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Ratings and reviews


MICHELIN Guide's Point of View

This unassuming Houston St. standard is an unsung hero, even if many walk past Emilio’s gold- and red-etched window and write it off as some run-of-the...
Read more on MICHELIN Guide
The MICHELIN Plate: Good cooking
Comfortable restaurant
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Seating, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
Reviews (332)
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All reviews meatballs bread italian food new york have eaten here cooked perfectly nyc patrons city mouth
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is an old-school restaurant with top-notch food, service and atmosphere. There are no reservations, just first-come, first-serve. My party and I arrived 15 minutes before Noon, when the restaurant opens and were the first in line. Inside is what I pictured as a NY...Italian Restaurant - with the walls covered by pictures of politicians, musicians and other celebrities. The owner, Emilio, keeps a presence in the front of the restaurant and was very nice toward us. The grilled bread is phenomenal. The servers are pros and know what they are doing. Highly recommend.More

Date of visit: July 2021
Reviewed May 13, 2021 via mobile

Delciius pasta. Outdoor setup was really nice. Awesome to have the street vibe. Hope they keep it going after covid. Great wine.

Date of visit: April 2021
Reviewed March 26, 2021 via mobile

I can't remember the last time I enjoyed old-school Italian food as much as I did Emilio' Ballato! Every course was cooked beautifully. Pasta was cooked perfectly al dente. Seasoning was delicious without being overwhelming. Not exactly the most stunning looking room, yet I will...be back! Taste wins out over ambience.More

Date of visit: March 2021
Reviewed May 12, 2020

We have been here 4 times. The first 2 were very good. The last 2 we were treated like dogs. I can excuse bad food once. The last time we we were there my wife had a fly in her drink and the waiter said...it wasn’t an insect. Later she was eating focaccia and there was a napkin in it. I called the grumpy owner over and he said she must have picked up her napkin and eaten it. He then tried to stare me down for 30 minutes. He was unsuccessful. There are way too many places to eat in NYC to have to put up with Ballato’s nonsense.Go anywhere else.More

Date of visit: November 2019
Reviewed March 7, 2020

We had a late lunch at Ballato's and the food and service were excellent.Maybe the best Italian restaurant in the city.....

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed March 6, 2020

Ballato's probably doesn't need another raving review, but we loved the place. We did the Catacombs tour around the corner, and my friend ran into his friend who told us we had to eat here. He introduced us to the owner and the owner's son,...and we had an absolutely unexpected wonderful meal and wonderful time. The restaurant is a dining legacy in Little Italy. It's small, comfortable, and well known. The food was excellent, from the bread on the table to my Bolonese, to my friend's Fra Diablo. They even made a sausage and broccolini for my gluten-free friend. The only damper on the evening is that they switched up the leftover boxes, and we didn't realize it until the next day, and we couldn't switch! I'd go back in a heartbeat. The red wine was the best I ever tasted.More

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed March 2, 2020 via mobile

Two words. Unforgettable. Original. This place is like an Italian home, as soon as you walk through the doors you can smell the authenticity. From the chef Anthony to the owner of the restaurant they are hospitable and genuine. You shouldn’t consider any other Italian...restaurant in NYC.More

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed February 19, 2020

We went here for my 30th and Valentines meal and they accommodated us no problem without a booking. The restaurant has a real authentic and simple vibe - this completely matched the food. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious but I do think it...was slightly overpriced for what you get. All the same, I would still go back at the service was so good!More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed February 9, 2020 via mobile

I have eaten here many times and always look forward. To the experience. Emilios sits at a table by the door and allows you to dine there. The cuisine is outstanding with sauces made daily , with love and care that is missing in most...places. The fish and meat are done correctly and pasta is always perfect. The place is slice with active foodies, attractive models and people in the news and just regular folks who love food. Do not forget about the amazing desserts as well. Priced for the quality you get and the old wRm charm with pictures in the wall. You cannot go wrong. No reservations. Unless you know someoneMore

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed January 18, 2020 via mobile

Went here and we LOVED IT. The food was amazing. All fresh and authentic. Hope to be back soon!!!👌🙏

Date of visit: January 2020
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Questions & Answers
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October 2, 2019|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from lexter266 | Reviewed this property |
The ambient of the restaurant does not look like they’ll strict on outside cake. I’d just call and let them know for courtesy.
March 2, 2019|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from JeannieF357 | Reviewed this property |
There might be something gluten-free, but honestly, it is not that kind of place. Emilio's has traditional Italian food, prepared perfectly.
September 16, 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Silvia1701Arg | Reviewed this property |
Hi, I don't think they take bookings. But if you arrive early they will organise a big table at the back where there is more space for you and your family/friends. Enjoy.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Emilio's Ballato

Emilio's Ballato is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4.5