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Need help planning a Foodcation to NYC

Getting ready to spend 4 full days exploring NYC for the very first time. Staying in Long Island and training to Manhattan every day. Arriving Wednesday, departing early Sunday morning. This is somewhat of a foodcation. Trying to keep meals mostly casual, leaving room for 1-2 nicer meals out. Would love some feedback on my itinerary!

Wednesday -

DIY Food tour of Greenwich Village (The Donut Pub, A Salt & Battery, Big Gay Ice Cream, Milk & Cookies Bakery, Murray’s Cheese Bar, Faicco Pork Store, Pasticceria Rocco (cheesecake), Artichoke Pizza) - Picnic in Washington Square Park

Exploring/Shopping in the Village

Union Square Green Market

Madison Square Park

Flatiron Building

Back to LI to collapse and order pizza

- Thursday -

Central Park (stop in Payard bakery for croissants and coffee)

Chelsea Market (/ Artists and Fleas Market

High Line Park and Le Bain bar for a drink

Option A:
Little Italy - DiPalo shopping, Caffe Palmeo or Caffee Roma Pastry (which one?) for cannol - am I missing anything here?

Dinner at Torrisi’s

Option B:

Dinner at Little owl, squeezing in Grand Central Terminal (Junior's cheesecake) after Central Park

Followed by:

Times Square

ESB

- Friday -

SOL cruise

Battery Gardens Beer Garden & exploring Battery Park

9/11 Memorial

Financial District – Luke’s Lobster for late lunch

Woolworth Building

IF we don't do Little Italy Thursday - fit it in here

Lower East Side - what to explore here?

SoHo - what to explore here?

Katz’s for late dinner

- Saturday -

Rockefeller Tour and TOTR (while munching on Macrons from Bouchon)

Central Park South - am I missing anything to eat here?

5th Avenue shopping

Brooklyn Bridge (should we have dinner in Brooklyn?)

- Need food recs for this day - lunch and dinner

Thanks!

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  1. When are you coming to town? Where are you coming from?

    Overall, I'd say that your itinerary is much too ambitious and you're all over the place geographically. You're going to be running yourself ragged.

    > Wednesday -
    > DIY Food tour of Greenwich Village (The Donut Pub, A Salt & Battery, Big Gay Ice Cream, Milk & Cookies Bakery, Murray’s Cheese Bar, Faicco Pork Store, Pasticceria Rocco (cheesecake), Artichoke Pizza) - Picnic in Washington Square Park

    You're missing a lot of gems in the Village, see my walking tour here:
    https://foursquare.com/kathrynyu/list...

    Not sure if Donut Pub, A Salt & Battery, and Milk & Cookies are really worth going out of your way for, but that could be personal preference for places like Grom, Victory Garden, Bosie Tea Parlor, etc.

    If you're at Rocco's anyway, get your freshly filled cannoli there.

    Also you should always have a backup plan for your picnic in the park case it's raining.

    > Exploring/Shopping in the Village
    > Union Square Green Market
    > Madison Square Park
    > Flatiron Building

    You know that you can't go inside/take a tour of the Flatiron Building, right?

    While you're there why not visit Eataly or Shake Shack?

    > - Thursday -

    > Central Park (stop in Payard bakery for croissants and coffee
    )> Chelsea Market (/ Artists and Fleas Market
    > High Line Park and Le Bain bar for a drink

    > Option A:
    > Little Italy - DiPalo shopping, Caffe Palmeo or Caffee Roma > Pastry (which one?) for cannol - am I missing anything here?
    > Dinner at Torrisi’s

    > Option B:
    > Dinner at Little owl, squeezing in Grand Central Terminal (Junior's cheesecake) after Central Park
    > Followed by:
    > Times Square
    > ESB

    This itinerary is really intense and logistically challenging!

    Central Park to Chelsea Market / High Line doesn't make any sense -- they're nowhere near each other. Also there's a Payard downtown near Greenwich Village, on Houston Street. So you could go on Wednesday if you want your Payard fix then.

    And get your cannoli at Rocco's on Weds.

    For Option A: Torrisi is cramped. I'd be wary of bringing in my purchases from Di Palo there, just because you probably don't want any extra bags under foot.

