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Dec 10, 2008 04:36 PM

Where to take an Italian visitor coming to NYC for the first time?

She has little money and likes to eat healthy when she can. She also doesn't like fish. Any ideas? Thanks in advance for your help.

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    1. Since this is her first trip to NYC, I think you should convince her to not be too stringent about eating healthy so she can experience a quintessential NY deli. Take her to Katz's, order at the counter, and share a pastrami sandwich with her. Also, make sure she tries an egg cream, either at Ray's, on Av. A or at Gem Spa, on 2nd Av.

      1. cheap and healthy.. Caracas in the east village is a winner. Every friend I've taken this place to loves it; they serve venezuelan arepas crispy-crepe-pitas made of corn flour with healthy fillings. The atmosphere is real chill, and is very popular on weekends. An arepa is 6-8 dollars. .

        Definitely echo chinatown. Joe's Shanghai is arguably my favorite. Wide selection, tasty, cheap.


        2 Replies
        1. re: silencespeak

          My boyfriend is Italian and his friends come visit all the time. There's a couple standards he likes to take them to for things he thinks are "cool". Joe' Shanghai is always on the list, Mara's homemade for alligator and crayfish, JG Mellon or Paul's for a great burger, and usually a koreatown visit.
          Oh and for drinking always mcsorley's and a tiny whole in the wall sake bar

          1. re: silencespeak

            Maybe it's just me, but I decided to pretty much give up on Caracas when one arepa started costing $6. That is NOT cheap, when I need two of those plus salad for a good lunch. And then the juice...before you know it, it's a $20 lunch, for Venezuelan street food.

            Also, I think the place is good but only really loved one of their arepas: La jardinera.

          2. How about Taim? I know it doesn't exactly scream New York but it is an interesting place with a lot of healthy or not-so-healthy options. Plus she can stroll around West Village.

            She should also visit Momofuku Milk Bar. It's the opposite of healthy eating, but I am sure her pocket and body can afford some cookies or cakes every now and then!

            1. if you are at union square for healthy she might like REPUBLIC.

              not healthy, but for an inexpensive and real deal ny lunch experience take her EISENBERGS DINER by the flatiron building.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mrnyc

                I never go to Republic - I don't think I've ever eaten there, for all the thousands of times I've passed it. Isn't that the sort of pan-Asianish noodle place? Correct me if I'm wrong. What do you particularly like about it?

                1. re: Pan

                  you should try it. its a great quick lunch spot. cheap, fast and very healthy. also its very non-italian and has a bustlely union sq/ny vibe for the visitor:


                  some people complain that its healthy to the point of flavorless, thats sort of true, but i've always liked it fine.

                  1. re: mrnyc

                    Flavorless? I think I'll pass. I'm around 20 minutes from most any part of Chinatown and can get cheap noodle soups there.