New year's eve in NYC-Dinner suggestions

Oct 26th, 2009, 03:43 PM
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New year's eve in NYC-Dinner suggestions

I am very excited. We will be going to NYC from Dec. 29-Jan. 3rd. My first time in the big apple!
Any suggestions on where would be a fun place to go out for an evening dinner on New Year's eve? Somewhere around Time Square?

godin is offline  
Oct 26th, 2009, 04:50 PM
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Times Square will be full of people - more than a million gather in the street - starting at 3 in the afternoon - to watch the bll drop at midnight. And most restaurants in the areas have special NYEve prix fixe packages at very high rates. (Don;t know what you're looking to spend or what type of food you like). Go to to see who has what available and their pricing. (I just checked and 48 places are alredy sold out for New Year's Eve.)

If you're willing to eat elsewhere at prices not so high I would do upper east or west side and then go to see the fireworks in Central Park. Crowded - but not a millin people in one tiny space.

If you give a budget for the evening - $200? $400? - people can make suggestions.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 03:32 PM
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Hi nytraveler.

Thank for your input. We are aware that Times Square will be CRAZY..but that is part of the experience. We are staying at a hotel in Times Square so we do not want to go too far for dinner on new year's eve. In terms of budget lets say in the 250-300$ and see what you can suggest.
Thanks again!
godin is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 04:03 PM
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I'm not sure who will be offering what prices on New year's Eve - they haven;t started advertising yet - and last year's are no longer posted. It would help to know what type of food you're looking for. Most places will have a prix fixe dinner/evening celebration including champagne. If you pick a couple of places you're interested in you could call and see if they have info available yet. It should be available at soon.

And be aware that you may well have to use back entrances and exits to avoid being stuck in the crowd (herded into pens by the police as the streets fill - you can leave - but not return).

The best view I think would be from The View on top of the Marriott - but the food is notoriously mediocre and I'm sure the price is outside you range.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 07:44 PM
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As noted above be weary of restaurants who charge extraordinary prices for the same food they served the day before. If you eat earlier in the evening you will probably avoid some of the price gouging.

And during that week, and expecially on New Year's Eve see if there is a reatuarant to your liking in a residential neighborhood.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 05:19 AM
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If you really insist on a dinner near Times Square, my suggestion would be to start looking at the restaurants in the Time Warner Center. They're far enough away from the hubbub that you can escape the worst crush of the crowds. You won't be able to get back to your hotel until after 1am anyway, so it's not bad to be a little distant. However, I'm not sure any of the places there will fall in your price range. Restaurants in NYC usually double their prices for New Year's Eve at a minimum, especially for the late seating (there are usually 2 set seatings on New Year's Eve). And many of the restaurants in the immediately Times Square region may not be open because it's literally impossible for people to get there.

So I have to humbly disagree that a horribly overpriced meal is part of the "fun" of New Year's Eve in NYC. At least not for this New Yorker. My only advice is that you should go to a restaurant that's truly excellent anyway, then at least you're getting something for your premium price. Don't go to a mediocre place that just jacks up its prices. Most restaurants won't start taking reservations until after Thanksgiving, but some take them earlier.
doug_stallings is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 06:29 AM
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What type of food are you looking for?
janiekins is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 07:39 AM
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It's a good idea to check with your hotel for information on New Year's Eve logistics. Streets and sidewalks are blocked off, usually starting around 4PM. You'll need to know the latest you can return to the hotel during the day and leave again for your dining destination. You won't be able to cross Times Square area to get to your dinner destination at dinnertime, so you'll need to know which direction(s) you'll be able to walk.

It's true that many restaurants offer limited fixed price menus at premium prices. But, plenty of restaurants have special menus with more reasonable prices or even their regular menu.

After Thanksgiving, have a look at for places you find appealing and check individual restaurant websites for New Year's Eve information. Many will have their menus posted and festivities, live music, etc. Opentable is another good resource.