    AND Torrisi just increased their menu to be $100pp. Did you already have a reservation?
    http://ny.eater.com/archives/2013/09/...

    For Option B: Central Park -> Grand Central -> Times Square isn't too bad and I would DEFINITELY do Top of the Rock rather than the Empire State Building. From the ToTR you can actually see the ESB. And not wait in a long line to get in, as it's timed entry.

    However, if you want to have dinner at Little Owl, it makes more sense to go there if you're going to be near the High Line or West Village. Also, it's also a TINY place.

    Did you already have a reservation?

    > Friday
    > SOL cruise
    > Battery Gardens Beer Garden & exploring Battery Park
    > 9/11 Memorial
    > Financial District – Luke’s Lobster for late lunch
    > Woolworth Building
    > IF we don't do Little Italy Thursday - fit it in here
    > Lower East Side - what to explore here?
    > SoHo - what to explore here?
    > Katz’s for late dinner

    I hope you meant Statue of Liberty cruise. And not the other meaning of SOL. No plans to go on the island itself or go inside the statue? It's pretty neat.

    There isn't really much that's interesting about Battery Park IMO.

    For the 9/11 Memorial, I hope you have timed tickets already. I don't think they have restrooms there either, still.

    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:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/493333

    Also I think the LES Tenement Museum is a good destination, and a walk through Essex St Market might be fun.

    It doesn't make sense to go to Soho and back to Katz's for your late dinner and most of the stores in Soho aren't open super late. You'll also probably be EXHAUSTED by the end of the day with the Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, 9/11 Memorial, FiDi, Little Italy, and LES all on your schedule on this day.

    > - Saturday -
    > Rockefeller Tour and TOTR (while munching on Macrons from Bouchon
    )> Central Park South - am I missing anything to eat here?
    > 5th Avenue shopping
    > Brooklyn Bridge (should we have dinner in Brooklyn?)
    > - Need food recs for this day - lunch and dinner

    No need to do both the ESB and ToTR. Pick one.

    Bouchon's macarons are hit or miss. Skip them. If you're going to be near Rock Center anyway, go to La Maison du Chocolat for macarons that are much better. Near the UES, you'll be nearish Laduree earlier on your trip. And Biscous Ciao and Bosie Tea Parlor in the Village, earlier on in your trip.

    Rock Center to Central Park South (Central Park again?) to 5th Ave Shopping and then also the Brooklyn Bridge? That's way too much to shove in one day.

    5 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Completely agree that the days sound over scheduled and all over the place.

      Sat after ToTR and 5th ave shopping Ma Peche would be a good lunch option.
      Central park south isn't anything special, hotdog carts, horses and buggies, and tons of other tourists.

      1. re: Ttrockwood

        Do you have any recommendations on things to take out if you think it's too much?

        Here is the latest draft:

        DIY Food tour of Greenwich Village – picnic in Washington Square Park - Stops: Il Cantuccio, Big Gay Ice Cream, Milk & Cookies Bakery, Murray’s Cheese Bar, Faicco Pork Store, Pasticceria Rocco (cheesecake), Joe’s Pizza, Washington Square Park

        Exploring/Shopping in the Village/Union Square Farmer’s Market: From the WA Square Park arch, go up 5th Avenue 4-5 blocks, passing the two pretty churches and other nice architecture. Then go east on 12th or 13th Street to University Place. Up University 1-2 blocks to 14th Street and you're at Union Square. Wander through the greenmarket and exit at the NW corner, at 17th Street & Broadway. Up Broadway another 6 blocks (to 23rd Street) and you're at Madison Square Park and the Flatiron Building. From there you can go back to Penn Station.

