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Moving to a new hood 28th street East Side. Food/Grocery/Restaurant Recs?

My husband and I are moving from the Upper East Side where we lived for almost 5 years. We love the neighborhood and we had our fave "go to" places for things including delivery, favorite local restaurant, Italian and take out.

(some of our favorites uptown include Finnegan's Wake for a burger, Citarella for meat, Vermicelli for Vietnamese, Caffe Buon Gustto, Sabor a Mexico for tacos, Delizia for pizza slices and Al Forno for pie)

We're moving downtown from UES to East Side 28th Street. Would love some recommendations for:
Local Groceries (good butcher, fish etc.)
Favorite Chinese/Thai/Japanese takeout
Best Delivery
Pizza by the slice
Egg and cheese sandwiches (a nice, clean bodega. We had a great one called Best Health on our old corner)

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  1. Bruno King of Ravioli for cold cuts/italian bread, pastries, etc. - 387 Second Ave. (btw. 22 & 23 St.)
    Next door is a butcher and a fish market.
    Defonte's for sandwiches
    261 3rd Ave
    The cottage for chinese
    261 3rd Ave
    Go to Bao noodles for good vietnamese.
    1st btwn 22nd and 23rd

    2 Replies
    1. re: notsochubbychubette

      Thank you so much!!! Totally forgot about Defonte's and I think there is a Baoguette nearby as well!

      1. re: CMG920

        Dafonte's is good, but I like Lamazou much better for sandwiches and cheese, and Nancy and Aziz will become like family. NYT reviewed both sandwich shops a few months back:

        Also around the corner from your new digs is Artisanal (32nd and Park), the best place for cheese in the city. They also have great lunch and "pre theather" price fix menus for $25 and Dinner price fix for $35.

    2. Burgers - I like the ones at Blue Smoke. There's also always Shake Shack.

      Italian - the new 'Inoteca is close by.

      Sandwiches - Lamazou or Defonte's. Baoguette is pretty good as a non-Chinatown banh mi. The lunch special sandwiches at Pamplona are also excellent.

      Bakery - Delice is hit or miss dependent on what you get. I also quite like the baked goods at Fika.

      These threads should help:

      Murray Hill Restaurant Suggestions - GOOD ONES

      Best Restaurants on Curry Row?

      Best Murray Hill Coffee?

      Dinner near E 25th & Lex

      some good breakfast spots in (or near) Murray Hill

      New Hood - 23rd and Lex

      Good eats near 24th street & 3rd Ave

      6 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        Thank you so much Kathryn! Just glancing at some of those threads I see some "goodies!! THese are so helpful!

        1. re: CMG920

          I forgot to mention that Kalustyan's is a gem for hard to find ingredients like extracts, oils, spices, jarred goods, and canned goods.

          1. re: kathryn

            Wow, Pampolona looks amazing for lunch!! Thank you Kathryn.

            1. re: CMG920

              kathryn beat me to it, but it bears repeating...proximity to Kalustyan's is one of the best things about living in that neighborhood.

              you'll also expand your options even more if you search for threads about Kips Bay.

            2. re: kathryn

              Yes, and their Mujadara on the 2nd floor is great.

              I like Vezzo's for good, inexpensive cracker-crust pizza and salad.

          2. re: kathryn

            Burgers - Water front Ale house & Les Halles

          3. Welcome to the hood. Here are some of my favs;

            Butcher/Fish Monger - Todaro Bros - 2nd ave, 31st
            Burger - Mollys - 3rd and 22st
            Brunch - Penelope - Lex and 31
            Greek - Ethos 3rd and 32
            Sushi - Amber - 3rd and 28th
            Chinese - None
            Mexican - El Parador on 34th or Mexico Lindo on 2nd and 27th
            Pamploma is excellent as is Lamazou for sandwiches

            1 Reply
            1. pick a bagel is on 2nd btwn 23rd and 22nd and ess a bagel is on first btwn 21st and 20th .
              You can get good moules frites at petite abeielle on 1st btwn 22nd and 21st. Cosmo's diner was always my diner. 2nd ave btwn 23rd and 22nd.

              2 Replies
              1. re: notsochubbychubette

                Excellent! Thank you. Totally forgot about a bagel place!!

                1. re: CMG920

                  Ess-a-bagel is much better than Pick a bagel.

              2. Local Groceries - Morton Williams (either 23rd St. @ Second or Park Avenue @ 22nd)
                Avoid D'Agostino or Food Emporium unless it is absolutely necessary.

                Favorite Chinese/Japanese takeout - Jimmy's House or J East for Chinese.
                Amber for Japanese.

