Known for its dazzling lights and ever-changing food scene, New York City is home to some of the best restaurants in the world, many of which are owned and operated by the coolest women in the game. Because the city is hyper-saturated with such an innovative food scene, thriving and differentiating oneself is definitely a challenge.

At the forefront of these widely acclaimed female-fronted restaurants are some pretty incredible women. Empowered women empower women, so step into one of these hotspots to not only support the sisterhood but also indulge in some of the most decadent dishes in the city.

1. King Restaurant

Serving some of the finest Southern French and Regional Italian cuisine in NYC, King Restaurant is home to the three culinary queens of downtown Manhattan: Chef Clare de Boer, Chef Jess Shadbolt, and general manager Annie Shi. These queens present a daily evolving menu, where all the dishes are simple, seasonal, decadent, and flavorful. If you want to feel transported to a chic European cafe, book a reservation at King ASAP. 

2. Prune

This warm and inviting East Village abode is home to Chef Gabrielle Hamilton's culinary ingenuity. Prune's exceptionally executed take on contemporary American food has become an East Village staple, with noted favorites such as deep-fried sweetbreads, homemade pasta dishes, and divine short rib braised in a rich pho broth. This neighborhood bistro has won the hearts of Manhattan by storm— one Turkish pistachio at a time. Though reserving a table may seem like a daunting task, I believe in your great capabilities. Gather a few friends and jot this dinner date in your calendars. This one will be for the books.

3. The Sosta

The Sosta may attract a sizable Instagram clad and reasonably so— I mean how aesthetic is that millennial pink interior? Though initially drawn to the "Margiano Baby!" neon sign, foodies near and far return for the decadent Gemelli Pesto, Bucatini Arrabbiata, and Spaghetti Pomodoro. This unique fast-casual pasta joint, co-owned by Chef Ali LaRaia and Creative Director Samantha Wasser, is that neighborhood hub of Italian comfort you confide in after a long day in the office. If you find yourself strolling Little Italy not knowing what restaurant to try, stop by The Sosta and let them know Spoon sent you. (My personal fave is the Zucca Vodka pasta with a side of chicken meatballs. Heaven is a place on earth). 

4. De Maria

She's a casual and approachable, yet undeniably chic and beautiful modern-American restaurant in the heart of Nolita. Chopped winner Adriana Urbina offers her own spin on cooking in-season, devising an ever-changing menu suited to complement the best ingredients of the season. With dishes like their tropical fruit-topped chia pudding, scallop crudo, snapper ceviche, and chocolate avocado cake, De Maria forces us to spend an entire day tasting and indulging in the best the city has to offer. 

5. Otway

She's beauty; she's grace; she's Chef Claire Welle, obviously. This Clinton Hill neighborhood bistro is the brainchild of Chef Claire Welle and is an ode to American classics everywhere. Heightening the typical dining experience, Otway offers a bountiful amount of dishes such as roasted sunchokes with caramelized béchamel, fried tripe, squab with root vegetable tart, and a fantastic burnt almond pudding. Don't pass on an opportunity to taste Chef Welle's culinary ingenuity and book a dinner date here ASAP.

6. Bessou

Located in the heart of lower Manhattan, Bessou puts a unique spin on traditional Japanese comfort food. Owner Maiko Kyogoku and Chef Emily Yuen are the masterminds behind this mouthwatering menu of dishes including uni-topped crispy rice, wagyu steak and eggs, and Japanese-style pancakes with black sugar syrup. (Fair warning: before you head to Bleecker Street, make sure to warn your taste buds that they'll be experiencing some pretty powerful punches of flavor.)

7. Baoburg

Fusing traditional Thai flavors and French culinary techniques, Chef Suchanan Aksornnan (aka Chef Bao Bao) creates an incredibly elegant array of dishes featuring steamed buns (bao), seared duck-breast ramen, rib-eye pho in bone marrow broth, and my personal fave, dim sum. Often questioned for her food's authenticity, Suchanan responds by saying how her craft is not meant to be classified as authentic or not; it's about the taste and that warm fuzzy feeling one feels after a spoonful of that rich duck breast ramen. Don't believe me? Try it out for yourself.

8. White Gold Butchers

This Upper West Side butcher shop and restaurant throws stereotypes out the door and places female butchers at the forefront. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this butcher shop serves a wide array of flavored meats as well as carefully curated sandwiches. Stop by for a wholesome meal and while you're at it, commend their support for female-fronted butcher shops everywhere.

9. Vinateria

Let's talk about women empowerment. This seasonally-inspired Spanish and Italian spot, located in the heart of Harlem, is not only run by a team of women—Executive chef Mimi Weissenborn, bar director Ashley Lugo Brown and consulting wine director Chelsea Carrier—but also dedicated to promoting other female entrepreneurs, spotlighting female-fronted wine companies. The food and people are rooted in culinary vibrancy and never fail to satisfy a diverse palette.

10. Hudson Jane

This woman-owned all-day eatery bases its menu on the notion that "life's too short to eat shitty food." Located in Fort Greene, Hudson Jane is more than a typical restaurant. Owners Megan Johnson and Jen Laporta's created Hudson Green with the purpose of bringing people together to form wholehearted relationships rooted in exemplary food. From vanilla-custard French toast and bacon-wrapped cheese curds to a pork belly hash and grass-fed burger, Hudson Jane's will surely leave you smiling. Be sure to add Hudson Jane to your restaurant rotation, ASAP.

These women are redefining the standards of a restauranteur, one bite at a time. From refreshing taste palettes to diverse menu choices, these women are moving mountains in the food-scene. Consider stopping by one of these spots and tasting these female powerhouses' specialties. (P.S- save me a seat at Hudson Jane.)