Five Local ‘Cheap Eats’ Spots Win Michelin Recognition

The Upper West Side has plenty of gourmet restaurants that receive awards and recognition, but some of the more affordable spots are also being noticed.

Michelin released its “Bib Gourmand” list this week, highlighting restaurants that feed you well without breaking the bank. Here they are:

Amelie, 566 Amsterdam Avenue (87th-88th): Amelie is technically a wine bar, but it’s got a full restaurant too and has been recognized by Michelin before. “From the French chefs, staff and owners, to that nation’s culinary favorites (moules, but of course!), Amelie is the embodiment of that winsome neighborhood bistro of your dreams,” Michelin said.

Atlas Kitchen, 258 West 109th Street: The Chinese restaurant opened last year, and has been praised for the authenticity of its dishes.

Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread, 366 West 110th Street: If you like Southern food, you’ll probably like Miss Mamie’s. “This tiny institution sports a bright, clean dining room, and is furnished with comfortable wicker chairs, roomy tables, and lots of flower arrangements. But despite its somewhat sophisticated appearance, the kitchen still embraces such tried-and-true classics as fried chicken thighs with black-eyed peas and collard greens, Louisiana catfish, and a creamy red velvet cake for dessert,” said Michelin.

And two restaurant chains that have locations in the neighborhood also won.

Jin Ramen, 462 Amsterdam Avenue (82nd-83rd): The Morningside Heights location of Jin Ramen won, but there’s also one on the UWS. “All you really need to know is that this is hands-down the best ramen above 59th Street.,” Michelin said.

And JG Melon, an Upper East Side diner, was also cited. JG Melon opened a UWS restaurant at 480 Amsterdam Avenue (83rd) last year. “Posterity will remember J.G. Melon as a classic and coveted New York institution. Make your way into this cave set upon a cozy Upper East corner, where the timeless vibe and cheery staff make up most of its allure,” said Michelin.

FOOD | 20 comments | permalink
    1. Sid says:

      Sorry, but the JG Melon the UWS is not comparable. The UES JG Melon is operated by the original people, however they sold rights to the name, and the new ones across the city (and country) pale to the original.

      • pete says:

        Agreed. UWS JG Melon is pretty bad

      • Louise says:

        The UWS location is owned by the Mermaid Inn folks. Never been to the UES one but was unimpressed by this iteration…

      • alicia says:

        I have to agree. I ate there with five other women about a week and a half ago, they all got beef burgers and I was the only one to order the turkey burger. I was so sick the next day. I would never accuse them of giving me food poisoning without proof, but it’s awfully strange that I was the only one who was so ill.

      • Bill OLeary says:

        Michelin surely meant the UES location of J Melon. They even said UES in the write up.

    2. M Warner says:

      The food at Jin Ramen is very good but the noise level is (intentionally) unbearable. The solution: take-out.

    3. William Sharfman says:

      JG Melon’s is decidedly nothing special when I’ve tried it. Not entirely sure where Michelin May have gone…..

    4. Mary says:

      I live down the block and have given Miss Mamie’s a few tries over the years, but it just never delivers. The service is terrible and food very subpar.

    5. UWSSurfer says:

      JG Melon UWS has a fantastic turkey burger.

      Their cottage fries are out of this world!
      They are crispy, round, and golden brown. They aren’t slimy, white half-moons like the ones served at most other restaurants.

      Michael, the waiter, is a delight.

    6. Fun on the West Side says:

      I’ve had good experiences at JG Melon. Sometimes the sound track can be a bit noisy. The other commenters are right that the UWS (and Greenwich Village) Melons are licensed from the original. However, I like the UWS branch better than the original on the East Side.

    7. llong says:

      Fascinating how they are clustered in two spots. Nothing in the 90s.

    8. George says:

      Did they specifically reference the UWS location of Amelie? I always think the original location down on 8th Street is what gets the attention.

      • James says:

        I agree with George, are we sure they’re referencing the UWS Amelie and not the 8th St. one? Sorry, but I’ve never heard any talk of the uptown one at all. 8th St. location is mobbed and has good bistro fare.

        • Josie says:

          The UWS one is always packed too! Plus Olivier is a delight!! Some of the best wine choices in the UWS!!!

    9. Melissa Hurwitz says:

      I almost never trust comments (I get the irony… This is a comment.) JG Melon is one of the more reliable places in a neighborhood with really unreliable food. I always wonder if competing businesses write these comments. And as for that comment about the 90s, there’s nothing good but Buceo and Malecon in that area.

      • tailfins says:

        90s do have some food options, but Awadh is probably the closest to a destination location. The rest are neighborhood places.

        Buceo and El Malecon (mentioned)
        Numero 28
        Effy’s Cafe

        Gyu-kaku is opening soon. That could bring a bit of excitement to the area.

    10. Allison Volpe says:

      This is so cool! Love to see more affordable restaurants get the recognition they deserve. Wanted to share a tip for anyone looking for a deal on transportation in NYC. This weekend I spent some time in Manhattan, and instead of using my typical Rideshare app, I decided to try something a friend recommended to me. is a non-profit and is more affordable than any other ride service. They let you schedule rides in advance and can accommodate large groups as well. Just wanted to give a heads up to any fellow NY’ers looking for a deal!

    11. Jaime López says:

      Michelin got a flat tire. 😂