The place we go is pricier (but far from outrageous or horribly overpriced) than a usual evening, but the menu (five courses served leisurely) is wonderful, and the live music (two or three groups alternating all evening) is fabulous, and a bottle of good champagne is included.
djkbooks is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 07:44 AM
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I think you have to tell us what kind of experience you expect. You need to read this and then consider the rather limited list of restaurants that actually have a view

TGI Fridays
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
Sbarro Pizza
Olive Garden
2 Times Square

I think TGI Fridays is the least expensive but is usually mentioned as a place to avoid at all costs for very poor overpriced food. But people determined to see the ball drop and not stand outside and freeze have reported it was a good time despite paying over $300/person (last year) and having mediocre to poor food. Bubba Gumps was $500/person last year. There's a lot of info in this long thread

2 Times Square is the restaurant in the Renaissance hotel and is probably the nicest and most expensive. If you just want to be in the area of your hotel, you need to tell us where that is. You will need some paper evidence that you have a reservation to get through police lines so make sure to have an email from the restaurant or some other proof.

There are 28 restaurants showing availability for dinner for 2 in the theater district on NYE at 9pm on and I'm sure many others that would also be available that are either not listed on opentable or automatically not accepting rezzies online more than 30 days in advance.
mclaurie is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 09:48 AM
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Aureole (recently reopened) is near Times Square and should have something to offer for NY's Eve.

Just about every restaurant will offer a New Year's package that includes dinner, champagne, party favors, it is just part of celebrating in NYC.

Like someone suggested, I'd pick a restaurant that you like and call to see what they will have going for that time.
K_brklyn is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 09:59 AM
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I think dinner at TGIF for $300 per person (worth perhaps $50 at most any other day) says it all about trying to have dinner in Times Square.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 07:05 PM
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TGI Fridays
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
Sbarro Pizza
Olive Garden

This is like America's Most Wanted list of restaurants.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Oct 30th, 2009, 05:40 AM
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I loudly second Aduchamp1's posting!
HowardR is offline  
Oct 30th, 2009, 08:43 AM
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Never in a million years would I pay $300 per person to eat at TGI Fridays on New Years Eve!

What a joke!
janiekins is offline  
Oct 30th, 2009, 08:47 AM
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I wouldn't even spend $300 for a controlling interest in TGIF.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Oct 30th, 2009, 09:25 AM
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Nice... $300 pp for TGIF. Honestly, anyone who does that deserves to get ripped off simply due to sheer stupidity. I honestly cannot imagine *ever* having dinner around Times Square let alone on NYE. This city has countless options - get out of that area and take advantage of them.
michelleNYC is offline  
Oct 30th, 2009, 10:34 AM
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If this is your first trip to NYC and you are aware of the chaos in Times Square NYE are you really sure this is the experience you want to have?
I'd avoid it like the plague!
There are some lovely ways to spend NYE in NY including watching the fireworks at midnight in Central Park.
Consider your plan carefully and let us know how it all goes...
welch is offline  
Oct 30th, 2009, 04:06 PM
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Can only agree. Anyplace in Times Square will be a fortune (better to pay that than stand in the street for 6 hours in the freezing cold) - even if the food is the same awful micro-nuked stuff they serve at every branch in the local mall.

But - if you are determined to eat in Times Square just accept that the food will be wful and you are paying a huge amount for the view.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 30th, 2009, 05:46 PM
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I think an important point to consider is which side of Times Square you'll be staying on. If you're staying West of Times Square, you may find it very challenging to cross over Broadway/7th Avenue. The crowds will be very deep and the police will likely be limiting the free flow of the crowd. Same is obviously true if staying east of Times Square.

That said, Langan's on W 47th, about a 1/4 block from Times Square, is good, basic, Irish bar/restaurant. Certainly not 5 star dining but the food is generally good and it's always been a good spot pre-theater. Not sure I'd want to be in an Irish Bar near Times Square on New Year's Eve, but certainly it will be lively. I suspect they have a pay one price for food and drinks type set-up. Can't imagine they'll charge more than maybe $150 a head.

If you're looking for a place that combines view of Times Square, good food, etc I think as correctly pointed out your options are limited.

There are certainly very good places within a few blocks of Times Square, actually, it should be made clear that unless you're willing to commit several hours to standing outside, you'll likely be standing somewhere in the mid to high 50's and not the low 40's (Streets that is.) Getting good restaurant nearby plus the ability to meander out with a good view at 11:30 p.m. is probably a very difficult proposition.

As this article points out, you could potentially be as far back as Central Park South - a good 17 or 18 blocks back from 42nd Street.(Roughly a mile.)

Personally, I'd go with a nice spot in the mid-50's, take my time and enjoy dinner, then hope to see something from 10 to 15 blocks away. In terms of where in the mid-50's there are numerous good options.
Ryan is offline  

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