nyc trip first time


Jul 25th, 2012, 03:38 AM
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nyc trip first time

goodmorning everyone me and my cousin will be traveling for the first time to nyc this friday and are going nuts trying to put together an itenerary.we know nyc is endless so we basically want to get down to our needs if you guys can please help us out we will be staying at the carvi hotel 152 East 55th Street New York, NY 10022.basically want to know of local places we can eat that are inexpensive and nearby $20 and under breakfast lunch and dinner(dinner can be a little bit more)..also nearby nightlife as in clubs bars etc. we are in our mid 20's so want to enjoy the night life as on inexpensive cabs to take..etc..please Help!!we leave friday and i would like to put an itenerary togther by today latest tommorow Thank you!
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Jul 25th, 2012, 04:05 AM
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You will have a great time...I have lived here 10 years. I wish I could come visit for the first time again. here are some tips.

Taxis - always will be metered. Not necessarily cheap, but relative to other cities a decent deal. That said, a Metro-Card is a better idea for any day time travel. The subway system is pretty easy to use and very cost effective (they have unlimited passes for a weekend, 7 day or 30 day). Save your money for cabs home late at night. If you have an android or iphone, get NYCMate. Has maps, line details, etc.

Although you are staying in midtown, everything is actually pretty close. There are plenty of lower priced food options nearby but not much that is quintessential New York. here are some suggestions to make sure you at least get some of the new york experience and don't spend too much. Katz's deli, Eataly (Mario Batali's european style food court and gourmet market), Grimaldis (pizza). Also, get a bagel, they really are better here - Ess-a-Bagel is right near your hotel.

Nightlife - the world is your oyster. NYC has everything you want, but it can be expensive. Nightlife is pretty much divided by neighborhood. Closest to you will be a large concentration of bars at 52nd and 2nd (Turtle Bay, Sutton Place, Tammany Tavern, TG Whitneys). All will be lively on Friday and Sat. About 20 blocks south (3rd ave in the 30s) is Murray Hill (if you want late night dancing without the club cover charges, try the Joshua Tree). Further south is the East Village, lots of dive bars, live music, etc. A great place to save money is the Sunburnt Cow - they do $20 all you can drink for 2 hours...any 2 hours. You show up and they mark your wristband with the time and your clock starts. You can re-up for another 2 hours as well. Meatpacking is clubs and lounges, but reasonable option down there is Brass Monkey. That might be 10% of the the nightlife, but you won't be able to do it all on one trip so pick a few places and enjoy.
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Jul 25th, 2012, 04:41 AM
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Taxis are all the same price - regulated by law You pay what's on the meter (including surcharges for certain time of day) and 20% tip is expected. If you are on a budget you should be using feet and subway as much as possible. (Taxis in NYC are fairly cheap - but WAY more than the subway.)

You don;t say how you will be getting to the city - train? (then you're already connected to the subway system) -or plane? (which airport and how do you plan on getting to the city?)

Your budget is fine for lunch - there are a bunch of very basic places to pop in for a sandwich or a slice - but that's a very low budget for dinner - and won;t allow for any wine (and don't forget menu prices are plus 8% tax and 20% tip).

Nightlife can range from the moderate to the ultra expensive. check out Time Out New York online to see what options you have - to avoid the trendy clubs with huge prices and long waiting lines to get in (if they le you in at all - always much easier for women than guys alone unless you are willing to spring for $300 bottle tables.
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Jul 25th, 2012, 07:34 AM
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tfly, are you sure there is still such a thing as a weekend Metro card? I thought 7 day was now the shortest.

To the OP: I've visited NYC more times than I can count, often for periods up to a month at a time, and I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've taken a taxi (other than to or from the airport). The subway is the fastest and actually the most interesting transportation. And you can be fully entertained in the subway -- you'll see what I mean.
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Jul 25th, 2012, 08:52 AM
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In terms of dining, you should probably concentrate on the East Village, Lower East Side, and along Park Avenue from 14th to 28th St. That's where a lot of trendy, youngish restaurants can be found. Those on Park Avenue are the most expensive, but getting dinner at a trendy spot for $20 or less is really hard, so you may be limited to pizza, Chinese, Indian, and fast food if you want to keep on that budget.

But places like Meatball Shop, Freeman's, Stanton Social, Schiller's on the Lower East Side are very trendy and popular (and loud at night) and can be in your price range if you order carefully and share appetizers and desserts. Most of these are around Stanton Street. The immediate neighborhood around your hotel is pretty expensive and not a good place to look for good food. There's a decent steak place called Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote, which has cheap wine and good steak frites, but it's still above your budget.

