Wednesday, February 5, 2014
A Guide to Upper East Side Eateries
When A. lived in the Upper East Side, we used to eat out a lot. A LOT. That has completely changed since moving in together and while I'm happy that we're cooking every day and saving money, sometimes I miss some of our old haunts and dishes. Below, a list of our favorite restaurants in the Upper East Side.
Brgr - I've lost count of the times we've eaten here and fully admit to dining here multiple times a week. The burgers are just so so good and the fries are just as delicious. It's a pain for me to get to now, but I still dream of making my way over for a Down on the Farm burger. Mmmm, they got me hooked on fried eggs on burgers!
Bareburger - This place prizes itself on serving organic and all-natural fare.
Shake Shack - The lines might be crazy at Shake Shack, especially when the weather is nice, but it's worth it. I like that the burgers are not huge so I don't feel so disgusting after wolfing one down and their crimped fries, lemonades, and shakes are also quite tasty.
Honky Tonk Tavern - This was our go-to place when we wanted to meet someone for drinks. The nice thing is that along with some great frozen margaritas, they also had a menu filled with yummy Tex-Mex offerings like pulled pork sandwiches, tacos, burgers, and quesadillas.
Blockheads - A.'s spot for a tasty chicken quesadilla.
Chirping Chicken - This was some good and juicy charcoal broiled chicken.
The Meatball Shop - Huge Meatball Shop fan here especially of their arugula and apple salad and classic beef sliders with parmesan cream. The UES location is the latest shop in this growing chain.
Fresh Basil's - We'd order penne pasta with shrimp and share the meal because it was so much food. We'd also argue over who's eating more shrimpies than the other so maybe we should've just forked over the money for two.
Fatty Fish - This Asian restaurant can serve up a mean sushi roll, but I can count on one finger the number of times I ordered something than the Kobe beef burger and sesame fries. So good!
Ginza - Oh Ginza, how I loved and miss your perfect little Gyoza dumplings, miso soup, and fried rice. The sushi was quite nice, too.
Ahana - This was a newcomer in the months preceding our move and an instant favorite. A., who is picky with his General Tso's chicken was really pleased with his dish, and I, who's super picky about my Gyoza dumplings, finally found a closer restaurant that could compete with Ginza.
Yakitori Torishin - This was an experience that you need to try at least once. With the Chef's Omakase menu you'll spend a couple hours feasting on a steady stream of skewered meats and veggies grilled to perfection. Ten little plates filled with the chef's selection of fresh produce and meats of the day will really fill you up (before being served chicken and eggs over rice, soup, and sorbet!) and send you home beyond satisfied.
Lilli and Loo - Aside from dumplings, noodles are another food I could probably eat every day and not tire of it.
Dai Hachi Sushi - Another one of A.'s favorites for sushi.
Wong Finest Asian Cuisine - This was our go-to place for some greasy Chinese food.
The Nuaa - I held my birthday at this restaurant last year shortly after it opened its doors. They get you hooked as soon as you sit down with this shot of mysterious yummy delicious soup paired with an orange juice chaser to cleanse your palate before your entrée. And I always find myself staring at the carvings on their wall decor.
El Porrón - Fiending for amazing tapas and good wine? Head to this dimly-lit romantic spot to get filled up with so much savory goodness. Don't miss the calamari in garlic sauce, Spanish veal meatballs, and the jamón serrano on toasted garlic bread.
Rosa Mexicano - Sometimes a girl is just craving a plate of short ribs with rice and black beans and a molcajete full of guacamole made fresh right at your table.
Aprovecho - Good for a quick empanada to go.
Cascabel Taqueria - Yummy Mexican style brunch that includes choices like eggs benedict on corn bread with chorizo or carnets, chilaquiles with chicken and fried egg, and my favorite, huevos revueltos in green sauce. Don't forget the ancho chili-infused hot chocolate.
Johnny Foxes - Brunch in a bar setting so you know those mimosas taste good.
Barking Dog - At some point in the past year, I became obsessed with eggs benedict for brunch. This place has one of the best ones I've tasted in the area.
Yorkville Crêperie - Whether you opt for a dessert crêpe or choose a savory one, it'll be such a delight for your taste buds. My top pick: the Fungi crêpe with sautéed mushrooms, spinach, ricotta, caramelized onions and mozzarella, a house favorite.
Silver Star - A pretty standard diner that never ceased to amaze me with their expansive menu. Too bad I always stuck to the same dishes I loved. The California omelette wrap is a must-try.
Ritz Diner - The first time A. and I ordered curly fries from this diner, we devoured them in a matter of minutes and then wondered where the hell they all went. And as an orange juice snob, their fresh squeezed juice is very delicious.
Big Daddy's - The place oozes 1980s vibe and serves up tasty American foods like burgers, crispy tater tots, and thick milkshakes.
Dylan's Candy Bar - You'll find any candy imaginable here (like gummy bears separated by color!) along with nostalgic faves.
Baked by Melissa - I went crazy for their bite-sized cupcakes when they first opened years ago and they've been steadily spreading throughout the city. How happy was I when they opened a shop in the Upper East Side last year?
Wafels & Dinges - While they have trucks that spread their waffly goodies around the city, you'll usually find one stationed at the south east end of Central Park.
Maison du Chocolat - It's always nice to treat yourself to something fancy - even if it's just a little bite.
Godiva - Last summer, A. and I decided to indulge a bit and buy their Godiva milk chocolate shake with chocolate chunks. Oh my sweet, sweet Lord…so good without being overkill.
Hot & Crusty - The chocolate rugelach from here received top marks from A.
Gotham - A good place to bring over the laptop and get some work done while lunching on hot panini.
Java Girl - If you want a more intimate vibe with cushioned seats and tiny tables, head over here.