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Feb 25, 2010 10:30 AM

Upper West Side recs

Howdy all;

I'm going to be in NYC for three days next week, staying on 77th street on the UWS.

I'm looking for recommendations, but not necessarily anything fancy. I'd love to find a great diner in that neighborhood -- I tried the Manhattan Diner the last time I was there (77th and Broadway) and was very underwhelmed. I also love pretty much any kind of "ethnic comfort food" (Cuban stews, Asian noodles, etc).

Any recommendations for a business traveler looking to recharge for the next day's work would be greatly appreciated. TIA.

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  1. View menus and info at

    Gus & Gabriel's Gastropub: this will run circles around any diner!
    Salumeria Rosi: restaurant and take-away counter

    2 Replies
    1. re: LeahBaila

      Gus & Gabriel's looks awesome, just based on the first few reviews that popped up on Menupages. Thanks.

      1. re: scratchie

        You're welcome. I was turned on to it by a poster named "jungmann," who also led me to my favorite Indian spot, Dhaba. Hopefully he responds to this post.

    2. If you happen to like charcuterie, Bar Boulud, on B'way, b/t 63rd & 64th Sts., excels in that department.

      Photos of the charcuterie we had at Bar Boulud can be viewed here:

      1. For really good chicken soup (only on Wed and Sat, I think) go to Cafe Con Leche on Amsterdam between 80th and 81st. Recipe up the street is a good place to get some high quality food, and you can eat at the bar there, and prices are reasonable.
        None of the diner's around there are knock your socks off good, but you could also head to the fairway cafe on the second floor of the Fairway grocery store. Reasonable prices for a good meal, in a semi diner like environment. I've been to dinner a few times, and while not blown away, it was good for the price. Their breakfast on the other hand is fantastic. I could eat 3 stacks of their pancakes without thinking twice.

        1. One thing that stymied me in the past when I stayed in this area is that I was eating dinner late, and there wasn't a lot open besides the diner. Any particularly good late-nite places?

          2 Replies
          1. re: scratchie

            As far as diners go, I think Big Nick's open very late (not 24 hours, but at least 3-4 a.m.) and that's on Broadway between 76th and 77th St. I haven't eaten there in YEARS so I have no idea what their food is like.

            Some other spots that open relatively late in UWS: (can't think of that many, it's not exactly a good neighborhood for late-night dining)

            Landmarc, at Time Warner Center, open till 2 a.m. I like this place a lot, never had any bad dish here, slightly upscale but not fancy
            French Roast Cafe, 85th and Bway, open 24 hours, food is pretty average
            Cafe Lalo (83rd between Bway & Amsterdam) and Edgar's Cafe (84th between Bway & West End) both good dessert spots, Cafe Lalo is always crowded b/c of "You've Got Mail" connection so I prefer Edgar's Cafe

            Hope it helped!

            1. re: scratchie

              Recipe is open late (1 or 2 am, I think), although they switch to a different menu, but it still serves a good 15 dishes or so.
              French Roast, Big Nick's are also open late, but neither is terrific. I do like the pastrami club at Big Nick's, but only because they cook the pastrami on the griddle like the greek sub places I had growing up. The menu there is so gigantic, so you can probably find something you like.
              Not sure how late Gus and Gabriel's is open, but I'd check in there as well.

            2. Diner options aren't terrific in the neighborhood. Gus & Gabriel's is really the only one that keeps me coming back. Big Nick's isn't the best place in the world, but it is fine at 2am and certainly much better than Manhattan Diner. You might also want to check out George Keeley's, Salumeria Rosi, Shake Shack and 5 Napkin Burger.

              The neighborhood is not generally a good location for ethnic comfort food, but there are a few good finds:
              - Earthen Oven happy hour
              - Chorizo and bistec tacos at Super Taco
              - Roast chicken or pastelitos at El Malecon
              - Hummus Place
              - Chilean empanadas at Freddie & Pepper's
              Some CHers recommend China Fun, though I haven't ordered from them. Calle Ocho and especially Cafe con Leche taste reserved to me, if that makes sense - like Latin food via an interpreter, yet I like the green rice and Chifa options at Flor de Mayo so I might be a little hypocritical.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JungMann

                I second Earthen Oven and El Malecon. Have not been to Gus & Gabriel yet but looks like I should try it sometime!