Picking a post-graduation restaurant


Emily Tree

With graduation approaching rapidly, many University seniors have begun to think about where to take their family and friends after the ceremony at Radio City Music Hall. Picking out one restaurant from the 24,000 in Manhattan (or Brooklyn if you’re not afraid of leaving the island) is an overwhelming task, and leaves students wondering where to start.

restaurant-691397_960_720Free-Photos / Pixabay

Reservations — Do they take reservations?

Getting a reservation can be a difficult game to play with restaurants. Most places will have minimum party sizes to make reservations, some won’t take reservations at all and others you’ll have to call every day to check if they’ve had a cancellation. Check for the “R” next to restaurants in this article, to see if they take reservations.

Tip: Graduation will last around 2 to 2.5 hours which means that the ceremony will end at around 12:30 to 13:00. If you plan to stick around for pictures and handshaking post-ceremony the ideal time for a reservation is 14:00–14:30.

Location — How close is the restaurant to Radio City Music Hall?

Post-graduation, you or someone in your party might be wearing heels or uncomfortable shoes and won’t want to walk very far after the ceremony. Or maybe you don’t trust yourself to herd all the members of your party onto the subway to get everyone to the restaurant. Either way, it’s likely that you want a restaurant that is near Radio City Music Hall. Here are your options for a ten-minute walk or less:

· Brasserie Ruhlmann 0.2 mile, R

· Fig and Olive 0.3 mile, R (They’re giving away a free bottle of olive oil and a personalized gift to people who make graduation reservations there).

· Johnny Utah’s 0.1 mile, R

· Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse 0.2 mile, R

· Ocean Prime 0.2 mile, R

· Bill’s Bar & Burger 0.2 mile, R

· Utsav 0.2 mile, R

· La Bonne Soupe 0.3 mile, R

Party Size — How many people are in your party?

John Wisniewski | Flickr
John Wisniewski | Flickr

Depending on how many people you bring (good luck snagging extra tickets), or if you’re doing a joint meal with a fellow graduate’s family, you may need to find a restaurant that can seat parties of up to 10 people. Most restaurants could accommodate this party size, but it might not be a comfortable fit and you could end up with a lopsided table puzzle. If you’ve got a large party to accommodate, see below (get ready for Italian):

· Carmine’s max. 20 ppl, 0.5 mile, R

· Tony’s di Napoli max. 100 ppl, 0.5 mile, R

· Virgil’s BBQ max. 20 ppl, 0.5 mile, R

· Shun Lee max. 20 ppl, 1.1 miles, R

· Felidia max. 20 ppl, 1.1 miles, R

· Mercato max. 15–20 ppl, 1 mile, R

Budget — How much money do you want to spend?

Graduation lunches and brunches can be a fancy affair but that doesn’t mean that you have to have a big budget. Family style eating restaurants can be a great way to reduce the cost of a meal for a large party, instead of every person picking out their own plate. However, for some Pace Seniors graduation might be an occasion to treat yo’self.

Expensive options:

· Nerai $$$ 0.5 mile, R

· Toloache $$$ 0.4 mile, R

· Caviar Russe $$$ 0.5 mile, R

· Aquavit $$$$ 0.6 mile, R

Cuisine — What type of food do you want?

New York City is full of different types of food for you to enjoy. But your friends and family might not be willing to venture outside of their culinary comfort zone. For some people, this might limit you to Italian restaurants, steakhouses or traditional brunch spots. For other parties, getting the chance to try out some of the fantastic, diverse cuisine options NYC has to offer is too good to pass out.

Craving something different:

· Kurumazushi 0.4 mile, R

· Naya 0.4 mile, R

· Indian Accent 0.3 mile, R

· Churrascaria Plataforma 0.5 mile, R

Diet — Do people in your parties have dietary restrictions?

kalhh | pixabay
kalhh | pixabay

When juggling the different tastes and preferences of the people in your party, it is important to consider their dietary restrictions. Whether you have people that are kosher, halal, dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian or vegan –NYC has options:


· Noga 3.3 miles, R

· Wolf & Lamb 0.4 mile, R


· Turkish Kitchen 1.6 miles, R

· AnTalia 0.4 mile, R

Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free:

· The Butcher’s Daughter 3.0 miles

· Carmine’s 0.5 mile, R (Carmine’s has a full menu that caters to a wide range of dietary restrictions from gluten-free to garlic allergies!)

· Red Bamboo 2.3 miles


· Bistango 0.5 mile, R

· Carmine’s 0.5 mile, R

New York City is home to some of the best restaurants in the world and a wide array of culinary options. But don’t want too long to choose a restaurant— the countdown has started and graduation is less than a month away!