Tyrolean cheese dumpling served at Hütte on Second Avenue
Tyrolean cheese dumpling served at Hütte on Second Avenue/Elizabeth Blasi for Upper East Site

Travel the World with the Best Global Eats on the Upper East Side

MANHATTAN – Looking to expand your culinary palette by introducing new international cuisine and dishes to your diet in 2022? You’re in luck. The Upper East Side is home to some of the most flavorful and diverse range of restaurants that span our world’s six continents (sorry, no Antarctica-icy flavors here). Whether you’re feeling Spanish tapas or authentic South African plates, our neighborhood has the options for you!

🇦🇹 Austria

Hütte

Escape Manhattan and hide away in an authentic Alps ski lodge at Hütte. What we love about this restaurant is that it’s a true hidden gem– really.

Behind Schaller and Weber Sausage Bar on Second Avenue between East 85th and 86th Streets, is a discreetly marked door– look for the golden plate reading Hütte to the right. Once you walk in, walk straight down the stairs and venture into their back patio where heaters greet you in a wonderful ambiance! 

Entrance to Hütte next to Schaller & Weber/Upper East Site
Entrance to Hütte next to Schaller & Weber/Upper East Site

What to order: With so many traditional Austrian dishes on the menu, it’s hard to choose just one! Suggestions for the table include: the wiener schnitzel, Tyrolean cheese dumpling, vegetable spätzle and cheese fondue. 

Wiener Schnitzel from Hütte on Second Avenue
Wiener Schnitzel from Hütte on Second Avenue/Elizabeth Blasi for Upper East Site

Fun Fact: Hütte is their seasonal Fall and Winter restaurant (serving us major alpine lodge vibes). In the Spring and Summer, the restaurant then turns to Blume, an Austrian garden theme. 

The back patio inside Hütte on Second Avenue
The back patio inside Hütte on Second Avenue/Elizabeth Blasi for Upper East Site

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🇨🇳 China

Pig Heaven

A favorite of the New York Times and a Crown Princess of Greece– there’s a good reason why Pig Heaven has risen to the top of our list when there are so many wonderful and authentic Chinese restaurants in our neighborhood– everything is incredibly delicious.

Located on Third Avenue between East 80th and 81st Streets, Pig Heaven’s barbecue spare ribs were voted one best in the city– with the highest ratings on Yelp.

Pig Heaven on Third Avenue serves Chinese cuisine/Upper East Site
Pig Heaven on Third Avenue serves Chinese cuisine/Upper East Site

What to order: In addition to the BBQ spare ribs, you can’t go wrong with their Peking duck, pork dumplings, crispy orange chicken and the beef and broccoli. 

Runner up: Xi’an Famous Foods for the best noodles in the city.

🇫🇷 France

AOC East 

Immediately transport yourself to a romantic Parisian restaurant by stepping into AOC East!

Live your best Emily in Paris moments at this restaurant, located on First Avenue near the corner of East 83rd Street, by sitting at the bar and chatting away with the incredibly friendly staff– or order a bottle of French wine for a girls’ night at one of the tables in the back.   

Eating like Emily in Paris at AOC East
Eating like Emily in Paris at AOC East/Elizabeth Blasi for Upper East Site

What to order: The mussels con frites are a classic staple. Pair with your favorite glass of white wine on the menu.

Fun Fact: Stop by for live music at AOC East every Wednesday.

AOC East French restaurant on First Avenue/Upper East Site
AOC East French restaurant on First Avenue near East 83rd Street/Upper East Site

🇬🇪 Georgia

Oda House

When thinking of international meals, authentic Georgian food may not come to mind– but it should. Oda House on East 73rd Street between First and York Avenues is the real deal. Imagine fresh cracked eggs melting in scorching cheese surrounded by homemade dough. If that doesn’t paint the perfect picture, we’re not sure what will.

When at Oda House, be sure to order the khinkali and the Adjaruli
When at Oda House, be sure to order the khinkali and the Adjaruli/Elizabeth Blasi for Upper East Site

What to order: The khinkali (boiled or fried dumplings), and the Adjaruli (a cheesy bread bowl).

Fun fact: If you’re starting off 2022 on a healthy note, Oda House has Keto friendly dishes that use almond flour for their authentic Georgian dishes instead of traditional flour. Great for gluten-free, whole30, paleo, keto and more. 

Oda House on East 73rd Street serves Georgian cuisine/Upper East Site
Oda House on East 73rd Street serves Georgian cuisine/Upper East Site

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🇭🇺 Hungary

Budapest – Andre’s Cafe & Bakery 

An unpretentious bakery sitting on Second Avenue between East 84th and 85th Streets is a wonderful nod to Eastern Europe in our little neighborhood. Complete with a few tables in the back, order from the menu full of traditional Hungarian dishes.

Budapest Cafe on Second Avenue/Upper East Site
Budapest Cafe on Second Avenue/Upper East Site

What to order: For savory, you can’t go wrong with goulash, stuffed peppers, or Rakon Krumpli (layered potatoes). For sweets, anything on their menu! Some token favorites are the strudel, palacsinta (Hungarian crepes), and rugelach– this journalist’s personal favorite. 

Fun Fact: Their lunch special, served from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Thursday, offers a cup of soup or salad, choice of entree and a dessert for $19.95.

🇮🇹 Italy

San Matteo 

From Uva to Arturos, the list of restaurants with authentic flavors and delicious pastas and pizzas in our neighborhood is seemingly endless. However, when measuring out pizza versus pastas, antipasto, salads and hero subs – San Matteo just excelled in all! 

