Dishes from Babu Ji in New York
Food + Drink

11 Excellent NYC Tasting Menus For $100 Or Less

You might associate tasting menus with lavish, over-the-top meals meant for special occasions or cashing in on a year-end bonus, but indulging in a prix fixe experience in New York City doesn't have to cost a fortune. Fine dining without the prohibitive price tag is possible at these 11 restaurants, where you can enjoy delicious and, more importantly, affordable tasting menus in NYC for less than $100. Dig in!

Dish from Contra in NYC
Contra Interior

Images Courtesy of Contra/Frame Studios

1

Contra

The set menu changes constantly at this minimalist-chic space on Orchard Street. While you never know exactly what’s coming when you sit down for dinner, the food—adventurous combinations that spotlight seasonal, local ingredients—is consistently excellent. What you can expect: seven perfectly paced courses that start with vegetables (crab with black trumpet mushrooms and vin jaune, perhaps) and crēscenda into richer plates like beef with tomatillo and onion. If the $89 price tag isn't too prohibitive, feel free to tack on a wine pairing and sample from the extensive natural wine list.

Bar at Rezdôra
Dining room at Rezdôra
Burrata and Prosciutto from Rezdôra
2

Rezdôra

When an Osteria Francescana alum leaves Modena and his mentor Massimo Bottura to open up an Italian restaurant of his own, you book a table as quickly as you can. "Can" is an important term here because, following a glowing, three-star review by the New York Times, getting a reservation at chef Stefano Secchi's Rezdôra in Flatiron is no easy feat. When you do manage to snag a table, don’t sleep on the $90 tasting option. It’s discreetly listed on the bottom of the menu and includes four heavenly courses of house-made pasta like maccheroni in duck ragu and ricotta-stuffed ravioli topped with rich egg yolk and black truffles.

3

Tanoshi Sushi Sake Bar

Certain luxuries are hard to come by in New York City (an apartment in an elevator building with laundry and a dishwasher, for example). The same goes for affordable, high-quality sushi, but you can find just that at Tanoshi, a hole-in-the-wall spot on York Avenue where the sushi is fresh, the daily omakase is adventurous, and the prices are fair. There’s no menu—just 12 pieces of melt-in-your-mouth fish followed by a hand roll—and there’s a map above the counter that outlines exactly where your golden eye snapper, sablefish, and king salmon came from. It’s also BYOB, so you can bring your favorite bottle of sake and chow down for just around $100.

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delicious food at Manhatta
delicious food at Manhatta
view from Manhatta restaurant
4

Manhatta

Peering over the city from the 60th floor of a FiDi skyscraper, Manhatta is everything you’d anticipate from Danny Meyer and his team: we're talking excellent food, exceptional service, and a stellar wine list all combined with dazzling views. The European-inspired menu is separated into three courses and includes dishes like a foie gras reuben with Dijon and pickles on brioche bread, butter poached lobster, and risotto simmered in a black truffle and Parmesan cream sauce. Thanks to the no-tipping policy, this fine dining experience will cost you just under $100.

Corn from Atoboy
Food spread at Atoboy

Images Courtesy of Atoboy/Diane Kang

5

Atoboy

From K-barbecue to soul food to upscale tasting menus, Korean cuisine is having a moment in New York City, and Atoboy might just be the best place to sample its diverse dishes. This Nomad locale offers a three-course set menu for just $46, which feels like a bargain given the quality of the ingredients, the artful presentations, and the enormous flavors. For instance, the yellowtail is garnished with tangy kombucha, vibrant pink radishes, and sprigs of seaweed and is more reminiscent of an abstract painting than a plate of seafood. Even if you’re not one to get excited about vegetables, the sunchokes (a savory plate of oyster mushrooms, black truffle, and orange) will likely change your mind.

