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Dec 6, 2011 10:52 AM

Midtown, tourist thing: where to eat dinner that's not tourist trap?!?

Will be spending a Saturday with our niece/nephew who will be visiting from Philly, doing the tourist thing, looking at the lights, Rock Center tree (I shudder over that one only due to the crowds), dept. store lights. I never eat in midtown or the East side...tend to go to the EV, Chelsea, WV, and was wondering where to go that isn't a 'tourist trap'. Looking for a cozy place, any type of food except asian...don't want the uber-price places that would cater to the business lunch on an expense account. Chowhounders, any suggestions? If not, I can always get in a cab to my usual spots, but thought I'd tap into your great expertise...any midtown help? TIA

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  1. Is this for dinner or for lunch on Saturday?

    How much are you willing to spend per person before tax and tip?

    Any other cuisine preferences? Where are your usual spots downtown?

    1. Without being specific, I assume that you realize that 9th Ave from W.57th down is wall to wall restaurants? Not a bad walk from Rock Ctr. at all. Good array of mid-price places, lots of choices, nothing too big. Not sure it fits the bill, but we take nephews, etc to Uncle Nick's (9th Ave, off 50th St) for Greek food. Not cozy, but warm and upbeat with a big fish grill up front and lots of choices. Not expensive. The country salad, the mixed apps, the flaming cheese (always a hit with the tourists) and grilled fish.

      Uncle Nick's
      747 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

      1. Bar Americain might be all right - they're a little pricey, but not expense-account pricey, and surprisingly decent for a Bobby Flay place. It's American comfort food, which should appeal to younger kids.

        Also The Smith just opened a Midtown branch - if you've been to the one in the EV, I assume it's the same menu / vibe. Not too expensive, good simple food.

        Toloache is always a solid choice - bright, tasty Mexican, elevated enough for the adults but not too fancy/refined for kids.

        251 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019

        Bar Americain
        152 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019

        The Smith
        956 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022

        1 Reply
        1. re: sgordon

          9th Ave South of 57 th. Take your pick of great places.

        2. first, I can't think of any place in manhattan where a 10 minute walk doesn't provide lots of non-tourist need to get in a cab. I used to work in the area, my suggestion is emporium brasil on 46th btw 5th and 6th. Via brasil is also good, maybe a little more cozy, a little less expensive and the food is good but not quite as good as emporium. very warm service in both restaurants.

          Emporium Brasil
          15 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

          Via Brasil
          34 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036