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Favorites in Lincoln Center Area

Wife and I are moving to 69th/Columbus after a failed experiment in the 'burbs and can't wait to dive back into the food scene in NYC. Any recs in the neighborhood?

We are looking to fill the following neighborhood chow destinations:
1) Pizza
2) Chinese (takeout and delivery)
3) Mexican
4) Thai
5) Sushi
6) Value places (good for a weekday meal).
7) Coffee shops
8) anything else worth mentioning!


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  1. Welcome back to the nabe.
    Fine Asian: Shun Lee West
    Italian: Fiorello's
    Mediterranean: Josephina's
    Mexican: Rosa Mexicana
    Organic and healthy oriented: Le Pain Quotidien (bakery, sandwiches, soup)
    La Fortuna: Great lunches
    Little French Bistro: La Boite en Bois
    American dinners: Compass/Telepan
    Last minute neighborhood Italian: La Fenice
    Diner (all night delivery): Westside Diner
    Gray's Papaya (on the go for hot dogs, etc.)

    All of these are between 64th and 71st & from Amsterdam to Broadway to Columbus

    1 Reply
    1. PJ Clarke's opened recently in the Old Empire Hotel. O'Neal's is also in the nabe - across the street of Pain Quotidien.

      1. Welcome back! Best pizza is a hole in the wall called La Traviata on 68th b/n Columbus and Bway. What they lack in ambience, they make up for in great pizza.

        Try the (giant) cookies at Levain Bakery. 74th b/n Columbus and Amsterdam. To die for.

        Pomodoro on Columbus near 71st is a nice Italian joint -- food seems to have really improved ;ately.

        Best Chinese is Cottage at Amsterdam and 77th.

        For Sushi, Empire Sushi on 72nd b/n West End and Bway. Really nice place to eat in -- lovely people -- but great takeout too (and they have more than sushi but that's all I ever get there).

        2 Replies
        1. re: fullmanti

          Cottage is one of the worst Chinese food restaurants I have had. Unfortunately, the UWS is lacking in good, neighborhood Chinese food (surprisingly). Hunan Park is great, but the 72nd St. one closed a few months ago (there's one up in the 90s that delivers). Ollie's and Empire are decent.

          1. re: TheNewYorker

            It's take-out and delivery only, but Wok City on the east side of Columbus between 66th and 67th is, IMHO, better than either Ollie's or Empire.

        2. I agree with idia's suggestions, and also the suggestion of O'Neals. They have a great chopped salad and yummy bread.

          Slightly north of you in the 70s, Hummus Place for exactly what it sounds like (really fresh hummus and delicious pita), Lenny's for decent sandwich delivery, Sido for pretty good falafel, Balduccis also has some good prepared foods.

          Plus you're close to all the decadent offerings at Columbus Circle.

          1. Tenzan on 74th and Columbus: new and quite good sushi
            Epices du Traiteur: 70th just west of Columbus; very good Med/Tunisian and very pleasant neighborhood spot
            Bistro Cassis: 71st? and Columbus; newish French bistro; gets yes and no reviews here, but the French onion soup makes it worth a try to see where you come down
            Barcibo Enoteca: new wine bar with very good small plates on 69th and Broadway

            1. I like Empire Szechuan for chinese - their sushi is decent too. I heartily second the Fiorello's recommendation. I've also heard great things about the newish Greek place up there, Kefi I believe it is.

              1. Hi there, superfine -- welcome back! There've been a number of good suggestions thrown out there already. I'll just add a few more of my favorites:

                Pasha (Turkish)
                China Fun (ONLY for the weekend dim sum, congee, and soy milk)
                Cafe Ronda (pretty good burgers)
                Mughlai (fairly decent North Indian)
                La Vela (good fresh pastas)
                Vince & Eddie's (solid on classic American / NY fare -- like liver with fried onion and, lest that scare you off, chicken pot pies, crab cakes, and that sort of thing)

                Biondanonima suggested Kefi. It's a *great* suggestion. It won't be the best neo-Greek you've ever had, but it is very good, and an excellent value.

                I do not think Shun Lee is a very good restaurant for food, though the ambience is very nice.

                Fiorello's and Rosa Mexicana are just fair in my opinion, tho I do really like the black and white mousse at Fiorello's! Avoid the antipasti in the summertime because flies hang out all over the display case. Also, avoid the "special" pomegranate margaritas at Rosa like the plague. they're like those Icees you get out of the dispenser at 7-11s.

                O'Neals is plain and uninspiring, but will do in a fix, since they usually have seats open.

                Cottage and Empire Sushi have terrible Chinese and Japanese food, respectively (though the service at Empire is indeed *quite* lovely... they gave me an umbrella once, without expectation of its return, when I got caught in a rain storm; Chinese dishes at Empire are fair and very inexpensive).

                Tenzan is also pretty awful, though somehow it has high Zagat ratings.

                No good Thai that I know of, sadly... Please let us know if you find one!

                320 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023

                Cafe Ronda
                249 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023

                70 West 71st Street, New York, NY 10023

                China Fun
                246 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023

                La Vela
                373 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024