Things to Do Second Avenue subway: Where to eat, drink and hang out near the newly opened stations By Sophie Hirsh Special to amNY.com Updated January 11, 2017 5:45 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email People who live and work on the Upper East Side have been floating on a fluffy white cloud called the Second Avenue subway since the long-awaited line opened its first phase on Jan. 1. The line extended the Q train to 72nd, 86th and 96th streets, all along Second Avenue. But if you don’t frequent the eastern part of the UES, your commute has probably been proceeding as normal. And we figure that while the new stations are still super clean, you should have a few excuses to visit each one. Here are some spots near the new stations that will make spending $2.75 to see a new subway station worth it. Padoca Bakery (near 72nd Street) Photo Credit: Meredith Deliso This neighborhood bakery, located at 359 E. 68 St. off of First Avenue, is just one avenue east and a few blocks south from the new Q train stop. Padoca offers mouth-watering baked goods, Brooklyn-roasted coffee, seasonal menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and brunch on the weekends. The cookies alone will make heading to the UES worth it. Maroni Hot Pots (near 72nd Street) Photo Credit: Paul Wagtouic Say goodbye to paper plates and plastic forks, takeout fans. Maroni Hot Pots is revolutionizing the to-go experience by offering a variety of home-cooked Italian meals that come in a red hot pot. Visit the brick-and-mortar location to pick up your hot pot, designed to keep the fresh food hot the whole way home. Maroni Hot Pots, located at 307 E. 77th St. off of Second Avenue, also offers a small dine-in menu. The Pony Bar (near 72nd Street) Photo Credit: The Pony Bar If you're looking for American-brewed beer on the UES, head to the Pony Bar at 1444 First Ave. between 75th and 76th streets. In addition to a never-ending list of beer, the Pony Bar has a small bar menu, and it serves brunch on weekends. House of Jai (near 72nd Street) Photo Credit: House of Jai House of Jai's yoga classes come at Upper East Side prices, yes, but sometimes it's fun to exercise on the upscale side of things. Classes include Jai Teens, Jai Tweens, DanceAsana and Mat Pilates, as well as a teacher-training program. House of Jai is located at 1456 First Ave. off of 76th Street. Blo (near 72nd Street) Photo Credit: Blo Pressure of fitting in with fancy Upper East Siders getting to you? Treat yo self to a fancy blowout or hairstyle at Blo while visiting the neighborhood. Blo's blowouts start at $40, and the salon is located at 260 E. 72nd St. on the corner of Second Avenue, right near the new subway stop. Caledonia Bar (near 86th Street) Photo Credit: Adam Taylor Scottish whisky lovers, meet your match. Caledonia Bar, located at 1609 Second Ave. between 83rd and 84th streets, boasts more than 180 varieties of Scottish whisky -- and yes, that's how you spell the drink when it's from Scotland. Caledonia also offers a pretty fun set of house rules, which includes, "Five percent off for Tinder dates, you need to prove it by showing us your initial awkward messages." Insomnia Cookies (near 86th Street) Photo Credit: Georgia Kral Let's get one thing straight: You deserve a midnight cookie. In fact, we ALL deserve a midnight cookie. And at Insomnia Cookies, you have until 3 a.m. every day of the week to snag a sweet treat. The chain has a bunch of locations across the city, and this one is located at 1579 Second Ave. off of 82nd Street. Housing Works’ Yorkville Thrift Shop (near 86th Street) Photo Credit: Housing Works Even Upper East Siders like to shop thrifty sometimes. Housing Works' Yorkville location is bound to skew on the classy side of secondhand fashion, so bring your wallet (and some old clothes to donate). The thrift store is located at 1730 Second Ave. off of 90th Street. Nick’s Pizza (near 96th Street) Photo Credit: Diana Colapietro Mmmm, thin crust pizza. Nick's Pizza is a family-style Italian restaurant located at 1814 Second Ave. on the corner of 94th Street. Nick's serves up wine, beer and did we mention thin crust pizza? They have excellent thin crust pizza. Pictured: A pie at Nick's original location in Forest Hills, Queens. Annie & Company Needlepoint & Knitting (near 96th Street) Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner OK, going to a knitting store may seem pretty random. But knitting stores are actually very cool, we promise. Annie & Company is basically a soft, giant rainbow, and the shop even offers classes and events. The knit paradise is located at 1763 Second Ave. on the corner of 92nd Street. Marx Brothers Playground (near 96th Street) Photo Credit: Google Maps If you're into Second Avenue transportation fun facts, you'll want to check out the Marx Brothers Playground on E. 96th Street between First and Second avenues. According to the NYC Parks' website, the park used to be a car barn that housed the Second Avenue Railway's trolley cars in the early 1900s. Before that, in the 1870s and 1880s, the land was a stable for horses that pulled rail cars. The Milton (near 96th Street) Photo Credit: The Milton via Facebook This prohibition-style bar offers handcrafted cocktails, reserved wines and American, Irish and English influenced cuisine. Just a few blocks south of the 96th Street stop at 1754 Second Ave. between 91st and 92nd streets, The Milton is truly an experience. By Sophie Hirsh Special to amNY.com Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.