Instead I'd focus on finding breakfast for under $5, lunch for under $10, and dinner for about $35 per person, and you'll be much happier for about the same budget. But it's a really hard budget to meet if you drink anything other than tap water.

Aduchamp just published a long list of good cheaper restaurants. It's in a thread about a mother and 16 year old girl. Look for that. The OP is gofsu. They also asked for restaurants under $20.
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Jul 25th, 2012, 09:08 AM
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Agree that you need to be very careful to eat at that budget. We eat out all the time and in a basic neighborhood cafe dinner for 2 people runs about $80 (1 shared appetizer, each get a simple pasta or chicken dish - steak or lobster will definitely increase the price a lot - one glass of wine each and a coffee with tax and tip). This is NOT an exclusive place, but the regular cafes you see lining the avenues 3 or 4 to a block.
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Jul 25th, 2012, 09:19 AM
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Just copying Aduchamp's post about cheaper eats:

"I offer the following occasionally but now seems right to do it again. The other posters always add great ideas.

How to eat cheaply in NYC


Every, and I do mean every, neighborhood in Manhattan has what are euphemistically called delis. Almost all have some sort of breakfast specials that usually includes eggs, potatoes, toast and coffee. If you are not hungry or are cholesterol adverse, they also usually sell sliced fruit and yogurt. Of course there are bagels and pastries. NEVER EVER order room service.

There are many places that make their bagels. NOT DUNKIN DONUS. Some of the better one’s include Ess-a-Bagel,. Murray’s Tal’s, David’s.


Part of the NY experience is to avoid chain restaurants. There is an incredible variety of inexpensive foods, among them Chinese and Indian. Quality varies substantially. If you are in or near Chinatown, there are many places including Big Wong’s. If you are near the East Village East 6th Street has literally 14 Indian restaurants to choose from. There are also excellent Indian restaurants on Lexington Avenue in the 20’s. The East Village also offers inexpensive Eastern European cooking at Veselka comfort food at Mama’s.

No NY’er cannot resist a frank at Gray’s Papaya who also sells fruit drinks including papaya, hence the name. There are now many variations on papaya and dogs all are inexpensive. I do not think the fruit drinks have ever come in contact with real fruit, but that also is part of the charm. Nathan’s are also very good but they are more expensive.

Pizza is a long lunch standby-do not go to ANY chain, the cheese is older than the kids who make it. Look for by the slice places and try a calzone as well, you will not eat for two days.

Sidewalk hot dog venders are always cheap, avoid the guys around Rock Center, you pay a premium. There are those who wonder about the hygiene, the dogs are boiled and the knishes grilled for forever. It must kill anything that lurks

Free samples are available at Dean & Deluca, Sarabeth’s, and Gourmet Garage.

It is the rare independent bakery in NYC that does not have at least one bread or pastry that is enticing.

With the economy is bad many restaurants are offering Recession specials, so keep your eye out., especially pizza places and the Indian places on 6th Street

The following are inexpensive meals and desserts:

Inexpensive Italian- La Marca (3rd Ave. and 22 Street, only opened noon-10 PM, Mon-Fri), Excellent Food Value

Inexpensive Eastern European- Veselka,

Dessert-Veniero's, DeRobertis for the frozen lemon thing and cannoli , Fat Witch Bakery (brownies only) Chelsea Market

Brunches-, I Coppi, (best $15 brunch we have had in a long time) Turkish Kitchen, Cafecito (Ave C), Clinton Street Bakery, City Bakery

Pizza-Motorino, they luncheon special with individual pizza is a great great buy, also Lombardi’s

Hole in the wall-Stage (next to Stomp) great cheap home made soups

French fires-Pomme Frites

Inexpensive American-Mama’s

Ice Cream-Cones on Bleecker, Il Laboratorio de Gelato, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, Cones and Sundae (East 10th off Third) Ronnybrook at the Chelsea market

Chinatown-Big Wong. Joe’s Ginger, NY Noodletown

Dim Sum-Jing Fung, Golden Unicorn, Nom Wah on Doyers Street

Sandwiches-Dafonte-the meatball tastes like old Brooklyn and where else can still get potato and egg sandwiches.

