Food & Drink

Get Ready to Feast: NYC’s 19 Most Quirky Eateries

New York City is a food lover's paradise. With an abundance of restaurants, cafes, and food trucks, there's never a shortage of delicious food to try.

But if you're looking for something truly unique, you'll want to venture off the beaten path and explore some of the city's lesser-known eateries.

From hole-in-the-wall joints serving up delectable dishes from around the world to trendy spots with quirky decor and innovative menus, there's no shortage of unique restaurants in New York City.

These hidden gems offer a dining experience unlike any other, and are perfect for those looking to try something new.

Whether you're in the mood for authentic Italian cuisine, Korean BBQ, or vegan comfort food, there's a unique restaurant in New York City that's sure to satisfy your cravings.

And with so many options to choose from, you're sure to discover your new favorite spot. So why not venture off the beaten path and explore some of the city's best unique restaurants? You never know what delicious surprises await.

1. Gramercy Tavern

Gramercy Tavern
42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003 (Google Maps)

Gramercy Tavern is a unique restaurant that offers both a casual bar section and a more formal dining room with a set tasting menu.

The food is excellent, and the service is impeccable.

The restaurant has a great atmosphere, but it can be noisy. The floral arrangements are stunning and add to the overall experience.

The restaurant is a must-visit for anyone looking for fine dining with a New American twist.

2. COTE Korean Steakhouse

Cote Korean Steakhouse
16 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10010 (Google Maps)

COTE Korean Steakhouse is a sleek and upscale restaurant that specializes in Korean steak.

With smokeless grills at each table, diners can enjoy a unique and interactive dining experience. The food is high quality and the staff is professional and knowledgeable.

The extensive wine list adds to the overall dining experience. Though the reservation process could be improved, the food and service make it worthwhile.

COTE is a must-try for anyone looking for a unique and delicious dining experience.

3. The Modern

The Modern
9 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019 (Google Maps)

The Modern is a unique restaurant offering high-class service and great food. The diverse selection of wines complements the complex, high-quality ingredients used in their dishes.

The restaurant offers a calming environment and good prices for the type of dining experience.

The tasting menu is filling and the bar room is a great option for families. The service is impeccable, and the decor is lovely.

While some dishes may be underwhelming, overall, The Modern is an exceptional dining experience.

4. Manhatta

28 Liberty St 60th floor, New York, NY 10005 (Google Maps)

Manhatta is a high-end restaurant with breathtaking views from its 60th-floor location. The attentive and knowledgeable staff ensures a memorable dining experience.

The creative menu offers dishes with stimulating flavors, presented beautifully. The bar serves excellent drinks, and the atmosphere is upscale and relaxed.

Although pricey, the view alone is worth the visit. The entrance is not obvious, adding to the restaurant's exclusivity.

The service fee is structured in the price, making it guest-friendly. Manhatta is a must-visit for anyone looking for a unique dining experience with a view.

5. Shukette

230 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001 (Google Maps)

Shukette is a unique Mediterranean restaurant that serves up delicious and flavorful dishes. The menu features a variety of kebabs, seafood specialties, and vegetarian options.

The standouts include the Moroccan bread, creamy hummus, and butter beans with green harissa. The heirloom citrus salad is a refreshing palate cleanser between meals.

The lamb and chicken kebabs are also worth a try. The restaurant has a lively atmosphere and friendly staff. The cocktails and soft-serve desserts are a must-try.

Although the prices are a bit high, the food, service, and ambiance are worth it. Shukette is a great spot for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner.

6. Frevo

48 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011 (Google Maps)

Frevo is a unique restaurant experience that is tucked away behind an art gallery.

With only 16 seats at the chef's counter, guests have an intimate view of the open kitchen and can watch the staff prepare their meals. The service is superb, with a welcoming and helpful staff that is not pushy.

The food is excellent, combining premium ingredients in dishes that exalt them without trying to show off.

The wine pairings are also fantastic, with a great selection of French wines. Frevo is definitely a hidden gem that deserves more recognition.

7. Per Se

Per Se
10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019 (Google Maps)

Per Se is a New American fine dining restaurant that offers luxurious fixed-price menus.

The restaurant has earned three Michelin stars and is well-known for its exemplary service and culinary experience. The restaurant's sommelier is highly knowledgeable and the wine collection is great.

The food is perfectly cooked and well-balanced, with stand-out dishes like buttered noodles with truffles. The restaurant is family-friendly and a great place to celebrate a special occasion.

The ambiance is classy and the waiters are knowledgeable and friendly. The views of Central Park add to the luxury experience. Per Se is a must-visit for anyone looking to explore fine dining.

8. Momofuku Ko

Momofuku Ko
8 Extra Pl, New York, NY 10003 (Google Maps)

Momofuku Ko is a tiny 12-seat eatery that offers a unique Asian-accented American dining experience. The exclusive restaurant, owned by David Chang, serves a multi-course meal that is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

The ingredients used are fresh and locally sourced, and the chefs are knowledgeable about what they are serving.

The ambiance is trendy and hip and the decor is contemporary. The service is spot-on, attentive but not overbearing.

The prices are a little expensive, but you get a glass of wine or champagne and a little to go present to ease the pain. If you want to try something new and exciting, Momofuku Ko should definitely be on your list.

9. Dirt Candy

Dirt Candy
86 Allen St, New York, NY 10002 (Google Maps)

Dirt Candy is a unique vegetarian and vegan restaurant that offers innovative and creative dishes. The menu changes with the seasons, so there's always something new to try.

The food is beautifully presented and delicious, showcasing the incredible potential of vegetables. The cocktails are also unique and well-crafted.

