La Esquina Taqueria is, at this point, a mini chain in NYC. The tacos can be a little inconsistent, but they’re generally pretty solid, and the guacamole is made to order (at whatever spice level you want). This place is counter-service, however, so, unlike the main La Esquina downtown, it isn’t going to be somewhere you bring a date. There is, however, a little sitting area, and you can always just grab a few takeout tacos on your way home.
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Kaia Wine Bar
Kaia is a South African wine bar with good food, and it’s perfect for a low-key date night on the UES.
The food at Amali is both interesting and delicious, which makes it stand out from the rest of the overpriced stuff in the neighborhood.
The Jeffrey is an Upper East Side East beer garden and espresso bar, with great bar snacks and excellent cocktails. Be happy you’ve heard of it.
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Birria-Landia is a truck in Jackson Heights, and it’s where you’ll find the best birria tacos in NYC. Get a few, and dip them in a cup of consome.
Cosme is an upscale Mexican restaurant in Flatiron that’s much more approachable than it appears to be.
Toloache ain’t cheap, but in an area where dropping dollars on grub is a given, it’s a breath of fresh air when the food is legitimately awesome.
Suggested by our writers
Sushi Seki Upper East Side
Open late and always excellent, Sushi Seki Upper East Side is our favorite sushi restaurant in NYC. Sit at the counter and order piece by piece.
Zooba is an Egyptian restaurant in Nolita, and it’s the only fast-casual restaurant worth caring about.
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