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Good Restaurants in Manhatten anyone??

Hello everyone. I'm new to this site. My girlfriends and I are going on a trip to Manhatten next weekend, and I was wondering if anyone can recommend some really good restaurants to eat at, that are decently priced near or around the Time Square area, since we are staying in Times Square. Also, a great sushi restaurant recommendation would be great too, as I want to eat sushi at least once while I'm there! I don't know anything about the restaurants so if anyone can make any recommendations, that would be great! Also, places where celebs would be would be great awesome...as I want to see some celebs! :)

~Penela4

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  1. For the best help that you can receive, it is a good idea to give us price range in dollars, a list of cuisines you are looking for and whether it's for lunch or dinner.

    NYC has 5 restos per block and you are centrally located at Times square, so any additional info will garner you much better results.

    1. Thanks for your reply jfood. I would say any restaurant where it would be $25 or under for each person. As far as the type of food, that doesn't matter. I love any and ALL types of food so I'm looking for a variety. I heard Lotus had good food, and Cipriani's so I might try those out but wanted additional options. Oh, and I'm looking for places to eat dinner, not lunch. Lunch will just be on the go, whatever place we stop at as we're walking down the streets.

      Thanks! ~penela4

      2 Replies
      1. re: penela4

        To get a feel for the area go to menupages.com. They have the times square region and then you can click on various restos to see if you see any that peak your interest.

        Then you will get the input from the boards

        1. re: penela4

          Grand Sichuan, 9th Av. just north of 50th St., will cost you less than $25 for dinner, and it's great AS LONG AS YOU STICK TO THE SICHUAN, HUNAN, AND SPECIAL MENUS LIKE THE ONE FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR AND THE DISHES FOR THE PRODIGAL DAUGHTER AND DO NOT ASK THEM TO TONE DOWN THE SPICINESS ON ANYTHING. If you don't like spicy food, don't go there.

        2. I don't think you have a ealistic view of the NYC dining scene. Lotus and Cipriani are more like $100plus per person. Anywhere you want to "see celebs" will be much more than $25 per person.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chow_gal

            Not to mention Times Square is simply awful! I would spend an hour checking it out and the rest of my trip visiting other neighborhoods like the East Village, West Village, Soho, Tribeca, etc. If you limit yourself to TS you'll miss out on all that NY has to offer and not get a true feel for the city.

            Does the $25 pp include everything (drinks, tax, gratuity?) Or is this per entree?

          2. Just around $25 per person...doesn't have to be exact. Doesn't have to include drinks, tax, gratuity. I had no idea Lotus and Cipriani's was $100 per person, but then again what do I know. I've never been.

            1. DO NOT DINE IN TIMES SQUARE! Especially if you want to stick around $25 per person. Times Square caters to tourists and jacks up the prices accordingly. You probably couldn't eat at Red Lobster, The Olive Garden or TGI Fridays in Times Square for that price (maybe for lunch).

              Since we continually have friends visiting from out of town on tight budgets, I can suggest a few great restaurants that are cheap, in cooler neighborhoods, and ones that you have the possibility of sighting a celeb.

              Try Frankies 17 on Clinton Street in the LES. It is an Italian small plates restaurant with a lot of great cheeses, sandwiches, antipasti, etc. Not to mention a great wine list. The last time we took visitors there, we were seated next to Chris Robinson (Kate Hudson's Ex). Very affordable as well.

              Also, try Cafe Habana in the Soho/Nolita neighborhood. GREAT cuban food and always a hot spot for celeb sighting.

              Again in the LES is Schiller's Liquor Bar. It is a sister restaurant of Pastis and Balthazar. Great cheap french bistro type dishes, a very cool scene, and a possible celeb hangout.

              Of those 3, Schiller's is the only one which takes reservations.

              Those are just a few. There are countless of great restaurants to choose from that aren't in Times Square. My advice to you...venture to another neighborhood! You'll save a few bucks, get better food, and get a better feel for what NYC is really like.

              4 Replies
              1. re: BklynYoop

                Thank you for these recommendations. I definitely plan on venturing out to other neighborhoods, not just times square definitely. Thank you again!

