Decent Manhattan/Chelsea dining?
May 27, 2014 6:43 AM   Subscribe

We are going to NYC for work reasons and will be spending most of the days on our feet all day at the Javits Center in Manhattan. We are staying on W. 24th St. /7th Ave., and I don't think we will have the energy to go far afield to eat dinner much, so we are looking for recommendations for dinner places in the area. Around Javits is pretty much a desert I think?, but maybe nearish where we are staying has some options? We like and eat pretty much anything, from dives (if the food is great) to ethnic and fine dining. (Things we dislike: having to dress up/suit and tie level to eat, and places that may seat you at bad tables if you are a bit overweight/not appearing cutting edge in fashion.)
posted by gudrun to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sorry to start off with a clarification question, but how far is "far afield"? If 10 blocks isn't too far, Westville is casual, tasty and has a Chelsea location (18th and 8th).
posted by oinopaponton at 6:50 AM on May 27, 2014

Yeah, the Javits Center isn't near anything. There are plenty of cute places in Chelsea or the West Village near your hotel.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:53 AM on May 27, 2014

Response by poster: Yeah, 10 blocks is ok (oh my aching feet ... but willing to walk a bit for good food).
posted by gudrun at 6:53 AM on May 27, 2014

There is a fantastic Chinese place called Grand Sichuan at 10th and 24th. Some excellent "real" Chinese dishes (eg tendon) and they have a menu with freshly killed chicken that is fantastic. Not fancy of course, but a real treat.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:04 AM on May 27, 2014

Best answer: westville is fine. But its not much more than a better than it needs to be sandwich and burger place. I say this from love - its one of our standing order places in the west village. Like its a good place but it doesn't sound like what you are looking for.

There is a previous question on this as well.

Some suggestions
Txikito or sibling El Quinto Pino
Trestle on Tenth
The Red Cat is fine

If you want to go further south Toro is on the only MePa big box worth going to ex. Del Posto - which is a big ticket place.

Sullivan St Bakery for Sandwiches and Pastry

seconding Legends - esp the Sichuan Menu

Going the other direction I like Hanjan, and or course you have The Breslin and John Dory Oyster Bar at the Ace. You may wish to consider NoMad - tho I don't love it.

While I think Eataly (23rd and 6th) is generally overrated and touristic I actually do like their roof top bar/Sausage place on a nice night.

ABC Kitchen - its good - others are bigger fans than I.

The Gander is a hottish new opening I have not been to.

Still love Aldea

None of these places require more than a non-t-shirt and I've never gotten much attitude from them.

Grand Sichuan is 9th, and its gone massively downhill. Legends is a better sichuan option. Lan Sheng and Sichuan Gourmet - both on 39th are the best Sichuan options in reasonable proximity.

I actually think they are better than GS was at its best.
posted by JPD at 7:09 AM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I really loved the Tipsy Parson, on 9th between 19th and 20th. Great food, lovely wines, attentive service, good atmosphere. The cuisine runs a bit Southern US, but not too much.
posted by Liesl at 7:13 AM on May 27, 2014

Best answer: Some ideas:
- BXL Zoute - Casual dining, great mussels and frites! Also a pretty good beer selection if you're into that.
- Asuka Sushi - solid sushi spot and casual but nice ambience. More a place to get excellent rolls rather than do a fancy omasake tasting menu.
- Co Ba - Delicious banh mi and the shrimp papaya salad!!! This is a little far from the Javitz center but it's SO good.
- Murray's Bagels - All right so this is not really a dinner spot but it gets an honorable mention because it's close to the Javitz Center and has amazing bagels. I think it closes at 8pm so you could swing by for a quick dinner. Do yourself favor and get a bagel with cream cheese, lox, onions, and capers. If your eyes don't roll back in your head as you're eating I'll give you 5 bucks.
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 7:23 AM on May 27, 2014

Whatever you do please do NOT go to Dallas BBQ...
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 7:25 AM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If high end sushi does appeal 15 East and Sushi Seki are both within your radius. 15 East actually just outside it and the new downtown Sushi Seki is like a block from where you are staying.
posted by JPD at 8:15 AM on May 27, 2014

Best answer: The Meatball Shop at 22nd and 9th.
posted by greta simone at 8:19 AM on May 27, 2014

Agreed that Grand Sichuan is no good. I have gotten sick the last few times I've eaten there.
posted by greta simone at 8:22 AM on May 27, 2014

Best answer: Bareburger on 18th and 8th is so good, so fucking good. SO GOOD.
posted by elizardbits at 9:01 AM on May 27, 2014

Best answer: Yeah I'd say meatball shop, and legend.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 10:21 AM on May 27, 2014

Best answer: OK, I have no idea why people are saying there's nothing near the Javits Center.