Tapas-Despana on Broome Street, Nai

Inexpensive French Bistro-Sans Coulette


When we travel we often buy different foods as we walk around the city and put them in our backpacks and have dinner in the hotel room. In NYC you will probably see foods that are unfamiliar. Bring a knife, forks, and a corkscrew. If you are using a carryon bring plastic utensils with you.

These are most of my favorite food stores. This is as highly subjective and geographically limited list you will find. The majority of stores are below 14th Street.
Stars indicate they are better than the others on the list. There are scores of excellent places that are not on the list, so exclusion is not necessarily condemnation.
Tourists can use this to put together their own food tour, buy stuff during the day for a feast in your hotel room at night or for gifts. One time we were flying back from Milan and we purchased a cake there and shared it with family when we landed.

Bagels and Bialys
Just because it is round, does not make it a bagel. There is a lot of crap being sold. A bagel must be boiled before it is baked. The ones with pimples on the bottom, like those you get at the sidewalk carts, are steamed. The ones you get at Dunkin Donuts are white bread in a circle, Rachel Ray.

Various Locations
My personal favorite. Ess-a bagels are yeasty while others are sweet because they add sugar. Ess-a Bagel is a bit of a play on words and means eat in Yiddish. The stores are crazy busy and there is a wide variety of spreads.

*Kossar’s Bialys (Established 1935)
367 Grand Street
What is a bialy? Originally from Bailystok, Poland and called Bialystoker Kuchen (cake). And yes, Mel Brooks stole the name for Max Bialystock. It is most and doughy, much like the perfect pizza crust but with an indentation in the middle for either bits of garlic or onion. Try their bulkas which are bialy dough in the shape of a hero or an onion wheel also called a pletzel. An onion wheel is round and thin covered with duh onions, or the other version poppy seeds. Toast it, butter it, and keel over dead.

Various Locations
Murray’s knows how to make bagels, chewy and large. The lines usually move quickly.

Amy’s Bread
Various Locations
The breads are well prepared and my favorite is the black sesame and the potato. I have never seen the same kid behind the counter twice, thus the staff is not knowledgeable and some seem confused by an order.

80 Spring Street
I guess they could have made the space smaller, but then only your hand would fit through the door. Unlike the restaurant, the bakery deserves the praise for their baguettes and croissants.

Various locations
Yes, it is a stupid name and the place has all the charm of a company store at a gulag but it is a sister to City Bakery. They make fabulous almost everything including a pretzel croissant. They only offer about 10% of what can be had at the City Bakery and there is no place to sit and eat.The staff here and at City Bakery has not been told that space program was discontinued.

170 Second Ave
Very expensive but good as a dessert gift. The cookies are delicious and everything looks tempting some things are not as good as they look.

*Blue Ribbon Market
14 Bedford Street
There is not a bad bread in the house. They are made across the street at Blue Ribbon Bakery, where you can see the ovens on the basement. (They also have a interesting bathroom.)
Pick anything.

*Clinton Street Bakery
4 Clinton Street
Not only is this bakery but a great place for brunch which is impossible to enter on weekends. They may make the best biscuits in town followed closely by their scones.

*City Bakery
3 West 18th Street
Try the hot chocolate melted from chocolate bars or the pretzel croissants or the baker’s muffins or anything laid out on the counter. Extremely crowded at breakfast and lunch. Celebrities have been spotted but unless they are disguised as spoon I have not seen any.

DeRobertis (Established 1904)
176 First Avenue
It has the original tin ceiling and tiled walls and floors. Be selective in what you order, order nothing chocolate but the lobster tails, cannoli, and pignoli cookies are good and they are known for their lemon and orange things. (I am sure it has a real name) They hollow out the fruit, then fill it with a sorbet and freeze the whole thing including a peel lid.

*Donut Plant
379 Grand Street and Chelsea Hotel
I do not know what they do but the donuts taste so much better than just about any other place. He also makes excellent churros. The valrhona chocolate is a monument to gluttony. Small storefront with bakery in back.

Eileen’s Cheesecake
17 Cleveland Place
That’s all she makes so she better make them well. Not the best but very good.

* Fat Witch Brownies
Chelsea Market
They make the fudgy type and they have a few variations. Staff is pleasant but sloooow. They have tourist buses that stop at Chelsea Market, so the lines may be long at times.

Various locations
In the food wasteland that is Wall Street, Financier knows how to make cakes and croissants. They are often crowded but the staff doesn’t know ganache or panache.

Various locations
Stick to the cheesecake.

