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2 Days in NYC - What's can't we miss?

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Hey everyone,
I'm going to NYC soon and will be in the city for 2 days. My sister and I have explored Manhattan a decent amount but have never been to the boroughs. We were thinking of focusing on Queens or Brooklyn. We're vegetarians and don't want to spend much (cheap eats are the best!) but that's basically our only restrictions. So, what can't we leave without missing?

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  1. Why don't you take the B train to Brighton Beach (Brooklyn) and walk along the Boardwalk? Then you can stroll down Brighton Beach Avenue and see all that BB has to offer. For a nice lunch, I'd try this place. Excellent Ukranian dumplings (pelmeni & vareniki)

    http://www.glechik.com/Welcome_to_Caf...

    1. Depending on how much you like spicy food, either Spicy and Tasty (Sichuan) Fu Run (Dongbei), Liang (Taiwanese) or Imperial Palace (Cantonese) all within 2 blocks of the Main St. Subway session in Flushing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: swannee

        I love Spicy & Tasty too but considering the meat laden menu I think it wouldn't work for vegetarians like the OP and their sister.

      2. One of my favorite things to do in Brooklyn is eat at the food vendors that set up around the Red Hook Ballfields. The vendors are only open on weekends (not sure when exactly you are going to be in town), but they have lots of vegetarian options that are very affordable and tasty. http://www.redhookfoodvendors.com/Hom...

        1. Sahadi's market on Atlantic Ave. Amazing cheap middle eastern market.Tanoreen, Lebanese spot in Bay Ridge. Don't miss the eggplant Napoleon.

          1. I have to second the Red Hoot Ballfields and Tanoreen. Both are terrific.

            1. While the Redhook ballfields are a convenient stop on a weekend afternoon going out or coming in from Brooklyn, I find the experience there rather watered down. Especially compared to a weekend evening stroll along Roosevelt Ave from Woodside to Corona. If you have the energy, you could spend an afternoon in the Asian corridor of Flushing and finish off along the pan-Latino strip of Roosevelt (all along the 7 train line).

              4 Replies
              1. re: E Eto

                I usually do E Eto's trip during the day and in reverse order starting with the saturated vibrant colors of Roosevelt Ave ending with a nice sitdown in Main street place. This leaves the night free for travelers to socialize with friends who don't mind missing stuff.

                1. re: wewwew

                  If you "walk-off" your food crawl indulgences anytime before 8PM, do it with the goal of dessert and coffee at CANELLE Patisserie in the strip mall on 31st Avenue at 76th Street.

                  Hopefuly they'll have some good choices (like tiramisu or bread pudding) remaining in the case. Better yet, have dessert first and then go the E. Eto reverse route!

                  1. re: Mike R.

                    The reason why I suggest doing Flushing first is because I find Flushing tends to be more active and vibrant during the days, while the latino stretch of Roosevelt is exactly the opposite, much more livelier in the evenings/nights, especially on a Friday/Saturday night.

                    Also, I wouldn't suggest Cannelle Patisserie at the end of the day when they've run out of most of their good stuff. Rather, I would suggest starting there for coffee and pastries and walk the South American corridor of Northern Blvd, and perhaps end of up at Despaña foods for all their free food samples and wine on a Saturday afternoon. (And then take the Q32 bus from Northern/82nd back to Jackson Heights or all the way back to Manhattan).

                2. re: E Eto

                  Thank you Eric. I too find Red Hook ball fields to be disappointing, perhaps because I live in Jackson Heights or because I grew up in California. I second the 7 train corridor.
                  Personally, I happen to enjoy the Colombian breakfast breads (buñuelos and pan de bono, etc.), somethng you don't find out West or in many other places. I adore Canelle, but I think that people can more easily find French baked goods. Just a suggestion. But beware the Colombian coffee (café con leche). It's quite weak.

                3. Hi musicislife102,

                  Since y'all are vegetarians and want to bop around Queens and/or Brooklyn, you could eat quite well at Wafa's, a family-run Lebanese place on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills (Queens).

                  They have a good number of deliciously filling meatless options that can be made into platters - tabbouleh, fatoush, okra with tomatoes, onions and spices (even okra haters like this, by the way), the best babaganoush I've ever had, grape leaves stuffed with rice and so on.

                  Where are you guys coming from? I ask because your profile reveals nada and you might be disappointed with certain types of food recommended here that you can get back home. For example, I always hear that Thai food on the West Coast is absolutely amazing - in both quality and availability.

                  Ciao,

                  Glendale is hungry...

                  1. The west end of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn is lined with Middle Eastern restaurants which have a lot of vegetarian options. I'm fond of the Waterfalls Café at 144 Atlantic Ave., an unpretentious, friendly BYO place with very friendly prices. Syrian cuisine. But maybe it isn't special enough for someone coming into town for such a short time? Your call.

                    http://www.zagat.com/r/waterfalls-caf...

                    http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: John Francis

                      Spicy and Tasty has excellent vegetarian dishes. their dried bean curd with celery is one of the best single dishes in NYC, their garlic flavored seaweed is nearly as good, the vinegar braised white cabbage, the dry sautéed bitter melon, the rice with egg and scallion (if you eat egg), the potatoes with green chilis.

                    2. I'm a cheapskate vegetarian in Queens, and I'd highly recommend Chao Thai in Elmhurst, Phayul in Jackson Heights (tiny upstairs Tibetan restaurant), Mangal in Sunnyside (Turkish—best babaghanoush ever), Rajbhog Sweets in Jackson Heights (great not just for Indian sweets—get the best $1 samosa), and Tortilleria Nixtamal in Corona (seriously amazing corn tortillas, cheap and wonderful Mexican food, and walking distance to Lemon Ice King of Corona for dessert).

                      I'll also second earlier suggestions for Tanoreen, Wafa's, or a tasting walk down Roosevelt Ave.

                      1. You should say where you will be staying as 2 days is not much time so you can't waste it traveling.

                        vegetarians -
                        Hari Krishna temple and restaurant http://radhagovinda.net/govinda.html

                        Jamaican 'Ital' food: Scoops 624 Flatbush Ave, Tofu Ice cream and food store. Buy the food and eat in the park nearby.

                        Take the #7 elevated train into queens as a kind of amusement park tram ride. Lots of restaurants near stops in queens, not sure about vegeterian.

                        You should look into posts on pizza.

                        Probably some vegetarian food cards, look up vendy awards for info