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Does anyone know any cool restaurants for teenagers in NYC?

I'm planning on going to NYC for my 17th birthday in a couple of weeks. I'm taking 5 friends (6 people including me) in and we're going to either take the bus or the train in from NJ. However, despite my growing up 30 minutes away from the city my whole life, I have no idea where we should go. We're looking for a nice restaurant that will have dinner for $30 or less per person. If anyone knows of restaurants that a group of 17 year old girls would enjoy that would be great. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Otto would be good for you girls, i think.
    Maybe you can be a little more specific? Food, area, exactly what kind of scene?

    3 Replies
    1. re: RebelWithaCause

      I like Malatesta (cash only) but I don't know that it fits with the "cool" vibe. Definitely fun, cute, and popular for girls' nights out though. Beauty & Essex is another option but unless you all order burgers, I don't think you can get out of there for $30 or less. Maybe tapas at Boqueria?

      1. re: RebelWithaCause

        I'll second Otto--I think it has the right vibe for a birthday along with the price point.

        1. re: RebelWithaCause

          Honestly, any area is fine. We can always take a cab to where we need to go. Same with food. I'm open to anything.

        2. I agree with Rebel that we need to know a little more, particularly about the food. I will say with a group that large you can save a lot of money by going to a restaurant that serves food family style -- large dishes meant for sharing. Depending on how adventurous you're feeling you can do this with a lot of foods. Italian (Carmines is a classic tourist spot, but for a reason. The food's not going to win a ton of awards but it's decent, there's a lot of it, it's affordable and the atmosphere is perfect for a large group out celebrating), and Chinese (you can take over a table at a lot of restaurants in Chinatown for either dinner or for dim sum) are most commonly associated with family-style but you can get much more exotic. I'd recommend Ethiopian. Go to Queen of Sheba on 46th and 10th, tell them what you want and how much you have to spend and they'll take care of you.

          3 Replies
          1. re: nokitchen

            For Italian-American food, I'd recommend John's of 12th St. way over Carmine's, and you can do family-style there with apps and salad (I think it would be harder with main dishes, but they're friendly and give great service, so if you wanted to share mains, I imagine they'd let you do that, too). Dinner under $30 including tip might be a bit difficult there, depending on what you order, though. It could be more like $40.

            Otto, mentioned above, is an excellent choice, and might be OK with the price point if you share a bunch of appetizers and perhaps some pizza. Apps may be the best things you can get at Otto, anyway. But what I don't like about them is they insist (or at least insisted the times I went) that you order all our apps at once and told us we wouldn't be allowed to order more if we decided we wanted more. So we over-ordered and were annoyed.

            1. re: Pan

              John's is about my favorite red-sauce place in the city, but I think it would be difficult to get out of there for $30, even with a no-alcohol group. That said, modern technology allows Cathgirl to decide for herself. :-) http://www.johnsof12thstreet.com/page... Cath, if that fits in your budget and the kind of food you're looking for John's is a good choice.

              1. re: nokitchen

                Come on - John's and that tourist slophouse Carmine's are some of the UN-coolest places for a 17 yr old and her BFFs to celebrate a birthday in Manhattan.

                I like the Otto idea.

                Maybe sharing a bunch of small plates at Alta?

                If they don't mind a wait - how about Mission Chinese?

          2. When you say "cool," do you have some specific criteria in mind?

            When I was that age I thought that pizza was the greatest thing ever. I imagine that's still true.

            You could do Motorino for dinner, then walk over to Big Gay Ice Cream or a slightly longer walk to il laboratorio del gelato for dessert.

            The East Village and Lower East Side are pretty colorful, so I'm sure the kids will have fun just walking around.