Need to go on a date in the East 70s that won’t cost you more than $25 a person? Did you receive an almost rudely last-minute text from your mom demanding you meet for dinner on the UES? Go to Caffe Buon Gusto, a casual neighborhood Italian restaurant with friendly staff, old chandeliers, and really good eggplant parm. A lot of the menu here revolves around choosing your sauce and your type of pasta, but as long as you pick the creamy vodka sauce, you’ll have a very good meal. The only catch is that most of the neighborhood will have the same idea as you (it gets pretty crowded here), so we’d recommend coming on the early side or reserving a table ahead of time.
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The Penrose is one of several Upper East Side restaurants that are making this neighborhood sort of cool again. Sort of.
East Harlem Bottling Co.
East Harlem Botting Co. is a neighborhood brunch and burger spot to hang out with friends, your kids, or a TV.
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Soda Club is a wine bar in the East Village serving great vegan pasta that's cooked perfectly al dente.
Bocca di Bacco
Midtown wine bars are pretty high up there on the list of places you won't find us hanging out. Read away for the many reasons why. But thanks to good food and a good crowd, Bocca Di Bacco is the exception.
Suggested by our writers
A simple, enjoyable, cash-only Italian restaurant in the West Village. If you don’t know about Malatesta, you should.
The East Pole
The East Pole is a restaurant where you should meet a friend for a martini in the east 60s.
Uva is a rustic, cozy little Italian Upper East Side spot that is ideal for date night, mostly because it’s easy.
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