Recommendations from locals in Kips Bay, Manhattan
March 19, 2012 11:37 PM   Subscribe

I will be staying in a rented apartment at 28th St and 2nd Ave in the Kips Bay Area of New York City for a week at the end of April. Can anyone familiar with the area (Kips Bay, Manhattan) orient me to local transportation, fun activities, and good eats?

In particular I would like recommendations to the local moderately priced restaurants, especially places for a good breakfast? My apartment has a full kitchen but I am reluctant to spend much time cooking; are local take-out restaurants a good idea? What is the nearest/best public transportation routes? Health issues may make it hard to walk long distances but I can afford cabs: where in Kips Bay is the best place to catch them?

And in general, what are the terrific things to see and do in New York at that time of year? I will be on a budget, but with the money saved on accommodations, I can afford some splurges also. What are your favorites?
posted by SamFrancisco to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Todaro brothers on 2nd between 30 and 31st is an excellent gourmet shop. A block down Pete's waterfront ale house is pretty good, they have excellent blue cheese dressing. Baby Bo's on 2nd and 34th is a pretty decent Mexican restaurant. Sarges's deli on 3rd and 36th should not be missed. If you like cheese steaks there is a Carl's steaks on 3rd and 34th. Those are the local restaurants that come to mind immediately.

I think the closest train station is going to be the 28th street 6 stop. You can also take the bus across 34th to get to the 2/3 on the west side. Cabs won't be a problem around there at all. There will probably always be a few lined up outside the Kips bay movie theatre but really they will be everywhere.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:04 AM on March 20, 2012

Ess A Bagel on 21st and 1st.

For delivery (or take out) in general, use or
posted by aloysius on the mixing boards at 12:14 AM on March 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Do you like Indian Food? Lex and 28th is sometimes called "curry hill" and there are a lot of good places along that stretch. If you want to get delivery or take-out, you will have lots of options.

Also, though I don't frequent that neighborhood a lot, I'm not sure how often people say "kips bay". Like, if you were taking a cab back to your place, you would say "28th & 2nd", instead of Kips Bay. There are lots of old neighborhood names that people don't use as much anymore, but perhaps I'm wrong there (I know people still use Murray Hill, which is the neighborhood just north of you there).

Since the weather has been so nice lately, if you can make the walk, you may want to wander over to Shake Shack in Madison Square Park on 23rd and Madison for a burger. It would be a cheap cab ride too, though you may want to go at non-rush hours so you don't have to stand in a line.

If the weather turns bad, and you are into Italian food, Mario Batali's Eataly is at 23rd and 5th. It can be a bit overwhelming though. It is bit like an Italian market mixed with a supermarket mixed with a bunch of restaurants and a mall, but it can be an interesting place to wander if you are into that sort of thing.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 1:10 AM on March 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Budget entertainment tips:

1. MOMA is free every Friday night from 4 pm to closing time.

2. Technically, the price they list at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a suggestion. You can pay anything you want -- even just a buck if you want.

3. If you have access to a bike -- you're just two blocks from a bike path that runs all the way down the east edge of Manhattan down to Chinatown and beyond, and ends in Battery Park -- and then if you go through Battery Park you end up at another bike path that runs all the way up the WEST side of Manhattan. It's also a great walking path.

4. The Staten Island Ferry is effectively free, and gives great views of the Statue of Liberty.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:13 AM on March 20, 2012

I stay in Murray Hill regularly and for breakfast I like the Sunflower Diner, on 3rd Ave at the corner of 26th St. In particular, their hash browns are to die for, because they use chunks of potato, not shreds. It's also a cool-looking building.
posted by essexjan at 4:47 AM on March 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Curry hill, Ess-a-bagel, and Carl's Steaks are all great suggestions.

If you like burgers, the Hairy Monk (25th and 3rd) does good ones. LaMarca Pasta (22nd and 3rd) is a great, reasonably-priced pasta place, and, in addition to Essa, David's Bagels (17th and 1st? It's something like that) has excellent bagels. There's a few good diners around there that do a solid breakfast, as well.

I'm probably not the person to ask for fancy brunch places or upscale stuff, as I lived there when I was a college student and didn't really do that.

You really should take a walk over to Madison Square, even if you don't go to Shake Shack. It's my favorite of Manhattan's "squares," as it's a bit quieter than the others and has some awesome architecture.

Your nearest subway will be the 28th St. stop on the 6, which can get you anywhere on the East Side. If you want to go to crosstown (or to parts of Brooklyn) you can take it to 14th St. and transfer to the L. You'll be able to find plenty of cabs right out on 2nd Ave., and if you hail one in another part of town, tell them to take you to "28th and 2nd"- the street always goes first, and not everyone knows where's Kip's Bay is. Also, if you want to take a cab uptown, be aware that 2nd Ave is one-way going downtown, so you may want to walk over to 1st or 3rd.

