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If you were moving out of NY, where would you eat?

So it looks like I'm leaving my beloved Brooklyn for my first stint at West Coast living. I've got about a month and a half left of good eating time here left and am eager to return to some old favorites (Yasuda, Russ & Daughters, Shake Shack) and to try some places I've been putting off for too long (Shopsin, El Quinto Pino, Inn LW12). I've posed this on the Outer Boroughs board as well, but in my situation, what places would you make sure to hit in Manhattan and what would you order? To make it fun, what would be your final NY meal before heading out of town?


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  1. Russ & Daughters or Barney Greengrass for unbelievable smoked fish.
    Carnegie Deli for a Woody Allen
    New Green Bo for soup dumplings
    Devi for Michelin-starred Indian food
    Stanton Social for sliders, soup dumplings, chicken n waffles, tacos
    Momofuku Ssam Bar for their take on bibimpbap, steam buns and brussel sprouts
    Pardo's for chicken and anticuchos
    Little Branch and Angel's Share for cocktails
    Myer's of Keswick for every pie they have on stock
    Alta just because

    1. blue ribbon bakery for pork rillettes, rack of lamb, and chocolate bread pudding.

      or an all uni and oyster omakase at yasuda followed by a chocolate malted shack at stand.

      1. Isn't LW12 closed or becoming more of a bar thing? Check that one out. There was something on eater that didn't sound so hot.
        try to walk in babbo at 11:00 after you've had drinks for pasta
        Momofuku for pork buns and brussel sprouts
        Dumpling house downtown for ridiculously awesome $1 pork and chive dumplings
        You've GOT to have some awesome pizza out in Brooklyn, right?
        Luger's or The Palm for old school steak?
        Dessert from Tasti D Lite just to be annoyed by the whole thing one last time
        Drinks at any Sasha Petrovski place
        Chowder at the counter at Grand Central Oyster Bar for lunch

        1. O.k., this is not a restaurant, so I hope I won't get in trouble for posting this here, but you asked and you're leaving the city!

          On a gorgeous day, get your favorite picnic food (sandwich etc) from your favorite place, and get on the Staten Island Ferry! Cheapest, (free) best, funnest (there is a bar on the boat after all) trip with a view. Be sure to stake out your place on the back end of the boat from Manhattan, and be sure to look up and down the rivers too. All those bridges.

          It's a memory to take out west with you. Years ago, I came back from London after six years in London on the QE 2. Seeing the Statue of Liberty made me cry, totally unexpected! If you take the ferry, I bet the statue will make you cry when you come back to us and great food in NYC.

          1. I would sadly say good bye to Franny's but would look forward to trying Mozza in LA.(If that is where you will be out in the West Coast)

            3 Replies
            1. re: peachtart

              In my opinion, Franny's is better than Mozza by a long mile.

              Sadly, I've been contemplating the same thing as the original poster. This is a helpful thread.

              I was thinking:

              Barney Greengrass (never been there, despite living here for 4 years)
              Adour (just to go to some Ducasse place)
              Ssam Bar (or hopefully the new Momofuku Ko)
              Peter Luger's
              Cocktails at PDT, Pegu and Death and Co.

              No Chinese since I'll be moving to So. Cal, and I believe the Chinese there is superior.

              1. re: banquo

                I'd go to River Cafe, you'll be in Brooklyn but you can look at the fabulous Manhattan view and feel bad about leaving!

                1. re: bronwen

                  I think this is something to consider. Your going to get fabulous food in California. Go to the places that are special to New York. I'd go to Top of the Tower at the Beekman Hotel maybe the Rainbow Room.

                  In general though once you get there you'll miss good apetizing, neopolitan style pizza foods from eastern Europe

                  When you get there you'll find out what Tai, Chinese, Vietnamese Cambodian etc food is supposed to taste like.

                  American food with fresh local ingredients is great in both places

            2. Lowbrow suggestion here: If you like knishes, get your fill before you leave town. Since I left NY I've lived in 8 different states and visited many others (including CA) and have yet to meet ANYONE who even KNOWS what a knish IS!

              4 Replies
              1. re: Anne

                Anne, I have been out of NYC for 30 years and my children beg me for knishes when I go to NY. No one knows and I think you have to be brought up with it because when I bring them here to Hawaii many people don't like them. any suggestions for a good knishe? I like them potato like, my kids say even a vendor street knish is better than no knish

                1. re: lisettte

                  lisette, I haven't lived in NY in over 25 years, but my parents still live in Queens. I get there only 1-2 times per year. I've always been partial to the square potato knishes you get from street vendors. That's where I usually get my "fix" when I'm in Manhattan! You should know that Gabila (sp?) Knishes are now available in the refrigerated section of many NY grocery stores. They are wrapped three to a package. Not too bad. My mother always buys them for me when she knows I'm coming to visit. ;-)

                  1. re: lisettte

                    Mrs. Stahl's is sold at Mr. Bagel in Riverdale and elsewhere around town - call the shop in Coney Island to find out where. The hot cherry cheese knish at Yonah Schimmel on a cold night was a great NY memory once, but I gather YS has gone way downhill. I see on the web that Yonah S can be ordered on line however - maybe still better than nothing in Hawaii! There are also some knish recipes on line, and they don't look too difficult.

