These Are the 11 Best Restaurants Near the Guggenheim NYC

Consider the Guggenheim’s renowned Frank Lloyd Wright-designed space, and how it provides one of the world’s most unforgettable museum experiences. After you’ve taken your winding stroll up the spiral and back down again, you’ll need a restaurant to absorb it all—as well as a place to eat, drink, and discuss what you've seem. These spots provide the perfect Upper East Side ambiance and satisfying meals to keep you immersed in NYC culture for hours on end. If you find yourself ready for another museum, The Met is located only a few blocks away on Fifth Avenue’s Museum Mile. Otherwise, Central Park is footsteps away across Fifth Avenue from the Guggenheim!

Naruto Ramen


Check out the shoyu-style ramen at Naruto Ramen. This small soup shop is quick, affordable, and always flavorful. It's easy to recommend their hearty bowl of ramen with curly noodles, fish cake, bean sprouts and your choice of protein, or try a spicier variation. You could also opt for a plate of chicken teriyaki or curry, as well as appetizers like their edamame or buns. The lunch specials are affordable, too. The only trouble is finding a counter seat (but once you do, you’ve got a front-row seat to the open kitchen). 1596 Third Ave., 212-289-7803,

Shake Shack

Located just pff the 4/5/6 subway stops on Lexington Ave., Shake Shack is another one-and-done option with New York street cred to spare. Their burgers, fries, and shakes can hold their own against an onslaught of competitors, to which the constant crowds will easily attest. This locale also offers a large outdoor seating area so you can enjoy your burger al fresco in good weather. 154 E. 86th St., 646-237-5035,

Cafe Sabarsky

A few blocks away from the Guggenheim is another major art institution, the Neue Galerie, where Cafe Sabarsky draws Austrian cafe enthusiasts and museum goers alike. The restaurant's atmospheric antique fixtures highlight the sweetness of a pastry selection that includes the apple strudel and chocolate rum cake. Order a Kleiner Brauner coffee, and you’re good to go for the afternoon. The all-day menu also includes Austrian entrees like beef goulash with spatzle, as well as sandwiches, salads, and a wine list. The menu was curated by Michelin-starred chef Kurt Gutenbrunner. 1048 Fifth Ave., 212-288-0665,

Cafe D’Alsace

Cafe D'Alsace

Slip into this French bistro, only two blocks from the new Q stop. Brunchers swear by the Eggs Petatou (poached eggs on potato salad with Munster cheese) and the Belgian Waffle. Dinner patrons opt for the Baeckeoffe—a traditional Alsatian stew, made from oxtail, bacon, and potatoes cooked in pinot gris— is a surefire winner. There are also sausage selections like the lamb Merguez, and other French staples like duck confit. In case you weren’t already booking a table, D’Alsace also has an extensive roster of beers. 1703 Second Ave., 212-722-5133,

The Drunken Munkey

Drunken Munkey

If Indian is on your mind, the Drunken Munkey brings some downtown quirk to uptown diners. The vibe here is eclectic vintage with monkeys hanging from the chandeliers and sconces. The butter chicken tikka masala is a savory and sumptuous dish of creamy, tomato-y perfection. Or select the Indian take on a crepe with a London curried chicken dosa for brunch. Did we mention that the Drunken Munkey also specializes in craft cocktails? We recommend their scotch-based Blood & Sand. 338 E. 92nd St., 646-846-8986,

Bluestone Lane 

Noticed the Australian cafes popping up all over the city? Bluestone Lane is among the best, and they'll quickly calm your craving for avocado-smashed toast or granola with fruit, served alongside a bright cup of coffee. They're housed in a large side-chamber of the Church of the Heavenly Rest with picturesque arched stonework on the ceiling. Visit for brunch, follow with your trip to the Guggenheim, and conclude with a stroll through Central Park across the street. Or, should you visit the museum later in the day, Bluestone Lane’s got a “Local’s Hour,” where they serve drinks and appetizers at sunset. 1085 Fifth St., 718-374-6858,

Kaia Wine Bar

One of the only South African restaurants in the city, the imported wines at Kaia Wine Bar are delicious, and don’t miss the $6 selections the serve during happy hour. You'll also find oysters for $1.50 all day and night! Here, the food is flavorful and homey, with selections like the BunnyChow: a bread bowl filled with Indian-curry chicken. Other favorites include the lamb burger and baked lemons with artichokes, capers, cherry tomatoes, and sheep’s milk cheese. It's a quick trip to the Ivory Coast without the plane fare. 1614 Third Ave., 212-722-0490,



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It's the beautiful, burnished Italian cafe you didn’t know you needed after the bright white walls of the museum. At Sfoglia, order a glass or bottle from their impressive wine list, and prime your palate for some of the best pasta on the Upper East Side. Stay on-theme with the Guggenheim, and reach for for their al dente fusilli, topped with house-made ricotta. Or check out the pappardelle alla Bolognese for the deep, rich flavor of their sauce. The cheese plate with homemade jam makes for a terrific appetizer, or try the butternut squash soup when it’s in season. If you’re feeling dessert (and why deny yourself?), go for the pear tart. 1402 Lexington Ave., 212-831-1402,


Yet another Italian bistro on the Upper East Side, Siena provides the pasta power you just might need after hours on your feet. Their impressive appetizer list will make you dizzy with delight. Choose from possibilities like the soft Agnolotti pasta and Burrata cheese topped with strawberries and pistachio pesto. Their spaghetti and meatballs are a classic done right, and you can't go wrong with lemon sole. 1580 Third Ave., 212-410-5588,

Table D’Hote

Table L'Hote

Near the Museum Mile you'll find Table D’Hote, a charming French cafe that does very little very, very well. What might seem at first glance to be a limited menu is only proof that each dish is made with devotion and care. Sample the French toast at brunch or check out their spectacular croque monsieur. The dinner menu features foie gras torchon with brioche bread and a beet salad with goat cheese, dill, and tarragon. As an entree, we recommend the short ribs with celery root puree and truffle oil. Magnifique! 44 E. 92nd St., 212-348-8125,

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About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau lives and writes in Brooklyn.

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