                1. re: penela4

                  Tartine in the West Village is a delicious little French bistro where you can easily dine well for under $25. However, you'll need to stop at a wine shop and pick up a bottle, because they are one of the very few BYO places in Manhattan.

                  Altho Otto is owned by Mario Batali's group, I don't know anyone who has seen him at that restaurant past the first week it was open... Babbo, where he DOES cook, is a place you might be able to walk in off the street to, if you're willing to eat at the bar, but it will cost a LOT more than $25.

                  1. re: ChefJune

                    How is the service these days at Tartine? We used to go all the time. Such a tiny, quaint place on the corner. Good food. We stopped going because the service went down hill.

                2. re: BklynYoop

                  Actually Hagi in times square is pretty good and can be had for under $25 per person.

                  It's a japanese izakaya.

                3. if you are going to be in the times square area and want to stay around there, you can walk to 9th avenue and check out the various restaurants there (in the 40s and 50s). they are reasonably priced and there is a large selection. or you could walk down to 32nd street and try one of the Korean BBQ places which are fun for a group.
                  For a fun 'celebrity chef' resaturant that is reasonably priced, you could go to Otto in the west village. or if you are looking for something more upscale you could try the bar at The Modern, which isn't far from times square.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: twiggles

                    I had lunch at the bar at The Modern this week. There is NO WAY to have a full meal there for under $25 per person.

                  2. You have a good chance of spotting a celeb at any of the "better" restaurants. One idea is to go to Babbo and sit at the bar (reservations are impossible but the bar is walk in). If you order carefully you can get out for not too much (though more than 25$ pp) posibly see someone, and have a great memorible meal.

                    1. Near Times Square and under $25 per person is Pam's Real Thai Food on 49th between 9 and 10 Aves. Excellent food at good prices. BYOB.

                      1. for $25 and under you can try momofuku noodle bar or momofuku ssam bar in the east village, ssam just got 2 stars from the ny times. also inoteca on the lower east side is good for small plates. you can probably spot celebs walking around soho or tribeca or shopping at barney's uptown.

                        1. Veselka in the East Village is cheap Ukrainian food and I have seen several famous people there.

                          1. I have no idea where you are from. $25.00 per person? Tax is 8.75% a tip is between 18% and 20% so after subtracting 7.50 or so just for that you are left with $17.50 which will get you maybe an entree or so in Manhattan at a decent restaurant. You will not be seeing anyone famous at those prices. Look at the menupages.com. If you want to see celebs walk around Soho on weeknights preferably. Sometimes Saturday evenings. Chinatown has great food. TS is awful.

                            1. If you and your friends are feeling adventurous, you may want to try an Ethiopian place called Queen of Sheba, which is within walking distance of Times Square. It'll be under $25 per person. Two warnings: you won't see any celebs, and you have to eat with your hands. Not as messy as it sounds.

                              1. I think we all forgot one of the major attractions to coming to NY and eating...the DELI.

                                You will get everyone teeling you where to go for the best corned beef or pastrami sandwich.

                                I lean (no pun intended) for the Katz's or Carnegie crowd. On a nice day, a gentle walk uptown to Carnegie for a heartstopping sandwich. I love to sit there and eat mine, while the out-of towners (hey i'm from out of town too) order a combo sandwich and then fall off their chairs when they see how big they are. For purist, the cab/subway ride to the Lower East Side (LES) and Katz's. If you search you will find a walking/eating tour of the LES that includes sandwiches, pastries, bialys, borscht, smoked fish, all those items you will NEVER see at home.

                                Then plan to walk all afternoon and wind up in SOHO or the Village, or Chinatown or Little Italy. There are many suggestions on where to eat in any of these neighborhoods. Then a cabbie ride back to the hotel, a stop in the sundry shop for some rolaids and back to the room.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: jfood

                                  Second hitting Katz's! In fact do a search for RGR's Lower East Side tour. You can spend the day just grazing. Plenty to eat here for under $25.

