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Near Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers with no reservations

I'll be staying there with my teenage son this Wednesday (the 16th) through Saturday. He'll be busy rehearsing for a concert during the day. In the evening, I may meet up with him, go out with a group of teens and parents, or just parents, or just on my own, so I can't reserve ahead. I absolutely want to avoid being dragged to a chain restaurant near Times Square. There seem to be some good choices on 9th Avenue between 51st and 53rd. Is it unrealistic to expect to walk there, look a round and find someplace with no reservations? And in the cold weather? (We're from the Bay Area and pretty wimpy, though we do walk a lot.)

Any ideas that are even closer would be great.

We probably don't want Mexican or Asian, since we eat a lot of that at home. I'm especially looking for Italian, French, maybe Middle Eastern or Greek. Victor's looks good. Not much Cuban in the Bay Area. I'm not sure my son would like it, though. Pizza is always good for him. How is Orso?

I'd like to keep entrees in the mid-teens to low-twenties. Less would be better.

On a side note, I'll be on my own for breakfast (I think). I've never had a decent bagel. New York Bagel Co. is close. Is that an okay option? Anything better? I feel like I should go to Carnegie deli, but I don't want a huge sandwich. How is breakfast there?

Thanks for any help. We get lots of clueless tourists posting on the San Francisco board, so I know how annoying that can be. I will report back.

322 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

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  1. For lunch definitely check out the Halal cart on 53rd and 7th or 6th ave (same owners just make sure they use the yellow bags) Lots more cheap, diverse and tasty Midtown eats found on this site: http://midtownlunch.com/

    There are tons of options on 9th ave and most don't require a reservation so you should be ok. It's only a few blocks from your hotel so the walk isn't bad at all...it's supposed to hit 60 degrees on Friday so don't worry about the cold. Uncle Nick's on 9th Ave is a decent Greek place. There are lots of Middle eastern and Thai options in the area.

    Uncle Nick's
    747 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

    1 Reply
    1. re: ukitali

      Thanks for the link -- and for the reassurance! The weather here just turned blustery, so it might actually be better there.

    2. Check out Open Table. You can select the hood, food type and time and you will get a ton of open tables.

      1. Try Sosa Borella on 8th avenue and 50th street

        Argentinian / Italian great local color and fine food, reasonably priced

        Sosa Borella
        832 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10019

        1. Absolutely, breakfast at the Carnegie. Probably easier to get in, too.

          Second on browsing Ninth Avenue, weather permitting. Delta Grill (9th and 48th) is good. Afghan Kebab House # 1 (9th and 51) too, though I haven't been in a while and had been seeing suggestions that they were no longer serving real Afghan flatbread.

          For one of the best bagels you're ever going to get, walk west to 8th Avenue and take the 104 bus to 80th Street (maybe a 20 minute ride). H&H Bagels is always *somewhere* on anyone's list of Best Bagels in NYC (and, therefore, The World). Get one just from the oven (you'll know!) -- you'll never, ever, eat a Lender's again.

          If you do that, cross 80th Street and explore Zabar's, a true New York food landmark.

          Afghan Kebab House
          764 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

          Delta Grill
          700 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

          H&H Bagels
          639 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

          2 Replies
          1. re: CatoUWS

            There's an H&H at 639 W 46th, also, which is closer to the OP's hotel. Of course, there's no Zabar's over there. Just the Intrepid.

            1. re: CatoUWS

              Note on H&H: if you want any toppings on your bagel like cream cheese, you'll have to do it yourself.

            2. Marseille (9th and 44th) is usually not full, except possibly pre-theater, so if you go after 7:30 you should be able to walk in. Chez Napoleon (51st near 9th) is also not necessary to reserve. Marseille is Provencale/Moroccan while CN is classic French bistro. You could also give Orso a try (46th west of 8th), but only at 8 pm as it will be full before and after theater.

              322 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

              Chez Napoleon
              365 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019

              1. Thanks to everyone. I'm writing all this down, while also packing for an early flight. Can't wait.

                Sosa Borella looks very possible. My son could have a pizza while I try something new.

                Going out at 7:30 to miss the pre-theater crowds is a good tip.

                1. One of my favorite Italian restaurants in the city, Insieme, is at 7th Ave and 51st St, shouldn't be too far away a walk for you. Absolutely fantastic pastas. I think it got a Michelin star a few years back, and was actually voted best lasagna in NYC at one point in 2008 or something. Prices mostly fit your price range. Check it out, you won't be disappointed. Can't speak highly of the place enough.


