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May 8, 2012 10:01 AM

NEED HELP - Belfast - NYC Trip 18-21 May

Two colleagues coming to New York from Ireland on a business trip, although over the weekend so looking for some good places to eat.

LOCATION - Staying on Lexington Ave below Grand Central but willing to taxi/walk within reason. Ideally would be within walking distance, 15/20 mins.

BUDGET - Mains below $25-30, excluding drinks, tips etc as on an expense account which is quite small.

Last time in New York, went to Gramercy Tavern (Tavern room - loved it), Chinatown Brasserie (excellent), ShakeShack (great burger with a beer sitting in the snow!), PJ Clarke's, Oyster Bar at Grand Central (not so good), and a great French restaurant somewhere I can't remember, can't even remember the name (but it was superb).

What I'm looking for is somewhere you can walk-in at the weekend and not be turned away, where there's a good New York atmosphere, had thought about the pub at Keen's but that is about as far as I got. Don't mind if it's a bar with tables or a full blown restaurant, don't mind the cuisine.

Also as an aside need a good breakfast place on Lexington around Grand Central, as I need a caffeine fix very quickly after leaving hotel in the morning or I get really grumpy.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. You can walk into Sarge's Deli anytime of the day or night. They have a good pastrami sandwich, chopped liver and latkes, lots of other classic Jewish deli offerings. Don't go expecting decor. 2nd Ave. Deli is another institution in the neighborhood with slightly nicer decor.

    Ma dang sui is a good place to walk into for Korean barbecue. There's often a wait in the evening, but it's usually not too long.

    3 Replies
    1. re: michelleats

      Doesn't Madangsui accept reservations? I know Don's Bogam does, and their barbecue is second only to Madangsui's among Korean BBQ specialists I've been to in Manhattan. I do see that JON70 asked about being able to walk in, but even without reservations, calling ahead to check on approximate waiting time might be a good idea.

      1. re: Pan

        >>Doesn't Madangsui accept reservations?

        Yes, it seems so! ( I just haven't ever had the foresight to make reservations at Madangsui -- or Don's Bogam for that matter -- since I usually only eat in that neighborhood on the fly. It's a great idea to call about approximate waiting time if you can't reserve.

        If you care about such things, Jon70, Don's Bogam does have much nicer decor than Madangsui.

        1. re: michelleats

          I've made reservations a Madangsui before, but it looked like the walk-in wait was pretty short (10-20 minutes).

    2. Depending on what time you go: The NoMad, Maialino (you can grab seats and eat at the bar)

      2 Replies
      1. re: LeahBaila

        $30pp won't go very far at either of these, though.

        1. re: kathryn

          Maialino is doable at $25-$30/entree, but you're right about NoMad.

      2. There is a Joe the Art of Coffee inside of Grand Central.

        1. Unless your time is really that limited, you should use the subway so you can go to other neighborhoods. It's cheap and pretty easy to use. And from Grand Central you can go to the Times Square Station (1 stop away) and then get a subway to pretty much anywhere. Could you expense a 7 day unlimited pass for $29?

          Given your budget, how about Coppelia? Afterward you could walk down to the West Village.

          1. Take a look on or Savored's new mobile app, hundreds of quality restaurants in Manhattan mostly at 30% off especially if you're willing to be flexible about the times that you dine.

            1 Reply
            1. re: alstewgonzilla

              Thanks for all the info folks, you've really given us something to go on.

              Looking forward to some great food.