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Dec 30, 2008 12:11 PM

34th & Lexington

I'm coming to town with a few friends. It's my first time in new york and we're looking for good places to eat.

We're pretty much up for everything, burgers, pizza, italian, chinese, japanese, mexican. We'd like to eat at moderately priced places($20 plate), but are up for a splurge on 1-2 of the nights. We'd also like breakfast/lunch suggestions!

Can anyone also recommend good bars in the area?? Willing to go to different parts of town as well.

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  1. You are just a few blocks north of a lot of small, pretty inexpensive Indian restaurants and food shops. Walk from 29th South on Lexington, some are pretty good.

    9 Replies
    1. re: serious

      any specific suggestions? I think we'd be down to try some indian food one night. What's your favorite place & what meal do you suggest?

      1. re: DaisyDaisy

        Saravanaas, 26th St. and Lexington Av., is a great South Indian vegetarian restaurant. I went again most recently a few days ago and had a delicious meal.

        For Korean barbecue, go to Madangsui, 35th St. between 5th and 6th.

        If you want Jewish delicatessen food and aren't willing to go downtown to Katz's (which I would certainly recommend you do, for the pastrami [with the brisket being 2nd best if you feel the need to get anything else]), there's 2nd Av. Deli at 33rd between Lexington and 3rd - good but expensive. (Tongue sandwiches are priced punitively, at $20.95, but other items are less radically expensive; you can look at their menu here:


        For Sichuan food, go to Szechuan Gourmet, 39th St. between 5th and 6th. It's excellent! Stick to the spicy items, as the non-spicy ones don't tend to be interesting, based on my experience so far.

        I like the wafer-like pizza at Vezzo, 31st and Lexington. It's cheap and good, but it's certainly not the best in town.

        How long are you in town?

        1. re: Pan

          sorry should have noted that we're in town for about a week...

          1. re: DaisyDaisy

            Chennai Garden is also quite good, as is Tiffin Wallah (same owners as Chennai Garden).

            Also, for an interesting take on Chinese food, try out Chinese Mirch, which is Chinese food done Indian style.


            1. re: kathryn

              I hated Chinese Mirch the one time I went. It was very bad (extremely oily, and with poor-quality meat) and not cheap. Granted, that was 2, maybe 3 years ago, but has it drastically improved?

              1. re: Pan

                It's definitely on the oily side but I've never had a problem with the quality of meat. Maybe it's inconsistent. It's not the best restaurant in the neighborhood but one that is interesting, at least.

                1. re: Pan

                  I ate at chinese mirch and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a nice change of pace from your typical indian or chinese food. I didn't find it oily or find the meat of a poor quality. Maybe you hit a bad night (or maybe I just a hit a good one?), or it's improved since your last visit.

                  1. re: fooodie

                    That's certainly possible. But my experience was so bad that I'll never go back and, thus, will never know.

            2. re: Pan

              When Saravanaas has a line out the door, I've found Pongal to be an equally good option. The food and service and even the ambiance were great --- although I was somewhat put off that they treated me dismissively like a foreigner as with my light skin and features, it's hard to recognize I'm South Asian.

        2. Keens 72 W 36th St - go to the pub for an out of this world burger - not to be missed.
          Bon Chon Chicken 314 5th Ave- crazy good "Korean style fried chicken"
          Blue Smoke 116 E 27th St - for bbq and good beer
          Olympic Pita 58 W 38th st - falafel
          Ginger Man (Bar) 11 E 36th St - amazing beer selection
          Resto 111 E 29th St - burger or brunch
          Kang Suh 1250 Broadway - Korean BBQ

          that should get you going! hope others post, and have a great time.

          1. Pamplona has excellent take out lunch menu as well as a very affordable lunch prix fixe. I believe they also have a regular mojito happy hour.


            If you are feeling slightly more luxurious, walk a short bit and take advantage of the weekday lunch prix fixe at Eleven Madison Park. Two courses for $28, which is a steal if you look at the other menus.


            There is excellent espresso and coffee at Fika. They also look like they have interesting salads and sandwiches, but I haven't tried them yet.


            For burgers, Blue Smoke has an excellent burger (thick, bar style), or you can go to Shake Shack (thin, fast food style with a specialty sauce).


            You are also very close to the Grand Sichuan on 33rd and Lexington. I haven't been to this particular branch but the other ones are very good.

            There is also a deli counter tucked away on the 2nd floor of Kalustyan's (famous spice store):

            1 Reply
            1. re: kathryn

              That Grand Sichuan branch is fine, as long as you avoid the oyster appetizer (the oysters were clearly way too old and we sent the dish back), but it's significantly inferior to Szechuan Gourmet.

            2. I used to live in the neighborhood for 15 years (moved 18 months ago). Here are my recommendations:

              Sarge's Deli (much better and less expensive than 2nd Ave. Deli) Third Ave. between 36 & 37 Sts. Open 24 hours a day. Great for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

              Benjamin's, Second Ave. and 33 St. Very good continental food

              Artisanal, E. 32 St. between Park and Madison Aves. great place for brunch. Great cheeses.

              Sushi Sen-nin, E. 33 St. between Park and Madison Aves. wonderful sushi. some think it's pricey, I think it's because the sushi is really good.

              Notaro, Second Ave. between E. 34 and 35 Sts. good Italian food, moderate prices. they also have early bird specials.

              Eleven Madison Park, Madison Ave. and E. 24 St. great food, a bit of a splurge.

              La Petite Auberge, Lexington Ave. and E. 28 St. charming French bistro, very good food.

              Have a great time!

              3 Replies
              1. re: ellenost

                How does Sushi Sen-nin compare to other places around town (Kanoyama, Ushiwakamaru, Yasuda, etc)?

                1. re: kathryn

                  kathryn, when i lived in the neighborhood, Sen-Nin was my go-to place. granted, i haven't been there for quite a few years...but if the quality hasn't changed, it's very good. not quite up to the standard of some place like Yasuda or Kanoyama, but the fish was always very fresh, and the portions are generous - which makes their prices a little easier to swallow.

                2. re: ellenost

                  Benjamin, to my mind, is basically a diner, and it's just OK. My father loves their hamburgers and I don't eat hamburgers, but the rest of their stuff, I repeat, is just OK.

                3. Good bars is a pretty vague phrase. What exactly are you looking for? I don't even know where to begin, but:

                  Ginger Man on 36th & Madison has an obscene selection of beers on tap, if you're into that.

                  If you're in your early 20's and are looking for a post-college scene, there are literally dozens of bars on 3rd ave, roughly between 25th and 35th, that may appeal to you.

                  You can take a few stops on the 6 line to Astor place and walk to either the east or west village. There are countless options, depending on your taste.

                  If you're more into clubs, head to the west side.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chet steadman

                    Asia de Cuba in the Morgans Hotel on Madison Ave between 36th & 37th might be a good fit. scene-y vibe, bar and restaurant. food is decent...not stellar, but some of the dishes are actually pretty good - the tuna pica and the ropa vieja never disappoint.

                    1. re: chet steadman

                      We're in our early to mid 20's (and all females). We've all got different tastes in going out, so I think we're mainly going to stick to lounges (cocktails and martinis), maybe a relaxed bar (there's a beer drinker with us), and a club or two over the weekend.

                      For clubs, I've heard about Cielo & Marquee... any other suggestions? We don't want to get stuck in line for 20 hours.... but would like it to be somewhere nice, trendy