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Apr 24, 2011 02:21 PM

Recommendations for July 1- July 4

Hello fellow chowhounders,

I will be travelling to NYC and staying around 10th ave & 42nd st between July 1 (arriving late afternoon or around dinner time) - July 4 (leaving mid to late morning) this summer. I'm in need of some restaurant recommendations, perferably none that will break the bank.

I only have a few places in particular that i do want to go and visit. But if anyone can suggest better places, the ones listed below will be bumped off the list.

- Magnolia bakery for their cupcakes,
- Shake Shack for bugers & shes
- Momofuku for their pork buns & ramen
- Russ & Daughters for their bagels

Any suggestions for good food carts too?

Preferably no Chinese food, or Korean food since i'm from Toronto and we have an abundance of those here.

Thanks in advance!

Russ & Daughters
179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

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  1. magnolia is overrated. way

    shake shack is good for what it is, but for my money i prefer a pub burger to a fast food one, anyday

    momofuku has great pork buns, and just OK ramen. better to go to momofuku ssam, and get your ramen elsewhere (ippudo is the acknowledged fave in the city, but there is plenty of good rament o be found)

    russ and daughters are not a place to sit and eat - it is a shop. and bagels are not their baliwick - stuff you put on a bagel is

    Magnolia Bakery
    401 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    Shake Shack
    Madison Ave and E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010

    Momofuku Noodle Bar
    171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

    1. first, two points:

      1. people will try to talk you out of going to Shake Shack and Magnolia. ignore them. yes, there are better cupcakes and better burgers in New York, but they're both above average. i happen to love Shake Shack, especially the Shackago Dog, and Magnolia, but only for their Icebox Cake. Two Red Hens has the best cupcakes i've ever had, but i'm not sure that i'd trek up to the UES just to have one.

      2. now, i'll contradict myself. i really prefer Ippudo for both ramen and pork buns. i find Momofuku to be too heavy on the pork fat in both dishes. that said, i'm a huge fan of Momofuku for other things, specifically the desserts at Milk Bar and the fried chicken at Noodle Bar. i'm not trying to convince you not to visit a David Chang place. On the contrary, I'd recommend it, just not for the two dishes you listed.

      now, as far as other suggestions, i would definitely add Keste and Caracas to your list of lunch places. they're two favorites and both quite inexpensive. there are plenty of discussions on the board about pizza and everyone has their opinion of who is serving the best pie in New York right now. i say it's Keste over Motorino, the two most mentioned frontrunners in Manhattan.

      not sure what the barbecue scene is like in Toronto, but RUB turns out some delicious smoked meats. i'm partial to their pulled pork and chicken wings, good summertime food. it's casual.

      Two Little Red Hens
      1652 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

      RUB BBQ
      208 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

      Caracas Arepa Bar
      93 1/2 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

      65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

      Keste Pizza & Vino
      271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

      Momofuku Milk Bar
      251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

      349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

      2 Replies
      1. re: coasts

        I enjoy the Caracas Luke's Lobster duo.

        Good to go to Russ and Daughters and Katz's at the same time. Split a sandwich at each (or save half for later).

        Katz's Delicatessen
        205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

        Luke's Lobster
        93 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

        1. re: ChiefHDB

          Also, for cupcakes, the only place I really like is Robicelli's. They sell them at various places around the city. Locations on their site:

      2. Why on earth do you want an average fast food hamburger when you have all the food in NYC to choose from?

        Don't go to Momofuku for ramen. Love their pork buns though.

        Russ and Daughters doesn't make their own bagels, and bagels is not what they are known for. If you want smoked fish....then yes, that or Barney Greengrass. At BG you can sit down and there is table service.

        Barney Greengrass
        541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

        1. 1. Go to Magnolia Bakery for the banana pudding and icebox cakes. The cupcakes are really overly sweet, the cake part doesn't have enough salt, and it's not worth the time in line.

