Best Women-Owned Restaurants in NYC

March 7, 2017
by Zagat Staff

From zesty sweet treats to bubbly and buttermilk biscuits, the options at these female-run restaurants have revolutionized the NYC dining scene with unique flair.

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).
East Village · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.3

An “innovator that’s stood the test of time” , chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s East Village “standout” serves a “perfectly curated” menu of “exceptional” New American dishes in “unfailingly professional” style; the only drawbacks are a “toooo small” room with seating “on top of your neighbors” and long lines for the “fabulous brunch.”
Clinton Hill · $$$

The former chef of Tilda All Day, Claire Welle, returns to the same Clinton Hill locale to prepare American bistro dishes incorporating in-house butchery and baking. A crisp space with attractive wood and tilework, it’s now open for dinner and drinks rather than daytime fare.
West Village · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

Chef Anita Lo’s “subtle fusion” of American cuisine with “Asian influences” results in culinary “marvels” at this “elegant” West Village “food temple” ; the “unobtrusive” pro service and “calm” , “ultra-sophisticated” modern setting further ensure a “special evening.”
Milk Bar Chelsea
Dessert · Chelsea · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.2 · Service 3.7

“Get your sugar fix” on at these “destinations” for pastry chef Christina Tosi’s “weirdly delicious concoctions” like compost cookies, cereal milk ice cream and appropriately “addictive” crack pie; the setups are simple, and while “too sweet” for a few, most embrace the “sinfulness.”
The Spotted Pig
West Village · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.9 · Service 3.9

A certified “hot spot” , this West Village gastropub is a “proven winner” where nightly “throngs” convene for April Bloomfield’s “mouthwatering” Modern European chow (including a “killer” burger) and sporadic “celeb sightings” ; too bad the “tight quarters” are always “jammed” and the no-reservations policy makes for “really long waits.”
The Breslin
NoMad · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

“Haute comfort food” reigns at this “NY version of an English pub” in the Ace Hotel, dishing up “elevated” , “unapologetically hearty” fare (including a “perfect” lamb burger) to the “hip throngs” ; despite a surplus of “attitude” , most find it “worth” the “steep” bill.
American · Lower East Side · $
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.7

“Almost like being in California” , this LES “hipster hangout” specializes in “healthy-ish” , “simple” fare like “delicious” grain bowls, toasts and big salads; it’s especially known for its popular brunch ( “expect waits” ) when an “under 30 crowd” packs into the basic but cheerful space.
Pies 'n' Thighs
Williamsburg · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.2 · Service 3.7

“Naps are required” after visiting this “popular” Williamsburg storefront for “perfectly fried” chicken, “fantastic” homemade pies and other Southern “comfort food” ; the “down-and-dirty” digs are “a tight squeeze” and “service can lag” , so be ready for a “long wait on weekends.”
White Gold Butchers
West 70s · $$$

From chef April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman comes this whole-animal butcher shop and American restaurant on the Upper West Side, offering decisively meaty courses and seasonal plates, as well as an afternoon hot-dog happy hour. There’s table service at night, but counter space and black banquettes provide seating options all day.
Birds & Bubbles
Lower East Side · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

The “name says it all” at this “hip” LES Southerner where “tender” fried chicken and other “elevated” comfort fare pairs with a “thoughtful” champagne list; an “adorable patio” gives the “small” , brick-walled quarters some breathing room when things feel “tight.”
Bakery · Greenpoint · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin craft their sweet, “salty and savory” treats (spicy bacon-caramel popcorn, blue cheese–pecan scones) at these brick-and-mortar offshoots of their wholesale bakery business in Greenpoint; seats facing large windows make these ideal morning perches for “strong” coffee and “delish” pastries.
De Maria
American · NoLita · $$

Chef Camille Becerra and a team in the design and music fields are behind this chic NoLita cafe offering colorful salads, grain bowls and other New American plates. A sunny interior with softly earthy, colorblocked tones sets the all-day scene.