Somebody Help This Poor Girl: NYC

SideDishers, I need your help. I’m heading up to the Big Apple this weekend to visit a friend and I don’t know where to eat. There are so many options — help me narrow it down! It’s been about a year since my last visit, so I’m sure there are plenty of new and trendy places to try out.  I’ll be staying near Columbia, but I’m willing to go anywhere on the isle of Manhattan for a good meal.

P.S. When I said “poor girl,” I meant it. Let’s try to keep the prices reasonable. I’d rather not have a heart attack upon receiving the bill.

30 comments on “Somebody Help This Poor Girl: NYC

  1. My favorite place to go in New York is Chumley’s. It used to be a speak easy and just has so much charm and history. I love it. I never remember the food or what I order. It’s not about the food.

  2. Gennaro, on Amsterdam between 92nd and 93rd, is good Italian at reasonable prices. Two meals and a glass of wine for about $40, and they didn’t object that we were soaked after a downpour walking from the subway. Puttanesca, at 56th St/9th Avenue, is also good. And Eatery, on 53rd, which is a little loud but good. There aots of hole-in-the-wall and better inexpensive places that serve good food going south on Ninth from 58th. Hard to go wrong.

  3. I have dreams about Amy Ruth’s chicken and waffles in Harlem. Other places that don’t break the bank SMAC (macaroni and cheese +) or Shake Shack in Madison Square Park (if its a nice day be prepared to wait). My budget minded daughter ate at The Smith last week and found it hip and reasonable. Restaurant week was a couple of weeks ago but many nice restaurants still have a $35 3 course fixed price menu through the summer.

  4. Highly highly highly recommend Paradou in the Meat Packing District. Very reasonable, yet the service and food is immpeccable. Have taken native New Yorkers and tourists alike – always leave raving!

  5. we had such a great meal at Tabla…contemporary indian with fantastic danny myer service.

    and i’ve never had a bad meal at grammercy tavern.

  6. Daisy Mae’s BBQ – everything is big enough to share. Take it to-go and have a picnic in Central Park. Chef graduated from CIA and perfected his market via food carts before opening the restaurant.

    11th @ W. 46th.

  7. Jean Georges in Columbus Circle (one of the top-ranked restaurants in the world) has a relatively “reasonable” (I think like $25 for two courses, which is good seeing as dinner runs about $150) lunch, and the food is fantastic.

  8. I almost forgot – Schiller’s Liquor Bar (it’s really a restaurant) down on Rivington (kinda north of Little Italy). By the owners of Balthazar, a great neighborhood spot. Wines by the glass start at $6, food is fabulous.

  9. Just got back visiting my friends this weekend. My favorite place when I lived there and first place I go when I go back is Lil’ Frankies at 1st and 1st. A GREAT hipster-ish Italian/pizza place. Cash only, a top 5 Italian wine list in the city, cool people, and wonderful food.

    Plus, there are a ton of great bars within walking distance, which helps since the wait is usually 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on when you get there.

    Here’s their website:

  10. Moved from NYC recently. Forget restaurant week, it’s a huge rip-off. Forget Pizza. It’s awesome, but there’s acceptable pizza here in Dallas. Go for things you could never find here.

    I have only one word for you: Momofuku. Try Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village. Order pork buns, or whatever else you like, it’s all great and not expensive. Save room for Momofuku Milk Bar, which is a few blocks north. Best desserts around.

    Then, for a truly New York experience, walk West on 8th street, which is also called St. Marks place. Great window shopping.

  11. Maialino. Gramercy Park Hotel.

    Hands down the best Italian I’ve had in the U.S. Danny Meyer does it again.

  12. For late night drinks PDT (stands for Please Dont Tell) is this great speakeasy. Walk thru a hot dog shop then thru a phone booth. Awesome drink list and pretty good food from the hot dog shop that you can get at the bar for late night munchies!

  13. The “Nova” pizza at Riggeleto’s on Columbus Ave at 69th will change your life, pizza by the slice and 2 slices is all you can handle, and the Upper Westside Magnolia Bakery next door.

    Whole Foods in the basement of Columbus Circle has a prepared food department that can beat most restaurants, and has a dining area, fabulous food selection and great prices

    the huge fluffy, sweet and fresh bagels from the street vendors with a cup of coffee sitting on a park bench in central park by sheeps meadow people watching for breakfast

    The boat house in central park has a “fast gourmet food” side on the east side of the building. Good burger, great ff, great lemonade, great soft serve ice cream, fabulous atmosphere, great prices

    Shake Shack behind Muesum of Natural History great burger house. Extremely long waits at lunch and dinner hours

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  15. I can also vouch for Schillers and PDT for fun, but highly recommend Freeman’s for great food and experience. However, the best experience in my opinion in NYC is to go to Babbo around 9:30 or 10:00 and wait for seats at the bar. Stick with the pastas as opposed to entrees and you’ll get out of there for a good price, and they are incredible. Plus, about that time the bartenders start drinking, they crank up the music, and they get liberal with the drinks. Engage them and you’re set, and if you’re lucky Mario will be there an drink with you.

  16. Don’t bother going to Chumley’s. (the first post above) It closed two years ago when the chimney collaped into the dining room. It has yet to be reopened. Hopefully someday soon.

  17. Have a potato knish from a deli and a Sabrett hot dog with mustard and onion sauce from an umbrella cart.
    Then walk in to any corner candy store and have an egg cream for a good greps. You’ll feel great and have change from a $10.00 bill. Still got few bucks? Go to Katz’s and have the pastrami sandwich dreams are made of.
    A little tip, drop a buck in the tip jar as you place your order.

  18. Shake Shack, Shake Shack, Shake Shack! I can’t say it enough. But the previous posters are correct: be prepared for a loooong line that never seems to go away at the park location, but I’ve found the one behind the museum is a bit more flexible. But it isn’t outside on a beautiful day. They’ve also added a couple of other locations I haven’t visited yet.

    The other good thing about the Upper West Side location is you can then walk a couple of blocks to Levain Bakery for some incredible cookies.

  19. Be wary of the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. Went there last year and there were rats running all over the grass and the trees. I guess that’s a NYC experience for ya!

  20. I also second the Babbo recommendation, especially for the linguine with clams, pancetta, and hot chiles. So good we ordered a second helping to take home.
    And I do love me some Shake Shack!

  21. Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien – ifyou walk in the front door and look down the corridor to the right (where the phone are) there will be a neon sign that says burgers – go there. Tiny space, hidden gem, great burger for cheap.

    Lombardi’s Pizza is a fun experience.The rice to Riches for dessert.

    Uncle Nick’s Greek Cuisine. Yum.

    Pastis is always fun and great people watching.

    Katz’s is fun in the afternoon. Lot of food for a good price.

    If you like seafood & sushi, Lure across the street from the Mercer Hotel in Soho is fun and also great people watching.