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A line of ornate row houses with blue sky and clouds above.
Stately townhouses on the Upper West Side’s 72nd Street
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

35 New Restaurants and Classics to Try on the Upper West Side

The neighborhood is shedding its sleepy reputation with everything from mouth-scorching hot pot to classic to lively Vietnamese spots

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Stately townhouses on the Upper West Side’s 72nd Street
| Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

At the start of this century, it was commonplace to say there were no good restaurants on the Upper West Side. It was wrong then and is even more wrong now, as new places open up. A cluster of Chinese restaurants have popped up on the northernmost edge of the neighborhood, new kosher and halal places are surging, and pizzerias offer arcane styles rarely seen in the city. Meanwhile, Mexican restaurants with affordable and more upscale menus dot the landscape, along with Vietnamese, Indian, Turkish, and Chilean places — supplementing the area’s favorite pubs, bistros, and Italian restaurants.

True, the pandemic closed down nearly half of this map at one point, but just as old-guard institutions like Shun Lee West and Old John’s Luncheonette shuttered (the last returned in revamped form last June), new classics like Bánh Vietnamese Shop House, Pastrami Queen, and Charles Pan Fried Chicken appeared. Culinarily speaking, the Upper West Side, which extends from Columbus Circle to 110th Street west of Central Park, is always renewing itself.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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1. Atlas Kitchen

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258 W 109th St
New York, NY 10025
(646) 928-0522
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Three years ago when fine-dining restaurant Atlas Kitchen appeared, it was instantly filled with customers that we suspected were students and faculty at Columbia. The bilevel space was handsome and modern, and the menu had sourced recipes from all over China. Chef and Hunan native Kaiyuan Li directs the kitchen, and his creations run to Chongqing chicken, steamed fish head with red chiles, and beef flank in dry wok — taking advantage of the chef’s experiences in Germany.

Bowls filled with colorful poultry and vegetables.
An assortment of dishes from Atlas Kitchen.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

2. 108 Food

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2794 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
(917) 675-6878
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108 Food is a dry hot pot that stands up to any in the city. Here’s how it works: Step up to a lavish display of raw ingredients at the rear of the restaurant. An attendant with a sense of humor will assemble the chosen ingredients, putting the meat, poultry, and fish in one metal bowl and the vegetables in another, and then whisk it to the kitchen for the wok. A meal can be as spicy (including Sichuan peppercorns) as you’d like at your request. Whole fish available, too, and bubble tea is a further specialty.

A man pointing at stir-fry ingredients as a worker fills a bowl with his choices
Selecting dry hot pot ingredients at 108 Food.
Gary He/Eater NY

3. Bombay Frankie Roti Roll

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994 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10025
(212) 666-1500
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This narrow but delicious stall concentrates on the street food of Mumbai, sometimes known as Bombay frankies. Plenty of vegetarian and vegan options are available here in the shape of rolled-up rotis with a variety of fillings, including spinach, mushroom, omelet, and potatoes. This is fast food at its flavorful best, and don’t miss the spicy masala fries.

A pair or flatbread rolls, each cut in two and propped up, filled with green vegetables.
Roti rolls are an inexpensive dining option.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

4. Happy Hot Hunan

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969 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10025
(212) 531-1786
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Founded by Yunchou Liu and Jia Liu, few Hunan restaurants in the city are as good as this one, with a long menu to match. Hunan food exhibits hot and sour flavors, pickled ingredients, and other staples preserved by drying and smoking. Accordingly, try smoked pork with smoked bamboo shoots (which tastes engagingly like barbecue) and — not just for vegetarians — mustard greens that come dotted with garlic and pickled chiles.

A white plastic bowl containing a stir fry.
Smoked pork with smoked bamboo shoots at Happy Hot Hunan.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

5. Thai Market

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960 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10025
(212) 280-4575
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Thai Market is one of the best Thai spots in town, decorated with bright red umbrellas and blown-up photos of Bangkok market scenes. The frog legs are spicy with Thai bird chiles; the curry puffs appropriately mellow and starchy, with a braided spine and crisp pastry; and the raw shrimp ceviche known as goong chae nam pla is flavored with a generous amount of mint and garlic. Indulge in the colorful cocktails if you prefer, but the most appropriate beverage here is beer.

