Elea is a Greek restaurant on the Upper West Side where you can have a great meal and also pretend you’re downtown. There’s a bar area upstairs and a big dining room in the basement, and it’s perfect for a somewhat upscale dinner that isn’t insanely expensive. Your options range from salads to lamb chops to a whole grilled fish - just be sure to start with a few of the dips (we especially like the hummus), and try to not fill up on the complimentary bread. Also, make a reservation. As mentioned, this is the rare sort of uptown spot that feels like something you’d find below 34th Street, and as a result, it gets very busy.
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Community Food & Juice
Community Food & Juice is one of the best brunch spots around Morningside Heights and Columbia University. Unfortunately, that's exactly when it's at its worst. Hit it any other time for best results.
Good Enough To Eat
The Upper West Side may not be flush with noteworthy dining out options, but they certainly have one meal on lockdown – brunch. Good Enough To Eat has been an institution up in these parts for a good 30 years, and a spot we'll happily go to for simple, heavy handed home cooking.
Blossom Du Jour
An Upper West Side escape from the usual Chipotle and Lenny's lunchtime rotation. Everything's vegan, but it's not all kale.
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Kyma is a big, upsacle Greek restaurant near Union Square. The seafood is reliably good (but a little overpriced), and it’s easy to get a reservation.
In a pinch in the Lower East Side, Souvlaki GR supplied The Infatuation with some great Greek street food. Yes, it’s random. And yes, it’s delicious.
"NO MENUS. JUST FISH" is pretty much everything you need to know about this Astoria restaurant.
Suggested by our writers
Finally, the kind of restaurant the Upper West Side has long been starved for. The Ribbon has style and substance and does classic food right.
Jacobs Pickles is great if you need a spot for drinks or an Upper West Side dinner meetup with someone you know will embrace the heavy bar food. But it’s not a restaurant with traveling for.
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