Upper East Side Guide – My Favorite Spots

Upper East Side Guide – My Favorite Spots

Hi guys & happy Friday! I hope you all had a good week and a fun Valentines day. As you all probably know at this stage, because I haven’t stopped talking about it haha!, I am moving in less than two weeks eeeekkk! The time has finally come and I could not be more ready & excited. However, it is a little bitter sweet for me. Since moving to New York, 4 years ago, I’ve lived on the very same street here in the Upper East Side. I’ve only moved once throughout my time here and it happened to be to the building next door to where I was originally living. So, it’s safe to say I have a lot of love for this place and as excited as I am to move to a new area, I will miss it a lot. So today to mark the mark the end of an era here I wanted to share a little guide and all the places I’ve grown to love here over the years. I thought this would be helpful to any of you visiting, moving or living here so here goes.


Since moving to the UES I’ve eaten in a LOT of different places so it’s not easy to narrow them down but here are some spots I would make the trip back up for after I leave.


  • EJ’s Luncheonette (1271 3rd Ave) – The best French toast in the UES!
  • Bluestone Lane (1085 5th Ave) – A very cute spot near the park but be ready to wait for a table because it’s very popular.
  • Sant Ambroeus (1000 Madison Ave) – A little taste of gossip girl with good coffee and even better people watching.
  • Maison Kayser (74th St & 3rd Ave) – My favorite French spot with good coffee & delicious pastries.
  • Le Pain Quotidien (77th St & 2nd Ave) – A favorite of my mom’s every time she visits. A healthy choice too!



  • Pill Pill (265 E 78th St)  – My favorite for tapas and always delicious!
  • Up Thai (1411 2nd Ave) – One of the best thai restaurants in not only the UES but New York.
  • JG Melons (1291 3rd Ave) – ‘The best burger in New York’ and a very classic Upper East Side spot.
  • Campagnola (1382 1st Ave) – A restaurant I’ll truly miss. Amazing Italian food and a live pianist playing most nights.
  • Numero 28 (1431 1st Ave) – A great date night night spot with delicious pizza & fries.


You all know my love for coffee so I’ve definitely tried my fair share of cafes up here. I actually have a YouTube video on my favorite coffee shops in the UES as well if you want to check that out too.

  • Handcraft Coffee (77th & Lexington Ave) – The perfect spot to grab a coffee right next to the 6 train.
  • Corado (70th St & Lexington Ave) – My favorite coffee spot to sit outside and watch the world go by.
  • Hutch & Waldo (81st St & 2nd Ave) – A very fun Australian spot that is one of its kind in the UES.
  • Ralph’s (888 Madison) – The most luxurious spot to grab a coffee & a cookie in the Ralph Lauren store on Madison
  • Irving Farm (1424 3rd ave) – A great spot to work from with great (strong) coffee too.


Although a lot of the usual touristy NYC actives aren’t based in the UES, we do have some great things to see and do up here including the following two very famous spots.

  • The Met Museum – If you’ve watched Gossip Girl you will know the famous Met Museum pretty well. Believe it or not, although I’ve gone and sat on the steps many many times, I only went in for the first time last weekend and can’t believe it took me so long. A definite recommendation.
  • Central Park – Where do I start with CP. Living near the park has been my very favorite thing about living up here. Some of my favorite spots in there include the reservoir, bow bridge & the fountain but I go into way more detail in this video if you want to find out more, be sure to check it out.



I have the biggest sweet tooth ever so I’ve loved getting to the bottom of every spot up here over the last 4 years. Here are some of the most delicious places to try.

  • 16 Handles (1569 2nd Ave) (1161 1st Ave) – Our go-to froyo spot that never disappoints.
  • Emack & Bolios (81st St & 1st Ave) – Really good ice cream and more flavors than you can count to choose from.
  • Laderee (864 Madison Ave) – The famous macaroon spot that makes you feel like you’ve been transported to Paris.
  • Sprinkles (780 Lexington Ave) – Kaelin’s favorite for ice cream sundaes and they even have a cupcake ATM.
  • Insomnia Cookies (1589 2nd Ave) – If you want late night cookies this is your spot. It opens until 3am & they are delicious.