What to order: Fusilli Al Ragu, hands down.

San Matteo on Second Avenue serves Italian cuisine/Upper East Site
San Matteo on Second Avenue serves Italian cuisine/Upper East Site

Fun Fact: San Matteo has two locations in the Upper East Side, the 1559 Second Avenue location– near East 81st Street– has more menu items and is better for sitting down. The 1731 Second Avenue location, near East 90th street, offers some iconic hero sandwiches.  

🇲🇽 Mexico

Conmigo 

Like Italian food, Mexican food in the Upper East Side is plentiful and delicious. However, there’s one incredible dish that makes Conmigo, located on First Avenue between East 87th and 88th Streets, stand apart from the rest– the traditional Chicken tortilla soup. Creamy, rich, and just tasty, Conmigo delivers on warming us up this winter with their incredible soup dish.

Chicken Tortilla soup from Conmigo/Elizabeth Blasi for Upper East Site
Chicken Tortilla soup from Conmigo/Elizabeth Blasi for Upper East Site

What to order: The chicken tortilla soup

Fun Fact: If you call Conmigo for delivery, they’ll instruct you to order online and give you a $10 off code. 

Conmigo on First Avenue serves Mexican cuisine/Upper East Site
Conmigo on First Avenue serves Mexican cuisine/Upper East Site

🇵🇪 Peruvian

Mission Ceviche 

As someone who spent a month living in Lima, I was doubtful I’d ever find a spot outside of Peru that could replicate the perfect Pisco Sour and Aji Chicken. I found it, and then some! Mission Ceviche, located on Second Avenue between East 72nd and 73rd Streets, is everything I love and miss about Peru. It’s lively, delicious and each of the staff members are not only passionate about their dishes and cocktails– you can tell they are family there. 

Taste the flavors of Peru at Mission Ceviche/Elizabeth Blasi for Upper East Site
Taste the flavors of Peru at Mission Ceviche/Elizabeth Blasi for Upper East Site

What to order: While you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. In true Peruvian fashion the Pisco Sour is an incredible cocktail to pair with the Aji de Gallina, Pulpo Al Olivo, and anything from their ceviche bar. Bonus: the truffle yuca fries are deliciously addictive!

Fun Fact: Mission Ceviche has live music every Wednesday and Sunday. 

Mission Ceviche on Second Avenue serves Peruvian cuisine/Upper East Site
Mission Ceviche on Second Avenue serves Peruvian cuisine/Upper East Site

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🇿🇦 South Africa

Kaia Wine Bar 

South African cuisine is deliciously unique and Kaia offers all the true traditional dishes you could find in Capetown or Johannesburg. Head to the restaurant, located on Third Avenue between East 90th and 91st Streets, for a wide variety of dishes and protein options you’ve likely never tasted before (wild boar anyone?). Pair with some delicious wine from the Cape and you’re in for a special evening. 

Kaia Wine Bar on Third Avenue serves South African cuisine/Upper East Site
Kaia Wine Bar on Third Avenue serves South African cuisine/Upper East Site

What to order: The lamb burger is an iconic staple at Kaia that is well rated on their Yelp and Google reviews. Keep in mind they don’t recommend ANY substitutions– you must order their iconic burger as is.

Fun Fact: Kaia is on the NYC deals app Pulsd, where you can get a three-course dinner for two, for only $65 dollars!

🇪🇸 Spain

Pil Pil

What’s special about authentic Spanish-style tapas is the option to fill an entire table with a variety of dishes with all different flavors and share it amongst loved ones. Pil Pil, located on East 78th Street near Second Avenue, delivers just that. Sit at one of their long wooden tables with a friend– or four– and fill your table with meats, cheeses, seasoned veggies and impeccable seafood. 

Get your Spanish-style tapas fix at Pil Pil/Elizabeth Blasi for Upper East Site
Get your Spanish-style tapas fix at Pil Pil/Elizabeth Blasi for Upper East Site

What to order: Pulpo a la gallega (octopus), patatas bravas (fried potatoes), mac and cheese croquettes and the pollo picante (chicken wrapped in jamon).

Fun fact: Pil Pil offers a signature brunch option that gives you the opportunity to select a region of Spain and the chef curates the most authentic dish for you.

Pil Pil on East 78th Street serves authentic Spanish tapas/Upper East Site
Pil Pil on East 78th Street serves authentic Spanish tapas/Upper East Site

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🇹🇭 Thailand

Bua Thai 

What do you get when you combine the best of southern, northern, and fusion Thai dishes? The menu at Bua Thai on Second Avenue between East 83rd and 84th Streets. Combined with Japanese ramen offerings, Bua is unique in style, taste, and delivery. While it does stray from tradition in some ways, it’s one of the only Thai restaurants in the city where you have an authentic pok pok salad. 

Phuket noodle soup at Bua Thai/Elizabeth Blasi for Upper East Site
Phuket noodle soup at Bua Thai/Elizabeth Blasi for Upper East Site

What to order: Pad see-ew, Phuket noodle soup and Pok Pok papaya salad.

Runners Up: Up Thai and Thep Thai are wonderful alternative options on the Upper East Side.

Bua Thai on Second Avenue serves Thai cuisine/Upper East Site
Bua Thai on Second Avenue serves Thai cuisine/Upper East Site

Have a favorite international dish or restaurant we’ve left off our list? Comment with your recommendations below, we’d love to hear from you.

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