There are a few advantages to eating at a big round table. No one in your group will complain about their seat, for example, and it also makes it easier to share things. Plus, you can pretend that you’re part of a secret society, and anyone who’s afraid of corners will be just fine. That (plus the fact that people kept asking us for places with big round tables) is why we made this guide. You’ll find all sorts of good options below.
Bamonte’s proves that the desire to sit at round tables isn’t a recent phenomenon. This Williamsburg Italian spot opened in 1900, and the dining room, which has a few round tables (covered in white tablecloths) scattered around its big space, hasn’t been updated since the ’50s. Which means groups have been passing around family-style plates of baked ziti and pork chop parmesan here for decades, and if you haven’t done so yet yourself, you should change that sooner rather than later.
Gran Tivoli is a good group dinner option for three key reasons. First and most importantly (at least for this guide), it has big round tables with booth seating on one side and chairs on the other. Second, the Italian menu is long, and most of the dishes are shareable. We like the polenta with crab and strozzapreti with lamb ragu, but the best thing we’ve tried is actually the veal schnitzel with soft-boiled eggs and anchovies. Finally, there’s a great cocktail bar in the basement called Peppi’s Cellar, where you’ll want to get drinks before or after dinner.
Your family’s here visiting, and you need a spot that’s accessible from both your mom’s hotel on Canal and your aunt’s hotel in Midtown. Ideally, it would also have a long menu with plenty of options, and a noisy enough atmosphere that you won’t have to apologize to nearby tables once your cousins move on to their second martinis. Head to Kyma, a big Greek restaurant near Union Square that serves some very good seafood and has a bunch of round tables that work for groups of around six to eight. There’s usually a bit of a crowd here, but you should still be able to change your reservation from five to eight people when you find out that significant others were invited as well. Just keep in mind that it gets pricey.
Jing Fong is approximately the size of a college basketball stadium, and it still gets really crowded. This makes it a fun option for dim sum brunch or group dinners in Chinatown. Most of the tables here are round, and there are options whether you’re with a few friends or half the people in your contact list. The menu, like the space, is massive, but you can also pick things up off dim sum carts as they’re rolled by.
Golden Unicorn is another big dim sum spot on the second floor of a building in Chinatown, and the space is filled with massive round tables that will fit most families or friend groups. Use it for anything from a birthday brunch or team outing to a private event.
Ilili is an upscale Lebanese restaurant in Flatiron, and the main dining area is just one long room filled with a bunch of round tables. With its high ceilings and fancy wood-paneled walls, it looks sort of like a place where Bruce Wayne would eat while trying to keep his cover, and it’s a great spot for a business meeting or a meal with some people who generally only eat in Midtown.
If you have something big to celebrate with a group, and you’d rather do so at a table where everyone can sit in a circle and make really intense eye contact, get a reservation at Gramercy Tavern. You can either do the prix fixe or a tasting menu, and you can hang out at a round table in the middle of the room while you eat some top-notch pasta or some steak tartare and duck confit.
There are exactly two round tables at Win Son, and they’re right in the front. If you’re eating here with five or more people, they’ll let you make a reservation, and you should know that each round table seats roughly six. The food here is a mix of Taiwanese and American, almost everything costs less than $20, and we particularly like the chicken sandwich and pork buns. So make a trip over here for your next fun night out with friends. It’s worth it.
There isn’t any meat at abcV. That’s just how vegetarian restaurants work. But, even compared to places that serve beef and chicken, the food here is exceptional - and pretty much anyone will be happy with one of their dosas or the big roasted head of cauliflower. There’s also one large round table at the front of the space, and you should do your very best to eat there. It’s perfect for your next somewhat upscale group dinner that’s also kind-of-healthy, and people will be jealous of your seating arrangement.
If you live or work near Canal Street, you’ve walked past this Italian spot’s red awning many times. You’ve probably said to yourself, “I wonder if that place is any good.” We can tell you that the Tuscan food here is, in fact, quite good. But the real secret of this place is its second-floor level, with large round tables situated next to big windows. When it’s nice outside, they open them up, and with the sun streaming in and a glass of wine in front of you, it almost feels like you’ve left New York. We like this place for a leisurely lunch, but it would work for most situations.
Loring Place is an ideal option when you’re going out with a group that has at least one person who’s trying to be healthy, and few other people who don’t care. You can get a salad or a burger, or you can order a brussels sprout pizza, which, in terms of healthiness, is somewhere in between those two other things. While most of the tables have four sides and pointy corners, there are a few extra-large ones that do the circle thing.
