fun place to eat in NYC

Old May 20th, 2004, 05:56 PM
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fun place to eat in NYC

O.K., this might be a tough one. My husband and I will be in NYC in June and will be meeting up with several friends who just happen to be there, too. We will all be staying in different areas and plan to meet up for dinner on a Saturday night (the only night we're all there together). The problem is this, they can't afford to spend a whole lot on dinner and one of them is pretty picky (no funky, ethnic food). I would like to find a place that's in a fun area that we could hang out and walk around after we eat so we don't all have to take a cab to somewhere else. One of the girls picked a place on the upper east side, but I just don't see that being a place we would want to hang out at night. Am I wrong? Any suggestions? I would prefer it wasn't the Times Square area, because that's where they are staying and would prefer to go someplace different. Sorry I can't be more specific, but I guess I'm looking for something reasonable ($15 to $20), fun and in a place we can hang out. One more question, do most of the restaurants stay open really late? I keep hearing people say to eat after going to the theater. I would like to eat a Dervish, but didn't know how late they stayed open. Thanks for your help.
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Old May 20th, 2004, 06:15 PM
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If you want cheaper "American" style food, the Time Cafe in the UPWS might be a good pick. Its very casual but in a good area to walk around in after dinner.
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Old May 20th, 2004, 06:17 PM
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I have a friend who is also very conservative about food. We went to Haveli, and Indian food restaurant, and he loved it. Its very inexpensive (for NY) and the food is really great, not too "ethnic", just really great food. You can always jump in a cab if you want to be somewhere other than where you eat.
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Old May 20th, 2004, 06:55 PM
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$15 or $20 covers just about a hamburger in NYC.

But, if you head for one of the delis (Stage or Carnegie would be my choices) the four of you can pool the food on the table, there's lots on non-fancy stuff, no-one's going to rush you out so they can give the table to another customer, and afterwards, you can walk around the Carnegie Hall neighborhood.

And you could probably pull this off for $100 if you share.

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Old May 20th, 2004, 07:10 PM
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When you say $15-20, do you mean total cost? Cost of an entree? What? It makes a big difference.
The Greenwich Village area might fill the bill. There are inexpensive restaurants and it's certainly a walking-around area after dinner.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 07:11 AM
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The Brooklyn Diner on West 57th would fit your bill. It is owned by the same guy that has Shelleys and Red Eye Grill.
Old May 21st, 2004, 08:35 AM
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$15 to $20 bucks a head with the intention to stay for a bit is a tough sell. That amount doesn't even include the prospect of drinks with dinner.

Your best bet might be someplace reasonable in Chinatown. (I mean, who doesn't like Chinease food?) It's been awhile since I've been there on a regular basis, so perhaps another person can give you a few recommendations. (BTW, by chance you find yourself looking for Chinease at 4:00 a.m., Wo Hop on Mott Street usually packs them in.)
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Old May 21st, 2004, 09:05 AM
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Assume you mean $15-$20 for the entree (in New York $20 is rock bottom for dinner - and would include an entree, soft drink tax and tip - maybe a beer - but no drinks).

You may want to try the upper west side - there are a ton of inexpensive restaurants that stay open relatively late (midnight during the week) - some ethnic but also a lot that are more basic - and you can stroll up/down Broadway and pick another spot for drinks before or later.

If you look at menupages,com you will find an amazing number of choices.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 09:20 AM
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Serendipity is a fun place to eat and is in your price range. they don't serve alcohol though. they have INCREDIBLE desserts.

225 E. 60th St.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 10:50 AM
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Puglia's in Little Italy. No question about it. The ambiance of walking around after dinner will be perfect! Stop into one of the italian bakeries for a bite of dessert.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 11:36 AM
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I would maybe say Carmines only because it is a lively place and everything is family style with big servings... so if there are a lot of people, you might be able to spread your dollar farther. However, it's in Times Square.
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 01:43 PM
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Re: late night question - as a night person I can say with authority - no , a lot of places don't seat you after 10, a bit later on week-ends - but there are also a good number that serve food late, and a few 24 hour places.

Duke's, mentioned below, serves pretty late on weekends.

I think Carmines is a good idea for non-threatening food, a lively atmosphere, and a good price. And I am almost sure there is one on the Upper West Side.

In Greenwich Village you might have burgers and fries and a beer at Corner Bistro on your budget - often wins awards for best burger in town & a very neighborhood-y place - but I'd go at some time like 6 or 6:30, otherwise I don't think you'll get seated.

A similar idea would be historic Pete's Tavern in the Gramercy Park area. Or Duke's, same neighborhood. I've seen Saturday Night Live regulars in there (tho not on Saturday Night!).

East Village is one of the best places of all for walking around at night. If Indian (Haveli was suggested & I agree it is a great choice) is no good you could try Miracle Grill, 1st Ave,7th St, sit in the terrific garden - again must go early (or late, like 10:30), for a prayer of getting seated. Burger plus a drink is roughly in budget.
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