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Michelin and Zagat rate NY restaurants Add to ...

The Big Apple has never been tastier.

As if you didn't have enough reasons to visit New York, Michelin and Zagat have unveiled their 2011 restaurant guides to the city, adding a crop of newcomers to their recommendations.

Only 86 restaurants in the world hold Michelin's coveted three-star status, and this year, New York's five top restaurants held on to theirs. Unchanged from last year, the three-star tier included Daniel, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Masa and Per Se. No surprises there.

But there were several new additions to its two- and one-star categories. Newcomer Chef Table at Brooklyn Fare was awarded two stars, while Kajitsu, Marea and Soto were upgraded from one star to two.

Six other restaurants Aldea, A Voce Madison, The Breslin, Danny Brown Wine Bar & Kitchen, Dovetail and Laut, were awarded one Michelin star for the first time.

Meanwhile, the big winner of the Zagat Survey was Le Bernardin, which received a rare high score of 29 out of 30 possible points for food. Per Se scored 29 points for its service, and Asiate earned the same score for decor.

Zagat gave an unprecedented number of "top cuisine" titles to restaurants in Brooklyn, which it notes has become a culinary mecca. Those included Fette Sau for barbeque, Pacificana for Chinese, Mile End for deli, and Di Fara for Pizza, among others.

According to Zagat, diners' habits are still reflecting a shaky economy, with 27 per cent of its surveyors reporting that they're eating out less than they did six months ago. And the average cost of a meal in New York this year was $41.76, which although only a slight decline from $41.81 last year, marked the first decrease since 2002 right after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

On the other hand, Zagat notes, that means fewer complaints about crowding and more restaurants offering bargain prices.

Which New York restaurants do you recommend?

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