eating alone in NYC

Apr 30th, 2006, 06:57 AM
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eating alone in NYC

My husband goes to NYC in a few weeks for business, and I'm going along. YEA!!! This will be my third trip to the city in the last several months, but my first without my daughter, who is a great travel partner.

We'll be staying at the Novotel on Times Square, and I will be on my own for two days while my husband attends meetings. I hope to visit the Frick, as well as MOMA or the Metropolitan museum of Art.

I would appreciate any suggestions of restaurants for breakfast and lunch which would be enjoyable for someone eating alone, as I will be doing. I would prefer something within walking distance of Times Square for breakfast.

I'm open to all suggestions.

After riding the Amtrak on my first trip to NYC, and driving into New Jersey on my second, we will have a totally new arrival experience -- we are actually DRIVING into the city! I can tell that my husband, who would NEVER admit to being uneasy about anything, is not exactly looking forward to finding our way to Times Square. We will be coming from Baltimore, and I would appreciate any advice about this, as well.

My husband grudgingly said "what did those people on that message board you go to say about the Novotel?" hahah He pretends to pooh-pooh any information I get from the board but seemed pleased when I told him that the Novotel was fine.
I know he would appreciate any info I could get about driving into Times Square.


p.s. I got a part-time job! Just two days a week, working in a Pain Medicine practice. The pay, however, is pretty good. It seems to be working out.
vickib2 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 07:16 AM
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hi, don't have much time to answer today but...
don't worry about eating alone in NYC, a high percentage of the population here is single, so it's not an unusual sight to see people dining on thier own...

MOMA has 2 nice cafes. There are also some good places to eat on the North side of 54th St just acoss from MOMA.

Met Museum also has the rooftop cafe which serves sandwiches, salads, deserts, etc.
And there there is a cafe near the Armory Galleries, a cafeteria on the lower level, and a restaurant.

Don't remember about Frick.

Have a nice trip! Wish you weren't driving here though, our midtown is already overcrowded with traffic and parking (and tickets) are hugely expensive....
Apr 30th, 2006, 07:20 AM
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I'd avoid driving into NYC, too. Why did you decide to drive?

I agree with eating alone in NYC. With so many people there for business, lots of folks eat by themselves. Grab a newspaper or a magazine and just enjoy pretty much anywhere. Times Square is not my favorite place to eat and there's no reason to limit yourself. Some great places near Union Square
MikeT is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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Don't worry about either eating alone or driving into NYC...I do both frequently without any problems. Most of Manhattan is a grid and easy to navigate. If I'm going to the theater, after exiting the Lincoln Tunnel I like to shoot over to 10th Ave. and go north until I come to the cross street I want into the Theater District. There are lots of parking garages on all the streets in that area.
SusieQQ is online now  
Apr 30th, 2006, 09:50 AM
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Perhaps because I'm a New Yorker, I don't understand ... What kind of "problems" do people have when they eat alone??

Hecklers? Thieves? Unseemly advances? I don't get it. You sit, either without a book or newspaper, and you eat. What's the big difficulty?

And many places in NYC have counters where you can sit "alone" and usually converse with others at the counter, if that makes you feel more comfortable and less of a target.
Gekko is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 10:01 AM
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Coming from Baltimore the simplest route is I-95 to the Meadowlands / Secaucus area then Rt 3 east to the Lincoln Tunnel. Then just follow SusieQQ's directions.
Do you know yet what time of day you would be arriving? Could make a big difference with your hubby's apprehension.
SamH is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 11:26 AM
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Many restauants with bars - even/esp some of the morep leasant ones - serve lighter meals at the bar - great for lunch and a good way to sample some good food- and have some conversation if you want.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 11:32 AM
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I like the Petrie Court Cafe inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's got nice ambience, though prices are not cheap. You can sit at the bar if you're eating alone.
yk is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 11:38 AM
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Trattoria d'ell Arte. I eat there alone often.
Apr 30th, 2006, 12:36 PM
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Hi Gekko, I know a lot of women who will not go into a restaurant, cafe or whatever and eat alone. They will only do "take out" from a fastfood place.

I don't understand actually but I would imagine that it is a matter of a a lack of selfconfidence.

I enjoy having company when I eat but there are times when not having company is nice too..especially if I have had a few stressful days or just feel in a quiet mood.

I have had women indicate that they are "shocked" that I take a taxi when I am alone..say in SF for example. So maybe it is ones background perhaps, always living in a small town and never really being in large cities?

Have a beautiful time in NYC vickib2, you will have fun I am sure exploring on your own!

LoveItaly is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 01:41 PM
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I see that somebody has yet to give you breakfast information.