A bowl of chicken curry with a pale green broth.
The very spicy green chicken curry at Thai Market.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

6. Bánh Vietnamese Shop House

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942 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024

An exciting restaurant founded by Nhu Ton and John Nguyen, Bánh has made the Upper West Side one of the city’s primary destinations for Vietnamese food. Many dishes appear with nuances never seen here before, such as a dark, turmeric-laced banh xeo with a coconut batter and a wealth of inclusions like marinated shrimp, smoked pork belly, and mung-bean puree (most versions in NYC limit themselves to sprouts and steamed shrimp). Creative banh mi are fit for a picnic at nearby Central Park, and every meal at Banh Vietnamese Shop House is an adventure.

A plate with leafy green lettuce, white rice noodles, a small bowl with dipping sauce, and barbecued pork, sits on a wooden table
Bun cha at Bánh Vietnamese Shop House.
Rachel Vanni/Eater NY

7. Makana

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161 W 106th St
New York, NY 10025
(212) 678-4569
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Hawaiian restaurants are few and far between in NYC, and Makana, operated by Dave Hom and Dave Chan, is one of the more modest ones, emphasizing the Japanese elements of the 50th state’s cuisine. Sure, there’s Spam musubi, a tuna poke slathered with spicy mayo, and a loco moco plate including beef patties with mushroom gravy, fried egg, and macaroni salad. But you’ll also find decent sushi here, too.

A nest of fries with shredded meat on top and lake of very yellow cheese on top of that.
Makana’s loaded fries with cheese and kahlua pork.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

8. Jerusalem

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2715 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
(212) 865-2295
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This long-running halal Middle Eastern cafe, founded in 1979, offers limited seating indoors and out. It delivers fine and inexpensive falafel and lamb shawarma, configured as either pita sandwiches or platters. But aficionados often go for such distinctive dishes as the bread salad fattoush, creamy fava beans, or hand-size spinach pies.

A sunny facade with a big and brigh blue awning.
Jerusalem is an inexpensive destination for halal Middle Eastern food.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

9. Curry King

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942 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10025
(646) 669-7826
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The brightly lit cafe lies in an area frequented by cabbies, and this is the most formidable of the spots they prefer, their cars often idling outside as they sit in their vehicles and eat. The halal Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, and Indo-Chinese food is not just meat and gravy, but plenty of vegetables are incorporated, too, including loofah and winter melon. The place also specializes in tandoor-cooked meats and fish. Favorites include lamb nihari (a very mellow stew of shank and marrow bone) and beef paya (made with gluey cow feet; it's way delicious).

A shop with dishes depicted in color underneath the windows.
Has Curry King ever met Pastrami Queen?
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

10. Doaba Deli

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945 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10025
(212) 222-2636

This tiny bilevel restaurant offers some of the best — and most inexpensive — Punjabi food in Manhattan. The avuncular chef and owner is Inderjit Singh, and his food is vegetarian, but you won’t miss the meat. A platter might include four dishes — spicy pinto beans, mashed eggplant, mattar paneer, and saag — plus basmati rice or naan and a cup of yogurt raita.

A white tray with four vegetarian dishes in shades of green and reddish brown with a bowl of rice on the side.
A combo platter at Doaba Deli is strictly vegetarian.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

11. Broadway Diner

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2664 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
(212) 865-7074
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Greek diners and their Cuban-Chinese counterparts used to fill the entire length of the Upper West Side’s Broadway like beads on a necklace. Now, few are left. Broadway Diner is one of the old-timers, all cracked formica and stools that twirl along a horseshoe-shaped lunch counter. The breakfasts are especially good, the pancakes, the bulging muffins, and the two-egg breakfasts that come with an expanded choice of meats that includes salami and pastrami shaved thin like bacon, served with mustard. Burgers and sandwiches are exactly what you’d expect.

