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Any cool restaurants for teens in NYC?

In March I'm turning 14, and I'm planning on having a Girl's Night Out party in NYC with about 13-15 of my friends. We are planning on taking the train there (with my mother of course) and once we get there we would go to a nice restaurant. Due to the recession, I need a cool restaurant that my friends would like that have dinners from around $22-$28 each. And hopefully near Grand Central please? If anything, a subway stop away. Your help would be very much appreciated :D

BTW I considered Butter; but then I looked at the menu and it had extremely expensive crap food (in my opinion). Something like the Butter's Birch Room would be nice.

Please and thank you!

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  1. WOW I love to see a teenager take so much interest! (and with such manners) (Man, at 30 years old I already sound like a doting grandma)

    Anyways, definitely not Butter for two reasons (a) you'll definitely have to spend more than $25 per person. and (b) it's been on Gossip Girl and it would look like you're only there because of that. The food is actually quite good, in my opinion, but haven't been there to eat in like two years.

    If you want to spend about $15 per person, that are still trendy and fun, your best bet is to look into restaurants in the east village or LES. I don't think your age would really matter since based on your idea of Butter, it sounds like you want a place that 20-somethings would hang out at.

    Try looking at the menus for
    Spitzers Corner
    The Redhead
    Degustation (but make reservations because it's small)
    Rhong Tiam
    Blue Owl
    Sunburnt Cow
    Mr. Jones

    Those are some of the restaurants I've been to/ want to try.

    7 Replies
    1. re: secondbecky

      OMG! Butter really was on Gossip Girl, I didn't really make much sense into that until now haha. I'm looking at the menus now, and I really like a lot of these restaurants. Thank you so much!

      1. re: lilmiicahxo

        Oh, so most of these are bars? Kind of?

        1. re: lilmiicahxo

          I would steer clear of Blue Owl, Sunburnt Cow & (to a lesser extent) Spitzer's Corner. All three are mostly about the drinking, and a large group of teens might not be welcomed with open arms.

          I don't think you'd get 15 people into Degustation without a shoehorn, and I believe it's counter seating so your group would be all lined up (rather than facing each other). Prune is way out of your price range. Shiller's is probably your best bet from secondbecky's list.

          Have you considered getting a big table at one of the nicer places in Chinatown, Amazing 66 or Oriental Garden? You'd probably have an easy-ish time staying within your budget. Or Mexican Radio - they have a huge table.

          Sorry I'm ignoring the Grand Central thing - I really don't think it's possible to eat around there for $15/head unless you have pizza.

            1. re: lilmiicahxo

              I'm going to say Terroir might not be good for the same reason as it's a) probably about the size of my shoebox of an apartment, and b) primarily a wine bar.

              On a more positive note, A group of about 15 of my fellow interns and I went to Cafeteria this summer for a fun girl's night out dinner, and that might be fun for you. We're all a little older (between 20 and 22) but I think the girls who planned this were going for a price range and vibe similar to what you want, so it might be worth looking into.

              (and happy early birthday!)

              1. re: whitneybee

                Second Cafeteria. It's more Sex & the City than Gossip Girl, but perhaps the birthday girl prefers the classics.

      2. re: secondbecky

        One more suggestion, not so very far from Grand Central.


        The food isn't so hot, but it's pretty cheap. The space is shiny & hip-looking & loud.

      3. Yeah I know the vibe in those places is more of a bar, but since the OP wanted a place like Butter, I figured that was what she was going for. I don't think Prune is that far out of her price range...

        There are a couple of "decent' restaurants around grand central, but nothing that is really "foodie" and not much that is in your price range.
        Have you looked at Ciba? Or maybe Bank Cafe.

        2 Replies
          1. re: secondbecky

            I just changed my price around to about $22-$28. Would any of you know restaurants that are about one to two subway stops away from Grand Central?

