Heading to NYC and looking to do a bit of celebrity spotting? If so then read this local’s guide to the best celebrity restaurants in NYC.
These epic, high-end restaurants are perfect for a birthday celebration in NYC. They also feature killer food that is presented to you by world-class chefs.
Trust me, I was born and raised in NYC. I have lived here for 30+ years and know exactly where to go in NYC to see a celebrity.
So, check out this guide to the best celebrity restaurants in New York City if you want a REAL trip to remember.
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Table of Contents
Best New York City Celebrity Restaurants – Various Manhattan
Internationally acclaimed Nobu is headed up by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Meir Teper, and Robert De Niro. As in, the De Niro.
As such, this is one of the best celebrity restaurants in NYC for regular sightings of A-listers. Taylor Swift and various Kardashian-Jenners have all been spotted diving into omakase here.
Haute cuisine sees Japanese dishes paired with Peruvian ingredients.
Local Tip: order at least three of the “Eight Highlights” and dine family style with your partner or group. This means you get to sample the yellowtail sashimi and rock shrimp.
You can also dine at either Nobu Downtown in Tribeca or Nobu 57 in Midtown.
2. Sant Ambroeus
Now, Sant Ambroeus includes a string of restaurants and coffee bars plus one gelateria in Manhattan.
It has locations in SoHo, West Village, Nolita, and Lower Manhattan. These capture the spirit of Milan through styling and cooking.
Again, this is one of the best restaurants to see celebrities in NYC for Swifties and those keeping up with the Kardashians.
The West Village restaurant is across the street from Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment. In fact, Sarah Jessica Parker has been spotted in several Sant Ambroeus outposts.
Local Tip: Follow in SJP’s shoes (flat ones) and make this a brunch spot.
Best Restaurants to See Celebrities in NYC – Greenwich Village
Order the signature lobster ravioli and a glass of chianti at Carbone as you keep an eye out for you Jennifer Lopez or Rihanna sitting across the room.
This classy joint is a favorite celebrity restaurant in New York City for Italian fare. It seems anyone who’s walked the red carpet has polished off a bite at Carbone.
But, this isn’t the place for ordering a slice of pizza. See, the menu features traditional fish, meat, and pasta dishes with premium ingredients.
And, the decor is very nostalgic, steeped in midcentury Italian-American styling. Go ahead and order a second Negroni while waiting for JLo to show.
If George and Amal Clooney are regulars at a place then you know it has to be well worth a visit.
In fact, Morandi is one of the most laid-back celebrity restaurants in New York City. It has a traditional European aesthetic with timber beams, a brick-clad bar, and low-key wooden seating.
Order a simple cacio e pepe primi followed by a pan-roasted salmon secondi. It’s crisped to perfection in a way it never does at home. Note, that the sidewalk tables are epic on a warmer evening.
Best Celebrity Restaurants NYC – West Village
5. Buvette Gastrotheque
French small plates and a side of celeb, Buvette Gastrotheque is one of the most reliable celebrity restaurants NYC has to offer.
See, there’s usually an A-lister or two picking at a croque or buttermilk waffle.
Besides brunch, lunch, and celebs it’s a romantic spot for dinner with a Parisian vibe.
In fact, the founding chef, Jody Williams, is kind of a big deal herself. She’s no stranger to TV and has authored a cooking book.
Therefore, keep your eyes peeled for one of the country’s best self-taught chefs.
6. Via Carota
Yet another venture of Jody Williams, Via Carota is owned and managed in conjunction with her business partner and wife, Rita Sodi.
However, this restaurant takes us from France to Italy. The decor of the trattoria is on point and the food isn’t what you typically find served in Italy.
Start with the grilled artichokes and a negroni before progressing to boar ragu. There are plenty of fish dishes for non-meat eaters too.
Yet again, Taylor Swift is a fan and she’s been spotted dining here with Sophie Turner.
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jennifer Lawrence, and Emily Ratajkowski are also among the glitzy regulars.
The roast chicken at Barbuto is in a league of its own. FYI, that’s pollo al forno on the menu – in case your Italian is rusty.
Here, the vibe is kind of industrial with a Brooklyn feel. And, in summer they open the giant garage-style doors to let in the natural light and a breeze.
