Coming to NY in late October looking for good but not exp meals
me and my wife will be in Manhattan in late October. Looking for good places to eat but on a budget. Not neccessaryily carts but for NYC inexpensive gems. The last time there got some preety good reccomendations like Becca. Italian, Chinese, pizza, burgers, sushi, etc.
Staying in the Times Square/Broadway area and will be on foot or cabs.
if you don't mind loud and chaotic, Otto (batali/bastianich rest.) has good, inexpensive food and wine list.
In the words of 2 other hounds who have said it better then myself;
"Republic is an glib, bland, awful place and i can't understand why anyone would go there in the first place."
"I think Republic is mediocre. But it is good for noodle freaks who are not focused on authenticity and find themselves hungry in Union Square."
I do not exaggerate when I say there are 100 better places for noodles on the island of Manhattan.
With the caveat that I've been to Red Egg only once so far, I believe you're very likely to have a better meal at Dim Sum Go Go. Red Egg is cheaper, but DSGG is not expensive for lunch (until 4 PM, as I recall); expect to pay under $20 for a large meal (Red Egg could be closer to $10).
As for Thai food, if you want food with real Thai taste, go to Wondee (the original, not Wondee II) on 9th Av. between 52nd and 53rd, tell your waiter/waitress that you want really spicy food like they like it, and order from the "Secret Thai" menu and any Thai-style specials they tell you about only.
Have had good food at all of the following.
In Times Square area:
John's Pizzeria (there's a Times Square location)--good, well, pizza
Ruby Foos--Asian fusion chain, but tasty and inexpensive, on Broadway
Wu Liang Ye--excellent spicy Chinese food
Blue Chili--Asian fusion, very good apps, especially
Burger Joint--inside Le Meridien hotel (w.56th, I think)
Topaz Thai--right near Le Meridien, terrific food and prices
Le Pain Quotidien--several locations, at least a couple near TS, a good European chain for breakfast or lunch, with excellent breads, pastries, soups, salads, sandwiches
Mangia--several locations. Incredible selection, good value cafeteria style or take-out.
A bit farther:
BLT Fish Shack (W. 17th)
Craftbar (Broadway, near Union Square)--excellent food, reasonable if you stick to small plates or a plate of pasta
Cafe Habana (Prince St.)--Cuban, always crowded, but good and cheap
Sapphire Indian--near Lincoln Center (lunch buffet is the bargain here)
Otto (One Fifth Ave.)--fabulous pizza, pasta, salads--nothing over $15; don't miss it.
Fish--Bleecker St., the specials--lobster dinners or oysters, for ex.-- are priced spectacularly; the decor is rustic at best but great french fries, music, village characters
Cabrito (Carmine St.)--wonderful, interesting Mexican
Mercadito (7th Ave. & Grove)--tasty Mexican small plates
Lupa (Thompson)--you can eat a fabulous plate of pasta for $18 or less; daily specials are also very reasonable. The place is always mobbed, for good reasons. Make a res.
Le Pain Quotidien is reliable and good, if you happen to come across one and feel like having a sandwich and a tart, or something like that.
I have found the 44th St. location of John's Pizzeria thoroughly mediocre.
Some good places near Times Square are Uncle Nick's, Wondee Siam (which I already mentioned in this thread), Ariana Afghan Kebab House, and Pam's Real Thai - all on 9th Av. - and Szechuan Gourmet, on 39 St. between 5th and 6th, which is the best Sichuan-style restaurant in Manhattan. For almost anything else that's inexpensive to moderate, I'd go to other parts of the city.
By the way, I like Lupa a lot but have found it really annoying to try to get reservations. They never seem to have anything that isn't really early or really late. Try to get into Lupa, but if you can't, there are several good Italian places in the East Village that are a level down from Lupa but also cost less (not that Lupa is expensive; it isn't), including Supper and Cacio e Vino.
