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Foodie Trip Itinierary

My husband and I are planning a 5 night trip to NYC at the end of October for my 30th birthday this year. We have some meals planned and a list of restaurants we want to go to and we're now trying to figure out the most effective way to do this without criss crossing back and forth a lot. We're staying in SoHo for 2 nights and the East Village for 3 nights. This is what we have so far:

Thursday - arrive in the AM, brunch at Balthazar, AIA boat tour
Friday - Kappo at Ma Peche for dinner
Saturday - hanging out with family in Brooklyn and dinner at Pok Pok
Sunday - Dinner at Lure Fishbar
Monday - thinking Locanda Verde for dinner
Tuesday - fly out at 4:30

Aside from the places we have planned these are the places we want to go to:

Shake Shack
Red Farm - probably dim sum brunch
Kin Shop

We also wanted to see the Met, MoMA and the High Line and just wander around and explore. This will be our first time visiting together, my last trip was in 2008 and his was 2006.

Any help with working out a loose itinerary and/or additions and subtractions from places to eat would be great appreciated. Thank you!

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  1. Glad to see you're going to Kappō at Ma Peche; it's wonderful and Chef Paul is the best!

    1 Reply
    1. re: ellenost

      Great to hear - I'm really looking forward to it!

    2. Where to Eat Near MoMA:

      The MoMA's cafes are actually pretty good, as is the Modern next door. The formal dining room is great as well as the more casual bar room, which has a separate, small plates menu.

      Just be aware that MoMA's UNIQLO Free Friday Nights, held every Friday evening from 4pm to 8pm, get really, really crowded.

      Where to Eat Near Museum Mile (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney, Guggenheim, etc) on the UWS:

      My West Village food crawl takes you from Washington Sq Park and ends at the High Line/Chelsea Market:

      The High Line has some excellent food vendors until Sunday, October 27 (is that the weekend of your trip?). Blue Bottle Coffee, Brooklyn Soda Works, Delaney Barbecue’s SmokeLine, La Newyorkina, L’Arte del Gelato, Melt Bakery, People’s Pops, Sigmund’s Pretzels, and The Taco Truck, as well as Terroir at The Porch. More info:

      I'm a big fan of SmokeLine, La Newyorkina, L’Arte del Gelato, Sigmund’s Pretzels, especially.

      You'll also be here just in time for Madison Sq Eats, which ends Oct 25. It's right outside Eataly and Shake Shack/Madison Square Park.

      I think you'll have a great time at your choices but I'm not a huge fan of Lure Fishbar's cheesy cruise ship look. What kind of seafood are you looking for? Maybe you'd prefer to Upstate in the East Village or Grey Lady on the LES?

      I'm also having a hard time figuring out what attractions you plan to see on what days.

      5 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        Thanks for all this info!

        Yes, the 27th is the weekend we're there so maybe we'll try to hit Madison Sq Eats on Friday. Your recs for the Highline eats sound right up our alley so I don't want to miss those. Maybe we could do your walking tour and end at the highline on Sunday.

        I'm not sure what to do on what days so thats why it's a little all over the place. I'm thinking it would be better to go to museums on weekdays. So maybe MoMA and Shake Shack lunch on Friday and the Met on Monday.

        1. re: kathryn

          Kathryn, I too will be in NYC soon and would love to check out the Madison Sq Eats but don't see on the website when they are opened, thanks for any info.

          1. re: kmcdonne

            Mad. Sq. Eats is located between 24th and 25th Streets at the intersection of 5th Ave and Broadway. The market will be open daily from 11am-9pm from September 27th until October 25th. - See more at: http://www.madisonsquarepark.org/news...

            1. re: kathryn

              Thanks Kathryn, I didn't see the times or dates on the website, must have missed it. Thanks again, can't wait to take a look.

              1. re: kmcdonne

                There's also an ongoing thread about MSE a few pages down

          1. re: thegforceny

            I agree. If it's not too far uptown, try Oceana. Other possibilities for seafood are Millesime and Aquagrill.

            LV is loud and the service is perfunctory. If that is OK with you, the food is pretty good. I would prefer Maialino or SD26 for Italian, or Spina in the East Village (less fancy but very good).

            Kin Shop is a great choice.

            1. re: thegforceny

              Yes-swap out Lure!! not bad, not great.Much better choices to choose from.

