Uva on 2nd between 77th and 78th--great rustic italian food and wine bar--kinda pricy.
Beyoglu on 81st and 3rd for Mediterranean tapas on the cheap
The new Hi-Life on 78th and 2nd has a great atmosphere and 1/2 price sushi on mon and tues...not to mention giant martinis.
Vespa on 2nd between 83 and 85 (can't remember which block!) is also great italian and has a really cool back garden when it's not freezing.
Bardolino on 78th and 2nd is also pretty delish, if you can get past the fact that it looks like a cheap hotel lobby.
Iron Sushi on 78th between 1st and 2nd is great for eat in or take out.
La Tour, as Jojo said, is also great basic french fare with killer mussels.
By the way DTUT coffee shop has been closed for a good 6 months and a wine bar is opening there soon.
Try El paso taqueria on 97th between park and mad, authentic Mexican, very flavorful and cheap.
There's a new authentic ramen joint, Naruto Ramen around 91st and 3rd. Cheap cheap.
Also like Buddha BBeeq around 92nd and 2nd, fresh pan Asian (Korean owned) trendy storefront, tasty for the prices.
If you want reasonably priced Italian-American comfort food Ottomanelli Grill on 94th and Lex is good and the steaks are a relative bargain.
I'm with the last poster. Italian Village is BEST for pizza. Bar at Etas-Unis great for dinner. Donguri for homestyle Japanese. Inase and Gayjumura for Sushi. Wui Lang for Schezuan. Red Hen for pastries. Pio Pio for Chicken. What else? Land Thai is pretty decent. Elio's for Italian.
PIZZA: I recommend Italian Village on First Avenue in the 80s for delivery. It is wonderful, old-school pizza. They have great white pizza and cannolis. John's, as recommended above, would be the alternative for a thinner crust pizza. In my experience, the Patsy's locations are mediocre.
My other recommendation would be the Bar at Etas Unis -- it's a little wine bar across from the Etats Unis restaurant (recommended above and wonderful) which is more low-key and affordable and one of my absolute favorite places on the UES.
I also think that the best prepared food is at Grace's on 71st and Third. They have good catering and the trattoria next door is a great place for a casual lunch or dinner -- good pannini's.
My favorite bakery is Two Little Red Hens and my favorite bagel is Pick-A-Bagel. I like their black and white cookies better than William Poll.
Here are my picks for the UES:
Japanese - Ikeno Hana (73rd & Lex)
Italian take out - Vivolo (74th bet. lex & Park)
Diner - Three Guys (76th & Madison)or EJ's on third and 73rd.
Chicken & Ribs - BBQ on 3rd ave & 73rd
French - Orsay on 75th & Lex (great fries)
prepared food - Citerella on 3rd & 75th st. or Grace's on 71st street. What's reall good but really expensive is William Poll on Lex & 75th st. They've been around for 100 years, they have the best sandwiches (Woody Allen ordered them while shooting film) plus the best chips and dip.
I second the Barking Dog -- 2 locations now, 94th/Third and York Avenue somewhere;
Pesce Pasta on Third at 88th Street has a great antipasto spread, and I like the lasagna bolognese;
Pollo at 91st and First for Peruvian chicken -- although I'm not sure if they're still open -- they were closed for renovations for awhile;
Pretty good burgers at Island on Madison/92nd;
I agree with the Wu Liang Ye recommendation for Chinese; avoid Pic Up Stix at all cost;
Welcome to the 'hood!
On the premise that you can't spend a lot of money every night I would suggest the Mansion Diner at York and 86 St. Really good: chicken burger, tuna melt, egg salad sandwich, beef stew, chicken ala king, chicken pot pie, meat loaf, the coffee is always good, and the apple crumb pie ala mode is great. The marble pound cake is moist - a rarity these days. The staff is very nice and the prices are dirt cheap. Two of us eat there for $17 to $23 total, usually. I almost forgot: the chicken noodle soup is unbelievable!
The Comfort Diner at 86th and Lex is a sad impostor in a world of good food. And they charge you a bundle for the privilege of eating there.
For pizza give Candidos a try. They're at 1st Ave btwn 83 & 84 Street. Coal brick oven pizza that is very much like an Arthur Ave pie in the Bronx. A subtle taste that sneaks up on you. The first slice will taste bland but the second will have you hooked. It's like John's, only with really good tasting crust. Whole pies only. Another plus is they are family owned and operated, and also nice people.
