Best Restaurants in Chelsea

April 24, 2018
by Zagat Staff

Neighborhood favorites and destination-worthy spots.

Del Posto
Italian · Chelsea · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

“Hard to top” , this “magnifico” Chelsea Italian showcases “magic” with “inspired” cuisine and an “extraordinary” wine list in a “glamour palace” setting where “gracious” servers leave you “feeling totally pampered” ; just expect to “spend a whopping amount” , or try the lunch prix fixe for “a true bargain.”
Japanese · Chelsea · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.4

“Sushi master” Masaharu Morimoto’s “Iron Chef–quality” omakase and other “unbelievably good” Japanese dishes are served in a “striking” , ultramodern setting at this West Chelsea destination; it’s true, you’ll “pay handsomely” , but when you need “to impress” , this is “as good as it gets.”
Sushi Seki Chelsea
Sushi · Chelsea · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.0

Renowned for its “extraordinary” omakase showcasing “beyond-fresh” fish, this “spendy” Japanese mini-chain slices “spot-on” sushi that’s “lovely to behold” ; though the settings can feel “somewhat lacking in charm” , the bi-level Hell’s Kitchen flagship has “significantly better” decor plus a “fancy” whiskey bar (Chelsea also boasts a whiskey bar).
Sushi · Chelsea · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.1

Relocated from Greenwich Village to Chelsea, this “simple” Japanese by chef-owner Hideo Kuribara features the same “melt-in-your-mouth” sushi in larger digs anchored by a counter where you can “enjoy the show” ; omakase dining is the main draw, and “top prices” come with the territory.
Sushi · Chelsea · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

“Sublimely fresh” sushi and “inventive” cooked dishes keep these “sophisticated” Japanese eateries “packed” with “neighborhood” types; “prompt, friendly” servers man the “modern” surrounds, further justifying prices deemed slightly “more expensive” than some competitors.
Cull & Pistol Oyster Bar
Seafood · Chelsea · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

A “welcome respite from the craziness of Chelsea Market” , this “lively” Lobster Place offshoot offers the same “amazingly fresh catches” (including “pristine” oysters) turned into “creative” , “well-crafted” dishes; the narrow space makes for “sardine” -like conditions, but the happy hour “can’t be beat.”
Old Homestead Steakhouse
Seafood · Chelsea · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

Still serving a “hell of a steak” , this “legendary” Chelsea chophouse has been drawing “big spenders” in “big suspenders” since 1868, and its “clubby” (soon to be expanded) quarters “capture a bygone era” ; “robber baron” prices are part of the package, but given the “William Howard Taft” –worthy portions, some call it a “comparative value.”
Spanish · Chelsea · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.3

“Who’d believe you were in NYC” at this “stunning” Chelsea retreat where “lush” digs with “gorgeous flowers” and a retractable roof set the scene for “inventive” tapas that’ll “transport you to Spain” ; “expensive” tabs are forgiven considering the “amazing ambiance.”
Seafood · Chelsea · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.1

“Crazy-creative” small plates and other “awesome” Spanish dishes meet “killer cocktails” at this “sceney” Chelsea “tapas heaven” where “well-informed” staffers preside over a “huge” , industrial-cool space; what’s “vibrant” to some is “deafening” to others, but overall it’s a pretty “amazing experience.”
Tía Pol
Spanish · Chelsea · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.4 · Service 4.0

You “could be in Barcelona” at this “tiny” West Chelsea Spaniard, a neighborhood “favorite” for “terrific” tapas matched with a “wonderful Spain-based wine list” ; it’s a “loud” , “buzzing” scene packed into “very intimate digs” , but “if you can squeeze in you won’t be sorry.”
El Quinto Pino
Wine Bar · Chelsea · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.1

Alex Raij’s Spanish small plates “pack an incredible flavor punch” (especially the much “raved-about” uni panini) at this compact Chelsea tapas bar also known for its “delicious” wines; the “laid-back” space might not be fancy, but it’s just right for “cozy conversation” or a “casual” date.
Spanish · Chelsea · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

Those “dreaming of San Sebastián” make for this “lively” Chelsea Spaniard where “smart” staffers serve an “absolutely delicious” , ever-evolving array of “real-deal” Basque tapas; with “so many wonderful choices” , the “cute” , plank-walled space “can get expensive in a hurry” , but at least the “terrific” wine selection is “moderately priced.”
Da Umberto
Italian · Chelsea · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

“Still a classic” , this longtime Chelsea “favorite” rolls out “serious” Northern Italian cuisine with “vibrant” flavors in a “simple” space where the white-tablecloth “elegance” is matched by “impeccable” service; “costly” tabs aside, it fits the bill for a “romantic” or otherwise “special” occasion.
Motel Morris
American · Chelsea · $$$

This Chelsea locale from the Commons crew celebrates Americana with a roster of elevated classics, globally accented plates and shareable sides. Comfortable with wooden furnishings and marine-blue details, it also has beer, cider and Prosecco on tap, plus cocktails and a largely European wine list.
American · Chelsea · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

Always “bustling” with everyone from “High Line–walkers” to “art collectors” , this Chelsea “favorite” keeps ‘em coming back with “farm-to-table” American fare that’s “creatively prepared” but “not pretentious” , and delivered by a “friendly, efficient” crew; its “pleasant” , “open” space “can get noisy” , so many “sit outside” when possible.
Momofuku Nishi
Italian · Chelsea · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.9

An “adventurous” take on Italian staples makes for “mostly delish” dishes, including an “epic” riff on cacio e pepe, at this “hype” -generating David Chang joint; the updated Chelsea digs (swapping “tight” communal tables for leather booths and barstools) lend a relaxed feel to the sophisticated space, and despite “expensive” pricing, most agree it’s “something to try” – at least once.