A breakfast plate with toast, coffee, and fried eggs, with pastrami that looks like bacon.
Two eggs with toast, hash browns, and pastrami sliced and cooked like bacon.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

12. Malecon

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764 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10025
(212) 864-5648
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Malecon is a venerable Cuban restaurant with overlayerings of Dominican and Puerto Rican food, showing the shifting Latin population of a neighborhood that formed the backdrop for West Side Story. Classic pressed sandwiches, pork and pot roasts, rotisserie and fricasseed chickens, mofongos, and meal-size soups have kept patrons coming for decades to this lively spot.

A soup of white beans, ham, and pig feet.
Caldo gallego is a rib-sticking soup at Malecon.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

13. Taqueria 86

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210 W 94th St
New York, NY 10025
(917) 675-7727
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Named after the year that saw the World Cup being held in Mexico City, Taqueria 86 is a Mexican sports bar with exceedingly comfortable seating and not as many video screens as you might have feared. The 10 taco choices — two to an order, and geographically themed — are nicely turned out using Nixtamal tortillas. The tacos are supplemented with other obvious sports bar snacks, including corn on the cob, guac and chips, and flautas, plus burritos, quesadillas, and tortas. Nothing quite like this place in the neighborhood existed before.

Two beefy tacos on a metal tray with a green checked placemat.
Guadalajara birria tacos from soccer-themed Taqueria 86.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

14. Izzy’s Smokehouse

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660 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10025
(347) 425-0524
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It started out in Crown Heights in 2016 and eventually established a branch on the Upper West Side — it might also be the city’s first kosher Texas-style barbecue. The brisket sandwich — anomalously topped with purple slaw — is a good choice, but then so are the nicely fatty lamb ribs and the beef “dino” ribs. Barbecue tacos, egg rolls, and chimichurri chicken also available and worth trying.

Brisket sandwich cut in half to show cross section, with purple cabbage slaw above the meat and a layer of pickled slices underneath.
Izzy’s brisket sandwich comes with slaw.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

15. Holy Schnitzel

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654 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10025
(212) 362-4659
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The roster of UWS kosher choices got a boost with the arrival of this homegrown Brooklyn chain on Amsterdam Avenue, founded by Sivan and Ofeer Benaltaba and now boasting a handful of branches in NYC. The kitchen has perfected the art of cooking breaded chicken cutlets so they become super crisp on the outside while remaining moist in the middle. Several coatings are available (including sesame, panko, and cornflakes), as are several flavors. The non-cutlet items worth ordering include hot dogs, hummus, avocado salad, and potato cigars (pastry flutes oozing spuds).

a breaded cutlet hero sandwich cut in half to show cross section.
How about a chicken schnitzel sandwich for lunch?
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

16. Chick Chick

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618 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024
(212) 799-1026
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Early last year, the Upper West Side finally got the Korean fried chicken joint it was hoping for, from BoMee Chu and chef Jun Park. The usual wings, tenders, and sandwiches are available with a choice of flavoring schemes, but a surprise offering is a Nashville-style hot chicken sandwich. Other distractions include kimchi fried rice, chicken ramen, and green tea cheesecake.

Sweet gochujang sauce coats large fried chicken piece sitting on a white plate with daikon radish cubes
Fried chicken with gochujang sauce at Chick Chick.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

17. Barney Greengrass

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541 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024
(212) 724-4707
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Styling itself as the “Sturgeon King,” this 1908 repository of preserved fish on the Upper West Side is also a fully functional meat deli, with notably normal-sized, rather than overstuffed, sandwiches (pastrami, tongue, turkey, salami, and chopped liver) on rye. There are some crossover favorites too, such as pastrami-cured salmon on a bagel and a tongue omelet.

Pale slices of fish fanned on white butcher paper.
Barney Greengrass’s smoked sturgeon is sublime.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

18. Jacob's Pickles

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509 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024
(212) 470-5566
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Originally helmed by chefs Glenroy Brown and Harold Villarosa, Jacob’s Pickles appeared 11 years ago. This might be the Upper West Side’s most downtown-feeling restaurant, offering what it describes as “southern comfort food” that includes fried chicken, deviled eggs, gumbo, shrimp and grits, and biscuit-borne sandwiches, most involving bacon. There are a few Jewish flourishes, such as matzoh ball soup and pickles, pickles, and more pickles. Prominent whiskey and craft beer menus also make this a drinking destination.

