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Jun 6, 2007 12:23 PM

Family in NYC looking for chow

My family will be staying in the CIty at The Benjamin (125 E 50th)hotel for 6 nights in late July. We will have all day Saturday and Sunday to walk the City and eat! The next several days we will be visiting colleges and returning for dinner in the evenings. Looking for great food and reasonable (for NYC) prices. My family (mom, dad and two girls 11 & 15) all love chowhoundish food. For example we love Lupa for lunch. I have looked over the previous post but thought I would start a new. Thanks for your thoughts

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  1. Why don't you try dim sum in Chinatown for lunch one day? I like Jing Fong, but a search of the Manhattan board will bring up loads of recommendations.

    I don't know where the Benjamin hotel is, but S'mac in the east village (a restaurant dedicated to all these cool kinds of mac n cheese) is supposed to be really yummy and seems like a good family kind of place. also, if you can get a reservation at babbo for dinner, that's amazing (even better than Lupa IMHO), otherwise show up when they open at 5:30pm for a table in the front. I love Lombardi's pizza for dinner, in SoHo/Little Italy area, and there's a place across the street called Rice to Riches that sells loads of different flavors of rice pudding.


    3 Replies
    1. re: funkymonkey

      Great! we love mac n cheese. Dim sum sounds great too! I will try for a reservation at Babbo.

      1. re: scout909

        also, check out the pearl oyster bar in the west village for an amazing lobster roll. there'll be a wait if you go for dinner, but it's definitely worth it. i also like the lobster roll at ditch plains in the w. village - and i suspect someone in your family will love the not-on-the-menu, top-secret ditch dogs: two hot dogs slathered in macaroni and cheese.

        1. re: funkymonkey

          Pearl Oyster Bar is one of our NYC favorites for price/value ratio. If you are able to get there at 6pm when they open for dinner, you shouldn't have a problem getting a table.

    2. Tia Pol: Amazing spanish tapas at a pretty good price, the restaurant has this really cool feel to it and between the group you can order the entire menu and enjoy.

      Yakitori Taisho: It's a bit dirty, it's a bit cramped, and there's probably gonna be a wait if you get there too late at night; but it's all worth it. The very authentic and extremely delicious japanese food served here makes all of it worth it, not to mention the atmosphere is more authentic to something you'd find in japan.

      Ellen's Stardust Diner: Unlike Tia Pol and Yakitori Taisho the food is less chowhoundish, but it's definitly a lot more kid friendly than the two. The food is good, and the servers who're out of work Broadway actors/actresses are amazing as they sing and dance while serving. For a group with two girls 11 and 15, this is a good spot for some cheap simple food that in my opinion is always very good.

      And finally, when visiting NYC, it is always important to simply walk around and find a random hole in the wall pizza place for lunch and enjoy.

      2 Replies
      1. re: hungry_fox

        I think that Ellen's is a fun place to eat, but my experience is that their food is really lacking...We just ordered burgers, and frankly, they were terrible, to the point that we could not even eat them...If you are foodies, you should try to get tickets to the Greenwich Village Food and Culture tour...The first time we ever visited NY, we took the tour...It was not only interesting and fun, but they take you some great places, and you get to nosh along the way....It is very popular, so if you are interested, you should make reservations ASAP...Here is the website

        1. re: hungry_fox

          Tia Pol is tiny, and delicious as the food is, it's basically a bar--not really for kids (even kids over 10.)

          Pearl Oyster is also pretty small and unless you get there when it opens, ther's a wait.You might try Mermaid Inn in East Village, which offers garden in nice weather, a lobster roll--and the possibility of a reservation (not to be underestimated when dining with kids IMHO.)

          If you want Spanish that is a bit funky and off the beaten track, try La Nacional, which is a restaurant in a Spanish social club on W. 14th Street (google it and you'll find the exact address) Down to earth, delicious paella, and not expensive.

          I agree re Ellen's being not worth it. For burgers with kids--check out Burger Joint, on W. 57th in the Parker Meridian or go to Shake Shack in Madison Square park. Either is bound to please--just go early at mealtimes or at "off" hours to avoid the inevitable long lines.

        2. I believe the Benjamin hotel is on E. 87th St., right next to our parking garage. Wu Liang Ye is v. close by - on E. 86th St. - excellent Chinese food - and there is always the Gray's Papaya for hot dogs at 87th & 3rd. If your focus is on dinners in the area - and if I've got the area correctly - I'll post back about some other dinner ideas.

          Edit - there are several interesting options on E. 92nd St. - Kurio's - somewhat ecletic, Caribbean influenced, excellent food, and Zebu Grill - lovely Brazilian food - both just east of 2nd Avenue.

          1. get the blackout cupcake!!!! Its so gooooood..

            Two little red hens
            1652 Second Ave
            (Cross: 86th St.)

            1 Reply
            1. re: DarthEater

              Two Little Red Hens is great. I love the various squares (lemon, lime/coconut, linzer, chocolate/pecan), for example.

            2. I live near the Benjamin. Try PJ Clarke's on 3rd and 54th ish for burgers and pub type fare or Chin Chin on 49th for delicious Chinese. If you want to stay in the hood on occasion...

              6 Replies
              1. re: MellieMac

                What's the location of the hotel? Am I confusing it with the one on E.87th? TIA

                  1. re: MellieMac

                    I'm really not a fan of PJ Clarke's. It gets really crowded at the bar, and there's always a wait for a table. For the hassle, it's just not worth it. It's not terribly expensive... but it's more aggravation than a decent burger should warrant.

                    With 6 days, you can get a lot of serious eating accomplished. If you're looking for something close to your hotel, you could also check out Jubilee on 54th between 1st and 2nd. It's obscure. It's not "on the map," but everyone who lives in that neighborhood goes there. Outstanding french bistro... get the moules as an app.

                    1. re: egit

                      Love Jubilee. Great steak frites. You'll need a reservation though. Extremely popular neighborhood joint.

                  2. re: MellieMac

                    Great sounds like toew close by options