Restaurant recommendations in Brooklyn and Manhattan
March 24, 2010 7:54 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for restaurant recommendations in Brooklyn and the UWS -- whatcha got, MeFi?

My family and I will be spending a few days in New York over spring break, and I'd love to hear about good restaurants in Brooklyn and the Upper West Side. We're staying in Brooklyn (Park Slope to be more specific) and will be spending some time in Manhattan too, primarily near the AMNH and Central Park. We'd especially love recommendations for Greek, Mexican, Thai and sushi. There are three of us: two adults and a six-year-old, and we'd like to not spend an absolute fortune. (Lots of previous questions on restaurants seem to be focused on special occasions; we're looking more for low-key, tasty but affordable options, though I know "sushi" never equals "affordable".) I saw this AskMe from 2006, and will investigate those recommendations, but since that question is more than three years old I thought there might be some new places to check out. Thanks!
posted by Janta to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Mexican: Gabriela's. Though I'm partial to Rosa Mexicano.

Sushi: Tenzan

These are on the UWS. Can't help with Brooklyn. And there are a bunch of Thai places on the UWS but unfortunately I can't remember any of their names now.
posted by dfriedman at 7:58 AM on March 24, 2010

Turkish- but if you like Greek, you'll be happy. Beyoglu, in the 80s on 3rd. Not too expensive, good food. Sometimes bad service, but the food's worth it.
posted by slateyness at 8:02 AM on March 24, 2010

For real Greek you are going to need to go to Astoria. Sorry.

For Mexican in Park Slope ('s more like Sunset Park) you should go to Tacos Nuevos Mexicos on 5th Ave and like 13th or 15th. It will be cheap and the jukebox will be LOUD like a real Mexican joint.

For Thai/Vietnamese go to Song on 5th and like 5th.

For Sushi, go to Blue Ribbon Sushi on 5th and 1st or Garfield I can't remember.

Now, that out of the way, if you want a really freakin fantastic dinner you should forget about those and go to either Al Di La on 5th and Carroll or Convivium Osteria on 5th and I think St. Marks. You will not regret it. Or you can try one of these others:

Chestnut on Smith

Char No. 4 on Smith for good bbq (although I'd much rather recommend either Hill Country on 26th in Manhattan or Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem)

Zaytoons on Smith for the damn best felafel

Saul or Grocery on Smith for high end that will blow your mind

Or, you know what...just walk down Smith Street or 5th Ave and follow your fancy.
posted by spicynuts at 8:07 AM on March 24, 2010

Awesome sushi in Park Slope - Geido. Their eel is particularly nice. I also rather like the salmon skin roll.

If you're willing to go beyond the cuisines you listed, also in Park Slope I particularly recommend Palo Santo, which pretty much always has Brooklyn Restaurant Week prices (three courses for $25). When we took the 6 year old in our lives there, the chef made her a special fruit salad at her request and she drew love letters to him during dinner.
posted by Eshkol at 8:18 AM on March 24, 2010

I believe Palo Santo also has cats, which the kids might like. I mean as pets, not ON THE MENU.
posted by spicynuts at 8:20 AM on March 24, 2010

Response by poster: Hey, if you've got a great Greek recommendation in Astoria, let's hear it -- I've got family in Astoria, so chances are we'll head that way too!

And though I listed some cuisines we particularly like, we're always open to other stuff too!
posted by Janta at 8:21 AM on March 24, 2010

Oh, and to give that 6 year old (and yourselves!) an extra special treat, stop by the Chocolate Room on 5th Avenue in Park Slope for dessert!
posted by Eshkol at 8:23 AM on March 24, 2010

Unfortunately I don't have any Astoria recommendations but if you go to I'm sure you'll find a million.
posted by spicynuts at 8:36 AM on March 24, 2010

Applewood in Park Slope Brooklyn is amazing.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:45 AM on March 24, 2010

It would actually be easier to list the restaurants to AVOID in Park Slope/Carroll Gardens. Avoid 200 5th.
posted by spicynuts at 8:52 AM on March 24, 2010

Thai: Lime Leaf, Land
Greek: Kefi
Sushi: Gari, but it's not cheap
posted by jckll at 9:07 AM on March 24, 2010

Seconding Rosa Mexicano.

We like Citrus. It's a bit upscale, and your six year old's mileage may vary, but it's a sushi/Mexican place that's really really good.
posted by sleepinglion at 9:13 AM on March 24, 2010

Franny's is not outrageously expensive but it is outrageously tasty. It's not Mexican, Thai, Greek, or Sushi, though.
posted by jeb at 9:19 AM on March 24, 2010

Totally forgot about Citrus, but definitely agree with it.
posted by dfriedman at 9:35 AM on March 24, 2010

Best answer: Most of the restaurants in Park Slope are pretty kid-friendly, especially if you go early.

