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Jul 30, 2011 06:03 PM

DC Chowhounder Coming to NYC with Kids

I'd appreciate your help. I'll be coming by myself, with my kids aged 7 and 9. They're not great eaters, but they do like Thai, Chinese and Mexican. And pizza of course. We're staying in midtown and I'd love to find some smallish, kid-friendly places for three lunches, two breakfasts and two dinners. Oh, and they like good bagels A LOT. Thanks . . . and let us know if you're coming to D.C.!

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  1. Midtown is pretty big. What are the cross-streets of your hotel?

    When is your trip? It's been hot recently so you may want to keep that in mind when planning.

    Assuming you're not staying in the hotel the whole time, where else do you plan to go? It is more helpful if you can list the specific tourist destinations you plan to visit: museums, Broadway shows (Lion King? etc), Central Park, NYPL, etc.

    For Thai near Midtown, I would think about walking west to Hell's Kitchen where you'll find places like Pam's Real Thai and Pure Thai Shophouse.

    For Chinese, I love Szechuan Gourmet, whereas others are bigger fans of Lan Sheng. They have both Americanized Chinese and traditional Sichuan Chinese dishes on their menu.

    For the best pizza in town, you'll probably need to leave Midtown. Do you want a sit-down pizza restaurant or a slice joint (takeout / counter service)?

    NYC isn't that strong in Mexican and there are a lot of places catering to an older (drinking) crowd, so a lot of what you may find isn't super kid-friendly, sadly.

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

    Pam Real Thai
    404 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019

    Lan Sheng
    60 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

    Pure Thai Cookhouse
    766 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

    6 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks for your message, Kathryn, and for the recommendations. Our hotel is very close to Penn Station. We'll be there Aug. 8-10. Given the heat, we're probably looking for sit-down, unless there's a park close enough to walk with two kids carrying pizza.

      1. re: bougouni

        What intersection is your hotel located at?

        So you'll only be at the hotel the entire time?

        1. re: kathryn

          Let's see--it's 481 8th Ave, 34th St. We're going to the big hits since my kids have been all over the world but never to NYC: Empire State Building, Met Mus of Art, Times Square, Staten Island Ferry, maybe Top of the Rock, cool playgrounds (South Street Seaport?), hopefully the theater . . .

          1. re: bougouni

            OK so for pizza, Thai, Chinese, Mexican...

            Near the ESB is Koreatown. Would they eat Korean BBQ? I think Madangsui might be fun. For pizza near the Empire State Building, check out Vezzo. Their thin crust is much more cracker-y and crispy than traditional NY pizza but I think their pie is pretty tasty. For Thai, try Talent Thai Kitchen. I like their Khao Soi a lot. For Chinese, you're better off walking back towards Times Square where Szechuan Gourmet and Lan Sheng are located. For Mexican, I would walk south and take a short stroll to the Calexico cart located at 24th Street & Broadway (I think it's lunch only though).

            Near the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cascabel Taqueria is a short walk away as is Land Northeast Thai (I used to get at the UWS one a lot, it's decent for NYC Thai, as the really good stuff is often in Queens). For Chinese, there's Wa Jeal and Wu Liang Ye on 86th and 3rd. There's not a lot of notable pizza that is very close by.

            In general plan to walk away from Museum mile (from 5th to like 3rd or 2nd) to get some food.

            You'll also be close to the Natural History Museum if you cross the park after visiting the Met.

            Let's see, I think I covered Times Square in my earlier response...

            There's not a whole lot right near Staten Island Ferry. If you're willing to walk a little, you'll find some kiosks in Battery Park and street carts around the Financial District.

            You can also walk to Adrienne's Pizza (which isn't too far from South Seaport) as well as the Battery Park Shake Shack, and Toloache Taqueria just opened.

            Near Top of the Rock, is Wu Liang Ye. I can't think of any good Mexican, Thai, or pizza right around there but Rockfeller Center is also home to 'wichcraft and Bouchon Bakery, where you can get good sandwiches (although they're both on the pricey side), and Bill's Burger.

            Wu Liang Ye
            36 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036

            Adrienne's Pizza Bar
            54 Stone St, New York, NY 10004

            35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

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

            178 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

            Land Northeast Thai
            1565 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

            Talent Thai
            210 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016

            Wa Jeal
            1588 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

            1538 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

            Lan Sheng
            60 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

            Toloache Taqueria
            83 Maiden Ln, New York, NY 10038

            Bouchon Bakery
            1 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

            Shake Shack
            215 Murray St, New York, NY 10282

            W 24th St Broadway, New York, NY 10010

            1. re: kathryn

              Thank you so much, Kathryn! Please let us know if you come to D.C.!

              1. re: kathryn

                Wu Liang Ye on East 86th St. has closed. Wa Jeal is very good.

                Wa Jeal
                1588 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

      2. Strong second to Adrienne's; but, more important, the location: 10 restaurants on a pedestrian block (Stone Street) including, per your post, a mexican option, Mad Dog and Beans (lives up to its name). Outdoor seating for all, (always appealing to the young diners) but plenty of indoor space in case of extreme heat or rain. Please let us know what you decide and how it all works out. (P.S. this may get me banned from the chowhound space, but you can take the Staten Island ferry over and back, with terrific views of lower Mahattan for a great price: FREE.)

        Mad Dog & Beans
        83 Pearl St, New York, NY 10004