Great Food Finds in Yorkville (And a Few to Forego)

1) Conte’s Meat Market (90th and York):

Cut the fat from your budget by avoiding the overpriced overhyped Vinegar Factory. Instead patronize this nearby workhorse that continues to carve high-quality meats at a price point belying a recent surge in real estate value. Service is quick, knowledgeable and amiable.

N.B. Also great for sandwiches, particularly the world-class rare roast beef. Stop by for late afternoon lunch and you’ll see a stream of schoolkids popping in for single serving ice-creams from the freezer.

2) Cinco de Mayo (89th and 2nd)

Skip the overpriced bulletproof cliché that is Maz Mezcal (after grabbing some chips and spicy avocado sauce at the bar) and head over to the humbler and better-priced Cinco de Mayo. As authentic as Mexican gets in this neighborhood, it’s especially good for breakfast. Great egg dishes and horchata for the early hours. Superbly balanced torta sandwiches for lunch. You’ll figure out dinner. If you need some bubbles, grab a Mexican soda or beer. The beverage selection, like the savory menu, is comprehensive but not overwhelming.

3) Two Little Red Hens Bakery (85th and 3rd)

Toss your Rive Gauche menu in the East River–erratic service, high prices and galling attitude–and head to friendlier shores at Two Little Red Hens.

The main money maker here is the cakes to order– high-end, high butterfat, high quality often destined for blocks west of here–but the small and affordable stuff is equally exceptional for those seeking value.

Mammoth Maple or Almond Cherry scone with a double espresso makes for a filling and well-priced start to the day. For a mid-afternoon snack, grab one of the coconut lime bars. Edge of crunchy crust, great lime taste and balance of flavors make for a vastly improved revision of the classic one note lemon bar.

If you’re dining solo, consider the individual servings of fruit pie, particularly the much-loved apple.

4) Andre’s European Café and Bakery (85th and 2nd)

Skip the ethnic hostilities at the Hungarian Meat Market, unless you’re a sausage fanatic or speak unaccented Magyar. They’re always out of the “daily special” sour cherry soup and the goulash is grammar-school glop. Save your money and wounded pride and head over for dinner with Andre. The dinner menu is a bargain, the service is friendly and the pastries up front, especially anything with sour cherries or poppy seeds are super-stars.


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