Best things to do on Staten Island include top restaurants that specialize in hearty traditional dishes from the Old World or in contemporary Italian food with a twist. However, this doesn't mean your choices are limited.

The borough also offers restaurants serving a diverse selection of cuisine from all over the world, including a Michelin star restaurant that makes inspired French-Asian fusion, a lively New Orleans style bistro with a Cajun-Creole menu and regular jazz entertainment, and an elegant Chinese restaurant known for its dim sum.

1. Angelina's Ristorante

Angelina's Ristorante
© Angelina's Ristorante

Tucked away in Tottenville on the tip of Staten Island, Angelina's Ristorante is widely recognized as one of the top fine dining establishments in the Island. The menu offers classic favorites such as chicken breast stuffed with ham and cheese alongside innovative dishes like pistachio encrusted sea bass in limoncello sauce, and plenty of delicious appetizers, salads, and sides can be ordered to accompany your meal. The restaurant is also a popular venue for weddings and other special events, and it rents out private indoor and outdoor spaces that can accommodate between 50 and 250 people.

399 Ellis St, Staten Island, NY 10307, Phone: 718-227-2900

2. Bayou

© Bayou

Whether you're trying to plan a unique evening or you're simply in the mood for some Cajun-Creole food, Bayou can always be relied upon to deliver. The intimate dining room is a wonderful imitation of the type of cozy bistro you might stumble across while strolling through the streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans, and the menu features everything from jambalaya to bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin medallions. However, the restaurant doesn't just do dinner. Its three-course Sunday morning brunch is just as delicious as anything it offers in the evenings, and it comes with a complimentary cocktail and live jazz entertainment.

1072 Bay St, Staten Island, NY 10305, Phone: 718-273-4383

3. Beso

© Beso

Named after the Spanish word for 'kiss', Beso is a romantic Spanish tapas restaurant. It's conveniently located within a ten-minute walk from the ferry, making it an ideal spot to stop when you're running low on time, but the delicious sangria and seafood dishes are worth making a special trip for regardless of whether or not you're in the area. The menu offers both tapas and entrees, and guests can also order one of the delicious daily lunch or dinner specials, which typically include a prix-fixe three-course menu with your choice of tapa, entree, and dessert.

11 Schuyler St, Staten Island, NY 10301, Phone: 718-816-8162

4. Bin 5

Bin 5
© Bin 5

Offering high-quality food and panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, Bin 5 is a Michelin star restaurant that the New York Times has called one of Staten Island's best places to eat. The New American menu is full of eclectic dishes like duck breast in a port and pomegranate reduction and sweet corn ravioli, and its complemented by an ever-changing menu of daily specials. A tasting menu with wine pairings is available Monday through Thursday. The elegant interior of the restaurant features exposed brick walls and teardrop chandeliers, and outdoor garden seating is available during the warmer summer months.

1233 Bay St, Staten Island, NY 10305, Phone: 718-448-7275

5. Blue

© Blue

A popular Mediterranean restaurant located right on the waterfront, Blue specializes in fresh seafood and Italian-inspired dishes. The menu includes delectable dishes like slow-roasted lamb shank, shrimp topped with crab meat and lobster butter sauce, and sautéed veal cutlets with mushrooms and sherry wine sauce, but the restaurant also offers a four-course menu with an optional unlimited wine, sangria, and beer add-on. Sundays are an especially good time to visit; brunch is offered in the morning, and a fun clambake is available in the afternoon. Both indoor and outdoor dining are available, but reservations are not accepted for the outdoor portion of the restaurant.

1115 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10310, Phone: 718-273-7777

6. Bocelli

© Bocelli

An exceptional destination for authentic Italian food, Bocelli prides itself on making delicious food that transports their guests right to a sunny terrace in Italy. The lunch and dinner menus offer everything from raw seafood appetizers to indulgent pasta dishes, and there are special antipasto plates designed for two or more people to share. Wine can be purchased by the glass or by the bottle to accompany your meal. The three-course prix fixe menu offers your choice of appetizer, main, or dessert, and happy hour food and drink specials are available in the bar every weekday between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

1250 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10305, Phone: 718-420-6150

7. Cielo Ristorante

Cielo Ristorante
© johny87/

Cielo Ristorante was named for the Italian word meaning 'sky', and the delightful cuisine served here will make diners feel like they've flown straight to heaven. The decor is warm and inviting, as is the Italian-inspired menu, which features hearty pasta, fish, and meat dishes alongside fresh salads and soups. A traditional three-course prix fixe menu can be ordered for dinner, and the menu also offers a small selection of vegetarian options. Gluten-free pasta is available upon request. The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner every day of the week, and catering can be arranged for outside events.

