty Italian restaurant with simple and delicious options like pizza and heros. The friendly staff promotes a fun, family joint. The Lasagna pizza with three cheeses, beef, and sauce is a must try for everyone.

Now, it is no secret that college kids are not rolling in dough (and we don’t mean pizza dough) and some of these restaurants are on the pricey side. There are two different occasions when college kids are going off campus to eat. The first, when you are sick of dining hall food. The second, is when your parents come to visit. If you want them to take you somewhere fancy, you need to know the place ahead of time to avoid them looking it up and seeing the price.

It is great to have cheap fun options in college like the favorite college bar, but it is necessary to know other places that are higher end. If a guest lecturer wants a recommendation, being able to provide a good one could be the difference between a B or a B- for a grade.

If you need further help deciding where to go check out the City Walker app.

Download City Walker FREE