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5 days in Midtown

We'll be in Chelsea for 5 days over Christmas. We've booked Tocqueville for Christmas Dinner and are now looking for some interesting restaurants on the lower half of Manhattan. Vietnamese, Spanish, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, or Turkish and a few good breakfast places.

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  1. Correct me if I am wrong but "Midtown" is typically the low 40's to the low 60's not the lower half of Manhattan.

      1. We'll be traveling around a bit, so I was thinking anywhere south of Central Park.
        However, that's a huge area to cover so let's say south of 40th.

        Thanks.

        6 Replies
        1. re: hal2010

          I never think of Chelsea as "Midtown," but in any case, you have clafified the geography question (though it's still a huge area). However, we still need more specifics. Do you want casual or fancy? And what is the most you are willing to spend per person for *food only*?

          http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

          1. re: RGR

            I realize it's a huge area, but we'll be traveling around the city, mostly south of Central Park. Last time I was in New York was 20 years ago and my knowledge of the names and extents of the various neighborhoods is limited.

            We have reservations at a couple of fine dining places and now we're looking for some cheaper more eclectic restaurants - perhaps things you can't find in other cities. Toronto has no decent Mexican, Indonesian or Malaysian to speak of. And we love Turkish, Vietnamese, Thai and Indian. Also some good delis and breakfast places would be great.

            I'd say we're looking at a max of $50 per person for dinner before tax, tip and beverages.

            The recommendations so far look perfect. Thanks!

            1. re: hal2010

              > Last time I was in New York was 20 years ago and my knowledge of the names and extents of the various neighborhoods is limited.

              I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the neighborhoods ASAP! I assume you're sightseeing?

              It might be more helpful to tell us where you plan to be and when (breakfast/lunch/dinner) so at least you'll have a list of options in your back pocket. Then you can avoid choosing any old random place that looks good (and usually turns out not to be). We can help if you give more specifics -- near MoMA, near the Met, near Times Square, near Soho, etc.

              Some NY-specific and unique place ideas (note most of these but not all are in your price range):
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8050...

              I think Indonesian and Malaysian may be pretty weak in Manhattan as well (not sure about other boroughs) so you may not get everything on your wishlist.

              But you might find other cuisines/options you may not have known about.

              1. re: hal2010

                This thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/795110 mentions quite a few restaurants focused on a number of cuisines that aren't well represented in TO.

                Laut's reviews are mixed lately, but you might want to consider it for Malaysian, close to Union Square. Nyonya is another Malaysian option that's located in Chinatown- haven't been in years, but I enjoyed it the last time I was there.

                Re: Indian restaurants in Manhattan, you might want to read this recent thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/822563

                -----
                Nyonya
                199 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

                Laut
                15 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

            2. re: hal2010

              Here are some ideas to get you started:

              Vietnamese - O Mai

              Spanish - Casa Mono, Boqueria, Tertulia, Txikito

              Mexican - Empellon, Yerba Buena Perry

              Thai - Zabb Elee

              Chinese - Congee Village, South China Garden, Amazing 66, Szechuan Gourmet, Legend, Grand Sichuan

              Japanese - 15 East, Ushiwakamaru, Ippudo

              Indian - Junoon, Saravaanas

              Turkish - Ali Baba, Turkish Kitchen

              -----
              Saravanaas
              81 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

              Turkish Kitchen
              386 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

              15 East
              15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

              South China Garden
              22 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

              Casa Mono
              52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

              Ali Baba Turkish Cuisine
              212 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016

              Amazing 66
              66 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

              Congee Village
              100 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

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

              Grand Sichuan
              229 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

              Omai
              158 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

              Ushiwakamaru
              136 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

              Boqueria
              53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

              Ippudo
              65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

              Txikito
              240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

              Yerba Buena Perry
              1 Perry Street, New York, NY 10014

              Legend
              88 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011

              Empellon Taqueria
              230 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

              Junoon
              27 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010

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

              Tertulia
              359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

              1. re: H Manning

                2nd Casa Mono, Boqueria, Tertulia, Txikito with a note that I think Tertulia and Txikito are the best of the bunch. Tertulia especially for grilled and seafood dishes; Txikito for Basque cooking.

                I would add on Hecho en Dumbo for interior Mexican.

                For Thai, I would note that Zabb Elee is Issan style cooking and of no relation to Zabb City on East 13th Street.

                For Chinese, I would note that H Manning's list is good but all of those have a particular specialty. If you stray from that specialty, do so at your own risk! South China Garden is known for Cantonese seafood, Amazing 66 for banquet style dishes, and Szechuan Gourmet/Legend/Grand Sichuan are known for Sichuan cooking. Avoid the American-style Chinese dishes.

                Plus, the Grand Sichaun in Chelsea on 24th/9th is generally considered the best of the mini-chain. I'd also add on Cafe China which is getting really good buzz here. It also serves Sichuan food.

                For Japanese, 15 East and Ushiwakamaru are sushi restaurants -- definitely make a reservation for the bar in advance.

                Ippudo is ramen and known for very long waits.

                For Indian, I would note to avoid the East 6th Street row of Indian restaurants in favor of "Curry Hill" area for cheaper eats.

                -----
                15 East
                15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                South China Garden
                22 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

                Casa Mono
                52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

                Amazing 66
                66 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

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

                Grand Sichuan
                229 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

                Ushiwakamaru
                136 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

                Boqueria
                53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

                Ippudo
                65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                Txikito
                240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

                Hecho en Dumbo
                354 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

                Legend
                88 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011

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

                Tertulia
                359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                Cafe China
                13 E 37th St, New York, NY 10016

            3. Excellent authentic Syrian/Lebanese @ Al Bustan E 53rd just off 2 Ave.

              -----
              Al Bustan
              319 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022

              1. Second Boqueria. They also serve a weekend brunch, as well as tapas.

                Might also want to consider Bar Jamon.

                Second Saravanna- which serves an Indian breakfast, as well as south Indian lunches and dinners.

                For Mexican, I like the shrimp and fish tacos at the Mercadito in the EV. There's also a location in the West Village that I haven't tried.

                For Chinese, I had Red Egg on my list, but I still haven't tried it.

                For Lebanese, I had Ilili on the list, but haven't gotten around to trying it yet.

                If you like soup, check out this "south of 34th St" running list, which covers some of the cuisines you've mentioned:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/758218

                -----
                Saravanaas
                81 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

                Casa Mono
                52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

                Bar Jamon
                125 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

                Boqueria
                53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

                Ilili
                236 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10001

                Red Egg
                202 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013

                Mercadito
                179 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009