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Any food gems in Upper West Side?

I'll be in NYC this weekend for one day and hoping to find some inexpensive dinner options in the Upper West Side. I'm not aware of any good eats in this area...any suggestions? Thanks!

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  1. Gem might be a strong word..

    For decent price friendly Thai there's Land on 82nd/Amsterdam.

    Also, for great Italian, Celeste is great - 84th/Amsterdam - really tight quarters and cash only.

    Enjoy!

    1. If you really are the hot dog girl, you'll enjoy Gray's Papaya on 72nd and Amsterdam.

      1. Steer clear of Land. Over-rated, and lacking. Food is sub-par and not "in-expensive." As a resident Upper westsider, the I can tell you that for inexpensive gems, the pickings are slim. Celeste, or Genarro should fit the bill.

        1. Jerusalem Felafel is inexpensive and tasty. El Malecon is highly recommended for the rotisserie chicken. Some of their other items are worthwhile, too (e.g., sopa de pollo, mondongo).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Pan

            The churrasco at El Malecon is awesome. A fellow chowhounder had recommended it and it's a great dish for a great price.

          2. The Allstate is still a good standby for comfort food--prepared well, huge portions, and a nice comfy vibe on a cold winter night.

            1. sun chan i would call a gem and inexpensive.. Its a Japanese restaurant that has really good yakitori.. I like the Rice Ball with plum, lots of whole grilled fish.. They have inexpensive unfiltered sake.. Sit at the bar..

              1. I agree with the Gennaro recommendation.
                The best pizza I've ever had can be found at Sal and Carmines, Broadway between 101 and 102.
                I've never been disappointed by The Cottage on Amsterdam at 79th (I think)- Chinese food. They give free white wine and the food is tasty, especially the dumpling appetizer. Great place to eat before or after a movie.
                La Rosita on Broadway at 109 is good comforting Cuban food. Super cheap and fun for sharing with friends. But I've heard rumors of it closing.

                1. Saigon Grill is good for inexpensive Vietnamese (Amst. and 90th) or Flor de Mayo on Amst. and 84th for excellent Peruvian chicken, rice and beans etc.

                  1. La Rosita is closed...

                    107West on Bway & 107th is nice.

                    Hnery's is waaay overpriced for what it is...

                    1. These places are okay, but I wouldn't call them gems. Well, maybe Levain....

                      Hummus Place (74th/Amsterdam)
                      Cafe con Leche (80-81 Sts/Amsterdam)
                      Levain Bakery (74th/B'way)

                      1. Rack n Soul--BBQ & soul food
                        Absolute Bagel (if you're in the mood for a bagel one evening)
                        Hummus Place
                        88 Noodle (cheap chinese)
                        Penang (Malay)
                        Sido (simple middle eastern grills, sandwiches)
                        Le Pain Quotidien (several locations in UWS)

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Ora

                          is rack n soul really good? i've heard some negative things. what are your thoughts?

                          1. re: Ora

                            Here's my original report http://www.chowhound.com/topics/23292...

                            In the NY dining scene, is there ever true consensus. I try places myself to decide. Rack n Soul is not a big investment--try it.

                            There are places on this board that get raves for reasons entirely unclear to me. I only trust one opinion at this point--my own.

                          2. I love Café con Leche (the 96th St. one).

                            I also dig Turkuaz and Swagat. For breakfast/brunch, I like Crepes on Columbus - though that's more Morningside Heights.

                            1. I also recommend Hummus Place (74th/Amsterdam). The menu is small but everything is delicious! And definitely cheap.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: emgoodman

                                Had the hummus tahini at Hummus Place today, and it was superb. Also good was the iced tea (sweet and with mint, aka Israeli style.) All quite yummy and very inexpensive.

                              2. Barney Greengrass - Amsterdam and 86th. Get the everything bagel, scallion cream cheese and lox.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: JamesB

                                  Barney Greengrass yes...home of pastrami salmon! But it's not open at night so go early and get enough for dinner!

                                2. I like Cafe Ronda for the parrillada.

                                  Tenzan for sushi is great too.