The UES is home to two of the most luxurious hotels in New York. Whether you are looking for somewhere to stay, eat in or just grab a coffee/drink these are two I would highly recommend.

  • The Carlyle (35 E 76th) – One of the most iconic hotels in NYC, if you haven’t watched the ‘Always at the Carlyle’, you should.
  • The Mark (25 E 77th) – Another beautiful hotel – the lobby is so stunning!


The shopping up here is dangerously good especially when you can walk to most places. Here are some of the best spots to look out for.

  • Designer Revival (324  E 81st) – You may already know my love for this spot – my favorite luxury consignment store, honestly so good!
  • Bloomingdales (1000 3rd Ave) – An NYC classic and one of the best for an afternoon of browsing.
  • Bandier (993 Lexington Ave) – A great spot for active wear with brilliant quality pieces.
  • Anthropologie (1230 3rd Ave) – Great fashion, accessories but best of all homeware – I love their candles.
  • Blue Mercury (1164 3rd Ave) – All the best beauty brands and a lovely place to try things & shop.



Going for drinks at the weekend is something New Yorkers take pretty seriously so the bar scene is always great. Some places I would recommend checking out include:

  • The Penrose (1590 2nd Ave) – A very fun spot on a Friday/ Saturday night and great for groups too.
  • Thep (1429 2nd Ave) – A Thai spot that does amazing cocktails & has beautiful interiors as a bonus.
  • Bemelmans Bar (35 E 76th St) – The bar in the Carlyle Hotel. It has nightly live entertainment and I’m pretty sure you could see anyone there.
  • 2nd Floor (1442 1st Ave) – A hidden bar above a deli on 1st ave with good drinks and a nice vibe.
  • UES (88th St 2nd Ave) A secret bar in an ice cream shop that I’ve been meaning to try so many times. Kaelin has though & LOVED it!




We definitely like our pampering in the UES so I thought I would share some of my go-to spots whether your looking for a mani/pedi or a blow dry, here are my favorites.

  • U & Me Nail (1470 2nd Ave) – My local go-to nail spot!
  • Mimi’s (241 E 72nd) – The nail salon I brought my mom and aunts too – it’s on the bigger side so great for groups.
  • UV Gel Nail (790 Lexington Ave) – One of Kaelin’s favorite’s for UV gels nails.
  • Heyday (1459 3rd Ave) – A good choice for a facial. I recently went there for a late apt and loved it.
  • Drybar (209 e 76th) – A spot that specializes in Blow dries only and a really lovely treat.


If there’s one thing I’ve learned since moving to New York is people who live here love to work out so there are always lots of great options. Especially in this neck of the woods including the following.

  • Equinox (1429 2nd Ave) – My go to gym for the last three years, I’m going to really miss it!
  • Rumble (1495 3rd Ave) – A great boxing class that Kaelin recently tried and loved.
  • 305 Fitness (1440 3rd Ave) – A dance cardio class that I am dying to try.
  • SLT (201 E 67th) – A very tough reformer pilates class but expect to see amazing results.

Making Fitness a Lifestyle - EQUINOX New York

I hope you enjoyed this post! I have so many great memories here and it truly is the place I got to grow up and fall in love in this city!

Have a great weekend & chat soon,

x Erika


  1. Katya

    18 February

    These places are purely awesome. Seems what you have listed down are all topnotch. East side is the best side.

  2. shannon

    22 February

    Thank you! I’ve needed this desperately as I struggle to support my husband going to HHS. Since we are not from NY, this guide will make my downtime much easier.

  3. Aine

    17 June

    Hey Eirka
    Would it be possible to do a post on Summer in NYC & things to do/ see this summer in the big Apple, please?
    I will be spending 6 weeks theee shortly.
    Thank you 🙌🏼✈️

    • Retro Flame

      17 June

      Hi Aine,

      Great idea. I will definitely get working on this :)


  4. BlazyShower

    4 December

    I love your outfit with coat on the first photo!

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