Best Upper East Side Restaurants and Places to Eat

So many restaurants…and so forth.  Over the past year, I have spent considerable time visiting some of the best restaurants on the Upper East Side as well as some of the new restaurants that have opened, reporting my findings here on the Glenwood Manhattan Living blog. And while you could go back and read about all that, it would take you some time to find the review. I'd rather see you out there enjoying these spots! With that, I've compiled a list of some of the best Upper East Side Restaurants from the past year. Feel free to comment and add your own recommendations too, we would love to hear about some of your favorites.


A thick, juicy New York City burger topped with melted cheese and bacon, located at the Burger Bistro in New York’s Upper East Side.New York Loves a Good Burger on the Upper West Side!

We New Yorkers know a thing or two about what makes a good burger, which is why New York City has some of the best burgers around. We come by this expertise just based on the sheer number of great burger joints that dot the city. Heck…we're not home to the country's most expensive burger ($295 at Serendipity) for nothing. One place serving delicious burgers on the Upper West Side burger place, Burger Bistro, caught my attention this year with it's "build your own burger" menu. When you can remember a burger more than eight months later, it's a winner!

This gluten free NYC Upper East Side restaurant showcases a wide variety of desserts and appetizing choices at Pip’s bakery on the Upper East Side of ManhattanGluttenous Gluten-Free NYC Bakery

Maybe you jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon this year, maybe you didn't. And if you didn't, it might have been because you figured gluten-free meant taste and creativity-free, too. Pip's Place gluten-free Upper East side bakery is changing a lot of minds sharing that opinion. When I visited there in February, the sights and smells were incredible. You just HAVE to try one of their cookie sandwiches stuffed with thick, sweet cream.

Avocados, plaintains, and beans top this beautiful Columbian dish from Dulce Vida Cafe in New York CityColumbian Authenticity Right Here on the Upper East Side

Speaking of unique bakeries, I came upon the Dulce Vida Cafe and Bakery on Lexington in March. I described it as, "the kind of place you'd probably hurry past a hundred times without much more than a glance or two in the window." More cafe than bakery, you can lose yourself in the authentic Columbian offering that will tempt your palate: empanadas, soups or "sopas," and the Cazuela de Frijoles (pictured above). And the desserts?  Well, you'll need to try them yourself. Words fail.

A mix of sushi offering from Gajyumaru Japanese and Sushi Restaurant in ManhattanSushi on the Upper East Side: Some of the Best in NYC

When I went looking for Gajyumaru Japanese and Sushi Restaurant, I could see why some said it was easy to miss…the name on the awning was wrong, presumably left from a long-closed past operation at that location. Regardless, once inside, the food made things quite clear…this is some of the best sushi in NYC! The fish quality, so criticially important of course, is top notch. While the place may lack the creativity of some much more high-profile (and expensive) sushi places around town, read my review and you'll see why Gajyumaru is always on my list of places to head out to for sushi in Manhattan.

A view of the dining room and kitchen at 83 1/2 Italian restaurant in New York CityNew York Italian Restaurant Surprises with New Chef

In July, I ventured out to 83 1/2, a "new" Italian restaurant in NYC that had undergone a rather quick chef change. I was a bit apprehensive. But almost immediately, I was won over. My experience, which started with risotto fritters, poached tuna with grilled ramps, and ricotta with a pesto-like sauce, made me a believer in Chef Will Foden. The rest of my meal, which you can read about in the review, matched the start. Here's hoping this place stays around for a long time.

Five gourmet New York City donuts from Dough Loco on Manhattan's Upper East SideAnd a New York City Donut for Dessert

If there is one trend I hope never dies, it's the decadent donut and it seems that donuts in New York City are only getting better as time goes on. No longer reserved for stale displays or the back seat of patrol cars, the donut came alive in 2013 and Dough Loco on Park Avenue was right there to serve it up in amazing ways. How about these for unique donut flavors: Curry with Dulce de Leche, Blueberry with Rosemary and Lime, Pineapple Brown Butter and many more. My review included some tempting photos and the hint of how great their Blue Bottle Coffee compliments the sugary goodness of the donuts.

That's it for now for our recap of some of the best Upper East Side Restaurants. What are some of your favorite restaurants that you have been to recently?

Leave a comment and let us know about any culinary discoveries you made this year. 

The Burger Bistro on UrbanspoonPip's Place on Urbanspoon

83 1/2 on Urbanspoon

Dough Loco on Urbanspoon

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