By Chris Ellis and Seth Fera-Schanes
Our man In Morningside Heights, Chris Ellis, knows the best Asian restaurants in his neighborhood. I offered a few of my own suggestions and together we have the definitive list of the 11 places you should visit if you are above 72nd street on the west side. These spots are listed in a non-ranked order with incredibly subjective criteria. However, the bottom line is these are places we both frequent and if you are in the neighborhood looking for a bite, you should consider one of these options.
1. Xi’an Famous Foods (Chinese) – 2675 Broadway Avenue (102nd street and Broadway). Homemade noodles, balanced sauces and an authentic taste experience. Cash only (so hit up the bank or ATM before you order.) 2. Sun Chan (Japanese) – 2707 Broadway Avenue (103rd street and Broadway). Sushi, yakitori, ramen all in a cozy space.
3. Makana (Hawaiian) – 161 West 106th Street (106th street between Amsterdam and Columbus). The islands come to Morningside heights. And yes, they have macaroni salad.
4. Saiguette (Vietnamese, Banh Mi) – 935 Columbus Avenue (106th street and Columbus). Banh mi and pho in this tiny,affordable spot. Tip: get your food to go and walk a few minutes east and eat in Central Park.
5. Szechuan Gourmet (Chinese) – 239 West 105th Street (105th street and Broadway). New outpost of the midtown famous Szechuan restaurant with the added bonus of being right next door to The Abbey Pub which is a great for an after dinner drink.
6. Legend Bar and Restaurant (Chinese) – 127 West 72nd Street (72nd street between Amsterdam and Columbus). Uptown branch of the chef-favorite spicy Chinese joint.
7. KoKo Wings (Korean) – 248 West 106th Street (106th street and Broadway). Koko Wings is a newcomer to the Korean chicken wing phenomenon. Super speedy delivery and after an initial hiccup of closing Monday’s, now open 7 days!
8. Saji (Japanese) – 256 West 109th Street (109th street and Broadway.) Saji is a tiny sushi and Udon (in the winter) spot. Take out almost required, but there are two seats in the shop. Quick bento boxes available as well.
9. Jin Ramen (Japanese) – 3183 Broadway Avenue (125th street and Broadway.) The reigning ramen king above Hells Kitchen and for anyone who doesn’t want to trek to Ippudo West Side or Totto, Jin is the next best thing. Though Friday and Saturday nights have a bit of a line, it’s never too bad.
10. Mill Korean (Korean) – 2895 Broadway Avenue (113th and Broadway). Friendly staff, nice banchan (small plates of deliciousness) and reasonably priced. I like to walk around the neighborhood and stop in for lunch and usually order the bibimbap.
11. Opai (Thai) – 722 Amsterdam Avenue (95th street and Amsterdam) Go to Thai restaurant on the UWS. Generous portions, fresh and a nice spot to take friends. Drunken noodles are a great option.