          2. Chinatown is a great idea. Another suggestion that might be more convenient would be something in the Hell's Kitchen area -- West 40s -- a short ride across town on the bus right outside of Grand Central. There are many inexpensive ethnic places (Mexican, Thai, Italian, etc) that would welcome you (with a reservation in advance) and be kind to your budget. I think many of these places would be festive and fun for a group of girls and could probably fix you up with non-alcoholic versions of popular drinks such as sangria and margaritas. No specific suggestions at the moment but perhaps others could chime in.

            4 Replies
            1. re: City Kid

              Oh okay. Thank you! Has anyone heard of Stanton Social or Serendipity 3? How are those restaurants? I've been to the old Serendipity, but not Stanton Social.

              1. re: lilmiicahxo

                Stanton Social is in the Lower East Side, so not close to where you want to be. Plus it's alot like the other restaurant/ bars I suggested, and it's very expensive.

                I actually like Serendipity's food, although most people go for their frozen hot chocolate However it's also quite small and chances are not good to fit such a large party.

                I like City Kid's idea of going to Hell's Kitchen. Try Five Napkin Burger, or if you guys eat sushi, Ocha.

                1. re: secondbecky

                  Stanton Social is more of a bar scene and a large group of teen would not be very welcome.

              2. re: City Kid

                You can take the 7 or the shuttle from Grand Central to Times Square and not have to wait outside for the bus. Though then you have to walk a block or two to 9th for all the good restaurants.

                Some other spots around there to look at:
                Vynl: www.vynl-nyc.com/
                Tacocina: www.tacocina.com/
                Uncle Nick's: www.menupages.com/restaurantdetails?r...
                Breeze: www.breezenyc.com/
                Yum Yum Bangkok: www.yumbangkoknyc.com

                Not the best restaurants in the city, but the food's good, they're in your price range, and they're places I like to go with my friends (I'm 23).

              3. It's not close to Grand Central, but Cowgirl in the West Village comes to mind. It's group and under 21 friendly. And affordable.

                3 Replies
                1. re: wanderluster

                  Thanks so much guys! I'm looking into these restaurants. Any more suggestions? I'm always up for more ideas!

                  1. re: lilmiicahxo

                    I don't have any more suggestions but would like to tell you how well you write and how polite you are. What a joy! Have fun at the dinner.


                    1. re: lilmiicahxo

                      5 napkin is a great idea- you can have sushi or burgers- and great shakes. They will take a reservation for that many. It is a crosstown bus away from Grand Central.

                  2. How about Indian? Nirvana on Lexington and 39 ( quick walk from gcs) is trendy and in your price range!

                    1. I'm wracking my brain to come up with more ideas and failing, but I just want to wish you a Happy Birthday in advance, and join in complimenting you on your writing. You write better than a lot of the adults here.

                      1. hm...
                        maybe red egg in chinatown? shanghai cafe (could it seat 15?)?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ian9139

                          Where? I doubt it could. New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe could, though. My difficulty is that I really don't know what's cool for a 14-year-old today, and I'm unfamiliar with Butter.

                        2. -- maybe Landmarc in the Time Warner Center

                          -- or Marseille (44th St and 9th Ave)

                          1. Perhaps Gemma? The food is nothing to too exciting, but the ambiance is great and it does still draw a 20something crowd.

                            Also i'd recommend checking out Highline. The prices are very reasonable, and the place is certainly cool looking

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: quizkiddonniesmith

                              gemma is a great idea.
                              with a fairly similar menu concept...i also think otto is a fun spot. i enjoy it now as a 25 year old with a group of friends - always festive - but i think a group of 14y.o. ladies would be just as comfortable.

                            2. how about a Korean restaurant-one where you can cook your food at the table. Yakiniku Juju is a fun place,with some all you can eat nights that will definitely meet your budget.Just ask them which nights they are. It's fun,not very chic a-la-Gossip girls.and located 2 stops from Grand Central. You can take the Lexington Ave line to 28th Street and it is right there. Good luck!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: pammi

                                Yakingiku Juju closed a few months ago. I read somewhere recently that they were reopening as a non-sushi japanese place, but the actual type is slipping my mind right now. Not sure if its opened yet.

