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UWS, Recs for moderately priced breakfast, lunch, coffee and snacks etc

Hi, i'll be staying on W 81st St from Wed until sunday morning of Thanksgiving week and would be interested in going to interesting, moderately priced places for breakfast, lunch, ethnic, coffee and snacks etc within reasonable walking distance. I'am visiting from New Hampshire, and even tho iam not a total "Hay Seed" i will need some help finding some good spots to enjoy when we arent doing "family stuff." Thanks for your help!

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  1. Barney Greengrass is definitely a must for the best lox on the UWS. Perhaps you can put it atop an H&H bagel on Broadway. Ottomanelli's has cheap sandwiches as well, though I haven't stopped in as of yet.

    1. Fairway Cafe is reliable for breakfast, lunch, or brunch.
      Levain is great for cookies and other baked snacks.

      1. The new Jacques Torres is open -- definitely stop by there for hot chocolate (or treats or whatever). Second the recs for Fairway Cafe and Barney Greengrass. If you're into seeing how we west-siders shop, browse Fairway and Zabar's. It's fun (but also a little scary too, by how crowded it can be).

        Also, for cheap "ethnic" lunch, I've always like Caridad 78 (chino-cubano). Also cheap and of the "unlimited wine" variety, there's Silk Road Palace. For a hang-out-with-a-beer, we like George Keeley's.

        For good Italian, try La Grolla, which is totally different from (though I prefer it) to Celeste (which has handmade pastas and the like; also in the neighborhood). For Turkish, we love Zeytin. For a casual neighborhood spot with good mac & cheese and salads, we like Fred's.

        You can check out all the menus & prices on www.menupages.com. You can also browse by neighborhood on the site.

        2 Replies
        1. re: LNG212

          Thanks for the recommendations so far, its always helpful to find out the "good" places from locals! They all sound like what iam interested in. we are going to "Blue Smoke" on Friday night { one of the family things iam doing } iam looking forward to that experience also

          1. re: pepbobfirst

            You are going to flip for Le Pain Quotidien.
            (tell me if I am wrong!)

        2. Zabar's Cafe is great for blintzes, bagel and lox breakfast special, and the ability to sit at a counter and talk to folks from the 'hood and beyond. It's very reasonable too.

          7 Replies
          1. re: originalfoodie

            Grandaisy bakery. If you're lucky, the pizza oven will be in before you leave...

            have to disagree with the earlier suggestion of silk road. the food is worse than the free wine. and the free wine isn't good.

            1. re: FattyDumplin

              I have to disagree with your assessment of Silk Road Palace. I had been warned by several people who used to go there that the food is awful, but we all agree that the place has improved greatly. The wine is still Franzia, but the scallops in black bean sauce and pan fried noodles are top-notch. It's become my standard neighborhood place for good American chinese.

              Re the "flip for" recommendation for Le Pain Quotidien, however -- I simply don't get the thread after thread recommending LPQ. It's just a chain bakery with a few admittedly good pastries, but nothing outstanding. I don't see what makes it a stand out establishment.

              1. re: JungMann

                i agree with your opinion of LPQ but i like the atmosphere. i live next door from one but never go in b/c i don't like the food. re SRP, i don't care for it, but i haven't been in over a year. when do you believe the changeover occurred?

                1. re: nativeNYer

                  LPQ has a nice rustic quality, but I also find the Starbucks on West 4th relaxing at night. I'm still not chiming into threads with a recommendation for a prompt visit there.

                  I think the change occured in the past year as I had friends who dined there in Spring '06 who thought it was atrocious, but dined there recently with me and liked the food. It's certainly not up to par with authentic Cantonese and they are a little heavy with the salt and it may depend on what you order, but I have been happy with most of what I've had.

                2. re: JungMann

                  fair enough. it's definitely better than that the cottage. just didn't think it really worth a stop while in the UWS.

              2. re: originalfoodie

                Second the Zabar's suggeston; another good lunch item there is Sullivan St pizza. Not your conventional pizza, but very good!

                If you're a frozen yogurt fan, it's a good place to go, and cheaper than Bloomie's

                1. re: orthorunner

                  'arte around the corner' is cute for italian coffee and desserts, it is on columbus near w73. the folks at grandaisy promised the pizza by next week as the ovens were on their way from italy. even if not, the desserts and breads are worth trying.
                  try patsy's for lunch at w74 and columbus. it will definitely be worth it to stop at zabar's cafe. it's close by. i like good enough to eat for breakfast. i know some people will disagree but the place is really cute/unique and i like their menu, the service and the food. that strawberry butter is great. sarabeth is also a popular breakfast place but probably on the expensive side. artie's is good for lunch if you are looking for large jewish deli with big pastrami sandwiches. edgar's cafe is cute for coffee. have fun.

              3. Cafe con Leche gets my vote for breakfast or lunch (never been for dinner). The trademark coffee is fantastic and you can get huge, tasty plates of rice, beans, plantains and eggs for less than $10.

                I also like Nico, a Greek-ish place slightly fancier than a diner. The daily brunch is great - innovative, generous and cheap. Not bad for dinner either. It has a good selection of veg options, too.

                1 Reply
                1. re: piccola

                  gee, i wish i was going to be in town for a few more days than what iam going to...most everything sounds great. thanks!