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Hi-Life Restaurant & Lounge - 25 Reviews - 1503 Second Ave., New York, NY - Late Night Dining Reviews - Phone (212) 628-5433

Hi-Life Restaurant & Lounge

1503 Second Ave. (at 78th Street)
New York, NY 10021
(212) 628-5433
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


Hi-Life Restaurant & Lounge - New York, NY
Hi-Life Restaurant & Lounge - New York, NY
Hi-Life Restaurant & Lounge - New York, NY
Hi-Life Restaurant & Lounge - New York, NY
Hi-Life Restaurant & Lounge - New York, NY


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This place has both a great brunch special and sushi on Mon or Tues night. I really enjoy the ambiance and the food Pros: brunch, menu


We waited for over 30 minutes to order and another 40 minutes for our food. Our entree arrived before our appetizer. The appetizer was "family style" but constitued 11 Onion rin...

so confused 6/12/2010

I am shocked by most of these reviews. This was one of the first places I ate when I first moved to the upper east side. The dinners were mediocre at best and the drinks were so watered down and room temperature that we sent a few back. The only person who enjoyed their beverage ordered a guinness. In a bottle. I do not recommend this restaurant. Pros: none Cons: bad food more

Good affordable fun 5/26/2010

Hi Life is a great option on the Upper East Side for affordable food. A lot of groups eat here as its a nice space for a restaurant. Upon entering they have a nice lounge area where you can drink or hang while waiting for a table. Their bar has TV's in case you want to catch the game. Hi-Life's menu has amazing variety- they have great apps to start, sandwiches, pasta and sushi. Also, every night they have drink specials. On Wednesday nights we go for the $5 champagne cocktails as well as the buy 2 get 1 free appetizers. Its just a nice casual restaurant where you can get good food with normal portions and enjoy a night out with friends. Pros: Drink specials more

Good Variety 2/22/2010

This place has both a great brunch special and sushi on Mon or Tues night. I really enjoy the ambiance and the food Pros: brunch, menu more

Great Night! 11/2/2008

Stopped by last Thursday night with a few girlfriends and had a great time. Food, drinks and service was excellent. I didn't know Hi-life had a DJ on Thursdays....he played awesome music (cute too--lol). The friendly atmosphere makes it very inviting. Recommended to everyone! Pros: everything Cons: none more

Super Comfortable 10/22/2008

What my boyfriend and I love about Hi-Life is the different invironments within the restaurant/lounge. Sometimes we sit in the window, other time we request a booth. The other night we met a group of friends in the lounge. There is just as much diversity in the menu with big plates and bowls for a real sit down dinner, or small plates and sushi for a lighter meal. And for the quality, great prices too! more

Great Vibe...Needs more exposure!!!! 10/8/2008

Went on a Thursday night...loads of fun. Great food, drinks were pretty good, service was pretty good, ladies were abundant. More impressing, the DJ was great (still rocks the turntables)...takes requests (request forms are handed out by waitresses)...overall, the vibe was very much there. However, with all this said, it was a tad empty for all it had to offer. Seems it can use more exposure/advertising. Just my take. Anyhow, a must go. Pros: Vibe Vibe Vibe - Music - Drinks - Women! Cons: NONE more

Very enjoyable! 9/23/2008

Overall, a very pleasant surprise. My first instinct was that Hi Life would be trendy, as it seems to be one of the Upper East Side hotspots. However, my bunch and I were all impressed with the food, and the service was prompt and friendly. Very enjoyable! more

Thanks for the memory! 8/27/2008

I recently hosted a surprise birthday party at Hi Life for my boyfriend. There were supposed to be 10 of us and we ended up being 15. The staff was very accomodating of the last minute change during a very busy time. The food was great, and there was something for all of us from sushi to big steaks. I had a seared tuna that was incredible! more

Swanky but Down to Earth. 8/27/2008

Hi Life is both swanky (with it's leather upholstery and booths and art -deco bar) and down to earth ( with good value for the dollar and friendly service). more

Hostess from Hell 7/27/2008

Went there for breakfast on a weekend, hostess had a big attitude, gave us a horrible vibe right from the beginning, waiters and waitresses seemed like they could care less if we were enjoying our meal or not. Food was average diner food, and the bloody mary was intolerable(think tobasco with celery) NO reason to return with such a large selection of restaurants in the area. Pros: Food arrived quickly Cons: SERVICE!!! more

Two thumbs up! 1/18/2008

We had heard great things about Hi Life, but had not been there until last night. We met friends for drinks, had dinner and ended up closing the bar! The crowd was fun. The variety of the menu is amazing. Two thumbs up. more

My new favorite place! 1/15/2008

I have lived on the Upper East Side for a few years and loved the old Hi-Life on 72nd and was excited when they reopened again in the neighborhood. My girlfriend and I have now been a few times and we love it. The design has the same feel as the old Hi-Life, but is a little swankier. The food is the best for the money in the neighborhood. Most recently I had big steak and my girlfriend had some sashimi and a cobb salad. Both were delicious. Sometimes it gets a little too crowded. We met a group of friends there one night (without a reservation) and had to wait almost a half hour, but the bar was cool and they have some couches in a loungey area that were a good place to wait. All in all, this is the kind of place we've been looking for that has excellent food, fair prices and a cool scene. We love the new Hi-Life. Pros: Menu diversity and good prices. Cons: Can get very crowded on weekends. more