                                  1. re: KTinNYC

                                    It would totally shoot their budget to smithereens.

                                      1. re: LeahBaila

                                        Frankly, I wasn't looking at entree prices, but basing that on getting a bunch of dim sum items. Dim sum is the thing at CB, so going there and just getting a bunch of entrees seems like a waste to me.

                                1. Gemma is a great idea and I don't know if it's still a celeb hot spot, but over the summer there were lots of celebs sitings there. Highline great, inexpensive, trendy, fun idea as well. Second Cafeteria or even Delicatessen (same idea, but newer and in Soho). Happy bday, be sure to let us know where you chose!

                                  1. Ooh, very cool! I agree with Cafeteria, or how about Coffee Shop in Union Square? Also, Rosa Mexicano on 18th St. is a fun Mexican spot.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: thursdaynext

                                      I can't imagine Schillers Liquor Bar or Stanton Social would be so welcoming of fifteen 13- 14 year olds, people! I second the suggestions or Landmarc, Cafeteria, POP or Chinatown Brasserie for a fun NYC birthday for young teens. And Happy Birthday... let us know how it goes!

                                      1. re: malibu

                                        Maybe TWC is different, but Landmarc Tribeca is walk-ins only...??

                                        I think Cafeteria or Eatery would be good choices. I'd second the suggestion for Cowgirl in the WVill.

                                        How about a Murray Hill place? Blockheads? Rio Grande?

                                    2. I may have missed this in one of the posts, but for what day and time are you planning this? Schiller's at 6pm on a Tuesday may be a good idea, but forget about it at 8pm or so on a Friday/Saturday. Knowing when you going would help tailor recs a bit more.

                                      1. I agree with the suggestion of Korean BBQ - it's fun and delicious. Not trendy but a very unique experience. We like Kum Gang San on 32nd St. but there are others maybe with a party room or more posh atmosphere. My teenage niece/nephew loved it.

                                        Seems like you're most focused on the food (and bravo for that, emerging chowhound), but I'd be remiss not to mention our absolute favorite dinner party with kids is private karaoke rooms at Japas 27, upstairs from East Japanese Restaurant. If you reserve in advance, they offer party packages that include karaoke, sushi and hot food, plus unlimited soft drinks. You can also order off the main menu but that's usually more expensive. Have a great time!

                                        1. Inoteca on the Lower East side has a cool subterranian space --
                                          98 Rivington St, New York - (212) 614-0473

                                          15 minute taxi ride from Grand Central to the Lower East Side.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: SGinNYC

                                            There is a closer inoteca that should be open by March at 25th & 3rd just two subway stops south of GCS.

                                            1. re: Spends Rent on Food

                                              Thank you so much everyone! I am really considering most of these restaurants. Very, very nice choices. Also, I would like to thank everyone for commenting on my writing skills. Better than some adults here? How so? This is how most teens formally type that are my age. We learn how to properly type/write at a young age.

                                              I really like a lot of these restaurants, and I will let you all know how it all works out. Thank you so much! I am always up for new suggestions!

                                          2. thinking about this more, i'll also suggest Bar Bao...it's nowhere near Grand Central (it's on 82nd, at Columbus on the UWS -- so you'd have to cab or do a change of subways)...but it has a great and diverse menu of nouveau Vietnamese dishes...the atmosphere is both loungey and festive...and the staff are great and would welcome a big group, and if you told them it's a bday i'd imagine the chef/owner will toss in some special desserts...

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Simon

                                              Is that related to Bao Noodles, on 2nd Av. between 22nd and 23rd? If so, Bao Noodles is a lot closer to Grand Central.

                                              1. re: Pan

                                                yeah, it's related to Ba Noodles and Baogette -- i haven't been to those places but i think they might be less festive and more casual than Bar Bao, which has a cool interior and is maybe better for a special birthday...