Post Overview: Best restaurants in Chelsea NYC
Looking for the best restaurants in Chelsea? This local has you covered!
In a neighborhood known for its colorful art exhibits and galleries, the dishes created in the popular neighborhood are just as eye-catching and vibrant. The best restaurants in Chelsea use plates as canvas’ and ingredients as paint.
Covering the gamut of diverse cultures and cuisines, restaurants in Chelsea have something for everyone. In this post we’ll cover spots that are affordable, perfect for date night and just solid go-to spots you can’t help but love.
So now for the real reason you’re here, let’s dive right into the best restaurants in Chelsea NYC.
Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +2 to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.
Best Restaurants in Chelsea
Los Tacos No. 1
Perhaps the most well known taqueria in New York City, Los Tacos No. 1 has a lot of well deserved hype behind it. The founders (originally from Tijuana & California) noticed a lack of authentic tacos in New York City and opted to bring that Mexican flavor to Manhattan.
Whilst they’re not the cheapest tacos you’ll find in NYC — they are the best. You can get 2 for around $10 and enjoy one of the best restaurants in Chelsea.
A simple menu pays homage to the traditional flavors of our southern neighbors. Things like corn tortillas made in house (always get corn) and pineapple slivers in their bestselling adobada tacos have helped propel them above their competition.
Even the ambience is authentic. Mexican music plays in the background, there are jugs of aguas frescas (Mexican drinks) and standing counters to eat at rather than tables. Since this is one of the best restaurants in Chelsea, expect there to be a line. Luckily it moves quickly and the tacos are well-worth the wait!
Address: 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Have you ever loved something so much you want to share it with everyone? Whether it’s a new music artist, a movie or a book. When you really, really love something all you want is to share it with the world.
Because that’s how Mani Dawes and Heather Belz felt about Spain’s bountiful tapas bars. Lucky for us they’re sharing the colorful, flavor cuisine at one of the best restaurants in Chelsea, Tia Pol.
Styled after tapas bars (tapas are like appetizers) from every corner of Spain there’s a glass of Spanish wine waiting for you at Tia Pol. The small, rustic space has a way of transporting you across the Atlantic to what feels like a small Spanish town.
Visiting provides ample opportunity to partake in classic Spanish plates as well as a full wine menu consisting entirely of Spanish wine. Tia Pol is one of the best restaurants in Chelsea for dates and catching up with a friend since most of the plates can be shared and drinks are always best shared.
Address: 205 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Jack’s Wife Freda
You might recognize Jack’s Wife Freda from Instagram. The cozy, homey vibes paired with the recognizable shade of green they use, has made this spot a favorite for both locals and visitors alike.
When a place sticks out as much as this one, you can only hope the food lives up to the presentation. Well I’m excited to report that the hype behind Jack’s Wife Freda is in fact valid and we consider it one of the best restaurants in Chelsea.
The food is delicious and the staff is kind. Our server made for pleasant small talk and regularly checked in on us throughout our dine.
At the end of the meal he told us we can’t leave Jack’s Wife Freda without having Naom’s Malva Pudding, which is a small African sponge cake doused in a sweet caramel pudding with a side of whipped cream. Oh my goodness…It was incredible.
The recommendation alone vaults their service to the top of our list of best restaurants in Chelsea!
Address: 116 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Located inside the Chelsea Market, Miznon is a place New Yorkers can get a fix of Mediterranean street food. Originally opening in Tel Aviv and expanding to Paris, Vienna and Melbourne, this Chelsea restaurant eventually made its way to New York City.
Opening the doors to the first U.S location in 2018, Miznon has since made a name for itself. Serving authentic Israeli inspired bites, the flavors here at unmatched.
I recommend ordering the lamb kebab pita or the rotisserie broken chicken pita. Another stand out is the folded cheeseburger. Truthfully everything I’ve ever had at this Chelsea restaurant is worth writing home about.
After grabbing a quick bite to eat, make sure to explore the rest of Chelsea Market! If you need something sweet to finish off your meal, Doughnuttery (in Chelsea Market) seems to do the trick.
