A New Yorker’s Take on the Best Italian Joints Across the 5 Boroughs

The options are endless and the list is up for debate, but here are a few must-try favorites.

By: Felicia LaLomia, ISDA Contributing Editor

New York City is blessed with countless Italian restaurants. They are just about everywhere. Around every corner is a pizza shop, or pasta and wine bar that will give you the carbs you are craving. But if you’re up for something a little more involved, here’s a list of some of the best Italian spots to check out around New York City, one for each borough.

The Bronx

Roberto’s, 603 Crescent Ave.

Head to Arthur Avenue, and you’ll find the street is filled with Italian restaurants. But one not to miss is Roberto’s. The menu has a modern flare, and the location is just tucked away enough. Their wine list is impressive, and they serve up Salerno specialties. The Vitello al Cotechino (a veal scallopini dish) and Fusilli in Cartoccio (mussels with pasta) are two must-try recipes. The atmosphere is modern rustic with brick walls and dark wood furniture, but it still feels cozy and familiar.


Bamonte’s, 32 Withers St.

Switching gears to a more old school Italian restaurant, Bamonte’s is that classic red sauce place that many have come to know and love. Located in Williamsburg (for over a century!), this spot is one of Brooklyn’s best. It’s still in the same family, the servers wear suits and the hospitality is fantastic. Look out for their homemade ravioli, Seafood Fra Diavolo, and of course, a classic to take you home, spaghetti and meatballs. Also, if you’re not convinced, maybe this fact will change your mind—The Sopranos filmed here.

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Celeste, 502 Amsterdam Ave.

If you are in the mood for Neopolitan fare, Celeste is the place to be. Located in a bit quieter area of Manhattan, the Upper West Side, you’ll be able to find lots of Italian joints up here, but this spot is one-of-a-kind. Be prepared: it’s cash only, and you’ll probably have to wait for a table. But it will be worth it. If you don’t know what to order, ask owner Carmine Mitroni—she’ll give you some ideas. But we recommend literally any of their pizzas, the fried artichoke or the tagliatelle with shrimp are delicious. 



Manetta’s, 10-76 Jackson Ave.

Take a ride across the bridge to this well-known mainstay. Manetta’s is a great combination of classic with some modern flare. It’s certainly more casual but the menu has plenty of options. There’s wood-fired pizza, parmigiano dishes galore (eggplant, chicken, shrimp, veal…), filet mignon and squid ink pastas. The atmosphere is family-friendly, affordable and even a little cozy during the winter with the fireplace. 


Staten Island

Nino’s, 1110 Hylan Blvd.

If you’re up for taking the ferry (it’s free!) across the water, you have to make a stop at Nino’s. For the purists out there, this last one is for you. This Italian spot is affordable and has all the menu staples you are looking for. The atmosphere is surprisingly spacious and if it’s warm, you can sit outside on the patio. Delicious items to try include Nino’s Pollo Ripieno, which is chicken stuffed with spinach and ricotta served with porcini sauce, or the linguini with clams. If you’re craving more, they have a three course dinner special for about $30.

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