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NY First-Timer Needs Help

Arriving Wednesday morning early (9-5), staying through Saturday morning (9-8). Staying at the Doubletree Times Square on Broadway (Midtown, from what I can gather).

I live in Arizona and have never spent any time in NY, so I am seeking advice for great NY food for the few days I will be in town.

Specifically, no restaurants that are Mexican/Southwest (we get plenty here in AZ) and preferably no celeb chefs/restaurants with outposts in Las Vegas because I can get plenty of that out west too.

A short list of doable places (meaning we can get in) for 1 nice dinner on either Thurs or Fri night, and the rest recommendations for NY classics, ethnic eats, lunch, breakfast, dinner for the other nights, etc.

We will travel for good food and aren't scared (we don't think) of cab fares or the subway.

Thanks!! Feel free to point me to other posts if there are similar requests to mine.

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  1. I might add that reasonable prices (beyond the 1 nice dinner out) are ideal if possible, and that we are open to any type of cuisine.

    1. Here are a couple of diverse suggestions:
      Seafood: Tides
      Italian: Crispo (highly touted on this website)
      Turkish: Zeytin 85th & Columbus
      Mediterranean: Marseille (a popular choice in the theater district)
      Eleven Madison Park (a class act)
      Lunch: Le Madeleine (theater district)
      Deli: Katz'
      And that one romantic night out: Vice Versa 51st St. in the theater district

      1. New York is a huge brunch town but it appears you'll be leaving too early to take advantage of that. That said, you can get a fabulous weekday breakfast at Clinton Street Baking Company, with the best blueberry pancakes in town.

        Can you give us an upper limit for your nice dinner? $100? $200 pp? What about wine? Any cuisine in particular?

        For NY classics, make sure you look for RGR's Lower East Side noshing tour.

        In any case, here are some recent threads for NYC first timers:
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/426933
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/417466
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/417771
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/407937
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/397225
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/401880
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/405260
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/394041
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/419768
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/432916

        1. For downtown options, I've always had good food at Acme (on Great Jones Street, just off Broadway), which has a Cajun-influenced menu, and Cedar Tavern on University Place, which is basically really tasty pub grub. (They had a roast beef sandwich on garlic bread that I still crave, 7 years after eating one.) Be aware, though, that service can be a little pokey at both places. If you're at all interested in NY history, you might be amused to know Great Jones Street was once wall-to-wall brothels, and Cedar Tavern goes way back & was once a popular Beatnik hangout. For great NY-style pizza, I recommend Pizza Mercato on Waverly Place, just west of Broadway. For good Chinese, I recommend the Peking Duck House, which is headquartered in Chinatown but recently opened a midtown location not too far from you. Another option in the vicinity of your hotel is Virgil's BBQ, just off Times Square. (Reservation recommended; the place is always packed.) If you've got a sweet tooth, you really should check out Veniero's, a great Italian pastry shop that goes way back. It's on 11th or 12th St. in the East Village, I think between 1st & 2nd Aves. If you've got a hankering for seafood, I recommend the Blue Water Grill on Union Square. Good luck!

          3 Replies
              1. re: katydid13

                Quite a few months ago - not really sure exactly when. They are converting the space to condos. Initially there were rumors that it was going to reopen - and that they closed the bar while building higher floors. But subsequent rumor was that they sold the actual bar - as in the dark wood structure holding the alochol. I'm glad they didn't scap the bar, as it was beautiful.

          1. Unless you have great Thai in Az, I'd suggest a trip on the 7 train to Woodside for a meal at Sripraphai (how come I can never remember how to spell that?). Plenty of info on this board if you search the name. Recommended are the red curry with chicken and sour bamboo shoots, green curry with duck, whole red snapper (offered a few different ways).