Okay 1/9/2008

Not great, not bad...just okay. Used to go to the old Hi-Life on 72nd on weekends. Back then, it seems it was one of city's best kept secrets. For those who didn't want to do the club scene, you could stop by, grab a bite, have a few drinks, and listen to good tunes (the DJ was pretty good). The new Hi-life, while attractive and fresh seemingly lacks the ambiance and character the older Hi-Life enjoyed. A few of my friends feel the same. Service was okay...a tad slow but okay nonetheless. Food was good. Everyone seemed friendly for the most part. The drinks were solid as I remembered them. Probably a decent lunch/dinner spot, however it just seems to lack the nightlife the older Hi-life was cleverly able to mesh in...perhaps this is by design. After a two year absence, I think there are better options in the city. Pros: Food, Drinks were good. New place looks great. Cons: Music, Ambiance. more

Abysmal service, small portions. 1/7/2008

We waited for over 30 minutes to order and another 40 minutes for our food. Our entree arrived before our appetizer. The appetizer was "family style" but constitued 11 Onion rings. Family to me = about 4 pepole and that would mean less than 3 TINY!! onion rings per person. Rediculous. We also got 4 potato skins that constituted about 1/3 of a small potato. Also NOT a sharing portion. We then waited another 25 minutes to pay. We spoke to the owner about our dissatisfaction and he was completely unwilling to offer any type of customer service whatsoever. Will NEVER return. Cons: small portions, bad serivce, long waits more

Fabulous New Addition to the Upper East Side! 11/19/2007

I do not frequent the Upper East Side often but I attended the opening party of Hi Life. The party was fun and the space is very cool. The bar scene was fun, with a very cool large table right in the front window. The dining room was very nice as well, serving sushi and a bunch of other yummy food. Definitely recommend HI Life! Pros: New, Cool, Fun, Great parties more

A "black and white" movie dream 12/14/2004

Hi-Life is perfect for the Holiday's ... I'm a semi-regular, but on a recent visit I thought I was living a "black & white" movie dream. Perhaps the icy martini served by my handsome bartender set the stage? My girlfriends and I couldn't have been happier with our dinner choices (steak au poivre, some sushi, and a giant bowl of tasty pasta), and the atmosphere was the perfect antidote for all the usual holiday strress and hype. Pros: atmosphere, delicious food, decor more

Our favorite New York restaurant 12/22/2003

My husband and I were in New York for business/pleasure and of course we had to visit all the downtown hot spots. But it was dinner and drinks at Hi-Life (on the recommendation of a friend who lives on upper east side) that was our best night out. Hi-Life has a really cool been-there- forever feel with a dark wood bar, checkerboard tiles and a lot of round leather booths. We started with sushi, I had a big bowl of very tasty pasta, my husband had a perfecty cooked steak ( au poivre?), with free salads that came with dinner. The cocktails were good too with freezing martinis and a nice bottle of shiraz. In the end, after much sight seeing and many trendy restaurants, it was Hi-Life that was our favorite night on the town. Pros: atmosphere, the food, friendly more

Cool atmosphere 10/22/2003

The service was good (not great). I had the skin-crusted salmon which was very good. More than anything the atmosphere is unique because it has a casual yet romantic appeal (the best of both worlds.) more

very satisfied 10/1/2003

What a perfect menu! They had everything on it. Everyone was happy with their selection. It was a great meeting place. Good crowd. Good Service. I will def go back Pros: menu, crowd, service more

Great Food, Great Time! 7/18/2003

Spur of the moment Saturday night "get together" at Hi-life was great. Food was great, well priced for more than decent portions. Service was more than adequate. Drinks were a bit lame but nothing's perfect. DJ played some great tunes which further made this "spur of the moment get together" a great night. Pros: Food, Inexpensive, Waitress Cons: Drinks, No Dancefloor, Somewhat empty more
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Menu for Hi-Life Restaurant & Lounge

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Owner Message

  • Hi-Life's vintage neon sign with a blinking martini glass sets the stage for a real New York experience. The 1930s decor, art deco mahogany bar & cozy booths & banquettes offer patrons (couples and groups alike) various ways to enjoy the highly rated food and perfectly prepared cocktails. The menu features flame-grilled steaks & burgers, daily purchased fish and shellfish, with "elaborate oversized pastas and salads as well." The raw bar is manned by a traditionally trained sushi chef, who presents expertly prepared sushi, sashimi and maki. Every Thurs, Fri & Sat, Hi-Life's DJ hosts the interactive "iPod Lounge", featuring downloaded song requests & your own iPod play lists ... and of course, icy martinis, specialty cocktails, 10 draft beers & wines by the glass are served every day. Check our site for Daily Deals!


  • An old classic returns to its Upper East Side roots.

  • 10/20/2007 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Kitchen Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 11am-4pm Dinner Mon-Thu 4:30pm-12am Dinner Fri-Sat 4:30pm-2am Brunch Sat-Sun 10:30am-4:00pm Dinner Sun 4pm-11pm
  • Payments:

    Discover, Visa, American Express, Master Card
  • Neighborhoods:

    Midtown, Upper East Side