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Visiting NYC- suggestions on my itinerary

My wife and I are coming to NYC for a week from LA and will be in Manhattan for a few days of that time. Here's where was thinking of hitting:

9th Ave Food Fair- snacks/lunch on Sat/Sun
WD-50- some evening for a fancy, interesting dinner
Babbo- may try to walk in at 5 as was unsuccessful at securing a reservation
Katz's or 2nd Ave deli for corned beef and pastrami
Hungarian Meat Market 1560 2nd Ave- supplies for the trip home
Spotted Pig- drinks with friends some weeknight
Il Cortola- possible if in little Italy
Number of pizza possibilities off nycslice.com

Any comments or suggestions?

I could use another bar with decent food besides the Spotted Pig, preferably somewhere not ruinously expensive.

I'm looking for Jamaican and Turkish food, too- any good ideas in Manhattan?



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  1. For Turkish, you can try Turkish Kitchen. If you are around on Sunday, they have a great brunch.

    1. Spotted Pig is a nasty little place for a drink. The bar is small and crowded. Poseurs abound. As an alternative consider Temple Bar or Angel's Share.

      1. 2nd Ave Deli has closed a long time ago. Katz's is good for pastrami so you are right on the money.

        3 Replies
        1. re: kobetobiko

          That is a crying shame. My folks and I used to go there all the time when we took the train in from Philadelphia, and I was looking forward to some reminiscing.

          1. re: AndrewS

            Rumors abound that 2nd Avenue Deli will reopen.

        2. dennis foy in tribeca: amazing and totally underrated. forget babbo, balthazaar, spotted pig. try for an early or late table too at blue hill.

          have a great trip!

          1. In regard to the last thing on your list, one of the better pizza places in NYC is Grimaldi's in Brooklyn. The most fun way to get there is to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge (has great views of downtown). Grimaldi's is right under the bridge. Also, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is about a block from Grimaldi's and they get ranked as having some of the best home made ice cream in the city every year.

            19 Old Fulton St.(under the Brooklyn Bridge)
            (718) 858-4300

            Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
            2 Old Fulton St
            (718) 246-3963

            5 Replies
            1. re: ohromujici

              I definitely second the Grimaldis rec, but would recommend taking the subway or a cab over to Brooklyn, eating, and then walking back to Manhattan over the bridge.....the view is way better this way. Plus you can walk off all that pizza!

              1. re: nycskigal

                Go to Joe's Shanghai in Chinatown and order the soup dumplings. They are a must when visiting.

                1. re: clashfan

                  I'd say New Green Bo for soup dumplings over Joes, Joes is kind of "touristy" now. (also prefer NGB anyways).

                  Good list, Andrew, I was impressed... and you did your research!

                  1. re: CorgiLover

                    Thanks! Some subjects are worth serious study, after all. . .

                2. re: nycskigal

                  You can also take the Water Ferry one way if you are not a walker. We always walk across the Bridge when we go to Grimaldi's.

              2. For old-fashioned NY pizza I would suggest Patsy's on 1st Ave at 117 Street (all other Patsy's are a franchise not affiliated with the original). For two people, get a house salad and a plain pie. Toppings are not what Patsy's is about.

                You can take a cab from Midtown or grab an M15 bus up 1st Ave. for the return just walk across 116 St to 2nd Ave for a cab or bus.

                1. For Jamaican, Maroons. For Turkish, Ali Baba. I've also heard good things about Taksim but haven't made it there yet.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Lucia

                    Taksim is great, but its BYOB, so keep that in mind.

                  2. My present, amended list of Manhattan (Queens and Brooklyn list is posted on the Outer Bouroughs Board).

                    -WD-50 fancy evening out at a molecular gastronomy joint
                    -Babbo- may try for walk in at 5pm on a weekday, unable to secure reservation
                    -Katz's - deli
                    -The Spotted Pig- bar, tasty food
                    -Hungarian Meat Market- place I used to go as a kid
                    -Gennarro's- Italian, reasonable I'm told, cash only
                    -Il Cortola- if hungry in Little Italy
                    -Tide's Seafood- lobster roll comes recommended
                    -Ali Baba (Turkish)
                    -Taksim (Turkish)?
                    -Temple Bar or Angel's Share- Bar options for decent food

                    Many thanks for all the help!


