New York City is often considered the world’s melting pot. Cultures from every corner of the globe flock to this one vibrant city to rub elbows with other hopefuls looking to carve out their place in the world. All across the nation, restaurants take their cue from New York. Some of the most innovative food designs and recipes have come from chefs in this city, striving to stand out in the crowd.
In an age formed and driven by social media, one thing becomes easily apparent: a picture cannot be smelled or tasted. To survive, businesses have adapted, finding ways to draw in both locals and visitors alike. The perfect image can ensnare the mind, drawing in the imagination and making the palate desire.
New York City is full of restaurants that make dining a feast as visual as it is delicious. For some, the focus is all on the food, spinning fanciful, mouth-watering delicacies. Others add to the experience by designing a breathtaking environment to dine within. The more eye-catching, the more likely patrons are to snap a photo and spread the word, sharing their adventure with friends and followers eager to get in on the action themselves.
There are thousands of restaurants in NYC, each with a unique food twist and environment. It can be hard to choose where to even begin, so here is a list of some of NYC’s most Insta-worthy restaurants.
1. La Mercerie Cafe – 53 Howard Street, New York City, NY 10013
Natural light floods the open, classic air of this sweet little French cafe. The food, as well as the indoor and outdoor dining, are all designed to be a beautiful display, a feast for the eyes as you experience a small taste of France.
To capture a tiny bit of history and some amazing meat, Katz’s Deli is the place to be. This little, family-owned meat shop has been doling out visibly juicy pastrami since 1888 and has become a quintessential part of NYC.
Husband and wife chef duo, Scott and Angie, create mouth-watering family-style Italian dishes that you can practically smell through the screen just looking at them. The homey interior exudes comfort that begs for a quick friendly selfie in the bright bay windows.
4. Prince Street Pizza – 27 Prince Street New York, NY 10012
This pizzeria’s claim to fame is being home to the original spicy pepperoni square. The perfect, crispy little pepperoni cups are a staple of New York living, and just beg to be photographed with the famous green sign on the storefront.
Red Rooster Harlem is dedicated to serving comfort food that celebrates the soul of American cuisine. Live musical performances and a lively atmosphere provide the ideal photo op for both the food and the fun.
Tucked in a little alley off the Bowery, Freemans provides a touch of history and romance for every dining experience. Inspired by colonial America, this little tavern blends the colorful life that embodies New York today with the rustic feel of simpler times, making the entire restaurant a fine backdrop for Instagram pictures.
7. Buvette Gastrothèque – 42 Grove Street New York, NY 10014
This tribute to old European tradition was designed to evoke a sense of story with every glance. Each dish is plated with a touch of romance, while the setting inspires a wistful yearning for days long past. The temptation to capture the passion and longing on camera is too much to resist.
This bright, party atmosphere ensconced in colorful umbrellas creates a lively backdrop; snap pics of some downright gorgeous modern Mexican food. The rooftop oasis provides panoramic views of the city—both day and night.
Blending both the rustic and the modern, NoMo brings a little bit of the outside, in. The lush, plant-filled paradise is in a treasured corner of SoHo, creating scenery that burns bright in the imagination, begging to be captured.
10. The Ready Rooftop Bar – 112 East 11th Street New York, NY 10003
This rooftop bar provides indoor and outdoor views, with bright colors that transport you to a tropically eclectic new world. The casual atmosphere encourages picture-perfect, laid-back fun deep into the night.
11. Sweet Moment – 106 Mott Street New York, NY 10013
Sweet Moment is a little shop all about fun with food. The most adorable latte art adorns their drinks, and their bottle cakes and bingsoos beg to be eaten in the heat of a New York summer. It truly is the quintessential photogenic food.
12. Shuka – 38 MacDougal Street New York, NY 10012
Designed to feel like a Mediterranean farmhouse, the bright blue storefront is a SoHo neighborhood staple. French doors that open the front room to the street and a garden out back make Shuka feel like a photogenic spot of home, only with a Mediterranean twist.