HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Where in manhattan shall a Swedish family dine ?

Dear all!
we are a swedish family going to NYC for a family reunion in mid oct. we ́ll be staying at Holiday inn at Lafayette Street. I need som advices for good restaurants. my sister have never been to NYC so it should be something that will blow their minds (and tastebuds :) i am planning to take them to Gramercy tavern which i know is good but i want to find something more extraordinary. I need 3 restaurants for dinner and maybe som advice for brunch/lunch. since we ́ll be staying close to Chinatown a good chinese place would be nice too any tips?
(my mother is 75 so it shouldnt be to noisy)
thanx for you help Cheers Jacob from Stockholm

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Although it's in midtown you might want to try Aquavit to see how Sweden translates to Manhattan! We had a lovely brunch at the old location.. don't know about the new restaurant.

    Don't know if it's still a zoo but you might want to try Balthazar for lunch or brunch. A little touch of French influence (just like Jean Baptiste Bernadotte had on the Swedish royal family-:)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Gelaine

      Balthaazar sounds nice, and my mum wants to go to aquvavit but i looked at their website and it looks awfully expensive. what else is there for us to enjoy?
      thanx again/Jacob
      PS: iam impressed by your knowledge about the royal swedish family ;)

      1. re: JacobtheSwede

        I believe that Aquavit offers an excellent $24 lunch in their more casual "cafe". I think the chef, Marcus Samuelsson, is known in Sweden. He teaches at Umea Univ school of gastronomy.

    2. The Scandinavia House on Park and 38th has the AQ Cafe which is operated by Aquavit. It is open Monday thru Friday 10 AM to 5 PM. Here is a link


      1. Here's a suggestion for your chinese request: I would take your family to Pings at 22 Mott. It has a bit nicer decor than an average place in the area, plenty of interesting and mundane choices and is not too noisy. Should suit your needs for both your mother and you.



        1 Reply
        1. re: CTownFeedR

          That sounds like a good one! especially since we are staying at lafyette street. Thanx! Jacob

        2. You write: "i am planning to take them to Gramercy tavern which i know is good but i want to find something more extraordinary." but then you say Aquavit is too expensive. Gramercy Tavern is probably in the same range as Aquavit, so MORE extraordinary may cost even more. (not always the case though)

          Le Bernardin - for seafood. Should be good for your mother.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chow_gal

            Hi thanx for your reply but i looked at Le bernadin ́s website and it looks very boring ;( what about La Maremma ? i red about it at nytimes.com and it got good reviews anyone been there?
            Cheers Jacob

          2. Why not try something different for you and very american--have some BBQ? Why come to NY to dine European style? There are many in manhattan--some better than others and there is a raging debate over which is the best.
            Look up the following and see which might work for you (of course there are others):
            Rack and Soul (my current favorite--has soul food menu too), Daisy Mae (another favorite), R.U.B., Blue Smoke.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Ora

              Of all the food of all the regions of all the countries of the world, there is only one that you can't find decently prepared in New York. Unfortunately, that one is barbecue.

              1. re: Brian S

                We've all heard that view before, may be its true, may be it isn't so true anymore with all the current competition in the market place, the debate rages on. I don't think the alternative is to eat at a nouvelle swedish place in NYC, however. Why take a trip from Sweden for that?

            2. For chinese-If you could only try one, go to 'Oriental Garden' on elizabeth street for dinner or Dim sum. Mom should like it as its not too noisy. And while your in the neighborhood, pick up some roast pork buns at 'mei lai wah' on bayard street. Then cross over to 'Chinatown Ice cream factory' for ice cream. If your craving for a frozen treat, In the chinatown arcade (walk through the tunnel-to the left of Oriental garden) theres shaved ice in the malaysian restaurant.

              1. Another quiet and good Chinese place is Peking Duck House on Mott St. Get the combo meal so you get a nice steamed fish as well as Peking duck.

                1. Katz's Deli for lunch (at least once) if your coming in to NYC for that authentic ny experience.

                  Ulrika's in mid town if you must eat Swedish in NY.

                  My brother-in-law is swedish and generally he and my sis go for spanish food. I would try El Quijote.

                  1 Reply
                  1. Gramercy Tavern is excellent - we don't eat in the main restaurant but in the casual front tavern which takes no reservations and has a smaller menu - always great. The cheese course is always special and the service is the best in NY. 11 Madison is another truly great NYC restaurant.

                    Le Bernardin is not boring (although the atmosphere is somewhat formal). The fish is out of this world.

                    I agree with the post about oriental garden and other chinatown delicacies. It's a very NY experience. The Peking Duck places are also excellent. In general, New Yorkers really like asian food - you can find great thai, vietnamese, japanese, indian or chinese (but only in chinatown). Unfortunately, there are many hectic, loud places where the atmosphere is not great but the food is. For Vietnamese, I recommend Bao 111, Avenue C (Between 7th Street and 8th Street. You can see the real East Village and enjoy wonderful food, nice atmosphere.

                    Katz's Deli - yes! Casual.

                    For a unique experience, I recommend Maroon's on West 16th St. in Chelsea. It's upscale soul food - a bit spicy but very American. And the neighborhood is fun. If you are "foodies", you'll also like Chelsea Market (9th Ave and 15th St.)- only a few real sit down places there but it's a really fun place. There are terrific restaurants in the neighborhood - keep using Chowhound and sort your findings by date to make sure a recommended place hasn't closed or gone downhill. Enjoy!