“Let’s go out to eat.” That’s a loaded statement in NYC. There are so many restaurants in the city that it’s hard to choose just one. Although the Upper West Side is better known for its cultural attractions, such as Lincoln Center and the Natural History Museum, the area is dotted with lively eateries that feature great food and plenty of people-watching opportunities. Whether you live in the Upper West Side or are just visiting, you can find a variety of restaurants that appeal to your fancy or casual side.
Italian is always a popular dining option whether you’re feeding kids or adults. Celeste has a menu that will make anyone happy. This Italian trattoria has been a fundamental part of the Upper West Side for years.
The fried artichoke is one of the restaurant’s hallmark offerings. Celeste also offers large, affordably priced portions of pasta, meat and fish. Plus, its wood-fired pizzas have a perfectly balanced crust and are topped with fresh ingredients. This place is often packed, but the tables turn over quickly. Make sure that you bring cash. The restaurant does not accept credit cards.
Whether you’re vegan or just like to experience unique cuisine, you should check out Peacefood. This kitchen and bakery offers plant-based items and a mission to transform health, mindsets and the environment.
The chickpea fries are some of the most creative items on the menu. They’re reminiscent of falafel and pair perfectly with the signature dipping sauce. You can also find items such as roasted Japanese pumpkin sandwiches, pizzas, salads, dumplings and focaccia creations. If you’re looking for something light, you can choose a smoothie, hot beverage or raw juice.
3. The Ribbon
Even if you live in a location like Lincoln Towers, which has plenty of services and amenities, you’re going to need to fill your belly on a daily basis. One of the best places at which you can satisfy your hunger is The Ribbon. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and features an enormous menu. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try the steak tartare or raw oysters. However, you can also go for tried-and-true favorites, such as spit-roasted chicken and burgers. Watch sports on TV at the bar on a casual night, or invite a date to sample the white bean hummus or butcher’s board in the dining area. This is a classy restaurant that’s just as down to earth as it is delicious.
In a neighborhood that’s known for its sophistication, Saiguette stands out for its authenticity. Although the takeout joint is relatively small, the menu is huge and varied. It features a variety of Vietnamese favorites, including lobster rolls, noodles and banh mi. The sandwiches are enormous, and the pho is perfectly seasoned. Although you can eat at the counter, everything is packaged to go. This is a quick place to grab a bite and might just become your go-to takeout spot.
5. Jacob’s Pickles
A restaurant that highlights biscuits and pickles seems like it would be slightly odd. Jacob’s Pickles offers southern comfort in the middle of New York sophistication. Some of the favorites are the fried chicken and catfish tacos. Add a dollop of pickled veggies to your meal to cut the heaviness. This is a great spot to grab brunch, dinner or drinks. The establishment has a great selection of beer and cocktails.
6. Oxbow Tavern
If you’re looking for modern American fare, try Oxbow Tavern. The bistro infuses its food with French flair and elevates the American dining experience. You can find coq au vin, fluffy chicken-liver mousse and generous helpings of meat and vegetables. The restaurant even features a prix-fixe pre-theater menu, which makes it easy for you to satisfy your taste buds before a big night in the city.
Awadh is an Indian restaurant that goes far beyond the basics. You won’t find chicken tikka masala here. Instead, you’ll be treated to a variety of dishes that highlight tender meat and aromatic basmati rice. One of the standout items includes meat that’s simmered in a broth beneath a sheet of pillowy naan. This establishment has plenty of space to hold the masses. The two-story dining room offers excellent views.
8. Boulud Sud
Boulud Sud is a Mediterranean restaurant that celebrates regional flavors, fresh vegetables and exceptional wines. You’ll find so much more than salad and quinoa here. Sardine escabeche, Arabic lamb flatbread and mushroom velouté don’t disappoint. The patatas bravas, crispy potatoes with garlic aioli, are the perfect side when you’re looking for some comfort food.
9. The Milling Room
The first thing that you’ll probably notice about The Milling Room is its atmosphere. The space was built in the 1890s and has an elegant, vintage feel. The tall ceilings bring in so much light that you’ll forget about being sandwiched on the subway that morning. The menu pairs fresh favorites with simple seasonings. You’ll really notice the way that the flavors of the vegetables and cooking methods stand out. This is the perfect place to go for drinks, pre-theater festivities, dinner or brunch.
10. Gray’s Papaya
When you go to the Gray’s Papaya website, you’ll learn that this eatery makes the best frankfurter anywhere. But the best part about this hot dog stand is its refreshing beverage menu. The tropical drinks quench your thirst after you’ve downed a few hot dogs with all of the fixings. You can also stop by for breakfast sandwiches if you don’t want to wait until lunch.
11. Calle Ocho
Most locals love Calle Ocho for its sangria brunch. A long table holds various pitchers of sangria, with flavors such as Havana banana and tropical fruit. You can refill your glass as many times as you’d like while you’re enjoying your brunch. The restaurant is also open for dinner, and the hip food is tasty. Paella, Cuban steak frites, black beans and rice and calamari are seasoned with traditional Latin American flavors.