The Sweet Shop (UES)

This is a tiny old-fashioned candy shop full of candy you love, candy you’ve never heard of and candy you probably can’t figure out how to pronounce. But you’re going to love it. You might leave this store with bags… or pounds… of candy, but it’s okay, because you’re going to be really happy and nostalgic… and it’s all very high quality. Every candy you remember from your childhood – and didn’t believe was still in existence – is alive and well at The Sweet Shop.

The Sweet Shop

  • Why it’s worth it: It’s everything you could possibly want in one storefront: a candy store and an ice cream shop. There is something for everyone here, from super modern ice cream and gelato flavors to retro sweets, including sugar, nut and gluten free items.
  • Vibe/layout: The shop has whimsical boutique-y vibe to it that makes it a gem on the UES, a downtown-y shop magically transported uptown. Outfitted in all things candy, including a handmade candy chandelier (by the owner) and a commissioned candy mirror, The Sweet Shop is decked out from ceiling to floor in personality.
  • Ideal meal: Everything.
    • Sweets: Jars of chocolate covered bacon and Oreos, sour watermelon and designed marshmallows, in addition to imported sweets from England and Sweden
    • Ice cream: Ice cream, gelato and sorbet from Oddfellows in Brooklyn and Il Laboratorio del Gelato; vegan ice cream (yes we said vegan ice cream) from Alchemy Creamery
  • People behind the ‘straunt: This shop is owned and operated by family man, Kelly Jamie, who makes all the in-house goods, his wife, Glyn, who designed the shop, and their son, Matt, who works and socializes by his parents’ sides.
  • F.Y.I.: This is more than just a candy shop; this is a home base. So much so, that one man, who consistently gets in “trouble” from his significant other for sneaking down to the candy store for an evening snack, proposed to his fiancé in the shop! …We should also mention that 3KT (Terese Giudice’s daughters’ band) featured this shop in their music video Season of Joy.
  • Address: Upper East Side, 404 East 73rd St (between York & 1st)
  • Prices: Dependent on items purchased. Watch out, they have a loyalty card.

The Sweet Shop on Urbanspoon

Heidi’s House | By the Side of the Road (UES)

Heidi's House

  • Why it’s worth it: There is nothing fast here. Every dish, every moment is prepared one at a time. Nothing fancy. Nothing large. Just right. Heidi’s House is a charming UES gem, perfect for simple, well-made comfort food, a glass or two of wine or beer and/or a round of Battleship, Chess or Scrabble.
  • Vibe/layout: This narrow watering hole draws locals in with its original tin ceilings, frayed cloth napkins, Robert Frost quotes, jazz music and simplicity. Made up of just four tables and twelve bar seats, Heidi’s House maintains a quiet glow of friendly conversation.
  • Ideal meal: The Macaroni & Cheese ($13) is melt in your mouth delicious. The gluten-free and homemade spiral pasta is a cheesy, carby overload, served piping hot in an individual black skillet. Just. Simply. Terrific.
  • F.Y.I.: All dishes are prepared individually by Chef Cipriano Pita to one’s liking and all the ingredients are from local vendors – meats from Ottomanelli’s, bread from Orwasher’s.
  • ‘Straunt tip: No reservations, but call ahead to put your name on the list!
  • Address: UES, 308 East 78th St (between 1st & 2nd)
  • Price: $11-$24

Heidi's House on Urbanspoon

Uva (UES): Mangia Monday

Uva UES Italian

  • Why it’s worth it: As you walk into Uva you are transported to a rustic style Italian villa that is perfect for a romantic rendezvous, late-night dinner or after work drink. The food is fresh and rich in flavor and texture and will not disappoint.
  • Vibe/layout: The vibe is rustic and relaxed, with seating spread between the main room, the private wine cellar and the year-round backyard patio. This ‘straunt is intimate and homey, but also a bit swanky and trendy. The decor is reminiscent of a home or dining room in Tuscany with old photographs of Italy and antique mirrors lining the walls.
  • Ideal meal: Gnocchi di ricotta ($19)
  • F.Y.I.: Uva is the direct offspring of Lusardi’s, an UES Italian ‘straunt right up the street, such that Massimo Lusardi, the owner of Uva, is the son of Mauro Lusardi, a Parma native and owner of Lusardi’s!
  • Address: UES, 1486 2nd Ave (between 77th & 78th St)
  • Prices: $6.50 – $23

