Best street / location for great selection of resto's.
Hi All, my wife and I will be visiting Manhattan and the surround area for a few days. Before I reserve a hotel, I'd love to get some suggestions from CHers in NY regarding where to find some of the better restaurants. I'd be looking for authentic New York style grub, as well as some more hip places to go. Anyplace, that I can't miss? Will be our first visit, and hoping to make it memorable.
There really is no such thing as one neighborhood with better restaurants. Good restaurants are all over the place. I'd suggest you stay NOT in midtown, however. Personally, I recommend a hotel called On The Avenue on the upper west side - simply because it is a pleasant neighborhood, reasonably priced hotel, no tourists, plenty of good breakfasts around (some of the best in fact), and the subway is a breeze no matter where you are. If you want to eat a variety of good food, you're going to have to travel aroudn the city anyway.
I agree with gutsofsteel, good restaurants are ALL OVER! Maybe you could figure out where you want to be, first? And if you want "more hip" places to go, I assume you'll probably be south of midtown quite often.
As for restaurant recommendations...you'll need to be more specific than in Manhattan and surrounding area, "authentic," hip, and memorable for us to really be of help.
Where are you coming from? When are you coming? How large is your party--just you two? Are you the sort who makes reservations or prefer to make on the fly decisions? Do you mind waiting 1-2 hrs to dine? How adventurous an eater are you? What cuisines do you really want to try and what cuisines do you dislike?
What's your budget? Don't forget that tax is nearly 9% here, tip is 15-20%, and don't forget to include the cost of cocktails/wine. What neighborhoods are you going to be in? Are you planning your itinerary around other activities like sightseeing, Broadway shows, shopping?
Have you done any research already, and did anything jump out at you? Pizza, deli, hot dogs, bagels and smoked salmon, fine dining, seafood, Spanish, Italian, French, Chinese, Thai, Indian, etc.?
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Specifics do help, sorry about that. I'm a little embarrassed that I haven't given this much planning at all, so I thought I'd start here as we'll likely be spending most of out time dining out. There will be 4 of us ( two couples) we're coming from Toronto. We dine out a lot, and have pretty adventures paletts. We're not planners and will likely eat on impulse, which is why I'm looking for a good area that will provide a lot of selection. Don't mind waiting if the food and atmosphere are great. Cost is not an issue, but that being said we're not looking for stuffy or suit and tie crowds.
I'll certainly have a look at your suggestions. Appreciate all the insight so far everyone! Thanks so much!
As boccalupo said below, the East Village may be your best bet for spontaneous, itinerant dining. You'll probably still want to go out armed with a list of maybe 10-15 possibilities, and be willing to walk around a bit. There are fewer places in the EV that take reservations than in midtown, west village, tribeca, etc. Consequently you may end up having either to wait or wander or both.
Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of the East Village, so I'm biased. Others may chime in that LES or Tribeca or some other neighborhood is better...
East Village all the way. Thats generally where I go out and we almost never make reservations so most places suit us well. Motorino, Momofuku Ssam bar, crif dogs, Redhead, Degustation, Back Forty, Grand Sichuan, tamales at Zaragoza, Bar Carrera/Bar Veloce/Pata Negra/Terrior wine bars, et.al.
I think anywhere below 14th Street would suit you just fine, especially Soho, Nolita, East Village, West Village, or Lower East Side, especially if you're willing to wait or eat early or eat late or eat at the bar.
These neighborhoods are also geographically dense and you can hop from stop to stop very easily, walking or with a short cab ride. Suit and tie crowds tend more towards Midtown and near Wall Street.
Also wanted to say that "authentic NY style grub" is probably not found in restaurants. Depending of course on what you mean by that. What do you mean by that?
Read Kathryn's post above...