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: AndrewS

                      The restaurant in Little Italy is called Il Cortile, which means "the courtyard." I haven't been there in years, though. I sometimes walk up Mulberry St. just to look, but always eat in Chinatown or have Italian food further uptown. "Little Italy" is so small that there's no reason to get hungry while you're there; it disappears after around three blocks. Instead, walk up Mott St. and get a Vietnamese sandwich at Banh Mi Saigon Bakery, between Hester and Grand. Eat it in the park on Spring and Mulberry, and feel like you're in Little Italy.

                      I like Taksim and recommend the location just south of 6th St. on 2nd Av., but others differ. If you do go there, the various kebab sandwiches are good and you'll probably want the Doner Kebab sandwich. I like most of the mezes, except for the stuffed cabbage. The main dishes at the steam table that I've tried have upset my stomach, but that's probably because my stomach doesn't like bell peppers.

                      I like Temple Bar, but I've never gotten food there and I'm not sure they had any.

                      I may have ordered wrong the one time I went to Spotted Pig, but I found it overpriced and unimpressive and have no intention of ever returning.

                      1. re: Pan

                        The food at Temple Bar is not good. Go for the romantic atmosphere and good drinks but do not go for food.

                    2. Not sure how much time you have, you might also want to do RGR's Lower East Side (LES) food tour. Do a search of this site and it should come up.

                      3 Replies
                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                          Thanks for the mention, fdr! :-) I'll save him the trouble and post it here:

                          LES Food Excursion

                          For the quintessential NYC deli experiences, no place beats Katz's, on the corner of Houston (pronounced "how-stun") & Ludlow Sts. You're there specifically for the pastrami sandwich. When you enter, you will be given a ticket. Instead of opting for table service, do what the "natives" do and get on line for counter service. When you reach the counter, put a $1 for each sandwich in the counterman's tip cup – though not mandatory, it is a tradition -- and order pastrami on rye. He'll give you a piece to taste. If you like it (the best pastrami is juicy and has some fat on it), tell him o.k., and he'll make your sandwich, give you some sour pickles, and punch your ticket. Then, continue along the counter for sides – the cole slaw is good -- and drinks. Find seats at a table in the center of the room. (Tables along the wall have menus on them and are reserved for waiter service.) When you’re done, take your ticket to the cashier in front, where it’s cash only. To pay by credit card, go to the counter at the rear where the salamis are sold. Note: For the purposes of this tour, unless you have a gargantuan appetite, it would be best to share one sandwich in order to leave room for more tastings along the way.

                          When you exit Katz’s, turn left and continue along the same side of Houston St. You will come to Russ & Daughters, famous for all sorts of smoked fish and many other goodies. It's not a restaurant, but they make sandwiches to go.

                          After leaving the Russes, continue west a couple of blocks until you reach Yonah Schimmel's. Get a tasty potato knish, and make sure to ask them to heat it up.

                          Now it’s time for the quintessential NY drink – the egg cream. So, reverse yourself and head east on Houston until you come to Avenue A. (Note: Avenue A becomes Essex St. on the south side of Houston.) Turn left on A and head north until you get to the block between 7th St. and St. Mark’s Place. Look for a hole-in-the-wall candy shop, closer to 7th, with an overhead sign jutting into the street that says, “Belgian Fries.” (The place’s official name is Ray’s, but there is no signage to that effect.) One of the women behind the counter will make you a delicious chocolate egg cream.

                          When you’re finished licking your lips, go back to Houston St. and make a left (east) one block to Norfolk St. Turn right and walk down Norfolk until it ends at Grand St. Two places to look for at the corner of Grand and Norfolk: Kossar's, for freshly baked bialys (another very NY food) and the Donut Plant (self-explanatory).

                          Next, walking west along Grand St., you will come to Orchard St. Turn right. At 87 Orchard, snack on a pickle from Gus's World Famous Pickles.

                          Then, continue to 97 Orchard, b/t Broome & Delancey, where you will find the Tenement Museum. The tour will show you what life was like for immigrants to NYC at the beginning of the 20th century. ( http://www.tenement.org
                          Once you have finished the tour, Il Laboratorio del Gelato, right next door at 95 Orchard, is a must for some of the best gelato anywhere.

                          If your sweet tooth is still not completely satisfied, the final stop on this tour should do it. Continue ahead (north) on Orchard, crossing Delancey, then one more block to Rivington St. Make a right and you will find Economy Candy at 145 Rivington.

                          Note: It’s best not to take this tour on a Saturday since some of the spots are closed because of religious observance. Also, Donut Plant is closed on Mondays.

                          Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

                          1. re: RGR

                            Thanks, RGR. My favorite donut flavor is pear, I hope they still have it!