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Need recs for Union Square - 13th St area

I'm looking for a nice, casual restaurant around the 13th Street/Union Square area for a pre-bachelorette party dinner. We will be a party of 6-8, Saturday night 7pm and looking to spend around $30 per person. Open to any cuisine except Indian or Mexican. Don't mind casual but preferably no chain/franchises. I've searched the archives and yielded no good options. Everything is either high end (Gramercy Tavern, Craft) or too casual (California Pizza, Heartland...)

Open to any suggestions. Thanks.

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  1. How about Via Emilia, on 20th St., just west of Park Av. S.? Excellent homemade pastas with the lasagna being a stand-out. Cash only. They don't accept reservations, but since restaurants tend to be a little slower on summer weekends, the wait may not be too long.

    http://www.viaemilianyc.net

    1. I went to a bachelorette dinner at Gonzo on 13th between 6th and 7th. It sounds like what you might be looking for. You can read the menu on menupages.com.

      1. Sala, a tapas place on 19th between 5th and 6th has good food, drinks and a fun atmosphere. Just down the street is another tapas place that gets a lot of good chatter on the boards, Boqueria (but I haven't had the chance to go yet).

        2 Replies
          1. re: AK21

            this probably wouldn't be good for a group that size. Stand (12th & University) is really for burgers and that's sure to be cheap. otherwise, via emilia is excellent italian that's really reasonable! Crispo is good, but a little far - 8th & 14th

        1. Borgo Antico is right there on 13th Street and has a nice upstairs room that could accommodate your party size and would be within your budget. It's a neighborhood Italian place.

          I've found that any tapas night out (e.g. Sala or Boqueria) gets expensive very quickly.

          1 Reply
          1. re: josephsm

            I really enjoy Borgo as well, it would be a lovely start to your night. Borgo is much quieter and more low key than some of the other places mentioned, so it depends on what you are looking for in terms of atmosphere. Otto would be a good choice if you are looking for loud and lively.

          2. Also, Alta is great for affordable small plates!