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Sep 12, 2012 01:29 PM

cheap, casual on the UES?

my little chowpup has started school on the upper east side, and i really don't know the area. i'd love your suggestions for casual fare--good coffee, pastries, breakfast sandwiches to grab after we drop her off; casual, child friendly places for a bite after school; ice cream/gelato better than the soulless stuff we already got at ciao bella on day one.

prefer good price to quality ratio; it doesn't have to be cheap, but it should be worth the $/calories. good vegetarian options preferred (but not necessary for all of us). geographic parameters around 86-103rd, lexington to the park.

thanks so much in advance!

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  1. I like Yura on Madison for sandwiches and pies.

    2 Replies
    1. re: H Manning

      That looks lovely, thanks. And it seems to be related to Square Meal, which I remember MMRuth recommending years back. But alas, it's also close to Ciao Bella, and I imagine my little pea will feel tempted...

      Going through old threads, I'm adding ABV and Judi's to the list:

      I also imagine that we'll head up to my kiddo's all time favorite restaurant, Moustache, a fair amount. Pizza, hummus, and an open kitchen area where you can watch pizza making in action. What more could a little kid want?

      1. re: rose water

        Judi's is kind of spotty, FYI. Sometimes the food is decent, sometimes it's just this side of edible. Of course you ought to take my word with a grain of salt since I am a regular at the no-atmosphere Falafel Express on Madison and 97th for their decent shawarma and a cheese baklava that sort of resembles my favorite Arab dessert (knafeh).

        Other places I'd consider checking out: El Aguila (tacos), Gong (Thai), Pio Pio (Peruvian chicken), Cafe Sabarsky (coffee and pastries), London Candies (English candy, pastry, Stumptown coffee), Milk Burger (Shake Shack knockoff with better sides), Lechonera El Barrio (a Judy's with better choices), Two Little Red Hens (red velvet cake).

    2. The Corner Bakery has a bread pudding-French Toast that is amazing!

      1. Le Pain Quotidien (88th & Lex, 84th & Madison) restaurants in the nabe are always full of chow pups with parental units. Good vegetarian choices too.

        1. I second Yura and Corner Bakery. A great place for desserts, although really price, is Lady M on 78th. My favorite pizza in the area is Rizzo's. There is a new Italian place that opened recently on 91st and Madison - GIna La Fornarina - that has been very popular with kids, I haven't been there yet though. Tre Otto on 97 and Madison is very good and not too expensive.

          1. For vegetarian options, Maoz has a new-ish stand in Central Park on 5th Ave and 106th (though I'm not sure if it'll be open year-round). Brick Lane Curry looks like it's opening soon on 3rd Ave and 93rd.

            For pastries, I second the recommendation for Two Little Red Hens! There's also Plenty. Sadly I don't know of any other ice cream shops in the area aside from the even-more-soulless Baskin Robbins. London Candy Co. has interesting British-themed ice cream made by Je & Jo but it comes pre-packed in tiny cups (for $5 each). Maybe Shake Shack? I ran into the Coolhaus truck in front of the Met once, but it isn't one of their regular spots.

            1 Reply
            1. re: el Mitch

              You remind me that there are usually good pretzels in front of the Met too.

              Thanks, all, for the very informative recommendations.