1435 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10305, Phone: 718-668-2211

8. Fiore Di Mare

Fiore Di Mare
© Fiore Di Mare

Another of Staten Island's exceptional Italian restaurants, Fiore Di Mare offers an extensive selection of traditional and contemporary dishes. The restaurant is known for its cozy but upscale atmosphere, and guests can choose to dine either inside or out depending on the weather. Offerings include classic fare like ossobuco as well as more innovative dishes like seared Scottish salmon with Israeli cous cous, and there is a prix fixe menu available on weekdays between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Visitors should be aware that the prix fixe menu can only be served to groups of six or fewer people.

227 Mansion Ave, Staten Island, NY 10308, Phone: 718-227-9771

9. Giuliana's Restaurant, Staten Island

Giuliana's Restaurant, Staten Island
© Giuliana's Restaurant

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the number of Italian restaurants Staten Island has to offer, Giuliana's Restaurant is always a reliable choice for a delicious, romantic meal. Trees wrapped with fairy lights stand on either side of the front door, welcoming diners into the restaurant, and the cozy interior offers tables, booths, and a large bar. On sunny summer days, customers are welcome to enjoy their meal on the beautiful outdoor patio. Three-course prix fixe menus are offered for both lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday, but guests can also choose to order a la carte if they prefer.

4105 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10308, Phone: 718-317-8507

10. La Strada Restaurant, Staten Island

La Strada Restaurant, Staten Island
© Yeko Photo Studio/

Dedicated to providing customers with impeccable service and exceptional food, La Strada Restaurant has been serving up authentic Italian fare since 1987. The restaurant's welcoming interior features a cozy fireplace, and the menu offers primarily classic Italian dishes like homemade lasagna, shrimp parmesan, and veal scaloppini. The entrees are made to order from the freshest ingredients available, making it possible for the kitchen to customize menu items upon request. The restaurant is open weekdays for lunch and seven days a week for dinner, and a private dining room can be booked for special events. Catering services are available for off-site parties.

139 New Dorp Ln, Staten Island, NY 10306, Phone: 718-667-4040

11. Lorenzo's Restaurant & Cabaret

Lorenzo's Restaurant & Cabaret
© Lorenzo's Restaurant & Cabaret

Located inside the Hilton Garden Inn, Lorenzo's Restaurant & Cabaret is a fine dining restaurant that specializes in Italian and American cuisine. The mouthwatering menu features pasta dishes and meat and fish entrees, and plenty of gluten-free and healthy options are available. The cabaret stage regularly hosts award-winning performers; shows are typically held at 9:30 p.m., and combo packages are offered for anyone who would like to see the show and spend the night in one of the luxurious hotel rooms. Dinner specials are available Monday through Saturday, and a weekend brunch is held every Sunday.

1100 South Ave, Staten Island, NY 10314, Phone: 718-477-2400

12. Maizal Restaurant

Maizal Restaurant
© Maizal Restaurant

Family owned and operated since it was opened in 2010, Maizal Restaurant is a small but charming Mexican restaurant with a lovely back patio. The specialty here is food from the city of Puebla, and highlights of the menu include the made-to-order guacamole, the tequila lime fried rice with shrimp, and the soft tacos, which are available with steak, shrimp, fish, and grilled chicken. There is also a brunch menu offered Thursday through Sunday between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., which offers traditional Mexican breakfasts like huevos rancheros alongside more unique items like sweet crepes with fried plantains and chantilly cream.

990 Bay St, Staten Island, NY 10305, Phone: 347-825-3776

13. Marina Cafe

Marina Cafe
© Marina Cafe

Overlooking the stunning Great Kills Harbor, the Marina Cafe is a long-standing Staten Island fixture that specializes in seafood and Italian American cuisine. The menu offers plenty of delicious appetizers perfect for sharing, and the mains include pizzas and pastas as well as hearty steaks and satisfying fish dishes. Early birds can take advantage of the prix fixe menu on weekday afternoons, and night owls will appreciate the drink specials on Friday and Saturday nights. During the summer, the restaurant also operates a tiki bar, which features sandwiches, burgers, and a raw seafood bar.