Address: 435 W 15th St, New York, NY 10011
Named after owner Mathias Van Leyden’s rescue dog, LOULOU is a French restaurant that’s just as adorable as his pup. Colorful flowers adorn the outside of this Chelsea restaurant, stopping folks in their tracks to take pictures.
Serving classic French fare, making reservations at one of the best restaurants Chelsea should be high on everyone’s list.
What makes this restaurant stand out (aside from the amazing food) is that the lower level of the bistro is a speakeasy, churning out creative cocktails, nightly.
The drinks are not only innovative and clever, but they’re presented in some of the cutest glasses I’ve ever seen. Just take a look at the menu and you’ll understand the hype as to why I consider this to be one of the best restaurants in Chelsea.
I can’t recommend the croissant French toast (yes it’s a real thing!) and the “world is yours” cocktail (Gin, Sake, creme de peache & edible flowers served in an orb) enough. Both are delicious and warrant a visit alone.
Address: 176 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Dallas BBQ brings Texas style ribs, chicken and steaks to New York City masterfully, and is one of the best restaurants in Chelsea for anybody who loves meat.
A no frills, straightforward neighborhood joint it both looks and feels like you’re at a true Texas barbecue spot. The staff is friendly and the believe me when I say the portions are generous (everything is bigger in Texas).
Take the sticky wings for example, which are so big they could make a small chihuahua take flight. And the sticky sauce has to have an addictive ingredient because I can’t stop stuffing my face even after my belly is full.
You’ll also find a decent drink selection that’s full of fun frozen drink, of which most are sugary and sweet. Although it’s not necessarily my favorite type of drink, I know for some folks a sweet, icee-like margarita is bliss.
Dallas BBQ is also one of the best restaurants in Chelsea for families. Unlike hip, trendy restaurants in Chelsea where a kid feels more out of place than an eskimo at the beach, Dallas BBQ feels like it was copy and pasted straight out of an American suburb.
Address: 261 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011
My wife no longer asks me which restaurants in Chelsea I want to visit whenever we’re in the neighborhood. Instead she just asks “what time did you want to go to Momoya?”. What can I say, I’m a man who likes routine. 😉
I’ve been on a sushi kick for the last few months and nowhere seems to scratch the itch quite like Momoya.
As one of the best restaurants in Chelsea it should go without saying that the fish is fresh and the space is beautiful. Sun soaked and bright it’s impossible not to do a little happy dance as you stuff your face.
From sashimi to expertly crafted rolls Momoya provides everything you need for a successful sushi date. There’s even sake, so there’s no excuse not to visit.
Address: 185 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Socarrat Paella Bar
Socarrat is the crispy layer that forms at the bottom of a paella, and for a lot of Spaniards it’s the best part of the dish. It’s only fitting that one of the best Spanish restaurants in Chelsea is named after the delicacy.
Boasting a wide assortment of Spanish cuisine anybody craving a trip to Valencia (the city in Spain paella originated) will find a nice reprieve at Socarrat Paella Bar.
Something worth noting: Socarrat Paella Bar has mutliple locations around NYC but their first is their restaurant in Chelsea. And nothing is better than the original. 😉
Order a paella (the arroz negro is my favorite, made with squid ink it makes the rice black) and enjoy a drink. And since most the menu consists of tapas (appetizers) you can order a handful and try a little of everything.
There’s a large selection of Spanish wine, but in my opinion you can’t miss the sangria. You’ll get more bang for your buck if you buy it by the pitcher, so bring a friend when visiting one of the best restaurants in Chelsea.
Address: 259 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011
Let’s get real, who doesn’t love pasta? Just as the name suggests, Lasagna Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Chelsea if you’re in the mood for Italian.
But what sets this Italian restaurant apart from others is that Lasagna Restaurant also specializes in Mediterranean dishes, too. With an entire section of the menu dedicated to “international specials”, people eager to expand their pallet, have just hit the jackpot.
I can’t suggest ordering the Cinnamon Challah French Toast, enough. I’m always torn between that or the four cheese lasagna when I visit this Chelsea restaurant.
Address: 196 8th Ave Corner, W 20th St of, New York, NY 10011
Coppelia is one of the best restaurants in Chelsea to get brunch, along with every other meal of the day since they’re open 24/7!
