Restaurant recommendations in New York

Discussion in 'Australia' started by aussietravellers, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. aussietravellers

    aussietravellers who LOVE disney holidays!

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    We are staying in Times Square so am looking for places that we must not miss in the restaurant department and they must child friendly restaurants.

    I have on the list so far......
    Ellens Stardust Diner
    and
    Boatwrights (I think it's called that) for breakfast in Central Park and that's about it.

    Wow, long list for 7 nights! :lmao: So I am needing some recommendations for meals. Not that I have to have all meals planned, it will be nice to just stumble across somewhere and go in, but I would like to have some ideas on where to go if we are a little lost for meal ideas and really don't want to miss anything great because we haven't done any homework on restaurants.

    Would love some recommendations for good breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the family.
     
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  3. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    Planet Hollywood was great, we went there for one lunch and one breakfast. All of the memorabilia (most esp the Grease stuff) was awesome and the food was quite nice and it's right in the heart of Times Square so suited us really well.

    Other place was ESPN Zone. We went there for lunch one day and the kids and DH loved it because the place is covered with TV screens playing all different American sports. It was a unique kind of place and the food was quite nice.

    Bubba Gumps in Times Square was yum. I had one of my fave meals here. It was the Mahi Mahi fish served over mash with this amazing sauce. If you go you should give it a try, it was TDF.

    Just a warning, you will probably have a wait at all of these places. My advice for Ellen's is get there half hour before the rush. We got there at 5.30 and it was already packed but still had one or two tables. Within 15-20 minutes the place was chock a block with a line up the street.

    Same went for Bubba Gumps.

    For breakfasts we often called into Majestic Cafe? I think it was called. About one tiny block off the main part of Times Square. Lots of breakfast variety and the prices were pretty good. We had breakfast here twice.

    I know of a website that would help if you wanted to find some slightly different places and read some reviews. It's called www.yelp.com. I used this place to find some out of the way restaurants that served great food in San Fran. It's a nice little resource with lots of honest reviews.

    Okay, so here is some pics of the above restaurants for you:-

    Ellen's Startdust Diner - my fave for the entertainment
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    Planet Hollywood

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    Me channelling Cher LOL
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    The kids having some fun
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    ESPN Zone

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    Dessert - some sort of cookie with icecream and topping. The kids and DH got one each, they were huge, the three of them could've shared one easily
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  4. ehsmum

    ehsmum DIS Veteran

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    Lisa, if I could afford it, I would take you with us as our official photographer! I love your photos!

    Here's some places that I plan to eat when we're in NYC in 2 weeks time :banana:

    - Ellen's Stardust Diner (is this good for lunch too or should we go for dinner?)
    - Planet Hollywood
    - ESPN Zone (on the advice of someone here I joined their MVP club online and got a membership card which gives us free credits and PS priveleges. We'll be eating here in Anaheim as well)
    - Shake Shack at Madison Square Park https://www.madisonsquarepark.org/shakeshack/default.aspx
    - Grimaldi's Pizza http://www.grimaldis.com/2/Index.htm (then walk back over Brooklyn Bridge)
    - Lombardi's Pizzeria http://www.firstpizza.com/ (the best pizza in NYC apparently)
    - Carmine's http://www.carminesnyc.com/
    - Big Daddy Diner http://bigdaddysnyc.com/
    - Chinatown Ice Cream Factory http://www.chinatownicecreamfactory.com/

    I know there's a lot of pizza and burgers there, but that's what my kids like to eat! We probably won't make them all but at least I have an idea of where I'd like to go if we're in the area. I will let you know my recommendations when we get back! :)
     
  5. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    And I would gladly come as your official family photographer :rotfl2:. Just say the word luv.

    I'm keen to look into some of the places you've listed and can't wait to hear your reviews when you return.
     
  6. aussietravellers

    aussietravellers who LOVE disney holidays!

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    I LOVE that photo!

