The 7 Best Restaurants for Fine Dining on the Upper East Side
In New York City, uptown has long been equated with upscale. Manhattan’s Upper East Side in particular, bordering Central Park and dotted with countless museums, art galleries, luxury hotels and high-end boutiques, is a dream come true for those wanting to experience the finer things NYC has to offer. That includes upscale dining, and we’re here to reveal our favorite fine dining restaurants on the Upper East Side.
Bring your appetite, a nice ensemble and, ideally, a reservation to one of these great spots for fine dining on the Upper East Side.
1. Café Boulud
Inside the Surrey Hotel you’ll find Upper East Side fine dining staple Café Boulud, open since 1998 and owned by French celebrity chef and restauranteur Daniel Boulud. In addition to boasting one Michelin star, the restaurant received a coveted three stars from the New York Times. The menu is inspired by Boulud’s four culinary muses: la tradition, classic French cuisine; la saison, seasonal delicacies; le potager, the vegetable garden; and le voyage, flavors of world cuisines. Try their escargot with wild mushroom and celery root for lunch, striped bass with potato purée and baby leeks for dinner or pumpkin crème brûlée for dessert.
20 East 76th Street
“I was smitten, relieved and well on my way to the firm conviction, bolstered by subsequent visits to Café Boulud, that it promises about as much pleasure in the present as it did in the past.” —New York Times
2. The Loeb Boathouse Central Park
Is there anything more classic than fine dining by Central Park’s iconic lake, watching fellow park-goers paddle by on rowboats? Landmark restaurant The Loeb Boathouse, open since 1954, serves American and European-inspired dishes of both a classic and modern persuasion, from roasted chicken to grilled octopus. On a sunny day, dine outside on the lake or unwind with cocktails at the outdoor bar.
East 72nd Street and Park Drive North
“The word ‘touristy’ is mostly used pejoratively but there’s no denying that sometimes visitors to the city know a good thing when they see one.” —Michelin Guide inspectors
Chef Daniel Boulud contributes another fine dining restaurant to the Upper East Side with Daniel, his self-titled French restaurant, awarded not just one but two Michelin stars in 2017. Guests can enjoy delectably crafted dishes starring duck, fish, caviar, foie gras, lamb and other French staples, paired with vino from the restaurant’s very own wine cellar. The elegant atmosphere, with its soaring coffered ceilings, custom chandeliers, delicate white color palette and lush floral accents, is just as impressive as the cuisine.
60 East 65th Street
“Now over twenty, ‘Daniel’ remains a Michelin-star-studded tour de force and Manhattan institution.” —10Best
4. Le Bilboquet
Swanky French bistro Le Bilboquet is where Upper East Siders go to see and be seen. Although it seats 110 diners, the dim lighting, candles and white tablecloths create an intimate, refined ambiance one would expect from a fine dining establishment. Get ready to practice your French, as the menu is written entirely in the language. You’ll want to try their signature poulet Cajun (Cajun chicken) or a bistro classic like filet de boeuf with Béarnaise sauce.
20 East 60th Street
“The air of traditional French sophistication is present in full force, and it makes for an elegant and memorable dining experience.” —NY Mag
Internationally renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s JoJo first opened in 1991 inside an Upper East Side brownstone, closing for renovations in 2002 and again in 2016. It’s now been reopened and given a brighter, fresher look, but with the same familiar French dishes like warm chocolate cake or roasted duck breast. The food and atmosphere are top-notch, and despite JoJo offering one of the best fine dining experiences on the Upper East Side, guests can feel comfortable there in casual attire.
160 East 64th Street
“The French cooking is now more seasonal at this UES jewel in the Jean-Georges Vongerichten crown that recently underwent a major renovation in its lovely townhouse setting.” —Zagat
It’s about time we listed a fine dining restaurant serving something other than French cuisine. Upscale sushi spot Sasabune doles out some of the freshest raw seafood in the city, with chef Kenji Takahashi sourcing it daily from the nearby New Fulton Fish Market. Don’t expect to find a California roll on the menu, or even a menu itself—diners eat from a chef’s-choice-only selection.
401 East 73rd Street
“A restaurant that will cripple you with deliciousness.” —Thrillist
This snazzy brasserie by Midwest-born chef Michael White offers fine dining with a nostalgic French menu fit for the modern urban palate. Located off Park Avenue, the posh space features a prominent bar in the middle surrounded by white linen clad tables and cushioned booths. The menu is sophisticated yet approachable and includes a raw bar, hors d’oeuvres, handmade pastas, rotating daily specials and breads baked in-house daily.
100 East 63rd Street
“The ability to cater to and wow folks who can eat anywhere they choose is what makes the place so good.” —Village Voice
Stay in style on the Upper East Side
Now that you know where to dine in style on the Upper East Side, all you need is a stylish place to stay. Consider renting a temporary furnished apartment from Furnished Quarters. Our serviced apartments are available on the Upper East Side as well as other Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods.