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Dec 1, 2010 07:03 PM

Restaurants around tourist areas

I have some of my parent's friends visiting me in NYC and of course they've never been so they want to look at all the famous things.

So I'm looking to find some restaurants around: Macy's on 34th, Times Square, Central Park, and the Financial District. (If you want to recommend other destinations + restaurants, feel free!)

I believe they have some sort of budget, so I'm hoping to eat for $20 or less per person (without drinks).


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  1. One of my new favorites is Szechuan Gourmet on 56th street and 6th avenue. It is wonderful, tasty, reasonable food and you can bring your own wine! There is another one in the 30's but I have not eaten there. Take a look at the thread on it.

    Szechuan Gourmet
    21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

    1. Hagi is a Japanese place on 49th street right across from the old Lehman Brothers building. It is very casual and has great yakitori, noodles, etc. It gets crowded with locals quickly so get there early. Also, don't get lost! It is down a flight of stairs, so you're basically dining underground. Not many people know about it.

      Also, Swizz is a great fondue place on 54th or 55th (I think). They have great beer.

      1. okay, shifting gears since i was scolded for my first suggestion...

        in the Times Square area there's Dafni or Uncle Nick's for Greek...or Toloache for Mexican.

        Central Park spans a rather large area bordered by several neighborhoods, so it would be helpful to know which part of it they'll be near.

        5 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Please, please don't bring tourists to Shake Shack. It is a burger joint, it has nothing to do with New York-ness. And it is not worth waiting on a line for.

          1. re: gutsofsteel

            Since large numbers of New Yorkers are voting with their feet (and modestly with their wallets) for Shake Shack, I'd argue that it is now an experience worth having. Plus, there's the minor matter that the burgers are very good.

            I had to take someone (a young person) around Manhattan in October. We hit Szechuan Gourmet, Madangsui, Mamoun's, Grom, very regrettably House of Brews on 51st and 8th, Carnegie Deli (for corned beef), Russ and Daughters (sable), Laboratorio del Gelato, Totto Ramen, Bouchon Bakery, and the bar room at The Modern. Shake Shack had been on the list, but it was removed by someone else in the group in favor of H of Brews. It was one of the biggest burger mistakes of my life.

            Bouchon Bakery
            10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

            35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

            Szechuan Gourmet
            21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

            Carnegie Deli
            854 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

            233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

            The House of Brews
            302 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

            Totto Ramen
            366 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

            1. re: FoodDabbler

              Very, very very large numbers of New Yorkers go go McDonald's - does that mean it's an experience worth having? Quality really has nothing to do with the hordes of lemmings flocking to a well-marketed trendy burger joint. The burgers are SS are good in their category, but it's a burger nonetheless. If somebody is traveling to NYC from afar, SS is NOT one of the things they need to experience.

              1. re: gutsofsteel

                The McDonald's phenomenon is different from the Shake Shack one in two important respects. People eat at McDonald's because it's fast, cheap and familiar, not for the quality of the food (OK, sometimes for the thin fries). It's easy to tell from conversations you overhear on line at SS that people go out of their way to eat the burgers and custard there because they like them. There's an obvious danger in assuming that people have been flocking to SS for years now simply because they are lemmings tricked by clever advertising. I think the burgers are good. You think the burgers are good. I suggest that people eat there in large numbers because they too think the burgers are good, not because they don't think.

                Secondly, you can eat McDonald's anywhere in the U.S. and it'll taste pretty much the same. As I said, that's partly why people go there. Familiarity, in this case, breeds contentment. Shake Shack, apart from its one foray into Florida, is so far an only-NY phenomenon. When showing someone around NY, especially on a limited budget, it's on my list -- although it's clearly not a top priority, and I only go there at times when the line is not overlong. (Incidentally, I should have included Red Egg on my list above.)

                On a McDonald's aside, there are times when one might eat there, out of necessity (the only choice on a highway) or out of curiosity. Who here can resist the lure of the McAloo?

                Red Egg
                202 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013

                1. re: FoodDabbler

                  I think a Big Mac is good too. And so do millions of other people.

                  The SS burger is good - is it a great burger? No. It's fast (at the right times), it's inexpensive (relative to a restaurant)'s like eating fast food without as much guilt. But it's a burger joint no matter how you slice it.

                  When SS has 20 locations around the country.....will you change your tune?

                  Danny Meyer and his team are marketing geniuses. I applaud them.

                  There are many McDonalds all over Manhattan - people have MANY choices....yet McDonald's seems to be doing quite well.

                  Why on earth would you send a tourist to Shake Shack - there is absolutely nothing uniquely New York about it.

        2. one of my favorite places is Crif Dogs on St marks Street it is a little place that is easy to miss ( just look for the hot dog that says eat me) but it is really good food you can look up the menu online and you can def. eat there for well under 20 a person its a great place for lunch. The menu sounds odd but believe me its great food and they have really good shakes too!
          whenever my family and friends come in from texas they wanna go there its a really neat place.

          Crif Dogs
          113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

          1 Reply
          1. re: s.watkins

            It's not anywhere near the geographic area that the OP will be, though.

          2. On the truly horrifying occasions when I end up at Macy's during the holiday shopping season, I head to Koreatown afterward to try and calm my shattered nerves. Don's Bogam and Madangsui are popular restaurants for Korean barbecue. You'll find a lot of Korean restaurants on 32nd St.

            There are a lot of excellent restaurants near Central Park. In which direction from the park would you prefer to dine: north, south, east or west?

            35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

            Don's Bogam
            17 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016

            2 Replies
            1. re: michelleats

              Korean barbecue can easily take you past the $20 limit.

              1. re: FoodDabbler

                You're right, FoodDabbler. Most places have bbq items in the low $20s. Almost all other dishes would be well within limits, though.