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Dining on New York’s Upper East Side

Dining on New York’s Upper East Side

Searching for a meal on the Upper East Side? There’s an overwhelming number of options in the area. Our list below gathers five of the best options in this trendy and busy area, from global dishes and beachy seafood to upscale American and French cuisines, whether you are looking for a quick solo bite or a date night with your main squeeze. Stroll the streets and see what catches your eye, or just pop into one of the spots below for a delicious and memorable meal.

Upper East Side Dining in NYC

La Goulue

Executive Chef Antoine Camine’s La Goulue is an Upper East Side staple, with meticulous French cuisine served in a chic setting. The award-winning menu features daily lunch and dinner options along with a special Sunday brunch, available in both indoor and outdoor seating areas. Servers suggest the Duck Foie Gras, Escargots or Salade Folle with creamy truffle dressing to start, particularly for first-time diners. The featured entrees include a classic Steak Au Poivre, Roasted Half Chicken and Braised Veal Cheek. The menu also includes a selection of sushi rolls and a Lobster Cobb Salad for lighter fare. In addition to its impeccable dishes, the restaurant is known for its exceptional service. Note that those wishing to order in can enjoy La Goulue dishes at home by ordering through Postmates.

Bento at La Goulue New York | The Welcome Guide®
Bento (Courtesy La Goulue)

Heidi’s House by the Side of the Road

Truly a neighborhood gem, Heidi’s House by the Side of the Road is a charmingly quirky cafe with a soundtrack of jazz. The chef-driven menu includes a selection of bar snacks (where you can find their famous Crab Dip), salads and hearty entrees. Chef Cipriano caters to carb lovers and features a fresh homemade pasta dish each day, like the Gnocchi with Duck Ragout. The cozy spot also has a handsome bar with craft beer, ciders and wine. The sophisticated and lively atmosphere is complemented by touches of character, like the chalkboard specials menu, family photos and the colorful print napkins, made by Heidi herself and available for sale. Regulars return for the great food and warm atmosphere.

Courtesy Heidi's House By the Side of the Road New York | The Welcome Guide®
(Courtesy Heidi’s House By the Side of the Road)

Quality Eats

Regularly lauded as one of the best steakhouses in town, Quality Eats brings quality meats to NYC with two locations. The UES spot on 2nd Avenue boasts a menu of steaks and mains sure to satisfy any carnivore, including their Don Ameche Filet, Bavette Steak and Butcher’s Cut Burger with slab bacon. Despite the meat-centric menu, they also have a good variety of seafood and seasonal vegetable dishes in their appetizers, sides and mains, like the Grilled Branzino with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and Grilled Octopus with salsa verde. QE is open for both lunch and dinner, with weekend brunch starting at 10 o’clock in the morning. The cocktail program gets strong reviews, too, with seasonal specials (including a Last Minute Spritze with yuzu) and house classics (the Cracker Jack Old Fashioned is a top choice).

Menu Selection at Quality Eats New York | The Welcome Guide®
Menu Selection (Courtesy Quality Eats)

Mission Ceviche

Mission Ceviche on the UES isn’t just a Peruvian seafood restaurant; it’s a whole vibe. From the minute you walk into the space, there’s a welcoming tropical vibe, thanks to trendy neons, plenty of plants and colorful pillows on the bench-style seats. Chef Jose Luis Chavez’s menu pays homage to the diversity of Peru with a variety of dishes from both the land and the sea. The namesake fresh ceviches are a major draw, alongside tartare and nigiri options. You can’t go wrong ordering the Classic Ceviche, prepared with the catch of the day and dressed with Rocoto Tiger’s Milk. Other Peruvian staples on the menu include the Lomo Saltado stir-fried filet with potatoes, Pulpo Al Olivo (grilled octopus with olive aioli) and the Arroz Con Mariscos, similar to seafood fried rice. To make the most of your meal, start with a Pisco cocktail and an order of their yucca fries.

PJ Bernstein

PJ Bernstein is an iconic Upper East Side Jewish Deli that has been a family-owned business for generations. Serving towering pastrami sandwiches and homemade soups, this beloved restaurant has earned its place among New York’s most popular eateries. It holds the special distinction of having served many celebrities throughout its history, including Lucille Ball and Mel Brooks to two James Bonds – Sean Connery and Daniel Craig. Known for its quality food and cozy atmosphere, PJ Bernstein continues to be a highly sought-after spot for locals and tourists alike who want to experience traditional Jewish deli fare.

Pastrami Sandwich at PJ Bernstein New York | The Welcome Guide®
Pastrami Sandwich (Courtesy PJ Bernstein)