A Guide to the Trendiest Upper West Side Eateries

The Upper West Side has long been known for its incredible cultural offerings, but recently, it’s also become something of a foodie hub. As a new generation of residents has moved into the neighborhood, there has been a veritable explosion of creative, trendy eateries, from trattorias to taquerías. Here’s a guide to five of our favorites.

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

The neighborhood’s Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream is an outpost of a Greenpoint-based creamery chain that originated as a massively popular food truck. It prides itself on its cheerful, retro-infused decor; high-quality ingredients, like milk, cream, cane sugar, and egg yolks; and the same delicious flavors that gained the brand a cult following — PB marshmallow crunch, honeycomb, and mocha cookie crumble, to name a few.

Bluestone Lane

Amsterdam Avenue’s Bluestone Lane is another Upper West Side outpost of a larger restaurant collection — in this case, a chain of Australian cafés that specialize in flat whites, matcha lattes, and other refreshing drinks, alongside avocado toast, kale salads, and quinoa bowls. Like Van Leeuwen, this spot has attracted a loyal following, with throngs of millennial locals queueing up for an Aussie brunch on weekends.

Playa Betty’s

Playa Betty’s offers a playful, over-the-top California vibe, with colorful string lights, fake palm trees, and dishes such as avocado tacos and tater-tot nachos. Thanks to its numerous TVs and margarita menu, it’s a go-to spot for watching various sporting events, along with the annual broadcast of the steps-away Beacon Theatre’s Tony Award ceremony.


The Motorino outpost is one of many sought-after spots on “Restaurant Row” Columbus Avenue and serves delicious Neapolitan-style pizzas with thick, yeasty crusts and the freshest mozzarella. The outpost of a worldwide chain (with locations in only the coolest neighborhoods), the trattoria makes for a great date-night destination …. as long as you wait out the perennially long lines.

Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai

OK, so this one hasn’t opened yet, but we’re counting down the days until our neighborhood is graced with a location of Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai. The Amsterdam Avenue outpost is promising the same creamy, pork-based broth and chewy noodles that have made Kitakata one of three “giants” of the Japanese ramen scene.

Whenever you’re ready to sample some of these tempting eateries, check out the accommodations at The Excelsior Hotel and start planning your stay today.

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