270 Riverside Drive

What We Love: Dine Like a Local in the Upper West Side

Posted 12.22.2015

Upper West Side residents are passionate about every aspect of UWS life, including the local restaurants. Here, a short list of some area foodie havens with a true neighborhood vibe—and a tip on where to find some top-notch jazz, as well:

Locals speak glowingly about Awadh, the contemporary, two-story Indian restaurant that serves as the flagship of chef/owner Gaurav Anand’s restaurant properties. Perhaps the only eatery in all of New York City to focus on traditional Awadhi cuisine, Awadh features slow-cooked dishes with bold flavors that balance elements of spice and intensity including kebabs, kormas, and biryanis unique to the region. Everything is cooked via the traditional method of “Dum Pukht,” or “the art of cooking over a slow fire,” which Anand studied with culinary masters in northern India. 2588 Broadway

Walking into Turkuaz is a transportive experience: The large tented dining room evokes a sultan’s quarters, and wait staff in traditional Turkish outfits, belly dancers, and Turkish music playing in the background complete the scene. Inspired by Turkish cuisine and Mediterranean flavors, the menu features a long list of assorted Soguk Mezeler (cold appetizers) and Ara Sicaklar (hot appetizers) that are meant to be shared at the table. Entrees include minced-meat kebabs called adana kebabs, shish kebabs made with chicken and lamb, and traditional Turkish options such as manti (steamed dumplings) and dolmasi (stuffed cabbage). Sample a little of everything at the Sunday buffet. 2637 Broadway

Sample some of the finest live jazz music in New York at Smoke Jazz & Supper Club, an intimate Upper West Side venue with seating for only about 50, which ensures every table has clean sightlines and good sound…and is close to the action. Open since 1999, Smoke builds on the legacy of its predecessor, Augie’s Jazz Bar (1976-1998). Cumulatively, the venue embodies nearly 40 years of jazz history. Today, Smoke hosts world-class musicians seven nights a week. A meal of soulful American cuisine from executive chef Patricia Williams is available as a prix fixe menu or a la carte; reservations are recommended for dinner and for the always popular Sunday brunch sessions featuring Harlem jazz vocalist Annette St. John and her trio. 2751 Broadway

The owners behind acclaimed Brooklyn destinations The Bedford, Legion, and Roebling Sports Club are taking their talents across the river and north to the Upper West Side. Their newest venture, Macchina, is an Italian wine bar and restaurant that specializes in finely prepared wood-fired pizzas. Beyond its pizzas, Macchina serves up an array of classic Italian dishes, and the baked macaroni and rigatoni are standouts. Moreover, Macchina serves expertly crafted bespoke cocktails and has a large and varied wine list. The ambiance, which is decidedly urban rustic, strikes a nice balance between traditional and modern. It’s hard to go wrong with any pizza selection here, but the cherry tomato pizza is fresh and full of flavor, and the spinach pizza with kale, pesto, pistachio, ricotta, and chili flakes is one of the most unique and delectable options around. 2758 Broadway

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What We Love: Dine Like a Local in the Upper West Side

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