Anyway, as I am not fond of the restaurants in the Time Square area (although I did live there at one point and happily moved out in our quest for a real neighborly area), here are some suggestions:

Norma's at the Parker Meridian (56th St (between 6th and Broadway);

Sarabeth's at Central Park South (bet. 5th and 6th); and,

Vynl (a friend who lives in the area told us about it and it is at 50/51 St. on 9th).

BTW, don't worry about driving into the city, as long as you just intended to drive in and leave your car in a parking garage until you leave. Although, during rush hour you will definitely encounter very slow bumper-ro-bumper for at least a mile as you enter the Lincoln Tunnel.

Good luck.
bill_boy is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 02:34 PM
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I'm a big fan of Mayrose at Broadway and 21st in the Flatiron district. Great for breakfast or anytime. Lots of people eating by themselves, reading the paper, watching their fellow diners.
MikeT is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 03:13 PM
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It just so happens I'll be in NYC in a few weeks myself and will be visiting those same museums! Can you believe it? First, I'll be going to Baltimore, then Philly, NYC and then DC.

I know this is kind of unorthodox, but if you'd like to meet for lunch, maybe someplace in one of those museums, I'd be happy to join you. Obvious, I'd pay my own way.

FYI, I'm a female too, and won't be joining friends until after I leave NYC. So, if this is something you might be interested in, let me know. It might be kind of fun. It's always nice to meet up with someone who's also traveling, especially in a place like NYC.

This is just a thought, no obligation on your part.

mesolo is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 04:00 PM
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There's a Le Pain Quotidienne on 7th ave & 58th st. that would be nice for breakfast if you're walking toward Central Park. Rue 57 on 57th st & 6th ave. is another good spot for breakfast. Nearer your hotel, there's a place called Maison, a French brasserie open 24/7. I've never had breakfast there but it would be fine.

Agree that both MOMA and the Met have cafes/restaurants within them that are probably convenient and decent. I don't care for the food served on the roof of the Met though. Pricey, mediocre and it's not comfortable up there to me. No table service, no comfortable tables.

Near the Met is Cafe Sabarsky in the Neue Museum on 86th st & 5th ave. Lovely spot with Viennese food (but nice sandwiches and salads too). There's also Caffe Grazi, Italian, a half block from the museum on 84 st. b/w Fifth & Madison.

Near the Frick, Via Quadronno (73 st.) for Italian pannini, salads etc.
mclaurie is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 04:14 PM
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What about the Cafe at Saks? A lot of female shoppers eating here. You would not be looked at twice if eating alone. They have a great turkey club sandwich.

There are plenty of cafes around Times Square. One chain is Cafe Europa. There is also one on Madison Ave., across from Tourneau (I think that is around E. 55th St). They have good soup and pizza.

There are so many places to dine alone. DON'T WORRY! Just walk down the street and pick a place.
Polly_Magoo is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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Thanks so much for the replies. I've started a little notebook with notes and suggestions I can use.

We will be arriving in NYC at night -- probably 9:00 or 10:00 p.m., as my husband will work a full day here before departing.
vickib2 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 06:17 PM
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whoops! I think I got posted before I finished my thought. (this laptop is so sensitive to any touch of the finger)

Anyway...the reason that I was somewhat concerned about eating alone is that I feel that servers are never pleased when single people (particularly women)sit down at their table, because they know the bill will not be large, and therefore, neither will their tip. I often eat alone in restaurants, but I try to eat quickly and get out so that I do not take up the table space.

vickib2 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 06:33 PM
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The servers are certainly used to single diners, so don't worry about the tip issue.

I only suggest that if you linger for a long time after your meal (to read or people-watch or whatever), leave a larger gratuity (applies to groups as well). This isn't Paris dammit!
Gekko is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 12:48 AM
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I have driven into Manhattan several times in the past few years and it is surprisingly easy to do. I mean, it is a grid and though there is a lot of traffic, it is not so difficult find what you need, especially if you have someone in the passenger seat keeping their eyes peeled.

And single dining, well, I would recommend taking yourself to someplace really lovely and getting a nice little table where you can see everyone and people watch like a maniac. If the weather is nice, i like places with patios on the upper west side.
laclaire is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 01:20 AM
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hi vickib2-
I just read your post about trying to eat quickly and get out so you will "not take up table space".

You have just as many rights to a relaxed meal and friendly service as anyone else, including the right to a decent table. This is the restaurant law of nature and applies to you as well.

Tip according to the service you receive- you need not expect less than good service because you happen to be unaccompanied.

Smile, hold your head high, and the world is yours!

from a former "server"

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