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family trip to manhattan

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Hi! My husband, his parents, my 2 preschool age chidren and myself will be headed to Manhattan next month. I went to culinary school and am a major foodie, so I'm looking for recommendations on where to take my family to eat during our trip (obviously kid friendly); I don't mind going to a hole in the wall type place and am looking for amazing food, affordably priced (for Manhattan, of course), served in an unpretentious atmosphere.We'll be staying on the East Side, on 39th street, but don't mind occasionally traveling to the upper west side (that seems to be the general consensus on where to find a densely populated area of great food), but I'd also appreciate some recommendations near our area. I'm aware that we need to stay away from TS and I am avoiding chain restaurants.
Thanks for your suggestions!

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  1. What types of cuisines do you like?

    1. Thanks for replying, Riverman500. We love Hispanic, mediterranean, most Asian, and some middle eastern cuisines; the usual suspects plus a little adventurous spirit.

      4 Replies
      1. re: kate211

        When you say affordable, what exactly do you mean? $20pp before tax, tip, any wine/drinks? More? Less?

        Some options:
        Szechuan Gourmet - Sichuan
        Cafe China - Sichuan
        Shake Shack - gourmet fast food, thin In'n'Out style burgers
        Burger Joint in the Le Meridien - OK burgers, great atmosphere
        Don Antonio by Starita - Naples style pizza
        PizzArte - Naples style pizza
        Toloache - Mexican
        Yakitori Totto - yakitori (grilled meat skewers), not sure about very young kids here, though
        Soba Totto - soba, yakitori
        Pure Thai Shophouse - Thai noodles
        Pam Real Thai - Thai
        Wondee Siam - Thai, ask for the "Thai" menu
        Danji - modern Korean small plates, maybe too pricey for you?
        Bar Room at the Modern - Alsatian inspired small plates, perhaps too pricey?
        Ma Peche - creative/fusion, American & Asian, David Chang's Midtown spot, check out the takeout only lunch specials, too
        La Silhouette - French restaurant
        Jamaican Dutchy cart - street food, 51st St and 7th Ave, not sure about hours
        Biryani Cart - street food, 46th St and 6th Ave, not sure about hours
        Kwik Meal Cart - street food, 46th and 6th Ave, not sure about hours
        Halal Guys - street food, 53rd and 6th Ave, south side of the street, SW corner at night, SE corner during the day
        Carnegie John's - street food, 56th & 7th
        Momofuku Milk Bar - very sweet, creative desserts, connected to Ma Peche restaurant in a hotel
        Magnolia Bakery - Rockefeller Center, cupcakes, icebox cake, banana pudding
        Jacques Torres - chocolates, Rockefeller Center
        Bouchon Bakery - Thomas Keller's Bakery, Rockefeller Center
        La Maison du Chocolat - chocolates, Rockefeller Center
        'wichcraft - Tom Colicchio's sandwich chain, Rockefeller Center

        1. re: kathryn

          To the OP - the upper west side is known for excellent high end restaurants but not for mid priced ones (but try Fairway Cafe, Nice Matin, and Salumeria Rosi if you're in the area).

          You should consider the east or west village and other neighborhoods south of midtown.

          In addition to Kathryn's list, I'd suggest:

          Yunnan Kitchen

          Empellon Taqueria

          Blue Smoke

          Junoon (great lunch deal and 30% off if you book through Savored)

          Alison Eighteen

          Jean Claude

          The Breslin

          Marseille

          Yakitori Totto

          1. re: Riverman500

            "the upper west side is known for excellent high end restaurants "

            Out of curiosoity, which are they?

            I happen to think just the opposite. The UWS has been unable to support true high end dining - in the 20 yrs I've lived there or near. Dovetail, Telepan are the only i can think of.

            All relative and I guess I am excluding Lincoln Center, which, as I think of it, has few of longevity anyhow.

            Unless you include Columbus Circle, which is not UWS......

            1. re: thegforceny

              I lot of people think that the UWS = Columbus Circle. And the high end restaurants they're thinking about are obviously Per Se, Boulud Sud, Jean-Georges. (Technically the UWS begins at 58th St, but considering how much space between 60th and 66th is taken up by Fordham and Lincoln Center, for all intensive purposes the UWS starts at 66th St).