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First-time visitor to NYC

I have a friend coming into town from PA. He has never been to NYC. Even though he's not a foodie by a long shot, I want to take him out to some restaurants that are very NYC and/or introduce him to better options of his old standbys (Pizza, burgers, wings, beer).

For very NYC places, I was thinking Katz's. Are there other places you can recommend that maybe aren't old school NYC?

As for Pizza, burger, wings: I have Motorina, Minetta and Mono + Mono.

What do you think of those? Any better places to recommend. I am looking for places downtown, East or West side, below 14th. Mostly we will be in the EV, WV, LES, Nolita, Soho, High line areas.

Thanks so much!

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  1. So places that are more accessible/not intimidating but still "very NY"? Sounds like he isn't a very adventurous eater?

    I'd try to fit in bagels and smoked salmon, hot dogs & papaya juice, black and white cookies, cheesecake, egg creams, pickles, halal cart or two, in addition to pizza, burgers, wings, and beer.

    Motorino, Minetta Tavern, and Katz's are a good place to start. While near Katz's, might as well drop into Russ & Daughters for smoked salmon on a bagel as well. Maybe Il Laboratorio de Gelato.

    Would you be interested in RGR's self-guided LES noshing tour?
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/493333

    Note two changes: Guss's Pickles has closed, so substitute The Pickle Guys, on Essex off Grand. And the correct address for Economy Candy is 108, not 145.

    Breakfast at Shopsin's could be fun as well.

    A stroll down 7th St's food shops might also be good: Porchetta, Butter Lane, Luke's Lobster, Caracas Arepa Bar, the Big Gay Ice Cream shop.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/rea...

    I'd also consider a quick stop at Momofuku Noodle or Ssam Bar to try their famous pork buns.

    Near the High Line, Spotted Pig is a pretty short walk away.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thank you, Kathryn. These are all great ideas. You are right, he is not an adventurous eater, but it's my goal to show him there is more to life than Dunkin Donuts (Donut Planet here we come!)

      Spotted Pig is a great idea. It's what he likes, only better!

      1. re: Groodle

        I know I sound like a broken record about this place, but I'm sure the same could be said about Minetta -- with a bullet.

        1. re: Groodle

          Love Spotted Pig. If you go (which you should) be advised they don't take rez but if you want to sit in the dining area go have a drink at the bar prior to 5:00 (when they start taking names) and let the woman at the stand know you would like to put down your name when the time comes.

      2. I never thought Katz's had anything unusual. All hype. I much prefer the Second Ave Deli.

        4 Replies
        1. re: NYJewboy

          Love 2nd Ave Deli but their pastrami isn't that great.

            1. re: NYJewboy

              I like Katz's but there isn't a whole lot of competition for best pastrami nowadays, is there? With Sarge's closed, especially. :(

              1. re: kathryn

                It's (or now that there are two locations, they're) not in Manhattan, but don't forget David's Brisket House in Brooklyn.

        2. It depends which part of PA. they're coming from. Philly has a lot of deli, and burgers which do compare favorably and even capture some of the same old charm. Even Shopsin's with it's unique combos, and a very NY family running it, will have some familiarity for someone a couple hours out of NY.

          For pizza, I think Forcella and Keste are better than Motorino, and a little more unique.
          Chicken and Waffles could work.
          Pork buns if you go for the higher end versions.