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I'm visiting Manhattan with my girlfriend in a couple of weeks and apart
from doing all the usual sight seeing we would like to try out the best
Manhattan has to offer food wise (timing permitting).

Can any of you guys recommend the following places to eat......

Traditional old school Italian, Hot Dog, Cheesecake, Milkshake, muffins,
breakfast (pancakes etc), I am a massive peanut butter fiend also and I
have read about a peanut butter cake and if there is anything else you
would recommend?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



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  1. depends on the kind of person you are but if you're looking for a bit of a more downtown scene:

    italian...skip traditional...those places usually rip you off...try da andrea, gradisca, or crispo

    hot dog...yr better off getting one at a jewish deli...go to katzs...ask for one well done. also get a pastrami sandwich on club bread...obviously...and a dr. browns black cherry soda

    cheesecake...cant really help you here. most steakhouses serve good ones...otherwise, juniors is classic for me (they have a store in grand central station). the one in brooklyn has history but its not very good.

    milkshake...eisenberg's sandwich shop...or shake shack for a concrete.

    breakfast...its crowded but bubbys in tribeca is a good place for weekend brunch. great pie too. also clinton street baking company...

    there's peanut butter and co on sullivan in the west village. its kinda hokey but its been in business for over 10 years now so they must be doing something right.

    1. Since you have a thing for PB, there is a Peanut Butter & Company Restauant in the Villiage - not too bad for lunch. Lots of sandwiches.

      1. If you love peanut butter there's and PB&J restaurant downtown called, Peanut Butter & Jelly Co.

        1. If you're a peanut butter fiend, you might want to try kare-kare at Pistahan or Dragonfly. Once you try this peanut butter stew, PB&J will look like child's play.

          1. hot dog-Gray's papaya of course, at multiple locations
            italian - frank in the east village
            breakfast - clinton street baking company in the east village
            for everything peanutbutter, i second peanut butter and co.

            6 Replies
            1. re: skooldya1

              I'd go with the Gray's Papaya dog, it's classic. I'd try Peanut Butter & Co. given your love for peanut butter.

              But for breakfast, I'd be visiting another long-standing, rough around the edges New York classic, at his new lcoation, Kenny Shopsin. See: www.shopsins.com. Also, read some of the stuff linked here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shopsins (for the links, hit the numbers in the footnotes).

              1. re: skooldya1

                The only issue with Frank and Clinton Street Baking Co. is the wait. Expect to stand outside for about an hour. Good call on Gray's Papaya.

                1. re: Gluttonous Prime

                  Thanks guys. I forgot the most important one of all, my girlfriend's
                  absolute favourite, Pizza, where's the best place for this?

                  1. re: Neil J

                    Pizza, that's another can of worms. Many, most may tell you to get yourself to Brooklyn for the finest example fo NY Pizza. Di Fara's is worshipped. Next one the list, probably Grimaldi's. In Manhattan, two routes I would go are either Lombardi's or Una Pizza Napoletana, and they are two very different kinds of pizza. Lombardi's is a NY style pie, and Napoletana is a Neapolitan style cooked in a wood oven. Both good.

                    For more on pizza, take a look at: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/32010...

                    1. re: Neil J

                      For the best pizza, as Captain mentions, many Hounds feel it's Di Fara's. But since it's in Brooklyn, if you're interested in hearing more about it, post on the Outer Boroughs board.

                      You asked about milkshakes. All well and good. But *the* beverage to have is the quintessential NYC drink -- the egg cream. You can get a really good one at Gem Spa, on the corner of 2nd Av. & 8th St. They also make milkshakes, but I've never had one there.


                      For excellent traditional Italian fare, I recommend Campanile, a neighborhood "hidden gem," on 29th St., b/t Madison Av. & Park Av. S. The food's well-prepared and delicious. Service is friendly and efficient. The decor has an old-fashioned feel, there is comfortable seating, and the noise level is conversation-friendly.

                      Hope you and your g.f. have a great visit to NYC!

                      1. re: Neil J

                        "Pizza, where's the best place for this?"

                        wow. that is a loaded question.

                        pizza in new york is like music - everyone likes it but what does that even mean? what kind of music do you like - rock, country, jazz, rap, evanescence?

                        notice how long that thread cited by Captain is? and that's just one of many pizza threads on CH. now try doing a google search - to quote a movie: "mind-bottling isn't it?"

                        anyway, a possible solution is just simply to try a variety of pizza places. the first problem is that there's a lot of crap pizza out there. but then again, maybe one new yorker's crap pizza is your hot slice of gold. i mean, someone out there actually likes evanescence, right?

                  2. Pizza in Manhattan
                    Patsis - 125th St
                    Johns Bleeker st

                    These are popular choices if you don't want to go to brooklyn otherwise DiFara squares are my favorite pizza anywhere, but it is quite an ordeal to get there and actually get pizza.

                    Il Mulino is extremely expensive and much reviled on the board but is my favorite old school italian place (not counting raos of course). Go for lunch if you go, dinner is too much of a hassle. They make an awesome veal parm there. Raos btw is almost impossible to get a seat at so it is not an option.

                    Hotdogs, I like Papaya king better than greys but I am in the minority but Greys is good.

                    Breakfast- barney greengrass, eggs (soft scrambled) nova and onions with 2 plain untoasted bagles to put the eggs on is the best breakfast in the universe.

                    I'd do Katz's for a pastrami sandwich (do a search) and visit il labrotorio del gelatto and the donut plant on the Lower East Side.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: tpigeon

                      Do visit "IL LAB": il laboratorio del gelato. It would be a good place to stop after a late brunch at Shopsins, except more food is usually out of the question.

                      1. re: Captain

                        yes - Il Labortorio is a wonderful suggestion.

                      1. re: chutchut

                        We have just returned from our five night stay, to give you a run down we ate
                        burger and fries at Le Parker Meridian and Shake Shack, both were very good,
                        shake shack came out on top and was possibly the best burger we have ever
                        had. Gray's Papaya was good although I have to say i'd take a traditional
                        English Sausage sandwich over it any day. Cheesecake at Juniors was very
                        good, it literally stuck to the roof of my mouth. We ate Pizza at Angelo's, this
                        very very good, we had the large to share and could not finish it. Maze at the
                        London NYC was very good, a really nice place, great service and delicious
                        food, the peanut butter and jam sandwich desert was immense. Our last
                        night we went to quality meats, the place was packed, great vibe, fantastic
                        steak, it does not come much better.

                        Thanks for helping make the trip memorable.

                        1. re: Neil J

                          Thanks so much for reporting back - glad you had a great trip!