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Oct 15, 2004 02:30 PM

Union Square

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Can you recommend a nice place to eat early dinner (5:30-6:30pm) near Union Square?
My boyfriend and I love to go there for the farmer's market and to enviously ogle at other people's dogs at the park, but we have never been able to find a good place to eat in the vicinity of US(we usually head to EV or Chinatown for that).
I will be going to the Union Square Theatre next week w/my mom however so we would like to grab a bite to eat beforehand not too far from 17th street.
Please recommened a sit-down place, with good food (any cuisine really), and moderate (<$20/main) prices.

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  1. It's kind of more East Village than Union Square, but what about Cacio e Pepe? (2nd between 11th and 12th)


    1. Try Republic - It's a bit noisy but it delish. and cheap. Also good is Steak Frites.

      7 Replies
      1. re: LS

        Republic is a good place for cheap Asian food but it's not something i'd describe as "nice."

        1. re: Bowfinger
          AssociEat (formerly EatClerk)

          Disagree. I think the food at Republic sucks, and it's a madhouse. But it is fairly cheap.

          1. re: AssociEat (formerly EatClerk)

            it's very cheap!

            good drinks +
            i think it has really good food (it reminds me so much of wagamama in london)
            you just have to know what you're going there for.

            you're not there for authentic food or even amazing food.
            just a reasonably cheap, fun experience

            1. re: The Jumps

              I think it might be affiliated with wagamama. they both have the same cute kid on the front of their menus

              1. re: MV

                Sorry, but Republic is the cheap knock-off version of Wagamama. And while it LOOKS very similar, the TASTE leaves a lot to be desired...

                1. re: genghis

                  Republic: meh food, incredibly bad acoustics, and you may be seated at a 4-person table with another party of 2. That said, if you're there the spinach lime noodles are pretty good.

                2. re: MV

                  Interesting. I was at the Wagamama in Amsterdam and I remember that Republic kid. Pretty decent bowl of noodles, I have to say.

        2. There is a decent sit down Cuban spot on 17th street west of union square called Havana Central. I've just had the cuban sandwiches and plantains but there are other main dishes on the menu.

          1. A few places within easy walking distance that might fit the bill:

            Casa Mono(Irving & 17th) or Bar Jamon (next door)
            Via Emilia (PAS and 19th)
            Cafe Amiana (3rd and approx 19th)
            Pain Quitodien (19th bet bwy and PAS)

            A little further up, Bao Noodles (22 & 2nd).

            1. I'm a fan of Cafe Spice, the Indian place a few blocks south of Union Square on University.

              3 Replies
              1. re: eeee

                I second the Cafe Spice recommendation. I'm sure it is not authentic, but it is cheap and satisfying. I'm partial to the chicken pad thai and the warm duck salad.

                1. re: Desidero

                  i think you are talking about spice,
                  cafe spice is an indian restaurant that does not serve pad thai

                2. re: eeee

                  I like Cafe Spice a lot. Their dosas are not so hot, but their curries are very good.