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The Lowdown on Union Square Cafe

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Where: Union Square

S&S Rating: 5/10

Zagat Rating: 27

Price: $20-$30 per dish

Good For

  • Intimate Italian meals
  • Not much else: I honestly think you can find way better Italian places in the city for these prices.

Bad For

  • Hungry patrons: Expect reasonably small portions. I actually ate an entire bratwurst at the Union Square Holiday Market afterwards because I wasn't full enough.
  • The claustrophobic: Like at most Italian restaurants, you're squeezed into a tiny table between dozens of other likewise tiny tables.

Don't Miss

  • Butternut squash tortelli, which is basically like ravioli filled with creamy sage brown butter and savory butternut squash, then topped with tart cranberries
  • Apple cinnamon donut for curbing pastry cravings

Skip On

  • USC Hangtown Fry, which is an omelette topped with fried oysters and mixed greens. After trying this dish, I've decided once and for all that oysters are meant to be eaten raw and drizzled with lemon juice, not fried to a gooey mush.
  • Bread basket: warm bread, soft butter. How hard is that for restaurants to understand?