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Can't we all just get along - best Italian?

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My first trip to New York is coming up and I've been scouring the web for recs on the best Italian place to eat. As I only get 2 days - it has to be the best. Searching "best italian" on "the best" and "manhattan" boards bring up so many results and who knows if they are still open and there are so many conflicting answers!?!
So I'm asking for help - best Italian in Manhattan only - northern or southern - I love them both - preferably, without breaking the bank but I'm known to splurge. Any recs?
Hopefully there will be at least 2 replies who agree with each other. :)

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  1. Babbo is the general consensus choice, but it may be a higher price point than you're interested in paying.
    Some of my other favorites are Crispo, Lupa, Peasant, and Apizz. Crispo is probably the one I visit most often, but it's also about a block from my home.

    1. I would have to go with Lupa. Many will disagree.

      1. Really it depends on how fancy you want to get. Crispo is very good and very reasonable (apps 10ish, entrees 20ish). Babbo is an enormous pain to get a rez and/or you have to roll the dice and try to do a walk-in.

        "AVoce" is also very good... higher price point than Crispo but less than Babbo. I guess... really... there are so many different options that you'd have to consider. I guess maybe be a little more specific... what do you want to spend? Do you want to deal with the madness of Babbo? (call 30 days prior at 10AM and you might get a table, call after 11 and they're booked solid, etc). What kind of vibe do you want? Haute cuisine or more like a trattoria? I'm sitting here and I could easily have typed 20 different really nice italian(-ish) restaurants that I'd want to go to on any night of the week.

        All of Lucia's, for example. They're all solid choices.