154 Mansion Ave, Staten Island, NY 10308, Phone: 718-967-3077

14. Max's Es-Ca

Max's Es-Ca
© Max's Es-Ca

Known for its lively atmosphere and its delicious Italian specialties, Max's Es-Ca is an excellent choice for both lunch and dinner. Popular dishes include the seafood linguine, the chicken rollatini, and the stuffed jumbo shrimp, but if you don't feel like Italian, the menu also offers beef Wellington, Montreal spiced steak, and blackened tuna with a soy and ginger sauce. However, the food is only one of the many reasons to pay the restaurant a visit; live music performances are held on Friday evenings, and the restaurant brings in a DJ on certain Saturdays.

1559 Richmond Rd, Staten Island, NY 10304, Phone: 718-980-5006

15. Romantic Restaurants on Staten Island: Nino's

Romantic Restaurants on Staten Island: Nino's
© Nino's

Perfectly suited to both romantic dinner dates and family nights out, Nino's offers an authentic Italian dining experience in a cozy atmosphere. The restaurant has been providing Staten Island residents and visitors with home-style Italian food since 1994, and it offers an extensive wine list and cocktail menu in addition to delicious dishes like seafood risotto and chicken stuffed with spinach and ricotta. Guests can choose to enjoy their meal in the warmth of the dining room or outside on the patio, and there is also a private event space that can accommodate groups of up to 120 people.

1110 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10305, Phone: 718-448-3838

16. South Fin Grill

South Fin Grill
© South Fin Grill

Set on the boardwalk at South Beach, South Fin Grill is an upscale restaurant with an ocean deck that boasts spectacular views of the water and the beautiful Verrazano Bridge. The menu focuses on steak and seafood, but it also offers slow cooked barbecue rubs, a burger topped with bacon and caramelized onion, and several pasta dishes. Guests who want something lighter can order from the restaurant's raw bar, which features snapper ceviche, clams on the half shell, and oysters from both the east and west coasts. The restaurant is open every day of the week, and brunch is available on Sunday mornings.

300 Father Capodanno Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10305, Phone: 718-447-7679

17. Taste of India II

Taste of India II
© Taste of India II

Easily one of the best Indian restaurants in Staten Island, the Taste of India II also boasts a cozy, romantic atmosphere that keeps customers coming back for more. The restaurant also happens to be the oldest in the borough, and it serves a tried-and-true menu of classic favorites such as chicken tikka masala, lamb vindaloo, and vegetable curries. An excellent selection of appetizers, salads, and Indian breads can be ordered to accompany your meal, and the drink menu offers wine and Indian beers as well as plenty of non-alcoholic options.

287 New Dorp Ln, Staten Island, NY 10306, Phone: 718-987-4700

18. The Stone House at Clove Lakes

The Stone House at Clove Lakes
© The Stone House at Clove Lakes

The Stone House at Clove Lakes is exactly what you might guess from the name: a fine dining restaurant located inside a rustic stone cottage in Clove Lakes Park. The building sits on a private island in the lake, and it boasts a waterfront patio that allows guests to take full advantage of its stunning location. The menu offers upscale American style dishes like lobster tails with black garlic butter and strip steak with caramelized onion cannelloni, and there is also a wonderful selection of raw seafood. The space is also perfectly suited to private events, and it can accommodate up to 150 people.

1150 Clove Rd, Staten Island, NY 10301, Phone: 718-442-3600

19. Violette's Cellar

Violette's Cellar
© Violette's Cellar

Housed inside an eclectically decorated cellar, Violette's Cellar is a unique restaurant owned by Chef Peter Botros. The dinner menu is designed for sharing, and it offers a wide selection of charcuterie boards and small plates as well as family-style dishes like baked Scottish salmon and a 48-ounce Tomahawk steak. There are also several three-course menus that can be ordered for groups of between 13 and 25 people, including a mouthwatering brunch menu. Brunch is also served a la carte seven days a week, and the brunch beverage menu features an array of bubbly cocktails, bloody Mary's, and spiked ice coffees.

2271 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10306, Phone: 718-650-5050

20. Zio Toto

Zio Toto
© Zio Toto

An elegant Italian restaurant specializing in wood-fired pizzas and traditional Italian dishes, Zio Toto is a distinguished establishment that was named after the owner's father. Many of the dishes have their roots in Sicilian cuisine, including the pasta with sardines and the beef and veal skewers, but guests will also find more familiar Italian favorites like spaghetti carbonara and chicken parmesan. Diners can choose a drink from the excellent wine list to accompany their meal, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner every day of the week. Live entertainment is often held on Thursday evenings.

86 Page Ave, Staten Island, NY 10309, Phone: 718-317-0373

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