NYC tasty eats that won't break the bank
I am staying at the Double Tree in times square and will be vacationing with my folks.
Our focus will be seeing several shows, china town and a couple of the museums. We have all been to NYC many times before.
As far as location - anything in the Midtown/theater district, Gramercy park/flatiron, china town/little Italy, Greenwich village are all game. We are looking to do one nice meal around $50-$75 a person. Otherwise we aren't looking for a huge price tag, just some great food. We def. want an Italian place, Deli for sandwich, and a pizza place to grab a slice. Other than that we are pretty open to genre. No Indian, Vietnamese or Mexican (we're from Texas).
With trying to hit the theater every night we aren't going to want to wait too long for a table, but would totally make reservations if that's an option. Mom will want to be in the dining area not the bar.
In addition to the great advice, as always, from Kathryn, I'd mention that you don't have to go to Chinatown for great Chinese food. Szechuan Gourmet has two Midtown locations, at 39 St. between 5th and 6th and 56th St. between Broadway and 8th, and most of their Sichuan-style food is great; just don't get anything else there.
Some good and cheap ethnic eats in/around Midtown are Lali, Margon and Pio Pio. Pio Pio is esp. good for groups and families, lots of dishes/combos to share. I would go there more, except I'm usually dining solo in NYC.
For a quick, tasty and cheap slice of pie in Midtown, Merilu is my go-to when I'm there. And Sullivan is great for some bomboloni -- go there because you say you want to get some pizza, but then eat the bomboloni first.
it occurs to me that i read right past your punctuation, but if you are looking for an italian (deli) sandwich in gramercy/flatiron i HIGHLY recommend you check out DeFonte's (lunch really, not much atmosphere to speak of) for their truly epic italian heros. they are famous for the roast beef w fresh mozzarella (fried eggplant slices listed as optional but you should get them) BUT i think that their steak pizzaolo (super tender braised beef in tomato sauce) nicky's special (cold cuts w spicy pickled salad) and the firehouse special (pork loin, aged provolone, broccoli rabe - but ask them to warm the rabe for you otherwise theres an offputing temperature contrast i dont like). warning - theyre massive, consider sharing and plan on walking them off after.
> Our focus will be seeing several shows, china town and a couple of the museums. We have all been to NYC many times before.
Where are the shows you are going to? If you're hitting a show every night that really limits the geographical radius of where it's "safe" to eat. It's not the best reasonable eats part of town either.
I assume you're looking to try some Chinese food since you plan to visit Chinatown? BTW, we have some of the harder to find Chinese cuisines: Henan (Spicy Village), Shaanxi (Xian Famous Foods) and Fuzhou in Manhattan, and many more in Queens and Brooklyn (Shangdong/Qingdao and Dongbei to name a few). As well as an outpost of Danny Bowien's famous Mission Chinese on the LES (online reservations available for dinner 1 wk in advance).
scoopG's Chinatown list:
Are you looking at the UES museums (Guggenheim/Whitney/Met/etc), Midtown museums (MoMA), or UWS (AMNH)?
Near the Metropolitan Museum of Art (and Whitney and Guggenheim, ish):
Near the American Museum of Natural History:
> We are looking to do one nice meal around $50-$75 a person. Otherwise we aren't looking for a huge price tag, just some great food.
When you say one nice meal at $75pp max, does that include tax, tip, drinks/wine? Or is that before? It's best to give a budget for food only.
For the other meals, what is your budget before tax, tip, wine/drinks?
Also check out realcheapeats.com.
> We def. want an Italian place, Deli for sandwich, and a pizza place to grab a slice. Other than that we are pretty open to genre. No Indian, Vietnamese or Mexican (we're from Texas).
Avoid Vietnamese in Chinatown. NYC isn't strong in Vietnamese anyway. It's not super strong in Indian or Mexican either.
However, you might also want to do a restaurant doing creative takes on Asian, like at Momofuku Ssam Bar, Wong, Fatty Cue, RedFarm, Mission Chinese, Kin Shop, or Danji. All of these except will be in your budget for a "nice" meal. Only Wong, Fatty Cue, Mission Chinese, and Kin Shop take reservations though.
For Italian, try L'Artusi or Dell'anima. However, neither are really close to the theatre district, both are in the West Village.
For a pastrami sandwich on rye, no mayo, Katz's Deli. Also not near the theatre district but walkable from Chinatown.
For a slice joint, I like Joe's in the West Village and South Brooklyn Pizza in the East Village.
See also Cheeryvisage's great Times Square list: