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Family friendly cheap(ish) eats near The London NYC hotel (54th btwn 6th&7th)?

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Our family of four (parents w/2 daughters ages 9 & 14) have a quick stopover planned in NYC during our August vacation.

We don't have much time - we arrive on a Friday morning and have to leave on Saturday afternoon, but we will have time for two lunches and one dinner. We're staying at the London NYC hotel and will hope to visit the Met, walk around Central Park, and maybe see a show depending on what's offered at the TKTS booth.

We like casual places, ethnic is a plus, nothing fancy at all (I will hope to convince my surfer husband to wear khakis and a buttondown shirt, but honestly, it's hard for me to get him to wear anything besides long shorts and a casual shirt...yikes...I am already cringing picturing us walking around Manhattan).

We don't want to spend a lot on meals, and this, plus our, ahem, wardrobe limitations, makes me think that maybe places on 9th Ave are the ticket for dinner on Fri night. After searching the board, I've come up w/the following possibilities:

Wondee Siam II (or perhaps Tai Thai Cafe or Yum Yum Bangkok if we're craving Thai?)
Taboon (or is this too pricey and/or fancy?)
Uncle Nick's
Turkish Kitchen
Anyplace in midtown west, Times Square or Hell's Kitchen area for excellent NY pizza?

We live in the San Diego area, so we get our fill of good Mexican, but any other ideas and opinions on the above are greatly appreciated.

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  1. I like Ariana, which is an Afghan place on 9th ave between 51st and 52nd. Comfortable and casual atmosphere.

    1 Reply
    1. re: eeee

      In the same vein, Afghan Kebab house is also very good.
      Yakitori Totto has really yummy bbqed skewers and is generally a big hit with all age groups
      John's on 44th St has decent pizza.
      www.orderinny.com

      -----
      Yakitori Totto
      251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

      John's Pizzeria
      260 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

      Afghan Kebab House
      764 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

    2. The burger joint, in Le Parker Meridien Hotel, for one of NY's best burgers.

      1. carmines..incredibly family friendly.

        1. There are a lot of reasonable and good restaurants on 9th & 10th Ave. We found one called Whym on 9th around 56th. Marseille is very good and not too pricey. A new restaurant called Brasserie Cognac is also good.
          As far as dress in NYC in the summer, people are casually dressed except for the fanciest restaurants. In fact, many people came in with shorts, it is rarely an issue.

          1. For your Friday lunch, Roberto Passon on 9th at 50th for three courses at $13 -- I really enjoyed the octopus starter (I know, but it was so good!). You can't beat the price... and honestly, though there will be businessmen in suits in there eating, you will be fine wearing whatever.

            I just returned home to Orange County from a trip to New York and I'm still amazed by how much the dress has relaxed in New York. Even from just ten years ago...

            1. Angelo's Pizza (a sit down restaurant) on 57th between 6th and 7th.

              Walk down 6th Avenue, starting at 54th street. Try some of the street vendors that sell meat (chicken or chopped gyro) and rice. Make sure to get white sauce and hot sauce on whatever you try. (Best ones are around 48th and 49th Streets...and there's public seating where you can eat.)

              I like Ray's Pizza on 7th Avenue and 53rd for a quick slice. (Others disagree.)

              1 Reply
              1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                Oh, good call -- I had Angelo's the other day and it was deeeeeeeelicious.

                Also, the cart on the corner of 58th and 6th in the morning has fantastic bacon-egg-and-cheese on a hard roll... and just a couple of blocks down from there is Zibetto, for fantastic Italian espresso drinks (no chairs, stand at the bar or get it to go).

              2. for thai food..topaz 56 st bwtn 6-7 th ave next to parker meridien hotel

                1. I've lived in hells kitchen for 25 years, and here are my picks Wondee Siam 1 or 2 are both great. For weekend breakfast, galaxy diner on 46 and 9, or the nameless diner on 57 and 9. I haven't eaten at the turkish kitchen yet. Good casual italian can be had at Ralph's on 56 and 9 They tarted the place up a bit 10 years ago but it's still good family place. El Deportivo Restaurant at 48th and 9th would be a great only in NYC experience. It's Dominican/ Puerto Rican (very different from mexican) Quality food, big portions and family friendly atmosphere with low prices.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dwf

                    Thanks, all, for the wonderful suggestions! Too bad we have such a tight timeframe. I used to live and work in the city, so it's going to be torture for me to be there for such a short time, but I'll hope to get back there soon (maybe without the kids so I can do some more serious chow-sampling).

                    Das Ubergeek, I loved your review of Carnegi Deli on your separate post, and thanks for the reassurance on the relaxed dress.

                    eeee, I appreciated hearing about Ariana Kebab House, and it started me off on another tangent, which is to look for good Afghan and other cuisine from that part of the world. Our girls were adopted from Kazakhstan, only a couple years ago, so they have vivid and very fond memories of the food in that part of the world. Although we have one good Afghan restaurant in San Diego (and a Russian/Georgian place that serves good eastern European food), we don't get to eat the cuisine that they remember from their early years very often. If possible, I'd like to do that during this trip.

                    I love all the other suggestions, too, and will keep the info from this post for future trips. Would love to still hear other ideas! Thanks again.

                  2. Puttanesca 49th and 9th