Meatballs offer a perfect bite of saucy and succulent goodness, and in NYC, there is a globally diverse mix to choose from. Check out this roundup of Best Meatballs in NYC for your next foodie adventure.
Italian Meatball Dishes
If you’re looking for a classic Italian meatball, look no further than Carmine’s – it’s one of their famous signature dishes.
Simmered and served in a rich Marinara sauce, the hearty meatballs are robust with flavor in every bite.
Made with a blend of beef, veal, breadcrumbs, Italian spices, parmesan cheese, and plenty of garlic, they are best served on top of a heaping pile of freshly cooked pasta.
Upper West Side: 2450 Broadway, New York, 212-362-2200 and Times Square: 200 West 44th Street, New York, 212-221-3800
Portale, the eponymous restaurant of Chef Alfred Portale, serves light fluffy meatballs with ricotta as the secret weapon.
The Polpette are made with tomatoes, Parmigiano Reggiano fonduta, and grilled pieces of bread, and served in a delicate tomato sauce.
126 West 18th Street, New York, 917-781-0255
Chinese Meatball Dishes
Fast-casual homestyle Chinese restaurant Chinah serves homemade meatballs that bring a taste of traditional Chinese cooking to diners.
Known as Lion’s Head, the large meatballs are pan-fried and served in customizable rice and vegetable bowls.
Made with minced pork, flavors like green onion and ginger stand out, while the inside remains juicy and tender.
Their signature combo, Grandma’s Favorite, features the meatballs, along with tomato and egg, seasonal greens, and forbidden black rice, for a traditional Chinese comfort-food experience.
Manhattan: 100 Maiden Lane, New York, and Jersey City: 525 Washington Blvd, Jersey City, NJ
Shanghainese fast-casual restaurant Yaso serves up Braised Pork Meatballs, offered on their own or in noodle bowls where the flavors melt together for a satisfying meal.
Another version of the Lion’s Head meatball, Yaso’s provide an even richer bite, braised in a rich soy sauce-based liquid.
The dense and richly flavored pork meatballs offer a juicy bite of umami flavor.
Locations across NYC and Jersey City, NJ
Japanese Meatball Dishes
Exclusively at the Chelsea location of Japanese comfort food restaurant Ootoya, excellent yakitori chicken skewers are prepared on their specialty grills after 5:30 pm.
While there are many variations available, their Tsukune skewers are the all-time fan-favorite item.
Made with ground chicken, diners can choose from Ootoya’s sweet-savory tare sauce or simple salt seasonings.
The succulent skewers are the perfect bites to enjoy with beer to start your dinner, the same way they’re enjoyed in Japan.
8 West 18th Street, New York, 212-255-0018
Spanish Meatball Dishes
Socarrat Paella Bar
Albóndigas are Spanish meatballs that are smaller than traditional Italian meatballs, making them more likely to be served as appetizers.
At Socarrat Paella Bar, albóndigas made with veal and beef and served in a light tomato sauce are offered on their tapas menu.
Chelsea: 259 West 19th Street, 212-462-1000, Midtown East: 953 Second Ave,212-759-0101, Nolita: 284 Mulberry Street, 212-219-0101
Chef Franklin Becker, at his Spanish tapas restaurant Oliva, also offers tender melt-in-your-mouth albóndigas, served in a tomato sauce made with red wine and paprika, adding bright, sweet, and fruity notes (perfect for pairing with a glass of red wine or cocktail of choice).
3229 Broadway at 130th Street, 917-522-9830
Swedish Meatball Dishes
Traditional recipes of Swedish meatballs are usually passed down from generation to generation within a family, just like how Emma Bengtsson, the executive chef at the two Michelin star restaurant Aquavit got hers; from her family in Sweden.
As one of the Best Meatballs in NYC, the Swedish Meatballs by Aquavit are made with a mixture of beef, pork, and breadcrumbs, they are served alongside cream sauce, pickled cucumbers, and lingonberries.
The homey dish is exclusively offered at their bar.
65 East 55th Street, 212-307-7311
The Murgh Kofta, one of the most popular entrées served at Dhamaka is a unique take on an Indian meatball – a whole hard-boiled egg wrapped in minced chicken, leaving you wondering about the possible origins of the more commonly known Scotch egg.
The koftas are served in a generous poppy seed rich gravy and are enjoyed with a side of flatbread (paratha/chapati) or over basmati rice.
119 Delancey Street, 212-204-8616