A couple of favorites:

* Brunch at Rose Water (dinner too, but that gets pricey)
* Al Di La (no reservations, show up at 5:30 when they open, FANTASTIC italian food)
* Two Boots Pizza - *very* kid-friendly, good brunch, good pizza, good bloody marys.
* Tea Lounge - Tons of kids during the day, coffee & beer available for grownups.
posted by swngnmonk at 9:49 AM on March 24, 2010

Seconding Applewood--the food's as good as it gets!

Also try the Good Fork and Fort Defiance, both in Red Hook. It would be a good day on the water with the kids (and there's a new Italian ice place nearby, too!).
posted by mixer at 10:13 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

On the UWS, I enjoy Thai Kitchen and Wondee Siam, right across the street from each other at 107 and Amsterdam. I tried a Thai place down in the mid 80s and Amsterdam once and got food poisoning. So be mindful of that.

This isn't like, real Mexican but I love Blockhead's at 106 and Amsterdam. I wouldn't go too late (lunch is usually the best time, as they're always nearly empty during the week) but they're cheap and have a fun, festive atmosphere. Great prices on gigantic burritos and $3 margaritas, if you're into that.
posted by amicamentis at 10:37 AM on March 24, 2010

Best answer: Also, I don't know what you're thoughts are about picnics, but a lot of the more upscale grocery stores on the UWS sell sushi at reasonable prices in to-go containers with chopsticks and soy sauce packets nearby. I think it's usually 8 pieces for $8, more or less. So if you are interested, that's another idea. Central Park is lovely for picnics.
posted by amicamentis at 10:39 AM on March 24, 2010

Wow, you are living my life- my apt is in Park Slope and I work right near AMNH.

I dis-recommend Palo Santo (sorry Eshkol) because it doesn't have too many options, the food is kind of bland, and the best thing ging for it is the cute building it is in. Instead I give you Los Pollitos Dos on 5th and Douglass, and for burritos, La Taqueria on 7th and Berkeley. If you are more south slope, Piramide on 5th is good and has awesome brunch. On the UWS, Rosa Mexicano and Cilantro are both good.

For Greek/Middle Eastern in the Slope, Olive Vine is great. If you hop over to Carroll Gardens, Zaytoons is even better and they make awesome fluffy pita. On the UWS, Kefi is amazing and has great lunch deals.
The best Greek place in Astoria is Taverna Kyclades, hands down.

For Thai, the best is Long Tan in Park Slope (their pad thai is my favorite anywhere, hands down, same wit the green papaya salad). On the UWS, there is Land, which is good but they aren't that helpful if you want things without fish sauce (don't know if you have veggies in your group).

Sushi- Kyoto Sushi on the UWS and Taro Sushi in P Slope, both are great and cheap and deliver.

Other good and cheap-ish cuisines that you didnt ask about:
Falafel at Ali Baba on the UWS
5 Napkin Burger on the UWS
Shake Shack UWS

Franny's Pizza (technically in P. Heights but close enough to Park SLope)
Miriam in the Slope is Israeli and they have also have great brunch
Bark Hot dogs in Park Slope
posted by rmless at 10:48 AM on March 24, 2010

Oh I forgot! Cheap Cuban on the UWS, Cafe Con Leche. is your best friend for these types of questions, also. They have menus, reviews, and aren't paid for and edited like yelp is.
posted by rmless at 10:51 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Mexican on the UWS is most certainly Taqueria y La Fonda Mexicana at 107 and Amsterdam. Much better and more authentic than Blockheads, which is basically a burrito chain that exists to sell tequila.
posted by ofthestrait at 2:10 PM on March 24, 2010

Mexican on UWS? Noche Mexicana, 101st and Amsterdam. None of the glitz of a Gabriela's, but lovely family-run place with first rate food.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:45 PM on March 24, 2010

If you want Greek on the UWS, try Symposium on W. 113th Street. Though not in the more traditional Greek area of Astoria, it is nonetheless owned and operated by Greeks. This place has delicious Greek food, and is *extremely* kid-friendly, with cool original artsy drawings everywhere that keep kids' eyes occupied.
posted by keener_sounds at 6:15 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's not sushi or Thai, but I highly recommend the Mill, a Korean place, on Broadway and 113th. I am also a fan of Thai Market, previously and erroneously referred to Thai Kitchen. For Mexican, take the 1 to 137th for burritos at El Toro Partido (at 139th and Broadway), tho' it is tiny and has the typical loud salsa/merengue blasting. For kid-friendly pizza, there's V&T on Amsterdam and 110th. Please don't go to Dinosaur BBQ, which is more of a TGIFriday's than a real BBQ restaurant.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:56 PM on March 29, 2010

Ok so.............WHERE DID YOU GO?
posted by spicynuts at 9:00 AM on April 1, 2010

Response by poster: Hi everyone -- thanks again for the recommendations! We wound up grabbing some sushi to go and picnicking in Central Park, since we were there on one of the particularly nice days this past week. We also hit Two Boots, which was delicious! I wish we could have tried more places, but I just wasn't able to fit them into the schedule.
posted by Janta at 8:07 AM on April 4, 2010

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