New pizzerias, Playa Bowls, sushi shop & gourmet market coming soon to the Upper East Side
New pizzerias coming soon to the Upper East Side | Marek Mucha/Unsplash

New Pizzerias, Playa Bowls, Sushi Shop & Gourmet Market to Open on the UES 

The UES is about to get a lot tastier as several new restaurants get set to fill some the neighborhood’s vacant storefronts in the coming months— including Upper East Side’s very own store from the popular chain Playa Bowls, two new pizzerias, a sushi spot and a new market featuring gourmet foods, candies and gifts.

Here’s the breakdown:

Playa Bowls

You read that right, the popular New Jersey-based chain is bring its fruit bowls, poke bowls, coffees, smoothies and juices to Lenox Hill. 

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Founded by two surfers on the Jersey Shore in 2014, Playa Bowls will expand its presence uptown with its first east side shop north of 51st Street. 

Playa Bowls is bringing ts fruit bowls, poke bowls, coffees, smoothies and juices to the UES | Upper East Site
Playa Bowls is bringing ts fruit bowls, poke bowls, coffees, smoothies and juices to the UES | Upper East Site

Located at 1471 Second Avenue, between East 76th and 77th Streets—  next door to Pick A Bagel— the storefront is covered with Playa Bowls graphics, including a look at their delicious fruit bowls, if you haven’t tried them yet.

Playa Bowls is bringing ts fruit bowls, poke bowls, coffees, smoothies and juices to the UES | Upper East Site
Playa Bowls is bringing ts fruit bowls, poke bowls, coffees, smoothies and juices to the UES | Upper East Site

Upper East Site reached out to Playa Bowls for details on their opening timeline but did not hear back by time of publication.

Madison Fare 

This new market is opening where else but on Madison Avenue, near the corner of East 88th Street, and is set to bring a bounty of gourmet foods to the Upper East Side. 

Madison Fare will offer gourmet foods, candies and gifts | Upper East Site
Madison Fare will offer gourmet foods, candies and gifts | Upper East Site

Madison Fare will offer a little bit of everything from fresh pasta and truffles from Italy to caviar and pastries— not together, of course. High end chocolates and candies will also be available in-store, as well as gifts.

The owners of Madison Fare tell Upper East Site they’re aiming for a September grand opening for the new gourmet market. We’ll keep you posted.

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Basil Pizza Restaurant

After five long years, a vacant UES restaurant space is finally getting a new tenant.

A banner for Basil Pizza Restaurant now hangs outside 1562 Third Avenue, between East 87th and 88th Streets, announcing the pizzeria is coming soon.

Basil Pizza Restaurant is opening at 1562 Third Avenue, between East 87th and 88th Streets | Upper East Site
Basil Pizza Restaurant is opening at 1562 Third Avenue, between East 87th and 88th Streets | Upper East Site

The space has sat empty since 2017 when Pesce Pasta permanently closed after spending months covered by scaffolding during construction of the luxury high rise next door. 

Not much is known about the new Basil Pizza. The banner outside the storefront says it has been serving New York since 1979, however, Upper East Site was unable to find another Basil Pizza that fits that description.

La Vita Pizza 

The second new pizzeria coming to the neighborhood is La Vita Pizza, whose ‘coming soon’ banner now hangs outside 1670 Third Avenue between East 93rd and 94th Streets. 

La Vita Pizza is coming to 1670 Third Avenue between East 93rd and 94th Streets | Upper East Site
La Vita Pizza is coming to 1670 Third Avenue between East 93rd and 94th Streets | Upper East Site

Right now, little is known about the new pizza shop, which is moving into the space previously home to Zesty Pizzeria for seven years. 

Zesty’s was evicted from the location by the New York City Sheriff in June after a lengthy court battle. The landlord claimed the business owed more than several hundred thousand dollars in unpaid rent.

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Yumei Sushi 

Finally, Upper East Siders can look forward to a new option for sushi in the neighborhood once Yumei Sushi (hopefully pronounced yummy) opens its spacious new restaurant at 1576 Third Avenue, between East 87th and 88th Streets. 

Yumei Sushi to open at 1576 Third Avenue, between East 87th and 88th Streets | Upper East Site
Yumei Sushi to open at 1576 Third Avenue, between East 87th and 88th Streets | Upper East Site

The space previously hosted the Two Door Tavern for four years. That bar and grill closed in early 2020 before the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic in New York City. 

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