Have fun!
posted by breakin' the law at 5:21 AM on March 20, 2012

You are right near a restaurant where I had maybe my best Italian meal ever. I don't see it on the meny anymore, but the Pollo Rustico and Pollo in Volte are pretty close.
posted by troywestfield at 5:54 AM on March 20, 2012

I loved Sosa Borella which is in the theater district. The prices were moderate and the food was delicious. They have patio seating, which would make for a pleasant spring meal.
posted by halseyaa at 6:39 AM on March 20, 2012

Best answer: For Indian in Curry Hill, I like Tiffin Wallah, Chennai Garden, and Dhaba. Try also a kati roll from one of the places in the neighborhood for something different. If you are into cooking, stop into Kalustyan's, one of the most well-stocked spice stores (and more) in town.

For deli, I like Sarge's a lot but I think the matzoh balls and chicken in a pot at 2nd Avenue Deli (which is now at 33rd and 3rd) are better (it is, however, much more expensive due to being kosher). Sarge's also delivers 24/7 whereas 2nd Avenue closes at midnight. Both Sarge's and 2nd Ave Deli would probably be good for breakfast, too (though not 2nd Ave Deli if you require bacon).

For breakfast a short walk or cab ride away:
Maialino - 21st and Lexington
The Breslin, in the very hip Ace Hotel - 29th and Broadway. (If you go look up at the walls and ceiling. When the Ace moved into the the landmarked 1904 Breslin Hotel, they were not allowed to modify the existing walls. If you look carefully, you can see that the lobby is actually a set. See also: Stumptown Coffee adjacent.)
Penelope - 30th and Lexington

Sandwiches in the neighborhood
Defonte's - 21st and 3rd, see the "sandwich day" episode of 30 Rock
Lamazou - 27th and 3rd, great sandwiches, Nancy and Aziz Lamazou are super nice (he's an ex-diplomat who loves food and used to travel the world), excellent cheeses here, they also own a restaurant next door
Baoguette - 25th and Lexington
The Cannibal - 29th and Park, by the people who do Resto, specializes in charcuterie/fancy meats/beers

Eataly (23rd and 5th) can be fun to stroll around if you like looking at upscale grocery store wares. They also have a rooftop beer garden. I would take advantage of this if the weather is nice! And you can grab some pizza (Naples style) and/or pasta at one of the mini-restaurants. I also like 'inoteca on 3rd Ave and 24th for Italian small plates, including their famous truffled egg toast, which is amazingly, still $9 after all these years.

For an upscale experience, Eleven Madison Park is one of the top restaurants in the city (up there with Jean Georges, Per Se, etc.) Dinner books up 4 weeks in advance, but lunch is easier to get into, and essentially the same experience, just don't hit up the bottle of cognac that comes with the check too, too hard. You can also stop in and have a drink and a snack in the bar. It is a former bank lobby with large windows and big vaulted ceilings. Very pretty room. Great cocktails. Wonderful service. Expensive.

Stay away from the bars on 3rd Avenue, they tend to be pretty "fratty." Exceptions: the aforementioned Waterfront Ale House, or Molly's Shebeen on 23rd and 3rd (for their burger).

Baruch College is also nearby so expect the 6 train to be pretty crowded with young people during the before and after school rush.

There's also a brand new Filipino bakery, Pan de Sal, that I have yet to try. 21st St (At 2nd Ave).

Food trucks that park nearby (best for lunch, they close up at the end of the day, check individual schedules as they change quite frequently):
Calexico Cart - 24th and Broadway, daily
Cool Haus - 25th and Park, used to be Fridays, now they are switching it up I think
Domo Taco - Mondays at 23rd and Park
Luke's Lobster - occasionally at 23rd and Park

I'm probably missing some trucks, but that should be a good start.
posted by kathryn at 6:55 AM on March 20, 2012 [3 favorites]

There are some great things listed above. I know people who live off Defonte's, though I've never been a huge fan.

Also if you go down to 2nd and 18th, Posto has excellent pizza.

Ha, you will have no problem getting cabs on 2nd Avenue.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:06 AM on March 20, 2012

Bamiyan afghani food, on 3rd and 26th.

Also, from the "Curry Hill" Indian places, my favorite is "Curry Express" on 29th street, just east of Madison. $7 or so, and you eat like a king. Avoid "Curry in a Hurry", they're overpriced and lower quality than the rest of the nearby options.

Warning: If you're going to have a burger at Shake Shack for lunch, get there before 11:30am, or you'll be waiting in line for over an hour.

There are buses that run up Third and down Second. But, you're actually a few blocks' walk from the subways (6 train at 23rd/Park, N/R trains at 23rd/Broadway). Check the map:

While "Kips Bay" is an old name that some people won't associate, the people who recognize it will immediately think of the big movie theater.

posted by Citrus at 7:48 AM on March 20, 2012

Response by poster: The Indian restaurants stood out. Public transportation was easy and great. Thanks to all who weighed in. The trip was a standout !

Question resolved
posted by SamFrancisco at 2:25 PM on October 30, 2012

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