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Oct 17, 2013 06:16 PM

NYC in November

Hope this is not a duplicate post. Five of us Ladies are coming to Manhattan to celebrate turning 60 and 70. I would like suggestions on areas we will be in each night. Not looking for a hundred dollar meal, just good local cuisine. Friday night Rockefeller Center..Saturday night Radio City Music Hall, Sunday Broadway Play, and Monday night Times Square, lunch near Central Park on Saturday and lunch near Radio City Friday. We love Italian, steaks, Breakfast at Clinton Bakery sounds like a must do. Thanks so much love chowhound

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  1. When in November are you coming?

    What's your budget BEFORE tax, tip, wine/drinks? $25pp? $50pp? $75pp?

    Your group of five is fairly large for Manhattan and I definitely recommend getting reservations beforehand, especially if you're dining before a show. I assume you know that Manhattan restaurants tend to be small and/or cramped and/or crowded a lot of the time.

    Rockefeller Center and Radio City are right next to each other. Also Times Square and the theatre district are very close.

    However, Central Park is huge & you'll end to specify what part you're going to be near -- UWS, UES, the north part of Midtown, etc.

    Are you willing to consider cuisines other than steaks and Italian? Chinese, Japanese, etc?

    9 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      We are coming November 8th only there 4 days. We are staying in midtown east close to Grand Central Station. $100 a day for eating, probably do breakfast at hotel, except one day trying to go to Clinton Bakery. Don't see anything on chowhound about the Central Park boathouse for lunch, good food or just a tourist trap? We live on the coast of North Carolina, love good seafood if you have any recommendations would appreciate them.

      1. re: Taylordayne

        $100 total per day doesn't go that far after you account for tax (8.875%) and tip (20%). That is only $77 or so for three meals. And a hotel breakfast will put a pretty big dent in that, too. Seafood here also tends to be expensive.

        Some previous Midtown East discussions:

        Best bagel nearby:

        I would recommend trying to do coffee/pastries, bagels and smoked salmon, or a diner for breakfast rather than spending money every morning at the hotel. Maybe the Eggstravaganza food cart?

        Best seafood near Grand Central:

        1. re: kathryn

          And $77/day really doesn't go far if you have a cocktail or wine . . .

          Maybe a splurge, upscale lunch or dinner and less expensive pre-fixe dinners at places like Marseille :)

          Financier is in Grand Central and you can have pastries for less than a hotel breakfast. You can eat downstairs right in GCT or walk over (if you're walkers) to nearby Bryant Park/NYC Public Library if the weather isn't too cold or snowy.

          IMHO, Clinton Street is overrated.

          You will have more options if you are willing to venture to less touristy areas to eat.

          I'd suggest you venture downtown and have a Coming Up Roses cocktail at Rayuela to celebrate!

          PS kathryn, awesome posts!

          1. re: financialdistrictresident

            I would hope it's not snowing by Nov 8th!

            I like Clinton St a lot but a party of 5 is going to have a looooooong wait on a weekend. There's nowhere really to wait inside either.

            1. re: kathryn

              kathryn, that makes two of us :)

              I've been to Clinton twice. Once with friends from the South. Also, to Second Avenue Deli w/them. A better choice since they don't have NYC deli (why your "where are you coming from?" question is such a good one).

        2. re: Taylordayne

          That's a pretty tight allotment for meals in NY - especially if you want to consider good seafood.
          Look into Le Pain Quotidien for things like lunches or light dinners. (several locales)
          You might also squeak out Fig & Olive (in several locales) if you don't need to drink alcohol.

          1. re: Taylordayne

            Hotel breakfasts are not the way to go, especially on your budget (unless, for you, breakfast = coffee). Hotel breakfasts are usually mostly for convenience.

            1. re: Taylordayne

              Oceana (Michelin 2014 One Star) has a $49 prix fixe dinner (per another thread on CH).



              To reserve:


              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                Lunch at Marea (Michelin 2014 Two Stars/only 5 NYC restaurants received this distinction) $45:


                I have not been yet. Defer to other hounds.

          2. Here's what I have posted before for other tourists. It may help you.

            Where are you coming from?

            When are you coming? How long are you here? How many meals do you have available?

            We don't want to recommend food that you might do better at home, but we also may have some cuisines you can't find at home...

            I'd say we are pretty strong in a lot of different cuisines but not equally. Budget will makes big difference in where you can go.

            Are you willing to wait for a table at a no reservations restaurant? If so, for how long?

            How hard are you willing to work for a reservation at a restaurant that's hard to book?

            What is your budget, per person, per meal, BEFORE tax, tip, wine/drinks/etc for your meals? It is much easier for us to help you if you give a pre-tax-and-tip figure.

            Feel free to break out your budget in terms of upscale/fancy meals (and number of them) and cheaper/everyday meals.

            What else are you doing while you are here? Planning around sightseeing, shopping, Broadway shows, etc? Also if you are sightseeing, to make the best use of your time, you should try to find things to eat to/from the tourist destinations or near the tourist destinations. Our tourist destinations are spread out all around town.

            Note that popular places tend to book about a MONTH in advance. Most upscale restaurants serve weekday lunch (but not weekend lunch), and serve dinner Monday through Saturday, and are usually closed Sundays, though there are a few exceptions to the "closed Sundays" rule (ex: Per Se, Eleven Madison Park, Jean Georges).

            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:

            Best NY style pizza:

            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):

            You might also want to do a restaurant doing creative takes on Asian, like at Momofuku Ssam Bar, Wong, Fatty Cue, Takashi, RedFarm, Mission Chinese, Jungsik, Kin Shop, or Danji.

            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).


            Some common tourist inquiries:

            Where to Eat Near Times Square:

            Where to Eat Near MoMA (the museum cafe is actually pretty good, as is the Modern next door):

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



            Where to Eat Near the Museum of Natural History on the UES:

            Where to Eat Near Macy's/Herald Square/Penn Station/Empire State Building:

            Where to Eat Near Grand Central/Midtown East:

            Where to Eat in Soho:

            Where to Eat near 5th Avenue shopping / Bloomingdale's / Rockefeller Center:

            Pre-theatre Dining (many of the same Times Square recs also apply):

            Where to Eat Near the 9/11 Memorial:

            Notable food trucks/carts:

            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.

            If you like the idea of RGR's self-guided LES tour above, check these out, too.

            Maybe scoopG's self guided Chinatown tour:

            A West Village food crawl

            East Village:

            2 Replies
            1. re: kathryn

              I think the mods should consider this post for a sticky!

              1. re: porker

                Agree. Perfect for the Manhattan board.

            2. Broadway/Times Square:
              Don Antonio

              Rockefeller Center/Radio City Music Hall:
              La Bonne Soupe
              Wolfgang's (steak) - check the lunch specials
              Ma Peche (bar menu)

              Lunch near Central Park:
              Untitled at the Whitney Museum
              Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie

              7 Replies
              1. re: darren425

                We just went to La Bonne Soupe for lunch recently (thanks to CH). Very good. 3 course Prix Fixe. Not a "destination" place.

                1. re: darren425

                  Kefi has been closed for some time.

                    1. re: darren425

                      Wish they would reopen. It was a terrific neighborhood place.

                    2. re: LNG212

                      Sign still says it's due to water main/Con Ed, but that can't still be the issue.

                      1. re: plf515


                        Sounds like the broken water main was indeed largely the issue, though they're also using the downtime for some sprucing up.

                    3. re: darren425

                      Thanks we need all the help we can get!

                    4. Thanks for the great post. Kathryn you re such a wonderful foodie. Looking forward to the cocktails.

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