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Eat and Drink

Zagat survey: Feasts are mostly movable - and expensive - in NYC

New Yorkers spend more than anyone else in the country to dine out -- an average of $48.15 a head per meal -- yet that doesn't deter them from restaurants: NYC Respondents in a Zagat Dining Trends survey said 56% of all their lunches and dinners are either takeout or restaurant meals -- the highest of anyone responding nationally.

The survey also revealed that New Yorkers tip the national average -- 19.3% -- and are most annoyed by poor service (27%) and restaurant noise (another 27%).

A whopping 64% said they typically make their restaurant reservations online, and Italian was cited by 30% of New Yorkers as their favorite cuisine.

NYC restaurants are the most expensive because they're the best in the country, said Chris Hickey, regional director of the New York State Restaurant Association. "We have 10 Michelin-starred restaurants in Brooklyn and 71 total in NYC," he said. "Our restaurants are destination restaurants: You won't find a Le Bernardin in Minnesota."

Executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance Andrew Rigie added: "Menu prices are higher at NYC restaurants because the cost of rent, food, goods, labor and regulatory compliance is higher here than elsewhere in the country."


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