New York suggestions for May
Off to New York again in May (from Scotland) - been a few times with my wife but this time taking the in-laws! (joint birthday celebrations - wife's 30th, father in law 60th).
Anyway, keen to try some new places. Really like all types of food - tend to prefer smaller neighbourhood-type restaurants but not restricted to such.
Previous favourites from past trips are things like Aldea, Salumeria Rosi, Lombardi's, Burger Joint, Sarabeths, Caffe Reggio, Zibetto etc...
Only booking thus far is Babbo for Sunday evening dinner.
Happy to consider a choice of price ranges but won't be doing a 'Per Se' type tasting menu as have plans most other evenings so the dinner will either be a pre or post show type dinner.
Was considering somewhere at Eataly? Happy to be advised of places I don't know though!!!
What dates are you here? Sounds like you have less than a month to go as you have already booked Babbo. Many of our popular restaurants are booking up as we speak...
What's your budget, per person, before tax, tip, wine/drinks?
Are most of your shows in the theatre district? How far are you willing to travel to eat after a show (post matinee or post evening show)? If it is after an evening show, you will have more options downtown. However, it also depends on the day of the week.
Are you willing to wait for a table or do you prefer to make reservations?
Hi. Here from Fri 3rd May to Tues 7th May so yes, less than a month.
Rough details of trip.
Saturday - no plans during day so can eat anywhere. Broadway show in evening - happy to eat somewhere else (Soho for example) and get subway in time for show.
Sunday - matinee at 3pm so thinking fairly big lunch before it to keep us going until Babbo at 8pm.
Monday - no plans during day so anywhere for breakfast and lunch. Going to concert as Birdland at night but not till 10pm so again happy to eat in different area - last time we did Birdland we ate at Lupa first and then got subway.
Tuesday - no plans but need to leave for airport around 5pm so thinking late lunch?
So most breakfast and lunch times are free and we're happy to travel anywhere in Manhattan - dinners are sometimes a bit more restricted.
Happy to just show up or book. No real price range but I know the in laws won't fancy a 20 course tasting menu or anything like that. Probably looking for a mix of at least 1 more 'nice' dinner that we're willing to pay decent money for (Babbo type money?) and then maybe some cheaper options (BBQ? Pizza? Food Trucks? Thai/Eastern?)
Really very open to anything.
> Previous favourites from past trips are things like Aldea, Salumeria Rosi, Lombardi's, Burger Joint, Sarabeths, Caffe Reggio, Zibetto etc...
Since you liked Aldea, you might like some of the more casual Spanish tapas restaurants here such as Tertulia, Txikito, or Casa Mono.
Instead of Lombardi's, try John's on Bleecker (1-2 toppings max, order it well done), or Motorino (awesome lunch special, too).
Instead of burger joint, try a shack burger at Shake Shack. The one in the Theatre District is probably going to be most convenient to you before or after a show.
I'm assuming you enjoyed Sarabeth's at brunch. Similar options include Maialino & Locanda Verde... Definitely make reservations for Maialino or LV for weekend brunch if you wish to go.
For coffee & espresso, download "The Scoop" app from the NY Times on your iPhone or check out their online coffee map for places such as Blue Bottle, Stumptown, Cafe Grumpy, Abraco, Joe the Art of Coffee, Gimme Coffee, etc.
> Saturday - no plans during day so can eat anywhere. Broadway show in evening - happy to eat somewhere else (Soho for example) and get subway in time for show.
Most places will be doing Saturday brunch, not lunch. If the weather is nice, you might want to consider going to Brooklyn for the open air market Smorgasburg.
Other options would be having some "American" type foods: lobster rolls at Pearl or Luke's (note: Pearl only does weekday lunch), BBQ at Mighty Quinn's, fried chicken at The Dutch (they take brunch reservations).
I'd also consider an interesting Asian lunch, such as Mission Chinese, dim sum at RedFarm (weekends only), Kin Shop (they have a daily prix fixe), Danji (M-F only), the duck over rice lunch at Momofuku Ssam Bar.
If you do go on the High Line, grab some BBQ from SmokeLine and a pretzel from Sigmund's. La Newyorkina also has some excellent popsicle flavors like mango chile and cucumber lime. Hopefully they're all open when you go.