    Thank you SO much for that info and I love all of the photos. I am such a visual person, no good with written directions just need to see it or walk somewhere once and I sort of remember it forever so seeing those photos I'll find them easily as I'll recognise them.

    We are definately going to Ellens, we will probably eat there a couple of times for breakfast and then a lunch or dinner. It looks so much fun.

    Planet Hollywood looks awesome too. I love Grease, so I am so excited about seeing all of that memrobillia. I haven't been to a Planet Hollywood before, not sure why, I have been many places where they have been located but will visit there in NY.

    ESPN, my son loved it there at Disneyland so we will give that a go too.

    I'm doing up a restaurant list so will add all of your suggestions to the list.

    Thank you :flower3:
     
  7. aussietravellers

    aussietravellers who LOVE disney holidays!

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    Thank you so much for your list :flower3:.

    I will look at all of those right now. I love that so many restaurants in NY have websites.

    Grimaldi's, thats a great idea to then walk back over the Brooklyn Bridge, we are wanting to do that so maybe Grimaldi's for lunch one day then stroll back over the bridge :cool1:
     
  8. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    How long would the walk be from Grimaldis back to Times Square though?
     
  9. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    We stayed at the Doubletree in Times Square and needed to do some laundry. The concierge recommended a really nice laundromat on 9th Avenue, which is 2 main blocks down from Times Square.

    We found a lot of really decent restaurants on 9th Avenue, which around 46th Street is the top end of Hell's Kitchen. Whilst our laundry was running, we ate at Cascina - pizza and pasta. The food was reasonably priced and they catered for my son's tastes. There was a range of ethnic food on 9th Avenue i.e., Thai, Indian, Chinese. For 4 (3 adults and a 7 yo child) were doing a drink, mains and dessert for about $75 - 90, inc tip.

    If you walk down either 47th or 46th street towards 5th avenue, there are a number of diners/cafes on one of these streets. We were getting pancakes and coffee or french toast and coffee for about $5. Toast was about $2.50; oatmeal porridge was about $1.99 for the large; eggs and bacon with coffee was about $6 or $7. We were feeding 4 of us for breakfast, including optional tip for about $17 (we were dropping coins or a $ note in the jar).

    If you are at Chinatown and are inclined to eat soup noodles or rice with the Chinese roast meats, a bowl or a plate will set you back about $4.50. We found that we were feeding 4 of us, including tip for about $20 in Chinatown.
     
  10. DizOz

    DizOz DIS Veteran

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    If you want a great steak, last time I was there I was taken to a place called Uncle Jack's Steakhouse.

    They served us a steak for 4 people at the table that melted in your mouth and side dishes were to die for. As the name suggests it is meat, meat and more meat.

    It is a little more up market but fantastic food and service.
     
  11. ehsmum

    ehsmum DIS Veteran

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    I got this set of cards "New York City Walks with Kids" http://www.chroniclebooks.com/index/main,book-info/store,gifts/products_id,6475/ which is great and I wish I had time to do all 50 walks!

    Walk #5 is "The Brooklyn Bridge and Beyond". It doesn't tell me how long the walk is, but it suggests to walk one way and catch a train or cab back.
     
  12. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    That's awesome Princess in Oz. I will be revisiting this thread next year
     
  13. aussiemickeys

    aussiemickeys Mouseketeer

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    Some that we enjoyed & that haven't been mentioned yet:

    JUNIOR'S - original is in Brooklyn, but I saw a new branch had opened in the Times Square area when we were there in November. They are famous for their cheesecakes & desserts. We enjoyed our whole meal & the sweet potatoe fries were yummy.

    VIRGIL'S BARBECUE - good ribs & barbecue & my new favourite dessert : Red Velvet Cake (& yes it does deserve the capital letters - it is so good!)

