The next time you finish a big project, close a deal, or just make it through another year without more than three arguments about who stole whose yogurt from the fridge, have a celebratory team dinner at one of these places. They’re good for larger groups, and you won’t max out your corporate card - unless that’s what you’re trying to do, in which case, get creative and start asking if the art is for sale. Here are 23 restaurants that are fun (but not too wild) and spacious enough for your next group meal with colleagues.
The Workweek Guide is presented in partnership with Cole Haan. All restaurants and bars featured on The Infatuation are selected by our editorial team.
Reynard is one of the more exciting restaurants to exist on the ground floor of a hotel. Partly because it serves interesting American dishes like squash that’s been cooked overnight on embers, and partly because the rooftop bar upstairs has one of the best views of Manhattan you can find in Williamsburg (without knowing someone who has a crazy roof deck). At the end of the day, though, it still has a hotel-restaurant feel, which means it’s safe for groups of people who don’t talk about embarrassing high school memories in front of each other.
Cosme is a high-end choice, but your team did really well this quarter. The food here is upscale Mexican, with some standout dishes like duck carnitas, a mushroom tlayuda, and al pastor fish with tortillas. Come here for somewhat of a special occasion, when you don’t want the kind of atmosphere that might put someone to sleep during dinner. (If you did really really well this quarter, reserve their private room for 14 people.)
So there was some miscommunication about who exactly was planning this dinner, and now you’re scrambling to figure out a place no one will complain about. Shuka is great for something relatively last-minute, because it’s usually not too hard to get a table for a group. It’s a casual (but not too casual) Mediterranean spot in the part of Soho that’s basically Greenwich Village, and you’ll want to split some dips and kebabs while you try to come up with topics you all agree are interesting, like true crime podcast recommendations and viral videos of baby cows.
The success of team dinners is generally correlated with how much your colleagues actually enjoy spending time with one another. But Cote will be a good pick no matter what (as long as everyone eats meat). Even your grumpiest coworker - shoutout to Max from accounting - will have a baseline level of fun at this upscale Korean BBQ spot. Do the “Butcher’s Feast” ($54 per person), which comes with steakhouse-quality meat, plus vegetables, sides, stews, and soft serve. Call to make a reservation well in advance, and don’t ignore the excellent cocktails.
Usually, you have to wait for a table at Cafe China in Midtown East - and since the Sichuan food here is some of the best in the city, people do in fact wait a while. Luckily for you, your team has seven or more people, so you can make a dinner reservation ahead of time. (During lunch, they take reservations for four or more.) The portions are pretty big, so order a bunch of dishes like the mapo tofu and spicy diced rabbit, and split it all.
Huertas is a casual place in the East Village that serves excellent tapas and is never too hard to get into. Depending on the size of your group, you have some options - there’s a dining room for 36 that gives you access to a private garden, but you can also do smaller packages with set menus for $60 per person (hospitality included). Make sure to subtly mention that there’s an off-menu hot dog and they make their own vermouth, so everyone on the team will think you’re fun and in-the-know.
Going to Legacy Records for a team dinner is how you tell the world that your company is cool, and also maybe moving to Hudson Yards soon. There’s a good chance your group won’t be the only team there - kind of like Zogsports, but instead of playing competitive kickball, you’ll be sitting at dueling tables eating things like pasta, duck, and crudos. (If you want to definitively one-up those other teams, just book a private room.) The food has Italian, American, and Mediterranean influences, and it’s really good.
Wu’s gets more fun the more people you bring. So if you want to have a long, memorable night with a group that already gets along pretty well, come here for Chinese food like a whole roast duck (which costs $22) and some deep-fried crab. You’ll be seated at a big round table, and you should definitely take advantage of the BYOB policy - you’ll see people bringing some pretty fancy wines here.
There are bound to be people on the team who put a lot of stock into going to cool places and eating interesting food. You’re reading this, so you’re probably one of them. Her Name Is Han will live up to (or, more likely, surpass) their/your standards. It has some of our favorite Korean food in the city, with highlights including a giant seafood stew and excellent rice cakes. It’s low-key in here, but it still feels special enough for a dinner you only have once or twice a year. We’d recommend calling for a reservation, but if you have a group of eight or fewer, you can book online.
The Loyal makes the kind of food you might have found at a team dinner in the ’50s, back when everyone smoked in offices and replying-all to an email was not even something you could have nightmares about. But despite the lavish-sounding old-school food (like shrimp cocktail and a giant sundae bar), this restaurant is still somewhat casual. Not casual casual - West Village casual. Plus, there are big round tables where everyone will be able to hear each other. Just know that you’ll have to contact the restaurant for parties larger than four.
If your group is really big, the LES location of Speedy Romeo has two different spaces you can take over for dinner. But even if you’re just planning a fairly casual meal with around six people, this is a good choice - you can get a booth or a big table and split things like Neapolitan pizzas, caesar salads, and a really good burger. If dinner ends up being a hit, go drink at Black Crescent or Nitecap afterwards.
