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help! impromptu trip to NYC with kids!

we decided on a three day weekend trip with kids (10 and 13 and one is adventurous of sorts, and one not so much)

we are staying in midtown (crowne plaza) but will travel to interesting food (not too pricey) . We would love some innovation but will also welcome good pizza for the staid one.

any suggestions in the area or surrounding areas would be welcome (don't want mediocre food just because its close)!

Thanks in advance and sorry for the lack of capitals-not my computer!

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  1. The best italian restaurant near time square is Insieme, helmed by Marco Canora. The lasagna bolognese has quite a reputation now, and although I haven't tasted it, I have been to the restaurant, and it is an elite italian restaurant. it's expensive, but italian usually goes well with kids.

    you're also near Molyvos, on 7th Ave around 55th street, which is one of the best greek restaurants in the city, run by a star greek chef. The dishes I've had there are other wordly, including the ossobuco, stuffed cabbages, and baklava.

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    for Pizza? I'll talk about the ones in manhattan (although 2 of 3 of my favorites are in brooklyn.. Di Fara's and Grimaldis) Lombardi's on Mott Street in Nolita is one of the best pizza joints in the city. you can sit down with your fam and enjoy one of the best pies new york has to offer. Another alternative for a good family pizza sit down is John's Pizzeria on Bleeker street in the west village (remember the street, since there are imitators). Both have been around for nearly a century and are new york classics.

    My favorite place for a slice in manhattan now a days is Artichoke on 14th btw 1st and 2nd which has quickly become a new favorite for new yorkers. They only offer 3 slices, Regular, Sicilian, and Artichoke. Each are amazing. Usually there's a line during prime eating hours but its worth braving it. (usually not longer than 20 mins). This isn't a sit-down like the other two, but is a fun new york pizza joint experience if chosen. Anyway those pizza places will suffice to choose from, you can't go wrong with any of them.

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    If you're feeling adventurous and want a real treat, go to Joe's Shanghai on 9 Pell Street in Chinatown. They offer something called soup dumplings, meaning soup WITHIN the dumpling. 8 pork soup dumplings are 4.65, Crab + Pork dumplings is a few dollars more. Along with the dumplings, they cook extremely solid american-chinese dishes along with chinese ones. This place is another New York classic, so expect lines during prime hours, but what I'd recommend is if there's a wait, put your name down, and explore chinatown a little bit. Walk down mott, canal, explore a little bit, chinatown may be fun for your adventurous one.

    Another idea would be going to Soba-ya on 9th btw 3rd and 2nd in the East Village. It's a japanese noodle house that is very popular among locals and japanese living in NY. Walking around the east village in the evening is a treat.

    hmm are there any other cuisines you're interested in going to? hope your weekend goes well! let me know how it goes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: silencespeak

      Thanks silencespeak! the italain, greek, pizza and chinese all sound wonderful and the exploration a must!

      Thai is also an option as is (mild, sigh) indian. some of then more interesting foods my have to wait for another trip.

      i have not been to NYC for several years and my last trip was much more upscale foodwise (business trip) . i am excited to try more of the urban food i am used to back home (Toronto).

      i am eagerly reviewing the boards and i promise to report back on our weekend-very excited to explore NYC with the kids!

      1. re: donelikedinner

        There's a legendary thai place in queens, but that'd be a trek for a family. I'd recommend The Holy Basil on 2nd ave btw 9th and 10th. It's consistently in the tops for best thai lists in manhattan and rightfully so. the food is amazing. mmm, just typing about it makes me want to go tomorrow haha. It's authentic and the price is very reasonable. Can get little busy but not bad. Definitely would recommend this place for thai.

        For Indian? hmm, for high end i'd say Tamarind is spectacular on 22nd street. It's ranked No. 1 on zagat for indian and for good reason. There's a few popular Indian places on 58th street, Chola and Dawat particularly, that I haven't gone to yet but have heard positive things, also given good zagat ratings.

        What I usually do for my indian fill is walk down 6th street btw 2nd and 1st. this spot is nicknamed "Curry Row" and it is filled with indian restaurants. Banjara is a popular and serves all around good indian without fuss. The street is fun to walk through to.

        Hope this helps! Can't wait to hear how your trip goes! Would love to hear how your eating experiences go.

