Where to Eat Near the Second Avenue Subway Line

The Upper East Side is now easier to get to than ever
January 4, 2017
by Zagat Staff

Decades in the making, the first phase of the Second Avenue subway line is now up and running on the Upper East Side, meaning you can take the Q train up Second Avenue to 72nd, 86th and 96th streets. Naturally this brings to mind far east side dining that was previously a two-avenue schlep or more. Below we've rounded up some of our favorite spots to eat near the new stops.

Cocktail Bar · East 70s · $$$

From the brothers behind The East Pole, this upscale Yorkville American features oysters, local meats, seasonal vegetarian dishes and fresh cocktails. The attractive interior has a marble bar and counter seating, as well as dark, glossy banquettes.
Jones Wood Foundry
European · East 70s · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

An “inviting” “neighborhood haunt” , this Yorkville pub supplies “solid” British staples (think “fish ’n’ chips as it should be” ) chased with a “big selection of craft brews” ; the “spot-on” staff and “unhurried” style suit the regulars found in the “lively bar” and garden out back.
Luke's Lobster Upper East Side
Seafood · East 80s · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.0 · Service 3.7

When “you can’t make it to Maine” , this “standout” seafood chain’s “real-deal” lobster rolls – “chock-full” of “succulent” meat with “no filler” – are just about the “closest you’ll get” (and “priced accordingly” ); the “utilitarian” , counter-serve setups suggest “takeout” , though wine and beer poured at some branches encourages lingering.
Meijin Ramen
Japanese · East 80s · $
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

Upper Eastsiders craving “noodle slurping goodness” hail this Japanese joint’s “flavorful” ramen and izakaya-style small plates (a next-door annex offers desserts and cocktails); the seating’s mostly “communal” , but no one cares given the “reasonable” tabs and “hits-the-spot” cooking.
The Penrose
Brunch · East 80s · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.9 · Service 3.7

A “hip spot” in the “otherwise unhip Upper East Side” , this “lively” gastropub lures “younger” types with a “trendy” scene fueled by “delicious burgers” and other “enjoyable” American bar bites; a “Brooklyn vibe” and “rustic” looks make it a “welcome alternative” in the neighborhood.
Sable's Smoked Fish
East 70s · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 2.7 · Service 3.7

At this UES appetizing “institution” you’ll find “unbelievable” smoked fish, “mile high” pastrami sandwiches and “unmatched” lobster and whitefish salads, plus a “helpful” staff known for “giving out little noshes” ; despite pricing that may require “missing this month’s rent” , the space is “no-frills” , so plan to “grab and run.”
Cocktail Bar · East 70s · $$

The Gilroy crew is behind this UES hang that pays tribute to all things America with a domestic beer list and classic cocktails inspired by each state. The modern fare includes raw-bar items and elevated takes on comfort-food classics, and it's all served in a warm brick-walled space with leather booths, two bars and a fireplace.
Tanoshi Sushi Sake Bar
Japanese · East 70s · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.0 · Service 4.1

Known for “fantastic” omakase-only meals at “bang-for-the-buck” prices, this “hole-in-the-wall” Yorkville Japanese racks up the “wows” with an “excellent assortment of fish and preparations” ; yes, the “no-frills” seating is “tight” , but the BYO policy is a “nice bonus.”
Yefsi Estiatorio
Greek · East 70s · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

Be “transported to Greece” at this “real-deal” Yorkville “favorite” where “wonderful” mezes are the focus and the service is “warm and friendly” ; the “rustic” , “like-in-Athens” setting can get “noisy” , but in summer there's always the “charming garden.”