Italian food!! My favorite (well...if you don't count my recent and current obsession of nachos)! Now, just as a disclaimer, you're gonna be hard pressed to find a bad Italian restaurant in NYC. I'm sure they do exist, but I've never come across one. However, some do stand out over the rest, so here is a rundown of some of the places I love.
The most obvious restaurants to list are the ones in Little Italy. The heart of Little Italy and all of its restaurants is at the corner of Mulberry St and Hester St. The four restaurants in each corner are Da Gennaro, Caffe Napoli, Giovanna, and Casa Bella. The only one I haven't eaten at is Caffe Napoli because it's specialty is seafood and that's not my thing. My favorite is Da Gennaro - not only is the food the best there, but the atmosphere is so great. It has such a great little cafe feel with brick walls, painted ivy, and tall windows all around. If you don't want to spend a lot of money here, I recommend going at lunch time. But please note: they will have their $10-$15 lunch specials listed outside, but if you don't ask for a lunch menu once seated, they will charge you the expensive dinner price! In Little Italy, always ask for a lunch menu. :-)
My absolute favorite Italian restaurant is Trattoria Trecolori (254 W 47th St). I'm pretty sure I wrote about them recently on here, but...it's just the best. It's not too big, not too small, the food is superb (try the chicken parmesan - the chicken is as big as the plate!), and the staff is excellent. Plus it's right off of Times Square, so have some fun walking off all the pasta after you eat!