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Dec 3, 2012 11:57 AM

Visiting NYC

My husband and I will be in NYC the week before Christmas and would like some suggestions for lunches and dinners. This will be our first time in the area and are staying near time square. We like just about any kind of food as long as its good. We will be celebrating my birthday while we are there so we will be looking for dress up and dress down places.

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  1. There are literally thousands of restaurants in NYC. If you can provide additional details, we can better help you pick which ones to visit.

    Where are you coming from? We don't want to recommend something your home town may do better.

    Is there any shopping, sight seeing, Broadway shows you plan to see/do?

    How much are you willing to spend per person, before drinks/wine, tax, and tip for a meal? If you can provide a budget for both the casual and nicer meals, that is much more helpful. Price is often the limiting factor here in Manhattan.

    Also most restaurants open their reservation books about a month in advance. Many popular places will be fully committed or only have the very early and late times left. Are you willing to wait for a table at a no reservations spot? December is basically a second tourist season in NY, so be prepared for crowds.

    Also what days of the week are you here? Many upscale places only do weekday lunch and/or are closed Sundays.

    You'll probably want some classic NY foods and places such as Russ & Daughters, Katz's Deli, black and white cookies, pickles, egg creams, halal carts, hot dogs, pretzels, cheesecake etc.

    Don't leave NY without eating these foods

    I highly recommend RGR's self guided Lower East Side Gustatory tour but sub in Pickle Guys for Guss' Pickles and note that Economy Candy's address is incorrect:

    My favorite unique places in NY serve Xian (Chinese) food, Issan (Thai) food, organic/local/sustainable Japanese BBQ, authentic Basque (Spanish) tapas, creative diner food, pretzels, hot dogs, halal food, steak, upscale rustic Italian, Italian subs, creative Italian-American, high end non-sushi Japanese (like kaiseki), creative desserts, molecular gastronomy, mixology/creative cocktails, and upscale brunches (brunch is served every day here, sometimes even for dinner).
    My favorites are here:

    7 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Ok...first of all we are coming from the Phoenix area which has no good restaurants anywhere in the state. We lived in Seattle for 25 years before getting transferred to the land of chain restaurants. We will be coming into the city on Saturday evening and leaving the following Sasturday and plan on hitting some of the regular tourists stops (statue of liberty, 9/11 memorial, metropolitan, etc.). We are pretty open as to what we are doing and plan on taking it as it goes. One of the things we love to do is walk when we get into a city and can easily put in 5-10 miles at a time. We will probably do some shopping and plan on going to a Broadway show one night. We definitely want to try some of the classics. As far as pricing goes we are not against spending a couple hundred or so on a nice meal not counting drinks and tip, but also like to go to the holes in the wall.

      1. re: ritas

        You're kind of harsh on Phoenix. They have some decent BBQ, Tex Mex, and steak. However, they even lost to the terrible NY jets this weekend, so I guess they deserve all harshness. The info Kathryn gave should be all you need. I'm sure in one of the links, Katz's deli is mentioned. I second Katz's as unique NYC corn(ed) beef and pastrami, with quite a nostalgic feel to it.

        1. re: foodwhisperer

          Sorry about being harsh on Phoenix but it seems every time we find a good restaurant it is good for awhile and then it goes bad (kinda like to Cardinals!!). I guess I have been spoiled living in downtown Seattle for years. I have Katz's on my list...heard its great.

        2. re: ritas

          Unfortunately the Statue of Liberty closed due to Sandy and likely wont be reopening any time soon.

          If you like walking, RGR's self guided tour will be a lot of fun for you, I think. And maybe a West or East Village one too!

          Here is mine:

          The possible stops are:
          Washington Square Park
          Mille-Feuille Bakery for croissants
          Third Rail Coffee
          Blue Ribbon Bakery Market for their housemade matzoh
          Victory Garden for goat milk soft serve
          Famous Joe's for a slice
          Grom for gelato
          Rocco's for freshly filled cannoli
          Amy's Bread
          Murray's Cheese
          Faicco's Pork Store
          Bosie Tea Parlor for cookies/macarons
          Blind Tiger for beer
          Joe the Art of Coffee
          Jeffrey's Grocery for oysters and beer
          Taim for falafel
          Magnolia Bakery for ice box cake
          dell'anima for a Negroni Sbagliato cocktail
          Chelsea Market
          The High Line

          An East Village food crawl, too, perhaps? Porchetta, Butter Lane, Luke's Lobster, Caracas Arepa Bar, the Big Gay Ice Cream shop, the Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream shop...then when you're done you can hit up PDT, Death & Co, or Mayahuel right when they open.

          Some common tourist inquiries:
          Near MoMA:

          Near the Metropolitan Museum of Art (and Whitney and Guggenheim, ish):

          Near the American Museum of Natural History:

          Near Macy's/Herald Square:


          5th Avenue shopping:


          Near the 9/11 Memorial there isn't a whole lot of notable food but go north and cross the bridge/highway for North End Grill, Shake Shack, Blue Smoke.

          1. re: kathryn

            thanks for the info...give me a lot to check out

            1. re: ritas

              noca, FnB, Binkley's, Kai, Italian Restaurant, Pizzeria Bianco, Quiescence, Nobuo, The Parlor, Gallo Blanco, Barrio Café, Christopher's, La Grande Orange, The Mission, Citizen Public House, Shinbay.....and this is skipping the big hotel spots.....and the rest of the state.

              I love New York and consider it the best eating town in the US, but to suggest PHX has nothing is just certainly trumps Seattle as a dining destination.