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Il Vagabondo or John's on 12th?

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Looking for an old-school Italian for this Sunday. Which do you like better, Il Vagabondo or JOhn's On 12th? Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Looking for basic Italian, reasonably priced, with a nice atmosphere. HELP!

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  1. Wasn't this answered on your last trip? Did you get to any of these recs:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/678888

    6 Replies
    1. re: scoopG

      We did go to Il Vagabondo a couple of years ago and loved it. The only thing was they rushed us out so quickly. So, we hung around and play bocci ball.

      We'd like to know if there is another place with that same kind of vibe. I didn't realize that you could pull my post from 2 years ago. Here were the reccos. Any place you would like to add?

      Tanti Baci Cafe http://www.tantibacicaffe.com/tbcnyc....
      Frank's Trattoria
      Sam's on 39th
      Malatesta Trattoria on Washington Street
      Rocco's on Thompson St

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      Malatesta
      649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

      Rocco
      181 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

      Tanti Baci
      41 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011

      Frank's Trattoria
      371 1st Ave, New York, NY 10010

      Sam's Place
      132 E 39th St, New York, NY 10016

      1. re: scoopG

        So, I (again) looked at the places that were suggested. And I could really use some help here. Four restaurants that stand out to me are the following. But, it's impossible to decide which is best without some input. Looking for great food, good value and some ambiance. Thanks!

        John's on 12th
        Il Vagabondo
        Malatesta Trattoria on Washington Street
        Rocco's on Thompson St

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        Malatesta
        649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

        1. re: TheLatestDish

          Arturo's on Houston Street?

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          Arturo's
          106 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

          1. re: TheLatestDish

            John's, Il Vagabando they are similar. Malatesta is not like those. Villa Mosconi on MacDougal St is like that. Lanza's on 1st avenue. Accapella ( old school but more expensive), Not sure if Sal Anthony is still on Irving Place but that would fit the bill, Arturo's I would get pizza there. Monti's on MacDougal St, Even some of the places in little Italy like SPQR on Mulberry or Grotta Azzura fit the bill. All those mentioned are way better than John's. Too bad Joe's Restaurant and Ennio and Michael's closed.

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            Malatesta
            649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

            Arturo's
            106 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

            Villa Mosconi
            69 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

            Acappella
            1 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013

            Lanza's
            168 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009

            SPQR
            133 Mulberry Street, New York, NY 10013

            Grotta Azzurra
            177 Mulberry Street, New York, NY 10013

            Monte's Trattoria
            97 MacDougal Street, New York, NY 10012

            1. re: foodwhisperer

              Sal Anthony has been gone for a few years..

              1. re: foodwhisperer

                If the OP is truly interested in real old-school I would discount some of the places mentioned above, some of which don't seem to fit the category of real old-school and also seem rather expensive. It's been years since I've been to Il Vagabondo and I wasn't impressed, but maybe it's gotten better? Haven't been to Rocco's but have heard some good things. I do get to John's every so often and enjoy the place and the food. There was a period of time when the food was not the best, but it seems that over the past couple of years they got their focus back and the food is as delicious as I remember when I first started going many years back.

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                John's of 12th Street
                302 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003