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Hawaii to LE Manhattan 2-1/2 day quick trip

I am from Hawaii and taking a short trip to Manhattan. Won't have much time but besides the usual tourist "must see" attractions, I wanted to catch a Broadway play. Suggestions as to whether it is beneficial to purchase tickets online ahead of time or obtaining tickets when we arrive in NY would not be a problem. I am staying at the Millenium Hotel - any suggestions to great eateries. We love all kinds of food so anything unique to NY would be wonderful. We are anxious to experience the yellow cab rides as well as the subways.

Any info would be awesome

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  1. Aloha Kakou! Buy your tickets online and skip waiting in those discount lines since you'll be on such a short trip. When will you be arriving,because on short notice you may not be able to get into the more popular "foodie" venues. Also is this your first trip to da big apple?

    1 Reply
    1. re: UES Mayor

      Aloha! Thanks for the feedback. I will take our advice and order tickets on line. Great! This is my first trip to the Big Apple. Perhaps when time is not too pressing, I will be back for a longer visit. Been to the east coast but never to NY. I welcome anymore info! A Hui Hou!

    2. What island are you traveling from? I assume you probably want to skip Japanese and Chinese food while you're here, and have foods you cannot get at home.

      Also it's hard to make recommendations without knowing your budget. How much are you willing to spend, per person, before tax, tip, and wine/drinks?

      Definitely book theatre tickets ahead of time since you're on a tight schedule. Also make sure you plan any pre-theatre to be nearby. Make reservations. You don't want to miss your curtain. Many shows have long running times nowadays, so I always eat beforehand.

      When are you coming? The most popular restaurants here book 3-4 weeks in advance.

      There are actually many tourist "must see" attractions: Times Square, Grand Central, Central Park (which is HUGE), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Museum of Natural History, Ellis Island/Liberty Island, 9/11 Memorial, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, etc. There's obviously no way you can do it all in 2.5 days.

      If you can name the ones you plan to visit, we can better help you plan what to eat.

      Also please do try to venture away from your hotel to have food unique to NY.

      Some past discussions may help.

      First visit freakout/near Times Square:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810349

      Unique to NY:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8050...

      4 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        You are the greatest! I know I must pick the attractions and already trying to plan a quick itinerary. Will be in NY in three weeks. As far as restaurants, $30 to $40/pp would be good. Our prices can be high here in Hawaii, so I do understand the costs of various restaurants. Being that this is the first time to NY and a quick trip, eateries are something we also aim for while traveling, i.e. anything unique to the city. And, we want to and plan to venture outside of our hotel area. One thing we do plan for is a Broadway play. So any nearby eatery would be great. Attire here in the island (Oahu) is very casual, thus, what would be appropriate attire for a play? I am continuing to seek other discussions posted, but all of your advice posted are just great!!!!!
        Thanks so much!

        1. re: islandohana

          Broadway plays here have become very casual (much to many people's disappointment).

          If you know which Broadway play you wish to attend, then we can help you choose what restaurant is closest (and most convenient). I recommend staying within a short walk of your play for dinner. You don't want to get stuck on the subway or in a taxi after dinner and miss your curtain!

          A few shows have a curtain time of 7pm now, which can make dining out challenging beforehand, as some restaurants don't open until 5:30pm.

          1. re: islandohana

            Aloha, islandohana! I came back from a trip to the Big Island and Oahu a few days ago, and loved it!

            Especially with your budget, I want to post some very New York places for you to go to.

            Definitely do Katz's, as others have recommended. Ask for your pastrami juicy (fatty); it tastes better that way! If you want to have any other meat, their brisket is perhaps second-best, but only if you get it very juicy. Make sure they include tomato pickles among the pickles they give you with the sandwich, and tip your counterman $1 per sandwich (you could do waiter service, but it's more fun to wait on line and banter with a counterman).

            You need to get pizza when you're in New York. I haven't been to Co, but it's not that far from Times Square and shows up on many people's lists of best pizza in New York. Check the prices, though. If you want a great slice, South Brooklyn Pizza is a good bet if you go to the East Village. And for classic coal-oven New York pizza, if you have the time to go to East Harlem, go to the original Patsy's (one caveat, though: Some hounds have given "downhill" warnings about them).

