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NYC - Where to eat?

k
Kkrupar Feb 1, 2012 01:01 PM

We will be in NYC for 4 nights this month and I'm trying to figure out where to eat and what to not waste our time on. We will be staying in Times Square but will travel for good food!

We will also be there for Valentine's if anyone has any ideas in the city?

Thanks!

  1. k
    kathryn Feb 1, 2012 01:52 PM

    Get out of Times Square, for sure.

    Go off the beaten path for V-Day. Many of the better restaurants will be crowded and serving only prix fixes. It's called "amateur night" for dining out for a good reason IMO. Maybe somewhere casual and Asian?

    If you're coming in 2 weeks, lots of the upscale fine dining establishments may be fully booked or only have the less desirable times left. Places here tend to book up 3-4 weeks in advance.

    Also, I would recommend you focus on things that are either unique to NY, feel very New York-y, or that you can't find at home.

    Only in NY type foods: bagels and smoked salmon, pastrami on rye, hot dogs & papaya juice, black and white cookies, cheesecake, egg creams, pickles, halal carts.

    Are you interested in street food, too? 

    Best bagels in NYC:
    http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/10/serious-eats-finds-new-yorks-best-bagel-1.html
    Summary: the freshest bagels are the best; bagels don't age well at all.

    I'm fond of red onion, capers, regular cream cheese, and tomato on mine. Try a few smoked salmons before you settle on one, they're surprisingly different (and lox is not the same as smoked salmon, because lox is salmon cured in salt brine, and most people actually prefer the more modern, Nova-style smoked salmon). You can get a mini-sized bagel sandwich at Russ & Daughters, too, if you wish. Takeout only.

    Best breakfast/brunch in NYC:
    It is (IMO) at the Breslin, Locanda Verde, Shopsin's, Clinton St Baking Co., or Minetta Tavern.
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/809368#684625

    Best pizza:
    Really, it depends what you're looking for: gas oven style, coal oven style, Naples style? A slice? A pie? Takeout? Sit down? Or is standing up OK with you?

    There are a few distinct styles of round pizza found in NYC: New York gas-oven style, Neopolitan style, and a hybrid style of the two that is also unique to New York (usually coal oven). Then to throw another wrench into things, some places are known more for square pies (like Artichoke).

    Note that lot of famous places like John's of Bleecker, Grimaldi's, and Lombardi's are pies only. Hard to make a recommendation without knowing what you're looking for: whole pies or slices, gas oven vs. coal oven.

    If you are limiting yourself to only Manhattan, my favorites, agnostic of oven type:

    John's of Bleecker, if you ask for it well done. Get it plain or with one topping, max. I'm partial to their green peppers. This is classic coal-fired NY-Neopolitan hybrid style pie. They do sometimes undercook/under char it, though. Whole pies only.

    Motorino for Naples style. Delicious but not really historically "New York" style. Crimini and sausage, spicy soppressata, or whatever their special pie is. Wonderful crust, quality toppings. Whole pies only.

    For both you may have to wait in line. I have also enjoyed Patsy's in East Harlem (coal oven) in the past but it is a bit far uptown dependent upon where you are starting from, and I've not been very recently. Whole pies OR slices if you want.

    South Brooklyn Pizza or Joe's for a slice (gas oven). Joe's is a bit less crisp/more chewy and on the more cheesy sied and has a more uniform appearance. South Brooklyn is more crispy and has an interesting cheese blend (mozzarella, grana padano, and fontina) with fresh basil, and the cheese and sauce are more scattered, which you usually don't see at slice joints.

    We also have some of the harder to find Chinese cuisines: Shaanxi (Xian Famous Foods) and Fuzhou in Manhattan, and many more in Queens and Brooklyn (Shangdong/Qingdao, Henan, and Dongbei to name a few).

    Most of these are easy on the wallet, too, which is nice.

    My favorite unique places in NY serve Xian (Chinese) food, Issan (Thai) food, organic/local/sustainable Japanese BBQ, authentic Basque (Spanish) tapas, creative diner food, pretzels, hot dogs, halal food, steak, upscale rustic Italian, Italian subs, creative Italian-American, high end non-sushi Japanese (like kaiseki), creative desserts, molecular gastronomy, mixology/creative cocktails, and upscale brunches (brunch is served every day here, sometimes even for dinner).

    My favorites are here:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/805088#6795276

    Also I'm not sure what is available in your hometown, but do you have good Southern food? BBQ? How about New England style lobster rolls? These foods might be fun and interesting for you to have while in NYC if you can't find them at home.

    I might look into Pies 'n' Thighs, the Redhead, Blue Smoke, Hill Country, Pearl Oyster Bar, Luke's Lobster, in addition to classic NY places like Russ & Daughters, Katz's Deli, John's of Bleecker, etc.

