If you’re moving to the UES, look no further than these mainstays. No need to spend months finding the best Chinese in the neighborhood, we’ve done it for you.
Chinese: Hunan Delight
While there is definitely cheaper Chinese available, Hunan Delight is the kind of Chinese place that won’t give you a stomach ache, and the menu is extensive. They also serve Japanese food, but admittedly I have not tried it. If you’re the kind of person that wants sesame chicken AND a miso soup, this culturally-infused menu is for you. Bonus — it’s not scary looking from the outside (avoid that feeling of ordering Chinese delivery for months and finally – accidentally – walking by and realizing you did not want to know what it looked like).
Indian: OM Restaurant
OM definitely wins by default in this category. I actively have not enjoyed any other Indian delivery in the area. OM is reliable, tasty, and reasonably-priced. Varied menu and good lunch deals.
Sushi: Tenzan 89
This is a tough one to call because of the amount of sushi places in the area (especially considering establishments like Sushi of Gari). However, Tenzan 89 wins this category for the right balance of quality and quantity for the money. If you want the cheapest sushi on the block, look elsewhere. This is not your $2 miso soup joint. If you want the most quality you can get for a delivery price-point, Tenzan is your place. Always reliable and never disappoints.
Thai: Up Thai
I will admit there are a few good thai places in the area, but my personal favorite is Up Thai. The food is super reliable, and what differentiates this place is that it’s actually a cool place to go to if you want to get out of your apartment. The vibes are super cool in the restaurant: brick walls, hanging plants, etc. The pad see ew is one of the better ones I’ve had in my life, and you can count on Up Thai to never disappoint. Note the longer wait times, for dine-in and take-out alike.
Stool Presidente gives this place a 8.2. I would have to agree. Very, very solid New York pizza, cute neighborhood vibes, and the Italian men who work there never make me feel uncomfortable (which is surprisingly, or maybe unsurprisingly, more difficult to find in 2019). Note: the Buffalo Calamari is also worth ordering as long as you are not averse to some heat!
Italian: Cafe Buon Gusto
In an interview with the Eater, Anthony Bourdain once called the UES “a wasteland for food”. If there is one restaurant I have tried in the neighborhood that refutes this opinion, it’s Cafe Buon Gusto. Homemade spaghetti, vodka sauce, add fresh mozzarella. I would not be surprised if they are hiding dairy cows in the back — the cheese is that fresh.
Ramen: Peng’s Noodle Folk
Objectively, this is not great ramen. Admitting that up front. However, with a very small selection in the area, Peng’s Noodle Folk achieves the goal of providing a warm, cheap, noodle-y bowl of a soup on a winter’s day, and sometimes that’s all you can ask for. Go in with the right expectations and you shouldn’t be disappointed. Refer back to Anthony Bourdain’s “wasteland” comment.