NYC eats and coffee shops near 44West 44th Street Manhattan
February 24, 2009 11:47 AM   Subscribe

Looking for ideas for food/diversion close to 44 W 44th St, NYNY...

I'll be staying at the Royalton Hotel next week for 5 days for a short vacation. My wife likes to sleep in and I like to hit the streets when I'm in a city. I'd love for any natives to recommend:

1: a good hangout open for coffee, pref. w/ wifi nearby (Starbucks is OK but local color better)

2: good eats nearby, and to that end, is Hell's Kitchen "walkable" from that area, as I hear they have some good restaurants.

3: any other advice you would give

posted by docpops to Society & Culture (14 answers total)
Response by poster: Clarification -I like to be out and about by 6:30 am and would like on-site wifi, if that wasn't clear...
posted by docpops at 11:48 AM on February 24, 2009

You should check out Zen Palate on 9th Ave at 46th Street. Fantastic, tasty vegetarian food like you have never seen before. Highly recommend the Curry Noodle Soup.

For wifi, pretty much any Starbucks will do. There are hundreds in NYC.
posted by camworld at 12:01 PM on February 24, 2009

Hell's Kitchen has great restaurants all over the 40s and is probably no more than a 10 minute walk from your hotel. The Coffee Pot at 49th Street (it's either 8th or 9th Ave, I forget) has free wifi and a pretty good cuppa.
posted by JaredSeth at 12:04 PM on February 24, 2009

The Coffee Pot (49th btw 8th & 9th)
Also, Pigalle, near there, opens at 6:30 am and has a pretty good breakfast & coffee.
posted by mattbucher at 12:05 PM on February 24, 2009

Starbucks is probably your best bet in the area for comfy wired coffee shops, unless you like diners, of which there are many excellent ones.

If you could be more specific about good eats, I could help you more. Hell's Kitchen's ethnic eateries have some of the best food in town. Not many are open at 6:30 a.m. though. Pigalle is a great idea.

(Don't miss a lunch or dinner at the Afghan Kebab House. A simple menu but a cozy joint and some of the best food in the city. Cheap too. No liquor license, so you have to bring your own wine, which makes it even cheaper. Go to the Afghan place on the East side of 9th. There's a competitor on the west side who isn't as good.)

The absolutely best advice I can give a tourist staying in the Times Square area is gawk a little, then get out of Times Square. Go west to 9th ave (or 10th).
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:39 PM on February 24, 2009

There's a competitor on the west side who isn't as good.

Are you talking about Arianna Afghan? Because I always thought their food was pretty decent too.
posted by JaredSeth at 12:41 PM on February 24, 2009

Decent yes, but not sublime!
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:42 PM on February 24, 2009

Seconding Zen Palate for sure. YUMMMM.

Hell's Kitchen is totally walkable from your hotel. There's a great Ethopian restaurant, Queen of Sheba, at 10th ave and 46th. There's also Say Cheese, on 9th between 45th and 46th, which celebrates the grilled cheese sandwich (they might have wifi, too, but I'm not sure). There are several recommended cuban/spanish places on 9th avenue (too many margaritas or I'd remember their names and cross streets!). La Paloma on 45th and 9th is one of my favorite places for a quick burrito.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 12:47 PM on February 24, 2009

#2. What others have said. Go out for a walk -- start at 44 and 9th ave, walk up 9th to about 56 (you'll notice when the restaurants start to thin out) then walk back down on 10th ave. Many to choose from.
posted by cestmoi15 at 1:17 PM on February 24, 2009

Take your wife to dinner at Taboon, 53rd and 10th. Make sure you get the house bread. Trust me on this. If you are booked up, go in for a preprandial glass of wine and some of the bread.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:16 PM on February 24, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks all of you. I promise to heed all your advice if at all possible. I'm embarrassed to say that despite being raised a few miles from downtown DC, years of living in Oregon have made me feel like a fish out of water in the big city. Can't wait to feel a little less unfamiliar.
posted by docpops at 6:28 PM on February 24, 2009

The thing is, you could walk in any direction and find something really cool. To the south, on 32nd Street, between Broadway and 5th Avenue, is Little Korea. My favorite place for a snack, E-mo Kim Bob, is at no. 2 W 32nd, tucked in on the south side of the street near 5th Avenue. Keep going south on 5th and check out the Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park.

To the east is Tudor City Place. Also, you are achingly close to Grand Central Station. You could easily spend an hour or two walking through that maze of tunnels and do a lot of quality people watching first thing in the morning, then get an amazing bit of early breakfast at one of the bazillion food places downstairs.

To the west and south is the Garment District. Or what's left of it. This is where I work. It's a cool little splotch of neighborhood between Penn Station and Times Square. Rivers of people flood in and out of Penn every morning and evening. You can find cool little stores selling fashion necessities, like buttons and wigs. There is a wonderful little French cafe called Macaron, which sells the best macaroons, French style. And their coffee kicks ass.

Anyway, that's enough from me. Have a wonderful time!

(A former Oregonian.)
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:58 PM on February 24, 2009

If you really want to see the real New York where people still tawk like New Yawkers, hop on the 7 train to Queens (You'll be going in the opposite direction of the morning commute) and go to a real New York Greek Diner in Astoria or there is even one right next to the big Citigroup bldg in Queens (3rd Queens stop on the 7). Forgot the name but you'll feel like you are in the Old Saturday Night Live skit with John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd in the Greek coffee shop. Can't vouch for wifi though.

And if your wife is jealous about your outer borough perambulations, you can take the 7 out to Queens to Sri Phapai for dinner, the best Thai restaurant in the NY metro area, or also Chips, which the incngruous name notwithstanding is owned by a family from Oaxaca and has great Mexican food

(NY does lag behind the West Coast in Mexican, this place is a shot across the bow to change that)

Of course Astoria is bulging with good Greek food,
posted by xetere at 7:27 PM on February 24, 2009

I'm a fan of the very nearby Marriot Marquis at 46th and Broadway for 1) their awesome automated elevator system and 2) their rotating restaurant with beautiful views. It's a great big city experience and when I went they seemed fine with us ordering a single drink each and hanging out for a full rotation (about an hour and a half). That was a slow weeknight, not sure what it's like on the weekends.
posted by funkiwan at 8:21 PM on February 24, 2009

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