Uva on Urbanspoon

East Pole (UES): Brunch

East Pole UES Brunch

  • Why it’s worth it: East Pole is the perfect combination of Upper East Side elegance and downtown fun, making it a great brunch spot for family or family friends. The ‘straunt is charming and the food is delicious and pretty to look at (which means the portions are small, but well-plated).
  • Vibe/Layout: This ‘straunt is housed in a historic brownstone and features outdoor tables and a dining room brightened by a skylight. The main dining room and bar are timeless, sophisticated and clean with whitewashed brick walls, vintage maps and subtle nautical accents. The tables, floors and ceilings are a mix of wood and plaster and lit with individual candles.
  • Ideal meal: Banana bread (and apple butter) to start ($10); Belgian corn & ricotta waffles, Phillips Farm Blueberries ($18)
  • F.Y.I.: Ben Towill and Phil Winser, owners of the Fat Radish, teamed up with Tom and Anthony Martignetti, proprietors of Brinkley’s, to open this UES ‘straunt. In addition, the nautical maps you see on the walls are from the Winser family’s personal collection.
  • Address: UES, 133 East 65th St (between Lex & Park)
  • Prices: $7-$25

The East Pole on Urbanspoon

The Meatball Shop: Mangia Monday

When you’re looking for an apartment in NYC, make sure you not only check the distance to the nearest subway, but also to the nearest Meatball Shop. We’re serious.

The Meatball Shop

  • Why it’s worth it: You know those times you just really crave balls. Get your mind out of the gutter – I’m not talking about R-rated balls, just some tender, sauce lathered meatballs, over some delicious pasta and topped with shaved parmesan. The Meatball Shop is our go-to spot with visitors and friends… because there are options for everyone.
  • Vibe/layout: This ‘straunt, no matter the location, is trendy and dimly lit, bumping hip hop through the speakers, serving homemade ice cream sandwiches and creating masterpiece meatballs.
  • Ideal meal/”The Usual”: 4 chicken balls with classic tomato sauce ($8) over rigatoni ($5) with family jewels (fried egg; $1) and a chicken pesto meatball slider ($3)
  • F.Y.I.: This ‘straunt neither takes reservations nor delivers… it’s that good.
  • Addresses:
  •  Prices: $5-$11 per item

East End Kitchen (UES): Brunch

Trapped in Yorkville on a Saturday or Sunday morning and don’t know where to brunch? Or simply looking to try out your childhood enemy, green eggs and ham? Your UES brunch gem is: East End Kitchen.

East End Kitchen

  • Why it’s worth it/Vibe: Upper East Siders can now dig into seasonal American brunch plates (which come with a complimentary beverage) at this rustically elegant ‘straunt, which is heavily decorated with antique mirrors, schoolhouse lights and leather banquettes.
  • Ideal meal: Brunch pizza ($15, tomato basil sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, crispy bacon, two eggs any style) or green eggs and ham ($15, scrambled eggs, arugula pesto, country ham, roasted potatoes, toast)
    • Your brunch includes your choice of one of the following: Maplejack Apple Pie (house specialty cocktail), Sobieski Bloody Mary, Mimosa, Orange Juice, Organic Coffee, or SerendipiTea
  • F.Y.I.: This ‘straunt uses organic produce, sustainably sourced seafood and grass-fed meats.
    • If the line is long, put your name in and head east for a nice stroll on the East River Promenade.
  • People behind East End Kitchen: Husband-and-wife owners Allan and Diane Carlin are longtime neighborhood residents who open this ‘straunt because they wanted to fill a void of “casual” “thoughtful” ‘straunts in the area.
  • Address: Upper East Side, Yorkville, 539 East 81st Street (Between East End and York)
  • Prices: $8-$18

East End Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Caffe Buon Gusto (UES): Mangia Monday

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  • Why it’s worth it: Caffe Buon Gusto serves delicious and very reasonably priced Italian favorites such as homemade ravioli and penne alla vodka. This is a mix-and-match pasta ‘straunt, where you can choose your meats, your pasta and your sauce to create your personal, fresh and delicious dish!
  • Vibe: This charming and small ‘straunt exudes intimacy and comfort! Great for a date night or for catching up with a friend!
  • Layout: This ‘straunt is tiny with around 10 tables and no bar area.
  • F.Y.I.: 50% off wine on Sundays
  • Ideal meal: Gnocchi with pesto sauce
  • Address: Upper East Side, 236 E. 77th St (between 2nd and 3rd Ave)
  • Prices: $6-$18

Caffe Buon Gusto on Urbanspoon