Visiting NYC for a weekend

I’ll be visiting NYC for a weekend (coming from Boston) in May and am overwhelmed by the options. We’ll probably have 1 lunch and 1 dinner and are open to anything, but we’re not so interested in super high-end dining. We’re staying in Manhattan and would probably prefer dining options there.

Here are some places that sounded interesting as I was browsing around online; comments on any of these, or suggestions for other places to consider? We’re not vegetarian but appreciate good vegetables more than meat, and we’d love to have something that we can’t get so easily in Boston. Here are a few places that caught my eye as I was browsing for recommendations:

  • Kajitsu
  • Dirt Candy: We’ve been to the old location; is it worthwhile to also go to a new location? A few comments seem to suggest the new is not as great as the old.
  • Rasa (Malaysian food in Boston is lacking)
  • Kottu House (Sri Lankan is also lacking)

Also, are there any good bread bakeries worth visiting? I’m especially a fan of bakeries that incorporate a variety of grains. (Bakeries with sweets are also good; we still think about the Levain Bakery chocolate chip cookie and will probably try to get one!)

Consider a trip to the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturday - you can visit several bread vendors in a short time. Here’s a list of producers; just search the page for “bread.”

http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/farmers

Sullivan Street Bakery and Amy’s Bread are also good choices. Amy’s has a branch in the Chelsea Market, but don’t go to that one. Unless you enjoy shuffling slowly through enormous crowds, in which case definitely go to that one.

Breads Bakery 18 W 16 Street has many varieties. Dean and Deluca, not a bakery, has many kinds of bread from a range of excellent bakeries.

Dirt Candy is amazing- really delicious, creative and unique. I went for brunch a while back and we all enjoyed it- I’m sure the menu is different now but the korean fried broccoli is a must.
I haven’t been to Kajitsu but have only read positive reviews on CH and elsewhere.
Not sure about the other two.
Also look at Zab Elee, Jeepeny, uncle boon’s, ilili, hangawi, le verdure at eataly…

Breads bakery makes some excellent breads (the north sea rye is my favorite, it’s very dense) and their rugelach is a great sweet treat. Best known for their babka which is sweet and rich.

We love browsing food markets, so the Greenmarket sounds right up our alley. And I love chocolate babka so might have to pick one up. Thanks for all of the recommendations!

At the union sq green market the hard pretzel vendor is great (and they have free tastes), and lots of fresh produce of course.
If you go up to Eataly it’s an easy walk- but be warned that on weekends it is VERY busy (going early morning would be the best plan), great for browsing but be warned several of their breads do not have salt and aren’t especially delicious. Their focaccia is amazing- you may get lucky and catch it still warm. The gelato counter has some good ones- flavors change often but the hazelnut is my favorite

Eataly is so fun even if you don’t eat or drink or buy anything. Great food porn.

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If you go to Rasa, I recommend the chili crab (soft shell).

Chili crab, yum. What do you think overall of the food at Rasa? (We have some Malaysian restaurants in Boston, but they aren’t particularly great.)

I like the olive oil section…and it’s never busy in that part of the store.

Rasa is pretty good, but I’m still searching for great. I hosted a group dinner there and management was very accommodating in working out a fixed priced, family style dinner.

I think both of us also like Le Verdure, the vegetarian restaurant in Eataly.

nonaggie, where in New York will you be staying? That would influence where I’d be likely to recommend you go in terms of bakeries.

Thanks for echoing the recommendation on Le Verdure; I’ll definitely check that out.

We haven’t figured out a place to stay yet, but we’ll be seeing the NYC Ballet and perhaps visiting the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, so we’ll probably aim for something convenient to those.

Cooper-Hewitt is walkable to Two Little Red Hens, a great American-style bakery. I really enjoy their squares (lime/coconut, i I remember right; chocolate/pecan; lemon; Linzer, etc.). Excellent cupcakes, too, etc.

I’ll let the others recommend places close to Lincoln Center. I almost always eat either in my neighborhood (the East Village) before going, on 9th Av. in the 40s or 50s, or wait till after the concert and walk down to Koreatown to go to BCD Tofu House. But those are the moves of a native Manhattanite with limited income.

If possible eat dinner in a different neighborhood than Lincoln center (ballet), the walkable options are slim although nearby Lincoln is very good for upscale italian.

Bouchon bakery in the Time Warner center (4th fl i think) makes great oversized sandwich cookies, macarons, and various seasonal pastries.

Of course Levain is on the uws… :))

Birdbath bakery on uws also makes an excellent choco chunk cookie but totally different style- thick and flat, large, crispy edges and softer interior

On the upper east side the Lady M cake boutique makes unique crepe cakes that aren’t overly sweet.

There’s also Laudree if you “need” macarons, theirs are really some of the best
+1 for little red hen bakery- the cheesecake and chocolate blackout cupcakes are signature items
Saint Ambroes is a good stop for a coffee and pastry or gelato

The roast beef sandwich is kind of magical, too: if the weather is nice, buy one and eat it across the street in Madison Sq. Park [l know you’re vegetarian, Tt, but since nonaggie isn’t…].

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Just wanted to report back. We ended up having dinner at Hangawi, which we really enjoyed; it’s such a serene spot, and the food was delicious. Because we were near the Cooper-Hewitt, we had lunch at Beyoglu; all of the meze we had were well-prepared.

We managed to get to a number of bakeries while wandering around – got a chocolate chip cookie at Levain (a bit on the sweet side, we felt), some small things at Hot Breads Kitchen and She Wolf Bakery at the 79th St Greenmarket, and a few rolls at Pain D’Avignon. Also picked up a couple of sandwiches at Breads Bakery for the drive home. My favorite of all the breads we tried was probably Pain D’Avignon’s 7-grain.

Thanks again for all of the recommendations; we really enjoyed the trip!

Thanks for reporting back! Sounds like a delicious trip :smile: hangawi really is unique to nyc, although it certainly feels like you’re elsewhere inside the restaurant
Guess you’ll just have to come back to try everything else you didn’t get to!

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold