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Short on time- Field trip to Manhattan

I have a filed trip planned to the new Museum of Mathematics but my principal has cut our time in NYC so that we get back way earlier than orignally planned. Our bus will be taking us from the musem to the Rockefeller Center area so the students get to see NYC in ali its Christmas finery - any recommendations of where to go for a very early dinner that is close to RC but will give them a New York experience? It has to be budget friendly. I'm even open to getting somthing on the appetizer/dessert side and stopping later for dinner on the way home - just refuse to come to NYC and eat at a McDonald's! I will be up the weekend before to check things out.
Thanks for any help!

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  1. Koreatown is a short walk from RC. There are also a few good Chinese places that might be good for a group. You can have a family style dinner and share a variety of dishes.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Motosport

      Thanks - I'll check out the distance (read post farther down) - definitely would not be McDonald's!

      1. re: adorefood

        Speaking of Ktown, I used to get lunch at Woorijip when I worked near Madison Square Garden. It's a very good place for the budget friendly, lunch items are pre-packaged and you an pick them up, pay for them at the register and sit down to eat. They also have hot dishes to go as well as a buffet. This is ideal if you are interested in Korean food but don't know what dishes are called, you can pick out what looks good and not worry about the name. Just a warning, they spicy pork and kimchee fried rice are VERY spicy if you're used to milder foods. Another thing to mention is that they sell small dishes that you can order and share with a group. My co-workers and I would pick a main course dish, grab a couple of small sides (each getting something different) and share them at the office when we sat down for lunch.

        1. re: alkonost

          This would work. I'm having the parent chaperones come in next week to arrange who goes where, and I'll talk to the kids before hand about the Korean food.

    2. Carmine's is family style Italian Food, budget friendly at 200 W 44th St.
      Brooklyn Diner on 57th St. ( New York Style dishes)

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodwhisperer

        Thanks! Will check them both out - want to have more than one option so I can spread the groups out.

      2. It's not the greatest burger in the city, but burger joint could be a lot of fun. It's not terribly large, though, so you may wish to call ahead -- not sure how big your group is. It's hidden behind a curtain in the lobby of a fancy hotel. A fun, NY experience!
        http://www.parkermeridien.com/eat4.php

        Another fun activity might be eating some food from a cart, such as the famous Halal Guys cart. Your students may get a kick out of eating outside on the sidewalk in Manhattan, so also another NY type of experience.
        http://53rdand6th.com/locations-timings/

        53rd St & 6th Ave “Original Location” (in front of Hilton) / 7pm to 4am
        53rd St & 6th Ave (across 6th Ave from above location) /10am to 5am
        53rd St & 7th Ave / 10am to 5am

        5 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          I'm going to have about 45 kids and 5 chaperones and me, so I was thinking about giving each chaperone a ( with 9 kids) a "dining destination" so that we wouldn't overload any establishment.Unfortunately, in order to meet our 10PM curfew, we'll have to leave at about 5, so we'll have to eat early - might even consider something lighter than a full dinner. The kids will all be HS students.

          1. re: kathryn

            Thank you - we'll have 5 groups ( 9 kids in a group plus a chaperone). Also thanks for the links!

            1. re: kathryn

              Just checked out the Meridien's website and they have a gingerbread display !

              1. re: adorefood

                Don't miss the gingerbread version of the infamous crane that collapsed during Sandy!

                1. re: kathryn

                  OK - this is definitely on the list!

            2. I'm impressed with Motosport and foodwhisperer's Olympic-caliber walking skills! Koreatown is on 32nd Street; Carmine's is closer but still across a long block between 6th and 7th Aves. I like the Halal cart idea, if it's not freezing. But speaking of burgers, how about:

              http://www.billsbarandburger.com/hour...

              Right in Rock Center!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Andy T.

                Walking in Manhattan is a huge treat especially for out of towners. It is a very walkable city.
                My advice to visitors is to avoid Times Sq and Rock Ctr for food.
                Carmine's is a good choice for a group on a budget but there are so many better choices.

                1. re: Andy T.

                  Close is good!

                  1. re: Andy T.

                    Time will be tight - thanks!

                  2. Are you planning on eating by yourself, or with several friends? If so, how many people would there be? I don't like Carmine's, which foodwhisperer suggested, but it is large and can accommodate a large number of people (though with a wait). It's not the only such place, but the size of your group is an important consideration.

                    I'm guessing budget-friendly means around $20/person or less? Also, just how early would this dinner be? Answers to all these questions would help us help you better.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Pan

                      I'll have 45 kids, but they will be in groups of 9 with a chaperone - I'm trying to farm them out to different places - it will be interesting for them to compare notes about they ate on the LONG ride back. We'll have to be finished by 5.
                      I'm coming up on Sat for the museum's opening and I'll check out the eateries then.

                    2. First, thank you for alerting me to the existence of the Museum of Mathematics. I had no idea there was one and now I'm probably a little bit too excited about it.

                      For recommendations, maybe it might help people if they knew your students' age range and how many will be with you? I think grammar school kids tend to be less food adventurous than high school ones, and as some have already noted, some places can handle larger crowds better than others...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Skippy1414

                        Ah, you're right: I had been thinking adorefood was one of the students, but s/he's indeed presumably their teacher. Dunno why I wasn't thinking that way. Anyway...

                        1. re: Skippy1414

                          We'll have about 45 high school students in groups of 9 with a chaperone- they don't all have to go to the same place.
                          BTW, I don't know if you saw on the website, but the museum will be open on Saturday - I'm coming up for that and to check out the food sites.

                        2. I would opt for pizza, and if you are a large group, I would make a reservation at a place that offers protection from the rain or snow or cold. How about Bella Napoli? 150 W. 49th Open continuously. You could even call a few minutes ahead and have a couple of pies baking before your group arrives to speed things along. You can do some pizza math with the slices.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: barberinibee

                            We're really going to be pressed for time so calling ahead if a good option - thanks!

                          2. As a tourist myself I like

                            Virgils Barbeque in Times Sq
                            44th and Broadway
                            across from Good Morning America

                            and have been wanting to try
                            Empanada Mama
                            763 9th Ave, New York 10019
                            (Btwn 51st & 52nd St)
                            Phone: (212) 698-9008


                            These would work for your smaller groups.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Berheenia

                              Thanks - I'm going up there this weekend to check them out!

                            2. One more idea is Bill's Burger - right near Rock Center and what HS kid doesn't like a burger?

                              http://www.billsbarandburger.com/menu...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: owlwoman

                                Someone else recommended this - will check it out!