5 Delicious Restaurants I Discovered At An UWS Food Festival

I find people generally fall into one of two camps when it comes to food festivals: you either love em’ or you hate em’.  And generally speaking, festivals in the city can be overcrowded, feel like a battle for tiny samples of food, and (since most take place during the summer months), really HOT.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the food festival I attended this past weekend, New Taste of the Upper West Side, was the exception to all the above.  While the line to get in was long (wrapping around the block!), it moved seriously fast, and we were inside in less than 10 minutes.  (Kudos, staff!)  The food tastings from 42 UWS restaurants were generous (after making the tent round we were seriously full–some tables, such as Shake Shack, even gave full sized burgers!)  And best of all, the festival was located inside a tent, so attendees were saved from the June heat.  Gold stars all around, New Taste of the UWS!

My favorite part of the festival was discovering new restaurants to dine at AFTER the festivities were over.  Based on the tastings, here’s the 5 UWS restaurants I can’t wait to try:

  1. Momofuku Milk Bar (because those b’day cake truffles BLEW ME AWAY)
  2. Papparedella (a fluffy little pasta stuffed with cheese and pear, drizzled with black truffle and parmigiano makes for a delightful summer pasta)
  3. Ella Kitchen and Bar (veggie empanadas stuffed with spinach and corn and lots of manchego cheese, drizzled with a chipotle aioli is RIGHT up my alley)
  4. Communal Oven & Earth (my hubby raved about the mini lamb sliders all night long)
  5. Birdbath Bakery (a pretty dessert wins lots of points in my book, and the adorable blueberry-lemon tart with edible flowers was an Instagram waiting to happen)

Would love to know…are you a food festival fan?  Any favorite restaurants on the UWS I should add to the list?  Let’s talk below!


  • Hi,

    Love to see this post.

    It looks very yummy, you capture all of the foods very well.You made a pretty great food tour there.

    This is awesome! I know it can be really hard finding good dinning spots, especially when you’re in a new place. Glad to see you didn’t have much of a problem with it there!

    Thanks for being sharing..

    Julie M. Stowers

  • Morgan says:

    Mm, all of these dishes look absolutely delicious! It’s so much fun to explore new dining areas, especially if you’re in a new place. It sounds like you really enjoyed your experience! Very cool! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Oh my. I need to drop by these restaurants. fast! lol

  • Mmmmm, this is making me really hungry! I’m not big on food festivals but this one sounds amazing and well run. Free burgers? How generous. I love the name of the bakery. Birdbath? Not typically something you would correlate with a bakery but very cute. Nice review, Jess!

  • So sad but I tried to go to Communal, one of my fav lunch spots, yesterday but IT’S CLOSED! Wes tried to make a reservation for Telepan (another fav) – also closed! Waaaa. I have to try Ella. It’s by the same people as Communal. I also like Spring Natural Kitchen for a healthy lunch. Thankfully – it’s still open!!

  • Birdbath Bakery is such a great name and I love edible flowers

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