The 2012 Zagat survey shows that the restaurant industry is recovering, with many high-profile openings over the past year. The cost of the average meal has gone up 4.1% to $43.64 and the average cost of dining at a pricey New York restaurant (top 20 by price) has gone up to $163.34, making New York the most expensive U.S. city for high-end dining. However, New Yorkers are still dining out an average of 3 times per week..
The introduction of health letter grades has been embraced by New York City diners and 35% say they will only dine in A-rated restaurants while a total of 53% say that they will consider both A and B options. Only 1% would dine out at a C-rated restaurant.
The survey also noted other restaurant industry trends -- including the continuing popularity of food trucks and the rise of Williamsburg as a dining destination.
But what you really want to know is which restaurants were rated as the best in Manhattan.
And the big Zagat winners are....The top-rated restaurants for 2012 include plenty of old favorites and some hot newcomers.
- Most Popular: Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin was rated most popular overall -- beating out Danny Meyer, whose restaurants (Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe) have dominated the Most Popular title for the last 15 years. Gramercy Tavern remains firmly at #2, followed by Peter Luger in Brooklyn and then Union Square Cafe.
- Best Food: Le Bernardin was also rated #1 for Best Food. Daniel was rated #2 and Per Se #3.
- Best Newcomer: Ai Fiori, located in midtown's Setai Fifth Avenue Hotel, was rated the best new restaurant in New York City.
- Best Service: Thomas Keller's Per Se at Time Warner Center earned top honors for service for the third year running.
- Best Decor: Asiate got the nod for best restaurant decor.
- Best Food Trucks: The Zagat experts rated New York City's best food trucks again this year and the top three are Nauti, Taïm Mobile, and Wafels & Dinges.
- Best Burger: burger joint at Le Parker Meridien Hotel won the Best Burger in New York title once again. Check out our Best Burgers picks for more tasty options.
- Best Japanese/Sushi:Sushi Sasabune took the title for best New York sushi.
- Best Pizza: Totonno's in Brooklyn won the pizza prize. Check out our Best Pizza picks for delicious slices in Manhattan.
- Best Steak: Brooklyn's Peter Luger was the pick for best New York steaks for the 28th consecutive year.
Get the latest Zagat New York City restaurant reviews online right now.