Wonder – an innovative food concept that lets you order dishes from iconic eateries like Brooklyn’s Di Fara Pizza and Fred’s Meat and Bread from Atlanta, will be opening soon at 120 East 86th Street, between Park and Lexington avenues.
Originally launched as a food delivery concept in parts of New Jersey and Westchester in 2018, Wonder recently expanded with its first-ever dedicated storefront on the Upper West Side, offering dine-in, takeout, and delivery options.
While specific eateries to be featured at Wonder’s Upper East Side roof are yet to be confirmed, their website for the Upper East Side location lists the same restaurants currently available on the Upper West Side, totaling 14 different menus. This includes SriPraPhai, a Thai food hot spot from Woodside, Queen’s, and Bobby Flay Steak, which closed its only location at the Borgata in Atlantic City in 2021 but found new life with Wonder. James Beard Foundation Award winner for “Outstanding Restaurant” in 2022, Chai Pani from Asheville, NC, is also on their slate of options.
During an Upper West Side preview event in February, we had the opportunity to try some of Wonder’s offerings. We ordered the meatball ricotta pizza from Di Fara, garlic fries from Fred’s Meat and Bread, and brisket with cornbread from Tejas, a BBQ spot in Texas. Our curiosity was piqued by Wonder’s attempt to re-create Di Fara’s renowned pizza, considering its reputation as a top pizza spot on a lot of people’s lists. As the kitchen area has been off-limits to outsiders, the food preparation remains a wonder. Are there microwaves and an easy-bake oven there?
Wonder is currently valued at $3.5 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal, and its founder, Marc Lore, was the co-founder of Jet.com, an e-commerce platform that sold to Walmart for $3.3 billion in 2016. As Wonder continues to expand its presence in New York City, it’s likely a blend of innovative approaches will be utilized in their food preparation.
To their credit, we have observed that Wonder’s delivery team on the Upper West Side wears distinctive green vests with identification numbers, which allows for potential issues on the street to be addressed. Thus far, we have not witnessed them riding on sidewalks.
According to Wonder’s website, they plan to open on the UES in the summer of 2023.