            2. My husband requested a great seafood place but it sounds like we should swap out Lure. We really loved Providence in LA and enjoyed RM Seafood in Vegas. We don't want something quite as pricey but we would love to have oysters and crudo style dishes. Would love to do Le Bernadin...

              Aquagrill looks great. What about Bar Boulud or Boulud Sud?

              11 Replies
              1. re: SFBurns

                Bar Boulud & Boulud Sud for seafood? Or in general? Were you planning on being near Lincoln Center already?

                Also look at Prima in the East Village for raw bar items. You might also be able to squeeze in happy hour at Upstate while you're here.

                1. re: kathryn

                  Not planning to be around Lincoln Cwnter, just wondering is Bar Boulud & Boulud Sud are recommended in general and/or for seafood.

                  Right, I didn't even think of happy hours - great idea! I also saved your cocktail lounges list.

                  1. re: SFBurns

                    Here's a long thread of oyster happy hours:

                    I do like those Boulud restaurants but DBGB is going to be closer to where you're staying. And if you're concerned about criss-crossing the city too much, it might not be worth going out of your way, unless you're planning on pairing them w/ a trip to Levain and walking down.

                    1. re: kathryn

                      How about Marea for lunch/brunch? You can get many of the same amazing fish and pasta dishes as on the dinner, but for a great deal during the day.

                      I'd also second Upstate for oysters and drinks.

                      1. re: zeeEats

                        We've fallen for the Marea crudo selection on their dinner menu. Would you recommend Marea over Locanda Verde? Deciding if we want to do so many big/formal/$$$ meals.

                        1. re: SFBurns

                          If you're looking at Monday dinner, I'd go with Locanda Verde. The food is rustic and amazing, and the place is much more comfortable and calmer during the week than on weekends. One caveat being that you should still expect to spend at least $100-120 on food alone for two; that's about $200 total depending on how much you drink.

                          I guess dinner at Marea would be closer to $350 altogether. That's why I think brunch/lunch is a phenomenal deal.

                          1. re: SFBurns

                            Perhaps swap out Redfarm brunch for Marea on Sunday? That way you can hit both LV and Marea.

                            1. re: zeeEats

                              We decided to go for Marea for dinner - the crudo menu for dinner is huge so we're excited for that. We'll just decide as we go if we still want to do LV, or maybe do LV for brunch. What do you think of LV for brunch?

                              1. re: SFBurns

                                LV has one of the better brunches in town, but it's also very popular. So if you can't secure a reservation during primetime (12-2pm), plan to get there around 11am. Of course you could also sit at the bar.

                                I love the sheeps milk ricotta, uovo modenese with cotechino hash and scampi & grits.

                                1. re: SFBurns

                                  Really like LV for brunch. Stick to the pastries of the day, sheep's milk ricotta, eggs "modenese" or "al forno," porchetta, etc. I don't think they are as strong in waffles/french toast/pancakes.

                    2. re: SFBurns

                      Aquagrill is superb, highly recommend for their oysters and seafood dishes. Plus, it's close to Kee's Chocolates.

                    3. for what it's worth, Red Farm just opened on the Upper West Side, not far from Levain. Shake Shack is up that way, too. If you're going to be near High Line, check out Chelsea Market. ?uestlove has a fried chicken shop there now. plenty of good food options.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: coasts

                        How do you pronounce ?uestlove? I had the chicken a few months ago (about 3 days after they realized no one is paying $4 per drumstick and cut the price in half) and it was surprisingly not bad considering the reports I've read.
                        I'm liking Chelsea Market lately. Tacos is next
                        We need a new list from Kathryn

                        1. re: Ziggy41

                          ?uestlove = "quest love"

                          "Surprisingly not bad" is not the same as good, hmm?

                          1. re: kathryn

                            Ok, I'm upgrading to Good! Big and juicy, just like I like em.
                            Meaning the chicken

                            1. re: Ziggy41

                              Oh, so it's only $2 a drumstick now? Geez, $4 just seemed like an insult.

                              1. re: Ziggy41

                                "Meaning the chicken"
                                -Smiling out loud {;-/)

                                1. re: porker

                                  Sorry about that ladies ;)

                                  Yes. They went from $4 to $2 in one shot. Assuming its still $2
                                  Talking about an experiment

                                  1. re: Ziggy41

                                    I noticed that the price on the drumsticks was lowered too, $2 seems much more reasonable.

                                    However, they still can't manage to attract a crowd whatsoever. At least not with Los Tacos no 1 right across!