> Sunday - matinee at 3pm so thinking fairly big lunch before it to keep us going until Babbo at 8pm.
Most places will be doing Sunday brunch, not lunch, and lines will be fairly long unless it's a place you can make reservations. I would plan on a brunch and then an afternoon snack.
> Monday - no plans during day so anywhere for breakfast and lunch. Going to concert as Birdland at night but not till 10pm so again happy to eat in different area - last time we did Birdland we ate at Lupa first and then got subway.
Wise decisions, the food at Birdland isn't that great.
> Tuesday - no plans but need to leave for airport around 5pm so thinking late lunch?
Late lunch & you can plan to pick a sandwich or two up to go for the airport for dinner. Russ & Daughters, Num Pang, Lamazou, Defonte's, Sunny & Annie's, etc.
It looks like you haven't visited a lot of the classic NY spots?
"Only in NY" type foods: bagels and smoked salmon, pastrami on rye, pizza, hot dogs & papaya juice, black and white cookies, cheesecake, egg creams, pickles, halal carts.
Russ & Daughters (takeout, busy on weekends), Katz's Deli (from When Harry Met Sally), Papaya King etc. (not gourmet but iconic), William Greenberg's black and whites, Junior's cheesecake, egg creams from Gem Spa or Ray's, Pickle Guys, the Halal Guys (53rd and 6th SE corner after sunset), are all iconic sorts of places.
If you're interested in these sorts of 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:
* Also I'd do this on a day other than a Saturday, as she explains on the post
Notable food trucks/carts:
Do note that a lot of the more modern trucks are on a schedule and are in Midtown on weekdays (to feed the office crowd) and elsewhere on weekends (or closed/in the garage), and they also switch up their schedules a lot, due to parking complications, etc
Prix fixe lunch deals:
Best breakfast/brunch in NYC:
It is (IMO) at the Breslin, Locanda Verde, Shopsin's, Clinton St Baking Co., or Minetta Tavern.
Best bagels in NYC:
Summary: the freshest bagels are the best; bagels don't age well at all. Focus on the smoked salmon instead. Preferably at Russ & Daughters! Featured in shows such as No Reservations and Louie!
I'm fond of red onion, capers, regular cream cheese, and tomato on mine. Try a few smoked salmons before you settle on one, they're surprisingly different (and lox is not the same as smoked salmon, because lox is salmon cured in salt brine, and most people actually prefer the more modern, Nova-style smoked salmon). You can get a mini-sized bagel sandwich at Russ & Daughters, too, if you wish. Takeout only.
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 creative brunches (sometimes every day of the week).
My favorite spots:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/838348 -- scroll down to my post
If you liked Lombardi's then I'd suggest Arturo's (corner Houston and Thompson). Pizza is similar in style, but the place is less touristy.
If you liked Caffe Reggio, then try Caffe Dante down the street (Sullivan just below Bleecker).
If it's nice out, you can also walk west on Bleecker for lots of great food and shops--this might be a good suggestion for your Tuesday since you can get pastries, sandwiches, cheese etc all along this street. I see Kathryn has already included a good list (the West Village link)all very good choices.
Thanks again for help. Have totally revised list and put in a lot of places recommended by Kathryn.
One outstanding issue is the Monday evening dinner before Birdland at 10pm.
Spoke to in laws last night and they'd like a 'nice dinner' by that I take it to mean a bit more upmarket than other dinners so no burgers or pizzas etc.
Nothing too fancy or out there as they are a bit fussy.
Was thinking of Hearth (they quite liked the menu) but keen to hear of any other options.
On a slightly non food note, father in law is a drummer and keen to go to a really good Blues club - any suggestions?
Mother in law wants cocktails somewhere nice. Was thinking either Bar Centrale or PDT but anywhere else I should consider?
Thanks for that, really looking for drinks for 2 nights.
One for the night after the theatre (Lanterns Keep) could be ideal for that
Also looking for one for after the meal at Babbo - anything decent in that area. Will be a Sunday night - nothing too raucous just somewhere (maybe with some relaxing music) in that area for a drink or two with my wife.