Hungry teens/cheapskate husband. Can this vacation be saved?
Greetings from L.A. I know the importance of research and people on our board get really petulant when people say, "I'm coming to L.A, tell me what to eat." I'm visiting Manhattan for long weekend with husband and two teenage boys. We're staying in Tribeca and our itinerary includes Whitney, MOMA and Guggenheim. I've poured over the Chowhound, the NY Times and some other sites and my head is spinning. I see places on the map but I really don't have an accurate idea of travel time which complicates planning an itinerary. Here are our specifics: Three of us are non-shell fish eating pescatarians. The older kid eats anything and will require at least one big red meat extravaganza. It seems to me also that my boys could blow any competitive eating champion out of the water and having had a little sticker shock perusing NY menus I am concerned. Husband very thrifty and hates more than anything waiting in a line although good beer assuages the crustiness a bit. There has been some debate about the quintessential New Yorkiness of Shake Shack but I think the kids would like it. I also want to try Vegetarian Dim Sum because to my knowledge there's nothing like this in L.A. Otherwise, outstanding Asian and Mexican are in our regular rotation so unless there's something mind blowing and not budget busting, we'd probably stick to other cuisines. Our budget for the four of us is $250 a day and this should include tips and a couple beers. We all like pasta and the three males love pizza which I can take or leave. I will rationalize this with my intention to do a lot of walking but L.A. is notorious for mediocre bread so good sandwich and breakfast recommendations will be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
If you're going to be around the UWS at any point, Kefi is a good option for lunch or dinner. It's very respectable Greek food. Ordering a variety of the meze plates and sharing is a good strategy--the grilled octopus is especially good. It's reasonably priced and there's rarely a wait since they moved to their larger location, although you might want to make a reservation anyway. It's probably about 25 minutes from Tribeca.
505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024
take a walk over to Ninth Ave...Hell's Kitchen area...40s and 50s
many great inexpensive ethnic places...Thai, Greek
one of my fav inexpensive AND delicious places is Pita Joe on W. 14th Street & Fifth Ave.
check out this great site to get an idea of what is out there
2 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011
Since you have a party of pizza lovers you should try Patsy's Pizza on 1st Ave at 117 Street. I don't think you'll find pizza like this on the Coast. It's a restaurant, not a slice place and you can get beer or wine. My wife thinks it's the best pizza in NY and I agree. She says it 's not the same as what she got as a little girl on 2 Ave and 28 Street and that's a good thing. Same goes for me. We never had this in Queens when I was growing up. Don't get fancy, just get a regular pie and maybe another one with a topping if you like. If your still hungry get another pie, the prices are cheap. The house salad is delicious and it feeds two, and the place is real old fashioned. I've brought Italian relatives from Queens there and they raved about it. Same goes for my cousins from Ireland.
You can ride an M15 bus up 1st Ave to 116 Street or just take a cab. if you are going from an UES museum a cab would be under $10. If you feel taking transit from Patsy's is daunting just walk one block or so East on 117 Street to Costco where there is a car service at the entrance to the garage. Or ask if Patsy's has a car service they use.
2287 1st Ave, New York, NY 10035
You can easily estimate travel time using Google Maps or something like Hopstop or the MTA travel planner. BTW, your husband's thriftiness and line-hating seem incompatible -- the reason a line is long sometimes is...because it's super-cheap! It's a good thing your family likes pasta and pizza. You can eat rather well at, say, Otto, Keste, or Motorino even on a limited budget.
I don't think vegetarian dim sum is worth the trip. Everything tasted the same to me when I tried it. I'm not a vegetarian, though, and love regular pork and shrimp based dim sum.
Sandwiches in NYC (many in NYC are pretty meat focused so while a famous place may have a great meat-based sandwich, their vegetarian ones may suck so YMMV):
Breakfast and brunch:
My first thought is to look into places that include a drink/coffee/OJ with breakfast or brunch. 'ino, Jane, The Smith, IIRC.
Pizza in NYC:
RGR's self guided LES walking tour is pretty inexpensive as well (sub in Pickle Guys for Guss' Pickles):
Cheap eats in NYC by Time Out NY is a pretty great list, too:
49 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
100 West Houston Street, New York, NY 10012
1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003
21 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
55 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10003
Keste Pizza & Vino
271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003