Dirt Candy is different from most restaurants you might otherwise visit with people who mainly communicate via email. That’s largely because it’s a trendy LES place that only offers two vegetarian tasting menu options for dinner. The less expensive one is a five-course, $63 meal, and the more expensive one is $97 for 10 courses. Tip is included in both, and the menu changes every day, based on the season and what they have in the kitchen. If your team has more than four people on it, you should call the restaurant to make a reservation.
As long as everyone is on board with dipping pieces of beef, vegetables, and fish into communal vats of broth, you’ll have a really good time at Zhen Wei Fang on Bowery. They have a ton of different broth and ingredient options, and an only slightly disconcerting robot standing in the entrance. Also - you can book a private room for 12 or 20 with karaoke, and a few semi-private rooms with virtual reality. (We don’t really know what that means, but if you do it, let us know.)
Between two vegetarians, someone who’s afraid of fish, and another person who claims she hasn’t touched a piece of fruit since 8th grade, your team has very little in common food-wise. Luckily, The East Pole has something for everyone, from a fancy grain bowl to a celery root pot pie and a cheeseburger that comes with duck fat chips. If you work in Midtown or Midtown East, this is a very good option.
No one has explicitly asked, but you can tell that at least one or two people on the team will only commit to this dinner if it’s in a convenient place. Ribalta serves good pizza right by Union Square, and they take reservations for up to 10 people online, so it should be a fairly easy sell. While there’s no private dining space, the restaurant itself is comfortable, with a big wood-burning oven, round tables, and lots of families sharing burrata and margherita pies. Don’t expect things to get wild, but do expect to leave feeling slightly less conflicted about going back to work on Monday.
Nonono is trendy but still affordable, and also takes reservations for up to 10 people online. The specialty at this Japanese spot in Nomad is yakitori, but there’s also a literal binder full of other dishes ranging from sushi with parmesan cheese on top to chicken liver pate served with ginger and little pieces of baguette. There aren’t any private dining spaces, but try to sit on the second floor balcony, and plan on ordering a ton of small things, all of which will come out of the kitchen at lightning speed.
Freemans is a two-story restaurant at the back of an alley, and it looks like a big, old apartment that Ralph Lauren got locked inside and decided to decorate. This place is both intimate and spacious, so take the whole team here to eat some fancy bar food like lamb shepherd’s pie and artichoke dip. And if you decide you’d like your own space, they have options that can accommodate anywhere from 10 to 200 people.
If you’re looking for something slightly (but only slightly) more activity-based, try Brooklyn Cider House in Bushwick. The space is huge, and they have a $49 prix fixe menu where, in between each of the four courses, you get to “catch” cider from a barrel in the back of the restaurant. A meal here is some of the best team bonding you can plan for (and way better than when Aaron made everyone take a horoscope quiz and yelled, “Now bond!”). They take reservations for up to 15 people online.
If the twin priorities for this dinner are fun and making your team dynamic less awkward, Bombay Bread Bar is a good choice. This Indian restaurant in Soho has murals of tigers and Bollywood stars on the walls, and is usually full of loud groups. They have a private dining area that can be separated into two spaces (for 14 and 16 people each) or combined - but you can also make reservations for up to eight people online. Regardless of what you choose, order a bunch of dishes and share everything (we like their small plates better than the mains).
Roberta’s won’t take a reservation unless you’re a party of 10-16, but if that’s the size of your team, consider yourself lucky. They do a prix fixe “Lunch Pizza Party” for $40-$55 per person, as well as dinner parties with packages starting at $75 per person. The catch is that the latest reservation time they’ll accept (weekdays only) is 6:30pm. But that’s fine. You should be allowed to leave work early for this anyway, and you’ll be out in time to hit some Bushwick bars.
Covina does Mediterranean food, which in this case means mostly Italian. It’s large and the prices are just a little higher than what you’d probably want to spend on your average weeknight dinner. Which is perfect because you’re looking for a place to celebrate your professional accomplishments (finishing a big project, not getting fired, etc.). There’s room for a big group, and it should be easier to get a table here than it would be at nearby (and sort of similar) Upland.
This place is for when your group just finished something big, and you’re all (paradoxically) both exhausted and in the mood for a sceney-ish celebration. Technically, this isn’t the most expensive restaurant, but it also isn’t cheap, and it’s sure to be packed with the sort of people who prioritize atmosphere over good food. Thing is, a lot of the food here really is good. So come here with your coworkers, eat some fun/fancy French food, and behave like a slightly less stressed-out version of yourself.
This place is old-school. Like, open-since-1885 old-school. They also cook some of the best pieces of meat in the city and have an enormous pipe collection. So those are three things your group can talk about just to get the conversation rolling. Expect white tablecloths, pipes hanging everywhere (as mentioned), and maybe a suit of armor in the corner. If, for whatever reason, you don’t want steak, get the mutton chop - they call it “legendary” for a reason.