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Single guy, first time in NYC, but going solo...

So, I am going to be going to NYC the first week of August. However I will be travelling alone which is not something I am used to. Early 30s, used to the LA scene where I live.

I will be staying at the Maritime hotel for 4 or 5 days. Excuse my ignorance, but it appears it is in the Meat Packing District, but I am not sure if that is also part of another larger area?! (16th St. between 8th and 9th ave)

So I have 3-4 days and 3 nights unplanned and am looking for good places to eat. I really don't care if its $100 or $5, but I really am not into HUGE travel for dinner, rather keep it close. I will not be driving, so walking or subway it is. Daytime, willing to travel to some must eat place wherever.

Just looking for any suggestions on places that might be "You have to try" but that are also suitable for going solo. People watching/fun is better, restaurants with good bars, nightlife, etc.

Appreciate any responses and insights.

Oh yeah, type of cuisine is irrelevant, love it all. I know its sorta vague, but thats really it. If there is anything I simply 'have to try', a New York experience, or something so unlike LA, appreciate the thoughts!

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  1. i'm nearly always eating alone when in new york and have quite a list of places with great food where i'm likely to strike up a conversation. my new fav is co. as the tables are all sort of communal and the food is fantastic. after just one visit to baogette in the east village the waitress remembered me--when i went back a month later, she remembered what i ate and where i sat. i loved that. porchetta is great, also in east village, but the last time i went, a few days ago, the blonde girl behind the counter was kinda surly. i wouldn't miss momofuku noodle or ssam, both very comfortable alone. once, i went to tailor alone and had one of the best meals of my life. it was a bit weird though as i was the only one eating the whole time i was there. a couple of new jersey broads stopped in for drinks and nearly fell of their stools when they got the bill, but except for the bartender who was downing a bag of m and m's, i was the only one with food on my plate for the whole nearly two hours.

    1. Barbuto is right around your area. Good open-air scene with a good bar for solo-dining. Plus, it's right outside the Meatpacking district so you're not fully exposed to that trash.

      http://barbutonyc.com/

      1. I occasionally eat at the bar at Alta on 10th between 5th and 6th. It's great for going solo and it's usually hopping.

        1. Therer are lots of restaurants that are good for eating at the bar if that's your peference. Degustation only has bar seating (do a search as it is discussed often here) , Casa Mono, Union Square Cafe, the tavern room at Gramercy Tavern, Telepan, Ouest and Gotham Bar and Grill all come to mind for bar eating. I'm also an Alta fan.

          1. Right there in the Maritime is La Bottega which serves up really good Italian. I've been there several times & really enjoy it. You might be loathe to eat in the hotel, but trust me, the food is good & there's normally an interesting crowd there. I recommend the pork chop.

            http://www.thursdayclubnyc.com

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            La Bottega
            88 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011