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Any "stay away from" restaurants?

Chicago, Illinois
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Any "stay away from" restaurants?

Hi NYCers,

The other day I was reading the forum and I noticed some of the experts talking about a Chinese place that was notoriously awful (and of course I can't remember the name). Are there any other restaurants a tourist may deem as appealing, but could turn into a nightmare (food, bugs, health violations, etc)? We're staying in Park Slope area and planned one day in Midtown and the others would be more neighborhoods such as Chelsea, Greenwich, and more just walking around finding things then going to see a set list of attractions.

One example I can provide if my question is confusing is like for example in Chicago Giorando's is a very popular pizza place for deep dish pizza among tourists. Locals know that the owner of the franchise went bankrupt and now the quality is terrible and nothing is made fresh anymore. So although it's not a nightmare, it's just not as good as it was 5 years ago, but a tourist wouldn't know that and would waste their money on a "Chicago Institution" without knowing otherwise.

Staten Island, New...
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1. Re: Any "stay away from" restaurants?

As with any other city there are 3 types where you'll see plenty or mostly tourists. Touristy areas (Times Square best example), guide book recommended places, and places ranked high on Trip Advisor. Generally when I travel I avoid all 3 types.

Some iconic spots like Katz's and Russ and Daughters but any pizza related icons like Grimladi's and Lombardi's I'd avoid simply because the city is flooded with amazing pizza everywhere. Grimaldi's is similar to your Giorando's where you gonna see a huge tourist line, while the locals in the know go next door to Juliana's which is actually owned by the real Grimaldi (long story)

Long Island
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2. Re: Any "stay away from" restaurants?

Personally, I'd stay away from most of the Times Square area restaurants. However, I'd have to disagree a little bit with Ziggy regarding visiting the so-called iconic spots and TA recommendations. These places are iconic for a reason and they do have a certain cache with tourists and you are, in fact, a tourist. Not to say, that these places are the best at what they do, but they provide part of the experience of visiting NYC. It's kind of like visiting Fisherman's Wharf in SF. Many on the SF board say to stay away from Fisherman's Wharf because it's too touristy. But guess what? You're a tourist and Fisherman's Wharf is part of the experience. Just like Times Square. Also, you can just as well walk into a random restaurant for pizza and have a lousy experience if you aren't aware. So, TA is a good resource for recommendations.

CT
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3. Re: Any "stay away from" restaurants?

Also, NYC restaurants are required to post results of their health dept sanitary inspections prominently in the window. So while that doesn't address issues of "tourist trap" , it should help you avoid problems with pests/unsanitary conditions. Look for the "A" in the window.

New York NY
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4. Re: Any "stay away from" restaurants?

Devi is an Indian restaurant that went downhill so fast you best get out of its way.

Times Square has a lot of tourists traps.

Little Italy is probably the worst offender. Everybody wants to go to Little Italy and all that is there are horribly overpriced places serving the absolute bottom of the barrel lowest quality food. They're just horrendous and tourists are so excited to be eating Italian in Little Italy. You can eat ten times better in Olive Garden for a fraction of the price *and* get a more authentic Italian experience at Olive Garden. So very sad. With that said, I do not recommend Olive Garden.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Any "stay away from" restaurants?

It's hard to know what's really good and what's really awful especially with TA, Yelp, Menu Pages, and Open Table sometimes having really contradicting information. I know a lot of the information on Yelp isn't always true so it's tricky. I've gone to places here that have thousands of great reviews and myself thought it was the most disgusting thing I've ever tasted when so much better exists so that's what I'm trying to avoid.

Thanks for the tip about the "A", that's really helpful and great that they display that.

Juliana's is that in Brooklyn? I think I read really good things about that one and wasn't sure if it was just hyped up or genuinely really good.

staten island
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6. Re: Any "stay away from" restaurants?

Juliana's is great. It's just a couple of doors down from Grimaldi's in Brooklyn.

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Any "stay away from" restaurants?

LOL, I did have Little Italy on my list and then I read more about the history and how now all of the Italians went up to the Arthur Avenue area or out to Brooklyn so we immediately took off Little Italy, we still have Chinatown on there for those 90 cent roast pork buns I keep hearing about and the place with the 5 for a dollar dumplings.

I also agree, Olive Garden is absolutely awful.

New York City
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8. Re: Any "stay away from" restaurants?

Id stay away from Chains espcially tourist chains like hard rock cafe, Planet Hollywood . Regular chains kinda stinks too especially when the local fare can be better like Pizza hut or Dominoes. No self respecting NYer would go to a chain pizza store

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Any "stay away from" restaurants?

I've never had those tourist chains before, we have them here and they just don't even look appealing at all. The only places I have on our list to stop by is Pommes Frites, I was thinking Bouchon Bakery (but I'm thinking it may be really overrated), Jacques Torres for hot chocolate, and Veniero's Pasticceria. We don't really have cajun/Creole here in Chicago, there's one place in the city that does serve it but they only do like sandwiches so we definitely wanted to have Cajun while in NYC. We were thinking dinner in Brooklyn each night and breakfast/lunch would be sort of random. Also a place with a lobster roll/crab roll is something we want, I think a place called Luke's Lobster or something like that it's a chain with a ton of locations in NYC had good reviews and I wasn't sure about it.

Astoria, New York
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10. Re: Any "stay away from" restaurants?

You can check restaurant inspection grades here: nyc.gov/html/…restaurant-inspection.shtml