        Back to LI for pizza

        - Thursday -

        Subway to Two Little Red Hens for cheesecake and coffee. Stop at Lexington Candy Shop for an Egg Cream. From there, Walk to Central Park and enter at 84th Street and head West then Southwest to exit at 77th Street, walk up to Shake Shack. Enter Park again and walk East then Southeast to exit at 59th Street at Plaza Hotel.
        5th Avenue shopping (The Plaza hotel (stop inside food court and get a slice of mille crepe from Lady M and some baguettes from Pain D'avignon)

        Chinatown/Little Italy/Lower East Side DIY Food Tour – work in progress, please see other thread

        - Friday -

        High Line & Chelsea Market

        Rockefeller Tour (5 pm) and TOTR (6-7 just before and during sunset)
        Keen's Steakhouse for dinner (maybe)
        ESB
        Times Square - Junior's for cheesecake

        - Saturday -

        East River Ferry to Williamsburg Smorgasburg Ferry Back to Brooklyn bridge and walk across OR take it to wall street (below South Street Seaport)\
        OR
        Smorgasbar in South Street Seaport and exploring toward FiDi
        Financial District – Luke’s Lobster for lunch (is this a must?)
        SOL cruise 1-4
        9/11 Memorial
        Woolworth Building Tour
        Grand Central Terminal

        1. re: ComeAwayWithMe

          The agenda looks much more managable now- and there are a number of places you can just pick up goodies to go. I have to mention the dosa cart in washington sq park since you will be there- he has won several awards, its delicious but would be an eat now not later situation.

          I do think its too tight to do smorgasburg before your 1pm boatride since it opens at 11am.....

          1. re: Ttrockwood

            Ohh! I will save room. It'll be 3 of us splitting everything we get Anyway.

            I figured. I'd rather do smorsabar after our tours so we can start drinking there and continue on through the night in FiDi anyway :)

      2. re: kathryn

        Oddly, the "Reply" option doesn't show up on my computer for the OP. Anyone else having that problem?

        Anyway, great recommendations, as always, from kathryn.

        I just wanted to add that if you do want ideas about Brooklyn, you should put a separate query on the Outer Boroughs board.

        And, if you want to know anything about LI eating, use the New York State board.

        It may seem like additional work, but it's really the best way to get thorough help.

      3. Do you mean Donut Pub (on 14th Street) or Donut Plant on Grand? Neither is in the Village.

        Donut Pub is some really good traditional donuts. (Toasted Coconut is a real standout.)

        Donut Plant is gourmet donuts done right. I'm not a big coconut guy but the coconut cream is really good. (Hard to get a bad donut here.

        If you do Donut Plant, you have the Pickle Guys down the block. (Pickled Pineapple is a must.) In this general area (Lower East Side) you also have old standards: Katz's, Russ and Daughter, The Meatball Shop, Economy Candy, The gelatto place on Houston (across the street from Katz's.)

        Or you could head south from Donut Plant, and hit Chinatown and/or Little Italy (or not -- other than a few shops there is not much left of Little Italy) and/or Freeman's Alley (get the artichoke app.)

        1. If I were at Flatrion Building/Madison Sq Park area, I wouldn't plan on dinner of LI pizza. I would go to Live Bait and get chicken fried steak and a few beers. Then catch a later train.

          5 Replies
          1. re: hambone

            I personally wouldn't argue against Long Island pizza. Depends on where the OP is staying, but I've been to a number of pizza joints there that are much better than the average spot in Manhattan. Definitely inquire on the New York State board if you don't already have personal recommendations.

            As for Live Bait, I've been there mainly for drinks but a couple of times for food. I don't think it's anything special. It seems like any old bar to me.

            1. re: churros

              I find that Long Island pizza is getting more and more generic (or more and more crazy California type) as my time away grows.

              But my pizza eating on Long Island is Suffolk County, north shore. So YMMV.

              LIve Bait (and I will admit I am a pushover for good chicken fried steak) has the best chicken fried steak I've had in NYC since Delta 88 Club closed.

                1. re: Sneakeater

                  what what what?

                  I'll let you know in a week or two after I've eaten at Brooklyn Star.

                2. re: hambone

                  Yeah, it probably depends where on Long Island. My experiences are mostly in western Nassau. Quite a few places that have been around a long time and still make excellent pizza.

            2. You could have a nice pizza walk after getting off the Brooklyn Bridge.

              I've always wanted to do this:

              You need a half dozen or so folks.

