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Tokyo hound in NYC for 4th of July. A few ?'s.

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Hello, I live in Tokyo now, but my wife and I will be in NYC for 2 days (July 4th, and 5th). I was wondering if anybody could recommend some places to eat while we are in the city. I'm used to Tokyo prices so I don't mind paying about $100 for dinner. Also is there any place, or things to do that you would recommend for the 4th of July going on in the city? We'll be staying in Manhattan.

Here is the list of food we wanted to try. Any help greatly appreciated!

Hummus/Falafel (I've heard about Hummus Place and Azuri Cafe, but not sure)
Good vegetarian
Family style Italian (simple red sauce)
Chinese (just simple fried rice/egg rolls)
Soul Food
Pizza
Anything worth going to in Little Italy?

Bars (anything like the Mission area of San Francisco? We're in our late 20's)

Sorry for the long post, but I haven't been back to the states in over 3 years. I wanna gain 5 pounds! ;) Thanks and respect

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  1. Tokyozilla,

    Do a search for these topics in the Manhattan board. There are tons of posts on them and this will just be repeating. You also will probably get too many choices so you will have to try to figure some out for yourself from the info you get.

    Unfortunately, pretty much all the foodstyles you mention are not so good here, to say the least.
    Pizza has a few good ones, especially compared to Tokyo.
    Little Italy is not worth going to for anything though you will get recommendations. There are much better Italian places elsewhere.
    Are you strict about it being Italian red sauce? If not, there are good choices but the real mama luke type of places with spaghetti and meatballs or chicken parmigiana, nobody needs that.

    If I see you are not getting much response or you cannot decide between some places I know, I will try to help. I just do not want to list too much stuff and also hear abotu it when others list some places that you should absolutely avoid.

    Good luck

    http://foodonlymatters.wordpress.com/

    1. Taim or Azuri Cafe for falafel
      Rack and Soul on Broadway or Mamma's Food Shop in the east Village for soul food
      Piccolo Angolo or Rao's for family style, red sauce Italian
      Bleeker St. Pizza or Joe's on Carmine st for a slice
      Pure Food and wine for veggie,
      I'm not going to offer up for Chinese or bars, really not my forte.

      1 Reply
      1. re: misnatalie

        Rack and Soul is not very good and not worth a trip. If it is close by, chance it.

        http://foodonlymatters.wordpress.com/

      2. -Hummus: try nanoosh on 68 and broadway, try ililli on 5th at 29th (upscale libanese)
        -good vegetarian: aquavit on 55th st(main dining room), per se in the time warner center (expensive, 275$, tasting menu, book in advance)
        -Italian: babbo, lupa, mezzaluna (3rd at 75th), gennaro (93st and amsterdam)

        -try these two new thai on upper west side: thai market (107st and amsterdam) and sokk (103st and broadway) they have fried rice
        -Soul food: try this new african restaurant: merkat on gansevoort st by the chef of Aquavit

        -Pizza: mezzaluna, otto pizzeria (5th and 8th st), una pizza napoletana in east village
        Little italy is a touristy area : it 's part of Chinatown. If you want to go to an authentic italian neighborhood, go to Bronx (Belmont). eat at Roberto's. On the way, stop at the botanical garden.

        -Bars: go to lower east side (clinton st), avenue A,B,C. you'll have the choice...
        During the summer, try rooftop bars: 267 5th av, empire hotel, roosevelt hotel
        Lounge: try Opia, Azza
        try in NYC wine bars(new trend): xai xai on 51st (south african), accademia del vino (63rd and 3av), otto pizzeria, bar boulud on broadway and 64rd and the restaurant Veritas that has an amazing wine list.

        To finish: you should try Jean georges restaurant: the one at 1 CPW (3 stars michelin), perry street, spice market, vong

        1 Reply
        1. re: larryfr

          Merkato 55 - which is the African restaurant that larryfr is referring to - serves pan-African food, which is not soul food. I actually do like Rack and Soul, and Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too on 110th St is excellent. Great mac and cheese.

          For pizza - check out Artichoke's if you're in the area. No sitting area though.

        2. Try chicken rice from street cart vendors. That's the quintessential New York food equivalent of Isobeyaki in roppongi winter. Little Italy Italians should be avoided.

          1. middle eastern...definitely try moustache...both the east village and west village branches have excellent food but the nod goes to west village...its definitely more crowded but the service is better...get the merguez sandwich or i will cut you.

            vegetarian...if you must...candles 79...kinda upscale and quite delicious...the candles cafe is more casual and a good option if yr looking for a nice break from the museums on 5th ave.

            family style italian? not much red sauce italian in the city that i recommend...but try da andrea on hudson...my absolute favorite for casual and delicious italian...or bianca on bleecker...nice scene...great for a night out with yr girl.

            cant help you on soul food but for bbq...i like hill country best...

            pizza...best pizza in manhattan is artichoke...but only get their squares...best pizza in nyc is difaras but its a nightmare these days unfortunately.

            little italy? its a trap...its basically surrounded by chinatown...i recommend a banh mi sandwich at saigon bakery...in the back of a jewelry shop on mott...la esquina for late night tacos in the casual taqueria...open late.

            bars? depends on yr style...my favorites are brandy library (amazing scotch selection and a classy environment), walkers (old school in tribeca), lorelay (german beer bar), tavern in jane (my local), hudson bar and books (romantic but smokey).

            1. Best Falafel is at Ta'im--no question. The best time to go is 3:30 in the afternoon because it is not as crowded then and it's a tiny place.