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Our City Guides is from the point of view of the people we interview. A restaurant cannot be listed in our guides unless it is recommended by one of the tastemakers we’ve featured. We don’t want you to see the restaurant world through our eyes, but rather through the eyes of your favorite tastemakers in every industry. Why us? Why not them?

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Balaboosta

Recommended by: Amirah Kassem (Baker/Owner, Flour Shop)

Balaboosta serves creative dishes of the Mediterranean meets Middle East style that won’t disappoint you. The restaurant is simultaneously trendy and warm, and the comfortable and intimate atmosphere create a great spot for weekend brunch, weekday lunch, or dinner out. Make a reservation.  www.balaboosta.com

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Café el Portal

Recommended by: John Jannuzzi (Senior Digital Editor, GQ)

This tiny, unpretentious Mexican restaurant is a refreshing change of pace amidst the many trendy spots scattered about the streets of NoLIta. With walls painted in a cheerful light green, Café el Portal serves authentic Mexican dishes and tempting desserts. As GQ‘s John Jannuzzi puts it, “There are very few seats but it’s some of [...]

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Café Gitane Nolita

Recommended by: Karlie Kloss (Model), Peter Tunney (Artist, Peter Tunney Art), Jodie Snyder Morel (DANNIJO), Marta Milans (Actress), Reece Solomon (Handbag Designer), Aurelie Bidermann (Jewelry Designer), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Actor), Emily Wickersham (Actress)

Possibly one of the chicest lunch spots you can go to, Café Gitane is all about the people-watching. Oh, and have we mentioned the food? We recommend it for brunch rather than dinner; you may have to wait awhile but the avocado toast will be worth it… “The avocado toast is life changing!” – Karlie [...]

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Emilio’s Ballato

Recommended by: John DeLucie (Chef, The Lion), Kim Stolz (Co-Owner, The Dalloway), Danielle Snyder and Jodie Snyder Morel (DANNIJO), Sean Largotta (Crown Group Hospitality), Katie Lee (Host, The Kitchen), Ramya Giangola (Fashion Consultant), Joe Schildhorn (BFA)

This Italian spot has been around since 1956, and is the kind of spot we’d like to imagine had some mafia business go down. A rare change from refined Italian, twists on Italian, reinventions of Italian (and all the other things New York chefs are doing with Italian food now), Ballato definitely strikes a classic [...]

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Emporio

Recommended by: John Jannuzzi (Senior Digital Editor, GQ)

This Roman-inspired trattoria resembles a vintage Italian grocery store and whips up pizzas, homemade pastas, and other Italian small plates that taste like you’ve been transported to the boot. Emporio’s twenties-era rustic-industrial interior features a lovely vaulted skylit ceiling in the back that turns the room into a sort of greenhouse. “For Italian in the neighborhood [...]

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Epistrophy

Recommended by: Amirah Kassem (Baker/Owner, Flour Shop)

Rustic and romantic, Epistrophy offers genuine Sardinian cuisine in a quaint and laid-back space. The antique decorated restaurant is perfect for taking out someone special, and also has outdoor seating. There’s live Jazz every Sunday and Epistrophy is home to an annual micro music festival called “E se (What if…).” Make a reservation.  www.epistrophy.com

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Estela

Recommended by: Branden McRill (Co-Owner/General Manager, Pearl & Ash), Nancy Novogrod (Editor-in-Chief, Travel + Leisure), Pilar Guzman (Editor-in-Chief, Condé Nast Traveler), Nicholas Jammet (Co-Founder, sweetgreen), Ingrid Nilsen (YouTube Personality), Jud Mongell (Five Leaves), Tyler Haney (Designer)

Estela is an intimate little venue for sharing the small Mediterranean-influenced plates that accompany the long wine list and inspired cocktails. However petite, the restaurant has attractive interior, beautifully prepared appetizers, and definitely feels like Europe. “Another one that I’m crazy about is Estela. That’s become my go-to in the city. They do this amazing [...]

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Ferrera Bakery & Cafe

Recommended by: Alex Guarnaschelli (Iron Chef)

This charming though borderline touristic Italian American bakery is a legend in Little Italy, and has been around for more than 120 years. The dim, marble-tabled bakery hasn’t changed much since its earlier days, and serves some of the city’s best cannolis, Napoleon cake and tiramisu. In charge of bringing dessert to a potluck? Look no further. [...]

