The Best Ethnic Restaurants in Manhattan

Courtesy of The Russian Tea Room
Courtesy of The Russian Tea Room
Photo of Julia Goicochea
26 August 2017

For a transporting dining experience, you need travel no further than New York’s own Manhattan. Luckily for local foodies, top chefs from around the world choose this city as a surrogate home, making for a deliciously diverse dining scene. Here, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite ethnic eateries in Manhattan.

Han Dynasty

Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
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The authentic Sichuan cuisine at Han Dynasty is sure to set your blood boiling. From dry pepper chicken wings to fish swimming in Sichuan chili oil to the fan-favorite Dan Dan noodles, the food here makes Han Dynasty the hottest spot in town. Tip: for those looking to beat the heat, stick to the lower end of the restaurant’s helpful 1–10 rating scale.

Drunken Dumpling

Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
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Great for groups, Drunken Dumpling is the city’s hottest haven for late-night noshers. Soup dumplings are the specialty here, where super-sized baos burst with crab, pork, and mixed seafood soups. With menu items such as red bean buns sweetened with local honey and potstickers packed with bacon, shrimp, and orange slices, this East Village eatery is a worthy destination any time of day.


Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
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The signature spiked horchatas may get you in the door, but it’s the playful Mexican fare at Horchata that will have you ordering seconds (and if no one’s looking, thirds). House-made spiced chorizo, tortilla omelettes, and flights of rare tequilas and mezcals are just a sampling of the spot’s mouthwatering menu items. Tip: don’t miss Horchata’s boozy brunch, where Latin libations are poured with panache.

Jules Bistro

Restaurant, French, $$$
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Jules Bistro, New York
Jules Bistro, New York | Courtesy of Jules Bistro

For a dinner-and-a-show date night, no spot in the city beats out Jules Bistro; for 24 years, this place has been serving French eats with a side of entertainment. In addition to charcuterie plates featuring house-made dishes, hand-cut beef tartare with French fries, and a popular moules frites plate, Jules offers live jazz performances seven days a week sans cover charge.


Restaurant, Moroccan, African, Kebab, Halal, $$$
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Diners will smell Tagine before they see it: the restaurant’s fragrant Moroccan cuisine and semolina bread (baked fresh daily) are the true stars of Manhattan’s Theatre District. Here, belly dancers and flavored hookah pipes pair perfectly with minced lamb in saffron sauce, cous cous with homemade sausage, slow-simmered garlic ribs, and, of course, plenty of tagines.

The Russian Tea Room

Restaurant, Tea Room, Russian, $$$
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The Russian Tea Room, New York
The Russian Tea Room, New York | Courtesy of The Russian Tea Room

For more than 80 years, Manhattan’s most stylish set has chosen The Russian Tea Room as the place to sip and be seen. Elite eaters flock to this New York City institution for foie gras-filled dumplings, red wine-braised beef short ribs, vodka and caviar tastings, and more. The spot’s tamer Afternoon Tea menus (including one for tiny tea drinkers) make The Russian Tea Room an excellent pick for any appetite.

Dulce Vida Latin Bistro

Restaurant, South American, $$$
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Colombian and Latin flavors find a home at this Upper East Side spot. Dulce Vida Latin Bistro will satisfy your craving for South American eats with classics such as arroz con pollo and ropa vieja as well as less commonly found dishes, including red bean and chicharron casserole and three meat-topped tostones.

Oaxaca Taqueria

Restaurant, Mexican
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A taste of traditional Mexico is what’s on the menu at Oaxaca Taqueria. Taking inspiration from Oaxaca and ingredients from its own backyard, the restaurant reinvigorates Mexican street food classics, such as citrus-cured tilapia ceviche, homemade horchata, and crema-covered enchiladas.


Restaurant, Diner, European, $$$
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A 24-hour Ukrainian diner, Veselka is not your average food find, even by New York City standards. Clearly, New Yorkers agree, as this East Village eatery has now been serving Ukranian staples for more than 60 years. Like the city it calls home, Veselka, along with its award-winning borscht, crisped-to-perfection potato pancakes, and pierogi, has only gotten better with age.


Restaurant, Middle Eastern, American, Mediterranean, $$$
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Armenian manti
Armenian manti | © / Flickr

After tasting the fusion fare at Lebanese-Armenian restaurant Almayass, you’ll understand how the restaurant has earned its global fan base. At its locations in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and, of course, New York, this elegant eatery invites daring diners to taste the world. Succulent Armenian pastrami, Mediterranean caviar canapés, and meat-stuffed dough boats smothered in spiced yogurt round out Almayass’ menu of genre-defying dishes.