    JOHN'S PIZZA - original is on Bleeker street downtown, but we went to the one in Times Square. Really good pizza. The place is huge & seats about 500. I could see 3 different pizza ovens from where I was sitting. Even for the U.S. the portions were massive. We have big appetites & for every 2 adults we barely managed a half a pizza. So if you go - start with less than you think you will need.

    SERENDIPITY 3 - I have not been here yet, but this is very popular I hear & very child friendly as well.

    AMERICAN GIRL CAFE - again I haven't been here, but if you have young girls this apparantely rates very highly.

    MICKEY MANTLE'S - on west 59th Street, just opposite the lower end of Central Park (but no views of the park from the restaurant). Has a baseball sports theme going on & has a chicken fried chicken meal that melts in your mouth. I am craving it, just writing about it.

    Not in the Times Square area, but we love Little Italy (for lunch as it is cheaper than at night), followed by a dessert in one of the many cafes.

    Also love all the little delis that sell pre prepared meals to take back to your hotel room (especially if you have a microwave). The have mini buffets with everything from fried chicken, chinese, soups, burritos, paninis & on & on.
     
  14. Kalice

    Kalice Mouseketeer

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    There's a Juniors in the food hall under Grand Central Station, can't say that our meal there easily comes to memory. We had just come from San Francisco though, and had some great meals there. Also there was a place near juniors one of the central stores that made a great cappuccino (can't recall the name sorry). We loved the music/light show on the ceiling of the station, it was every hour, likely it was just christmas time though.
     
  15. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    I've been doing a ton of reading on www.yelp.com which is awesome for reviews on places to eat in New York and came up with a few 'CHEAP EATS' which will be good for breakfast and a quick lunch:-

    Majestic Deli – cheap eats, 200 West 5oth Street
    Angela’s Rock and Roll Deli, 1428 6th Ave – cheap breakfast and sandwiches
    Europa Café - 11 E 55th St – good for cheap breakfast
    53rd & 6th Halal Cart, 53rd St & 6th Ave – MUST TRY, go easy on hot sauce, over 1000 wonderful reviews
    D&S Marketplace, 34 W 56th St Frnt, cheap breakfasts
    Printon 56, 48 W 56th Street – cheap cheap cheap breakky, lunches, salads

    Most of them have websites where you can check out menus and pricing before you go.
     
  16. Oz-kateer

    Oz-kateer DIS Veteran

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    I'm not sure if it's still there but Cosmic Diner in Times Square is good - I had the best omelette of my life in there. It's open 24/7 and has a massive menu.

    If you can manage to get across to Brooklyn at night, the ferry landing over there near the bridge gives a MAGNIFICANT view back across to the Manhattan skyline all lit up. It's a postcard photo opportunity. The night bus tours will take or, or just get a cab.
     
  17. TwinkleOz

    TwinkleOz Earning My Ears

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    I can vouch for that 53rd and 6th halal cart, just make sure they are the right one! You can tell which ones they are by the size of the line! But it moves quickly. Best value for money in NY, DH loved this. I think they start after 7:30/8 but they wear bright tops promoting themselves so you won't miss them.

    Juniors for the cheesecake.

    There is a franchise called Au Bon Pain that we really enjoyed for breakfast and quick lunches. It is set up as a buffet sort of thing, select your own flavoured bagel, select from the assortment of cream cheese flavours, take it to the chef who will toast it for you or make up anything fresh for you. Select fruit in cups from the salad bar, they even separate the cups for those that only like particular fruits. Big assortment of juices, coffees etc, then take your tray to pay. We ended up eating here daily.

    There was a great Italian restaurant just opposite one of the theaters on W 43rd called Trattoria Trecolori. Best pasta I had in NY.

    If you have a special occasion over there, not in Times Square but over the Brooklyn bridge and under is the River Cafe. Very pricey but fantastic view of manhattan. I would only recommend for a special occasion.

    One of my favorite meals was at Gramercy Tavern but the bistro part, not the fine dining. Best mushroom lasagna.