*La Bergamonte
177 Ninth Avenue and 515 West 52nd Street,
For many years this was in the middle of food nowhere. Now with the Chelsea Market and the fattening of the Meatpacking district is getting its due. Extremely fine croissants and pastries and a place to sit

Le Pain Quotidien
Various locations
A chain from Belgium which makes it Belch. The baguettes are wonderful as are the brownies and raisin whole grain bread. This is probably the best food of any chain. The staff however, is laconic and unknowledgeable and very often there are out of many of the popular items. Nice brunches.

*Little Pie Company
424 West 43 Street
Their sour cream apple walnut pie is akin to crack cocaine but only a little cheaper. The other pies are good but not in the same category. People start lining up for Thanksgiving on 4th of July, so order in advance.

Patisserie Claude
187 West Fourth Street
Patisserie Claude has been selling pastries to Pig Me for a long time. We do not go often by when we do we are rewarded.

*S & S Cheesecake
222 W 238 St, Bronx
Could be the best cheesecake in the city, creamy but not dense, perfect,

Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies
204-207 Van Dyke Street, Red Hook
This is place is hard to find when you are standing in front it. Fortunately the silky pies can be found at Citarella and other self-defined fine stores.

*Sullivan Street Bakery
533 W 47th Street
You have probably eaten there breads many times and didn’t know it. It is offered in scores of restaurants and markets. You can identify many of the breads by sight. They are brown and crusty will the inside is light and airy. A paradigm for carbs.

342 East 11th Street
Established in 1894 some of those people are still waiting on line. I love this place, the best inexpensive tiramisu, addictive ricotta cheesecake, moist pignoli cookies, there are scores of offerings and no losers. The take out staff is never the same and the lines are long for the café. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, the café is turned to a waiting room for take out. They use an old fashioned machine to wrap the string around the box, while quaint, adds to the interminable line. You can also call in an order.

N.B. You can take your cupcake fight outside. We have tried many but a winner has yet to be named.

Candy and Chocolates

*Economy Candy (Established 1934)
108 Rivington Street
I am not sure they make anything on premises but they do have every candy still in production at very good prices. If you are a fan of candy stores, you will want to be buried here.

Evelyn’s Hand Dipped Chocolates
4 John Street
The best value for hand made chocolate in NY. It is clearly not the best, but most candy is made by hand and Evelyn can be seen slipping in and out from behind the counter. The cost is a fraction of the top notch candy stores. This is the type of place you find in a quaint town with quaint people. This 9/11 survivor should be supported.

*Jacques Torres Chocolates
Various Locations
For some reason people know the Brooklyn location better than the one on Hudson Street. Their truffles are exquisite as are all the chocolates and the hot chocolate. The lines are extraordinary on Valentine’s Day.

80 Thompson Street
Kee was a banker or a lawyer before she started making the best truffles in NYC. Some are Asian influenced each variety is better than the next. This is a must stop for chocolate cuckoos.

Various locations
Truffles are flown in from Switzerland. I once bought some for a chocolate loving friend who about to get married. While eating the truffles, this modest woman was made sounds that are usually reserved for her husband. Although she was completely embarrassed, I knew I bought the right gift.

There are many chocolate stores in midtown that make exceptional products but I have not enough experience to add them to the list. These include Richart, Maison du Chocolat, and Pierre Marcolini and Burdick. Just turn your pockets inside out for a taste.

Alleva Diary (Established 1892)
188 Grand Street
Not as good as its neighbor DiPalo but extremely offers a fine selection of Italian cheeses.

*DiPalo Dairy (Established 1925)
200 Grand Street
One of NY’s great stores. Not only are the cheeses spectacular but their prosciutti are perfect. Their selections are impeccable. If at all possible avoid the weekend crowds, even though they have adults behind the counter.

East Village Cheese
140 Third Avenue
His cheese must fall off the truck to charge the lowest prices in the city. There is always some $2.99 per pound special. For that price you will not get the best, but at least you will be filled. The staff has become nicer over the years but not much. Cash only.

*Formaggio Essex
Essex Market on Essex Steet.
That should be enough Essexes. This is a tiny outlet from a Boston company. The cheeses are excellent but they have vats where you take a bottle and fill it with a vinegar sherry or olive oil and both are redolent and extremely flavorful. There is some rules about deposits but I am not good at rules. The Essex market is a poured concrete structure with many stalls selling veggies and Hispanic staples with a barber shop in the back. Do not be deterred that it looks like pig farm from the outside.

