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May 3, 2009 08:11 PM

Generally, which night is busier for Manhattan restaurants? Friday or Saturday?

Let's say all things equal, GENERALLY, which night is busier for Manhattan restaurants? Friday or Saturday night?


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  1. Saturday, I would say, because many people who do not reside in NYC come into town.

    1. I think you need to qualify that a little more. Busier like more revenue, meaning reservations are harder to get or just in terms of covers? Fridays nights generally lean towards boozier places, saturdays toward more formal dining. Also "for Manhattan" using a term like "restaurants" is a little like saying the galaxy, the end of bayard street is a light year way from what is going on uptown at restaurant row.

      As a rule of thumb, saturday nights are generally considered busiest but I know a lot of popular NYC restaurants that make more money and do more covers on fridays. Best bet is to ask a waiter at a specific place what their best tip night is.

      6 Replies
      1. re: tetedeveau

        I am just trying to find a day when I have less of a chance to be rushed, less noisy, etc.
        I am thinking of a popular, tapas-like place like Casa Mono, Boqueria, etc. I know, they are so popular that it won't make much of a difference between Friday and Saturday. I am just wondering IF i have to pick a relatively less busy day, which one it should be.


        1. re: Singar

          For Casa Mono, I would go for lunch, actually.

          1. re: kathryn

            Let's say I don't have that choice? It is strictly Friday or Saturday night.


            1. re: Singar

              I don't know the strict answer, but the creative answers could be...

              Iif you have the option of going later, as a restaurant thins out they become less rushed, so in the 10pm onward zone (except for the more hip places which are busy a little later.)

              Also, if you wait till summer when everybody is in the Hamptons, weekend dining is a breeze.

              1. re: acidity

                Interesting point. Yeah, things DO change in the summer.

          2. re: Singar

            If the busy thing is a factor for you, I'd go for an early dinner on Saturday. Lots of people go for drinks and have dinner after work on Fridays. On Saturdays, if you go around 5:30P or 6:00P, it shouldn't be as bad.

        2. I'd think Saturdays in the summer, more people out of town

          1. I think hands down the best night to eat for what you are talking about is thursday night. You almost always have the A-team in the kitchen, purveyors start bringing their best, so things are stocked for the weekend but restaurants are much more relaxed because the volume is lower. When I test a new place I always make sure to include a thursday night because weekends can sometimes be off for unexpected reasons like a last minute 16-top or some other ridiculousness.

            1. To me, it is better if you make reservations for any Friday or Sat dinner to avoid a long wait.

              2 Replies
                1. re: kobetobiko


                  Or, alternatively, go really early, or just be patient.