Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Aug 12, 2006 12:47 PM

some help planning NYC trip November

Hi there. Myself, my partner and best friend are coming to New York in November from Glasgow, Scotland and I need some help to maximise our eating experience. I have been the last two years in a row and obviously love the place and have a list of places I would like to eat but also to incorporate it into what shopping we want to do. I have tried to group things by areas to cut down on time wastage..

So, places I would like to go

Friday night hwen we arrive-Pizza- Johns on Bleecker, coming from the UK I thought the pizza here was great but I know that there rages a debate about the best pizza in New York the contenders being Di Fara, Lombardi's etc but this is convenient for us, however we do hope to head out to Brooklyn..

Saturday-shopping UES
Lunch- Cafe Boulud
Snack-Burger Joint
Dinner- Grand Sichuan International/Momofuku

Sunday-shopping Soho-Help here needed!
Breakfast-Balthazar/Jane/Prune/Mercer Kitchen which to choose?

Lunch?- something light due to proposed dinner
Dinner- Jean Gorges

Breakfast this may not be important due to likelihood of tasting menu night before
Lunch-Le Bernardin
Dinner- this will be prior to going to the airport for nine.

Other places that we intend on going
Katzs for a sandwich
Nickys Vietnamese Sandwiches for a sandwich
would really like some sushi but can't pick between
Sushi of Gari
Seki or Yasuda.. any ideas?

Due to jet lag I was going to keep Jean Gorges for dinner to the last full day ie Monday. Is there any truth to the urban myth about eating on certain days in restaurants or does this not apply to a city like New York?

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. One thing that would help is for you to list the places you've already been to and which ones you liked. But in the meantime, here are some ideas:

    Sunday-shopping Soho-Help here needed!

    Have a look at the items for sale at Pearl River, 477 Broadway, between Broome and Grand:

    Breakfast-Balthazar/Jane/Prune/Mercer Kitchen which to choose?

    I haven't been to any of those but have seen the greatest number of negative reactions to Mercer Kitchen, so perhaps you should avoid that place. Balthazar has gotten a lot of praise, but keep in mind that although it's hard to get in without reservations, it's really a brasserie, not a fancy, haute cuisine restaurant.


    How about getting your banh mi for lunch at Banh Mi Saigon, Mott St. between Grand and Hester? Eat your sandwich in the park on Mulberry and Spring, a few blocks north and one block west.


    You could go in several different directions, but if you've worked off your banh mi enough, you could go to Katz's for dinner and enjoy a daily double of great sandwiches! It might be crowded on a weekend, but the pastrami will be just as good. Remember not to lose your ticket and tip the counterman at least $1 per sandwich.

    Another possibility would be to go for Chinese food. I'm not sure how good the Chinese food is in Glasgow, so I don't know whether a really good Cantonese restaurant like Congee Village on Allen St. just south of Delancey or a good Shanghainese restaurant like Yeah Shanghai (though only mediocre at best compared to restaurants in Shanghai) on Bayard St. (one block south of Canal) between Mott and the Bowery would be underwhelming to you. I'm not sure if I dare to recommend Malaysian food at Skyway (Allen St. between Division and Canal), presuming that you may have been to really excellent Malaysian restaurants somewhere in Britain, but as someone who's lived in Malaysia and is intimately familiar with Malaysian food, I will vouch for their main dishes as tasting right and tasting very good to great. Good satay, too.

    For one of your breakfasts, you should probably get bagels. When I lived on the Upper West Side, I used to like the bagels at Absolute, 107 St. and Broadway, and I hear they're still considered the best in Manhattan by many connoisseurs. If you want to eat them outside, there's a park in the triangle between 107 and 106 Sts. between Broadway and West End, with benches, or you could walk another block west to Riverside Drive and go into Riverside Park for a picnic and a view, depending on the weather. November can be very chilly and windy, but not always.

