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looking for good classics on the upper west side

i live in los angeles.... although born in nyc..... am here for the week... staying on the upper west side.... with wife and 12 year old junior foodie..... know zabars.... grays papaya..... the cuban/chinese on bwy.... patsy grimaldi's.... peter luger's..... etc.... looking for a good place for thin crust pizza by the slice...... and other tips from felllow chowhounders..... upper westside and beyond....

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  1. It's a new classic, but very easy to get to Dinosaur BBQ by subway from the UWS. Might want to check out Artie's Deli, Niko's, Fairway Cafe. I'm assuming from your list that you're not looking for higher end, e.g. Telepan (not yet classic, but could well become so) or Ouest.

    1. thank you for your reply..... could you help me with the location of these places? i think that you are on my wavelength.... thank you....

      3 Replies
      1. re: panahead

        Dinosaur BBQ is on the corner of 131st St and 12th Ave. Take the #1 train to Broadway and 125th St and walk a couple of blocks west and about three blocks north. Artie's Deli is on B'way between 82nd & 83rd. Niko's Mediterrean Grill is on B'way at 76th. And Fairway Cafe is upstairs from Fairway at B'way & 74th. Enjoy your trip.

        1. re: JoanN

          niko's is a rip off! when i was there i pointed out that most dishes were about 30% above prices on menu pages. no one seemed to care and explained it by saying that they didnt have time to notify penu pages to change prices.

          1. re: dadad

            Good thing to know. And I haven't been there in a couple of months. Perhaps they've raised their prices considerably since I was last there. But they have (had?) really, really good grilled fish at what I thought were entirely reasonable prices. I'll have to check it out again soon and see if I still think so.

      2. we are headed to lupas's tonight..... maybe the blue ribbon later on our stay....

        1. Barney Greengrass (for breakfast and lunch only) is a classic Jewish deli specializing in smoked fish (they do serve meats, but I've never ordered any and have rearely seen them come out of the kitchen). Great chopped liver, too.

          Flor De Mayo on 84th and Amsterdam serves terrific Peruvian food, sort of buried in the menu beneath the Chinese and Dominican food.

          Onera is a terrific, rather expensive Greek restaurant at 222 W. 79th St.

          Bettola, on Amsterdam between 79/80, has terrific thin-crust pizza, but not by the slice.

          1. Westsiders themselves tend to forget about Cafe Luxembourg, on 70th, a shade west of Amsterdam.

            It's the orginal family favorite bistro on the UWS, and continues to be excellent. The burger never makes it in anyone's top ten lists, but I think it's as good as the Odeon, and almost getting into Balthazar territory.

            - Sean

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sean Dell

              I live around the corner from Cafe Luxembourg and find it frustratingly inconsistent, good on one visit, very disappointing on the next. Never tried their burger, though. Thanks for the heads up. Next time, for sure.

            2. Honestly, I'd get away from the UWS if you want more variety and value for the buck (even for nicer dinners). You'll get more atmosphere and better food downtown, or even on the east side....

              Anyways, here are some other suggestions:

              I wouldn't say that pizza in our hood is great, but if you want pizza slices, the best in the UWS in the 60's-80's zone is at Vinnie's, on Amsterdam, east side of the street, north of 73 or 74.

              For upscale Mexican, I'd go with Cafe Frida (78 and Columbus). Tampiquena steak, salmon, and rice/beans side are great there (and believe me, I normally don't order salmon at restaurants).
              I've also heard good things about Rosa Mexicano down in the 60s but would make reservations there for sure.

              For more casual eats or lunch, Pita Grill on 77th btw Broadway and Columbus serves healthy meals/take out. Onera (the greek place another poster mentioned) is great and is more of a value at lunch, when you can get the exact same itmes as on the dinner menu for a prix-fixe of...$25? I've also had good lunches and dinners at Nice Matin (Provencal restaurant, 79th and Amsterdam). Their crabmeat salad at lunch is delicious.

              Actually, come to think of it, you could probably do a lot of great lunch prix-fixe meals at some of the well-known restaurants downtown. I've liked the ones at Gotham, Picholine, Tocqueville....plenty of people on this board have had opinions on this matter, so just do a search.


              1 Reply
              1. re: Rafie

                Unfortunately, Onera stopped serving lunch many months ago.

              2. Cafe Mozart, 154 West 70 Street near Broadway, has excellent desserts plus food but I go when I have a sweet tooth.

                Fiorello's Roman Cafe, 1900 Broadway, 63rd Street, is good when you're going to Lincoln Center. I like the seafood and vegetable buffet and individual pizzas.

                Don't forget Ninth Avenue has lots of wonderful little restaurants.

                1. Gennaro at 93rd/Amsterdam. No reservations, no credit cards but a very good neighborhood authentic Italian restaurant, Plenty of fish and wines. We visit from SF on an annual basis and go each time.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kevine

                    Yes, yes, and yes. Gennaro (and Celeste, for that matter) offer some really fine Italian food. Prices are good, too.


                    NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

                  2. we went to flor de mayo last night and had a great meal!!! lomo saltado and the roast chicken and some mixed vegetables from the chinese menu.... it was all delicious.... and the service was very warm and attentive... thank you for the tip!!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: panahead

                      If you're headed toward the Peruvian specialties, I suggest two things:

                      1. Always look at the blackboard for specials. They are disproportionately Peruvian.

                      2. Ask the waiter anyway if there are any other Peruvian specials. They are not printed on the menu and includes some of their best dishes. Occasionally, parihuela (seafood soup) is available even when it isn't supposed to be featured. I have mixed feelings about the parihuela. It is a delicious soup, but the quality of the seafood itself is only so-so. The spicy shrimp soup on Friday is terrific, too.

                    2. Agree with many replies here--BUT--skip Dinosaur BBQ and go to Daisy May!! It's on 11th Ave at 46th Street, and the ribs and pulled pork are fantastic. And they deliver.

                      1. agree re:daisy may. Also, Skip Cafe Mozart and go to Le Pain Quotidien ( 72 or 65St off Bway) for coffee/Tea bar experience...add Rack & Soul (109 Bway) for BBQ/Soul food option, also add Bouley Bakery as an inexpensive way to try Tine Warner Center eating experience--very nice)

                        1. Imeant Bouchon Bakery -- NOT bouley as stated above.