This vibrant Chelsea restaurant was established in 2011 and has been serving the neighborhood with Cuban food since. Offering popular Latin dishes like Huevos Rancheros and Chilaquiles or classic American fare like steak & eggs, the all-day breakfast menu has something for everyone.
If breakfast food isn’t your favorite, no worries! The extensive menu at Coppelia has anything your heart desires. I strongly recommend trying the Cubano Sandwich, one of the best in New York City.
Coppelia is also one of the more affordable restaurants in Chelsea to get brunch with options on the menu ranging anywhere from $5 to less than $30. As well as cocktails ringing in around $12-$15, what a steal!
Address: 207 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011
Gallow Green is one of the first restaurants in Chelsea I bring folks I’m trying to impress. Found on the rooftop of the McKittrick Hotel the restaurant is set amidst what feels like an outdoor, thriving garden.
Spirits are high whenever I visit, well before we even get our food. The service has always been exceptional and it’s impossible not to be ecstatic on a beautiful, green rooftop in NYC.
The menu is relatively small, however this is one of the best restaurants in Chelsea for top-notch drinks. The impressive cocktails are priced similar to other restaurants in Chelsea (around $20-22) and add to the post-card setting’s charm.
Knowing this place was popular for the drinks and atmosphere, I was pleasantly surprised when the food I ordered was up to par. I highly recommend ordering the steak & frites if you’re hungry.
Address: 542 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001
Serving hot plates of tantalizing Middle Eastern fare Shukette is a true gem. Plates of still steaming, perfectly spiced meats, breads and vegetables are prepared and presented beautifully before locals who are wide-eyed and hungry.
The modern Middle Eastern plates are curated by chef Ayesha Nurdjaja (previously of Shuka, and a James Beard Award Finalist for Best Chef NY) it’s no surprise Shukette is one of the best restaurants in Chelsea.
It’s also one of the best restaurants in Chelsea to visit with friends, because there’s a plethora of dips and shareable appetizers. Pair your meal with a glass of wine and there’s no better place to hang out.
Address: 230 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001
In a town so full of Italian restaurants Pepe Giallo stands out among the crowd. Focused solely on making damn good food you’ll find hearty plates of pasta, pizzas, salads and meats.
As one of the best restaurants in Chelsea for more than 25 years Pepe Giallo is a local hot-spot. The vibe is perfect for a casual date night or clinking glasses of wine with an old friend.
Whether you sit indoors or the rustic back patio one thing is for certain, you won’t look up from your plate until you’ve wiped it clean. My suggestion is to order the penne vodka, made with a creamy sauce with a subtle kick.
Pepe Giallo is also one of the best restaurants in Chelsea for a budget-friendly meal. Most dishes are under $20 and punch above their weight.
Address: 195 10th Ave, New York, NY 10001
Elmo is one of the liveliest restaurants in Chelsea. Hosting Dj’d music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night and an energetic brunch on Sundays, Elmo is the place to be.
Serving classic American fare and the cutest cocktails, this trendy up-beat Chelsea restaurant fits the bill for many occasions. The spacious atmosphere along with the attentive staff leaves a lasting impression and the food that follows is equally as impressive.
The truffle fries are something I still dream about to this day. As one of the best restaurants in Chelsea, lines are all but guaranteed. Plan your trip in advance and make reservations to save you some trouble.
Address: 156 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011
If you’re feeling nostalgic and searching for the best restaurants in Chelsea, make sure to check out Empire Diner. It’s a modern take on the old-school, classic diner look. The best part? Empire Diner has been serving the neighborhood since 1976 with traditional American food.
You can expect typical diner fare, from the traditional eggs & bacon breakfast to a juicy burger with fries. Regardless if you’re stopping by for breakfast or a late lunch, the freshly baked buttermilk biscuits are non-negotiable and must be ordered.
Since the Empire Diner is considered to be one of the best restaurants in Chelsea, I recommend starting your day here early to avoid having to wait in any lines.
Address: 210 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Every time I visit Buddakan I’m reminded that not every restaurant in New York City is tiny, because this one is enormous! It’s one of the best restaurants in Chelsea, with its extravagant chandeliers, long tables and candles. It’s a place fit for a royal feast, but luckily laymen like me are allowed inside.
