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Old Oct 7, 11, 11:22 pm   #1
 
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One day in NYC with a 4yo. What to do? Best pizza and deli?

We are staying at the DT and the only things we want to do is have a great pizza and go to q great deli. Any suggestions for those?

Also, any suggestions in what to do with a 4yo?

Thanks.
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Old Oct 8, 11, 6:32 pm   #2
 
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What is the DT? I'd try the children's museum - easily combined with the natural history if you are so inclined. Pizza depends on the style you like it - I am prone to Patsy's and also like Serafina's for the more up-market vibe (and child friendly).
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Old Oct 8, 11, 7:05 pm   #3
 
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Doubletree near Broadway. Are any of those walking distance?

Thanks for the tips.
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Old Oct 8, 11, 8:26 pm   #4
 
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I wouldn't go for pizza near times square. Best stuff is in Greenwich Village or Little Italy and it's worth the subway fare to get down there. Try John's on Bleecker or Arturo's on Houston.

Museum of Natural History (upper west side) is fun for all ages.
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Old Oct 8, 11, 8:37 pm   #5
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Inquiries in this forum about the best pizza usually result in very spirited discussions. (If you do a search of the forum for the term "pizza," you'll see.)

For pizza by the slice, my favorite spot in Manhattan is New York Pizza Suprema, on 8th Avenue between 30th and 31st. You can check out the reviews on yelp.com. If you can order a whole pie and Pizza Suprema is too far away for you, try John's on West 44th Street.

As for deli, if you want kosher, you can go to Pastrami Queen on Lexington and 78th; Mendy's on 34th, just west of Park; the 2nd Avenue Deli, which is now on 33rd between Third and Lexington; or hop on the R train for a 25-minute ride to 63rd Drive, and visit Ben's Best in Rego Park, Queens.

If kosher-style will suffice, there's Katz' on Houston Street; and Sarge's, on Lexington near 37th; both are good choices. (The Carnegie Deli, on 7th Avenue near 54th, is close to your hotel, but there is considerable difference of opinion as to how good it is.)
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Old Oct 9, 11, 8:17 am   #6
 
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check out mommypoppins.com for ideas of things to do with kids. time out new york kids also has lots of good suggestions. Childrens museum of the arts just renovated, a bit more downtown. childrens museum of manhattan as suggested earlier is also excellent. The intrepid museum is also close by to times square. Take them to Toys R Us times square, its quite different. Depending on the season Bryant Park could be turned into a ice skating rink with lots of christmas shops.
other fun things could be top of rockefeller center, empire state building, WTC, miss Liberty, staten island ferry, radio city christmas specutacular. depending on interest and how much you want to cater to the kid primarily, tons of things to do.

Last edited by closetasfan; Oct 9, 11 at 8:43 am.
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Old Oct 9, 11, 11:04 pm   #7
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If kosher-style will suffice, there's Katz' on Houston Street;
I'll second this recommendation. The food & the atmosphere are two good reasons to go and try it. If you do go order the Dr. Browns soda to wash down the pastrami.
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Old Oct 10, 11, 9:36 am   #8
 
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Many of the best pizza places aren't terribly child friendly. They're often either hard to get to (Di Fara, Patsy's, Spumoni Gardens), or tiny holes in the wall without seating. And I'm not sure you're going to find anything in walking distance of Times Square that comes close to "best" pizza (although Pizza Suprema is indeed pretty good, is not too long a walk, and I believe they have seating).

For deli, Katz's is indeed probably the most classic (think "I'll have what she's having" in When Harry Met Sally). And it's very close to a couple of playgrounds for burning off four year old steam if the weather isn't too bad (there's one at First and First right across Houston and another at Norfolk and Houston--enter on Norfolk).

For stuff to do with a 4yo, my 4yo LOVES ToysRUs in Times Square. And not because he wants to buy stuff (we have him pretty well trained that you go to TRU for the ferris wheel, the giant dinosaur, the train displays, etc.--not to actually buy toys). And it's just a couple blocks from your hotel. It's way better than FAO Schwartz these days (sadly).

A lot of kids will enjoy a pedicab or (if you don't have an issue with the treatment of the animals or the price) horse and carriage ride in Central Park. Or you can rent a bike with a kids' seat and explore Central Park yourself. There's also a decent zoo in Central Park--don't miss the penguins.

Other stuff that's walkable:
  • Playgrounds: Most aren't all that special, but if you're traveling with a 4yo, you'll want a place to blow off steam. I think the closest to your hotel is along 10th Ave between 47th and 48th. There are also great tacos across the street in the back of a bodega called Tehuitzingo.
  • Escalators: If the weather is bad, you can go to the mall in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle and ride the escalators up and down, which usually are pretty empty on the 3rd floor (again, nothing special, but something physical for a 4yo to do). Landmarc in the Time Warner Center is also a good place to go for a nicer meal out with kids--it's one of the few restaurants in the city where the ratio of wine bottles to kids at many tables is roughly even.
  • The Top of the Rock observation deck is also great. Much better with kids (or anyone for that matter) than the Empire State Building, because the tickets are timed so the lines aren't obnoxious and you get great views of the Empire State Building and Central Park.
  • Sixth Ave: Kids will be impressed by the fountains and tall buildings along Sixth Ave in the 40s/50s. And there are big plazas where they can run around. And food trucks for a bite.

