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Apr 22, 2010 12:22 PM

I'm coming to New York for the weekend. Where should I eat?

I'll be in New York for a long weekend. Do you have any suggestions on how I should plan my meals? I'd like to do one amazing fancy dinner, one less-fancy dinner and then casual for lunch/brunch the rest of the weekend.

Thanks in advance for your help!.

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  1. This weekend? A different weekend? What's your price range for the "amazing fancy" "less-fancy" and "casual"? Make sure you account for tax, tip, and wine/drinks (if you drink). The popular restaurants book up fast. Just one or a larger party? Any preferences re: atmosphere? Neighborhood? Any preferred cuisines? Avoids? Allergies or other dietary considerations? Where are you coming from? Any other considerations like pre-theatre dining or planning around sightseeing, shopping, family commitments, etc?

    Your request is much too broad for us to really help you without knowing price range, neighborhood, cuisine, or any other parameter to narrow down the literally thousands of restaurants in Manhattan. Have you searched the boards for recommendations? Did anything catch your eye? You'll also get more responses if you plan a rough itinerary and have people comment.

    Previous threads that may help:

    Don't leave NY without eating these foods

    Pizza in NYC

    For cheap eats, try out some street food:

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

    Best brunch:

    Best foodie shopping:

    Best mixology / bespoke cocktails:

    Top Ten Bars for Beer Snobs

    Manhattan for 5 days over New Year

    Recommendations for "an adventure"

    Other hounds' itineraries/reports:

    Additionally, you can peruse the menus of many restaurants on And is handy for making reservations. However, not all restaurants are on Open Table, and for the ones that are, they don't put up every single available table, so call if you can't find the time and date you want. The good ones will try to accommodate you or put you on the wait list.

    Restaurants in NYC take reservations usually 31, 30, 28, days in advance or similar. Sometimes restaurants take them by phone 28 days in advance but ALSO limit OpenTable to 27 days in advance. So the OT limit might be different from the phone limit. It's not a perfect tool but extremely helpful if you're not dead set on the MOST popular places.

    The most popular places will book up the day they open up their books. BUT you can ask to be put on the waitlist or call day on the day of and ask about cancellations.

    The hardest restaurants to get into are Babbo (one of the most popular in the city), Momofuku Ko (they only take reservations online and have only 12 seats), Rao's (every table "belongs" to a regular), Waverly Inn (did it ever officially "open"?), Minetta Tavern (non VIPs usually get stuck with the 6pm or 10pm slots), Gramercy Tavern (democratic but VERY popular), and Union Square Cafe (ditto). Places that recently opened and have gotten good reviews can also be hard to get into if you don't call early enough (like 4 weeks in advance or 10am on the dot 1 month in advance). Also, there are only a handful of places left in NYC that are jackets required, and none require ties (planning o packing the right clothing can sometimes be difficult for travelers).

    Restaurants that require jackets:

    Gramercy Tavern
    42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

    Minetta Tavern
    113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

    Momofuku Ko
    163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Waverly Inn
    16 Bank St, New York, NY 10014

    4 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      At the end of your life you're going straight to heaven.

      I, on the other hand, .....

      1. re: Bob Martinez

        Are going to Mars 2112? Ninja? :)

        Mars 2112
        1633 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

        1. re: kathryn

          You're familiar with my work in all it's forms.

          1. re: Bob Martinez

            I generally avoid using the word "awesome" because it has become so wrongly overused. However, when it comes to Kathryn and her encylopedic information, the lady truly is awesome!

            P.S. And I'm not saying that because she graciously includes my tour. LOL

    2. If you visit the Village, for an an inexpensive dinner that is always consistent and delicious, try Good on Greenwich Street (corn. Bank); or for Italian, try Marinell'a on Bedford Street and Carmine. Small places--nothing fancy, very local crowds. Also, when in the mood for super thin pizza, try John's Pizzeria on Bleecker St.

      John's Pizzeria
      278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

      3 Replies
      1. re: IsaacLiMuli

        John's on Bleecker has gone considerably downhill.

        1. re: kathryn

          I, too, would like to compliment and thank Kathryn for her knowledge as well as her willingness to share it with fellow chowhounds. You walk on water!!

          As Bob said, straight to heaven....first-class!!

          1. re: jdbeck

            I hope heaven has a good restaurant or two!