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Manhatten on a budget...

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My wife and I are celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary by spending 4 nights in NYC. We live in Seattle and feel lucky that there are a number of reasonably priced, high quality restaurants to choose from. I asked a few of my close friends for their opinions on dining in Manhatten and each one would cost more than we can afford, we were lucky enough to get a good hotel deal online just so we could go to NYC. So my open ended question is, where can my wife and I have a good lunch/dinner within walking distance of Manhatten that will be both quality food and reasonable prices? IE, Lunch $50, Dinner $100.

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  1. Not sure when you're coming to Manhattan but if it's this month why not try lunch ($24.07) or dinner ($35) at one of the Restaurant Week restaurants that is extending through Labor Day. Some the City's finest restaurants participate with a limited prix fixe menu, that can be great and a great deal, some for lunch only. Why don't you check it out to get a few idea and then ask for additional advice on this board if you wish. Some really good ones include Aquavit, Artisanal, Cafe Boulud, Petrossian, Town, Beacon. Check it out:

    1. Are those prices per person or for the two of you? And does it include tax, drink, tips as well?

      1. We will be in NYC Sept 9-13th, looks like we will miss Restaurant week. :-( The sample prices I listed are for both of us to eat, tax and tip, no drinks included.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lost

          Thanks for the information. One more question -- as it's your anniversary, how important is ambiance to you? Do the restaurants have to be on the romantic side? If not, there are a lot more options available for you.

        2. No problem for that price; you'll probably get a lot of suggestions on our neighborhood favorites. Can you help us with your favorite type of food, and any specific neighborhood you'll be staying in or already traveling to? For example, I'm most familiar w/ the west and east village, but this board all together will be more well-rounded.

          Also, here's a new thread on our favorite "downscale" food, which is mostly take-out stuff.

          To find locations, search on chow or menupages.com.

          1. I would reccomend the NY magazine website - they just had a cheap food issue which is full of options in tons of different categories. Generally I would agree with their endorsements of the places I've tried which gives me no reason to be believe the rest are not good as well.

            1. Here's one I love that will fit your lunch budget, about $50 for 2 people. It is the Nougatine Room, the bar room that is the entry to Jean Georges restaurant at Columbus Circle. It is very good, attractive, and a real bargain for lunch year round:

              You should not despair over visiting our friendly city on a limited budget. You will discover lots of your own, charming places while you are walking through our many neighborhoods that are not that pricey. While people may recommend some lavish places there are still many tasty bargains to be found. Browsing throught the Cheap Eats issues, as suggested of Time Out and New York magazine, are good suggestions. Also, perhaps go to your local Borders or Barnes & Noble and get a Zagat's book for Manhattan and peruse your price range. Lots of choices at all levels! Also you might consider lunch as a main meal and dinner as a lighter meal. Lots of nice places offer more of a bargain for lunch.

              1. Well, Manhattan is the name of the island (and it's an enormous island) so a little more geographic precision would be helpful -- cross-streets maybe? (like 59th and 6th Av, or Broadway and Astor Place, etc.)

                Are there kinds of food you would prefer?

                You won't get into the fancy places for your budget but you can certainly have an excellent meal for that budget. Tax and tip is about 25%, so your "food total" is $20 for lunch and $40 for dinner. Easily done... just give a little more help.

                1. Check out the "prix fixe" lunch and dinner pages in the NYC Zagat. Your budget is ample for some very good dining. If you're going to be in the theater district and you like French Bistro, I'd suggest Marseille.

                  1. Make a romatic picnic lunch in central park near the Alice in Wonderland sculpture, Location: East 74th Street, north of Conservatory Water, The boat pond, Location : Conservatory Water, east side between 72nd and 75th Streets or eat on the grounds of the Cloisters...like being in Tuscany, The Cloisters
                    Fort Tyron Park
                    New York, NY 10040
                    (212) 923-3700

                    Also an unoften shared tip the Metropolitan Museum policy is
                    Pay what you can"

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Dezygnher35

                      I'm sure this will be useful for the second anniversary.

                      1. re: Dezygnher35

                        My wife and I did exactly that when we were in NYC for our 10th anniversary last year. We got sandwiches at Starwich a couple blocks away, got to hear two different competing musical groups (well, not necessarily competing, but we could hear both of them at once), and watched the toy boats on a lake. It was one of our best experiences.