                Italian: Novita (they also deliver)

                Burgers - Blue Smoke. Avoid Shake Shake if at all possible.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Hurner

                  For Pizza:

                  Da Ciro - Lexington between 33/34
                  Vezzo - Lexington @31

                  Italian (al fresco) - I Trulli

                2. Don't spend much time in that area, and haven't been to this place in years, but I always enjoyed El Pote when I went.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: douglas525

                    Funny you mention El Pote. That has been my parent's favorite restaurant for Spanish food for YEARS!

                    1. re: CMG920

                      Glad to hear El Pote has other fans. While I'm here, I'll back the recs for Ess-a-Bagel. The only downside is that they don't toast.

                      1. re: douglas525

                        No need to toast a good, fresh bagel though.

                        1. re: douglas525

                          And they'll scold you if you ask for it toasted.

                    2. I love Paquitos for a burrito, but don't bother eating there -- there's not much to look at and you can really dig in and gorg yourself if you're at home! ;-)

                      also - Ess-a-Bagel is waayyyy better than Pick-a-Bagel in my book, but I would take a Pick-a-Bagel over almost any other bagel in the city, so it's not a bad 2nd choice!

                      Good delivery - Ethos - we love their kabobs and you get free dessert every time!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: samanthajill

                        I live by 42nd but when I walk south down 2nd for food, it's usually to Waterfront for great beer & pub food (2nd & 30th) or to El Parador on 34th (betw. 2nd-1st) for a more upscale Mexican/Spanish/margarita dinner.

                      2. Vietnamese - don't bother with Bao Noodles. Take the M15 down to Chinatown instead. But baoguette on 25th and Lex does a decent banh mi.

                        Local Groceries (good butcher, fish etc.) - ditto the shops on 2nd ave between 22 and 23rd. You're also close enough to the Union Sq Greenmarket and there is also a Greenmarket on 26th and 2nd (address not exact) one day a week believe - check the greenmarket website. Avoid the Food Emporium is good advice. The Gristede's on 28th is moderately acceptable but the Morton williams on 23rd is decent for a supermarket.

                        Favorite Chinese/Thai/Japanese takeout - Jaiya Thai on 28th is decent. I also like Sea King on 23rd between 2nd and 3rd for Chinese - they do a good pan fried crispy noodle. I used to go to Iron Sushi for lunch bento boxes but I believe the quality has gone downhill. Mishima on 30th/ Lex is more upscale Japanese and better quality.

                        Burgers - Molly's Pub on 3rd

                        Italian - can't help you out here. I really think inoteca is overrated though.

                        Sandwiches - baoguette, Lamazou on 26th and 3rd, or defonte's on 22nd. also the bagel sandwiches at Ess a Bagel on 17th.

                        Pizza by the slice - Artichoke basile on 1st and 14th, a little far but very worthwhile.

                        Bakery - Unfortunately I have yet to find a good bakery but Bruno's carries some great bread from Balthazar and other bakeries. Todaro's also has some good tarts.

                        For sweets, which you don't mention, you are in the middle of a number of good ice cream/ frozen yogurt spots - Flurt on 22nd and 3rd, Berrywild on 3rd, Pinkberry (if you ilke it) on 26th, the ice cream place on 33rd and 3rd.

                        also Pio Pio on 34th is fairly cheap peruvian food with massive quantities.

                        14 Replies
                        1. re: windycity

                          Pizza 33 is okay. It's closer than Artichoke and it's open regularly.

                          1. re: egit

                            Sorry, but Pizza 33 is abominable. It's better to travel the extra mile for a slice at Artichoke.

                          2. re: windycity

                            Fantastic list windycity! I appreciate big time!

                            1. re: windycity

                              for frozen yogurt, there's a Red Mango on Third Ave at 34th. i much prefer it to Stinkberry or any of the other clones.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                I also like Red Mango, but for me it's second to Flurt. Let's just say I haven't been to Pinkberry in 3 years. Except to try the new flavors, which were better than RM's tangomonium, but not worth paying for. As for tangomonium, you'd have to pay me to eat it.

                                1. re: windycity

                                  actually, i have to agree with you about tangomonium - i don't think i'd even eat it if you paid me. i tried it when they were giving away the freebies when it first launched...and i actually spit it out and told him i'd rather pay for another flavor!

                                  i've never been to Flurt. i always hear good things, but i just haven't made it there. is the consistency nice & creamy like Red Mango, or is it icy?

