Best Wheelchair-Friendly Restaurants in Downtown Manhattan

From our friends at the NYC Mayor's Office for People With Disabilities
December 14, 2017
by Zagat Staff

Dining out at delicious Zagat-rated restaurants should be an experience enjoyed by all, but that can be increasingly difficult in a city that wasn't necessarily designed for accessibility. Luckily the Restaurant Access Program, created by the NYC Mayor's Office For People With Disabilities and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has compiled a list of restaurants compliant with their program. Below we've selected some of our top picks in Downtown Manhattan that are wheelchair-friendly venues, from high-end Mexican fare to Korean bar snacks.

Little Tong Noodle Shop
Chinese · East Village · $$

Popular in the Yunnan province, mixian rice noodles take the spotlight at this East Village Chinese by wd-50 alum Simone Tong, appearing in soup bowls and alongside small plates with seasonal pickles and garnishes. The compact space is sleek with wood-beam walls and exposed brick, and ideal for pairs with its two-top tables.
Russ & Daughters Cafe
Lower East Side · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

Sit-down spin-offs of the LES appetizing store, these “modern” riffs on a “classic Jewish deli” serve “top-shelf” smoked fish and other “real-deal” “old-world” eats; the “spiffy” digs are often “busy” (expect waits, especially at brunch), and the certified kosher location at the Jewish Museum adds a take-out counter.
Mimi Cheng's Dumplings
East Village · $
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.4 · Service 3.7

“Simply delicious” dumplings made with local, “healthy ingredients” keep these “super-friendly” Chinese counter-serve branches “busy” ; “inspired combos” and “fun” seasonal specials are two more reasons fans say they’re “worth” the somewhat “high” prices for the genre.
Momofuku Ko
American · East Village · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

A “phenomenal experience” for an “open-minded foodie” , David Chang’s East Village “event” provides a “fascinating tour” of Asian-inspired American cuisine via “extraordinary” tasting menus crafted at a sleekly “comfortable” chef’s counter; the “steep” price tag is considered “well worth” it, so reservations are still as “tough” as “getting past heaven’s gates.”
East Village · $
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.4 · Service 3.5

Momofuku mastermind David Chang’s “brilliant” “riff” on the fried chicken sandwich showcases “succulent” meat and a “spicy kick” at these “busy” quick-serve spots; the “simple” menu also includes chicken fingers, sides and bar drinks, and though setups are usually “sparse” with “mostly standing room” , there's expanded seating at the Wall Street location.
Ms. Yoo
Korean · Lower East Side · $$

From Esther Choi (Mŏkbar), this sleek Korean gastropub on the LES focuses on party-friendly fare like fried chicken and Korean sausages on pretzel rolls to go with cocktails and soju. Geometric black-and-white tiled floors and wrought-iron fixtures with climbing ivy lend a touch of drama to the space, which has a private room upstairs.
SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa
Flatiron · $$$

From LA sushi chef Kazunori Nozawa comes this Flatiron instant hit offering a simple menu showcasing high-quality fish, including both à la carte and omakase options. Packed from day one, the elongated space is designed with exposed-brick walls and deeply grained woods.
Dirt Candy
Vegetarian · Lower East Side · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.4

Chef-owner Amanda Cohen shows “serious skills” at this “vegetarian mecca” on the LES where “exciting, innovative” dishes are “beautifully presented” by a “knowledgeable” crew; the airy space has a “buzzy” vibe, and tabs include an administrative fee (no tipping).
Dirty French
French · Lower East Side · $$$
Food 4.0 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.0

This “funky” LES “hot spot” from the Carbone team delivers “fun” French fare “reimagined” with Moroccan, Cajun and Southeast Asian influences in a “sexy” brasserie setup with “pink neon accents” ; it’s a “tough” reservation and you’re “definitely going to pay for what you get,” but the “buzzy” (read: “loud” ) crowd doesn’t mind.
Black Seed
Brunch · East Village · $
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.2 · Service 3.5

“Flavorful” Montreal-style bagels (hand-rolled and wood oven–baked “with a honey twinge” ) provide the base for “solid” housemade schmears and “satisfying sandwiches” at these shops from the Mile End team; if they’re “splurgey” , tell that to the “bagel snobs” forming “crazy long” weekend lines.
E.A.K. Ramen (NY)
Ramen · West Village · $$

At this Village offshoot of a Japan-based chain, the signature is a ramen bowl holding thick noodles in a pork and chicken broth (known as iekei) that's simmered for 18 hours. There’s a vegetarian style too, plus dumplings and other bites in a lively atmosphere with table and bar seating.
High Street on Hudson
American · Meatpacking District · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

“They do everything right” at this Meatpacking District cafe (sequel to a Philly original), where the “stellar” lineup spans especially “heavenly” homemade breads and pastries, “great sandwiches” for a “casual lunch” and more “adventuresome” Americana for dinner; “cheerful” staffers heighten the “lively” neighborhood feel.
The Wild Son
Vegetarian · Meatpacking District · $$

By the team behind The Wayland and Good Night Sonny, this daytime-only Meatpacking eatery takes a different tack, delivering a more healthful roster of salads, whole-grain breakfast items and sandwiches, along with juices and nitro cold-brew coffee. Rustic woods and tiles define the simple space, furnished with counter seating and two-tops.
Del Frisco's Grille
Pizza · Battery Park City · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.1

“A hit all around” , these “energetic” steakhouses hum like “a well-oiled machine” as an “engaged” staff sets down “premium” beef in “sprawling” surrounds with “urbane” vibes and a “power bar scene” ; they’re perpetually “packed” with “suits” wielding the “corporate Amex” to cover the “splurge” ; P.S. “definitely try the lemon cake.”
TriBeCa · $$$

Dishes prepared on the robata grill dominate the menu at this TriBeCa spot by Masa Takayama, also serving raw and fried Japanese plates, plus the chef’s first burger. The casual, atmospheric setting, built with a tree-trunk counter and mezzanine in a 19th-century space, also offers cocktails with Asian accents.
Rice & Gold
Chinatown · $$$

From Dale Talde, this Asian spot at 50 Bowery hotel focuses on upscale dim sum, eclectic shareable plates and rice and noodle dishes for dinner, with a mix of dumplings, omelets and bagels kicking off the day. The airy space is outfitted with graffiti, lots of group-friendly tables and a lively bar.
Bar Moga
Japanese · Greenwich Village · $$$

Styled with a mix of art nouveau, deco and modern Japanese design, this Village bar brings spirits such as shochu and Japanese whiskey into cocktails that take a cue from the 1920s. Beer, sake and wine are also served, along with bites like salmon pastrami, curry gratin and vegetable ramen.
Dante NYC
Greenwich Village · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.4

A “revamp of a New York classic” , this update of a circa-1915 Greenwich Village cafe focuses on “sophisticated” Italian fare and “amazing” cocktails (including an entire Negroni menu); the original’s “old-school” charm has been updated with whitewashed brick walls and a restored tin ceiling.
Mexican · NoHo · $$

From chef Enrique Olvera (Cosme), this all-day NoHo eatery serves modern, light Mexican food prepared with local ingredients, along with coffee and housemade aguas frescas. Also expect micheladas, wines and mezcals at the long terrazzo bar, in a space designed with natural woods and a greenery wall.
Flatiron · $$$

From Turkey to Israel to Palestine, this Flatiron Middle Eastern puts a contemporary spin on the flavors of the region, serving small plates and larger dishes to share, along with fragrant breads and desserts. Tiled floors, warm lighting and a marble bar set the mood for dinner and drinks.