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Jun 15, 2006 06:39 PM

Any recs - great food in Manhattan without breaking our wallets?

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Fellow hounds,

My partner and I will be spending a long weekend in NYC (staying at the Affinia 50, on 155 East 50th Street).

Sadly, we can't afford a string of big splurges, so we would like to get your feedback on:

1) Inexpensive places that serve great food (i.e. < $20 meals, not including alcohol)

2) One special place where we can have dinner on a Monday night (up to $40 per person would be OK).

We are very adventurous when it comes to food, so we will happily try every imaginable type of cuisine.

Thanks many.

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  1. Montparnasse, on 51st St., b/t 2nd & 3rd Avs., is a pleasant French bistro with very good food. They offer a 3-course prix-fixe for $19.95 at lunch and at dinner from 5-6:30 p.m.

    Turkish Kitchen, on 3rd Av., b/t 27th & 28th Sts., serves delicious food in very attractive surroundings. At lunch Mon.-Fri., they have an excellent value 4-course prix-fixe for $13.95. On Sunday, there's a brunch buffet for $17.95.

    Gascogne, on 8th Av., b/t 17th & 18th Sts., is a small, charming French bistro with very good food and one of the loveliest back gardens in the city. The lunch prix-fixe Mon.-Fri. is $19.50, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday is $16.50. However, you might want to consider it for your "special" dinner because on Monday evenings, they have a 4-course tasting menu for $29.

    The Shake Shack is located in Madison Square Park. Delicious burgers, fries, soft ice cream, etc. Lots of tables and chairs for outdoor dining. One caution. The lines can be *very* long, so it's best to go off hours -- between 2 and 4 in the afternoon, or late in the evening.

    Enjoy your visit to NYC and Bon Appetit!

    1 Reply
    1. re: RGR

      Kitchen 22 on 22nd St is a Charlie Palmer restaurant, serving a 3-course dinner for only $25! No reservations and a small venue...but, imho, one of the best deals in NYC.

    2. i'm linking a thread from may with recommendations for my favorite inexpensive places, though pars (which i love) may not be special enough for one special weekend in nyc, and wu liang ye may be better than grand sichuan for spicy sichuanese.

      you'll get a lot of information on these boards if you check out posts about the east village and lower east side--generally the best food/cost ratio of manhattan neighborhoods--'inoteca is an italian tapas-style wine bar with lovely food, and good service.

      congratulations to you and your partner, and happy eating.


      2 Replies
      1. re: freddie

        "wu liang ye may be better than grand sichuan for spicy sichuanese."

        Disagree with this, though I suppose it depends on which GS we're talking about (hell's kitchen and chelsea branches are excellent). Of course, imo, Szechuan Gourmet on 39th btw 5th and 6th is better than either GS or Wu Liang Ye.

        Agree, though, that pars (while delicious) may not be special enough. I'm also a fan of Inoteca myself. Something else that's fun and inexpensive might be to ride out to Brooklyn one day for some DiFara's pizza and Famous Pita falafel.

        1. re: a&w

          I disagree as well, wu liang ye on 86th st. was noticably worse than grand sichuan (certainly to the chelsea one and the double cooked pork was inferior to st. mark's) and was more expensive to boot. Maybe I was expecting some transcendent experience due to some of the posts on it, but even beyond those expectations it didn't compare as well.

      2. Check out the thread below on food $3 and under. By taking some of these suggestions, you could make your big meal even bigger.

        1. Yay! Congratulations! Food is my favorite way to celebrate happy occasions ...

          Under $20:
          1) Momofuku in the E. Village - Japanese noodle place with high-quality pork. The tripe is amazing.

          2) New Green Bo in Chinatown - Shanghainese food. Must do the soup dumplings and drunken chicken. And the shredded salty cabbage pork dish. Zero ambiance but the food is good. Then you can pop across the street to the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for Almond Cookie ice cream.

          4) El Cocotero in Chelsea - Latin food. Yummy arepas!

          Special Dinner:
          I second Gascogne. It's intimate, romantic, and most of all tasty. Perfect for a special celebration.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Hott Roti

            Did you mean under $20 per person, or under $20 for both. Momofuku would be under 20 per person... not for both. If you are willing to go west, 9th avenue in the 40s and 50s has great ethnic foods for pretty cheap (Thai, Mexican, Peruvian, Chinese, and more)

            eGustibus Food blog:

          2. If you are here during restautant week, you'd have a lot more choices for the nice dinner


            Chinatown is the place for your cheap eats.