                  2. re: Anne

                    When I was at college in California, met and became friends with a fellow New Yorker walking on the campus and wearing a T-Shirt that said:

                    Mrs. Stahl's Knishes

                  3. I recently moved out of manhattan. For our last 'official' dinner we went to 15 East and sat at the sushi bar and indulged in the omakase menue. It was wonderful. Incredibly fresh fish from all different waters. The sushi chef explained each piece and how it should be eaten - some with a pinch of sea salt, others with only wasabi, etc... It was a fabulous experience if you like sushi. I'd also recommend Lupa for great italian. The freshest pasta served in a great new york atmosphere - bustling and some noise but delicious food.


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: skepner169

                      Italian- Forlini's
                      Chinese- Hop Lee
                      Deli- Katz's
                      Bakery- Veniero's
                      Thai- Siam Square up in Riverdale
                      Pizza- Patsy's on 1st ave and 117th st
                      Chicken Wings- The Candlelight on Central ave Hartsdale(I know it's not NYC, but worth the trip IMO)

                      For the cheap cheap eats--The Noodle guy in front of Hong Kong Market on Allen st.

                      The cab ride to the airport--I'm leaving with a few of Gray's hot dogs. :)

                    2. Katz's Deli
                      Magnolia Bakery
                      Gelato from Otto
                      Stuffed potato pide at Ali Baba Turkish Kitchen
                      Empire City Bagels
                      Angelo's Pizza
                      Peter Luger's
                      Famous Original Ray's Pizza
                      Babbo's papardelle w/ Bolognese sauce
                      Ethos' tzatziki sauce and feta cheese


                      2 Replies
                      1. re: LeahBaila

                        ...and one more to add, Market Table. Just had my first meal there last night, and it was truly outstanding. My new fave in town!


                        1. re: LeahBaila

                          Famous Original Ray's? That wouldn't be my last taste of NY pizza unless they happened to be the only ones serving in Hell (which, I imagine, is quite possible).

                        2. What part of west? Some stuff is better out there than here.

                          My biggest thing would be pizza although I did find a place in San Francisco thats as good as here.

                          Pushcart cheung fun.

                          1. Anne, I remember the name Gabillas Knishes from Brooklyn. Think I will buy some and eat them all the plane that now serves no food lol. I love any kind of knish. My trip is next week. and my mouth is watering.

                            1. Shake Shack burger & custard
                              Essa Bagel or Tal
                              Levain for a cookie
                              ZaZa for lasagna
                              Joe's Shanghai - soup dumps, shanghai noodles, s&p pork chops
                              Velselka - soup and bread
                              Yama on Carmine
                              Dominicks for an Italian Hero
                              Delizia for a Grandma Pie
                              Momufuku - Ramen and pork buns
                              Rebublic for Coconut Lime Soup
                              Flatiron Lounge for a drink

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: jenniebnyc

                                i can't imagine wishing either Republic or Yama on anyone -- if i'd gone there before leaving NYC i'd surely never return!

                                1. re: Simon

                                  glad we are all allowed to have our own opinions on here! i love this particular soup from Republic and Yama is a memorable place for me. i think you comments are kind of rude, but that's just my opinion.

                                  carry on.

                              2. When I went to college in Philly I'd occasionally come to NY for a long weekend, one plus being the opportunity to escape dining hall food for a few days. My first meal was always at Nha Trang on Baxter St for a big bowl of pho ga and fried spring rolls (it didn't hurt that I took the chinatown bus in). Then a bagel from Murray's and up to Payard for a Louvre. Now that I live here I'm practically required to take bring a Baby Watson cheesecake from Daiuto's with me whenever I visit my family in Ithaca, and my sister (at college in Ohio) swears that all she wants for her birthday is for me to mail her soup dumplings and dry-cooked stringbeans from Grand Szechuan International. Certainly not the "best" food in NYC, but definitely good eats, and touchpoints of my culinary experience here.