    2. Are your kids boys or girls?
      Reason you ask? I am taking my 11 year old daughter to NYC next weekend for the Jonas Brothers concert and this trip is ALL ABOUT HER...so I have done a fair amount of research.
      Since she is a girl...we are going to Alice's Teacup http://www.alicesteacup.com/
      and we are also going to Serendipity 3/midtown. For a safe palate- Peanut Butter & CO.
      In addition, Carmines has great Italian School and it is in the Times Square area.

      enjoy

      ~paige

      1. One interesting and diverse option is to go to the east village. If you like falafel, there is Mahmoun's on St. Mark's Place. Just around the corner on 2nd Ave. is Pomme Frites, a teeny joint that just serves fries with a nice variety of dipping sauces (they even have poutine!). A few blocks uptown on 2nd is Max Brenner, but do NOT eat there, just grab a hug a mug of hot chocolate or something like it and let the kids admire all the chocolate. Across the street and another block uptown is Black Hound for some very nice pastries, truffles and really good cheese straws to bring back to your hotel for later. Also, if the kids like noodle soup or pork buns, Momofuku Noodle Bar is one block east of Black Hound at 171 1st Ave. Everything there is excellent, but if you go, try to get there as close to noon as you can as they get crowded not long afterwards.

        Also, search the board here for RGR's famous LES/E. Village crawl as it includes a lot of lower east side favorites and good walking directions on how to get to them. If you don't mind spending more than a few dollars, go to the LES for dinner at Stanton Social. My kids love trying the small plates and their homemade donuts with three dipping sauces are their favorite desserts in the city.

        1. Ethiopian at Queen of Sheba
          Thai at Pongsri
          Indian at Yuva
          Indonesian at Bali Nusa Indah
          Authentic non-sushi Japanese at Sakagura
          Japanese grilled chicken at Torys
          Kaiten (conveyer belt) sushi at Sakae
          Sushi Yasuda has a reasonable lunch special that is one of the best deals in the city.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ShinjukuAce

            I can second Sushi Yasuda. It is one of the best sushi places in the city, and is my favorite.

          2. Becco on restaurant row in the west 40's has an all you can eat pasta dish served for both lunch and dinner. it is very reasonable and there is a choice of three pastas and you can have all three if you like. you will absolutely need a reservation. also, from 42nd street up to the high 50's on 9th ave there is restaurant after restaurant none fancy or high priced from which to choose. 9th ave is sort of a local secret here for places to eat that the tourists never go to (none of them get as far as 9th!). 9th ave is very kid friendly in the variety of restaurants available.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sarecca

              Thanks everyone- these are great suggestions! Thai, sushi (yum), Ethiopian, it all sounds great and I will look at all of your suggestions. East Village sounds like fun (will pay attention to Stanton Social).

              Paige, my daughter is 13 going on 20 so I think I missed the boat on Alice's Teacup, but it does sound lovely. Peanut Butter & Co. sounds perfect for my picky son!

              Will report back on our adventures!

              1. re: donelikedinner

                My nephews ages 13/16 adore New York. It sounds like your kids' tastes might be a tad more sophisticated, but I know these places are teen-approved.

                1) Your son would love Junior's -- there's one near Times Square and another in Grand Central -- it seems made for a 13 year old. These are branches of the original Junior's in Brooklyn, which I used to pass on my way home, Whenever I get a hankering for a good (non-fast food) shake or burger, I order it from there, and they have amazingly fast service pre-theater. The cheesecake is not to be missed. http://www.juniorscheesecake.com/

                2) If you want a very busy Chinese near Times Square, try the Ollie's Noodles on W. 43rd Street, just west of Broadway. You will see business people, tourists, actors, and Asians (always a good sign!) You get tons of food, it is good quality, and it's a real New York experience. The dumplings and noodle soups are excellent, and it's very affordable. http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/...

                3) My nephews adore the lounge on top of the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square. It's a little pricey, but you can make a meal out of appetizers and the view is spectacular.

                4) If you go by the Today Show in Rockefeller Center to see a concert or a taping, avoid the Dean and Deluca, which is overpriced. Instead, go down to the concourse of Rockefeller Center (you can take a little elevator down from the plaza.) There are places to get take out, and also the Rock Center cafe which is great for a sit-down breakfast.

                5) Your daughter would enjoy Sarabeth's. There are several around the city, including one on Central Park West. If you venture to the Upper East Side, you could eat at the one at 92nd and Madison, then walk a block west to Central Park, explore, walk down to the Metropolitan Museum, and take the bus back downtown. http://www.sarabeth.com/