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knock my socks off for under $3

  • r

i need something new and exciting in my life. help me find it for under $3. it can be sweet, sour, hot or cold. i don't care as long as it's good.

somethings i'd spend my $3 on:
- "cheurng fun" at south wind
- roast pork bun at new chatham
- black sesame ice cream at chinatown ice cream factory

but i'd like to save my $3 for something i haven't tried. please help.

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  1. Saigon Banh Mi on Mott St. Best sandwich I've ever had, but I think it's $3.25.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ko

      agree with pushing your price range, if the saigon banh mi sandwich is $3.25--this is my single favorite food item in all of manhattan. call in advance.

      if you skip that, the sesame pancake with pickled vegetables (skip the beef) at the dumpling house on eldridge captures some of the flavors, but still is no saigon banh mi sandwich

      i think that the sesame gelato at laboratorio di gelato in the lower east side beats the chinatown ice cream place. it has more intense sesame taste (though less crunch).

      1. re: ko

        Would someone describe this delicacy in detail?

          1. re: melon

            A good definition. Saion Banh Mi features the barbecued pork variety. Go!

      2. s

        You've probably tried these already but at Southwind i'd get the dumplings or stuffed tofu blocks instead of that noodle rollup thing and at Chatham I'd get the fried dumplings or the fried taro ball with the crispy outside instead of the roast pork bun.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

          i find southwind's dumplings oddly sweet. my grandma made the best fried dumplings. if only i got the recipe before she passed. i'd make millions selling it on a street corner.

        2. Don't know if you're restricting yourself to Chinatown, but if not, tacos al pastor (and others) at the taco truck on 96th and Broadway are $2 each. Maybe not worth traveling far for, but a great snack if you're in the neighborhood.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Sarah K

            One might also select a dog and a papaya shake at one of the many locations throughout the city.

            1. re: Keith

              2 hot dogs and a drink at Grey's Papaya
              The Recession Special for $2.50.
              Better than chocolate, ice cream or sex.

              1. re: dianatheprincess

                Yikes, I hope your significant other doesn't read this board :-)

          2. Yakimochi at Cafe Zaiya ($1.50)
            Walnut cakes at Koryodang ($2)
            Banana cakes at Koryodang ($2)
            Blueberry butter cake at Casa Cupcake ($2-3)


            Link: http://nycnosh.com

            1. You are over-spending.

              Sunshine Cafe on Allen, just below Houston, offers all kinds of savory and sweet Chinese buns and pastries, the average price around 75 cents. Especially recommended: the chicken pies, hot dog and scallion bun, dried pork roll.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Wilfrid

                Also try any of the Fay Da locations (also a Chinese bakery), especially the egg custard tarts and fried sesame balls (they're balls of fried dough, filled with a lotus seed paste, rolled in sesame seeds)

              2. Slice of pizza at Sal and Carmine's, 102nd and Bway.

                1. Also not chinese food, but I recommend a goat taco at Tehuitzingo, 10th avenue and 47th/48th. One of my favorite $2 food items in the city.

                  1. i

                    Pizza Bianca at Sullivan Street Bakery, $1

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: I_<3_NYC_FOOD

                      I've had sullivan st pizza from dean and deluca a couple of times--is the place itself much better?

                      1. re: carcrash

                        definitely! it is super fresh and if you get it just as it comes out of the oven...oh boy, that is heaven on earth!!

                    2. s

                      Chocolate croissant from Patisserie Claude

                      1 Reply
                      1. mochi ice cream, in that Korean grocery on 32nd

                        Link: http://www.mochiicecream.com/

                        Image: http://www.mochiicecream.com/media/se...

                        1. Mamoun's falafel hummus sandwich near MacDougal and 3rd.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Hott Roti

                            did they change owners?

                            Last time I went the falafel and the lentil soup (which was the main reason I went) was very disappointing, tasted like they changed the recipe, owner, or left out something.
                            One of my friends said he had the same experience.

                            Or was it just a phase?
                            I can get falafels elsewhere, but I really liked the old lentil soup.

                          2. $1 for five dumplings at Fried Dumpling on Allen Street

                            (this was already mentioned) $2 taco at Supertaco truck on W. 96th Street, at B'way

                            "Slab" of pizza at Koronet on B'way and 111th Street

                            1. Rainbow Ice - Shaved Ice with Coconut Milk, Sweet Mung Bean, Jello. Sounds gross but it is AWESOME. In Cantonese - "Saam Sik Bing (three colors ice)". Any Vietnamese place in Chinatown should have it - maybe try Nha Trang.

                              1. $2 fish ball soup at the dumpling shop at 6 Eldridge St. (The menu says Authletic (sic) Dumpling House, but it says something else on the outside. Actually several of the dumpling shops have Fuzhou fish ball soup for about $2.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                  You can also get this at Young City Fish Balls (21A Eldridge), which used to be next to the temple across the street, but has moved into a full-fledged shop.

                                  Image: http://static.flickr.com/69/166387121...

                                2. Curry squid(large ones)$2 or $3 small or large from the street vendor just outside the Christy street subway station across from the park. Eat while you join Chinese old ladies watching a flat screen TV hung above, playing Chinese operas.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: HLing

                                    Please tell me more. What subway line is this? I'm not aware of a subway stop at Chrystie street. Is the park Roosevelt? Is the squid grilled?

                                    I want some curry squid! TIA

                                    1. re: Homer J

                                      Grand St B-D station at Grand and Chrystie.

                                      1. re: squid-kun

                                        I'm around there all the time. I can't believe I've missed this!. Thanks.