A tottering heap of ingredients with a metal cup of grits on the side.
The fillings of the Southern BLT include fried chicken, pickle slaw, fried green tomatoes, and bacon.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

19. Jin Ramen

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462 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024
(646) 657-0755
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Via chef Shuichi Kotani, this unexpectedly great mainstay offers reasonably priced bowls of ramen with a choice of six broths: shio, shoyu, tonkotsu, spicy tonkotsu, miso, and vegetarian. Novelty bowls incorporate Thai green curry paste and Korean kimchi, along with a choice of thin or thick noodles, firmer than usual. Starters include several salads in addition to the usual fried chicken and edamame.

Jin Ramen storefront with two bushes in front.
Jin Ramen is one of a half dozen good ramen parlors on the UWS.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

20. Two Wheels

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426 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024
(646) 429-8661
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Playful and modern, Two Wheels is a pho parlor with a brief menu in the fast-casual mode that nevertheless provides some surprises. Chef Jonathan Vu has innovative and popularizing ideas in mind where Vietnamese food is concerned. His deluxe pho lacks some of the traditional elements, like tripe and tendon, and turns the usual bouncier beef balls into grainier meatballs — not bad ideas by any means. And his banh xeo have been turned into delectable, crisp-shelled shrimp tacos.

Two deep fried rice wrappers loaded with shrimp look like hardshell tacos.
Banh xeo turned into tacos at Two Wheels.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

21. Nice Matin

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201 W 79th St
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-6423
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This facsimile Parisian brasserie, founded in 2003, is an UWS workhorse, serving French bistro standards to the neighborhood at a brisk pace, and has continued even during the pandemic. A nice moules frites, the Provencal basil soup called pistou, and New York strip steak frites, plus a few Italian-leaning specialties such as risotto and short-rib ravioli, grace the menu under chef Eric Starkman.

A heap of shiny pork, including sausages and bacon, in broth.
Nice Matin serves a classic Alsatian choucroute garni.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

22. Jing Fong

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380 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024
(646) 678-5511
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NYC dim sum staple Jing Fong, owned by Ming Lam and his son Truman Lam, opened its first location nearly 40 years ago in Chinatown and expanded to the Upper West Side in 2017 with a more petite outpost. Now the behemoth Elizabeth Street branch is closed, replaced by a smaller Centre Street manifestation. The UWS branch still hoists the torch high, with a menu that highlights noodles and dim sum, along with a limited collection of classic stir fries of chicken, pork, and shrimp.

An overhead photograph of two wooden steamer baskets filled with dim sum dishes.
Dim sum service at Jing Fong.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

23. Red Farm

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2170 Broadway
New York, NY 10024
(212) 724-9700
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The uptown version of Ed Schoenfeld and Joe Ng’s modern Chinese restaurant opened in 2013 and has since settled in nicely to the neighborhood. Locals mob the place looking for bites of pastrami-studded egg rolls, animated dumplings with faces that stare back, and meaty soup dumplings.

A restaurant interior showing a wooden table set with cloth napkins and chopsticks, very medium brown overall.
The interior of Red Farm.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

24. Chirping Chicken

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355 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10023
(212) 787-6631
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Chirping Chicken is a true hero of the Upper West Side, delivering an extensive menu of rotisserie roast chicken, Greek specialties, and American fast-food classics to the neighborhood affordably and quickly. This first link in a chain that has grown and now dwindled, Chirping Chicken was founded in 1982 at this location. It’s a weeknight go-to for many, from ever-present office workers, to couples to families with young kids.