*Joe’s Dairy (Established 1925)
156 Sullivan Street.
If you do not like Joe’s you do not like New York. They have been making mozzarella for over 80 years and the smoked version is addictive. The store is tiny, tiny, tiny and the staff is family and know their stuff and the neighborhood. One time I bought my mother-in-law a smoked mozzarella here. The next time I saw her she said she cut off the outside because she thought the outside was burned.

*Murray’s Cheeese
254 Bleecker Street and another in Grand Central
Best in show. They carefully choose only the finest quality of every variety. The staff is cheesemongers, one is even a gossip monger. The ricotta cheese cake is worth going to jail. This is a must visit for anyone who has the slightest interest in cheese.

*Russo’s Mozzarella (Established 1908)
344 East 11th Street
Cleverly they make fresh and smoked mozzarella which are excellent but they also make pastas, sauces, and there own olive varieties. Cramped but the guys know what they are doing.

Ice Cream

272 Bleecker Street
In 1986 an Israeli newspaper sent a reporter to cover the NY Mets in the World Series because they heard there was a David Cone. He isn’t related to this place either. Sweet creamy, fresh ingredients with many varieties. Many tourists happen upon it when eating at John’s Pizzeria.

*Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
65 Bayard Street
Store made ice cream which for wimps offers vanilla and chocolate since they also serve flavors like green tea, lichee nut, and my favorite almond cookie. The kids behind the counter are always nice. There is no better way to end a meal in Chinatown. Inexpensive but cash only.

*Il Laboratorio de Gelato
95 Orchard Street
Everybody claims their gelati is the same as in Italy, blah, blah, blah. Their gelati is like Italy. It is the type you eat four times a day as you walk around Rome or Florence before you realize you have ruined your appetite for dinner. Expensive and cash only.

Sundaes and Cones
95 East 10th Street
They have nothing to do with just Cones and is a shade below, But if you are in the neighborhood, the store made ice cream is creamy and offer interesting flavors.

Various locations
An Italian gelati chain. The quality is high but so are the prices.


Yonah Schimmel (Established 1890)
137 East Houston Street
Yonah has been dead for a long time and they have not redecorated or cleaned the windows since. If they made great knishes the owners could be considered knish savants but they are not. The knishes you buy at sidewalk carts, however, are shaped like third base, taste worse, are fried and often a green patina inside. Thy make the baked variety and may or may not have the all types on hand.

Kitchen Supplies

* Broadway Panhandler
65 East 8th Street
They finally moved closer to Broadway. This is good for the semi-serious chef. There is an excellent selection of knives and pans but half the store is dedicated to stuff you use once or cutsey-poo crap.

New York Cake and Baking Distributor
56 W 22
Has what every serious amateur and professional baker needs, flour, pans, cookie cutters, etc. The quarters are Spartan and the staff acts like they just found a cure for cancer.

My favorite store Bridge Cookware has left NYC for the wilds of New Jersey.

Food Markets
Unless otherwise noted these places are expensive or very expensive.

Agatha and Valentina
A large department features hard-core Italian cold cuts like soppressata and hot or sweet cappicola, while the cheese department sports a huge number of offerings and loads of free samples. The prepared foods section also has a thick Italian accent and is among the more interesting in the city.

Various Locations
One of the best spots for fish from standard stuff with gills to razor clams. Knowledgeable fishmongers. Same is true for meats. Their prepared foods are universally good with outstanding soups. They collect bread and cakes from various but good places.

Dean and Deluca
Various Locations
The original food museum. The fruit is laid out to be admired, as are the cheeses, breads, and cakes. The main location on Broadway always a line at the espresso bar. Prices are higher than a stale bagel at the airport.

*Eli’s Vinegar Factory
31 East 91st Street,
Eli had a fight with his family at Zabar’s and opened up a much more expensive food market. When you look at the prices, you think you are in a foreign country and miscalculated the exchange rate. On the other hand, every thing here is outstanding and it is a bit out of the way.

Various locations
Cheaper than the others
The fruits and veggies are outstanding as are the meats, fish, and store made breads. They also carry reasonably priced groceries. The Brooklyn store has food counters with an outdoor eating area with a view of the Statue of Liberty. But the food choices are not for the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

Grace’s Marketplace
She is the daughter of old man Balducci, who was such a difficult character and opened her own place. Physically it resembles the long gone Balducci’s on 6th Ave, but retained the good qualities such as the prepared meats and excellent meat, fish, and produce selections.

