Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Apr 22, 2008 03:39 AM

First time in NYC - What to eat?

I'll be in NYC from May 2 until May 9. I will be travelling with some relatives (we are a party of 8: 7 adults and a 4 year old child) and we will be staying at the Belvedere Hotel (48th st and 8th ave).

At the moment, I'm looking for places to eat and I have some doubts that I will divide into several posts to make it easier to answer:

- We have never been to the US. What kind of food would you advise us not to miss?

Thank you for your help!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm not sure what the Chinese food is like in Portugal, but you should visit Chinatown for a meal. Many posts on Chinatown to get some ideas. Also a barbeque place, or southern food restaurant. I'll leave those suggestions to the NYC natives.

    1. Pizza, bagels, black & white cookies, lobster roll, a cupcake from one of NYC's famous bakeries, pastrami

      1 Reply
      1. re: LeahBaila

        i would suggest that you try a burger. the list of options are too many to mention, but i am certain that you can get some input from chow...i guess i might suggest the burger joint and perhaps the spotted pig, go for lunch as dinner tables are a hard thing to come by.

      2. Not sure exactly how Joanie knew that you were from Portugal, but I have been there, and did have some wonderful food, but did not see much in the way of ethnic restaurants of any kind. It was over 10 years ago, so it is possible that you have a lot more now.
        You may want to let us know what you are planning for the day, and what kind of food you would like, or are you willing to try anything? You can try Utsav on West 46th off 6th Ave for Indian food.
        Second Avenue Deli will give you a sandwich the likes of which you have never had before I would imagine. They may not have the best Pastrami in the city, but that is something worth trying, along with corned beef, hard salami, cole slaw & pickles. A potato knish wouldn't be a bad thing to try on the side either.

        1 Reply
        1. re: robinsilver

          There have been way too many less than positive reports about the food at the 2nd Ave. Deli, so I would not recommend it.

          *The* place to go for the quintessential NYC deli experience: Katz's! It is the first stop on my (in)famous tour. :-))

          Here's a link to the tour:

        2. Make search you research RGR's Lower East Side noshing tour. It hits up a lot of "uniquely NY" experiences.

          Seconding others' recommendations and adding my favorites:
          Pizza (not sure if you have been to Italy but I like Patsy's of East Harlem, Luzzo's, and Una Pizza Napoletana)
          Bagels + smoked salmon (Russ and Daughter has great smoked salmon and is historic)
          Burger or steak (if you do steak, go to Keens, which is historic and has a great atmosphere)
          A big brunch (Balthazar perhaps, 8 is a lot of people for brunch, definitely make reservations, many of the other popular spots will not be able to accomodate that large a party)
          Cupcakes (Sugar Sweet Sunshine, Two Little Red Hens, perhaps)
          Pastrami sandwich from Katz's Deli (make sure you research the unusual ordering system)
          BBQ (I think Hill Country would be the most fun for someone not from the US but it's very casual, messy, and has an unusual ordering system)
          Street food (perhaps the halal cart on 53rd and 6th, there are many options to choose from)
          Note also that for a party of 8, you'll be wanting to make reservations for most of the nicer restaurants. Many NYC restaurants are small and popular and very crowded.

          See also:

          2 Replies
          1. re: kathryn

            I notice everyone liking Doughnut Plant but I didn't care for it when I stopped in 2 years ago. Is there a place that has small, kind of crunchy/greasy cake donuts that are the normal size? Maybe with a great maple frosting? Also got one from Cupcake Cafe which was just okay. Does Donut Pub (203 W.14th) still exist? Anywhere else?

            1. re: Joanie

              Doughnut plant has two types of donut, there are small cake donuts and larger yeast-based donuts. The yeast-based donuts are very different from other donuts -- they are soft and fluffy but also have a bit of chew with them.

              Donuts are not a huge thing in NYC, unfortunately. Donut Pub is still around. I also hear Bouchon Bakery has good donuts, too. I think for more options, you need to go to Brooklyn.


          2. You definitely need to have a steakhouse on the list. If you are willing to travel to Brooklyn Peter Luger's is the best steakhouse in the country. If you must stay in Manhattan there are several good choices but I will recommend Keens, BLT Prime, and Uncle Jack's.