Best Spots for Group Dinners in NYC

Joelle Mentis

Essential by Christophe

‘Tis the season to catch up with old colleagues, business school contacts, clients who are going to make your year-end bonus, and of course just plain old friends. There’s something about the holidays that inspires you to share a meal. A restaurant though has to have the right vibe, plates to share, and also accommodate all dietary restrictions. Just as important, they can’t have an only-seats-entire-parties policy to allow for that friend who is always late. (You know who you are). These are the best restaurants in NYC for big groups because as they say, the more the merrier.

The Restaurant: Bilboquet

The Location: Upper East Side

There are some places that encourage you to have an evening or brunch for that matter, filled with debauchery. So, if that is not a reason to make the list of best restaurants for big groups in NYC, we don’t know what is. The point of dining with your many nearest and dearest is to have a good time. That’s exactly what Bilboquet is. The music is always good as is the people-watching with the Upper East Side cast of fun characters. Brunches is a dance party at Bilbo where people-watching becomes theater. Bonus is that they’ve stepped up the food recently. It was always everyday good, but recently leveled up just at that next tier.

The Restaurant: Port Sa’id

The Location: West Village

Israeli cuisine has taken the world by storm in recent years. Port Sa’id is the second location and sister restaurant to the original Port Sa’id in Tel Aviv. It’s also another Chef Eyal Shani production, of Hasalon and Miznon, just to name a few of his global restaurants. Port Sa’id is a collaboration with a team of DJs who established a radio station and bar called Teder FM. So it’s one of the best restaurants in NYC for groups who are looking for a lively party atmosphere with creative food. You know what to expect from Chef Eyal Shani, and this restaurant may just be one of his best yet in New York.

Top Chinese Spots for Christmas Dinner

The Restaurant: 53

The Location: Midtown

When you look up the best restaurants for big groups in NYC, quite honestly the lists are rubbish. No offense but random K-Town spots for hot pot and Asian restaurants that are past their prime have no appeal to us. We know that Asian meals are also naturally meant to be shared, which is why 53 makes the list. This Midtown spot is one of the best restaurants in NYC for big groups who want to level up their Asian food experience. The space is a stunner architecturally and design-wise, and the setup of the tables naturally accommodates large groups. Then beyond that, the food is inventive, modern, and worthy for special occasions. Restaurant 53 is not your traditional #34 General Tsao’s chicken, which is exactly why we like it.

The Restaurant: Zou Zou’s

The Location: Hudson Yards

Middle Easterners are renowned for their hospitality, so it’s no surprise that dishes are naturally made to share. Zou Zou’s is one of the best restaurants in NYC for big groups because it not only ticks boxes but exceeds them. First, the scene is lively, but you can still hear your dinner companions. You’re also not crammed into small spaces, as they have plenty of large booths and tables. Second the menu while not standard Italian for example has something for everyone. The dishes are also intended to be shared, where there are over 16 appetizers alone to get the party started. The entrees are equally easy to share, where a few of the specialties like the rib steak and leg of lamb are made for groups.

The Restaurant: Essential by Christophe

The Location: Upper West Side

When you have foodie friends or those who like to dine in elegant civilized restaurants, Essential by Christophe is one of the best restaurants for big groups in NYC. The dining room is a tasting menu, but it’s one that is good value and won’t break the bank. The atmosphere is elegant, bright, and conducive to sitting over a multi-course gourmet dinner for a few hours with friends. This is where you want to go with larger groups when you want to have top food and quality catch-up time.

The Restaurant: Trattoria L’Incontro

The Location: Queens, New York

We had to include this one because social food groups known to be able to eat their weight in pasta, have been utterly defeated at Trattoria L’Incontro. So, as far as restaurants for big groups in NYC go, they may make the Hall of Fame. L’Incontro is old-school Italian where the portions are generous, the waiters rattle off more specials than are on the menu and the dining room is no frills. But you know that a place is special if Lidia Bastianich, the iconic Italian grandmother, eats there. This is also one of the best restaurants for big groups in NYC because it won’t break your bank. The point is after all to be together, and major bonus points that you’ll be well-fed.

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