          For cupcakes:
          Two Little Red Hens for moist, decadent chocolate cupcakes -- get the Brooklyn Blackout, sometimes available at Dean & Deluca stores
          Chikalicious Dessert Club for petit, more delicate cupcakes with more of a whipped frosting
          Sugar Sweet Sunshine for something in the Magnolia vein as it was founded by ex Magnolia people -- but avoid the Red Velvet, I like lemon or pistachio
          Spot - Asian influenced cupcakes
          Butter Lane - they taste "clean" to me because the focus is on wholesome ingredients and local, etc. stuff, they also offer French buttercream as an option

          2. I love the Shack burger but others want a big thick patty cooked rare or hate the special sauce. I don't find the shakes all that interesting. I'm more of a concrete fan, or just try the special custard of the day.

          3. Ippudo for ramen. I assume you mean Momofuku Noodle Bar here.

          BTW you can get the pork buns at Milk Bar in the East Village, as well as Momofuku Ssam Bar, but not Ma Peche or Momofuku Ko.

          4. What everybody else said. Get a bagel sandwich to go from R&D, find a nice bench to sit on. Enjoy the marriage of delicious smoked salmon with cream cheese, capers, tomato, red onion, on a bagel (untoasted).

          For more cheapish eats, I'm assuming you don't have access to places like:

          Katz's Deli -- pastrami on rye)
          Xian Famous Foods -- a pretty rare cuisine to find outside of China
          Zabb Elee -- Isaan Thai which means no curries and no pad thai
          Taim -- falafel and they have a cart, too
          Joe's -- pizza by the slice, gas oven style, note that not all NYC places do pizza by the slice
          Patsy's in East Harlem and only East Harlem - coal oven pizza by the slice, so a different style
          Artichoke -- square slice only, this has a thicker crust
          Doughnut Plant -- tres leches cake donut, blackout cake donut, strawberry cake donut if they still have it, salted peanut cake donut -- only at Chelsea location I think
          La Esquina's -- fish tacos -- see also Pinche (I like the pastor) or Tacombi
          Pearl Oyster Bar -- unless New England style lobster rolls are easy to find in Toronto, not exactly cheap but worth the splurge
          Amy Ruth's -- fried chicken and waffles
          Hill Country for Texas style BBQ -- fatty brisket, pork ribs
          Pies 'n' Thighs -- also for fried chicken, though this is in Brooklyn, I also love their chicken biscuit
          Cafe Katja -- Austrian, hearty fare, nice beer list, great pretzels
          Crif Dogs -- deep fried (sans batter) NJ style hot dogs
          BaoHaus -- Taiwanese gua bao aka Taiwanese hamburgers, which I don't think are all that common in Toronto
          Chennai Garden -- Indian, though some like Saravanaas more.

          You didn't mention Japanese food in your post? Do you places to get takoyaki and okonomiyaki (Otafuku) or yakitori (Yakitori Totto, Tori Shin)?

          You may wish to consider RGR's famous self-guided eating tour of the LES:

          Note two changes: Guss's Pickles has closed, so substitute The Pickle Guys, on Essex off Grand. And the correct address for Economy Candy is 108, not 145.

          Ethnic street carts:

          I'd keep an eye out for the Wafels & Dinges cart, the Schnitzel Truck, maybe one of the Korean Tacos trucks? Has that trend made it your way yet?

          More cheap eats ideas:

          81 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

          Pearl Oyster Bar
          18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

          Yakitori Totto
          251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

          222 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10014

          Pickle Guys
          49 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

          Hill Country
          30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

          Two Little Red Hens
          1652 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

          Chennai Garden
          129 E 27th St, New York, NY 10016

          Momofuku Ssam Bar
          207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

          Amy Ruth's
          113 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026

          Doughnut Plant
          379 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

          La Esquina
          106 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

          Cafe Katja
          79 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

          Momofuku Noodle Bar
          171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

          Joe's Pizza
          7 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

          Momofuku Ko
          163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

          Sugar Sweet Sunshine
          126 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

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

          Dessert Club, ChikaLicious
          204 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

          236 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

          65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

          Economy Candy
          108 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

          Dean & DeLuca
          560 Broadway, New York, NY 10012

          328 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003

          Patsy's Pizzeria
          2287 1st Ave, New York, NY 10035

          Butter Lane
          123 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

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

          Ma Peche
          15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

          Spot Dessert Bar
          13 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

          Xi'an Famous Foods
          88 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

          137 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

          267 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012

          Zabb Elee
          75 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

          7 Replies
          1. re: kathryn

            Yes on Magnolia for banana pudding and icebox cakes. I also second cupcakes at Chikalicious, Spot, Butter Lane, and TLRH. I personally can't stand SSS - but if you do go, don't ever get anything with chocolate frosting.

