Eat around New York City

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Manga!  Fres!  Eat!

No matter what language you say it in, the intonation is the same…eat up and enjoy yourself.

New York City is arguably the most diverse city in the world when it comes to a cross-section of ethnicities…especially food.  There are food festivals and street fairs offering everything from fried plantains to gyros.

But while these fairs come and go, the variety and choice of ethnic restaurants proliferating throughout the city is unmatched.  These too range from fast foods to top of the line gourmet.  If you move fast enough and aren’t afraid of gaining a couple of pounds, you will be able to participate in what could be the world’s greatest celebration of food.

From July 22 through August 16 more than 300 eating spots in New York will be participating in NYC Restaurant Week.  Most restaurants will be offering specials Monday through Friday while Saturdays will be excluded.  Sundays are participating at the option of the individual eateries.

The week is sponsored by NYC & Company, the official tourism advocacy agency for New York, in cooperation with the sponsorship of American Express, a founding sponsor.

The week was first introduced in 1992 for the Democratic National Convention that was held in the city.  Politics aside, the event became so popular it is now an annual event that crosses all party lines.  It is also a boon to an industry that employees more than 200,000 people in 24,000 restaurants and brings in annual sales exceeding $12 billion…and that ain’t bread crumbs.

A list of summer participants will be available when reservations open on July 8 at

There will be special and diverse culinary offerings at prices established specifically for the Restaurant Week.  Diners will be able to enjoy prix-fixe three-course lunches for $25 and three-course prix-fixe dinners for $38, excluding drinks, gratuities and taxes.

It shouldn’t be necessary to say so, but it really is.  Most restaurants do not include “service charges” (gratuities) on the tab and since this is an important portion of the wait staff’s income, it should not be overlooked.

Some restaurants will require reservations while other welcome walk-ins.  It’s best to check the website before heading out as to avoid a disappointment.

And while you are at it, there is so much to see and do in New York that out-of-town visitors should avail themselves of the opportunity to do so.  One of the best methods is through the discount coupons for events and attractions offered by CityPASS.

Purchase of the pass entitles the bearer to discounted admission to attractions such as the Empire State Building, Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Top of The Rock observatory in Rockefeller Center and the relaxing Circle Line.

There are far more offerings in the CityPASS booklet, but these are some of the notable opportunities for discounted visits.

The coupon booklet permits the holder to visit some of the top attractions in 11 North American destinations with savings of up to 48 percent and frequently the ability to skip long lines at the attraction entrances.

In addition to New York there are CityPASSes for Southern California attractions such as Disneyland, Sea World, Universal Studios, Hollywood; Houston; Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Philadelphia; Seattle and Toronto.

There are also options for discounted hotel stays from B&Bs to Hilton Hotels.

For information check out