            You should also consider going to Barney Greengrass for Jewish appetizing food - that's appetizing used as a noun, to describe non-meat/non-milk items, especially smoked fish. And you can sit down there, unlike at Russ & Daughter's. But go to either one; Russ & Daughter's stuff can be eaten outside in the park on 1st and 1st if it's not too hot (but it could be - New York in August can be hotter than Honolulu and a lot more humid).

            If you have a sweet tooth, you should check out some New York bakeries. If you're going to the Metropolitan Museum, walk east afterwards and go to Two Little Red Hens. Get some of their squares - lemon, lime/coconut, linzer, or/and any other - and try a slice of their cheesecake. Or if you want to shop like a New Yorker, go to Zabar's and get some S&S Cheesecake there, bring it back to your hotel room, and eat it up over time.

            Another thing you could do, actually in the Times Square area, is to go for breakfast or lunch to Cafe Edison in the Edison Hotel. It's not a destination place, but the last time I tried (admittedly quite a while ago - like most New Yorkers, I don't like to hang out in the heart of Times Square) they have good, homey matzo ball soup, omelettes and such. Closed for dinner.

            I'm a bit stumped on what to recommend as a pre-theater place for you. My standby, Wondee, is Thai, and I would not suggest for you to have anything East or Southeast Asian while you're here. There's a good Afghan place, Ariana, on 9th Av. between 52nd and 53rd that's within your budget. It's not a destination place, but it's reliable, and if you decide to go, I can suggest things to order. If your theater is closer to 42 St., you can go to Dafni, a Greek restaurant on 42 St. just west of 8 Av., but if you go, order half of what you think you want to eat. Seriously. Their portions are just ridiculous, which I think sucks because I'd rather have more variety, but their food is very good and it's within your budget.

          2. re: kathryn

            Some great advice here. One strategy might be to use OpenTable or direct reservations to reserve a lunch in a higher end place such as Jean Georges or Cafe Boulud etc, then a snack before the theatre then a non reservation dinner later after. Some of the higher end places offer great lunches at half the price of dinner and you can experience the room without months ahead reservations. Also Summer Restaurant week may be in effect during your stay with some good prix fixe deals?
            New York City is great ! Enjoy your stay

          3. Just a quick note that how to buy theater tickets is a little far afield for Chowhound. We'd ask that people focus on the were to eat aspects of islandohana's question. Thanks!

            1. Since your trip will be so short, I recommend you skip any fancy places and concentrate on no reservation type establishments in order to take in as much deliciousness as possible. At the top of my recs are Katz's for thier enourmous pastrami sandwiches, which if you have as a brunch time meal, should keep you full all day. Momofuku Noodle Bar would also be a great choice, but keep in mind there may be a wait esp if you go at prime time-such as 630pm. You will really enjoy all the different dishes which will have familiar tastes notes from back home-don't forget to try ramen w ginger sauce-reminiscent of cold ginger chicken-broke da mouth u know!. Another staple to try is Russ and daughter for great loxs w bagel and cream cheese. A great steakhouse would be a bit much but NY has some great ones-just "google" this topic on this board. Those are just a couple of my two cents worth in the meantime.

              4 Replies
              1. re: UES Mayor

                Your "two cents" worth is a hundred-fold in my eyes! Thanks and will definitely map those eateries. Ginger chicken is my fav so it will be on my list - absolutely. Great suggestion about the non-resv types of restaurants. Awesome! .

                1. re: islandohana

                  2nd Katz's and Russ & Daughters.

                  But I would do Momofuku Ssam Bar instead of Noodle Bar. Ramen is probably not a food you really need to eat in NYC but Ssam's menu is much more interesting. Japanese-Korean-Southern fusion with some French and Spanish influences. Also no reservations.

                  1. re: kathryn

                    Thanks Kathryn - noted. Momofuku it is!

                    1. re: kathryn

                      Ramen is but just one item on the menu at Noodle bar-I much prefer Momofuku's noodle bar over Saam bar. Perhaps noodle bar then walk over to milk bar for dessert!