Sun-Fri, 11:30am-11:30pm; Sat, 11am-midnight
1, 2, 3 at 96th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
86th St. to 106nd St., Central Park West to Riverside Dr.
Since opening in 1992, Cafe Viva has responded to the Upper West Side’s hankering for pizza and Italian dishes with a healthful twist. The meat-free establishment caters to a vegan, vegetarian, and kosher clientele—mostly locals and Columbia University students. If the décor is a bit drab (with deep-orange walls, exposed brick, and beige floor tiles all lit by the glare of fluorescents), there are 32 varieties of pie with various all-natural, veggie, and soy toppings to compensate. The best of the bunch is probably a spelt crust version in which the ancient grain imparts a slightly sweet, pleasantly nutty flavor.