NYC Restaurant Recommendations for Your Next Trip

080911_Phillip-Ritz-Odeon.jpgWith over 18,000 restaurants to choose from, visitors to New York City are wise to plan some of their meals in advance—lest they end up starved and forced to settle for ho-hum hotel food or a packed tourist trap. Here are a few of our favorites for every occasion, including recommendations from our members in the Forums.

Pre-Theater Dining

While there are a number of mediocre restaurants in the vicinity of Times Square and the Theater District, there are also a few gems in the area that are worth making a part of your Broadway experience.

Asked in the Forums: “I’ve looked at many of the posts on restaurants in New York, including NeoPatrick’s, but am still a bit overwhelmed. I only have 3 nights in NYC, one of which is seeing All My Sons at the Schoenfeld on a Sat. night. Looking for something within walking distance, not too noisy, not Asian food, price not an issue but not pretentious.” — brubenow

One Answer: “Chez Josephine is more fun after a show, imo, when they have live music. The music doesn’t start til about 7:30 so you’d be leaving from a pre theater. The food at DB Bistro is better but ambiance at Chez Josephine is fun.” — mclaurie (add your response)

Other Fodor’s recommendations:

Joe Allen Restaurant | Midtown West | Add your own review of Joe Allen Restaurant

Becco | Midtown West | Add your own review of Becco

Marseille | Midtown West | Add your own review of Marseille

Overheard in the Forums: “What are the best Broadway plays to see right now?”

Italian Restaurants

Some of the city’s very best Italian restaurants are nowhere near Little Italy.

Asked in the Forums: “We’d love a real Italian dinner, preferably sitting outside, where we can hear all the “flavors” of the city and its people. What do you suggest?” — ks2

One Answer: “You might like Lavagna, in the East Village—friendly, neighborhood small restaurant, big doors that open to the sidewalk in nice weather, we had a very good dinner there Sunday night. Or Il Buco, more expensive but good food, too. Atmospheric. If you are looking for a more red sauce, southern Italian, checked table cloth type of place that has been in business for 40 years, you might like Ballato or Arturo’s on Houston Street.” — mp (add your response)

Other Fodor’s recommendations:

Abboccato | Midtown West | Add your own review of Abboccato

‘Cesca | Upper West Side |Add your own review of ‘Cesca

Fiamma | Soho | Add your own review of Fiamma

‘inoteca | Lower East Side | Add your own review of ‘inoteca

Sfoglia | Upper East Side | Add your own review of Sfoglia

Overheard in the Forums: “Looking for a great Italian restaurant for a girls’ weekend”

Kid-Friendly Restaurants

New Yorkers have kids too—so it’s no surprise that many good restaurants make a real effort to cater to young patrons.

Asked in the Forums: “I will be in NYC for 3 nights with my eleven-year-old daughter. We are seeing Legally Blonde on Wed at 2:00 and then Hairspray on Thursday at 7:00 pm. Where would you recommend for lunch on Thursday and dinner after the show? I do not want a place like Planet Hollywood. We like all different foods and I would like to spend 100.00 without any wine.” — MomDDTravel

One Answer: “Some 11-year-old girls would really LIKE Cafe des Artistes—it has a kids’ idea of fancy glamour—without being stuffy. I’ve had family brunches there and the servers were lovely with the school-age kids. If your daughter is adventurous enough for sushi, she’ll find something she likes there – the food is not cutting edge but it’s definitely better than Tavern on the Green! And they are VERY accommodating. Could be a really special mother-daughter meal.” — mp (add your response)

Other Fodor’s recommendations:

Carmine’s | Midtown West | Add your own review of Carmine’s

Lombardi’s | Little Italy | Add your own review of Lombardi’s

Odeon | TriBeCa | Add your own review of Odeon

City Bakery | Flatiron District |Add your own review of City Bakery

Bubby’s | TriBeCa | Add your own review of Bubby’s

Overheard in the Forums: “Our Toddler’s 1st Trip to NYC”

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Splurge-Worthy Restaurants

These top romance-ready restaurants are just right for celebrating anniversaries or other special occasions.

Asked in the Forums: “Any recommendations for a restaurant for our 10 year anniversary? We are in our late thirties and are looking for a modern NY vibe but not overly crowded/noisy. We plan to go out after for drinks so a location that we could easily walk to lounge/bar spots would be great.” — snyder2338

One Answer: “My wife just took me to Annisa for my birthday and we thought it was one of the best New York restaurant experiences we’ve had in a while. It seems to fit your description perfectly. It’s not too big, contemporary in style, the service is wonderful, and the food is outstanding.” — Newsie (add your response)

Other Fodor’s recommendations:

Eleven Madison Park | Flatiron District | Add your own review of Eleven Madison Park

Gramercy Tavern | Flatiron District | Add your own review of Gramercy Tavern

Chanterelle | TriBeCa | Add your own review of Chanterelle

Blue Hill | Greenwich Village |Add your own review of Blue Hill

Babbo | Greenwich Village | Add your own review of Babbo

Daniel | Upper East Side | Add your own review of Daniel

Overheard in the Forums: “Why I Love New York”

Cheap Eats

Dinner for two at some of the city’s best restaurants can easily cost as much as one night’s hotel stay (a scary thought considering New York hotel prices right now.) However, you’ll be happy to discover that many of the city’s tastiest restaurants are also some of its most affordable.

Asked in the Forums: “I want to try some of the great dives and out of the way places where the locals eat. I am not into the high priced swank places. I am much more into the cool fun funky places with the killer food. Also, love to try all kinds of ethnic foods so let er rip. Give me 2 or 3 of your favorite places you just have to eat at when in NYC.” — mscmkr

One Answer: “Tía Pol for tapas and ‘Ino for panini. Both budget-friendly with tastes worthy of twice the cost!” — beanweb24 (add your response)

Other Fodor’s recommendations:

Kampuchea Restaurant | Lower East Side | Add your own review of Kampuchea Restaurant

Katz’s Deli | Lower East Side | Add your own review of Katz’s Deli

Ghenet | NoLita | Add your own review of Ghenet

Gahm Mi Oak | Murray Hill |Add your own review of Gahm Mi Oak

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que | Harlem | Add your own review of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Overheard in the Forums: “I’m amazed by Manhattan’s hotel prices!”

Photo credit: (1) Photo by Phillip Ritz; (2) Photo by Doug Letterman, Gramercy Tavern.

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