Visitor to Manhattan looking for advice
I will be visiting Manhattan for a business trip next week and my friends have recommended me to the following places.
Lupa (Italian http://www.luparestaurant.com/
My budget is limited ($50 per meal) and I would be staying in downtown, but I am willing to cab to places if required.
Does the above places sounds good? Is it safe for a female to travel to those places at night on the subway?
Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Really depends where you're coming from, i.e. where is home for you?
Ippudo is fine for ramen, but if you come from a place that does ramen well, or has many ramen choices, I don't think Ippudo is "special" or unique enough to try on a rare business trip to NYC.
Same line of thinking for Joe's vis-a-vis xiao long bao, although I will say that the way Joe's does XLB is sort of unique to NYC.
Never been to Lupa, but from what I understand I don't think you can get out of Lupa with a 50/person budget.
I think Chinatown and East Village are fine safety-wise at night. Greenwich Village, too.
Can't speak for the subway, never take them when I visit NYC. Sorry.
Well, how much do you like waiting in line or waiting for a seat at the bar?
Sounds like you don't have any reservations already for Lupa so you'll be elbowing your way to a bar seat. It's doable if you are patient, but a lot depends on what day of the week it is, and when you try to dine there (early or prime time or late). Ippudo doesn't take reservations and neither does Joe's either.
From your profile, sounds like you are based somewhere off the West Coast, in SF?
Not sure why you are doing two Asian restaurants, then, when you should be focusing on what you can't get at home. Particularly Joe's. My friends who live in SF don't really tell me they are jonesing for XLB, you know?
Does the $50pp include tax, tip, wine/drinks? If it's just food, you can do pretty well. Some suggestions:
Momofuku Ssam Bar
Pearl Oyster Bar
Yes, it is safe for a solo female to travel to those places at night on the subway. You're traveling to densely populated, popular neighborhoods. Not really the edges of Manhattan. Be street smart. Pay attention to your surroundings, make sure you are where other people are, don't be in a train car alone, etc. I imagine you also won't be out at 3am.
Check out some "Only in NY" type foods while you're here: 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 after sunset), are all iconic "NY" sorts of places that are worth a look.
If you're interested in some of the places I listed above, you could do a LES food crawl.
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:
We also have some of the harder to find Chinese cuisines: Henan, Shaanxi (Xian Famous Foods) and Fuzhou in Manhattan, and many more in Queens and Brooklyn (Shangdong/Qingdao and Dongbei to name a few). scoopG's Chinatown list (dependent upon where you are coming from these may be exotic or not... most places don't have Henan or Xian style food though):
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).