Earl’s Calabro Mozzarella Grilled Cheese with Miso Mayo
As y’all know, I am an Upper East Sider in terms of real estate, but my tastebuds are a bit more sophisticated–than most restaurants that is. When I first moved up here I will admit I talked quite a bit of trash about the lack of culinary options but I am here to tell you three years later that even on the upper, upper east side, there are some seriously fabulous restaurants that make it worth the schlep. Whether you’re looking for bar fo0d or fancy Italian, some of New York’s best restaurants can be found on the Upper East Side–I swear. So, in no particular order, here area my favorite neighborhood spots.
ABV: Enjoy unique eats in one of the only hipster-ish restaurants on the Upper East. Be sure to try the super fries and fish tacos while they last (menus are seasonal).
1504 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10029 abvny.com
Earl’s Beer and Cheese: This tiny hotspot is always packed so go early if you want a chance in hell of snagging a seat at its one communal table. Famous for its funky grilled cheeses and cheese-based small plates.
1259 Park Ave. New York, NY 10029 earlsny.com
Pio Pio: Pig out on some of the city’s best rotisserie chicken. The spicy green sauce keeps patrons coming back. This hang isn’t fancy but it’s always bumpin’ due to its cheap prices and delicious food.
1746 1st Ave. New York, NY 10128 piopio.com
Elio’s: This old-school Italian joint serves up classic fare. Keep your eyes peeled, this place is a celeb-hangout. Last time I went I saw Tom Selleck. It’s a bit pricey but it’s pretty comparable to most Italian joints in the neighborhood and its food is far superior.
1621 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10028
Sushi of Gari: The Upper East Side location is by far the best one, definitely worth the trek up here, trust me! The sushi here melts in your mouth and certainly makes it worth its price. Until you’ve had rolls from here, you won’t know what good sushi is.
402 E 78th St. Manhattan, NY 10075 sushiofgari.com
JG Melon: Grab a burger in this no-frills pub. Burgers. Fries. Beer. What more do you need? Oh, maybe a side of douchey frat guys, but braving them is totally worth it. Don’t forget it’s cash only.
1291 3rd Ave. New York, 10021
Sfoglia: If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate a special occasion, this romantic restaurant is the place to go. The bolognese here is to die for. Book ahead, getting a table here is no easy feat.
1402 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10128 sfogliarestaurant.com
Toloache 82: Definitely the best upscale Mexican on the Upper East Side. I think it rivals classics like Dos Caminos and Rosa Mexicana. The brussel sprouts and the garlicky shrimp are out of this world.
166 E 82nd St Manhattan, NY 10028 toloachenyc.com
Flex Mussels: If mussels are your thing, Flex is not to be missed. Get your moules soaked in just about any sauce from Thai Curry to San Marzana tomatoes. My favorite part of the meal though is definitely soaking the delicious bread up in the leftover juice. Don’t waste your time on the desserts, get a side of the amazing fries instead.
174 E 82nd St. New York, NY 10028 flexmusselsny.com
Jones Wood Foundry: This brilliant English-style pub serves fabulous fish ‘n’ chips along with a pretty decent burger. The ambiance takes you to Europe. It’s so cozy!
401 E 76th St. New York, NY 10021 joneswoodfoundry.com
Uva: Come here for the small bites and wine, don’t bother with the entrees, they’re definitely not Uva’s strong suit. Be sure to check out the magical garden in the back and share a bottle of pinot under the stars.
1486 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10075 uvawinebar.com
Beyoglu: This popular Turkish restaurant serves up delicious plates like hummus, tzaziki and more. Very affordable and fun!
1431 3rd Ave .New York, NY 10028 (212) 650-0850