10 Must-Try Ethnic Restaurants in NYC

10 Must-Try Ethnic Restaurants in NYC

New York City, a melting pot of cultures, offers a culinary landscape as diverse as its population. From the bustling streets of Chinatown to the vibrant neighborhoods of Little Italy, the city's ethnic restaurants provide a gastronomic adventure that's second to none.

In this article, we'll explore 10 must-try ethnic restaurants in NYC. Each offers a unique taste of the world. So, grab your fork and knife, and let's dive in!

1. Mamouns Falafel – A Taste of the Middle East

A Humble Beginning

Mamouns Falafel is located in the heart of Greenwich Village. It has been serving up authentic Middle Eastern cuisine since 1971. What started as a small family-run business has now become a beloved institution for falafel lovers. The menu is simple but packed with flavor, offering classics like falafel sandwiches, shawarma, and baklava.

Why You Should Visit

The charm of Mamouns lies in its authenticity and affordability. You can enjoy a hearty meal without breaking the bank. The falafel is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and perfectly seasoned. Paired with their signature hot sauce, it's a flavor explosion that you won't soon forget. It's not just a meal; it's an experience that connects you to the rich culinary traditions of the Middle East.

2. Joe's Shanghai – The Best Soup Dumplings in Town

A Chinatown Gem

Nestled in the bustling streets of Chinatown, Joe's Shanghai has become synonymous with soup dumplings. Since its opening in 1995, this restaurant has been a go-to spot for locals and tourists alike, eager to taste their famous Xiao Long Bao.

Why You Should Visit

Joe's Shanghai offers an authentic Chinese dining experience. The star of the show, their soup dumplings, are meticulously crafted, with a delicate skin enveloping a rich and flavorful broth. The moment you bite into one, you're transported to the streets of Shanghai. The menu also offers a wide variety of traditional dishes, from General Tso's Chicken to Szechuan-style shrimp. It's a culinary journey that's both satisfying and enlightening.

3. Caracas Arepa Bar – Venezuelan Delights

A Taste of Venezuela

Caracas Arepa Bar brings the vibrant flavors of Venezuela to the heart of NYC. With locations in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. This restaurant specializes in arepas, a staple of Venezuelan cuisine. These cornmeal patties are grilled to perfection and filled with a variety of delicious ingredients.

Why You Should Visit

The arepas at Caracas are a must-try. Whether you opt for the classic Reina Pepiada filled with chicken and avocado or the adventurous De Pabellón with shredded beef, black beans, and plantains, you're in for a treat. The ambiance is lively, the service is friendly, and the food is a celebration of Venezuelan culture. Additionally, it's a dining experience that's both fun and fulfilling.

4. L'Artusi – Italian Elegance

A Modern Twist on Italian Classics

L'Artusi is located in the trendy West Village. It offers a contemporary take on traditional Italian cuisine. With a sleek and elegant interior, this restaurant provides a sophisticated dining experience without losing the warmth and comfort of classic Italian cooking.

Why You Should Visit

The menu at L'Artusi is a delightful blend of innovation and tradition. From their house-made pasta to their expertly crafted seafood dishes, every plate is a work of art. The wine list is extensive, and the desserts are divine. It's a place where you can enjoy a romantic dinner or celebrate a special occasion. L'Artusi elevates Italian dining to a whole new level.

5. Miss Lily's – Jamaican Vibes

A Caribbean Escape

Miss Lily's, with its colorful decor and lively atmosphere, transports you straight to the heart of Jamaica. Located in SoHo, this restaurant offers a taste of the Caribbean, serving up classic Jamaican dishes with a modern twist.

Why You Should Visit

The food at Miss Lily's is a celebration of Jamaican culture. From jerk chicken to oxtail stew, the flavors are bold and the spices are just right. The cocktails are tropical and refreshing, and the music keeps the vibe upbeat. It's more than just a meal; it's a party. So, if you're looking for a fun night out with friends or a unique dining experience, Miss Lily's delivers.

6. Kyo Ya – Japanese Artistry

A Hidden Gem

Kyo Ya, tucked away in the East Village, is a hidden gem that offers an exquisite Japanese dining experience. With its minimalist decor and attentive service, this restaurant provides a serene and intimate setting.

