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Foodies need a fun (off the beat and path) restaurant to celebrate bday - HELP!!

Looking for a "different" way to celebrate a birthday, but I'm running out of time & ran out of ideas. Help.

My bf 38th bday is next Tuesday and a group of 5 of us are looking to celebrate. We're all NYers, foodies, use to doing it up a fancy-shmancy place for special occasions, but for this bday, just REALLY want something different this time.

Maybe somewhere special, low-key, hole in the wall with good food... or loud, fun and rowdy?? Open to different decors, cuisine, theme, ambiance, etc. Only requirements, must have good food, nowhere touristy and within a reasonable budget.

Any recs, please? Thanks!

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  1. If you can't be more specific, can you name any restaurants fitting your description that you've enjoyed in the past?

    1. what s your idea of reasonable budget??

      1. OK, sorry for being so vague, we're just really open to dif't recs. Essentially, we're just looking for a hole-in-the-wall (feel), a place on the smaller/ initimate side - it can be super romantic or just casual & fun, even loud. Maybe somewhere with a distinct feature -- whether it be the decor, cuisine, history, interactive, part of a show, music, service, etc.

        When? Tuesday dinner
        Budget? $30-70pp
        Location? Manhattan, would consider B'klyn

        FYI: here are some places we've been to & liked: Jack's Luxury Oyster, Freemans, 26 Seats, Kumma Inn, Cube63, Falai, Fatty Crab, Mary's Fish Camp, Cafe Havana, Frankies, Sushi Yasuda, Peter Luger, Union Squr Cafe, Aroma Wine Bar. On the higher end: Eleven Madison, Adour, Daniel, Corton. Been to Sammy's (Romanian food), interesting ambiance, but food wasn't great.

        3 Replies
        1. re: viniferaNYC

          National - right across the street from Freemans.

          1. re: viniferaNYC

            You could try Supper (ask to sit in the back room, which is a kind of interesting ambiance, or sit at the counter and watch the cooks making your food). I'm not sure if you would like the ambiance at Cacio e Vino or not; it isn't a tiny restaurant and it can be a bit loud, but my girlfriend and I like it.

            1. re: viniferaNYC

              If you're all into raw/ceviche food try Desnuda if you can get a reservation for 6. that''s a good time.

              Or La Nacional. Order the paella. That's an interesting place -the Spanish social club.

            2. I used to live in Chinatown and would always take visitors to a basement restaurant called Doyers. It's super cheap and has a really great menu with tons of specials you can share - try the Buddhist rolls & fried banana w/coconut milk. If you want those fancy well made drinks, there's some really nice chichi restaurant/bars in the neighborhood for after dinner drinks like Apotheke, Bacaro, Les Enfants & Broadway East.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jacquelyn

                I would recommend Nolita House. Small, great food, great cocktails and nice vibe.

              2. Here are a couple of ideas we have done for birthdays recently;
                Big Pig Gig at Daisy Mays
                Bowling and finger food at Strike or Bowlmar
                BYOB and asian tapas at Kuma Inn
                Beer and Burger tasting - we chose 3 "top" burger joints and we went to each one but we split the burgers in half so we didnt get too full. Great way to compare burgers in the same night.