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Best street / location for great selection of resto's.

mrbluemeanie Jan 26, 2010 12:38 PM

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.

thanks all!

  1. g
    gutsofsteel Jan 26, 2010 12:44 PM

    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.

    1 Reply
    1. re: gutsofsteel
      uwsister Jan 26, 2010 10:49 PM

      There are definitely more good restaurants in EV than UWS, but I wanted to second the recommendation for On The Avenue hotel. A few of my out-of-town friends have stayed there and all of them had a very pleasant stay, not to mention their relatively reasonable rates.

    2. k
      kathryn Jan 26, 2010 12:50 PM

      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.?

      Don't leave NY without eating these foods

      For cheap eats, I would recommend some street food:

      As well as pizza:

      I highly recommend RGR's self guided Lower East Side Gustatory tour:

      Best brunch:

      Best foodie shopping:

      Best mixology:

      Top Ten Bars for Beer Snobs

      Manhattan for 5 days over New Year

      Other hounds' itineraries/reports:

      6 Replies
      1. re: kathryn
        smokeandapancake Jan 26, 2010 12:56 PM

        LES has lots of guilty pleasures
        Crif Dogs, Pommes Frites, Cafe Habana....

        1. re: smokeandapancake
          boccalupo Jan 26, 2010 12:59 PM

          Crif and Pommes Frites are in the East Village. Cafe Habana is in Nolita. But yes, you cannot really beat the variety in this zone. Guilty pleasures to gourmet and everything in between.

        2. re: kathryn
          mrbluemeanie Jan 26, 2010 01:13 PM

          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!

          1. re: mrbluemeanie
            egit Jan 26, 2010 01:42 PM

            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...

            1. re: egit
              ESNY Jan 26, 2010 02:18 PM

              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.

            2. re: mrbluemeanie
              kathryn Jan 26, 2010 06:56 PM

              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.

          2. b
            boccalupo Jan 26, 2010 12:58 PM

            I'd vote for the East Village.

            1. i
              intrepid Jan 26, 2010 03:42 PM

              to answer your question for ' streets" try clinton st, west 4 th st, bedford, cornelia

              1. g
                gutsofsteel Jan 26, 2010 04:01 PM

                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...

                1. j
                  JMJD Jan 26, 2010 07:46 PM

                  My Toronto relatives would say Toronto pizza is nothing like New York's so I'd make sure you check out some places -- lots of recs on the board. You probably have us beat in terms of authentic ethnic foods so maybe focus on pizza, bagels, maybe some "appetizing" a la Russ & Daughters or Barney Greengrass...and then look for fun little quaint NY places. (Little Owl if you can get in, maybe Perilla...) You might want to figure out your "must-sees" and then search the boards for good places near those.

                  1. m
                    mrbluemeanie Jan 27, 2010 05:00 AM

                    Thanks so much everybody - I may have to spend a bit more time than I thought to get through all your suggestions. Can anyone give me an idea on how long it would take to get from the UWS to the EV? Better to take a cab or the subway?

                    15 Replies
                    1. re: mrbluemeanie
                      rteplow Jan 27, 2010 05:12 AM

                      Check hopstop.com if you want to know how to get around by subway or bus. If you're in NYC for more than 3 days and think you'll be trying out different neighborhoods, you should get a 7-day Metrocard. You might even want to spend part of a day outside of Manhattan. Perhaps Williamsburg or Park Slope in Brooklyn or along the 7 train in Queens.

                      1. re: mrbluemeanie
                        uwsister Jan 27, 2010 05:18 AM

                        Subway in daytime, cab at night. Subway (B/D or B/C to V/F or B/C to L or whatever other combo) will take 20-40 minutes.

                        1. re: uwsister
                          gutsofsteel Jan 27, 2010 01:46 PM

                          Why a cab at night?

                          1. re: gutsofsteel
                            ESNY Jan 27, 2010 02:26 PM

                            Interesting... I would've said why a subway?

                            1. re: ESNY
                              gutsofsteel Jan 27, 2010 02:40 PM

                              Because....the subway is bad for some reason?

                              1. re: gutsofsteel
                                uwsister Jan 27, 2010 03:44 PM

                                No, don't think NYC subway is "bad" for any reason, but the wait can be long (C is especially notorious for this) after rush hour and cab is often quicker and not that costly since there isn't much traffic. Better ways to spend time than waiting for subway when someone only has a few days in the city!

                                1. re: uwsister
                                  gutsofsteel Jan 27, 2010 03:47 PM

                                  I guess it depends on traffic, cab availability, weather, time of day, where you're going to and from, and if you want to spend the money. Going to the UWS from the LES can be pricey in a cab. The 4.5.6 and 1,2,3 are still pretty reliable and fast...

                                  1. re: uwsister
                                    small h Jan 27, 2010 03:48 PM

                                    Hmmm. I would say "better ways to spend money than on cabs." EV to UWS is a heckuva long ride. But to each her own.

                                    1. re: small h
                                      uwsister Jan 27, 2010 04:19 PM

                                      I live in UWS and take cabs from EV/LES all the time at night, much quicker than subway and costs me around $15, which isn't bad IMO.

                                      1 train *is* more reliable and wait time is shorter than C, but it also stops at like every five blocks and that frustrates me!

                                      1. re: uwsister
                                        small h Jan 27, 2010 04:51 PM

                                        We all have our priorities. For me, the difference between $2.25 & $15 is a drink. Or an appetizer. Or both, even! And considering you're advising this cab ride BACK to the hotel at the end of the night, eh, no wasted time there, really.

                                        I'm also just a fan of public transportation, generally. Carbon footprint & all.

                                        1. re: small h
                                          uwsister Jan 27, 2010 05:07 PM

                                          It would be the difference between $4.50 vs. $15 since the OP will be here with his wife. But of course it all depends on what the OP's priorities are.

                                          I also love NYC public transportation, one of many reasons why I couldn't live anywhere else in the country!

                                          1. re: uwsister
                                            ml77 Jan 27, 2010 07:31 PM

                                            Actually, since the OP should get an unlimited ride Metrocard, the difference between the subway and a taxi is more like $0 and $15.

                                            But I also agree with those who have said that staying on the UWS (or the UES for that matter) doesn't make sense.

                                            1. re: ml77
                                              gutsofsteel Jan 27, 2010 07:36 PM

                                              I think the reason is that On The Avenue is comfortable, the rooms are good sizes, the prices are reasonable, it's a pleasant un-touristy neighborhood to stay in, with good breakfasts. On The Avenue also has a roofdeck and balconies open to the public. Also, speaking for myself, I like to stay away from the insanity of downtown in any city when I travel.

                                              1. re: gutsofsteel
                                                uwsister Jan 27, 2010 09:21 PM

                                                >it's a pleasant un-touristy neighborhood to stay in, with good breakfasts.

                                                Exactly. UWS hotels in general have fairly reasonable rates compared to the rest of the island (unlike UES.) Also a lot of my out-of-town friends found it attractive to stay near Central Park.

                                    2. re: uwsister
                                      ESNY Jan 27, 2010 04:23 PM

                                      yeah, don't stay on the UWS!!!

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