I'm convinced you can't get eggs cooked properly on the eastside unless you go to Viand on Madison Ave but that can be expensive for breakfast and I don't like their home fries. On weekends we still go to Big Nick's on Broadway and 77 Street.
la tour, your basic neighborhood bistro, on 3rd and 75 (or 74?) has a great $15 all you can eat mussel and frites special (everyday!) Make sure to choose the "la tour" version-- with mustard and rosemary in the broth. The mesclun and goat cheese is a good starter for this meal.
Welcome to the neighborhood!
Sirabella's on york in 80s has good italian (and good for takeout, too).
For French, Etats-Unis.
For Mexican, Zocalo in 80s off 3rd has interesting selections (not your typical burrito-type Mexican).
A takeout place i like is Chicky's on 86th bet 1-2 - kind of a dump but they make great cheap grilled chicken salads (salad not always as fresh as could be desired, but great if you have your own salad makings)
Agata on 79th and 1st has good produce and some prepared foods - check this out vs. Eli's Market on 3rd and 80th, which has very nice quality produce but absurd prices
The Sultan on 2nd in 70s has good Turkish/Middle Eastern.
DTUT on 2nd bet. 84-85 is a good Starbucks alternative.
Red Cat on 75th bet. 1st and 2nd is great. the pre-fixe is a great bargain.
BBQ on 72nd and 3rd is fine for take-out.
JG Melon's on 75th and 3rd serves a great burger.
EJ's is ok, but the wait for weekend breakfast is ridiculous.
Coconut Grill, Googies should be stayed from.
hope this helps. welcome to the neighborhood and let us all know what you try.
re: eva l.
here are a bunch of places I like on the upper east side:
* Tal Bagels, 86th bet. 1st and 2nd [branch on 60 something and 1st, too]
* Johns Pizzeria, 64th between 1st and York (pies only--no slices) [other branches in village, etc.]
* Georgio's Pizza on 2nd (I think) around 70th or so--not a traditional NY slice (a little gourmet for my taste), but pretty good nonetheless [other storefront on union square]
* Trattoria Rustica, 85th bet. 1st and 2nd
* Sharz, around 90th and 3rd
* Barking Dogabout 78th and York--great comfort food if you can ignore the annoying people who eat there--for brunch try the poached eggs with caviar and creme fraiche (forgot the actual name of the dish)
* Saigon Grillaround 87th and 1st
* ELK Candy Company, on 2nd between 85th and 84th
bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich:
* Viand, 86th and 2nd
* Wu Liang Ye, 86th bet. 2nd and 3rd (currently undergoing renovations)
french (+ great hamburgers, moules frites):
* Brasserie Julian--3rd and about 83rd or so
* taco taco--wondeful little place--try the puerco enchilada torta
my request--if anyone knows of a good NY slice on the upper east side, I'd be eternally grateful for the suggestion (seeing as I eat pizza at least once a day, and have yet to find a great slice in this area)
Matt, it might be a little far north for you, but have you tried Patsy's for slices (or pies)? It's on 2nd between 117 and 118, if memory serves. No exotic toppings (not even eggplant), just delicious, thin, crispy, bubbly crust, great sauce and the perfect amount of cheese, all cooked in an ancient coal oven.
Danny's Pizza on 2nd avenue between 87 and 88th is a tiny place that serves the best traditional pizza by the slice on the upper east side(59-96 st//York-5th ave)
Eli's cafe at 91st and York just put in a pizza oven-also good but a bit pricey at 2.15 for a small slice.
Aghatha and Valencia(79 +1st ave)) sells various cheese and tomato foccacias from 10AM until they run out.
Patsy's uptown on 117th and 1st tops the above three.
re: s sale
Thanks for the tip about Danny's pizza. I tried it yesterday, and thought that it was pretty good--but it definitely did not blow me away.
I usually like a little more sauce than they used (almost none), and also, I found something very strange about their slices--they dripped water. Usually, when one folds a slice of pizza, one sees red-tinged oil drip from the back of the crust. But this was not oil--it was water. Could it be that they're using very fresh mozzarella, and that the water is coming from that? I found it strange, whatever it was.
Anyway, while I do appreciate the tip, I have to say that my search for a good slice of pizza on the Upper East Side continues...
Viand, Trattoria Rustica, Saigon Grill, they all rock...
Pizza is a different story on the UES. Almost all are disappointing (I will give Danny's a try though). My advice is to go to John & Tony's (1st Avenue at 60th St.). To date (3+ years and running) it beats everything else I've tried up here.
Matt, I understand that you are the real Pizza specialist here, but why don't you try some unusual Pizza (whole grain flour, unusual toppings) at Pintaile's on 2nd Ave between 64th and 65th. It's sold by the slice. Although they run in a different category, I think they beat John's (with its dry mushroom toppings... on 64th anytime for flavor.
re: eva l.