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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Momofuku Bāng Bar is a fast-casual counter spot in the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle that makes really good flatbread wraps.
Prohibition is a bar on the Upper West Side that has live music every night and works well for a date.
Caledonia is a small whiskey bar on the Upper West Side that works for anything from a date to a drink with your parents.
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Loukoumi Taverna is a casual Greek restaurant with affordable wine and plenty of backyard seating.
Agnanti Meze is a casual spot across from Astoria Park, and it has some of the best Greek food in the city. Bring a group, and order the octopus.
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.
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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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