                                    1. re: Ziggy41

                                      Just to come full circle here, ?uestlove plays drums as part of The Philadelphia Experiment, along with Uri Caine and Christian McBride. It's a great album that brings three elements of Philly music together - hip hop, classical and jazz.

                          2. Note that for thursday balthazar serves breakfast until 11:30am and lunch starting at noon, there is no weekday brunch menu.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Ttrockwood

                              Thanks, that should be fine. Getting in on the red eye so we'll be there pretty early.

                            2. Thanks for all your feedback. This is the revised plan based suggestions:

                              Thursday - Arrive early AM, drop off bags at hotel, breakfast at Balthazar, loosely follow Kathryn's walking tour through the Highline to Chelsea Piers to board our waterfront tour, walk back through the Highline for afternoon snacks, refresh at hotel and then meeting a friend for dinner at Eataly

                              Friday - Grab a bagel for breakfast, MoMA + snack around that area, lunch at Carnegie Deli, and Kappo Dinner at Ma Peche

                              Saturday - Brooklyn brunch, flea, and Pok Pok for dinner

                              Sunday - Locanda Verde brunch, Central Park and the Met, Shake Shack for lunch, dinner TBD

                              Monday - open, dinner at Marea

                              Tuesday - possibly Red Farm for breakfast/brunch, free time, fly back to SF in the afternoon

                              We have a list of bars and happy hours to mix in, based on the recommendations of friends.

                              A couple more questions
                              Will we save significant time to make taking a cab or shuttle rather than transit worth it?
                              If we're doing Pok Pok should we still try to do Kin Shop for lunch?
                              On Saturday we have to check out of our hotel in SoHo and check in the East Village. Is it a ridiculous waste of time to go back and forth to Brooklyn and should we just do Pok Pok another night?

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: SFBurns

                                > Thursday - Arrive early AM, drop off bags at hotel, breakfast at Balthazar, loosely follow Kathryn's walking tour through the Highline to Chelsea Piers to board our waterfront tour, walk back through the Highline for afternoon snacks, refresh at hotel and then meeting a friend for dinner at Eataly

                                Eataly for dinner can get really slammed. The layout means there's often nowhere good to wait. Just be aware that there will be people just trying to do some grocery shopping around you.

                                > Friday - Grab a bagel for breakfast, MoMA + snack around that area, lunch at Carnegie Deli, and Kappo Dinner at Ma Peche

                                Not a huge fan of Carnegie Deli. I'd rather do Bar Room at the Modern and keep it light knowing that you're doing a tasting menu dinner later. Deli food can get pretty heavy.

                                > Saturday - Brooklyn brunch, flea, and Pok Pok for dinner

                                I assume that you're aware that the Brooklyn Flea is in Ft Greene on Saturdays & not really close to Pok Pok. Unless you meant Smorgasburg in Williamsburg?

                                Saturday night is also probably the worst time to go to Pok Pok in terms of wait time. I haven't been to the Brooklyn one, just the Portland one, and what I ate was quite good but not necessarily "wait 2 hours" good.

                                > Tuesday - possibly Red Farm for breakfast/brunch, free time, fly back to SF in the afternoon

                                Which Red Farm? The West Village one only does weekend brunch. The UWS one is only serving lunch from 11am-5pm right now. Given that you're staying in the East Village, does this give you enough time to make your flight?

                                > Will we save significant time to make taking a cab or shuttle rather than transit worth it?

                                Not sure what you mean by shuttle...

                                For a cab, really depends on the route, time of day, day of the week, if there's a parade or special event or ball game, what have you. Late at night, a lot of the time, yes, it can save time. But if it's raining or around shift change (4pm) you may not be able to find a free taxi. Or around prime commuting hours or weekend evenings. And if you do find one on a Fri/Sat night, you still might get stuck in traffic. However, there is often subway construction/work on weekends and if you're not familiar with the system, it can screw up your plans. Always check mta.info before you head out.

                                1. re: SFBurns

                                  Coming from the airport a car into the city will be much faster than the train/subway (which took me nearly 1 1/2hr coming off a red eye last month). Its not really part of this board but there are several car companies and cheaper shuttle buses- ask your hotel to make arrangements.
                                  On sat going to and from brooklyn twice in one day sounds like a lot of subway time for one day, and as kathryn mentioned there could also be a crazy wait time.

                                  Would you consider an earlier dinner sat pm at red farm (to avoid a long wait there as well) and then do sunday dinner at pok pok?