There are also zero dark corners to hide in. So, it’s one of the best celebrity restaurants in New York City for encountering a famous face without needing to squint.
In fact, famous clientele include people like Chrissy Teigen and Bella Hadid. So, unless they reserve the private dining room, you have a good chance of spotting someone.
8. Waverly Inn
Madonna has been seen dining at Waverly Inn. That’s reason enough to put your name down for a table today.
Besides her, this popular celebrity restaurant in NYC has also fed Beyonce, Jay Z, Steven Spielberg, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Mariah Carey.
Basically, it’s like a posh pub, with gourmet comfort grub.
The pot pie is yummy and they have an awesome seafood menu if you fancy something high in protein but light.
Also, the cocktails are stellar. So, it’s easy to stay long after bedtime.
Best Restaurants for Celebrity Spotting in NYC – Midtown
9. Polo Bar
Not only is the Polo Bar the go-to watering hole for celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow, it’s owned by Ralph Lauren.
Plus, it’s one of the best restaurants to see celebrities in NYC that was graced by Hilary Clinton.
Yup, this is the place to be seen in Midtown. The food is uncomplicated and comforting since the menu includes crab cakes and burgers.
But, the quality and cooking techniques are just as excellent as you’d expect from any Ralph Lauren venture.
Plus, the decor is charismatic and old-worldly – especially during the colder months.
10. Arva and Nama at Aman New York
Now, a night at Aman New York will set you back more than $3,000. Fortunately, its two signature restaurants, Arva and Nama, are a little more affordable.
Honoring traditional Japanese cuisine, “washoku” (harmony in food) is the essence of omakase dining at Nama.
Meanwhile, Arva has got you covered if you’re looking for rustic Italian eats.
In general, Aman has a loyal clientele of A-listers who are most likely found drifting in and out of the Jazz Club.
Katie Holmes, Danai Gurira, and Christine Ko have all recently attended private events there.
11. The Lobster Club
Idle down to the Lobster Club for classy teppanyaki, sushi, and sashimi.
Now, sure, you have a ton of options to choose from. But, the whole lobster is hard to pass on – given that’s what gave this famous restaurant in NYC its name.
The restaurant also merges Japanese and American cuisine to create a comfortable, elegant place to sip on sake.
Rumor has it that Scarlett Johansson was impressed when she attended a shindig here.
Best New York City Celebrity Restaurants – Nolita
Awesome food, mint service, fabulous design, and whisperings of celebs have put Torrisi on the map.
Emerging as one of the hottest new restaurants in NYC for celebrities, Torrisi is actually from the same team behind Carbone.
Here, the kitchen is open and the food is so impressive you might miss any famous people in the place.
Plus, what makes the food interesting is that the menu leans toward Italian-New York, not Italian American.
For example, ribs rubbed with pastrami seasoning and gelato combined with classic NYC cheesecake are staples at one of the most unique restaurants in NYC.
13. Emilio’s Ballato
Name a star and the chances are they’ve probably eaten at Emilio’s Ballato.
This historic celebrity restaurant in Nolita has attracted praise from George Clooney, Barack Obama, Taylor Swift, Sophie Turner, Brittany Mahomes, and Blake Lively – just to name a few.
And, the family-owned joint dates back to the 1950s and continues to astound patrons to this very day.
Plus, the food is a delight – start with the sauteed shrooms before progressing to a bulky pasta dish.
You’ll find it in you to polish off a cannoli and an espresso martini before continuing with your 2 days in NYC itinerary.
Best New York City Celebrity Restaurants in NYC – NoHo
Maybe the name reminds her of her London home. See, Princess Beatrice was seen stabbing sushi at BondSt.
Plus, this NYC celebrity restaurant has nourished Taylor Swift, Cara Delevingne, Selena Gomez, and Sophie Turner.
Do things properly and order the omakase tasting menu. But, make sure you get an order of the big-eye tuna tarts as part of the experience. So good!
While you wait, you can examine the supersized sushi menu and plan your next trip.
15. Zero Bond
Zero Bond is a luxury members-only club in the always hip NoHo neighborhood. As such, it’s one of the best celebrity restaurants in NYC for VIPs.
Now, the wait list has long surpassed double digits. So, you’ll want to get your name down pronto. And, maybe organize a pay raise/rob a bank to afford the annual fee.