A black plastic container filled with well browned chicken parts, with cut pitas on the side.
Rotisserie chicken with a Greek flair at Chirping Chicken.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

25. Miriam

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300 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10023
(646) 590-2659
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Long running Park Slope restaurant Miriam, which is popular for its brunch, has spun off an Upper West Side branch just as tasty as the original. Eggs are an important focus, including an unusual green shakshuka, featuring masses of mild green chiles, and another centered on a seeded Jerusalem bagel with fixings on the side. Dinners can include a series of small-plate mezze, or larger plates like lamb shanks, whole fish, short ribs, or a novel Mediterranean seafood paella.

A bowl of green stew with eggs on top.
Green shakshuka with labneh and pita at newly opened Miriam.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

26. Freddie & Pepper's

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303 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10023
(212) 799-2378
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This unprepossessing walk-down pizzeria sells good slices (including pineapple and ham, and Tex-Mex chicken and jalapeno), but it has another specialty that may not be apparent till you examine the menu carefully: Chilean-style sandwiches. Primary among several options is the chacarero, which looks like a regular roast beef hero, except for the exciting inclusion of green beans, which moisten the sandwich and add oomph.

A cut hero sandwich with roast beef, white melted cheese, and green beans sticking haphazardly out.
Chilean chacarero at pizzeria Freddie & Peppers.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

27. Gray's Papaya

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2090 Broadway
New York, NY 10023
(212) 799-0243
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Founded by Nicholas Gray, who worked at the Papaya King chain in 1973, Gray’s has long since become an Upper West Side landmark. All eating is done standing up, or walking down the street, and Gray’s is the repository of 100 years of New York frankfurter praxis — including the austere toppings of German sauerkraut and Greek onion relish, further topped with mustard and washed down with one of the gritty indifferent fruit drinks. It’s tradition, after all.

Two hot dogs sitting side by side on a white paper plate placed on a yellow tables. One of the hot dogs is topped with sauerkraut and another is topped with an orange sauce.
Classic New York City franks at Gray’s Papaya.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

28. Seven Hills Mediterranean Grill

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158 W 72nd St
New York, NY 10023
(212) 724-4700
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Seven Hills has been around over a decade and offers offers all the advantages of a Turkish restaurant in Bay Ridge or on Coney Island Avenue. Find plenty of grilled meats but there are choices for vegetarians, too: salads, eggplant dishes, yogurt, and dips like hummus. Warm Turkic breads and fist-sized dumplings round out the menu. The deliverable wine list is a big plus.

Four crisp cylindrical fried pastry flutes fanned on a plate.
Sigara borkek at Seven Hills.
Seven Hills

29. Alice's Tea Cup

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102 W 73rd St
New York, NY 10023
(212) 799-3006
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This narrow bakery with seating in back specializes in scones in a dozen or so varieties, plus cupcakes and other cakey baked goods. The theme is centered around Alice in Wonderland, and the place is a frequent site of children’s birthday parties, so you’ll often see balloons bobbing around as you survey the dining room — but it’s also a good destination for afternoon tea.

A walk down storefront with dusky red awning and aquamarine tables in front.
Alice’s Tea Cup is the frequent site of parties.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

30. Charles Pan-Fried Chicken

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146 W 72nd St
New York, NY 10023
(212) 281-1800
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Since the mid-80s Charles Gabriel’s celebrated fried chicken has found a variety of homes in Harlem storefronts and trucks, but he has now has settled down on the Upper West Side. His new place doesn’t offer seating, but there is an expanded menu of fried chicken, ribs, turkey wings, smothered chicken, and jumbo shrimp — with all the usual soul food sides (the lima beans are particularly good). The secret to the poultry? Gabriel fries his chicken to order in a series of bubbling skillets, resulting in a more evenly cooked bird.

A portly chef dressed in whites, pulling down his mask for the picture.
The legendary Charles Gabriel, skillets in background.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

31. Pastrami Queen

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138 W 72nd St A
New York, NY 10023
(212) 877-2874
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This kosher Upper East Side (and before that, Queens) transplant turned heads when it opened a year ago during the pandemic, and it generated long, socially distanced lines. It’s been a long time since the Upper West Side could boast pastrami this good. Carry out — and eat fast. Matzo ball soup and hot dogs liberally smeared with mustard are tops, too.

