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Top 10 Eats On Manhattan's Upper East Side

Picture of Michaela Brady
Updated: 30 December 2016
On Manhattan’s Upper East Side you’ll find many great places to dine, share a drink, or stop for a quick meal at a fairly reasonable price. With so many options it can be hard to choose where to go. We’ve taken the guesswork out of it with our pick of the best dining places.
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EJ’s Luncheonette

Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, EJ’s Luncheonette looks as if it has been around since the 1940s. With cozy teal seats, a vast menu, and an indoor-outdoor patio for people watching, this quaint, upscale diner is the perfect stop for any time of the day. One bowl of this diner’s spectacular oatmeal provides enough energy for the rest of the day.

EJ’s Luncheonette, 1271 3rd Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 472 0600

© EJ's Luncheonette/Facebook

© EJ’s Luncheonette/Facebook

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Giovanni Venticinque

Focusing on traditional Italian food, anything Giovanni Venticinque serves is full of rich flavors and presented beautifully; it is clear that there is love invested in every dish. The environment is intimate and the staff is accommodating. Inside, stained glass covers one windowpane, while another exposes 83rd Street’s populated promenade.

Giovanni Venticinque, 25 East 83rd Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 988 7300

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Nectar Café

A post-Met stop, the Nectar Café may appear congested on entry; however, once seated, be prepared for a wonderful meal. It’s crowded because it’s popular, and rightly so. The breakfast sausage and matzo ball soup are landmark dishes, while the lunch and dinner plates are just as delicious. Homey, Nectar’s dining room contains wood-paneled booths for families and two-seaters for smaller parties.

Nectar Café, 1090 Madison Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 772 0916

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UpThai

Featuring a modern interior, complete with wood paneling and plants along the bar, UpThai boasts having ‘the Upper East Side’s most authentic Thai menu.’ Indeed, it strives to serve patrons the most authentic Thai food, from curries to ba mee noodles. Alongside the delicious food, there is an array of inventive cocktails.

UpThai, 1411 2nd Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 256 1199

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Arlington Club

A carnivore’s paradise, the Arlington Club, complete with an especially social atmosphere, features savory dishes served in an environment reminiscent of old New York. Vaulted brick ceilings and a low-lit dining room provide an exclusive feel.

Arlington Club, 1032 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 249 5700

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Candle 79

While many vegan food products and restaurants make it obvious they are geared toward healthy eating, Candle 79 appears like other restaurant nestled in the bottom two floors of an elegant townhouse. The restaurant uses the most organic foods and wines available, plus there are gluten-free options available.

Candle 79, 154 East 79th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 537 7179

© Candle 79/Facebook
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Garden Court Café

Located within the Asia Society’s lobby, this airy space is a great respite from the upscale rush of Park Avenue. Its sleek, modern décor is pleasantly contrasted by the trees interspersed around the tables. The Garden Court Café is open for lunch, brunch, or afternoon tea, and offers primarily Asian-fusion cuisine.

Asia Society Garden Court Café, 725 Park Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 570 5202

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Jones Wood Foundry

For the city’s Anglophiles, Jones Wood Foundry is quite the hot spot. Authentic British cuisine dominates the menu, while regulars and newcomers crowd the indoor dining area. TVs mounted over the bar play British and European sporting events, but only to set the mood; this is definitely not a noisy sports bar. During the day, try to snag a seat in the courtyard.

Jones Wood Foundry, 401 East 76th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 249 2700

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Dallas BBQ

Just beyond uptown’s tree-lined side streets is a neighborhood favorite, Dallas BBQ. This chain, which has locations all over New York City, wins the hearts of its patrons with its variety of wings, classic burgers, and savory combos. Its Upper East Side post occupies the entire ground floor of the building, but even that much space is not enough to hold the crowds flooding its tables daily.

Dallas BBQ, 1265 3rd Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 772 9393

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DANIEL

DANIEL is a contemporary setting within neoclassical architecture, containing a private Bellecour Room, and an even more exclusive Skybox dining salon that gazes over the kitchen and restaurant from a secluded vantage point. DANIEL promotes a service that should equal the quality of its food. Choose from the main menu or the ‘tasting’ menu, which is a seven-course menu of small plates. Vegetarian options are also available.

DANIEL, 60 East 65th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 288 0033