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The Best NYC Restaurants for Birthdays and Large Group Dinners

by Victoria Marin – November 20, 2019

Being the most in-the-know New Yorker among your friends and acquaintances comes with a price: You are relied on to choose the destination for every birthday dinner, holiday bash, going away party, bachelor and bachelorette fête, and ‘just because’ brunch.

And the embarrassment of riches of NYC restaurants does not make the task any easier. We have an abundance of venues able to accommodate parties that exceed the “automatic gratuity” headcount. But with big groups come disparate dietary needs, allergies, and tastes. So, where can you celebrate your pal’s promotion, big break, or 1,000th Instagram follower, while also honoring her pals’ lactose intolerance, keto diets, or aversion to spice/flavor of any kind? Save your headache for the eventual check time Venmo negotiations and choose from this guide to the best restaurants for groups.


Best for: Delighting vegetarians without disappointing the carnivores

Endure the long wait at this beloved no-reservations hot pot spot and you’ll be rewarded with ample space for your group and abundant flavor combinations. Shabu-Shabu’s interactive nature makes it a great ice breaking option for motley crews, and it’s pre-priced per-person, which lessens check-time awkwardness. Base prices ($14 for weekday lunch/$18 for dinner & weekends) include access to the enormous veggie, sauce and noodle buffet — the size of which will awe the vegetarians in your squad — but meat and seafood platters cost extra.


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