    Shake shack was ok - be weary of the rustling in the bushes around you :scared1: .

    Make sure you have a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery! Absolute must!!!!
     
  18. ehsmum

    ehsmum DIS Veteran

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    Don't get too excited about going back to ESPN Zone because it's closed down :(. We were totally ripped off there. On June 16th we visited the one at Downtown Disney in Anaheim and put $25 on our games card after the cashier assured me we could use it at all ESPN Zones in the US (we were planning to visit in NYC, Washington DC and Las Vegas). We spent about $5 worth of our credits and decided to save the rest for our next stop in NYC.

    We tried to book the New York Espn Zone online and over the phone with no luck. I couldn't understand why the website would only give me reservation options for Los Angeles and Anaheim and the phone rang out. We decided to just walk down there one evening and take our chances on getting a table without a reservation but when we got there we found it closed down with a tiny note on the front door saying that as of June 16th, all restaurants were closing down except for Anaheim and Los Angeles. So the same night that we bought the credits at DTD and told we could use them in New York, the New York restaurant shut down. Not happy, Jan!:mad: There is an ESPN Club at The Boardwalk at WDW but they said they were a different franchise and wouldn't accept our credits. So we've got $20 worth of unused credits and who knows when we'll get back to Anaheim to use them again :sad2:.

    Oh, I had the Mahi Mahi at Bubba Gump's (in San Fran) on your recommendation and I agree, it was divine!:)

    So we didn't get to all of these, but enjoyed the ones we did.

    - Ellen's Stardust Diner - we went for breakfast one morning and enjoyed it. I was a little surprised that they came around with a hat asking for tips during the meal though. We did try to go for lunch one day as well, but it was really busy and even though we were seated straight away, we left after 20 minutes as we hadn't been served yet and we only had half an hour to eat before our NBC Studio tour.
    - Planet Hollywood - we went here our first night for dinner and were seated and served immediately. I think we just beat the crowd though because some friends were going to meet us there but they were told it was a 30 minute wait so they went to TGI Friday's instead. We enjoyed it, and I won a dvd in the trivia contest :banana:
    - ESPN Zone - see my rant above
    - Shake Shack at Madison Square Park - the line for lunch was huge and full of office workers which I thought was a good sign but the food wasn't anything special IMO
    - Grimaldi's Pizza (then walk back over Brooklyn Bridge) - loved it! We got there early (around 5.45pm I think) and were 2nd in line, we got a table within 10 minutes. However when we left 45mins later or so, the line was all the way down the street! One thing that was a problem for us though is that they only serve pizza, no pasta or garlic bread or even plain bread and my youngest doesn't eat pizza, so he went hungry.
    - Lombardi's Pizzeria (the best pizza in NYC apparently) - didn't make it here
    - Carmine's - tried to eat here twice, both on Saturday nights and couldn't get in, it was a 2 hour wait both times which you can't do with kids
    - Big Daddy Diner - never made it here
    - Chinatown Ice Cream Factory - never made it to Chinatown
     
  19. shushh

    shushh DIS Veteran

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    Ok, its time to get serious. Thank you all for the recommendations. My list is very long...Seeing as we'll be there in peak period. We'll be making some reservations. Having 14 of us doesn't help!

    I'm getting this too!

    Do you happen to have more details? Ive been looking for a laundry near our hotel and I'm having great difficulties doing it.
     
  20. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    The laundromat was on 9th Avenue near 48th or 49th street. I just went on GoogleMaps to take a look at the was a shop sign with Super Laundromat from the street view. Unfortunately, the window was all papered up with big signs of "Pizza shop coming soon"......:(
     
  21. ehsmum

    ehsmum DIS Veteran

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    shushh - where are you staying? There are laundry facilities at Radio City Apartments. You couldn't use them till after 8pm but I never had a problem. I think I did washing there 3 times (in 10 days) and there was always a free machine and a friendly hotel worker willing to help me.
     

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