Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jan 5, 2011 07:10 AM

Visiting from Portland Oregon for Two Nights

We are spending a Sunday and Monday night in the city while visiting family in NJ. Looking for recommendations for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I know many places are closed on those days. We are staying in the mid-town area and don't want to go to any place too fancy or that has a strict dress code (we are west-coasters after all). Cost is not really a factor, we just prefer places that are not too fussy. We like all types of food but one of us does not eat any meat except fish. Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Where are you staying? Is it more Midtown East or West? Do you have the cross streets of your hotel? Are you planning around sightseeing? Shopping? A Broadway play or other activity?

    To get a taste of what New York City is all about I would encourage you to travel out of Midtown and go to the Lower East Side, East Village, West Village, etc. It will only take 20 minutes on the train.

    In my experience, Sunday and Monday are not difficult days to find good food. The high end, upscale, expensive restaurants may be closed on Sundays, but you have plenty of other options.

    How soon will you be dining? Are you looking to make a bunch of reservations or just walk in and grab a table? Do you mind a wait?

    What's the most you're willing to spend per person, excluding tax (nearly 9%), tip (15-20%), and wine/drinks/etc.? Even if cost is not a factor, giving a price ceiling will help steer recommendations.

    Any favorite cuisines you have? Cuisines you want to try? Or avoid? I'm not too familiar with Portland outside of "there's a ton of food trucks," so what stuff is there that you want to try in NYC that you can't get at home?

    Very few places have strict dress codes any more. Only a handful require jackets at dinner. No restaurant requires a tie for me any more. The rest of the nicer restaurants in town are pretty much fine with business casual. Would you be comfortable with something like that?

    The short list of restaurants that require jackets:

    Here are some threads on things I think NYC is good at, like brunch, bagels/smoked salmon, pickles, egg creams, pastrami, pizza, mixology, "ethnic" niches, street food etc.

    Best breakfast and brunch:

    Please help me eat during a month in new york

    Don't leave NY without eating these foods

    Pizza in NYC

    BTW, I highly recommend RGR's self guided Lower East Side Gustatory tour but sub in Pickle Guys for Guss' Pickles:

    Best foodie shopping:

    Union Square Greenmarket advice

    Best mixology / bespoke cocktails:

    Bars for beer geeks

    For non-Western European/American

    Foreign Street Grub

    totally obscure, odd, and intriguing menu items

    Great upscale dining

    Union Square Greenmarket
    Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

    Pickle Guys
    49 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      That's a lot of info! Thanks. We are staying on w. 46th between Broadway and 6th. Will be spending much of one of our two days at MOMA. Also want to explore Central Park, weather permitting. Not sure of our other plans. We have been to the city before and are trying to just have a nice, relaxing time. We may see a show, so non-tourist oriented dinner recommendations in the area would be appreciated.

      We have no objections to reservations, at least for dinner and would prefer not to have long waits. We also have no objection to exploring other parts of Manhattan, but would like to have a dining destination in mind because we are not familiar with the city.

      We really like all types of food but I think we would really appreciate any type of ethnic food recommendations you have - I love spicy food.

      1. re: mcarms

        A short walk away from your hotel in Hell's Kitchen are a number of Thai places you might like:

        There are some great restaurants near the MoMA but my favorite is the Bar Room at the Modern. The Modern is the upscale restaurant next to the MoMA. The Bar Room is the casual front area -- there's a bar, lounge seating, banquette seating, and regular freestanding tables. You can reserve or drop in. They serve continuously throughout the day.

        Nearby also is the famous halal cart with a pretty incendiary hot sauce. 53rd and 6th Avenue but on the south side: EAST corner during the day and south WEST corner at night.

        For Central Park, it's huge so it's hard to know what to recommend unless you know you're going to be on the south end or pop out on the UWS or UES.

        If you're going to see a show, I would do Esca (high end Italian seafood but not super formal) or Szechuan Gourmet (spicy Chinese food, get the mapo tofu, cumin lamb, dan dan noodles, there are tons of threads devoted to SG on this board). Definitely reserve at both if you are going pre-theatre! They both very popular.

        Also, I'd make a special trip to Xian Famous Foods in the East Village. I'm fairly certain you can't get Xian food in Portland.

        Check out the Foreign Street Grub thread I linked to as well.

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

        402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036