And of course Natural History and the Children's Museum on the UWS are great.
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Old Oct 10, 11, 11:57 am   #9
 
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You can walk over to 9th Ave from your hotel in Times Square and find pizza at Uncle Mario's, a new place with lots of seating on 50th and 9th, or go to the hole-in-the-wall at Sacco's on 54th and 9th. Sacco's also has seating in the back but it's not as esthetically pleasing as Uncle Mario's seating if that matters. Sacco's is good for a slice of typical NYC cheese pizza while at Uncle Mario's you will find more "interesting" combinations of toppings (the Chicken Marsala slice is good) and other Italian dishes and beer.

There are also a million other small local restaurants on 9th ave that don't scream "tourist" the way everything in Times Square does. However, I'm not aware of any typical delis in that area so you may have to venture elsewhere to find one of those.
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Old Oct 10, 11, 9:03 pm   #10
 
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My son always loved John's Pizza on West 44th between Broadway and 8th Ave. (closer to 8th). They only sell by the pie -no slices. It will be crowded around dinner with people going to the theater. He's no longer a little kid, but he still loves John's.
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Old Oct 11, 11, 5:51 am   #11
 
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Another good Kosher choice with a lot of "old world" ambiance with great deli meats and cole slaw is Mr. Broadway on Broadway between 38 and 39th
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Old Oct 21, 11, 5:14 pm   #12
 
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Thanks for the help. I didn't have internet access so we went to Carnegie's deli at the recommendation of the hotel. I had red about Stage also and we walked past it but saw the line at Carnegie's and waited about 15 minutes to get seated. We shared a Reuben for $27 which seemed a little pricey but it wasn't bad.

Seating was 2 tables of 4 pushed together and people squeezed in where there was an empty seat. There was a couple face to face at the end, the 3 of us, a girl by herself next to me and across from my daughter and another couple at the other end. I'm not sure if that's common out here but it was a little strange for us.

We may do Johns pizza for dinner.
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Old Oct 21, 11, 8:52 pm   #13
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Originally Posted by LAChargers View Post
We shared a Reuben for $27 which seemed a little pricey but it wasn't bad.
Now there's an understatement. Even us NYers would consider that absurdly expensive, even given the quantity of food the Carnegie serves.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LAChargers View Post
Seating was 2 tables of 4 pushed together and people squeezed in where there was an empty seat. There was a couple face to face at the end, the 3 of us, a girl by herself next to me and across from my daughter and another couple at the other end. I'm not sure if that's common out here but it was a little strange for us.
At places like the Carnegie, that's common. It's all about squeezing in as many people as they can.

* * *

You have some good (and some less good) recommendations in this thread. But when traveling with a 4-year-old, I think convenience is as important as finding the best pizza or the best deli. I think Carnegie was a fine choice, notwithstanding the price and the squeeze, given its convenience. I think John's is a good choice for the same reason.
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Old Oct 24, 11, 9:01 am   #14
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Originally Posted by LAChargers View Post
Thanks for the help. I didn't have internet access so we went to Carnegie's deli at the recommendation of the hotel. I had red about Stage also and we walked past it but saw the line at Carnegie's and waited about 15 minutes to get seated. We shared a Reuben for $27 which seemed a little pricey but it wasn't bad.
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Now there's an understatement. Even us NYers would consider that absurdly expensive, even given the quantity of food the Carnegie serves.
It's been too long ( ~5 years?) since I've been to Carnegie, so I was curious enough to look for a menu.

http://www.carnegiedeli.com/menu.php

Base corned beef sandwich is $16, reasonable if it's still as overstuffed as I remember. The Woody Allen (super-stuffed corned beef & pastrami) is $19. The "gargantuan combo" sandwiches (including the reuben) are mostly $24.

All of these have a $3 charge for sharing, so yeah, there's $27. Add on tax and tip and you've got a $35 sandwich. (That's worth every penny, IMO).

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We may do Johns pizza for dinner.
You're still hungry???
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Old Oct 24, 11, 9:28 am   #15
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This suggestion is too late for the OP, but for any other parent looking for ways to entertain a 4-year-old, if you need some free entertainment, hit Heckscher Playground in Central Park. It's right up any 4-year-old's alley and will kill at least an hour of time. It's also a good stopping point before or after a visit to the Museum of Natural History and its great dinosaur exhibit. That, too, is usually popular with the 4-year-old set.
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