We are a 30ish couple coming from Montreal for a five day trip. We'll stay around 1 E and 1st, but will be walking around all day. We don't have a limited budget, but frankly multi-course white tablecloth dining doesn't wow us that much. We are in desperate need to fix our hankering for Japanese, seafood and pizza (three food groups that are not well represented in our otherwise fair city). In our trips, we'd like to have a set list of candidate restaurants in hand but no fixed itinerary, and rather decide as the day progresses. So places with no reservation policy or bearing the possibility to get last minute reservations are ideal for us (so no Babbo unfortunately). Traveling to other boroughs is an option (we are planning a trip to Brooklyn and Queens anyway).
I've started working on a master list to take with us, but there are gaps to fill and choices to make. Do I have any duds in the below list, or missing anything else that I won't regret eating? Spicy cheap food from obscure regions of the world and all forms of pork/seafood are always welcome.
Russ & Daughters
Espresso (Cafe Grumpy and Abraco and Gimme! and Ninth Street and more. I LOVE coffee, please give me more coffee suggestions. I'll drink them all)
Sripraphai (during our excursion to Queens)
Food cart/ street food
New Green Bo (eaten there and have fond memories, but open to alternatives)
Di Fara (on our trip to Brooklyn)
Southern food (Amy Ruth or Miss Maude?)
Some midtown lunch (suggestions welcome)
Zabar (provisions for a post Moma picnic)
Japanese beer food (Totto or Otafuku)
Japanese (Yasuda or Sagakura or Gari, but which one?)
Momofuku ssam / Milk
Una Pizza Napoletana
Indian (Saravanaas or Devi or Dawat?)
Sullivan Street Bakery
Grand Central Oyster Bar (snacks as in oysters)
Il Laboratorio del Gelato
Cake (Sugar Sweet Sunshine or Crumbs)
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
Need more salty snacks
Missing in my list: I am still in search of non churrasceria Brazilian (requested by boyfriend) and Burmese (requested by me).
I also inquired about bars in another thread, but suggestions about intimate neighborhoody bars where you can actually converse are always welcome.