Noi Due Cafe Review

by Frayda
salad, sandwich, ravioli and omelette at Noi DUe Cafe

Noi Due is a dairy cafe, located in Manhattan, NYC. The Kosher Cactus visited in April of 2021. This review was written in July of 2021. Just so you know, Noi Due also has an affiliated Meat restaurant, which is not the subject of this article. 

Where  is Noi Due located?

Noi Due Cafe, on Columbus Avenue.

491 Columbus Avenue, New York. The cafe is on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, just steps away from Central Park.

You can drive to the restaurant, but parking is often expensive in the city. If you’d rather take public transport, the cafe is directly opposite the M7 or M11 bus lines. 

If you are taking a train, Noi Due is about a 2-minute walk from the A, B and C lines 86th St station, or 5 minutes from the 1 and 2 86th St station. 

What time is Noi Due open?

The cafe is open every day from 11AM to 11PM, and is closed Fridays and Saturdays. 

What is the vibe at Noi Due?

Noi Due is a fun, slightly fancier, Italian style cafe.

The restaurant is decorated in a modern European way, with light wood, creams, beiges and pale orange colors. Drop lights add brightness and flair to the room.

The entire kitchen and bar is exposed to the restaurant, and the enormous bar area serves as seating as well.

There are a few tables outside, and most of them are strategically placed underneath the Italian-style awning to protect visitors from the elements. 

Do I need to make a reservation?

spaghetti and house marinara sauce
Get this.

Yes, making a reservation is highly recommended. You can try to just wing it, but you might not get a table. To make a reservation, you can call or look online. 

What kind of food do they serve at Noi Due?

Noi Due is a traditional Italian-style Cafe. They are known for their crispy brick-oven pizzas, and their specialty pasta sauces. They also serve salads, like the Firenze, which is arugula, roasted sweet potato, garlic, feta, and walnuts.

There are sandwiches – the Focaccia Flatbread has zataar and olive oil on top of fresh mozzarella.

The cafe also has Fish options, and meat-free burgers. 

What is on the menu?

Green on green with eggs: Green Shakshuka

These are some of the dishes that were recommended, some of which we ordered:

Spanish Cigars.

Noi Due is known for its house-made marinara sauces, and they are exceptional. These Cigars are rolled around a mix of ricotta cheese, spinach and garlic, and deep fried until the inside is creamy and warm. Dip them in the marinara, and they are *chef kiss.

Chop Chop Salad.

Romaine, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, red bell pepper, parsley, feta. This was hyped up a lot before we went, and it was good. It was not earth shattering, but it tasted fresh and clean. It had a zataar, olive oil and fresh lemon dressing.

Green Shakshuka.

I love Shakshuka. It is the ultimate brunch food, especially when it comes with hot bread- or a pita. Noi Due’s version was incredibly green, with a spinach bechamel sauce and a ton of herbs. It was topped with mozzarella and three poached eggs. The dish comes with a side of arugula (more green!) salad, and fresh pickled olives. This dish is a winner.  

Tuna Tartare,

ft. crispy wonton chips, avocado, microgreens and soy ginger. The whole dish sits in a neat tower inside a bath of citrus-honey dressing. The tuna is so fresh, it is practically still swimming. This dish is spectacular, both in presentation and in taste.

Spaghetti Marinara.

Did I mention that Noi Due makes their own marinara sauce? I did? Oh good, because this dish will blow you away. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t love a pasta dish without heavy cheese. But this… this is amazing. It is light, and fresh, and has a gentle basil flavor. It has a hint of garlic and oregano, but the showstoppers are the tomatoes. The entire dish is so, so good. (If the idea of a cheese-free pasta is making you squirm, ask for some parmesan on top.)

What else is on the menu?

internal photo of Noi Due Cafe
Modern meets rustic in the gorgeous interior of Noi Due Cafe
  • Appetizers
  • Salads
  • Brunch Dishes
  • Sandwiches
  • Pizza
  • Pasta
  • Fish
  • Burgers
  • Sides
  • Hot Drinks
  • Cold Drinks
  • Desserts

What Hashgacha are they under?

Noi Due is under the Kosher supervision of the OU, and is certified Chalav Yisrael. All wines are mevushal, and all baked goods are Pas Yisrael. There is a mashgiach on premises at all times. 

Does Noi Due serve drinks?

Yes, the restaurant serves drinks! As well as wine and beers, the cafe has cocktail options, and a full barista menu.

If you are drinking alcohol, get a Noi Due Mimosa! They are brewed fresh, and taste incredible. Strong fruity flavor, great wine and a touch of champagne. There are different flavor options, but I’d go with whatever is freshest. 

If you are staying sober, I’d go with a coffee. Sadly, the milkshakes that we tried were a little icy. 

Does Noi Due have vegan options?

latte, cigars with marinara sauce and mac n cheese balls
See those Cigars? So. Worth. The Hype.

Some of the dishes at the cafe are vegan. You can try the Impossible Burger, made from 10oz of Impossible meat. There are also vegan salad options, like La Salute, or the Green Health Salad. If you need to, you can always ask to have you animal-based protein excluded from a dish- like Red Shakshuka without the eggs. 

Is the restaurant kid-friendly?

Noi Due is kid-friendly. There are high chairs available for babies, and space that is fairly easy to navigate with a stroller. There are some options on the menu that the average child might enjoy: Cinnamon Challah French Toast, Americano Pizza or Baked Ziti, to name a few. You can also request salads without certain ingredients, for picky eaters. 

Is Noi Due wheelchair accessible?

It is. The cafe also has a wheelchair accessible bathroom. If you are concerned about navigating between tables, you can always request easy-access seats when you make your reservation. 

Do they serve desserts?

italian gelato with halva shavings and chocolate sauce
Cold and delicious, Italian Gelato is the restaurants’ favorite dessert

Yes, Noi Due serves desserts! You can try Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie, or real Italian gelato.

We opted for the Creme Brulee, which was actually fantastic. Creamy and hot inside, and just the right amount of sweet. Crisp on the outside, makes a satisfying snap when you dig in… Its a tried-and-true dessert, and the Cafe did an exceptional job at it. 

Final Thoughts

Before we went, friends recommended Noi Due with rave reviews. It was very, very good, but I think I imagined it to be gourmet, which it is not. Instead, it is a beautiful cafe. Overall, the service was good, the food was great and we had a very good time. For our meal of 3 apps, 2 mains, 2 drinks and a dessert to share, we spent $114.

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