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Sep 10, 2012 06:44 AM

Restaurant or dining space for 18 teens near union square

I'm taking a small group of culinary students from my high school in NJ to NYC for a tour of Union Square market. We'll be in the city of a monday morning and have 2 1/2 hours after the tour before we have to head back to Jersey. I'm looking for a place in or around Union Square to eat lunch after the tour that's reasonable in price & selection & can accommodate a group of 20 (kids + chaperones). The kids are foodies & shouldn't be too picky with interesting food. Any ideas? Thanks

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  1. I'm considering the food truck option as well, though am unsure where the highest conglamoration of food trucks in manhattan would be on a monday

    5 Replies
    1. re: sixelagogo

      There are many food trucks that park on the western edge of Union Square, due to the office lunch crowd.

      This option assumes that the weather is nice, however.

      I think that Stand would be big enough for you guys.

      1. re: kathryn

        I'm thinking more ethnic-y, less burgery, with a budget of $15 max/kid

        1. re: sixelagogo

          Union Square isn't really good at cheap ethnic that can handle large groups.

          You'll need to go further afield to the East Village. Maybe Grand Sichuan on St Marks.

          1. re: kathryn

            i like the Grand Sichuan idea...also, Laut (on 17th St right by the market) might have some Malaysian lunch specials that would work budget-wise...

            Or walk to 18th St, just west of 5th Ave, and get the healthy salad/soup/chicken/etc bar at City Bakery -- easy under 15/kid, they get to choose whatever they like, and it's a big cavernous space w/ fun NY people-watching...that's where i'd suggest first...

            1. re: kathryn

              I was thinking that Union Square wouldn't be the most ideal place to find a rest. that can accommodate the group...grand sichuan sounds interesting & i called and left a message to see what they would be able to offer us.

      2. Out of your budget by a fair bit, but you might think about the front room in Gramercy Tavern. They use (or as of a few years ago used to use) a wood burning stove to cook a large percentage of the lunch. Two guys basically man the hot line there and it is amazing to watch those two guys work.

        Perhaps you could contact the chef there, Michael Anthony, and make a point to see if you could go by with your students well before the lunch hour and have the kitchen team give them a short talk or a demonstration of how a top rated kitchen works. Great restaurant.

        1. How about Dos Toros for Mexican takeout (you can eat in Union Square park). For non-ethnic try Craftbar - the sandwiches would fall within your budget.

          If you line up before Ippudo opens at 11:00 am that would be a fun venue. Eataly is another possibility if you're willing to split up the group.

          1. Rosa Mexicano on 18th Street just west of Union Square is a BIG room and, especially at lunch, I think could accommodate a large group

            1 Reply
            1. re: BoloJungle

              The OP's budget is $15pp, though. Rosa Mexicana will be too expensive.