Whenever you have friends visiting you in New York City, you want to make sure they get the most out of their trip. You might not spend the bulk of your time trying to hit all the touristy spots; you'd much rather take them to your go-to places and show them how the locals live. Of course, a huge part of NYC's culture is food, so you definitely need this list of cool restaurants in NYC to take friends who are visiting. Though this list doesn't cover every single trendy restaurant, it's a good place to start.
Scattered throughout Manhattan, these seven restaurants are guaranteed to serve you dreamily delicious food, seriously unique cocktails, and of course, all the Instagram photo opps your content creating heart can dream of. Your friends from out of town will be so impressed with how well you know the trendy places in town, they'll probably book their next trip back to the city before they even leave.
And if you don't have friends visiting anytime soon, these spots are worth seeing IRL, period. Bring your coworkers, SO, or your NYC crew to experience all of these amazing places in person. Your social media feed — and your tummy — will thank you.
1. Oscar Wilde
If your crew consists of foodies and literary buffs, Oscar Wilde is definitely the place for you. The restaurant's decor is incredibly lavish and transports you to a different time.
Not only is the ambiance pretty incredible (Just look at all the frames on the walls!) but the menu is downright spectacular too. They're open for lunch and dinner, with brunch on the weekends. They even do an afternoon tea if you're feeling particularly bougie. And if you're not in the mood for food, try one of their Instagrammable cocktails.
2. The Mermaid Inn
A round — or five — of oysters is always a good way to spend quality time with friends, and it really doesn't get better than The Mermaid Inn. The chain currently has three restaurants in Manhattan (with a fourth opening in Chelsea soon), so you can get your shellfish on whenever and wherever.
On top of the fresh oysters, The Mermaid Inn has a great menu of food from the kitchen, ranging from stuff like fish tacos and lobster rolls to linguini and clams. Truthfully, though, their sides take the cake. The seasoned shishito peppers are some of the best in the city.
3. Pietro Nolita
Ask anyone who loves finding Instagrammable spots in NYC, and chances are, they've probably taken a picture in front of Pietro NoLita. The pink facade of this now-NYC icon is enough reason to visit, but of course, the menu is awesome too.
Stop by for just a cocktail, or enjoy one of their epic brunch plates. (The smoked salmon eggs Benedict is always highly-recommended.) They also serve lunch and dinner so you and your crew can snap your pics outside then head in for a meal.
Are you looking for yummy Italian eats set in gorgeous, rustic vibes? Look no further than Rosemary's. This cozy spot in the West Village is a true gem. According to their website, they source their veggies from their rooftop garden and from their own farm in Hudson Valley, so you know their ingredients are super fresh.
The wood decor throughout the restaurant makes the space feel cozy and inviting, and it's especially fun to visit in warmer weather when they open the garage door windows. They serve breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner, so you and your crew can visit anytime.
5. Mother Of Pearl
Drinks served in a giant pineapple? Check. The food at Mother of Pearl is amazing (and it's vegan), but what makes this place fun to visit with friends are the giant sharable drinks you can savor with your crew.
Many of their cocktails come in fun drinking vessels for that Instagram-perfect shot — including the Shark Eye, which comes inside a ceramic shark's head. They use unique ingredients like tiki bitters and tropical fruits like pineapple and coconut to transport you to vacation mode.
6. The Daisy
The Daisy is a great spot if you're looking for all the cute floral vibes to fill your Instagram feed. The restaurant takes pride in offering seasonal food, so their menu is constantly changing. If you end up going for brunch, consider taking advantage of their bottomless brunch. They also offer an adorable rosé flight that comes with little flowers next to the jars.
7. The Beach At Dream Downtown
If you're trying to keep the summer vibes around for as long as possible, definitely head to The Beach at Dream Downtown. You can grab a day pass for the pool and enjoy yummy and refreshing eats while you take a break from laying out in the sun.
Everything on their menu is perfect for a hot day. Some personal favorites include the grain bowl, fish tacos, and their fresh zucchini chips, which are all perfect for sharing.