That's incorrect. The area south of Port Authority on Ninth Avenue has changed dramatically over the past ten years and now hosts several good places to eat.

So, if you walk east to Ninth Avenue (i.e. 2 long blocks east), you'll be very close to several pretty wonderful places to eat:

*Market Cafe (38th/9th) is great for casual dining with a little flair. They have a great wine list (cheap for NYC) and excellent main dishes.

*Tavola (37th/ 9th, in the space that was the legendary Manganaro's) has some great wood-fired pizza.

*Tabata Ramen (40th/9th) is more of an izakaya crossed with a ramen shop, but the noodles are fantastic, as are the fried octopus. (And if you are craving superlative ramen, you can walk north ten blocks from the Javits Center to Ivan Ramen on 44th/11th)

*Larb Ubol (36th/9th) is an Isan Thai restaurant. In most parts of the US, you can't get Isan dishes, so this is your chance to try some of the best authentic Thai food in New York (after Sripraphai and Zabb in Queens, of course). I'm partial to the yum (spicy salads), the larb (ground meat salads--and there are vegetarian options here too), as well as the fish main dishes and the kia jiaw (omelet with pickled garlic).

Those are just four of the best. There's also Cupcake Cafe (41st/9th) for *incredible* coffee, Burgers and Cupcakes (35th/9th) for the eponymous treats, and Mercato (39th btw. 9th and 8th, but very close to 9th) for very solid Italian.
posted by yellowcandy at 12:04 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Gander, mentioned above, is really good. 18th between 5th & 6th and casual. One of my closest friends is the maƮtre d' there so we've been a few times, and the food is excellent. No need to dress up, but definitely make a reservation.

Also phenomenal food and not terribly far from your hotel: The NoMad. It is hard to get a reservation unless you book a few weeks out, but the food is phenomenal. It's fancy but there is no dress code and you wouldn't be out of place in jeans there.
posted by bedhead at 12:25 PM on May 27, 2014

Best answer: Thirding Legend - I live near their uptown location but the one in Chelsea is better, I think - and the Meatball Shop, though it is a little overpriced for what you get.

Not at all dinner, but Brooklyn Bagel is on 8th between 24th and 25th and I prefer their bagels to Murray's. (Despite the name it's mostly an Astoria business, they just have this one Chelsea location.)

Also not dinner (but I mean... I've had it for dinner) but Doughnut Plant is on 23rd near 7th and it is life-changing.
posted by dekathelon at 1:10 PM on May 27, 2014

Best answer: If you want excellent, non-traditional, upscale Indian, try Devi on 18th between 5th and Broadway.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:02 PM on May 27, 2014

Best answer: Coppelia will be very convenient to where you are staying (12 minute walk or five minute subway ride).

It's delicious and it's 24 hours. Fantastic cocktails. Definitely a casual and friendly vibe.

The Donut Pub is right next door. I haven't tried their donuts but they have the best Black and White cookies I've had in NYC yet.

Tangentially, consider getting week/day Citibike passes. It will make the Javits Center, which is way the heck out west) seem so much closer, and it's a great and fun way to get around the city. A friend of mine who was in town for a professional conference there tried it out starting part way through her time in NYC and couldn't say enough good things about it.
posted by Salamandrous at 7:06 AM on May 29, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks, lots of helpful answers, and we have enjoyed The Red Cat previously. (Got the side-eye once from a hostess there but otherwise we have made out OK and the food is excellent.)

Re the bike suggestions, my bad knee precludes that, plus biking in city traffic is pretty scary anyway (not to mention the heavy books we were sometimes packing), but more power to those who can do it. We wound up going a tiny bit out of our way to walk part of the High Line on our way to and from Javits. When Phase 3 of the High Line opens this should be an even better way to go.
posted by gudrun at 11:00 PM on May 31, 2014

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