We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Ratings and reviews

Travelers' Choice2022
RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

CUISINES
Italian
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options

Location and contact

Downtown Manhattan (Downtown)
0.2 miles from SoHo
Improve this listing

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
Reviews (355)
Filter reviews
306 results
Traveler rating
218
48
14
9
17
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageEnglish
More languages
Traveler rating
218
48
14
9
17
Show reviews that mention
All reviews meatballs clams cannoli italian food new york red sauce house wine celebrities pomodoro celebrity city michelin diners neighborhood
Sort and selected filters
Sort FilterEnglish
Updating list...
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Probably my 7th visit. Terrific menu and experience every time I go. Can’t wait for the next visit. I refer friends, family and business associates all the time! Go here!

Date of visit: January 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed November 10, 2022

My family went to Emilio's Ballato in May 2022 and just loved it. We are all either native New Yorkers and/or intense foodies who have traveled the world ... and we agreed, hands down, that Emilio's Ballato has the best chicken parmigiana in the world....It doesn't come with pasta, but is a large portion and you could easily share it and get one of their delish pasta dishes as well.More

Date of visit: May 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed October 27, 2022 via mobile

My husband and I dropped in for lunch and were rewarded with a sublime dining experience. I ordered the ravioli con ricotta, and he had the trippe alla marinara (although I admit to sampling some of the tripe myself 🙂). Service was excellent, and the...food was delicious! Una meravigliosa esperienza culinaria!More

Date of visit: October 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed October 10, 2022

As a native new yorker I am extremely disappointed in my experience here. Went to dinner here after waiting 2 hours outside. It was 10:30 PM we wanted to share a couple dishes and a round of drinks but not each get our own dish,...considering it was 10:30 PM and we had intended to eat at 8:30. The waitress was so rude practically yelling asking if we knew that this was a restaurant and laughed in our faces when we didn't each want to get our own dish. Ended up ordering more dishes for her sake, she proceeded to death glare and ignore us the entire night while rushing us through our meal and slamming dishes on the table. Absolutely horrible service and will never return.More

Date of visit: October 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed October 6, 2022 via mobile

Unfriendly, no Information White waiting, promising a table-but several times let friends inside without Reservation. Not Professional.

Date of visit: October 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed August 29, 2022 via mobile

Great food. Nice old school Italian ambience . A little pricey but the quality and service are excellent. We had the caprese salad to start. Fresh tomatoes. I had the chicken parmigiana. Excellent. Cooked just right.

Date of visit: August 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed July 20, 2022

The owner, perched at the front of the restaurant with his pals, gave us the once-over as we entered before a waiter showed us to our seats. We didn't know what to expect, but had read some good reviews of this old school celebrity hangout...(the walls are filled with pictures of celebrities who have dined here). As it turned out, we had some of the best New York Italian food ever. The focaccia bread was superbly baked and the burrata super fresh and full of flavour. Our mains of lasagne and linguine alle vongole were perfectly cooked. As we left, John Hamm (the actor) and his girlfriend were standing at the doorway eagerly awaiting our free table. Will definitely be back.More

Date of visit: May 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed July 4, 2022 via mobile

I look for restaurants near me and This one stand out. Michelin at a good price. The food was ok, but the price was way to high. Not coming back don’t care if Justin Bieber went

Date of visit: June 2022
Helpful?3  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed June 30, 2022

Visited with family in May 2022 - arrived for a late lunch/early dinner. The main courses were amazing and the desserts were even better! Loved the quaint atmosphere. We've read previous reviews about the service being average or below - that was not our experience....We servers was very attentive and professional. This will now be a regular stop for us when we visit NYC.More

Date of visit: May 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed June 2, 2022

Never had a veal chop pounded so thin. Really impressed with my veal Parm. Also enjoyed my clams Oregenatta. Drinks were solid too. Good experience. Would go back.

