college-bound kid, upper west side
Looking for an interesting spot, not too expensive, good food, between 86th and 100th to take a kid who is eyeing NYC for college. Maybe she'd like not only to eat, but also to see a bit of what life might look like if she were to come here.
If she's going to come here, I don't know that she would live on the UWS. Most of the Columbia and Fordham kids are further north and most of the NYU kids are further south and whatever college hangouts there are in the neighborhood are just outside your boundaries. If you wanted to give her a younger taste of the neighborhood, I might head to places like Momoya, Cafe Lalo, Land --- pretty much the area on Amsterdam in the low 80s.
I agree. The UWS has a lot of nice places to eat, but I wouldn't describe most of them as student hangouts. Either head up to the Columbia area (103rd to 125th St. on Broadway and Amsterdam) or down to the NYU area, or near one of the other colleges in the city where they're likely to apply.
Up around Columbia, go to Havana Central, which is the new version of the old West End Gate on Broadway near 114th St. where Kerouac and Dylan Thomas read in the 1960s and then go for pastry at the Hungarian Pastry Shop across from the Church of St. John the Divine. Other popular student places around there are V&T's for pizza and Italian food just down the block from the Hungarian or Symposium, a Greek restaurant on 113th off Broadway or Ollie's noodle shop just across from the main Columbia gates on 116th and Broadway. There are other nicer restaurants in the area, but these are some of the standards for Columbia students.
Restaurants that are good food, moderately priced in my neighborhood on the UWS (90s).
Pio Pio (used to be Sipan) 702 Amsterdam 94 Street 212-665-9929-Peruvian-very good food, nice atmosphere, quite during the week, a little noisier on weekends.
Gennaro 665 Amsterdam 92/93 Streets - very good food-Italian-very hectic does not take reservations or credit cards-get there early for seating.
Docks 2427 Broadway 89/90 Streets 212-986-8080 OK fish, excellent oysters, lively but not hectic.
Gabriela's 688 Columbus 93/94 Street 212-961-9600 good traditional Mexican, good value
Saigon Grill 620 Amsterdam 90 Street good Vietnamese a bit hectic and noisy
Alouette 2588 Broadway 97/98 Streets 212-222-6808 decent neighborhood French. Small. Make reservations.
Yuki Sushi 656 Amsterdam 92 Street 212-787-8200 Excellent quality of fish in sushi and sashimi. Moderate price for quality Japanese. Sushi lunch with salad or soup is less than $11.
Miyako 642 Amsterdam 91 Street 212-724-3448 About as good as Yuki Sushi and everything is $1-$1.50 less
Acqua 718 Amsterdam 94/95 Streets 212-222-2752 reasonably priced good Italian (Sicilian and Sardinian) in nice setting.
Pizzabolla 654 Amsterdam 92 Street 212-579-4500 Old style “checkered tablecloth” Italian with very reasonably priced good food. Good antipasti, entrees, brick-oven pizza and good selection of reasonable priced wine by the bottle and glass.
Asia Kan 710 Amsterdam Avenue 94/95 Streets 212-280-8878 Nice mix of Japanese (fresh sushi) and other interesting Asian including Thai and Vietnamese.
Bistro Ten 18 (1018 Amsterdam, corner of Amsterdam and 110th) is not a college hangout type place but has what I think is the best combination of food, style, price and service (yes, there is service on the UWS) on the "upper" UWS. 1/2 a block from Hungarian Pastry. If "Interesting Spot" outweighs "Food," a classic burgers-and-beer joint is the rooftop at The Heights on B'way between 112 and 113. Across roadway from Heights is a newer Italian place (next to Milano grocery/deli) whose name escapes me but who has a truly phenominal "grilled pizza" cracker-thin (maybe like a hot matzoh with tomato sauce) but I liked it.