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Jan 6, 2014 01:43 PM

Tough-to-get-into-at-night restaurants that are easier during lunch time

I thought it might be interesting to compile a list of restaurants that are very difficult to get into at night (either hard-to-come-by reservations and/or long lines) that are open and relatively easy (or at least easier) to get into at lunch time. I'll get us started, but I'd appreciate others' input.

The NoMad
ABC Kitchen
ABC Cocina
Minetta Tavern
Mission Chinese (temporarily closed)
Peter Luger

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    1. Ooh, great topic.

      Weekday lunch at popular places downtown is usually quiet, especially compared to dinner.

      Pearl Oyster Bar (weekdays only)
      Spotted Pig (on weekdays, weekend brunch can be long)
      The Breslin
      Ippudo (EV location, weekday)
      Momofuku Noodle or Ssam Bar

      3 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        I didn't know Babbo was doing lunch. And, yeah, the only time we went to Ssam was lunch and walked right in.

        Good topic as we'll be there in Feb. for a couple of weeks and tend to eat lunches out more than dinners.

        1. re: c oliver

          Babbo lunch is only Tuesday through Saturday 11:30AM – 1:30PM, btw.

          1. re: kathryn

            Thanks, kathryn. Good to know. The only time we ate there was four or five years ago.

      2. Mission Cantina
        Momofuku Ssam Bar
        Mighty Quinn's BBQ
        Moti Mahal Delux

        2 Replies
        1. re: Lacrosse_Gastronomic

          Moti Mahal Delux.


          In fact, that sentiment sort of applies to the entire list.

          1. re: Lacrosse_Gastronomic

            Red Farm downtown is only open for lunch on weekends though Red Farm UWS is open for lunch daily. Otherwise, good list.

          2. EMP. I was looking at reservations and nothing was available for the 28 day window for dinner but there were many lunch reservations available.

            1. IME you can also get into just about any restaurant before/at 6pm. If there is any hesitancy, I say 'I can be out by 7:30 or 8 if you can serve me.' (Haven't tried it at Per Se, long tasting menus may be the exception.)

              1 Reply
              1. re: mwhitmore

                There's not that many places that are hard to get in for lunch. Maybe on short notice during prime time for a place with a small dining room, say at Jean Georges, but even then, it's more easy than not.

                I'd say it's harder to find a place that is exceptionally hard to get into for lunch.