              Head down Court Street,
              1. get a pie at My Little (the one with basil and fresh mozzarella) [114 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201];
              1a. hang a quick right on Atlantic, get some stuff at Sahadis then back to Court continuing toward Carroll Gardens;
              2. a pie with garlic (a must) and pepperoni (my preference) at Sam's Chop House [238 Court St Brooklyn, NY 11201];
              2a. stop in at D'Amico Coffee for a cup of joe.
              2b. Get some Soppressata at Esposito and Sons (everything else is good, too.)
              3. South Brooklyn [Pizza 451 Court St] you can take it to the bar next door.
              3a. Caputo's is right there but you probably aren't going to be in the mood for fresh mozzarella by this point. Too bad. It is really good. You could stop in for other stuff. They have a nice selection of really good dry goods.
              4. Lucali [575 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231] then just go back one block to Clinton for a cab.

              (Arguably none of these are the best pizzas in NYC but with a bunch of friends, a pizza crawl would be a great way to spend a day.)

              1 Reply
              1. re: hambone

                This sounds fantastic! Unfortunately there aren't that many of us.

              2. We are coming to town in the beginning of October from Chicago.

                We do not have any reservations for restaurants yet.

                They are building an Eataly here so that is why it is not on my list.

                The Donut Pub on my village tour is on 14th street. I have already mapped out my route and all of these are along the route to Washington Square Park.

                F Train – 14th Street, The Donut Pub, A Salt & Battery, Big Gay Ice Cream, Milk & Cookies Bakery, Murray’s Cheese Bar, Faicco Pork Store, Pasticceria Rocco (cheesecake), Artichoke Pizza, Washington Square Park. This is total a 1.39 mile walk.

                If I could take Donut Pub and A Salt & Battery off because they aren't worth it, then it would knock our total walking to under a mile. Getting off the #1 or #2 trainat Christopher Street and starting at Big Gay Ice Cream.

                I understand we cannot go in the Flatiron Building, we plan to walk by on our way back to Penn Station. Here is our walking tour route of the Village:
                From the WA Square Park arch, go up 5th Avenue 4-5 blocks, passing the two pretty churches and other nice architecture. Then go east on 12th or 13th Street to University Place. Up University 1-2 blocks to 14th Street and you're at Union Square. Wander through the greenmarket and exit at the NW corner, at 17th Street & Broadway. Up Broadway another 6 blocks (to 23rd Street) and you're at Madison Square Park and the Flatiron Building. From there you can go back to Penn Station.

                I should mention that our flight leaves Chicago at 5:56 am that day, so we will have been up from 3:30 am. I think after all this eating and walking, we will be tired and ready to go relax that first night.

                We are staying in Hewlett and my friend is ready to show me why she thinks NYC pizza is better than Chicago pizza. I disagree already, but I am willing to try it ;)

                I understand some of these places are not near each other, we do not plan on walking or cabbing though. I understand how to use public transportation and we will be buying a weekly metro card to utilize the subway system. Sometimes a 25 minute commute from one side of town to the other is fine by us.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ComeAwayWithMe

                  > We are coming to town in the beginning of October from Chicago.

                  > We do not have any reservations for restaurants yet.

                  > They are building an Eataly here so that is why it is not on my list.

                  Might be worth going to the rooftop beer bar at Eataly, as I'm not sure the one in Chicago will have that feature.

                  For the Little Owl, while I like it, it's not really a destination place I'd recommend for out of towners. Also if you try to make a reservation on OpenTable 28 days in advance, you will find you can only get 5pm, 5:30pm, etc. slots. Not sure if the restaurant is holding any back.

                  > If I could take Donut Pub and A Salt & Battery off because they aren't worth it, then it would knock our total walking to under a mile. Getting off the #1 or #2 train at Christopher Street and starting at Big Gay Ice Cream.

                  I've tried Doughnut Vault as well as Do-Rite (but not Glazed & Infused yet) in Chicago and you doughnut scene is SO MUCH better than ours.

                  My comment about overscheduling was more about the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th days of your trip. The 1st day sounds OK.

                  Just keep in mind that ANY travel is stressful. Train and subway rides, making sure you get off at the right stop, unfamiliar surroundings, navigating, etc. I also find Penn Station one of the most stressful places given the horrible layout & low ceilings in some parts. As well as the glaring lights from chain restaurants.

                  I would suggest building in buffer times to sit and people watch in Madison Sq Park / Washington Sq Park / Union Sq Park or just hang out.