1 at 79th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
72nd St. to 96th St., Columbus Ave. to Riverside Dr.
Open since 1993, Cafe Eighty Two is a small, no-nonsense diner in the heart of the Upper West Side. The boxy, 60-seat restaurant doesn’t bother rethinking the classics, and there’s no retro-50’s kitsch on the walls. When most New Yorkers are just leaving work for home, Eighty Two is full for dinner, serving up a selection of inexpensive coffee shop standards that are, as you’d expect, just okay. The predictably oversized pancakes are heavy and doughy and come with syrup packets. The Caesar salad is tossed with bottled dressing and boxed croutons. There are a few standouts: The turkey club layers moist breast meat in a hefty sandwich with thick, salty bacon; and onion soup brims with sweet onions in a rich broth under broiled mozzarella. Vinyl banquettes line the perimeter of the room, with faux-marble-topped tables and a five-stool counter in the back corner. The walls are two toned—boldly covered with textured burgundy wallpaper on top and evergreen paint on the bottom—and mounted all over with large frameless mirrors. White floor tiles and the drop ceiling add to the cafeteria-like feel.Recommended Dishes
French onion soup au gratin, $4.55; turkey club, $11