NYC: 6 More Places To Eat And Drink Very Well On The Upper East Side

Uptown grub (clockwise from top left): The Post House, Peking Duck at Philippe, Rouge Tomate, omakase at Yakitori Tori Shin.

We've already dispelled the notion that the Upper East Side is a culinary wasteland and helped you navigate the dining scene in the East 70s and 80s. But suppose you find yourself hungry after a leisurely (tiring?) afternoon spent browsing the world-class shopping on display lower on Madison and Fifth Avenues. Let's begin by stating that you'd be quite the fool to sit for lunch at any of the department stores that grace this part of the city, unless you're in the mood for a $29 "seasonal salad." In the interest of keeping things original, we'll also leave off the more extravagant meals that can be enjoyed at some of the well-known establishments in the area, such as Daniel and David Burke. Here are six restaurants – each featuring a different type of cuisine – to seek out in the East 60s.

1. Sushi Seki

It's located in the middle of a noisy block on First Avenue with a nondescript exterior, a somewhat dingy interior and a suspiciously late closing time (3 a.m.). And all of this is home to some of the freshest fish in the entire city. Appearances really can be deceiving when discussing New York's top sushi joints. Snag a coveted seat at Seki's front bar for a decently priced omakase ($80) that includes spoonfuls of buttery uni and sweet, tender amaebi. Set plates of nigiri and sashimi go for $30-$40 and the spicy scallop cut roll is not to be missed. Did we mention that they're open until 3 a.m? 1143 First Avenue, 212-371-0238,

2. Yakitori Tori Shin

Did you know that you could grab a last-minute table at a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York for pretty much any time slot and leave with the contents of your wallet still (mostly) intact? No, you didn't. Sit at the counter at the yakitori specialists and order from three-bite sized skewer selections that range from different parts of chicken to Kobe beef to various meat organs. Tasting plates (either skewers only or appetizers, sides, skewers and rice dishes) that start at $50 are one of the best bargains – and undiscovered treasures – of the city. 1193 First Avenue, 212-988-8408,

3. Maya

Acclaimed chef Richard Sandoval (we got to spend a day and a half drinking tequila with him!) does his part in helping to release the UES from the shackles of subpar Mexican chain restaurants that have taken over in recent years. Entrées including filet mignon, beef short ribs and mahi-mahi step it up from traditional country fare and a rowdy $35 bottomless brunch complete with unlimited small plates is an absolute steal. There is also a remarkable tequila list. Insider tip: Make dinner reservations through discount site Savored to receive 30% off all food and drink (alcohol included) 1191 First Avenue, 212-585-1818,

4. Philippe

We may never have an answer as to why so many rappers swear by this Chinese hotspot, started by former Mr. Chow chef Philippe Chow (the Philippe vs. Mr. Chow debate rages on). We do have an answer as to what to order, however: Chicken satay in the famous cream sauce, gambei (crispy seaweed), Beijing chicken, handmade noodles with pork or veal sauce and Peking Duck, which just might be the best in the city. This is all an expensive proposition, but the $20.12 three-course lunch deal remains a terrific value in a neighborhood that struggles with grasping the concept of the word. 33 East 60th Street, 212-644-8885,

5. Rouge Tomate

Farm-to-table has been the rage for some time, and a recently awarded Michelin star suggests that people have finally taken notice of Rouge Tomate. The two-floored establishment is conveniently located near some of the East Side's most heralded shopping, making it a lunchtime favorite for city socialites. You can overhear gossip about the ending of the latest episode of KUWTK over locally sourced summer squash salad and heirloom tomato and watermelon panzanella. If you don't know what that stands for, you've clearly been living under a rock. 10 East 60th Street, 646-237-8977,

6. The Post House

Colossal steaks? Check. Old world class? Check. Dinner underneath a large painting of a nude woman? Check. Throw on a shirt and tie and head to this elegant steakhouse, located in the swanky Lowell Hotel, for a tableside-mixed Caesar salad and perfectly charred Porterhouse, served alongside killer sides (our favorites are the creamed spinach and hash browns). Add on a top-notch, extensive wine list and a fine art collection, and you've got all the makings of a New York classic. Its Restaurant Week menu – yes, you can get a steak – is unbeatable, but note that it is closed for renovations until at least year's end. 28 East 63rd Street, 212-935-2888

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