Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fashionistas and Foodies -- Where to Eat if You Shop in Manhattan

I have spring fever like crazy! So.... I HAVE to go shopping. And it's a great time to get some super end-of-season winter deals and get the spring must-haves like a cool boyfriend's blazer, a kicky trench coat (all the rage right now), or some fun ballet flats. Guys, go for a new leather jacket -- I saw some great ones at Hugo Boss. If you're shopping, you have to take some breaks and re-energize by eating. So, foodies and fashionistas, I offer you these ideas for where to go in all neighborhoods:

Downtown – The only real shopping here is at South Street Seaport but you definitely don’t want to eat there. Go, instead, for a fun taste of the Kiwi experience at nearby Nelson Blue and order their wonderful crab cakes. (233-235 Front Street, at Peck Slip, South Street Seaport) http://www.nelsonblue.com/

SoHo/NoLita – The wood-fired pizza at lovely Peasant on Elizabeth Street is worth a detour from the boutiques, and it’s thin-crust so you can still try on those slinky duds (Thank you, Frank Bruni, for this reco!). (194 Elizabeth Street between Spring Street and Prince Street) http://www.peasantnyc.com/

Lower East Side – You can nosh your way throughout this entire area while you shop for bargains of all sorts. But you’d miss something special if you didn’t set a spell at Katz’s for one of their famous pastrami sandwiches. Think Meg Ryan! (205 Houston Street, at Ludlow Street) http://www.katzdeli.com/

East Village – It can be crazy here, especially around St. Marks. So head just a bit east to one of the finest of David Chang’s Momofuku outposts, Momofuku Ssam for a fabulous pork bun. You may never get a reservation at Momofuku Ko, but at least you’ll have had a tiny bit of Momo heaven. (207 Second Avenue, at 13th Street) http://www.momofuku.com/

West Village – You can’t leave Manhattan without having a hot dog topped with sauerkraut, and Gray’s Papaya on Sixth Avenue has the works. Best of all, it’s only $1.25, the bargain of the century. (402 Sixth Avenue, at 8th Street)

Union Square/Flatiron – There are no seats at Rainbow Falafel and Shawarma on 17th Street so you’ll have to take your sandwich to the park at Union Square – it’s a quick snack so you won’t freeze for very long. (26 E. 17th Street. between Broadway and 5th Avenue)

Chelsea – The 6th Avenue stores are massive and exhausting. Tiny Tebaya’s Japanese-spiced chicken wings will ease the pain at an easy price. (144 W. 19th Street. between 6th and 7th avenues)

Herald Square – 34th Street can make even the most committed shopper go nuts. A skirt steak, chicken or fish taco in the beachy setting of Lucy’s Cantina Royale will give you a brief vacation respite. (1 Penn Plaza, Corner of 34th Street and 8th Avenue) http://www.lucyscantinaroyale.com/

Midtown/Fifth Avenue – A Greek salad at Kellari Taverna on 44th Street is perfect on every level, and the setting is a cozy oasis amidst the shopping madness in this part of the city. (19 W. 44th Street. between 5th 6th avenues) http://www.kellari.us/

Theater District -- I'll confess I'm addicted to any of the burgers here: the signature 5 Napkin burger with its signature 5N sauce is to die for, but, then again, so are the inside-out burgers and the turkey burgers. You'll soon understand why this is a pre-theater and post-theater favorite, too. (630 9th Avenue at 45th Street) http://www.fivenapkinburger.com/

Lincoln Center – The all-day Chowder Bar at Ed’s Chowder House has a variety of chowders to warm you up. Try the rich shellfish version, accompanied by some oysters and clams on the half-shell. (Empire Hotel, 44 W. 63rd Street between Broadway and Columbus Avenue) http://www.chinagrillmgt.com/restaurants-and-bars/eds-chowder-house

Upper West Side -- The line at Shake Shack on Columbus Avenue looks more daunting than it really is: join in and order one of the best burgers in the city. (366 Columbus Avenue at 77th Street) http://shakeshacknyc.com/

Upper East Side – 86th Street is a zoo but Lili’s on 3rd Avenue will add a calming Zen vibe with a big bowl of udon, meat and veggies. (1500 3rd Avenue between 84th and 85th streets)

Harlem -- 125th Street is where the action is, but I suggest you walk the 9 quick blocks to Amy Ruth’s for some authentic Southern fried chicken, with or without waffles. There’s a reason there’s usually a line to get in here. (113 W. 116th Street, between Lenox and 7th avenues) http://www.amyruthsharlem.com/

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