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.

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.
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.
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.
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).
SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa
Japanese · 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Dante NYC
Italian · 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.
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.”