HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Not so happening places near Hilton Midtown

Going to be in the city next weekend for a night. My schedule is pretty tight already, and to be honest I am not planning on making this a culinary trip. I am looking for a fairly laid back place near the mid-town Hilton/MOMA on a Saturday night. I want something maybe a step or so above a diner, but not asian. Doesn't have ot be the best food in the world, certainly not the fanciest or most innovative, just something reliable and where I dont have to getdressed up or refinence my house for.

My backup is La Bonne Soupe.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
      1. re: Lacrosse_Gastronomic

        How are these two suggestions:
        "not so happening"
        "fairly laid back...on a Saturday night."
        "a step or so above a diner" ?

        OP: How about Angelo's Pizza?

        1. re: thegforceny

          Do you really think Benoit and the Modern Bar Room are "happening"? Angelo's Pizza is just barely step above mediocre. Pizzarte and Don Antonio would be better choices for pizza near the Hilton.

        1. re: Elisa515

          I think most people would put Molyvos in the "have to refinance my house" category. Maybe not EMP or Per Se expensive, but there are a lot of steps btw a dinner and Molyvos.

          1. re: JC2

            Really? That expensive?

            Entrees are in the $20-$30 range, appetizers under and around $10.

            OP didn't say diner prices, but asked for a step up from a diner. Seems like the prices are pretty normal restaurant ones for the area.

            When I eat around that neighborhood, I tend to go to La Bonne Soupe or to the sit-down waiter-service Cafe Europa. Although I imagine some people would say that's diner-ish.

            Speaking of diners, the Brooklyn Diner, in that neighborhood, would probably cost more than Molyvos.

            1. re: Elisa515

              sorry - i was thinking of Estiatoria Milos. You are right that Molyvos is not that expensive. and is very good.

              1. re: JC2

                Thanks--glad we cleared that up! :)

                1. re: Elisa515

                  I just took a peak at their menu. If that is a step up from a Diner, I think I am going to have to start looking at diners and fast food.

                  1. re: cloudship

                    That's not a neighborhood with a lot of diners.

                    If you don't want to go to La Bonne Soupe, check out Cafe Europa at the northwest corner of 7th and 57th (diagonally across from Carnegie Hall). There are other places in the same chain that are just take out counter service, but this one also has a sit down area where you can get wine with your meal, too. Reasonably priced good food, and great people watching if you can sit by a window.

                    1. re: cloudship

                      There's a Le pan quotidian nearby as well, def a step up from a diner but you can have a good meal for about $20 all said and done. 7th ave at 58th st

          2. It would be a bit of a walk (15-20min)but ziggy's new find is another option

            1. Agreed pizza is moving upscale (not so sure I am a fan of that), but I think /i had in mind maybe something more of a real dinner. I would normally say family style, but in New York I kinda worry what I would get with something labeled as such.

              maybe I should change the focus and say a nice wide menu with not too expensive prices?

                  1. re: Spiritchaser

                    I think the Asian thing the OP identified might be an issue with Ippudo. Although personally, I'd be very happy with Ippudo, even though I do think Ippudo is sort of happening. But then, what do I know ...

                    >>> I want something maybe a step or so above a diner, but not asian. <<<

                      1. re: Spiritchaser

                        Not really, just means more seats for us.

                      1. Try Maison Kayser at Columbus Circle.

                          1. re: Elisa515

                            Well, my plans were a bit upended due to some transportation issues. I ended up grabbing a late lunch piece of quiche at Pain Quotodien, which to be honest I thought was way overpriced and not terribly good. I did have a chance to grab an incredibly good blueberry bread pudding from a stand in the food hall beneath the Plaza hotel.

                            After getting back late I found I was still in a bit hungry and wasn't in an Italian type of mood so I did end up at Bonne Soupe - the onion soup was incredible! Unfortunately the quiche (I was in a quiche mood I guess) was horrific, so I passed on desert. Next time i am down there I am going to make sure I plan for a little more time, I forget how much longer eating and getting around in New York is compared to back home.

                            1. re: cloudship

                              Oh boy, how disappointing!

                              A lot of people underestimate how much time and effort it can take to get around town, especially midtown.

                              I haven't made it to the Plaza food hall yet, will have to check it out.

                              1. re: Elisa515

                                Like I said, the onion soup was fantastic - one of the bet I have had. But that is me - I always manage to pick the wrong restaurant and the wrong thing to order.

                                The food hall wasn't bad. I mean, it is not as great as I think they make it out to be, and no I did not feel like I was in Europe. But things looked pretty good, prices were up there but not exorbitant. Definitely tourist country, though, if that bothers you. I just take them as part of the scene.

                                I did discover Kinokuniya though. Even discovered the ground floor Japanese section - which was great until I realized they don't put pictures on the book spines so I had no idea if a book was a cookbook or a novel!