In a wooded setting, a hand holds an overstuffed sandwich aloft.
Mile-high pastrami on rye at the imperial Pastrami Queen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

32. Sido Falafel

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267 Columbus Ave #11
New York, NY 10023
(212) 496-2803
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The narrow stall on Columbus Avenue is a great place for a Middle Eastern pit stop, including a bargain chicken shawarma sandwich jammed with good tomatoes and dripping tahini (you may have to resort to a fork). Other good bets include the grilled-to-order beef kafta kebabs, garlicky baked fava benas, and the generous three-item combo platters.

A pita sandwich yawning open with chicken, tahini, onions, and tomatoes visible.
Sido’s chicken shawarma sandwich.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

33. El Mitote

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208 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10023
(212) 874-2929
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A slightly upscale Mexican restaurant, El Mitote at first seems aimed at non-Mexican Americans, till you start ordering the food and poke around the corners of the menu. A case in point is the spectacular pozole in the Guadalajaran style, laced with dried red chiles and filled with chicken and hominy. It’s generously served with a bean tostada on the side. You can smell the oregano as the soup is brought to the table.

A bowl of bright red soup with shredded chicken being lifted out and a green avocado wedge visible.
Fiery red pozole at El Mitote.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

34. Épicerie Boulud

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1900 Broadway
New York, NY 10023
(212) 595-9606
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This casual serve-yourself cafe from Daniel Boulud offers memorable eat-and-run breakfasts, pastries, and a shifting selection of sandwiches and charcuterie right across the street from Lincoln Center. For a more formal sit-down affair, Bar Boulud is located next door. The breakfast sandwich on bechamel-slathered brioche made with gruyere and bacon is a particular delight.

A dark bunned, nearly flattened breakfast sandwich with bacon and egg visible.
Breakfast sandwich at Épicerie Boulud.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

35. Rosa Mexicano

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61 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10023
(212) 977-7700
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This local chain founded by Josefina Howard in 1984 serves an elegant version of Mexican food with plenty of regional highlights. After the recent closure of the Upper East Side original, this is one of only three still extant in the city. The tortilla soup and cochinita pibil tacos stuffed with chicken in the Yucatecan style are standouts, and don’t miss the famed pomegranate margarita.

Several dishes on a red tablecloth with a pink frozen drink at the top.
Enchiladas with refried black beans and Spanish rice, with pomegranate margarita
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

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1. Atlas Kitchen

258 W 109th St, New York, NY 10025
Bowls filled with colorful poultry and vegetables.
An assortment of dishes from Atlas Kitchen.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Three years ago when fine-dining restaurant Atlas Kitchen appeared, it was instantly filled with customers that we suspected were students and faculty at Columbia. The bilevel space was handsome and modern, and the menu had sourced recipes from all over China. Chef and Hunan native Kaiyuan Li directs the kitchen, and his creations run to Chongqing chicken, steamed fish head with red chiles, and beef flank in dry wok — taking advantage of the chef’s experiences in Germany.

258 W 109th St
New York, NY 10025

2. 108 Food

2794 Broadway, New York, NY 10025
Read Review |
A man pointing at stir-fry ingredients as a worker fills a bowl with his choices
Selecting dry hot pot ingredients at 108 Food.
Gary He/Eater NY

108 Food is a dry hot pot that stands up to any in the city. Here’s how it works: Step up to a lavish display of raw ingredients at the rear of the restaurant. An attendant with a sense of humor will assemble the chosen ingredients, putting the meat, poultry, and fish in one metal bowl and the vegetables in another, and then whisk it to the kitchen for the wok. A meal can be as spicy (including Sichuan peppercorns) as you’d like at your request. Whole fish available, too, and bubble tea is a further specialty.

2794 Broadway
New York, NY 10025

3. Bombay Frankie Roti Roll

994 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025
A pair or flatbread rolls, each cut in two and propped up, filled with green vegetables.
Roti rolls are an inexpensive dining option.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This narrow but delicious stall concentrates on the street food of Mumbai, sometimes known as Bombay frankies. Plenty of vegetarian and vegan options are available here in the shape of rolled-up rotis with a variety of fillings, including spinach, mushroom, omelet, and potatoes. This is fast food at its flavorful best, and don’t miss the spicy masala fries.

