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The best group dining and meal deals in NYC

If you’re having dinner with friends, head to these New York restaurants for the best group dining and meal deals in the city

Photograph: Alex Strada

It can be tough to please a crowd when planning dinner for a large party—luckily, these restaurants offer the best group dining and meals deals, so you can share some serious bounty. Offered in lively main dining rooms or at restaurants with private rooms, blowout dinners like these involve digging into massive amounts of meat, including fried chicken and sucking pig, a slew of sides and some of the city’s best desserts. Go hog wild with our guide to dining with a group of any size.

RECOMMENDED: See all of the best restaurants in NYC

Best group dining and meal deals

1

Momofuku Ssäm Bar

The latest behemoth addition to the perpetually buzzy restaurant’s large-format menu is a 50-day dry-aged, salt-crusted rib eye and cap ($250) cooked a la plancha (on a hot griddle) for a deep sear. After coating the beef in browned butter and thyme, chef Matthew Rudofker serves 65 ounces of juicy meat alongside bowls of roasting juices, bulbs of blackened garlic, red-wine–and-onion marmalade and béarnaise. Complete your plate with a heaping Caesar salad studded with brown-butter–toasted croutons and crunchy, salted fries with a house-made smoked-bacon ketchup.

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East Village
2

Decoy

Ed Schoenfeld and Joe Ng’s basement bird haunt offers an assortment of house-pickled vegetables and fried fish-skin chips before its glistening Peking duck ($78) arrives. Crisp from the rotisserie, the bird is sliced and, in Beijing tradition, paired with piping-hot shots of clear consommé, and fixins like cucumbers, scallions and fried leeks. Pile cuts of supple meat onto thin, spongy pancakes, and mix-and-match your “sides” and "snacks"—a parade of small plates (oxtail dumplings, octopus salad), vegetable fried rice and entrées such as grilled shrimp with seared beanurd—until the impressive buffet is cleared.

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West Village
3

The John Dory Oyster Bar

An ambitious departure from the seafood small plates at April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman’s Ace Hotel raw bar, a 3-pound red snapper ($75 per person) is flung into the deep fryer and presented whole at your table. The flaky tempura crust is flecked with fried basil, a canvas for sweet-and-sour and Thai-chili–licked fish sauces. The Far East feast also includes spicy papaya salad, green-curry–soaked eggplant, and rice cooked in coconut milk. Cool your taste buds with dessert: a scoop of bright lemongrass sherbet lanced with cashew wafers.

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Midtown
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4

Mission Chinese Food

Danny Bowien has gone normcore. The relaunched Mission Chinese, trades in beer kegs, paper dragons and a cramped, dive-punk Orchard Street basement for smart cocktails, banquet-hall booths and an ample, gleaming dining room in the far reaches of Chinatown. That inescapable hour-long wait for a table can be spent in the downstairs bar, but the real party is upstairs—a lively hodgepodge of bespectacled food disciples and beanie-clad millennials spinning lazy Susans loaded with pork cheeks and turnip cakes while golden-age hip-hop pumps through the room. Family-style dining is available for parties of just two or more, and include dishes like the Chongqing chicken wings, salt cod fried rice and mapo tofu.

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Downtown
5

Roberta's

Buzzing with urban-farming fund-raisers, local brewers pouring their ales and food-world luminaries fresh off Heritage Radio interviews, this sprawling hangout has become the unofficial meeting place for Brooklyn's sustainable-food movement. Opened in 2008 by Chris Parachini, Brandon Hoy and Carlo Mirarchi, Roberta's features its own rooftop garden, a food-focused Internet-radio station and a kitchen that turns out excellent, locally sourced dishes, such as delicate bibb lettuce with red-cherry vinaigrette or linguine carbonara made with lamb pancetta. It also doesn't hurt that the pizzas—like the Cheesus Christ, topped with mozzarella, Taleggio, Parmesan, black pepper and cream—are among the borough's best. Group dining is available for prix fixe menus where pizza takes the center stage.

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Williamsburg
6

Famous Sammy's Roumanian Steakhouse

Walk into this LES rathskeller on a crowded evening and you may think you’ve stumbled into a bar mitzvah—Yiddish sing-alongs and folk dancing are ignited by the live synthesizer and further fueled by icy shots of vodka. The very Eastern European menu includes chopped chicken liver, garlicky karnatzlack sausage and enormous beef tenderloins, all of which are hearty enough to slow down the hora. The sparse decor may be dated, but the prices aren’t: Order carefully or you’ll lose your dowry paying for your meal.

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Lower East Side
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7

High Street on Hudson

At some restaurants, bread is an afterthought—baskets of chalky, uninspired dinner rolls shuffled out with chilled, foil-wrapped butter. This is not that restaurant, and it’s certainly not that bread. At High Street on Hudson, the day-to-night West Village sibling to chef Eli Kulp and Ellen Yin’s lauded Philadelphia restaurant, High Street on Market, head baker Alex Bois’s astonishing loaves—potent New World ryes, hearty German-style vollkornbrot, anadama miche enriched with molasses—obliterate the idea of bread as mere mealtime filler. Here, it is the meal. Who will say 'no' to that?

