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Upper East Side gems

Hi, my wife and I just moved to the upper east side, and we love finding undiscovered gems. Although we will definitely find some ourselves, I would love to hear some recommendations on places to eat.

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  1. Holes in the wall or fine-dining? Around 60th St or 96th St?

    1. Donguri: East 83rd, First - Second, maybe "discovered" but a gem.

      1 Reply
      1. re: serious

        agree with serious, donguri is very solid

      2. Kurio and Zebu Grill (the latter not quite a gem, but v. good Brazilian food) - both on E. 92nd between First & Second.

        1. Giorgios - excellent Italian, super freindly owner/staff. I think it's 84th Street bet. First & Second Ave. but doesn't have any signage. Just look for the wood paneling on the south side of the street. Get the gnocchi - both the truffle & gorgonzola, both are amazing.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mookster

            Unfortunately, Giorgio's has not existed in that form for quite a while. A new awning is out front with another name, although I don't think it's open yet under the new regime.

            I recommend Kurio, Erminia, Donguri, Inase

            1. re: gutsofsteel

              That's so funny bc I just went there last month & came from the west, so didn't notice the awning (plus I was jonesing for the gnocchi). Giorgio wasn't there, but the mgr. was a doll & gave us all a card which had a completely differnt name: Nica Trattoria! I didn't even look at the card until a few days later & almost didn't put the two together. Food was still amazing, so I didn't give it too much thought. Thanks for the explanation!

          2. Let me put in a suggestion for Persepolis in the mid-70's on 2nd. Very good Persian (Iranian) food... and under-represented category in NYC. They recently moved to this spot from a block or so away. The room is much better, and the food seems to have improved too.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Michael Ambrosio

              Really? Thanks for the info. I'll have to try them out again.

              1. I like Etats-Unis too - restaurant and also the bar across the street. But Gayjumaru is very uneven, and they strongly favor Japanese customers, for what it's worth. Their "omakase" is really anything but. Sushi of Gari and Inase are both very good. Gari more modern, Inase more traditional. Persepolis is okay, but for Persian food, it's not as good as the Persian Tea Room (not in Manhattan so off-topic for here).

                2 Replies
                1. re: gutsofsteel

                  where is gujyumua? never heard of it

                  1. re: Lau

                    That might be because it's really called Gajyumaru.

                    1659 1st Avenue
                    between 86th & 87th
                    New York, NY 10028
                    (212) 860-8857

                2. JG Melon's - good burger
                  Atlantic Grill - good seafood
                  Koi - good japanese

                  1. Don't know how hidden it is but you're not going to find better Peruvian chicken than Pio Pio...1st ave near 91st.

                    And the best sit-down pizza on the UES is at Nick's...2nd and 94th.


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: TipsyMcStagger

                      A strong second to Pio Pio--don't forget the delicious and deceptively strong sangria.

                    2. Al Forno (2nd Ave, btwn 77th and 78th) has great brick oven pizza.

                      1. Sable's (2nd btwn 77/78) - amazing lobster salad, smoked salmon, seafood chowder (it's a grab-and-go)

                        Yorkville Diner (79th btwn 2/3) - a GREAT delivery diner. They have great burgers, salads, and are always reliable.

                        Caffe Buon Gusto (77th btwn 2/3) - CASH only, really great pastas, etc. Romantic atmosphere.

                        Vermicelli (2nd Ave btwn 77/78) - really great Vietnamese food the brunch is CHEAP, yummy, and huge! Really worth the $8.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: hps

                          (actually, Caffe Buon Gusto takes AmEx, but I suppose that's not too different from cash only ...)

                        2. itzocan at 101st & lexington. Not undiscovered, it's been mentioned here many times, but very good.

                          1. I had a delicious, inexpensive meal at La Fonda Boricua, a Puerto Rican restaurant, on 106th (Lex/3rd). Everything I ate there -- chicken soup, rice and beans, steak and onions -- was very good. If I lived on the UES, I would be a regular.

                            1. Another spot worth trying is Don Pedro's on 96th and either 2nd or 3rd. Creative Latin American... very good food, very good prices. Definitely and undiscovered type spot... not many mentions of it here on Chowhound.

                              And a question for others on this thread... has anyone tried Kurio? I've meaning to try it, but never seem to make it there.

                              1. Spigolo is a great cozy italian restaurant on 81st and 2nd run by husband and wife team..everything is great there.

                                  1. Spigolo very good. 80th and 1st
                                    Not gems but good. Mangiarini, Beyoglu,Triangolo and the old steady standby Willy's

                                    1. I am not sure if it is 'undiscovered' but Kai is a great restaurant that gets little press.