                  777 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019

                  1. This may be too late for you, but the area around 9th in the upper forties and lower fifties is deceiving. There are lots of places, but many are quite bad. Of the ones I've tried, Gazala Place (9th and 47th-ish) and Azuri Cafe (10th and 51st) have very good middle eastern food in different styles. I like Afghan Kebab House as well, but it's not quite as good as it once was. I'm not a fan of Nick's (have had some terribly boring food there). I'm also not a huge fan of H&H bagels (I think they're oversized and overpriced). I agree with the Marseille and Chez Napoleon recommendations made above. They'll just about fit your budget (CN more easily). Carnegie is OK for breakfast, but it's expensive for that meal. Their corned beef sandwich (fatty) is a better value. If you're by yourself for breakfast, you may be better off taking the subway to the lower east side and getting smoked salmon (or other smoked fish) on a bagel at Russ and Daughters. There's also Katz's deli a block or so away with terrific pastrami, and Laboratorio del Gelato with excellent gelati. Down Orchard St. near these temples for the stomach is the Tenement Museum with interesting tours that offer glimpses of the old New York.

                    Back to where you'll be staying, there are good croissants at the bakery associated with Petrossian (7th and upper 50s) and several very good baked goods at Bouchon Bakery. There's also a "secret" burger place in the lobby of the Parker Meridien hotel: you enter the main lobby and go through a curtain on the left. Your son may enjoy that. The Shake Shack mini-chain has excellent inexpensive burgers as well that have become something of a local institution (and, consequently, tourist attraction). There's a location at 44th and 8th that's not too crowded away from peak times.

                    I am honoring your request to avoid Asian and Mexican food, and not telling you about Totto Ramen on 52nd between 8th and 9th, or Yakitoro Totto, or Szechuan Gourmet. I won't even tell you about the grasshopper tacos at Toloache on 50th between 8th and Broadway. (I've had eyeball tacos in California, but grasshopper only in NY.)

                    The halal food cart mentioned above is decent, as well, although I am not convinced that it is hugely superior to the competition. There are a couple of very good bakeries (in addition to Bouchon) in the area worth mentioning: Amy's on 9th around 47th and the superb Sullivan St. on 47th, close to 11th. Their flat breads with mushroom, potato, etc., toppings are superior, in my opinion, to any pizza in the neighborhood.

                    Bouchon Bakery
                    10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

                    Gazala Place
                    709 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                    Azuri Cafe
                    465 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

                    Chez Napoleon
                    365 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019

                    Afghan Kebab House
                    764 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                    182 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019

                    1. Well, I had a fabulous time in Manhattan, but not a very chowish one. I was stuck in the hotel a lot, and dashed out to the Halal cart (we need these in the Bay Area) and to the "Gourmet Deli" down the block for bagels and panini. The panani were quite good, with nice grill marks. I also found a cafe across the street in a pedestrian walkway cutting through the building. It reminded me of places in the San Francisco financial district. What I got, though--smoked salmon, cream cheese and onion on black bread--was not something I could have had at home, and a bargain at 3.50.

                      I did get away to take the Circle boat tour. (The amazing guide talked for 3 hours straight!). We wanted lunch nearby and happened on the Landmark Tavern. Loved the interior and the friendly (and quick) service. My grilled shrimp salad, with lots of baby spinach, was good, too. Passed H&H bagels, but sadly couldn't stop.

                      Also took a fantastic tour of Lincoln Center and walked through Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum. I stopped at a cart and asked for an empanada (it was listed!), but the guy looked at me like I was crazy. I had a hot dog instead. Pretty blah (Unwarmed bun), but this was on that amazingly warm Friday and I munched it in the sun while gazing out at the still-frozen lake. How could I not be happy?

                      My son and I did venture over to 8th Avenue, an easy walk. Unfortunately, he wanted Mexican so we went to El Azteca. It was horrible, but I won't dwell on it, because going there was a stupid thing to do. The ambiance and service were fine. Actually, everyone on the trip was nice (except for the concierge). Friendlier than here.

                      On Sunday, after my his Saturday performance, my son wanted to go shopping so we walked to the Time Warner building. After that, we looked around for lunch and spotted Mariella pizza. It seemed very New York and I loved saying, "I'll have a slice of white."

                      So that's pretty much it. I ate less (and spent less) than I might have, but it was fun and I can't wait to go back for a more food-centered trip.

                      Landmark Tavern
                      626 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                      El Azteca
                      783 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019