Maximizing food time around 30 Rock
I read the suggestions re: 58th... and meh....we will be getting to town Tuesday at 2:30 (arriving Penn Station) and need to be in Rockefeller Center at 6:30 (then staying at New York Hilton across from MOMA--so someplace for a drink too later in evening). Is there anyway we can squeeze in some delicious late lunch/early dinner anywhere that would give us time to get to RC? Also, any place heading back to Penn the next morning for a tasty coffee/pastry/treat/not Starbucks? thx!
I love walking, but I don't enjoy the walk from Penn Station to Rock Center so much with luggage, while fighting crowds. The subway is an honorable compromise (and could be faster than cabbing)!
A good place for both a good drink and food (if you don't need a big meal and don't mind a spendy establishment) is Grayz, very close to your hotel. Other good, but spendy, places near you are Gordon Ramsay's at the London Hotel for non-boring neo-British food, Insieme for Italian, Anthos for nouveau Greek, Milos for old school Greek, Sushi Den for sushi... unsurprisingly. ;)
For less spendy, head west to Hell's Kitchen to Empanada Mama (v. inexpensive), Eatery (neo-diner cuisine; moderate), and Kyotofu. Desserts and cocktails are the star at Kyotofu, though I think their savory options are pleasant and homey. If you come from a place where Thai food isn't great, you might also like Pam's Real Thai and Wondee Siam.
I like a lot of robinsilver's suggestions, as well. I think the Indian place she's thinking of might be Sukhadia's or else Utsav. Sukhadia's is very inexpensive and has pretty good snacks (chaat) and sweets. Utsav is moderately priced. Both do a decent lunch buffet, though Sukhadia's is smaller, completely vegetarian, and more consistently good, I think.
If you want something to take back to your hotel room, you need go no further than the halal carts right outside your hotel on 53rd and 6th. It's famous. The one across sixth ave., also on the southern corner, is owned by the same folks and serves the same food, but the lines are shorter.
For pastries and coffee the next morning, head either slightly north to Columbus Circle for Bouchon Bakery or self catering at Whole Foods in the basement (or to Landmarc for a sit-down breakfast). Head northeast to the Sarabeth's bakery on Central Park South. Or head southwest to Amy's Bread on 9th ave. near 46th St. http://www.amysbread.com/hells.htm
705 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
777 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019
36 West 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019
798 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
125 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019
17 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036
792 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Pam Real Thai
404 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019
1185 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036
13 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019
123 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020
763 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
You could definitely walk. Come out on the 7th Avenue side of Penn Station. You will be at 32nd Street. You can walk up 7th towards Times Square. There are a few places that I would recommend before you get to Rockefeller Center (which is between 5th and 6th Ave. at about 48th Street). Kellari Taverna is Greek, on 44th Street between 6th and 5th. Bond 45 is Italian, and on 45th, between 7th and 6th. Cafe Un Deux Trois is a french style bistro, on 44th between Broadway and 6th. There is an Indian restaurant also on 44th I think closer to 5th, but can't remember the name at the moment. I will find it if you are interested. I am sure that you also might pass something on the way that appeals to you, and can just walk in. That should give you a start though, and you won't have to walk out of your way at all. Figure on 10 city blocks as a half mile, so you really don't have too far to go. I usually say that a cross-own block is like 2 of the others, so any of those restaurants are less than 3/4 mile from Penn Station, and then you have a short walk to Rockefeller Center from there. Of course there are a few restaurants in Rockefeller Center, but not sure if you want something so touristy, like Sea Grill. If you want an upscale steak house, you can go to Del Frisco's, which is on 6th Ave (Avenue of Americas) right around Rockefeller Center, don't remember exactly which street.
re: Jane A.
Actually, I like that too, but at other times that I have mentioned it, other hounds give an alternative, so I didn;'t bother. Cafe Un Deux Trois is good as a light alternative if it is really lunch they are looking for. I didn't check if Doge is open for lunch.
Another thought right over there is Virgil's, which is barbeque, so definitely casual.
If you are walking from Penn Station to Rockefeller Center you could consider:
Lazzara's for square pizza and/or chicken parm (just walk out the 7th ave side of Penn Station and walk up until you get to 38th -- it will be on the north side of the street just past 7th Ave, on the second floor.)
You could also check out Kati Roll Co on 39th just east of 6th Ave. for Indian wraps, or Starwich for yuppie sandwiches. Another suggestion if the weather is nice would be to enjoy Bryant Park (42nd between 6th and 5th, lots of seating) along the way -- there are 'wichcraft kiosks in the park, and several options for grabbing food along 42nd street (north side of the park) though most are chains (Hale & Hearty, Pret, Chipotle and a Crumbs bakery).
There's also a good Szechuan chinese restaurant somewhere along the route -- I think it's 39th and 6th but if you search the board you will find it.
I'm torn--I figured the subway, natch, but heard it's supposed to be a nice day tomorrow (and Wed.) but don't know how long the walk would be and if it would be a better eating (and general experiencing) use of our time to walk?! oh, and also definitely suggestions for casual..nothing reservation-y..thanks!