                                      2. re: Homer J

                                        The squid isn't grilled. They are cooked in curry sauce...a common Hong Kong street food. I'm not sure they have anything listed in English. It's a cart that offers Chow Mei Fun(pan fried vermicelli),fish balls, and several other items. You will have to ask for it as you don't see it on display.

                                        1. re: HLing

                                          Thanks, my Cantonese isn't great but I can usually get by.

                                    2. 2 cream puffs at Beard Papa's

                                      1 hotdog (maybe even 2?) & papaya drink at Gray's Papaya

                                      1. The curried chicken sandwich at Cafe Zaiya ($3). One of my favorite sandwiches at any price.

                                        1. jerk chicken or curried beef patty at Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery $1.75, if I remember correctly.

                                          1. Chocolate dumplings (3) at Rickshaw Dumpling Bar.

                                            1. Shrimp dumpling soup at NY Noodletown.

                                              1. The sesame pancake with pickled vegetables or beef at The Dumpling House on Eldrigde - $1.50

                                                Pumpkin or red velvet cupcake at Sunshine Bakery on Rivington - $1.25

                                                1. lamajun (sp?) at bereket's on houston st. 2.75
                                                  cold taro tapioca bubble tea 2. 75 @ st. alp's teahse

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: nyufoodie

                                                    Passionfruit bubble tea at Ten Ren - 2.50 or 2.75, I forget

                                                  2. - red cabbage knish at yonah schimmel's on houston btw 1st & 2nd
                                                    - any two dishes over a bowl of rice with raita at punjab on 1st btw 1st and A
                                                    - chocolate chocolate chip cookie at levain bakery on 74th btw columbus and amsterdam

                                                    ...and if you're willing to leave manhattan, try some of the lamb pastries sold from the windows of the stores on brighton beach ave in brighton beach. mmm.

                                                    1. -Prosciutto balls from Joe's Superette in Carroll Gardens. $3 will get you six, enough for a snack for 2.
                                                      -Half lb of the super luscious super fresh homemade mozzarella at Caputo's
                                                      -A entire box of freshly made (made as you watch) custard filled pastries (12 of them) from Deli Manjoo in the stall at Canal & Lafayette
                                                      -Taco (the roast pork is particularly good, but chicken and chorizo are good too) at Pio Maya
                                                      -Slice of the pizza pomodoro at Sullivan Street Bakery
                                                      -Chocolate fondant (flourless chocolate cake) at Beard Papa
                                                      -Beefsteak taco or 2 cheese pupusas with slaw at Red Hook ballfields
                                                      -Package of sweet rice cakes (dduk) or spicy ddukboki or japchae at HanAhReum supermarket
                                                      -Order of beignets from F&B (The haricots frites with garlic herb butter are worth a try too.)

                                                      1. Go to the tofu shop on Canal and Bowery street and get a cup of Sesame Custard for $1. They might give you sugar but don't put it on. Its in the fridge in the back of the shop. Plastic container with black print.

                                                        1. Deluxe Food Market: Mott street Between Grand and Hester street. For $3 you can get Half of the Soy Sauce chicken. They also have another entrance on Elizabeth street.

                                                          1. Black & White cookie from Rocco's on Bleeker St.
                                                            a piece of cinnamon chocolate from The Chocolate Bar on hudson??
                                                            a plain arepa from Caracas Arepa Bar (or, of course, the Arepa Lady).

                                                            1. $2 hummus sandwich special from The Hummus Place on Sullivan St. (It's not available at the East Village location). It's a thick, fluffy pita overstuffed with hummus and egg.

                                                              $1 coffee from The Mud Truck on Astor Pl.

                                                              1. Okay, so I'm going a buck over your price range at 4 bucks here, but the three choices plus soup and rice at Bei Wei Gourmet on Division has to count as one of the great budget meals in Chinatown or anywhere, definitely worth that extra buck. Just point to any number of psychedelic looking spotted eggs, jelly like substances and chicken feet, find an uncomfortable stool and chow down. Guaranteed to carry you through a late dinner time.

                                                                Dare I mention Mei Lei Wah? I must. The combination bun, or a couple of sweet pork buns, with that heart pounding black coffee, 3 bucks tops. Place should be declared an official landmark. And, hey, what's with all the Ovaltine anyway?

                                                                Truth be told, however, and as much as I've loved Mei Lei Wah and the whole Cantonese bakery scene that's cropped up over the years, I don't think anyone is doing good cheap pork buns (or bings) any better than than the new Lady Bing joint on West 3rd. Went in there for a banana bing, was greeted by a concierge/head waiter, who encouraged me to choose from a free assortment of baked buns. I took the chicken, which, truth be told, was killer. If the other four choices are nearly as fresh and hot and tasty as the chicken bun was, than Lady Bing's buns will definitely have to go down as my pick for the best 3 buck and under deal in NYC in 2006. Not to mention of course, the bings are the bings. Need I say more?
                                                                Lay 'em on me.

                                                                Has anyone out there mentioned the ridiculously cheap Punjabi on 1st street, caddycorner to Houston, serving up mixes and matches of yogurt, hot sauce, pakoras, chick peas and nans, as well as Indian teas and coffees that burn the tongue oh so good. Food for the soul, relief for your wallet. You can definitely finagle a meal here for 3 bucks and change.

                                                                1. East village cheese shop on 9th street and 3rd ave. $3 can get you alot more cheese than murrays or whole foods

                                                                  1. Bing lady really took my heart away with that Spicy Pork. I don't know if its my good looks but she shoved 4 buns in my bag tonight for me to sample.


                                                                    1. Bings are the best at the Roll and Dough! $1.75 for one. The place we went (thanks to this board) is on W. 3rd just east of 6th Ave on the north side of the street. Pork and Chives will blow you away.