Upstate Craft Beer & Oyster Bar is NYC's best neighborhood oyster bar. Part of its charm is its size; smaller than a studio apartment, but overflowing with more positive vibes than DJ Khaled's Snapchat stories. Everyone in the East Village knows how awesome Upstate is, and as a result it's never not busy. This is a challenge for both the diners, who often have to wait, and the owner, who has nowhere to put these people. The old "we're gonna need a bigger boat" situation. Well, Edwin & Neal's is the boat, and it's now boarding across the street from Upstate.
While you should definitely think about Edwin & Neal's as an extension of Upstate, it's not just the overflow room. The seafood-centric menu is much bigger than Upstate’s, and the raw bar is significantly more extensive. The food is solid - simple seafood that’s affordable and fun to eat. It's another great neighborhood gem by a team who are the best in the biz at forging personal connections and relationships with those who frequent their restaurants. Once you start going, you can't stop.
Like Upstate, Edwin & Neal's is unassuming, relaxed, and perfect for many things. It lacks the joyous euphoria of Upstate, but it's impossible to recreate that magic. The chutzpah, if you know what I'm saying. Edwin & Neal's can feel a little dreary at times - it's dark, and was decorated with whatever they found in Captain Kirk the fisherman's basement. That won't stop us though.
While we're most definitely down with Edwin & Neal's, we'll probably always peek inside of Upstate first before committing to E&N. It's only considered "settling" because the bar has been set so high. Oysters, please.
It's not as serious of an oyster menu as at Upstate, but they’ve got plenty of fresh, reasonably priced bivalves. They also have a more elaborate raw bar at E&N’s - lobster, crab, shrimp, and a variety of fresh seafood salads.
Little bricks of fresh from the boat fluke, garnished with avocado and some fresh parsley oil. Definitely a good place to start.
Don’t be scared kids, they taste just like chicken.
We’re going to go out on a limb here: this is the best fried calamari we’ve EVER HAD. Peanuts, cilantro, a little sweet, a little sour, a little fire. This absolutely must be on your table.
Bacon and brussels sprouts go real over the top of an oyster on the grill. Just saying.
Most restaurants will charge $18 for something like this - it’s only $11 at at Edwin & Neal’s. Not bad. Get your peanut milk and black vinegar bathed scallops on.
A steamy bowl of mussels in a simple white wine, onion, and garlic sauce. For when you’re in the mood…
Fried fish, soft buns, spicy sauce, crunchy fries. Yup, this will do.
Like Seamore’s, Edwin & Neal’s offers a choose your own adventure fish bar. You can pick from one of six different fish on any given night, and pair it one of their impressively tasty and complex sides. Some of our go-to’s include the pictured Scallops with Potato & Corn Hash, the Salmon with Fresh Corn Polenta & Brussels Sprouts, and the Skate with Cajun Rice.