                                1. Payard tarts and desserts
                                  Otto olive oil gelato
                                  2nd Ave. Deli pastrami
                                  New Yeah Shanghai deluxe soup dumplings
                                  Pommes Frites with mango mayo chutney
                                  Mama's empanadas

                                  Basically, I think that I would get only in NYC foods that I couldn't get in California - like steaks and bagels and East Coast pizza and delis.

                                  1. thanks everyone! i'd better get cracking. man, am i going to miss this city...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: bladerobbins

                                      Assuming I would ever move away, I would OD on bagels and pizza before I left.

                                    2. Good Question!

                                      Shake at Shake Shack
                                      Cupcake at Billy's
                                      Chocolate chip cookie from levain bakery
                                      Slice of sour cream apple walnut at lil pie companycheesecake from juniors
                                      french onion soup dumplings from stanton social
                                      gnocci at lil frankie's
                                      mussels and fries at ditch plains (or bar ta bac)
                                      doughnut from doughnut plant
                                      ice cream sundae (or just a cup of hot fudge!) from serendipity
                                      the tasting menu at gramercy tavern
                                      a gimlet from five points
                                      the brunch pastry basket from cookshop
                                      string beans from moonhouse
                                      dumplings from joe's shanghai
                                      coconut bun from sun lee
                                      pork raman from momofuku
                                      brunch at sarabeths
                                      lobster roll at mermaid inn
                                      pizza at lucali's
                                      drinks at milk and honey
                                      drinks at the plaza bar

                                      And pack lots of bagels!!!!

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: kam0424

                                        Where's Sun Lee? I'm always up for a good coconut bun.

                                        1. re: squid kun

                                          Sorry it's called Sun Say Kai, on the corner of Bayard and the street east of Mott. It's tasty!

                                          1. re: kam0424

                                            Thanks - I've seen the baked things there but never tried any. Good roast meats.

                                      2. If you're moving to SoCal, you must have Peking Duck at Peking Duck house (Chinatown not Midtown) before you leave b/c there's no decent Peking Duck in LA. Even the "best" Peking Duck at Lu Din Gee in San Gabriel Valley pales in comparison.

                                        It'll also be interesting to do a few food comparisons. Eat Joe's Shanghai before you leave and compare it to Ding Tai Fung's steamed dumplings (it's a tough call!). Also, Menchanko's Hakata ramen vs. Shinsengumi's Hakata (I'm partial to Menchanko's).

                                        1. Hi...i left NYC last summer and did a very prolonged farewell chowing tour (since my coop board saw fit to dawdle for months, i had time to hit my favorites repeatedly while waiting on them to approve my buyer)...

                                          it's such a subjective (but fun) question, as the criteria are always going to be a combination of a) things you can get in NY but can't get in your new city, b) places w/ special memories and/or staff that may or may not hold the same allure for others...

                                          So my personal quasi-farewell meals included:

                                          -- Russ&Daughters (many times)

                                          -- Il Giglio...old school upscale NY Italian...

                                          -- Lucien...a place i've been maybe 200 times, but also because good bouillabaise is a scarcity most places outside of France...

                                          -- Balthazar

                                          -- Grand Central Oyster Bar...in Shanghai, where i now live, dubiously shucked imported oysters of dubious quality can go for 5 bucks a piece...i miss the $1.35 bluepoints and 50-odd others to choose from at GCOB very badly...when i make my first return trip to NY, GCOB will be my most anticipated stop...

                                          Also hit Cacio e Vino and Cafe Mogador a good bit...i skipped a lot of Asian places since i was moving to Asia, but otherwise might have hit NY Noodletown and Ushi Wakamauru w/ more regularity too...

                                          Enjoy your move and good luck on the West Coast, which could many things depending on where you move...

                                          As a sidenote, the one thing i don't miss since leaving Manhattan is the crappy, snotty, holier-than-the-customer service (and the constant tip-grubbing)...i'd take even the careless frowning service one sometimes gets in China over the attitude at a Batali joint any day...

                                          1. Here is my list and when to go-

                                            Kefi for Sunday dinner(not very exposed but amazing Greek food)
                                            Daniel mid week
                                            Momofuku Ssam Bar(Wed or Thursday)
                                            Katz's for lunch
                                            Shake Shack for lunch
                                            Strip House for steak(do not go near Peter Luger)
                                            Yonah Schimmel for kinish(block from Katz's) any time
                                            Di Fara any time
                                            Via Quadrono for lunch and have the proschuitto sandwich with olive and cheese, then cappuccino
                                            Marsailles-go to the bar before the theater(you have to go to the theater) for a glass of Cava, panesis(chickpea fries) and cigars with short rib

                                            1. It really depends on what is strong in the area you are moving to. For example, if there is great italian, I would not rush to go have italian in nyc. If they have no deli, I would make that a priority.