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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Caffè Storico is little more than a good bet for dinner in the neighborhood or some pre-gaming before you hit the planetarium. Who wants to get drunk and see a laser show?
Besides a couple of quality appetizers, the menu at Cafe Luxembourg is beat street. It’s standard, run-of-the-mill French Bistro fare that’s overpriced and under portioned.
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Loukoumi Taverna is a casual Greek restaurant with affordable wine and plenty of backyard seating.
SVL Bar is a fast-casual Greek spot in Astoria that serves big portions of souvlaki and different types of gyros.
There are a few Souvlaki GR locations in NYC, including this one in a small basement in Midtown East. Stop by for some great, casual Greek food.
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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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