    Another thing I'm sure you can't get in Glasgow is Dominican food. The Dominican food you'll get here is not fancy but informal, down-home, inexpensive food. Many people think that El Malecon (Amsterdam between 97 and 98 Sts. or 175 St. and Broadway) makes the best pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken) in Manhattan, and they also have good sides, rotating daily specials, and some nice desserts if you're still hungry. Consider having lunch there once while you're in New York. If you do, I'd strongly counsel you to get a half pollo a la brasa plus sides (red or black beans and white or yellow rice or tostones [fried unripe, starchy plantains] or yuca [cassava] with or without platanos maduros [ripe, sweet plantains, also fried]), because that's what they're best known for and do best of all.

    1. "Breakfast-Balthazar/Jane/Prune/Mercer Kitchen which to choose?"

      I would go with Prune, though know that unless you get there very early you will have to wait for a while. But a table for 2 is not so hard, so get there early (11)

      I second the motion for the Mott St Bahn-Mi. If you are to have ONE Bahn Mi it should not be Nicky's.

      I think that the suggestion of Latin food is a good idea, as you probably don't have great examples in Scotland. I would suggest Brazilian food at Casa, in the W. Village- if you want something fancier, or Arepas at Caracas arepas bar. This will be a cheap and low-key dinner, but IMO the best latin-american food experience in NY.

      A weekday breakfast option can be Clinton Street Baking Co, which has great food but it is impossible to get in on the weekends.


      1. My post triggered a debate with my husband regarding the best LA food. First, I must correct myself and say that Caracas is the best Latin food in Manhattan- for real, fab LA food you must go to Queens, and maybe Brooklyn. In my evaluation I am considering price (very affordable), authenticity, and a nice space to eat.
        If you go to Casa for Brazilian, we recommend Moqueca (sea food stew) and Bobo de Camarao.

        1. Sunday in SoHo.

          You've listed some of my favorite places. I would go to Mercer Kitchen if your idea of brunch leans on the savory side. They have great soups but minimal sweets. Balthazar has great pastries...but is it overpriced...probably. I've personally wanted to go to Prune forever. I would go to Prune!

          Dinner...I would go to Otto's. A salad, light pizza ,and gelato in a warm italian atmosphere ...just sounds so good after shoppping all day. Olive oil gelato...mmmmm


          I would agree with Clinton St. Baking Co. Their pancakes with the holy maple butter is an unstoppable combination. It's not busy on the weekdays but it's still SO good. I don't know where you are going to be for lunch...but I love Cafe Zaiya which has two locations. It's a really small informal Japanese cafe. It has fun things to snack on like rice triangles (sorry i don't know the right name, Crab salads with seaseme dressing that is amazing, and steamed buns. One of the Cafes is just below st. marks near astor place. Other hounds will have to fill in on more specific addressses if you are interested. Your meals sound so yummy, have fun.

          1. Hi...a few thoughts:

            -- consider having your Balthazar breakfast on Monday instead of Sunday...Sundays there are a zoo, while weekday breakfasts (and late afternoon oysters) are more mellow neighborhood experiences...

            -- consider going to Jewel Bako for your sushi, provided you get a seat at the 6-seat sushi bar, and try the red&white wine pairings...Yasuda is of course wonderful but is a more austere experience, and Sushi of Gari i didn't care for at all...i'd also recommend Ushi Wakamaru for your sushi dinner...

            -- Lupa might be a nice choice for one of your other meals, especially now that they are open all afternoon...

            -- i'd also recommend getting a bagel&lox to go at Russ&Daughters, right near Katz's...

            -- Chinese food: i love Grand Sichuan...and for Chinatown roast meats and salt-baked squid, NY Noodletown is a classic no-frills place...or you could get dimsum at either Golden Bridge or Triple 8 (East Broadway)...

            -- if you like Japanese soba noodles: i'd recommend either high-end Honmura An (on Mercer St. and definitely a fun choice for your Soho shopping day) or the hidden, much cheaper Soba Koh, on 5th St, betw 2nd/1st Ave. which has Hokkaido specialties...

            -- if you have space/time for another high-end meal or elegant snack, try the cheese plate at Picholine...personally, i like dining at the small bar tables there: sharing an appetizer or two, and then getting cheese...

            Have fun!