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Jul 14, 2011 12:34 PM

NYC for 4 days in September!! HELP!

My husband and I will be in New York for 4 days in September...it's our first visit and we are big time foodies and want to get the best possible during our short stay. We live in the LA Area so we have a variety of great restaurants but I'm looking for stuff that is New York specific....Pizza for example! I would also like to try a great sushi place in New York just for the comparison.

So if anyone could help me find the following foods in NYC that are the best please let me know!

-Italian Deli Sandwich with good bread (not jewish deli)

-NY Pizza

-Struffoli (fried) Can't find it anywhere in LA and my husband dreams about the way his aunt use to make it.

-Good Sushi....and not a place with ity bity tiny little rolls/ 4 pieces like 20 bucks, I hate those places!

Open to any other suggestions, we enjoy all kinds of food:)

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  1. -Italian Deli Sandwich with good bread (not jewish deli)

    I think you want Defonte's? If you've seen the episode of 30 Rock about sandwich day, this is the place they were talking about.

    -NY Pizza

    For coal oven NY style thin crust pizza, I like John's of Bleecker. Just ask for it well done to ensure there is sufficient char on the bottom. One topping maximum.

    -Struffoli (fried) Can't find it anywhere in LA and my husband dreams about the way his aunt use to make it.

    For struffoli cookies you may have to look in the Outer Boroughs. But isn't it out of season? Isn't it a Christmas/Easter thing? Maybe Villabate in Bensonhurst?

    This may help:

    -Good Sushi....and not a place with ity bity tiny little rolls/ 4 pieces like 20 bucks, I hate those places!

    Can you clarify a little? Do you want nigiri or maki (rolls)? How much are you willing to spend per person before tax/tip/drinks? Is it $40 per person? $60 per person? $80?

    In general for NY-ish foods, I've pasted some links for you below.

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

    If you come back w/ a list of places you're interested in or a proposed itinerary, you'll get even more responses.

    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

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

    Pickle Guys
    49 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

    John's Pizzeria
    278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    Defonte's Sandwich Shop
    261 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010

    4 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      This is all really helpful, thank you so much! Regarding the sushi..maki rolls and with tip food and drink we would spend up to $75 a person...I just want to feel I got my money's worth. In LA you pay $20 for one maki roll and it's the size of a quarter and only 4 pieces.

      1. re: Marissap

        Blue Ribbon Sushi is always a fun place to go for maki rolls. No reservations, though.


        Blue Ribbon Sushi
        119 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

        1. re: Marissap

          IMO if you are coming from L.A. I wouldn't bother w/ sushi unless you are doing high-end (Masa, Kuruma, Yasuda, 15 East, etc.) L.A. is much better than NYC as far as low to mid-priced sushi places go. Especially if you are here for only 4 days - go w/ what NYC is good at (and L.A. is not.) kathryn has a good list above, I would add fine-dining (French/New-American) as another of NYC's strengths.

          1. re: uwsister

            Good suggestion...Since I've never had Sushi in NYC I had no way of knowing. Thanks!

      2. For great Italian deli I love Parisi orAlleva - great bread and all other ingredients.

        Alleva Dairy
        188 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

        Parisi Bakery
        198 Mott St, New York, NY 10012

        1. The best bagel on the planet, IMO, is from Ess-a-Bagel - if you live in LA, you will return home lamenting that nothing is even close to it. Try the everything bagel with cream cheese and nova. Every time I'm in the city, I visit Ess-a-Bagel for the above treat at least twice if not more and have actually booked hotels taking into account the proximity to the two locations. Bouchon Bakery is also a must visit in NYC (at least until they put one in Beverly Hills) for the TKO, best Macarons in the US, and myriad of other treats, as is La Maison du Chocolat (both are in Rockefeller Center). For pizza, Motorino is tops in NYC in my book, but it's very difficult to get into.

          359 1st Ave, New York, NY 10010

          La Maison du Chocolat
          30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020

          349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

          Bouchon Bakery
          1 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

          4 Replies
          1. re: OC Mutt

            I thought Bosie Tea Parlor and La Maison du Chocolat's macarons were way better than Bouchon. Not that Bouchon Bakery doesn't have other good items, though. I'm just not worth it's a must-visit as LA has pretty good bakeries as well.

            Motorino is very difficult to get into? I've never had a crazy wait. Maybe 30-45 minutes, but usually less. Just don't go on Friday/Saturday night. Lunch/brunch is easiest, if you can go then. I've never had to wait during the day, only at night. There are other pizzerias with more notorious lines.

            Bouchon Bakery
            10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

            La Maison du Chocolat
            30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020

            Bosie Tea Parlor
            10 Morton St, New York, NY 10014

            349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

            1. re: kathryn

              I must respectfully disagree with Kathryn on this one, there isn't a bakery in LA that reaches the level of NYC bakeries, and the macarons in LA are mediocre at best. Went to Motorino on a Tuesday night, and had a 45 minute wait at 9PM. Loved it though. Another thing to consider about Motorino was that they had no Air conditioning (at least at that location on that night) so if it's summer, it might be ungodly hot in there.

              349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

              1. re: OC Mutt

                Went to the East Village Motorino location a few weeks ago, and it was nice and cold. They do have AC.

                349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

            2. re: OC Mutt

              I also like Ess-a-Bagel. Like with any good bagel places though, it's important that you get it fresh. Fresh, hot bagels from Ess-a-Bagel (untoasted, obviously) is a thing of beauty.

              John's on Bleeker is a good rec for classic NY pizza. For Neopolitan, I had always liked Motorino, but I tried Keste for the first time today and was quite impressed. I'd say you can't go wrong with either.

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

            3. Also, the best gelato I've ever tried is at La Cremeria. See this post. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/789599
              LA has nothing even close,

              La Cremeria
              178 Mulberry Street, New York, NY 10012

              1. Italian Deli:

                Faicco's: the "Italian Special" is fantastic and legendary. It's also so honkin' big you'll have half of it left over for midnight snacking later. No seating, though, but easy enough to take your hoagie to the park a block away.

                DeFonte's: also a decent choice, though I prefer Faicco's just a tad.

                Torrisi Italian Specialties: two great sandwiches at lunch - their chicken parm and turkey.

                "Classic" NY Pizza:

                My faves in Manhattan are (East Harlem) Patsy's and John's on Bleecker. John's obviously has the easier location, but they're pie-only / no slices. If you're into venturing to the outer boroughs, Totonno's at Coney island is another fave. (Skip the fake/franchised/branch/whatever Totonno's in Manhattan, though - not the same...)

                New-fangled and/or fancy-shmancy pizza:

                There are a lot of good ones. Motorino is great. I dig Artichoke sometimes, though occasionally I find theire pies a little salty.


                Now, for me, the bagel is merely a carrier for the lox. It has to be good, yes, but as long as it reaches a certain level it's all about what's on it. And for lox, there is no better location in NYC (or perhaps the world) than Russ & Daughters.

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

                260 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                John's Pizzeria
                278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                328 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003

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

                Defonte's Sandwich Shop
                261 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010

                Torrisi Italian Specialties
                250 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

                349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003