994 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10025

4. Happy Hot Hunan

969 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025
A white plastic bowl containing a stir fry.
Smoked pork with smoked bamboo shoots at Happy Hot Hunan.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Founded by Yunchou Liu and Jia Liu, few Hunan restaurants in the city are as good as this one, with a long menu to match. Hunan food exhibits hot and sour flavors, pickled ingredients, and other staples preserved by drying and smoking. Accordingly, try smoked pork with smoked bamboo shoots (which tastes engagingly like barbecue) and — not just for vegetarians — mustard greens that come dotted with garlic and pickled chiles.

969 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10025

5. Thai Market

960 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025
A bowl of chicken curry with a pale green broth.
The very spicy green chicken curry at Thai Market.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Thai Market is one of the best Thai spots in town, decorated with bright red umbrellas and blown-up photos of Bangkok market scenes. The frog legs are spicy with Thai bird chiles; the curry puffs appropriately mellow and starchy, with a braided spine and crisp pastry; and the raw shrimp ceviche known as goong chae nam pla is flavored with a generous amount of mint and garlic. Indulge in the colorful cocktails if you prefer, but the most appropriate beverage here is beer.

960 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10025

6. Bánh Vietnamese Shop House

942 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
A plate with leafy green lettuce, white rice noodles, a small bowl with dipping sauce, and barbecued pork, sits on a wooden table
Bun cha at Bánh Vietnamese Shop House.
Rachel Vanni/Eater NY

An exciting restaurant founded by Nhu Ton and John Nguyen, Bánh has made the Upper West Side one of the city’s primary destinations for Vietnamese food. Many dishes appear with nuances never seen here before, such as a dark, turmeric-laced banh xeo with a coconut batter and a wealth of inclusions like marinated shrimp, smoked pork belly, and mung-bean puree (most versions in NYC limit themselves to sprouts and steamed shrimp). Creative banh mi are fit for a picnic at nearby Central Park, and every meal at Banh Vietnamese Shop House is an adventure.

942 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024

7. Makana

161 W 106th St, New York, NY 10025
A nest of fries with shredded meat on top and lake of very yellow cheese on top of that.
Makana’s loaded fries with cheese and kahlua pork.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Hawaiian restaurants are few and far between in NYC, and Makana, operated by Dave Hom and Dave Chan, is one of the more modest ones, emphasizing the Japanese elements of the 50th state’s cuisine. Sure, there’s Spam musubi, a tuna poke slathered with spicy mayo, and a loco moco plate including beef patties with mushroom gravy, fried egg, and macaroni salad. But you’ll also find decent sushi here, too.

161 W 106th St
New York, NY 10025

8. Jerusalem

2715 Broadway, New York, NY 10025
A sunny facade with a big and brigh blue awning.
Jerusalem is an inexpensive destination for halal Middle Eastern food.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This long-running halal Middle Eastern cafe, founded in 1979, offers limited seating indoors and out. It delivers fine and inexpensive falafel and lamb shawarma, configured as either pita sandwiches or platters. But aficionados often go for such distinctive dishes as the bread salad fattoush, creamy fava beans, or hand-size spinach pies.

2715 Broadway
New York, NY 10025

9. Curry King

942 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10025
A shop with dishes depicted in color underneath the windows.
Has Curry King ever met Pastrami Queen?
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The brightly lit cafe lies in an area frequented by cabbies, and this is the most formidable of the spots they prefer, their cars often idling outside as they sit in their vehicles and eat. The halal Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, and Indo-Chinese food is not just meat and gravy, but plenty of vegetables are incorporated, too, including loofah and winter melon. The place also specializes in tandoor-cooked meats and fish. Favorites include lamb nihari (a very mellow stew of shank and marrow bone) and beef paya (made with gluey cow feet; it's way delicious).

942 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10025

10. Doaba Deli

945 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10025