Gallery: Day Off in New York? 9 Food Adventure Ideas

Fancy Lunches
Fancy Lunches
Easily a dozen restaurants in New York do fantastic lunch deals, but it's hard to take advantage of them when they're not offered on weekends and you can't leave the office for more than twenty minutes. So take advantage of a day off! There's the $29 lunch at Del Posto, Ciano's $20 three-courser... and take a look at all the lunch deals Nick Solares has covered in the past. (Call ahead, as such specials change often.)
Better at Breakfast
Better at Breakfast
I can easily think of a dozen restaurants where I love brunch... but prefer breakfast, with no crowds and no sense of rush. The problem is, it's hard to hit up these spots during the week. So a day off is the perfect excuse. A few that come to mind? Locanda Verde, Maialino, Egg, Buvette...
Pizza Exploring
Pizza Exploring
Sometimes, the slice of pizza you want is the one that's nearest you. But with a whole day to kill, pizza exploring is (we think!) a perfectly sensible way to spend a few hours—whether, to you, that means Joe & Pat's in Staten Island, Sal & Carmine's on the Upper West Side, L&B Spumoni Gardens in Bensonhurst... (Note: Di Fara is closed on Mondays.)
Great Happy Hours
Great Happy Hours
There are some excellent happy hours in New York that I, personally, rarely have a chance to hit up—because they end early, and I'm never out of the office in time for drinks before 7pm. So on a weekday at loose ends? Perhaps Terroir, where between 5pm and 6pm, you can get excellent wines for $6/glass and a glass of sherry for free; Emporio, where complimentary bar snacks include warm, substantial polenta cakes and pizza sliced into tiny slivers; or The Vanderbilt, where beers are $4 and plates of wings or Brussels sprouts are too; or Maialino, with snackable plates during the afternoon. (Specifics of Maialino's menu have changed since article linked.)
Chinatown Food Adventuring...
Chinatown Food Adventuring...
Want to check out the best soup dumplings, or hand-pulled noodles, or egg custard tarts, or just all-around cheap eats in Chinatown? Take some time today to wander around the neighborhood.
Or Head Out To Flushing
Or Head Out To Flushing
Whether you're looking for fantastic Chinese food courts (see our guides here, here, here, and here) or Korean eats, Flushing is your destination.
New York Classics
New York Classics
Some of New York's classic eateries tend to have long lines, or are simply not convenient to fit into a workweek, so why not check them out today? Breakfast at Russ and Daughters, pastrami at Katz's, a lunch at Peter Luger...
Always-Crowded Restaurants When They Open
Always-Crowded Restaurants When They Open
I always have restaurants on my list that I want to go to, but decide against when I realize I'm in for a two-hour wait. So on days off, I love an early dinner (or, more likely, really late "lunch") right around 5pm, when I can get a table without incident and relax as the room fills up around me. Perhaps The Dutch, perhaps Talde, perhaps Pulqueria...
Food Adventures in Queens
Food Adventures in Queens
Es Teler in Elmhurst. ChicharrĂ³n Preparado. Momos (Tibetan dumplings). Cemitas or pupusas. If you want to find it in Queens, odds are that our Queens adventurer Sara Markel-Gonzalez has thought of it. Check them all out here to guide an adventure of your own.