    Don't leave NY without eating these foods
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/610739

    I highly recommend RGR's self guided Lower East Side Gustatory tour but sub in Pickle Guys for Guss' Pickles and note that Economy Candy's address is incorrect:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/493333

    2 Day NYC Tour focusing on eating, please help with suggestions...
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/809852

    Restaurant Advice for 2 day trip to NYC
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/805088#6795276

    For non-Western European/American
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/729498
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/731732

    Foreign Street Grub
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/701278

    totally obscure, odd, and intriguing menu items
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/722130

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn
      k
      Kkrupar Feb 1, 2012 02:00 PM

      Thank you SO much! I'm looking into everything you sent. (from texas, of course we have bbq ;) )

    2. Motosport Feb 1, 2012 01:12 PM

      You need to be a little bit more specific:
      Type of food, price, ambience etc..
      Without that info the only advice I can give is: Get out of the Times Square area!! The weather has been lovely so far this month. Walk around the different neighborhoods and explore. NYC is easy to travel on the subways and buses.
      Search CH for "BBQ, Steak, Italian, Asian" etc and read the CH reviews for NYC.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Motosport
        k
        Kkrupar Feb 1, 2012 01:13 PM

        ANY kind of food, ANY price, any information is helpful!

        1. re: Motosport
          k
          Kkrupar Feb 1, 2012 01:17 PM

          I've made a list of a few places from different things I've read. NYer's tell me how "good" these places really are!

          Crif dogs (looking for a good hotdog place)
          Ess-a-bagel
          Cranberry Deli
          Clinton St. Baking Co
          Patzeria Family & Friends (looking for a good pizza place)
          Keste
          Lombardi’s Pizza
          S’Mac
          Red Hook Lobster Pound

          1. re: Kkrupar
            s
            small h Feb 1, 2012 01:34 PM

            Ess-a-bagel - Very good, but Russ & Daughters has better smoked fish.

            Clinton St. Baking Co - The pancakes are very good, if you like pancakes and are willing to stand in line for them, as you will probably have to.

            Patzeria Family & Friends (looking for a good pizza place) - Patzeria is not a good pizza place. See here:
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8166...

            Keste - Very good, but I prefer Motorino, slightly, because Keste's crust is too wet.

            S’Mac - If you're determined to have mac&cheese with mix-ins for one of your meals, I guess this is the place to do it. It's good.

            You'll find information on every place you listed if you search this board, which you should.

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

            Ess-a-Bagel
            359 1st Ave, New York, NY 10010

            S'Mac
            345 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

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

            Clinton Street Baking Co.
            4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

            Motorino
            349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

            Patzeria Family & Friends
            311 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036

        2. Cheeryvisage Feb 1, 2012 01:12 PM

          The Times Square area has a lot of good options nowadays. Some of them are:

          Sushi - Sushiden, Shimizu, Sushi of Gari

          NY Style pizza - Angelo's Pizza, John's Pizzeria

          Neapolitan pizza - PizzArte (they also have fried pizza, Montanara!)

          Italian - Trattoria Trecolori

          Mexican - Toloache

          Chinese - Szechuan Gourmet

          Japanese - Yakitori Totto for yakitori; Menchanko-Tei, Totto Ramen (1 hour+ wait though), or Sapporo for ramen; Katsu-Hama for fried meat cutlets.

          Thai - Pam Real Thai, Wondee Siam

          Dessert - Kyotofu (Asian-influenced), Momofuku Milk Bar

          Korean - Danji (modern small plates)

          More expensive, but worth it -

          The Modern Bar Room, fantastic French/Alsatian food, wonderful desserts
          Ma Peche - David Chang's French-Vietnamese influenced Midtown restaurant
          La Silhouette - French restaurant well-liked by Chowhounds

          VERY expensive -

          Le Bernardin - best seafood restaurant in NYC
          The Modern - the formal dining room of The Modern Bar Room, my personal favorite
          Oceana - another great seafood restaurant (they also have a $49 pre-theater menu)

          -----
          Yakitori Totto
          251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

          Sapporo
          152 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019

          Kyotofu
          705 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

          Shimizu
          318 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

          Toloache
          251 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019

          Le Bernardin
          155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

          The Modern
          9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

          Trattoria Trecolori
          254 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

          Madangsui
          35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

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

          Sushi of Gari 46
          347 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036

          Menchanko-Tei
          43 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

          John's Pizzeria
          260 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

          Wondee Siam
          792 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

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

          Sushiden
          123 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

          Oceana
          120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

          Angelo's Pizza
          1697 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

          Szechuan Gourmet
          244 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

          Ma Peche
          15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

          Momofuku Milk Bar
          15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

          Totto Ramen
          366 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

          Katsu-Hama
          43 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

          Danji
          346 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

          La Silhouette
          362 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

          PizzArte
          69 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

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