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    Flurt remains my favorite tangy froyo in the city, with Red Mango a decent substitute. It is smooth and creamy, without the large icy chunks of Pinkberry. It tastes the most like the Asian yogurt drinks, and they are very generous about fruit portions unlike Red Mango, where they carefully pick out 5 pieces of each fruit.

                                    It's worth noting that since I moved from a block away from a Red Mango, I haven't been back whereas I now split my froyo time between 16 Handles and Flurt. I don't think Red Mango is bad, I just have room for so much yogurt!

                                    Here's a good discussion that remains pertinent: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/426341

                                    1. re: windycity

                                      i'd *love* to try 16 Handles, i'm just never in that neighborhood anymore.

                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  Red Mango is vastly superior to Pinkberry. But I love Berrywild the most of all. It's very similar to the type of frozen yogurt you get at Bloomingdales (Frogurt).

                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                    you know, i pass by the Berrywild at 23rd & 5th a couple of times each week, but i've never bothered to try it because i heard it's a bit icy, & i prefer my fro yo to be as creamy as possible. plus, there's a Red Mango around the corner on 6th!

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      There are two types of yogurt at Berrywild -- icy and smooth. I've never tried the icy because I also prefer creamy yogurt (which is one of the reasons why I don't like Pinkberry). If you like creamy style, you'll probably like Berrywild's smooth as it's a lot creamier than Red Mango.

                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                        really? creamier than Red Mango? awesome! thanks for the info - i may have to try some this week.

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                          The Berrywild smooth coffee is comparable to the coffee at Bloomingdale's, melts slightly faster though and not as firm. Obviously it's not tangy, but really good nonetheless, and if they still have the chocolate truffles with raspberry filling, that's the best topping w/ coffee, IMO.

                                          The cookies and cream at 16 handles is amazing, although probably a tad too icy for you. I don't like cookies n cream ice cream and yet I'm addicted to 16 Handles. Overall their yogurt is waterier than Red Mango, Flurt, etc. but they have a wide range of both tangy and non-tangy flavors.

                                          O/T but if you visit Wash DC, TangySweet has some great guava froyo.

                                          1. re: windycity

                                            i finally decided to try Berrywild one day last week. it was about 98 and humid that day, and walking into that place was like walking into a sauna (only without the towels). their A/C was broken. i felt awful for the employees - it was hotter and stuffier in there than it was outside! of course several of us were still crazy enough to stand in line and wait for yogurt :) they were out of green tea which was a real bummer, because that's my favorite, so i tried the smooth plain and the smooth coffee. i don't get toppings - they interfere with the texture of the yogurt for me, and it kills my teeth to bite into something that cold. anyway, the plain was *excellent* - as Miss Needle said, it was slightly creamier than the plain at Red Mango....but one look at the ingredients & nutrition info told me why - the Berrywild is low fat, while the Red Mango is nonfat. the coffee was nice and creamy as well, but it was a bit too sweet for me. i prefer the tartness of the plain & green tea. i have to try their pomegranate next time. the good/bad news (good for them, bad for me) is that there most certainly will be a next time!

                                            BTW, thanks for the tip about the texture at 16 Handles - not my style, so i'll skip it.

                              2. Delicious burgers, barbecue and scallops at Blue Smoke/Jazz Standard
                                our favorite Italian at I Trulli.

                                1. Pizza - Bella Napoli (Madison and low 30s)
                                  Italian - Second iTrulli
                                  Vietnatmese - L'Nannam / Baoguette

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: eameyer

                                    I've posted this several times on the board, but I really believe Jaiya Thai on 3rd avenue between 28th and 29th is hands down the best thai restaurant in the city

                                    1. re: aloew1

                                      I'm not sure it's better than Sripraphai... but it's really, really good. There may be better ones, and I'm not prepared to argue against someone who feels strongly about their own favorite thai place. But I've loved Jaiya since the first time I wandered in there, completely uninformed of it, about 7 years ago. If you haven't been there, you should go.

                                      1. re: egit

                                        Been there 20+ times. Good flavors and quality. Small portions.

                                      2. re: aloew1

                                        In that case, you have to try the "Secret Thai" menu at Wondee. Even in its heyday, Jaiya was probably never as good as that, though they were very good. Caveat: I haven't been to Jaiya in years, so maybe I'm wrong, but you owe it to yourself to try and compare.

                                    2. Agreed with princeofpork about Molly's and Mexico Lindo. Go to Molly's a few times and the wonderful Irish waitresses will know your order and sometimes give you free shots with your check. Mexico Lindo does a great weekend brunch, although it's a little pricey! The best Chinese in the area (and in my opinion, even the city) is Happy Palace. I moved to Queens and find myself craving their wonton soup on a regular basis.