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 Noodle Bar
Momofuku Noodle Bar 2.0 (in the Time Warner Center) still has a downtown feel, and the food is really good.
Burke & Wills
Burke & Wills is a fun Australian spot on the Upper West Side with solid cocktails and $1 oysters during Happy Hour.
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Taverna Kyclades East Village
Taverna Kyclades East Village is the Manhattan location of a popular Greek spot in Astoria.
Ela Taverna isn’t too special, although it’s a little better than your run-of-the-mill Greek, and it’s good for an easy dinner in Williamsburg.
King Souvlaki Of Astoria
Don’t think of this as just another Greek gyro truck, King Souvlaki in Astoria is a serious institution.
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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