You could catch up with your friends on the train, but you don’t really want 40 grumpy strangers to hear which ex-president your Bumble date reminded you of, so get a table at Grand Central Oyster Bar before your ride. This classic spot inside Grand Central has plenty of tourists, but doesn’t feel kitschy thanks to the fact that it’s actually old-school - it opened in 1913, and still serves excellent martinis, oysters, and seafood. There are several different seating options, like bars and U-shaped counters, as well as a few round tables, and you should be able to get in and out pretty quickly.
This Chinese spot a few doors down from 169 Bar on the LES is filled with big round tables, and the larger ones can fit around 12 people. They also have lazy susans several feet in diameter. You can eat a whole suckling pig here (if you order it in advance), and you can also see if they have any Peking duck available - or just get the crispy garlic chicken along with a small vat of wonton soup. Whatever you do, take advantage of the fact that this place is BYOB.
When you need something a little nicer than a place where you’d eat on a Tuesday night, but nothing so fancy that you’ll have to put on dry-clean-only clothing and take out a loan, go to Vic’s. It’s perfect for a dinner with your family, a few friends, or some college people that you may or may not like anymore. The food is Italian, with the usual mix of pizza, pasta, and roasted chicken, and there are a few round tables of various sizes, including a larger one with a booth that’ll fit about eight people.
ABC Kitchen is the sort of place where you can eat with someone who occasionally considers moving to Southern California. There are things like whole wheat pizza, crab toast, and kale salad, and this is a nice, big space with chandeliers and white furniture. They also have a few large round tables in the corners, if you need a place to eat with your family or an especially health-conscious boss around Union Square.
Kings County Imperial has two big round tables, both topped with lazy susans that will help you share some great Chinese food in Williamsburg. Just be sure to make a reservation, order some soup dumplings and the mock eel, and go to Union Pool afterwards if you’re looking to have that sort of night.
Minetta Tavern is a classic NYC spot, and it’s the sort of place where you can eat some steak in a dark room and pretend that you’ve just written a bestseller in the year 1950. The walls are covered in old photos, the lights stay dim, and the dining room is lined with red leather banquettes. They also serve one of the best burgers in the city, and while most of the tables are the type with four corners, there are a few circular ones thrown in for good measure. Try requesting one when you make your reservation.
The Chinese food here - from the clay pot dumplings that come in an incredible chicken soup with glass noodles to the perfectly fried shrimp in a huge bowl of spicy chilis - is all excellent, and the pretty space, which has a few round tables ideal for four to six people, is within eyeshot of the West 4th St subway station. So it’s a convenient choice for groups coming from different neighborhoods, when everyone wants to sit in a circle and share a bunch of different things.
Tijuana Picnic is an ideal spot for a 25th birthday dinner. The Mexican food here is pretty good, especially the sauteed corn and chicken tacos with crispy chicken chicharrones, and it all tastes better after a mezcal flight or pitcher of margaritas. Start at a booth with a round table in the upstairs dining room, then move to the bar in the basement, or any of the countless nearby spots on the LES.
If Tijuana Picnic feels like a 25th birthday party on the LES, then Tao feels like a 25th birthday party in Vegas. The massive space in Chelsea has giant Buddha statues, a sunken dining room with a bunch of big round tables and booths, and a club in the back where there’s a chance you’ll see someone who’s performing at MSG this weekend. The food - ranging from sushi to dim sum, lobster pad thai, and sweet and sour pork - is extremely expensive, but better than the food at most club-restaurants.
It’s not that we like putting The Smith on guides - it’s just that it works pretty well for almost everything. This place has all kinds of food (including pasta, steak, and salad), and there are round tables at every location because they’re well aware of the fact that people tend to enjoy sitting in a circle. Bring your family. Or stop by on a triple date when you forgot to book a table somewhere special and have decided that this place will do just fine.
Times Square is full of huge restaurants where you can bring groups, but if you’re not interested in an abundance of neon lights and/or tourists, then your options are more limited. Casa Nonna is a safe bet for dinner with colleagues or a bite before heading out of Penn Station or Port Authority. This Italian place is huge, and there are a bunch of big round tables to fill with pastas, pizzas, and definitely a side of the eggplant parm.
The Smile is a Mediterranean/American restaurant, and it’s where you should be eating with a group in Noho when someone might be wearing sweats and another person is wearing something they paid too much money for. It’s a cool place, but it’s very casual, and it feels kind of like a small cabin or an antique store that tends to be filled with young people. They serve things like salmon, pasta, and a mezze plate, and there’s also one large round table that happens to be the best table in the house.
We love Han Dynasty in the East Village, but the no-reservation policy (except for parties of eight or more) and resulting two-hour waits make it tough to plan around. The Upper West Side location is much bigger, and they take reservations. So get one of the big round tables and share the dry pepper chicken, dumplings in chili oil, and multiple orders of dan dan noodles.