Why You Should Visit

The menu at Kyo Ya is a culinary masterpiece. From the delicate sashimi to the artful kaiseki tasting menu, every dish is crafted with precision and care. The flavors are subtle yet profound, and the presentation is nothing short of breathtaking. It's a place where food becomes art, and dining becomes an unforgettable experience.

7. Café Mogador – Moroccan Magic

A Stalwart of East Village

Café Mogador has been a staple of the East Village since 1983. It offers a cozy and authentic Moroccan dining experience. With its warm lighting and traditional decor, this restaurant invites you to travel to the enchanting world of Moroccan cuisine.

Why You Should Visit

The menu at Café Mogador is rich and flavorful, featuring classics like tagines, couscous, and lamb dishes. The spices are aromatic, and the flavors are well-balanced. Whether you're a fan of Moroccan food or a curious first-timer, Café Mogador provides a delightful culinary journey. Pair your meal with their signature mint tea, and you'll feel like you're dining in the heart of Marrakech.

8. Veselka – Ukrainian Comfort Food

A Piece of Ukrainian Heritage

Veselka is located in the East Village. It has been serving up Ukrainian comfort food since 1954. This 24-hour diner is a beloved institution, offering a taste of Ukrainian heritage in the heart of NYC.

Why You Should Visit

From borscht to pierogi, the menu at Veselka is hearty and satisfying. The food is made with love, and the atmosphere is welcoming. It's a place where you can enjoy a late-night snack or a leisurely brunch. The flavors are authentic, and the experience is genuinely comforting. Veselka is a reminder of the simple joys of home-cooked meals.

9. Pio Pio – Peruvian Flavors

A Peruvian Feast

Pio Pio, with several locations across NYC for ethnic restaurants, specializes in Peruvian cuisine, particularly the famous Pollo a la Brasa, or Peruvian roasted chicken. The ambiance is lively, and the decor is vibrant, reflecting the colorful culture of Peru.

Why You Should Visit

The chicken at Pio Pio is marinated to perfection and roasted to a golden brown. It's juicy, flavorful, and utterly irresistible. The menu also offers a variety of traditional Peruvian dishes, from ceviche to lomo saltado. The cocktails, especially the Pisco Sour, are a perfect complement to the meal. Pio Pio provides a festive and flavorful dining experience that's sure to leave you craving more.

10. Ghenet Brooklyn – Ethiopian Adventure

A Taste of Ethiopia

Ghenet Brooklyn offers a unique and immersive Ethiopian dining experience is one of famous ethnic restaurants in NYC. Located in the vibrant neighborhood of Gowanus, this restaurant invites you to explore the rich and diverse flavors of Ethiopian cuisine.

Why You Should Visit

Dining at Ghenet is a communal experience. The food is served on a large platter, and you eat with your hands, using the spongy injera bread to scoop up the various stews and salads. The flavors are bold, and the textures are varied. It's a fun and interactive way to enjoy a meal. 


New York City's culinary scene is a reflection of its cultural diversity. From the savory falafel of the Middle East to the delicate artistry of Japanese cuisine, the city offers a world of flavors waiting to be explored. These 10 must-try ethnic restaurants provide a glimpse into the rich tapestry of global gastronomy.

All Ethnic Restaurants of NYC offers a unique and authentic experience that's not only satisfying to the palate but also enriching to the soul. So next time you're in the Big Apple, take your taste buds on a journey and savor the flavors of the world. Your culinary adventure awaits!

In the age of Instagram, food is not just about taste; it's about presentation too. So, if you're looking for dishes that are as photogenic as they are delicious, you've come to the right place. Here's a guide to the best Instagrammable food in NYC that will make your followers drool.

Become an Insider!  Step into the world of luxury with RESIDENT Magazine. Click here to subscribe to our exclusive newsletter and gain unparalleled access to the latest in luxury lifestyle, high-end real estate, travel exclusives, and so much more.

Are you interested in advertising with Resident? Email us at advertising@resident.com to learn more.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Resident Magazine