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Explore the Best Women-Led Restaurants in New York City for 2019

March 8th is International Women’s Day. In celebration, we created a list featuring some of the most exceptional women in New York’s culinary scene. For decades, the city that never sleeps—a bastion of possibility—has been represented by lady liberty herself. Next time you’re in town, we invite you to celebrate women (and eat something delicious) at one of these top spots.

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The OpenTable Team
Updated February 03, 2023
A photo of Yves restaurant


TriBeCa - Downtown
203 reviews
Located in downtown Manhattan, just a block from the Hudson River, Yves is one of the city’s most elegant French brasseries. Alex Baker is Paris-trained, she attended culinary school and worked at Spring and Le Chateaubriand in the City of Lights before coming to New York to help open Rebelle in 2015. At Yves, she interprets upscale French food with a delightfully relaxed attitude. Her creative touches include the duck l’orange with crispy farro and smoked cauliflower and a bouillabaisse featuring black bass and fennel. The restaurant boasts a fun-loving atmosphere with sunlight streaming in through the windows by day, and the warm glow of candles by night.

A photo of La Palapa restaurant

La Palapa

East Village
800 reviews
La Palapa is the brainchild of Barbara Sibley, a chef and artist with extensive New York City restaurant experience. She started out at La Tulipe, a New York Times three-star French restaurant where she took influences from Julia Child, James Beard, and Sarah Moulton. La Palapa focuses on Mexico City tacos and authentic regional Mexican cuisine like Tacos al Pastor, Salsa Pibil, and other fresh and spicy specialties.

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A photo of Modern Love Brooklyn restaurant

Modern Love Brooklyn

1358 reviews
This Brooklyn hot spot is actually modeled after the original restaurant in Omaha. Chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the coolest vegan chef on the planet and, in addition to her two vegan cookbooks, has built an empire on her fantastic vegan eateries. Modern Love takes up prime real estate in Williamsburg and focuses on real ingredients used in plant-based versions of familiar favorites like mac and cheese with cashew cheese and Delicata squash with candied pecans, vegan butter, cinnamon, and cayenne.

A photo of Meadowsweet restaurant


1544 reviews
Stephanie Lempert and Polo Dobkin opened up Meadowsweet under the Williamsburg Bridge in 2014. Since then, the husband-and-wife team have been coming up with thoughtful, modern American dishes. Meadowsweet is a bright, airy space with a gothic feel and the flavorful American menu pairs well with the lengthy wine list and seasonal cocktail program.

A photo of Lido restaurant


1728 reviews
Perfectly positioned on a busy corner on Harlem’s Restaurant Row, Lido showcases the phenomenal cooking of James Beard Award-winning author and chef Serena Bass. She originally got her career start when she catered a last-minute 60-person dinner party for Andy Warhol. She has a vibrant, creative, and multi-faceted cuisine style. Her many food talents appear in her creations at Lido, where you can find scrumptious dishes like fresh squid ink linguine or parmesan polenta fries.

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A photo of Flex Mussels - UES restaurant

Flex Mussels - UES

Upper East Side
2440 reviews
Laura Shapiro partnered with her daughter Alexandra and husband Bobby to bring Flex Mussels to New York City. The seasoned restaurateurs have instrumented 20-something successful venues in NYC alone! The owners modeled Flex after a charming seafood shack on Prince Edward Island and they serve up the area’s freshest mussels, global seafood, and oysters along with 23 extraordinary sauces. This 82nd Street location features happy hour specials seven nights a week at the bar. Get your seafood fix, and then some!

A photo of Flex Mussels - West Village restaurant

Flex Mussels - West Village

West Village
1594 reviews
Veteran restaurateur Laura Shapiro has found the magic recipe for fantastic seafood. Flex Mussels - 13th Street serves up the highest quality Prince Edward Island mussels, seafood from around the globe, and oysters that taste like you’re kissing the sea. Her daughter Alex has spent years forming a relationship with a mussel farm in Prince Edward Island along with other fresh fish purveyors. She serves up the best mussels in town at Flex, no doubt about that. Added bonus: They also offer the famous “Flex Donut Collection” with funky flavors for dessert for a nice sweet note to end your meal!

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