Our 10 Best Upper East Side Restaurants

jgmelon.jpg
Lauren Shockey
You'll always find a fine burger at JG Melon.

When you think of hot neighborhoods for dining, the Upper East Side probably isn't the first to come to mind. In fact, it's probably toward the bottom of your mental list. But a crop of new eateries over the past couple of years has resulted in some new -- not to mention exciting -- culinary blood. Sure you'll still find spots catering to the ladies who lunch, but also now a wealth of affordable, interesting restaurants with delicious food. Behold a list of old favorites and bright newcomers: Our 10 Best Upper East Side Restaurants.

10. JG Melon: JG Melon is the quintessential neighborhood burger joint. It offers a lively (although quite preppy -- hey there, boarding-school buddies) bar scene, a kitschy old-time décor with knickknacks and paintings of watermelons on nearly every inch of wall, and, most importantly, consistently tasty hamburgers, garnished with red-onion slices and pickles. Order one plus a bloody Mary and settle in for a cozy night out. 1291 Third Avenue, 212-744-0585

9. Andaz: You'll find all the standards (vindaloo, korma, curries, etc.) plus several Southern faves (uttapam, dosa, idli) at this Indian restaurant, but you can always count on the quality and flavors being spot-on. Some of our favorite dishes include the kofta curry and the onion bhajia, not to mention the fluffy naan. Service is also great, and the lunchtime buffet is a steal. 1378 First Avenue, 212-288-0288

8. Candle 79: Finally, a vegetarian restaurant that offers a menu that's both flavorful and upscale! You'll find plenty of vibrant veggie fare here, like grilled kale salad with lentils and haricot verts and avocado stuffed with quinoa, cucumbers, and radishes. Sure, you'll still find faux meat, but trust us, dishes like porcini-crusted tofu with celeriac puree and chili-grilled seitan with mole sauce ain't your hippie grandmother's meat-free cuisine. 154 East 79th Street, 212-537-7179


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