Manhattan Fruit Exchange
Chelsea Market
Best veggie value in town. Crowded, crowded, crowded. Cash only

*Russ and Daughters (Established 1914)
179 East Houston Street
A new generation has taken over with the same pride and dedication to smoked fish as their aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Sable, white fish, lox, gravlax, it does not matter they are all mouth watering. Try the chopped liver, it is full flavor.

Trader Joe’s
Various Locations
Very good on selected items, while almost everything is reasonably priced. Extremely long lines on weekends and late afternoons.

*Zabar’s (Established 1931)
2245 Broadway
Another NY institution with a well deserved reputation. The prices are cheaper than almost those above but the quality is the same or better. Large cheese selection, fantastic prepared foods, the claim to sell more coffee than anyone in NYC, store made knishes, breads and cakes from the best purveyors, Zabar’s brand spices and olive oil (this is known as one of the best buys anywhere.). The lox slicers reportedly make $85,000 a year. And upstairs is a cookware section. The staff is wonderful but the clientele is often obnoxious and aggressive. Sharpen your elbows and fight for the tri-colored pate.

*East Village Meat Market
139 Second Avenue
It helps if you speak Polish but you can get by in English. Old fashioned butcher shop where every thing is cut upon request. They also make great, great kielbasa and in many shapes and types and smoked hams. Relatively inexpensive.

*Faicco’s (Established 1900)
260 Bleecker Street
They make their flavorful sausage, rice balls, sauces. You get the old schmooze from the guys behind the counter as well. If you like old fashioned Italian butchers who know what they are doing, this is the joint.


*Raffetto’s (Established 1906)
144 W. Houston Street
They cut fresh pasta from sheets to your specification in front of you on a machine that looked obsolete 50 years ago. Not a gimmick just the freshest, tastiest pasta yet. They have many types including saffron. Cash only.


*The Pickle Guys
49 Essex Street
Some employee defected from Gus’s, the pickles are perfect as is the spiel. They also offer a free pickle. There are barrels and barrels of sour, new, half sour, pickled peppers just calling your name.

Spanish Provisions

408 Broome Street (Original at 86-17 Northern Blvd. Queens)
The chorizos and morcilla are incredibly tasy and tangy and are found in many restaurant around town. Their cheeses are also top notch and offer a wide selection. They also offer Serrano ham which is many respects is sweeter and more delicate than porsciutto. They serve tapas as well. There is no table service, the selection is limited as are the hours, but what they serve is excellent."
sf7307 is online now  
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Jul 25th, 2012, 09:50 AM
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As you may know, your hotel is in the middle of a rather generic midtown neighborhood known more for residential towers and office buildings than for any kind of "scene". That said, it's far from empty regarding your questions - and is very central for getting other places when you want to go see the sights.

In the immediate neighborhood where your hotel is, there are a ton of cheap eateries geared to the office workers in the area. All along Lexington, 3rd and 2nd Aves, you'll find dime-a-dozen pizza-by-the-slice places, food trucks serving gyros and grilled chicken, fast food joints... There's also the original PJ Clarkes, one of NYC's renowned burger joints. And you'll see that the area is full of Asian restaurants, including a lot of sushi restaurants that are inexpensive for Japanese.

Ess-a-Bagel mentioned up-thread would be a good breakfast option; also look for places like Pax or Europa Cafe that have fresh but pre-made sandwiches and breakfast items. There's a Starbucks on the corner of the block where your hotel is. You can always get a decently-priced meal at a diner. One I know of is Plaza Diner on 56th Street/2nd Ave; there's also a diner-type place right across the street from your hotel, but I have no personal experience there...

For nightlife, Second Ave south from 57th Street has a number of bars popular with the after-work 20-something crowd: Sutton Place, Redemption, TG Whitneys, Turtle Bay, Opal... and pubs like Jamesons and Manchesters.

The E train at 53rd Street (entrances on Lex and 3rd Aves) will take you cross-town to Port Authority and Penn Station, then down the west side to the World Trade Center site. (In the other direction, the next stop is in Queens, and will take you out to Citi Field...)

The 4/5/6 trains at 59th Street and Lexington Ave will take you uptown to the Met Museum and eventually to Yankee Stadium; or downtown along the east side through Grand Central Terminal to Wall Street, the tip of Manhattan at Bowling Green, and out to Brooklyn.

Also at 59th Street, you can catch the N/Q/R trains that are best if you want to go to Times Square, the Village, SoHo (and in the other direction out to areas such as Astoria in Queens).
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