            I'd either go to Momofuku Ssam for pork buns and other small plates for a late-night dinner OR Milk Bar for pork buns, a piece of crack pie, and whatever other crazy desserts that appeal to you for a snack.

            1. re: uwsister

              I had a SSS chocolate cake/chocolate frosting one last week and it seemed fine to me, BTW.

              1. re: kathryn

                Their chocolate frosting's got some almond extract in it. Some like it. But I think it tastes like cough syrup.

            2. re: kathryn

              Thanks, as usual, for mentioning my tour, kathryn. :) With regard to finding a place outdoors to sit and enjoy the bagel & lox sandwich from R& D, there are two benches in front of the shop. But better still are the parks on the corner of 1st & 1st, and on the corner of Houston & Norfolk.

              I agree with you about the lemon cupcakes at Sugar Sweet Sunshine.

              Photos of Lemon Cupcake at SSS:

              I also agree that the cupcakes at Dessert Club ChikaLicious are lovely.

              Dessert Club ChikaLicious cupcakes:

              For Lobster Rolls, while agree that the one at Pearl is excellent, I also like Luke's, different in style and a lot less expensive.

              Pearl Oyster Bar photos:

              Luke's Lobster photos:


              1. re: RGR

                Wow, i didn't expect to get so many responses over such a short period of time! Thank you to all for the speedy responses. I guess i haven't done enough research on places to check out for food.

                I guess Magnolia will only be for the banana pudding and not for cupcakes as it seems that many people have said that the cupcakes are too sweet anyways. I'll definitely look over some of the other cupcake places and see which i can get to in the short time that i'm in the city.

                As for Momofuku, i guess i'll make a quick stop to the Milk Bar location to get some pork buns and a slice of their crack pie (i forgot to mention that in the original post). I actually didn't know that there were different Momofuku restaurants. I'll go to Ippudo for ramen instead if they're that much better.

                Just curious, why the negative comments about Shake Shack. In all my previous trips to NYC, i've never stepped foot in Central Park because i've always visited during the winter. I just thought that sitting down eating a burger, grabbing a shake/custard would be nice.

                Coasts, the BBQ scene in Toronto is pretty pathetic, unless i go to our Ribfests. I have found a decent place up in Barrie which is like an hour north of for great pulled pork. I'm sure the hubby would like to eat some ribs in the places you recommended.

                Gutsofsteel, i read on some posts (and on Anthony Bourdain's show) that Russ & Daughters has good bagels. If they don't make their own, do you have any suggestions where there are shops in NYC that make their own bagels?

                kathryn, thank you for the long list of recommendations. If only i could go to all of them :) I didnt' mention Japanese (other than ramen) just because i came back from visiting Japan at the end of January. I also forgot to mention in my original post i do want to check out Wafels & Dinges and Schnitzel & Things. We don't have anything similar in terms of ethnic street food trucks in Toronto. The City of Toronto tried to launch an experimental program using 4 or 5 ethic food trucks and all failed miserably. So the only street food trucks/carts that we have access to here sells only fries and hotdogs.

                Russ & Daughters
                179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

                65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                Wafels & Dinges
                New York, New York, NY 10001

                Schnitzel & Things
                723 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10017

                1. re: PrincessStress

                  Like every eating spot, including all the very high end places, Shake Shack has its fans (like me) and its detractors. The flagship is located not in Central Park but in Madison Square Park, on Madison Av. & 23rd St. It's where we always go as we do enjoy the lovely park setting. There are also now three other Shake Shakes in Manhattan. Those are indoors though on the UES there is some outdoor seating.

                  Photos of the SS Burger:

                  Re: Bagels at Russ & Daughters. While it's true that they don't make their own (they come from a bagel bakery in Queens), I think they are excellent.


                  1. re: PrincessStress

                    Note that there are two Momofuku Milk Bars and only the East Village one has pork buns, not the Midtown location. The EV one is also moving, but only across the street:

                    Serious Eats did a bagel taste test and found that quality was correlated more with freshness than anything else:

                    Momofuku Milk Bar
                    15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019