Date of visit: June 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed May 25, 2022

After she cleaned my teeth, my dental hygienist recommended the curiously-named Emilio’s Ballato for lunch. I mentioned the recommendation a little later when I met two friends in front of the REI store near my dentist’s office. My friends were down for Italian food. A...minute’s walk later we were inside the NoLita door of the well-known and well-regarded eatery. None of us, though, knew that fact and of course we had no prior experience with Emilio Vitolo, the owner of the restaurant (formerly owned by John Ballato). We were apparently the first customers of the day. When Mr. Vitolo, who sat at a table next to the entrance of his restaurant, asked us what we were there for, my answer was that we were there for lunch. Could there have been another reason? Mr. Vitolo quickly sized us up as the innocents we were, who had stumbled into his lair. After a couple more slightly intimidating interrogatories, Emilio called to a waiter who had just walked out of the kitchen into the small dining room, “Tony, take care of these guys.” His tone was ambiguous. Were we going to be handed menus or fitted for concrete overshoes? As we waited for our food, we looked around the room. The walls were covered with photos of people, many of whom are well known to the public, and among them in particular were people in the business of making music. Often plctured with them was Emilio Vitolo. Our food arrived and so did customers who wanted lunch. I’m sure some of them also wanted to say hello to Emilio as much as they wanted the meal they would soon enjoy. They weren’t as innocent as we were. I certainly enjoyed my meal, and my friends did too. My extraordinarily tasty tortellini sat in a shallow and exquisitely sumptuous broth. My companions were similarly impressed with their seafood dishes. This is not a fast food franchise. The time it took our food to arrive was justified. Service was pleasant, professional and not intrusive. When we finished our lunch, Mr. Vitolo seemed reluctant to pose for a photo, at least until he prevailed upon my two friends to sit next to him. I made one more photo. I think, when he saw it, he liked the way I pictured him. This review is just a snapshot of one afternoon at an Italian restaurant in Lower Manhattan. I have only reported on one dish that knocked my socks off. The food, however, good as it was, formed only part of the wonderful experience of spending time at Emilio’s Ballato.More

Date of visit: May 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed May 13, 2022 via mobile

Ambiance was awful. The owner, I assume, since no one tried to restrain her yelled and was abusive to other diners. They were quiet, civilized and regulars, but she went off on them. She merely rushed us through our meal, said we had to leave...by 11. We ordered house wine and she charged us $75 but when I asked she snarled and we just wanted out. Pasta was good but lots of places in New York have good pasta and a pleasant setting This was inexcusable! Do not go !!More

Date of visit: May 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed May 7, 2022 via mobile

Very intimate family restaurant with small tables. Pasta was perfectly cooked in a beautiful sauce. House wine was of good quality and tiramisu was the perfect final to a great meal. The service was friendly and the owner was actually sitting at the next table.

Date of visit: May 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed May 3, 2022 via mobile

Great date night for couples. Good and atmosphere were old school New York. Dinner, wine and dessert selection exceeded expectations. Loved our night out as small group of couples.

Date of visit: April 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed April 4, 2022

We - two couples - stumbled into Emilio's and found a gem. The owner (Emilio, I presume) is not the chattiest host in the world (!), but his food and staff more than make up for that. On first appearances, it would be easy to...walk past and write this place off, but that would be a missed opportunity. Great, great food; simply Italian fayre cooked well and served quickly yet attentively. Small-ish menu that concentrated on good dishes. My partner described her cheesecake as "the best I've ever had!" - and she's hard to please. As a Brit in New York, I was thrilled to see photos and mementoes of former guests on the wall, many featuring my here David Bowie, who'd eaten there many times. Highly recommended.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
View more reviews
Best nearby
Best nearby hotelsSee all
The Bowery Hotel
890 reviews
.17 miles away
PUBLIC Hotel
1,268 reviews
.18 miles away
Crosby Street Hotel
907 reviews
.19 miles away
Lafayette House
48 reviews
.21 miles away
Best nearby restaurantsSee all
Gato
706 reviews
.06 miles away
The Musket Room
331 reviews
.07 miles away
Tacombi Nolita
569 reviews
.06 miles away
Estela
399 reviews
.02 miles away
Best nearby attractionsSee all
St. Patrick's Old Cathedral
463 reviews
.09 miles away
Sheen Center
9 reviews
.08 miles away
Tom & Jerry's (288 Bar)
20 reviews
.06 miles away
Puck Fair
8 reviews
.06 miles away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
carmencN3764ZS
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.
0
Votes
matt528528
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.
0
Votes
GlobeTrotting559972
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.
0
Votes
Is This Your Listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim Your Free Listing

EMILIO'S BALLATO, New York City - Downtown Manhattan (Downtown) - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

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