Chef plating dishes at Secchu Yokota
Sushi counter at Secchu Yokota
6

Secchu Yokota

With only eight seats at the chef’s counter, you’re going to find impeccable attention to detail at this Alphabet city address, which serves up artfully crafted tempura dishes omakase–style. The two set menu options ($75 and $100, respectively) each feature two appetizers (think sea bass carpaccio and beef ribeye katsu) followed by a chef’s selection of battered tempura dishes, a final dish of dashi broth or rice, and dessert. The tempura selection changes depending on what’s available but often includes bites like fried Hokkaido scallops and decadent uni wrapped in crispy seaweed.

Dishes from Babu Ji in New York
7

Babu Ji

This buzzy Indian eatery, which moved from its original location on Avenue B to a sparkly spot in Greenwich Village, has atmosphere to spare: there’s dim lighting, lots of plants and eclectic artwork, hip hop humming through the speakers, and films playing on a vintage projector that guests can watch between mouthfuls of butter chicken and chana masala and more offbeat combos like sticky, spicy Colonel Tso’s cauliflower and short rib korma. You can order à la carte, but the $62 tasting menu is the best way to sample a whole handful of the eclectic dishes. You can even add on a beer or wine pairing and still end up just under the $100 mark.

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Artichokes at Meadowstreet in New York
Plancha Marina at at Meadowstreet in New York
Lamb at at Meadowstreet in New York

Images Courtesy of Meadowsweet/Evan Sung

8

Meadowsweet

The $85 five-course tasting menu at this Williamsburg hot spot is worthy of its restaurant's prized Michelin star, but unlike many stuffier restaurants you might associate with such a medallion, Meadowsweet is entirely unpretentious. While you can choose to order à la carte, we suggest allowing the chef to decide and surprise you with creamy burrata served with apricot and sourdough bread, al dente taglierini noodles layered with three kinds of wild mushrooms, or tender wagyu bavette with grilled little gem lettuce. There’s a $35 corkage fee to bring your own bottle of wine, but you might be more tempted to choose something from the expertly crafted wine list, which lists plenty of interesting labels in the $50-$70 range.

cocktails from Tokyo Record Bar
Dining room at Tokyo Record Bar

Images Courtesy of Tokyo Record Bar/Noah Fecks

9

Tokyo Record Bar

If you’re seeking an intimate dining experience that’s a step out of the ordinary, look no further than the 18-seat Tokyo Record Bar, housed in a clandestine Greenwich Village basement on Macdougal Street beneath Air’s Champagne Parlor. Modeled after Japanese-style listening bars, each guest chooses a song from the vinyl record list to accompany the constantly changing menu of six-or-so courses for $50. On any given night, you might be served anything from salmon sashimi over pesto to fried oyster po’ boys to curry short ribs on top of miso rice. The only constant here is the square slice of pizza that perfectly ends each meal on a note of blissful umami.

10

Oxalis

This white-walled neo-bistro in Prospect Heights, a quick hop from the Brooklyn Museum, is a compelling excuse to cross the East River. Having honed his skills in the kitchens of Daniel Boulud and Mauro Colagreco (of the French Riviera's three-Michelin-starred Mirazur), chef Nico Russel is no stranger to fine dining—which is why, at Oxalis, the $70 carte blanche tasting menu is a surprising bargain by any haute-dining standards. You’ll get four to six courses, which begin with small snacks like raw sea scallops with radish, move on to more generously portioned dishes like roasted duck breast with sweet potato, and finish with dessert, capping the evening on a sweet note.

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11

Traif

The word traif roughly translates to non-kosher in Yiddish, and it’s the last place in the world you’d ever want to bring a rabbi. For those who enjoy pork and shellfish, though, this Williamsburg mainstay is a winner. Considering Traif's quality and affordability, you can still (for some strange reason) usually walk right in and grab a table. The $55 tasting menu—nine courses plus a few complimentary bites—is undoubtedly one of the best finds in the city. That being said, this is a meal for more adventurous eaters who enjoy things like pork belly bao or seared foie gras with bacon and a runny egg.

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