What's your budget? If you are coming from an area that does not have fine dining you might want to consider lunch at one of the upscale restaurants (EMP, etc.). Many have $30 lunch prix fixe. For dinner check out prix fixe. Not sure if downtown is an option but Table Tales Cafe (American) on Water Street near the South Street Seaport, etc. had a 3 course prix fixe. Good and moderately priced.
If you venture downtown Veronica's street cart is also delicious and good on the pocket book. Casa Adela on the LES has excellent bacalau (Puerto Rican style), no ambiance, good for the budget. Other ethnic eats like Ukranian National Home (they still hand grate their potato pancakes) are also easy on the pocketbook.
Marseille is very good and has a prix fixe. It's in the theater district where you will be staying.
Second Lupa rec. Very good food and value priced. Tough to get a reservation on short notice. If you are open to sitting at the bar for dinner that's the way to go.
I recommend the lunch prix fixe at Jean Georges (the main room, not Nougatine, because if you're already going there, why not?), if countgrog is willing to stretch his/her budget a bit. It'll cost more than $40 including tax and tip, but the last time I was there, I believe I paid $156 all told for 3 people, including a very fair tip.
DO NOT go to Kefi - The food was just ok - the service was TERRIBLE - the restaurant was loud - the main course came before we even had a chance to finish the appetizers - all the plates were left on the table thru out the meal - there are so many better Greek places to go to - if you want Greek - try Pylos in the East Village!
I had great service the last time I was there and actually have never had anything but good service there. I guess there may be some bad waiter there that has never served me. I live a block from Pylos and prefer Kefi, which is also cheaper. I find the controversy about Kefi tiresome, because my experience is that the food has always been consistenly tasty and the same every time, the service has always been good, the price is right, and the only real drawback is that the place can be loud and packed - but I'm willing to accept that some people simply have had bad experiences at the place.
I grant that both the service and food can be mixed. I went for the prix fixe about two months ago and while it was quiet during the beginning, the food was blah and the dessert (rice pudding and the walnut cake) was nothing special. The previous time (non-prix fixe), the service was nothing special either, but I don't expect white gloves treatment at that price point.
The most recent time we went, it was incredibly delicious minus one bad mussel in the mussel salad. Plus we didn't have to wait very long even though we had a reservation (I think one time we had to wait 40 mins w/ reservation) plus they actually accommodated our group of 5 (originally we reserved for 4) with little fuss.
Everyone was very happy with their food and stuffed. I think it's a very reasonably priced restaurant with decent food and I'm happy to return there esp for the sheep's milk dumplings. Though I have to say I was less than impressed by the branzino.
I love their branzino and have, every time I've gotten it at the old location and the new one. I believe you that you've experienced inconsistencies, but I haven't. The salad has always been overdressed and the rest of the food has all been reliably good.
The only inconsistency I can think of is that I've sometimes gotten pieces of walnut shell in the walnut cake.
Indus Express is near Times Square and does good Indian food. You can eat well for uner $10. There are tables in the back. Akdeniz is also in that area and does good Turkish food. It's more expensive than Indus Express, maybe bout $25 for two people.
back from our NY trip that was cut short by the swine flu. Cut down on eating as well
Sat had lunch at Carneige Deli-it was across the street from our hotel and while I perfer Katz, my wife and I split the Woody Allen and it was Ok.
Drank our sat dinner at Amsterdam Ale House prior to concert atBeacon Theatre
Sunday breakfast at Park Cafe was very good
Lunch- chicken and rice from Halal Cart
dinner- a pizzia from John's Pizzeria was very good
Monday breakfast Bagel from little across from wherer NBC shoots Today show, we eat there everytime we go to today show. It is Ok
lunch a burger from some overpriced chain fern bar type place. Burger was Ok but service sucked because we were in jeans not not buying $200 bottles of wine.
dinner- was getting sick so had soup at Park cafe
breakfast- Fluffy Bakery- very forgettable
Lunch- more soup at Carneige deli
dinner- after a show a friend took us to bella Napoli- I was so sick couldn't tell you how it was but my wife enjoyed hers.
260 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036