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West Village
8

The Breslin Bar & Dining Room

Even in a city smitten with large-format feasts—whole hogs, huge steaks, heaps of fried chicken—the Breslin breaks new gluttonous ground. The third project from restaurant savant Ken Friedman and Anglo chef April Bloomfield offers the most opulently fatty food in New York—served in medieval portions in a raucous rock & roll setting. Within the casual-restaurant landscape that the pair, also behind the Spotted Pig, has come to epitomize—a world without tablecloths, reservations or haute cuisine pretense—the new gastropub delivers a near-perfect dining experience. There are three types of group feasts offered for hungry groups: A whole-roasted suckling pig, rib of beef dinner or a fried chicken feast.

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Midtown
9

Toro

Chef-owners Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette have repackaged their beloved Massachusetts alcove as a Meatpacking District colossus, with soaring raftered ceilings and giant windows overlooking the whir of Eleventh Avenue. A mounted bull’s head and dangling jamones are token hat tips to old-world ruggedness, but with its pounding music and bombshell clientele, the industrial room is more representative of the nightclubs nearby. The mercurial menu sprawls as much as the space, offering 60 traditional and border-crossing tapas.

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Chelsea
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10

The Saint Austere

The dishes at this cozy Williamsburg wine bar are intended to be shared, and dining en masse means sampling the menu without breaking the bank—most items come in at under $15. Pull up a stool at one of the bar-height tables for plates like a Caesar-salad-inspired combo of sautéed broccoli rabe, anchovies, Parmigiano-Reggiano and boiled egg ($10), and a spicy-sausage–topped creamy polenta ($11). More substantial grub includes sliced hangar steak with escarole, cannelloni and red wine jus, and steamed mussels with fennel, onion and white wine. However you divvy it up, you won’t need to spend more than $20 to $25 a person, and the filling fare ensures that no one leaves hungry.

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Lower East Side
11

Bodega Negra

Nightlife impresario Serge Becker imports London’s sex-shop-themed Mexican cantina, scrubbed clean for the Dream Downtown: He’s swapped the seedy original’s neon lights and peep-show silhouettes for copper-trimmed tables and mirrored panels. For his third venture at the hotel—joining Melvin’s Juice Box and La Esquina—Becker taps chef Michael Armstrong (Morimoto) to roll out Yucatán-inspired tacos (soft-shell crab), quesadillas (habanero and roasted tomatoes) and large-format dishes (whole suckling pig). Banked by a wall of antique tequila barrels, the amber-lit bar stocks 90 bottles of the spirit, employed in cocktails like the Chamomile Daisy (chamomile-apple agave, lemon) and a hibiscus-infused Paloma.

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Chelsea
12

The Meatball Shop

Groups can stuff themselves on the cheap at this popular minichain. For $25 a head, you’ll get a family-style spread that includes two meatball choices (spicy pork, chicken, beef or veggie), two sauces (spicy meat, classic tomato, Parmesan cream or mushroom gravy), three sides (such as mashed potatoes, rigatoni or white beans) and two ice cream sandwiches for dessert for the whole party to share. If your entourage is on the small side, the regular menu is still a bargain—not much is more than $10 except drinks. Reserve at least two weeks in advance.

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Williamsburg
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13

Sauce

Frank Prisinzano’s (Supper, Lil’ Frankie’s) rustic trattoria showcases freshly made pastas and house-butchered meats in family-style dinners, offered for parties of four or more ($48 per person) served with your choice of two options for each of the six courses. Pick the Dad's Marinara with Kale Gnocchi and grass-fed beef bolognese with spaghetti for the pasta course, or the double garlic bread and fried zucchini matchsticks for antipasti.

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Lower East Side
14

The Brooklyn Star

Gather your crew around the communal tables at Joaquin Baca’s restaurant on Sunday or Monday for a Southern-style feast. Reserve a spot up to a day in advance for 3 to 24 people, and you’ll get a family-style fried-chicken dinner ($20 per person) featuring buttermilk-brined thighs and breasts and a side for each diner, like skillet-baked cheddar grits and stewed collard greens.

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Williamsburg

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Comments

2 comments
Edmond V
Edmond V

I agree with Trevor, this pretty much sums up everything that I'm looking for. My wife's birthday is coming up pretty soon, so I'm planning on taking her out to a fancy restaurant. I want it to be something private yet decently priced. I just hope that she doesn't see my comment on here before then. http://www.sabatinos.com/party/seatedandserved.asp

Trevor S
Trevor S

This is a really great list. My wife and I are looking for a good restaurant down town where we can go with a big group of our friends. These places are about in our price range, and the pictures really look great. What would be really nice is to find somewhere close to the waterfront where there is fresh seafood. http://plymouthwaterfront.com