Rao's restaurant in East Harlem opened in the late 1800s and is one of the most famous restaurants in New York. Rao's specializes in Neapolitan Italian fare and is legendary for being one of the most difficult restaurants in the world to get into. Rao's has just 10 tables, one seating per night, and isn't open on weekends. The eatery is so beloved and has been around for so long that its tables are passed down family-to-family, neighbor-to-neighbor, and you simply can't get one unless you know someone. No reservations are accepted.
Even so, its reviews are rapturous and the restaurant was recently featured on the TV show "Top Chef." Rao's also sells its sauce and pastas online, so you can taste Rao's at home. If you're in New York and think you can't live without a visit to Rao's, try the bar for a quick drink, instead.