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Home > Restaurants > Rao’s Restaurant

Rao’s Restaurant

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

455 E. 114th St., New York, NY 10029 40.794458 -73.935718
at Pleasant Ave.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-722-6709 Send to Phone

  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Price Range: $$$$

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  • Reader Rating:

    9 out of 10


    5 Reviews | Write a Review

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Official Website


Mon-Fri, 7pm-11pm; Sat-Sun, closed

Nearby Subway Stops

6 at 116th St.

Payment Methods

Cash Only

Special Features

  • Classic NY
  • Family Style
  • Special Occasion


  • Full Bar




This legendary East Harlem wise-guy joint isn’t really a restaurant in the normal sense of the word (it’s a hyperexclusive dinner club), and yes, it’s possible to taste the famous the house ragù in Vegas these days, or even in the comfort of your own home. But if by some miracle your brother-in-law knows a guy, who knows a guy, who knows another guy, and if that other guy offers you a seat at his monthly table (which he got from another guy) at say at 9:30 on a Wednesday evening, you’d be a fool not to take it. Despite what you may have heard, the classic red-sauce fare isn’t half-bad (persuade your host to order another platter of those softball-size meatballs), and you’re bound to see a boldfaced name or two come bursting in through the door. But the real pleasure is of this New York institution is the setting the gentle lighting; the snug, linen-covered tables; the vintage Rat Pack photos tacked crookedly to the wall which exudes a kind of classic, old-world intimacy that’s disappeared from the increasingly curated restaurant scene downtown.