The restaurant features a modern take on Asian food. You’ll find everything from seafood to dim sum made and presented by masterful hands, perfect for impressing you and your company.
The staff is also befitting of such an elegant place, with the servers always giving five star service. That’s why Buddakan is one of the best restaurants in Chelsea to celebrate a promotion, anniversary or intimate birthday.
There’s drinks and desserts available and I always suggest finishing with something sweet. Luckily Buddakan makes one of my favorite desserts in the city, a black sesame yuzu mousse cake that’s served with honey ginger glaze and mandarin orange sorbet.
Address: 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Native New Yorker and TV host Michael Chernow founded Seamore’s in 2015 after noticing a need for fresh seafood in NYC. For a city surrounded by water most of the seafood was shipped in, and Seamores aimed to change that.
Most of the fish used at Seamore’s is caught on the East Coast 24-48 hours before it hits your plate. The sheer freshness is why I consider Seamore’s some of the best restaurants in Chelsea.
From fish tacos to lobster benedict, you’d be surprised with the amount of seafood you can incorporate into brunch. If someone in your party isn’t fond of the ocean there’s no need to leave, there are traditional brunch dishes as well.
This is also one of the best restaurants in Chelsea to score a great happy hour deal! Weekdays from 3pm to 6pm, folks can enjoy $1.50 oysters along with select beers, wines and mixed drinks for under $10.
Address: 161 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Fonda is the ideal restaurant in Chelsea for those who can’t get enough guacamole and tequila. This Mexican restaurant serves authentic dishes and the tequila-based drinks are hard to beat.
With plenty of seating indoors thanks the the two levels in the restaurant and the charming outdoor seating, snagging a table at one of the best restaurants in Chelsea just became easier.
I’m always torn when trying to decide when my favorite time to visit it because Fonda has both a great happy hour and a phenomenal brunch special.
Happy hour at this Chelsea restaurant runs all day Monday, and Tuesday through Sunday from 4 to 6pm (bar only). During this time appetizers go for $11 and drinks will range anywhere from $7-12. Whereas the brunch special runs on the weekends only. But for less than $40 you get an entree and three brunch cocktails!
Regardless of when you choose to visit, Fonda is one of the best restaurants in Chelsea if you’re looking to score a deal.
Address: 189 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
If you’re a health-nut looking for the best restaurants in Chelsea then Westville Chelsea has to be at the top of your list.
Westville’s menu is compiled of options for people with all sorts of dietary restrictions. Vegans, vegetarians and folks who enjoy eating out but still want to eat clean are all welcome here.
This Chelsea restaurant serves classic American-fare like salads, burgers and hotdogs. The brunch here is also worth making a detour for. I recommend ordering the California Benedict which is your typical eggs and Benedict but with hash browns instead of English muffins.
Address: 88 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Cookshop is not only a place to get some delicious brunch, but it’s also one of the most aesthetically pleasing restaurants in Chelsea.
The clean and open interior fills with natural daylight during the mornings. And the restaurant is constantly bustling with eager folks who just want to eat their body weight in brunch food.
Expect to find modern American fare and don’t even think about leaving without ordering the beignets (served with a seasonal compote and ricotta). I still dream about them to this day!
Since this is one of the best restaurants in Chelsea, it can be hard to get a reservations — make them in advance. Long wait times on the weekends are inevitable, but trust me it is worth it.
Address: 156 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Best Restaurants in Chelsea (Post Summary)
- Westville Chelsea
- Empire Diner
- Pepe Giallo
- Gallow Green
- Lasagna Restaurant
- Socarrat Paella Bar
- Dallas BBQ
- Jack’s Wife Freda
- Tía Pol
- Los Tacos No. 1
Map of the Best Chelsea Restaurants NYC
Love Chelsea NYC? Us too! Check out some of our other guides regarding the charming New York City neighborhood.
- 15 Charming Coffee Shops in Chelsea (Local’s Can’t Help But Love!)
- 12 Charming Bars in Chelsea NYC (You’ll Keep Coming Back To)
- 20 Epic Things to Do in Chelsea (That Will Leave You Inspired)
And there it is my friends! The best restaurants in Chelsea NYC. I hope you enjoyed the post.
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