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Feb 10, 2009 05:39 AM


Hi, my friend and I are visiting NYC for 7 days in March. We will be staying at The Marcel at Gramercy (201E, 24th street & 3rd Ave). We would very much appreciate your recommendations for good and affordable (mid price range) restaurants (for dinner) in the Gramercy area.

We are two 40yo girls who like a nice relaxed vibe and are not limited by specific cuisine.

Thanks in advance.


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  1. Eleven Madison Park and Tabla are both around 24th and Park. You could also try Barbounia (great atmosphere - Greek) and Boqueria (Tapas) which are both nearby. Centro Vasco (23rd and 6th) has lobsters (budget-friendly).

    1 Reply
    1. re: FoodieFemme

      Just a clarification: Centro Vasco is on 23rd, very close to 7th Ave.

    2. Define "mid price range"... how much per person including tax, tips, drinks? For example, Eleven Madison Park, recommended below is NOT what I would call mid-price range, at least not for dinner.

      Previous threads...
      New hood, 23rd and Lex (all around recs)

      Best breakfast near the Marcel

      Inexpensive lunches in the area

      Essential eats for visitors:

      2 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        Hi, this is great thanks. Price range per person we thought $10 for brekkie, mid $20s for lunch and mid $50s for dinner. Is this realistic or not?

        1. re: Lulu40

          Yes. Definitely try Resto on E. 29th St between park ave. and lexington.

      2. I highly recommend Giorgio's of Gramercy(East 21st/btween Park and Broadway).Very good food and an interesting wine list at reasonable prices($8 to $10 apps and high teen to mid 20s $ for mains).Nice atmosphere and good service.First ate there a few weeks ago and am going back this Friday night.My only disclaimer would be that it might not fit the bill if you're looking for a really lively scene/bar area.A good choice for a tasty meal with a mid-level price tag.It does have a nice,relaxed vibe.

        1. Fantastic and affordable- Gramercy tavern (the Tavern rooom) and Novita.

          3 Replies
          1. re: roze

            For really spicy and authentic Thai food you can't beat Jaiya Thai on 28th and 3rd. Do not go to ThaiNY next door.

            Very reasonable as well.

            1. re: aloew1

              Thanks, this is great. We both love good authentic Thai food and will deffinitely give Jaiya Thai a try

            2. re: roze

              Yes Gramercy Tavern is deffinitely on our list. We are trying to get a reservation at the restaurant for the lunch tasting menu. The Tavern room is our backup.

            3. Depends where you're from and what you have in mind, but Molly's is known for having one of the best burgers in the city, and it's a few blocks away. Atmosphere is dark Irish pub, sawdust on the floor, wood booths. You can try one of the Indian places on Lexington, between 26th, and 29th. The area is nicknamed Curry Hill. You hop over to Gramercy for an endless list of options, and get your morning coffee at 71 Irving on Irving place.

              Dreaming about anything specific?

              9 Replies
              1. re: sugartoof

                We are from Sydney and thoroughly enjoy the pub atmosphere especially if they also serve good food. Molly's is deffinitely on our list. Should we stay away from there on St. Patricks Day?

                My morning coffee is very important to me, can't start my day without a GOOD cafe latte. Otherwise, for the 7 days we are there we just want to experience NYC like a local if that is possible. A few places on our wish list at the moment include Balthazar, Boathouse, Katz's, Degustation, Gramercy Tavern, Sarabeths at the Whitney. Nothing is set in stone and we are deffinitely open to suggestions.

                1. re: Lulu40

                  I'd stay away from dive bars on St. Patricks, especially if you're looking for relaxed vibes. They might have a special menu, which could be fun but keep in mind, there are people who start drinking at noon. That's a night I'd go upscale and plan on going home early-ish.

                  It's sounds like from your list, you've realized Gramercy is really an easy area to get to the rest of Manhattan from, so there's no reason to limit yourself to the local Gramercy area suggestions we all started to give you.

                  1. re: sugartoof

                    Thanks for the tip regarding St. Patricks, it's pretty much the same case in Sydney. What would you suggest for upscale? Our budget for dinner is approx $55 per person however, we would like to splurge and have one special evening and for that we were considering Eleven Madison Park. What do you think?

                    No we are deffinitely not limited to just the Gramercy area but particularly enquired about it as we would like to know what's in proximity to our hotel for brekkie/morning coffee and for dinner for the evening/s when we are too beat to go anywhere because we spent the whole day walking:)

                    1. re: Lulu40

                      Eleven Madison Park is great, but beware the dinner menu will blow your budget out of the water (probably double it when all is said and done).

                      On the other hand, a two course lunch is a steal at $28. You can walk down to Michel Cluizel to pick up some chocolates for dessert.

                      Craftbar could also be good for lunch (check to see if they serve breakfast as well).

                      I definitely think you should go to Balthazar, Katz's, Degustation, and Gramercy Tavern.

                      Check out Rhong Tiam or Zabb City for thai food.

                  2. re: Lulu40

                    There is very good coffee a short walk away from your hotel, at Fika Espresso Bar, on 27th and Park Avenue South.

                    1. re: kathryn

                      Great! Do you know if Fika does breakfast?

                      1. re: Lulu40

                        You should walk to Shake Shack and have a burger.

                          1. re: Lulu40

                            Fika is a Swedish chain of espresso bars.... I wouldn't order anything but the espresso (the regular coffee isn't worth walking over for) but their foamy drinks are fine. Nothing special but it's nearby. They'll have yogurts, nice cookies and sandwiches in the case but selection is limited.

                            Aside from the 71 Irving coffee suggestion, there is a strange coffee/bubble tea place that has good micro roasted coffees on 3rd between 27th and 28th near Rodeo Bar. Furher up around 30th and 3rd (or abouts) is Oren's for coffee. None of these are sit down eggs and bacon type places, but they all have muffins, etc.

                            Despana for Spanish snacks and coffee is fun. Not much seating, and it's mostly an upscale grocery store, but there's prepared foods in the back and really good hot cocoa/ and coffee. The flan and cheesecakes are notable.

                            Breakfast in your immediate area will not be thrilling, but simple pancakes from a diner can be had at Sunflower on 26th and 3rd. Ess a Bagel for bagels, or a crude knock off at Pick A Bagel down the block on 3rd and 22nd.

                            For a casual breakfast, the egg sandwiches at 'Wichcraft are good. That's also a lunch idea for you. There are owned by Tom Collichio, with multiple locations, and they serve a good brand of rich Italian coffee out of Philadelphia.If you go to the 20th street location, there is seating upstairs.

                            For brunch, the small plates at Stanton Social is fun, but be ready to order about 3 dishes a person to fill up. It will run about $60. Worth looking into.

                            You might have lunch at Nougatine or Jean George one day. The rooms are connected. Nougatine is a little more casual, with a more limited menu, but I think the atmosphere is nicer. The formal room is the experience most often suggested as being the best lunch, and best lunch deal in the city. It's about $35 a person unless you order sweets, or an extra dish. It comes with little chocolates and homemade marshmallows a the end of your meal, which wins most people over.

                            If your 11 Madison plans don't work out, you can consider the Strip House for steak.