Once you’re in, you’ll get to share sliders and charcuterie with the likes of Kim Kardashian, Tom Brady, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Plus, you’ll love that this swanky club with gothic undertones is a classic pick for Met Gala afterparties.
Best Restaurants in NYC for Celebrities – SoHo
16. Altro Paradiso
Sightings of Jennifer Lawrence, Zoe Kravitz, and Lily-Rose Depp make Altro Paradiso one of the best restaurants in NYC for the cool kids.
Regardless of celebs, this picture-pretty Italian restaurant is always buzzy and one of the many fun restaurants in NYC for adults.
Keep things simple with cacio e pepe (the texture of the noodles will stun you) and the signature panna cotta.
Who knows, you might progress to splitting fries with Jen…
Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner are fans of the croissants at Balthazar, and you will be too.
This French brasserie is one of the best celebrity restaurants in NYC for breakfast.
And, the bar area and red banquette booths are super sophisticated. It’s not a bad time to spend a hopeful hour waiting to see a hungry celeb.
Besides brunch, the dinner menu of consists of escargot and steak frites So, you really will feel like you’re an extra on the Emily in Paris set and dining at one of the famous cafes in Paris.
Best Celebrity Eateries in NYC – Upper West Side
18. The Leopard at des Artistes
The Leopard at des Artistes replaced the former Cafe des Artistes at this landmark restaurant near Central Park.
Inside, you’ll be greeted by murals painted during the 1920s by Howard Chandler Christy. In fact, these are more famous than the food. Hence, an elite, artsy clientele.
FYI, that’s southern Italian delicacies like grilled octopus and tuna tartare on offer. Alternatively, you can dine on the sidewalk.
Local Tip: go for jazz brunch on the weekends.
Best Celebrity Restaurants in NYC – Upper East Side
19. The Mark Hotel
The “most boldly lavish hotel” is the motto of the Mark Hotel. Which makes sence since this 5-star property on Madison Avenue is the go-to spot for celebs attending the Met Gala and other events.
It also contains three of the best celebrity restaurants in NYC. Of course, the Mark Restaurant is the signature, serving a mix of grills, salads, and pizzas.
And, it’s attached Mark Bar accepts walk-ins for drinks.
So, show up in your finest attire and you might wind up clinking a Tom Collins with Cara Delevingne, Gigi Hadid, or Emma Stone.
20. Casa Cruz
Sister of Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham’s favorite London restaurant, Casa Cruz has made itself at home in a stunning, Beaux-Arts mansion that sits one block from Central Park.
It spans five floors (a mix of members-only and public) and features a rooftop terrace. The coolest part about one of the most unique restaurants in NYC is that each level is its own entity.
The menu mixes Spanish, Italian, and Mediterranean cooking. Order the small plates, like burrata and shellfish cocktails.
This is one of the best celebrity restaurants in NYC at night. See, the restaurant hosts live music and DJs.
Best Celebrity Restaurants in NYC – Financial District
21. Casa Cipriani
Take a seat at Casa Cipriani and gaze out over the river with a bellini. You’ll feel like you’ve hopped aboard an ocean liner.
Now, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds have regular date nights at this exclusive members-only club restaurant. However, the yearly fee is eye-wateringly high.
But, if you have money to burn, start with an order of the OG beef carpaccio followed by the iconic vanilla creme meringue.
Also, you can check out the Jazz Cafe where dinner includes live music.
Map of the Best Celebrity Restaurants in NYC
Best Celebrity Restaurants in NYC FAQs
What Restaurants Do Celebrities Go to in NYC?
The restaurants that celebrities go to in NYC include Nobu, Carbone, the Polo Bar, Sant Ambroeus, and more!
Where Am I Most Likely to See a Celebrity in NYC?
You are most likely to see a celebrity in NYC on Broadway. Grab tickets for a play/musical and see legends like It’s almost guaranteed that there are a couple of celebs in shows, like Lea Michele, Hugh Jackman, and Idina Menzel perform.
Where Does Rihanna Eat in NYC?
Rihanna eats at Diner Coppelia when she is NYC.
Where Do Celebrities Eat in Brooklyn?
Celebrities in Brooklyn eat at Olmsted, Da Andrea, Evelina, Positano Restaurant, Carbone, Gramercy Tavern, and La Grande Boucherie.