The service is exceptional, with knowledgeable and friendly staff. Tipping is included in the price, making the overall experience reasonable.

The ambiance is stylish and modern, making it a great spot for a date or a night out with friends. Dirt Candy is a must-visit for anyone looking for a memorable vegetarian dining experience.

10. Atera

77 Worth St, New York, NY 10013 (Google Maps)

Atera is a unique restaurant that offers an intimate and elegant dining experience.

The staff is silent at first, but the flawless service and plate presentation create a fascinating show.

The creative and flavorful cuisine is paired with interesting wines, making for an exceptional dining experience.

The restaurant offers a high-end New American tasting menu that is worth every penny. Atera should be the barometer by which all other restaurants are judged.

11. Aquavit

65 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022 (Google Maps)

Aquavit offers exceptional Scandinavian cuisine in a chic and minimalist setting. The restaurant has earned two Michelin stars and offers a chef's tasting menu that is truly inspirational.

The service is attentive and knowledgeable, and the transition pieces between courses are a nice touch.

The seafood bouillabaisse and Swedish meatballs are standout dishes, and the almond cake dessert is a perfect finish to the meal.

The alcohol pairing and aquavits are also highly recommended. Aquavit is a definite treat for anyone looking for an upscale dining experience.

12. Scalini Fedeli

Scalini Fedeli
165 Duane St, New York, NY 10013 (Google Maps)

Scalini Fedeli is a unique Italian restaurant that offers French-influenced cuisine. The elegant, vaulted interior with Tuscan touches creates a romantic atmosphere.

The pre-fixe menus offer a variety of delicious options, including seafood pasta, Bolognese, and steak.

The service is outstanding, matching the gourmet foods. Though a bit pricey, the five-course meal for $75 is a great deal.

A must-try for anyone looking for an upscale dining experience.

13. Marc Forgione

Marc Forgione
134 Reade St, New York, NY 10013 (Google Maps)

Marc Forgione is a unique restaurant that offers rustic, farm-to-table cuisine in a cozy and intimate setting.

The menu boasts heavy and hearty main courses that are bursting with flavor and are sure to satisfy any foodie's cravings. The service is top-notch, and the staff is friendly and attentive without being overbearing.

The ambiance is unpretentious, making it a great spot for any occasion. The cocktail and wine selection is impressive, and the desserts are a must-try.

If you're looking for a dining experience that's both sophisticated and down-to-earth, Marc Forgione is definitely worth a visit.

14. Craft

43 E 19th St, New York, NY 10003 (Google Maps)

Craft is a unique restaurant that focuses on the craftsmanship of food preparation.

The minimalist presentation of their dishes allows the flavors to shine through. The spacious room has a warm atmosphere with wooden walls and a wine library.

The staff is super friendly and accommodating, even to those with allergies. The lunch service is great, and the food is delectable, fresh, and vibrant.

The dinner service is outstanding, and the tasting menu is a must-try. Craft is a refined, posh, upscale restaurant at the top of its game.

15. Le Coucou

Le Coucou
138 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10013 (Google Maps)

Le Coucou is a rustic-chic French restaurant that offers refined French cuisine in an elegant setting. The menu features classic French dishes such as lobster, rabbit, duck, and foie gras, all prepared with a modern twist.

The dining room is beautifully designed, with an airy and sophisticated ambiance that sets the perfect mood for a romantic night out.

The service is impeccable, with attentive waitstaff who are knowledgeable about the menu and wine selection.

Le Coucou is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a unique and unforgettable dining experience.

16. Gotham Restaurant

Gotham Restaurant
12 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003 (Google Maps)

Gotham Restaurant is a must-visit for those seeking exceptional cuisine and service.

The modern and exquisite dishes are served in a traditional establishment, creating a unique and unforgettable experience. The plating is impeccable, and the desserts are exquisite.

The staff is attentive and knowledgeable, making the dining experience even more enjoyable.

Despite the slightly higher prices, Gotham Restaurant is worth every penny for those looking for a relaxed yet upscale New American spot.

17. Dame

87 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012 (Google Maps)

Dame is a unique seafood restaurant that offers a relaxed and casual dining experience. The menu features a variety of hearty mains and small plates, all made with fresh and high-quality ingredients.

The standout dish is the fish and chips, with a light and crispy batter that is hard to beat.

The restaurant also has a terrace for those who want to enjoy their meal outside.

While prices can be a bit on the high side, it's worth it for the quality of the food and the overall atmosphere. If you're looking for a unique seafood spot, Dame is definitely worth a visit.

18. Wicked Jane

Wicked Jane
15 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011 (Google Maps)

Wicked Jane is a unique restaurant that offers a small but impressive menu of New American cuisine.

The food is impeccably executed and the service is attentive without being overbearing. The ambiance is a mix of 70s rock lounge and romantic intimacy.

The cocktail and wine list are extensive, with rare finds that are generously shared with guests. The purple velvet chairs add a touch of whimsy to the overall decor.

If you're in the mood for a memorable dining experience, Wicked Jane is definitely worth a visit.

19. L'Appart

225 Liberty St, New York, NY 10281 (Google Maps)

L'Appart is a unique restaurant that offers an intimate dining experience. The French tasting menu is prepared by Chef Nicolas Abello, who incorporates small touches of Filipino cuisine into his dishes.

The food is meticulously created and bursts with flavor, with even the simplest ingredients elevated to new heights.

The decor matches the food art and creates a warm and intimate atmosphere, like eating in a friend's home. The service is excellent and the staff is highly professional.

The wine pairings are flawless and the rock sugars for the espresso add a unique touch. L'Appart is a must-visit for those looking for a fine dining experience in posh quarters.