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Jul 20, 2007 08:16 PM

Which is best choice for West Side lunch?

I'll be visiting the Museum of Natural History and plan to have lunch on the West Side. I like ethnic food & don't want to spend a bundle. So far I came up with these possibilities, though I'm open to more suggestions (including eastern European, Indian, and any other Asian except Japanese):

Café Ronda, 249 Columbus btw W71&72, South American/Mediterranean
Café Frida, 368 Columbus btw W77&78, Mexican
Dallas BBQ, 1265 27 W 72 btw Columbus&CPW, BBQ
Darna, 600 Columbus at W89, French Moroccan
Sol y Sombra, 462 Amsterdam btw W82-83, Spanish/tapas.

Backup possibility: Flor de Mayo, 484 Amsterdam btw W83&84 [I love the chicken here but I've been here before & would rather try something new]

Further south, but still of interest to me: Guantanamera, 939 8th & W56, Cuban

So, what do you all think?

Also, for a later dessert, I hear there is a popular new gelato place on Broadway & W76--does anyone know the name & whether it's really as good as they say? Or, do you think I'm better off at Emack & Bolios, 389 Amsterdam, for ice cream? I've never been there but have heard good things about that too.

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  1. Hi Wanda-Cafe Frida is very nice and highly underated inmho. Dallas BBQ you can skip and out of the way. The gelato place-of which the name is escaping me if the longest line ever! If you are inclined to wait then I hear it is great if not Yolato is decent on Broadway and 82nd. I still do like Emack and Bolio's. Also, for lunch you might want to try Vinyl-inexpensive and diner food plus some Thai (interesting menu) on 84th and Columbus. Also there is Land on 82nd and Amsterdam-great Thai place. Enjoy!

    1. I second the underrated Cafe Frida. We like their brunch (but the service can be awfully slow sometimes). I adore Sol y Sombra for small plates. Earthy flavors (the mushrooms and leeks are divine), nice staff, good sangria, and the last time we were there the weather channel in spanish on the big tv (we learned a lot!). But Sol can get quite pricey if you're just grazing and drinking along -- you don't realize how much you've ordered! The gelato place is Grom and there has been a lot of talk on this board about whether it's worth the long line, the price, etc. I still like Emack & Bolio's.

      1 Reply
      1. Then there is Cafe con Leche on 80th & Amsterdam - Cuban/Dominican fare at very reasonable prices - There is also on the same block a portugese tapas/brunch place. There is always the falefel place - Sido on 72nd & Columbus.

        3 Replies
        1. re: anil

          The Portugese place I think you mean is Luzia's, yes?. They are pretty good (but I prefer Sol y Sombra for tapas).

          1. re: LNG212

            If you'd consider Italian, go to Celeste (Amsterdam btw 84&85). The best value and, for that matter, the best Italian food in any price category on the UWS -- horrendously crowded for dinner but you can always get a table for lunch. Although the lunch menu is small, everything is delicious.

            1. re: UWShound

              Also, for dessert, Cafe Lalo (83 btw Amst &Brdwy) and Cafe Edgar (84th btw Brdwy&WE) are both nice sitdown places if slightly overpriced. For Japanese creampuffs, Beard Papa on Broadway & ~76 is a great option -- try them if you haven't had them, even if you don't normally like Japanese.

        2. Just reporting back: I had lite dinner at Sal y Sombra, included the mushrooms and leeks recommended here; it was excellent. Also had a quick shwarma lunch at Sido; it was great too. Was less impressed with the Emack & Bolios ice cream--must have ordered the wrong flavor (coconut). Thanks everyone for your help.