                                  Also Frankies, Cafe Havana, Momofuku and inoteca. There are a lot of options when you're willing to venture out of TS.

                                  Also, as far as spotting celebs, you don't necessarily need to go to an upscale restaurant. The Spotted Pig and Pastis are known for being celebrity hangouts.

                                  I've had Nathan Lane at the next table at Five Points, stood next to Phillip Seymour Hoffman while checking out quilts at ABC Carpet and Home, and waited for Liv Tyler to vacate a dressing room at Shop.

                                  That being said, I think New Yorkers are more low key about seeing celebrities. It's not L.A. and we don't go nuts over it. It's not like you're going to rush up to someone and ask for an autograph. It's an invasion of privacy and considered very tacky.

                                  1. re: CornflakeGirl

                                    I concur people do not really care much about seeing celebrities here. But, the Spotted Pig may well be the place to go that will fit what your looking for and you may even get away with a very low budget if you just go there for the bar food...there chicken liver and duck bottarga is good. They also have a decent burger with blue cheese and rosemary shoe string potatoes going for 15 bucks without tax. beer there will cost around 7 bucks. It would be very difficult to find a good place to eat for the 25 bucks budget. Unless, you stick to places like Gray's Papaya, there's one on 8th Ave. around 38th/39th St. and the ethnic selections on 9th ave. One good spot for thai is wondee siam which is on 9th ave and 54th st. you guys can definitely eat there for 25 bucks each. Median price for dinner in a medium to low price range resto here will be around 40 bucks. Unless, you head down to Chinatown. You can have a better grasp of the prices by checking menus in menupages.

                                    1. re: nyufoodie

                                      Yes last visit to spotted pig sat jay-z and bette midler in the hip back room with Joe Bastianich. But true, it is not a ny thing to get worked up about celeb sightings at restaurants. However, I understand others getting excited about it.

                                2. Definitely the spotted Pig!! And hey, Pastis is always good for lunch! Never know who's comin in and outa there. The Coffee Shop... truth is, it's New York City.... celebrities are everywhere buddy =o)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: ACknowsStyle

                                    Do you mean the Coffee Shop at Union Square? Union Square Greenmarket & lunch at the Coffee Shop, that's what I'd do but I live here. The Coffee Shop has good eye candy with all the models that work there, food is good, live music on weekends and not too expensive. Won't Pastis be too pricey? I have only been there for dinner. Someone mentioned Schiller's in an earlier post.

                                  2. The West Village is a great place to spot celebs and eat well and not necessarily spend much. I've seen celebrities at cafes there (often between 2-4pm), at Sant Ambroeus, a chic Milan-style cafe with fabulous cappucinos (where I once passed by Jake Gyllenhaal...sigh), and Doma, a beautiful coffeehouse with glass walls and shabby-chic furnitures, yummy salads, soups, etc. that seems to be popular with film people.

                                    1. Well, I cannot help you with the "celebrity" part of this, as in all of the times that I have dined in NY, I have never run across any of them...Agree that Times Square area, even though that is where I stay, due to a lot of theater, is NOT the place in which to dine, unless you just have to...I much prefer the Village or Soho...Deli's are a good alternative at your price range, as you can split a sandwich, otherwise, your price range limits you to probably lunch, as there are specials some places that would fit it to your budget...Home in the Village, has a great lunch special that includes choice of entree and dessert..Otto in the Village, would also do..Places like Blue Ribbon Bakery and City Bakery...those would do as well..There are probably lunch specials in Little Italy that would be affordable..You could do really inexpensive, and stroll the Village, and stop at places like Mamouns and have some really delicious falafal...and then stop at Magnolia's or elsewhere for dessert..John's in the Village is another alternative...understand that this is Pacino's favorite for pizza...Hmmm...Think that seeing a celebrity is a luck thing...Agree that in NY, people do not "oogle" as they do elsewhere...

                                      1. BTW, that would be MANHATTAN

                                        1. Basillica on 49th & 6th has a dinner special between 3-6:30, $21.95 a person includes a 3 course meal and a bottle of wine and the food is amazing.