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Fun and different dining spots in New York City

Madison Square Eats, New York City
Madison Square Eats, New York City
Keely L. Herrick

If you have been to New York City several times, then you've probably already hit up major steakhouses like Peter Luger's and the swanky spots like 21. If you're looking for some fun and different places to chow down during your next trip, consider one of the following options.

Flex Mussels has two locations in Manhattan, one on 13th and one on 82nd, and you'll find a delicious array of seafood options at both locations. If you think that all mussels are the same, then you need to make a reservation here, pronto! From decadent lobster bisque to the traditional garlic and wine, the restaurant serves up its treasures in a myriad of tasty sauces, all for around $20-$25 per entree. If you have room for dessert, consider sharing some donuts from the Flex Donut collection; you can walk it off afterwards at the nearby Highline!

If you are meeting friends for brunch, check out Stanton Social on the Lower East Side. The family-style serving allows you to all sample several different yummy selections from the brunch menu, including the indulgent Oreo pancakes and French onion soup dumplings. For a less pricey option on the go, consider one of the food truck parks like the one outside of Madison Square Park, which has every variety of cuisine you can imagine, from lobster rolls to gourmet ice cream sandwiches.

Finally, Times Square can be an absolute nightmare if you're trying to find a relatively inexpensive dinner (without eating at Chipotle). Two reliable safe bets are the Playwright Irish pub on 8th Avenue at 44th Street and Vinyl, on 9th Avenue in Hell's Kitchen. The Playwright will deliver the chicken pot pie or bangers and mash you've been craving, and Vinyl offers solid comfort food in a pop art setting. Neither will revolutionize the culinary scene, but they also won't bust a hole in your wallet.