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Nov 23, 2010 06:32 AM

Go-To Neighborhood Restaurants?

I make my semi-annual Manhattan visit for the holiday season the second weekend of December.
Last Dec09, we had an enjoyable meal at Luna Piena Ristorante - Midtown East.

However on Valentines night Feb09, our meal at Savoy in which the cozy fireplace & window seat couldn't compensate for the disappointing, cramped, snooty serviced & overpriced meal.

So my request is for some of your go-to restaurants where you locals go to get quality food in a relaxed atmosphere over & over.

I am following requirements:'s Price rating of below up to $$$ = $31 to $50.
Seafood, american, modern american, fusion, italian, chinese, vietnamese, french.
Any neighborhood in Manhattan from the 80's on down.

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  1. Since I live on the UES, my "go-to" neighborhood restaurants are: Cafe d'Alsace, Hiedelberg and Wa Jeal (all in the E. 80s).

    Cafe d'Alsace
    1695 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10128

    Wa Jeal
    1588 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

    1. I'm in the West Village, but my boyfriend and I regularly eat all over downtown. We eat a lot at Risotteria (cheaper than your requirements, but still good), Public (in SoHo), The Breslin, La Esquina, Pinto (good Thai food on Christopher Street), and a few other places I know I'm forgetting...

      La Esquina
      106 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

      270 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

      The Breslin
      20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

      1 Reply
      1. re: loratliff

        loratliff - cheap is never a bad thing when it comes to prices!

        & may I say your list is exactly the vibe I am looking for from the natives.

      2. My hood is the LES / Chinatown. Personal favorite neighborhood joints:

        Italian: Falai Panetteria (the casual off-shoot of the $$$+ flagship), The Orchard (could stretch the $$$ slightly), Apizz (I find the secondi a little lacking - but it's great to make a meal of apps & a bottle of wine), Frankies 17 Clinton Street Spuntino

        American: Alias, Prune, JoeDoe, Little Giant

        Japanese: Sachiko's

        Vietnamese: Cong Ly, Pho Grand
        Chinese: Fuleen, Lan Zhou Handmade Noodle, Ah Ping Snack Bar (okay, those last two aren't exactly "cozy" - but they are relaxed....)

        I'm also fond of Schiller's - with the caveat of weeknights only. Weekends are too much of a mob scene.

        Cong Ly
        124 Hester St, New York, NY 10002

        Frankies 17 Spuntino
        17 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

        217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

        The Orchard
        162 Orchard St., New York, NY 10002

        Little Giant
        85 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002

        76 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

        11 Division St, New York, NY 10002

        Pho Grand
        277 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

        Schiller's Liquor Bar
        131 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

        Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle
        144 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

        54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

        Ah Ping Snack Bar
        2 E Broadway, New York, NY 10038

        45 East 1st Street, New York, NY 10003

        Falai Panetteria
        79 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

        2 Replies
        1. re: sgordon

          You all eat so well in your respective hoods! Luv it.

          1. re: sgordon

            I ate at Prune for the first time last Friday. It was *so* good and quaint! Definitely add it to your list.

          2. I usually live in the East Village, and my go-to restaurants in that area are:

            Xian Famous Foods (not a full-service restaurant but a great value!)

            Grand Sichuan St Marks, for a bunch of things, all Sichuan or Hunan

            Stage Restaurant (long lunch counter, Polish food) for soups and pierogies

            Baoguette St Marks for reliable Vietnamese sandwiches, Bun Bo, etc.

            Supper, for reliably good Italian food made with good ingredients

            Cacio e Vino for good-priced wines, pizza or schiacciate, and some pleasant appetizers and nice ambiance.

            Katz's a few times a year for great pastrami!

            Kamui Den for good-value, tasty full-service Japanese food.

            And further afield, Arturo's for pizza and jazz

            Lupa for a thoroughly pleasant dining experience when I can get in (your mileage may vary)

            and various restaurants in Chinatown (particularly Noodletown and now perhaps Noodle Village will supplant it somewhat, for solo or couples dining and South China Garden for banquets) and past Union Square (Laut for Malaysian food and some of the South Indian places in Curry Hill).

            Lately, I've been spending most of my time in the West 90s. My go-to places around here are:

            El Malecon and Flor de Mayo, mostly for tasty rotisserie chicken

            Jerusalem Restaurant for tasty falafel, shawarma, and grape leaves.

            170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

            South China Garden
            22 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

            Noodle Village
            13 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

            El Malecon
            764 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025

            Grand Sichuan
            23 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

            Stage Restaurant
            128 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

            Flor de Mayo
            2651 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

            156 E 2nd St, New York, NY 10009

            Cacio e Vino
            80 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

            Kamui Den
            186 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

            Jerusalem Restaurant
            2715 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

            Baoguette Cafe
            37 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

            Xi'an Famous Foods
            81 St. Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

            1. Upper eastsider here. My go to places:
              Spigolo-I east here at least 4xs a week.
              Cafe D'alsace
              Mr. Ginger (Korean/w sushi bar)
              Wa Jeal-Schizuan
              V-Note-tried only recently-extremely good vegan!!

              Mr. Ginger
              1572 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028