                                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                                    Oh from the airport? Take something like SuperShuttle only if you love sitting in traffic for hours. They have huge vans with like 12 people in each and you end up waiting at the airport until the van is full and then driving all around Manhattan dropping people off individually. Could take up to 2-3 hours if you are unlucky enough to be last.

                                  2. re: SFBurns

                                    Okay great, this is all great info. I revised a little:

                                    > Thursday - reservation for dinner so should be ok

                                    > Friday - I agree, not a fan of Carnegie, not my pick though. We'll move it to another day and do shake shack for lunch

                                    > Saturday - don't want to waste time going back and forth to Brooklyn. We'll either move Pok Pok to Sunday night and do Red Farm dinner on Saturday.

                                    > Are Pok and Pok and Kin Shop redundant? If Kin Shop is similar, I think we might prefer that than going to Brooklyn another night.

                                    > Carnegie for lunch or dinner on Sunday or Monday

                                    Thanks for answering the transit questions too.

                                    1. re: SFBurns

                                      I don't see Pok Pok & Kin Shop as being that similar if you are a Thai aficionado. Especially if you do curries & noodles at Kin Shop.

                                  3. Thank you for all the advice! Just wanted to let you guys know all the delicious things we ate.

                                    Thursday - Balthazar for breakfast, checked in at the Four Points SoHo and walked from there to Chelsea Piers for our tour which was really great. It was a beautiful fall day for this. We walked back through the High Line and had a snack at the Chelsea Market. Took a nap and met a friend at La Birreria. Our small plates and sides were excellent, sausage was ok, but the waitress did let us know this up front.

                                    Friday - My husband couldn't sleep so he stood in line for cronuts! We noticed the night before that the bakery was near our hotel. It was caramel apple flavor and amazing. He was in line for over 2 hours. We went to MoMA, grabbed a slice for lunch, walked around Time Square and Broadway a bit, met a friend for drinks at Connely's and then did the Kappo at Ma Peche. This was a real highlight of our trip and one of our top 5 meals ever. The whole experience was great.

                                    Saturday - We switched to an apartment in the East Village, great location at E. 11th and 1st Ave. Met up with family in Brooklyn and hung out there. We decided to cancel our reservation at Marea because Kappo had some great seafood and we didn't want to do another seafood meal. A friend of a friend was able to get us a table at Lupa that night and it was amazing. Another top 5 meal for us. I loved Babbo last time I was in NYC and Lupa was right up there with it. Since our friend knew the chef we got lots of extras sent out which really made the meal special.

                                    Sunday - Locanda Verde for brunch - this was the only underwhelming meal for us. We had the sheepsmilk ricotta, which was good but I didn't think it was as amazing as people told me it would be. Maybe it was just overhyped. They also wouldn't serve us alcohol (bloody mary) even though it was on the brunch menu, said they can't serve booze before noon. Husband watched the 49er game at Finnerty's and I shopped. The Milk Bar was right around the corner so I got some crack pie and coffee from there. We decided to do Pok Pok for dinner, got there around 5:15 and got seated immediately when they opened. It was a fantastic meal, I loved Pok Pok!

                                    Monday - We got bagels at nearby Tomkins Square Bagels - which were delicious! - and walked through Central Park. Got lunch at Shake Shack and a cookie at Levain. Both were fantastic. We stayed in the neighborhood for dinner at Motorino and dessert at Big Gay Ice Cream. A perfect food day for us!

                                    Tuesday - We had coffee and pastries at nearby Fresco Gelateria. Wish it was later in the day because their gelato looked amazing. Went back to Eataly to pick up some gifts, just walked through the city browsing and ended with lunch at the Momofuku Noodle Bar before going to the airport.

                                    Thanks to all your help with the planning. I feel like we did everything and enjoyed many many wonderful meals. The only things I wish I had been able to squeeze in was a shake at Shake Shack and Red Farm or Kin Shop.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: SFBurns

                                      Thanks for reporting back!

                                      BTW selling alcohol before noon on Sunday is prohibited here.

                                      1. re: kathryn

                                        But I've never known anywhere to actually enforce it. ;)

                                        1. re: loratliff

                                          I've had it enforced most of the time--some places even take your drink order at 11:30am but don't serve you until noon.

                                      2. re: SFBurns

                                        Glad to hear that you enjoyed the Kappō at Ma Peche. I'm going in 2 weeks.