The Most Instagrammable Restaurants in New York

Dishes at Citizens of Chelsea come in every color in the rainbow
Dishes at Citizens of Chelsea come in every color in the rainbow | Courtesy of Citizens of Chelsea
Photo of Julia Goicochea
13 February 2020

These photogenic New York City restaurants are a hit IRL and on your Instagram feed.

New York City is one of the dining capitals of the world and presentation is an integral part of the experience. Serving up Parisian bistro vibes and all the pink you can stomach, these local spots are as good to look at as eat at. Bring your appetite and your phone to the most Instagrammable restaurants in New York.

Okonomi

Restaurant, Japanese, $$$
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The traditional ichiju-sansai, or Japanese prix-fixe (ichiju-sansai translates to ‘one soup, three dishes’), at Williamsburg’s Okonomi are picture perfect. Plates of top-quality grilled or roasted fish, creamy tamago and pickled vegetables get the Marie Kondo treatment here, arranged neatly on minimalist ceramic plates along with miso soup and seven-grain rice.

Pietro Nolita

Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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Pietro Nolita Restaurant in New York City
© Elizabeth Holmes / Alamy Stock Photo

You’ll be tickled pink upon entering Pietro Nolita where everything, from the storefront to the banquette seating to napkins stamped with the slogan ‘Pink as F**k’ (the same tagline printed on Pietro’s popular merch) is, you guessed it, pink. The menu features healthy-leaning Italian fare, with dinner options featuring homemade ravioli, gnocchi and beef-steak dishes.

Buvette

Bistro, Restaurant, French, $$$
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Buvette, 42 Grove Street; New York; NY.  exterior storefront of a French restaurant, wine bar in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan.. Image shot 11/2019. Exact date unknown.
© Robert K. Chin - Storefronts / Alamy Stock Photo

At chef Jody Williams’ French bistro Buvette, you can practically hear Edith Piaf’s ‘La Vie en Rose‘ playing in the distance. Sinfully creamy steamed eggs come dolloped with goat cheese, raw chopped beef is topped with cornichons and wine is plentiful at this Francophile favorite, which attracts enthusiastic eaters, Instagram-users and nary a dieter in sight.

Meal service:

All Day, Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Cosy, Nightlife, Stylish, Romantic

Citizens of Chelsea

Cafe, Restaurant, Australian, $$$
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Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Courtesy of Citizens of Chelsea

This minimalist coffee shop on Bleeker Street provides the perfect backdrop for some photos of great Australian food. All the colors in the rainbow are represented in vibrant plates of beetroot hummus toast, Nutella and fresh fruit-topped waffles and avocado toast. Throw in an aesthetically-pleasing Melbourne-style wellness latte (an infusion of organic ginger and tumeric root, lemon grass, cane sugar and lemon) and some strategic hashtags, and you’ll have a viral meal on your hands (and table).

While We Were Young

Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Courtesy of While We Were Young

If Pinterest ever opened a restaurant, it would look a lot like Greenwich Village’s While We Were Young. Powder pink banquette seating and marble tabletops feature in this bright contemporary American restaurant, which is ready for its close-up only after your pink cocktail and fried chicken with kale waffles has reached the table.

Spot Dessert Bar

Restaurant, Dim Sum, Dessert, Asian, $$$
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Even if you’ve never visited Spot Dessert Bar, chances are you’re familiar with its Instagram-worthy dishes. Spot’s 2,400-plus Yelp reviews rave as much about taste as they do presentation, which may entail a dish of berries and black-rose milk tea resembling a potted plant, or a chocolate cake oozing with hot green-tea lava. Chef Ian Kittichai’s desserts are like pieces of art and well worth the waitlist.

Eataly Flatiron

Restaurant, Grocery Store, Italian, $$$
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Il Pastaio di Eataly, a pasta restaurant in Eataly, the Italian marketplace in Flatiron District.Manhattan.New York City.USA
© Bruce yuanyue Bi / Alamy Stock Photo

Eataly Flatiron, the vivid Italian marketplace, is home to dazzling displays of hanging meats, piles of cheese, fresh baked goods and ripe produce. On-site restaurants focusing on everything from Napoli-style pizza to Nutella crepes and Alps-style polenta will overwhelm in the best way.

Panna II

Restaurant, Indian, $$$
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Indulge in the holiday spirit (and addictive naan) all year round at Panna II, an Instagram-famous restaurant serving up Christmas vibes. This popular Indian restaurant’s decor consists of hundreds of glittering string lights, an aesthetic choice you can ponder between forkfuls of lamb tandoori or photo sessions. The vivid atmosphere means you’ll never have to worry about good lighting.

Sadelle's

Bakery, Restaurant, American, $$$
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For a Jewish spread that will put your local bagel spot to shame, there’s Sadelle’s. The bakery and restaurant is as famous for its hand-rolled bagels layered with house salmon, caviar-capped soft-scrambled eggs and popular sticky buns as its appearance (think Upper-West-Side Bubbe’s dining room).

Seamore's

Restaurant, American, Seafood, $$$
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Busy Chelsea neighborhood in New York with Seamore's Restaurant seen on Sunday, July 30, 2017. (© Richard B. Levine)
© Richard Levine / Alamy Stock Photo

When a beach vacation is out of reach, a trip to Seamore’s is the next best thing. At this bright seafood shack, plates of crispy pollock and guacamole tacos and blackened-fish burgers are worth a ‘take me back’ hashtag. Best of all, Seamore’s uses 100 percent sustainable fish, so you can feel good about dining and documenting.

Alex Wexelman contributed additional reporting to this article.

These recommendations were updated on February 13, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.