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Juice Press Nolita

Recommended by: Misha Nonoo (Fashion Designer), Christene Barberich (Editor-in-Chief, Refinery29), Adam Glassman (Creative Director, O Magazine), Rachel Antonoff (Fashion Designer), Karlie Kloss (Model), Robert Bohr (Co-Owner/Sommelier, Charlie Bird), Kaelen Haworth (Fashion Designer), Cynthia Rowley (Fashion Designer), Marta Milans (Actress), Chris Benz (Fashion Designer), Robert Lee Morris (Jewelry Designer), Aurelie Bidermann (Jewelry Designer), Erin Heatherton (Model), Katherine Jenkins (Singer), Olivia Chantecaille (Creative Director, Chantecaille)

This juice and health food spot has definitely made converts out of us. With amazing fresh pressed juices, as well as unbelievable snacks and entrees like Raw Oatmeal, Kale Caesar Salad and the unbelievable Avocado Toast, Juice Press makes health nuts out of even the most die hard of foodies. “I am obsessed with ALL [...]

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Lombardi’s

Recommended by: Jimmi Simpson (Actor)

This iconic pizza spot on the border of Little Italy and Nolita is a favorite among New Yorkers and tourists alike. It was founded in 1905, making it the first pizza place in the United States, and is definitely worth a visit for delicious coal oven baked pizza. www.firstpizza.com

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Lovely Day

Recommended by: Amanda Leigh Dunn (Co-Owner, The Dalloway), Leandra Medine (The Man Repeller), Daphne Oz (Host, The Chew), Jake Rosenberg (The Coveteur), Matt Levine (Restaurateur, Chalk Point Kitchen), Morgan Saylor (Actress)

This quirky Nolita spot boasts Thai cuisine in an unexpected aesthetic. Between funky tiled floors, red formica tables and bar stool seats seemingly straight out of an old school diner, it’s a contrasting setting to the Thai food served. That’s part of its charm though, and the cozy spot is no doubt a neighborhood favorite. [...]

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Papabubble

Recommended by: Amirah Kassem (Baker/Owner, Flour Shop)

A Barcelona based artisanal candy store, Papabubble is delicious and entertaining. Here, you can watch them make handmade candies in every traditional flavor plus their specialty ones in all different shapes and decorations in a shop that looks a little like a candy laboratory. www.papabubble.com

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Parm

Recommended by: Amirah Kassem (Baker/Owner, Flour Shop), Busy Philipps (Actress), Brett David (Co-Creative Director, Rochelle’s), John Jannuzzi (Senior Digital Editor, GQ), Aurelie Bidermann (Jewelry Designer), Josh Radnor (Actor), Jonathan Levine (Director)

Serving what should be called Italian soul food, Parm is a perfect little lunch spot that also happens to serve dinner and dinner specials. The classic, cozy, and friendly atmosphere at Parm makes it the quintessential Italian-American stop. “Parm from chefs Carbone & Torrisi is so delicious, and I love its casual, neighborhood feel.” – [...]

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Pearl & Ash

Recommended by: Chris Jaeckle (Chef, All’onda)

At Pearl & Ash, wine takes center stage but does not upstage their exquisite tapas-style dishes. Serving guests at sleek bare wood tables, this eclectic restaurant boasts a well-curated selection of small plates and an inspired wine list that has people talking. www.pearlandash.com

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Prince St. Pizza

Recommended by: Michael White (Chef/Owner, Altamarea Group)

This place is known for “The Soho Square” – pies named after different streets in the neighborhood inspired by the owner’s childhood. It’s no-muss no-fuss comfort pizza place with exposed brick décor and some classic Neopolitan. “Lunch would transport me to the Nolita neighborhood [in New York City] for pizza at Prince Street Pizza, preferably [...]

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Public

Recommended by: Rumi Neely (Fashion Toast)

Brad Farmerie’s restaurant in Nolita serves up eclectic menu items inspired by Farmeries love for wild game, travels and hard-to-find ingredients. Be prepared for dishes you don’t normally find anywhere else in a sleek environment. Make a Reservation. www.public-nyc.com

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Rebelle

Recommended by: Jordan Salcito (Beverage Director, Momufuku)

From the owners of Pearl & Ash comes Rebelle, a wine-focused French restaurant with a list that features 1,500 bottles sourced solely from France and the US. The industrial-style restaurant took over the stripper polls and grimy velvet walls of an old dive bar on Bowery, transforming it into a crisp and clean restaurant serving French classics [...]

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Rubirosa

Recommended by: Leandra Medine (The Man Repeller), Amirah Kassem (Baker/Owner, Flour Shop), Brad Goreski (Stylist), Jennifer Fisher (Jewelry Designer), Natalia Dyer (Actress)

Rubirosa is the Nolita pizza spot deemed by Leandra Medine (The Man Repeller) as the food she’d serve at her ultimate dream dinner party. We would to: The thin crust pizza that comes from a fifty-one-year-old family recipe is enough to make Manhattanites travel downtown – even though great pizza is on every block. Make [...]