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23rd street / 6th and 7th Avenue- What's good in the neighborhood?

We have moved to New York just this year and love to discover good, inexpensive neighborhood finds... We love RUB and East of Eighth and would like to find more great places like them to add to our "repetoire". Let's say within a 10 block radius...

Can't wait to see your suggestions... Thanks!

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  1. Hello, neighbor. I'm a newcomer to Chelsea (but not to the city), and am also trying to collect cheap but good joints. So far, I have La Taza de Oro, on 8th bet. 14th and 15th. Good Latin American diner food.

    Corner Bistro's not too far either. Don't go there starving, your stomach will eat itself before you get a seat.

    1 Reply
    1. re: janethepain

      Second or Triple or whatever. La Taz is amazing and an NYC Landmark(literally). I grew up on their food.

    2. I just ate at Le Zie last Friday. The price-quality ratio is remarkably good for tasty Venetian.


      2 Replies
      1. re: Peter Cherches

        I am also a Le Zie fan. If the monkfish is still on the menu, order it ... Also, their salt-baked whole fish were really good years ago. Don't know if they still have it. Very pleasant dining experience. Seventh Ave. at 20th.

        1. re: foodmonk

          Also, Bar Veloce just up the street on Seventh from Le Zie for wines by the glass

          If you are under 30, Cafeteria and Elmo can be fun for the "hip factor," though the food is really not anything extraordinary.

          Mussels are good at Le Singe Vert. Never been impressed with anything else.

          Tour on Lower Eighth Ave. is a good place to "drop in" for a sandwich -- not haute cuisine in any way, though.

          (I see now after commenting that this is an old thread. Ooops!)

          Salumeria Biellese north of 23rd on Eighth is reputed to be a good place for deli sandwiches. They are also a retail salumeria. I'm headed there next week to pick up some speck.

          Tello -- everything seems to be made of garlic. Mare and Belle Vie on Eighth Ave. are good for watching the world go by only, not much else.

          Intermezzo is actually a good place for a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine. They have an inexpensive prix fixe menu, too.

      2. Grand Sichuan Chelsea--24th & 9th--is in the top rung of Chinese in Manhattan
        Red Cat--New American-- Somewhat more expensive than the other places, but well worth it
        If you like East of Eighth, you'll probably also like Intermezzo (inexpensive Italian) about 20th & Eight.
        Pars (28th St between 7th & 8th). Arguably the best Persian in Manhattan and inexpensive.
        El Quijote: very old fashioned (been there at least 50 years) Spanish in the Hotel Chelsea.

        1. Thanks guys! please keep them coming... we will try all... as for east of eighth, we loved the prix fixe menu, we thought it was a good deal for a nice decent lunch. we haven't tried them for dinner...we did try the grand sichuan at 9th and 23rd (twice!) and were dissappointed. Could you tell me what is good there? I know the other grand sichuan is supposed to be great, are they owned by the same person?

          Also, for the other neighbor newbie, i forgot to mention that we found a cuban "hole in the wall" on 8th (around 20th?), just south of cuba cafe (i am struggling to remember the name, but i will post it when i do) they serve sandwhiches, etc. found it on citysearch. (not the greatest site, but it helps)

          also, my stepdaughter loves rickshaws on i forgot to mention that sometimes we go to trailer park louge for the fun food...

          1 Reply
          1. re: usagourmet

            At Grand Sichuan, stick to Sichuan and Hunan food only - no American-Chinese, Cantonese, of Shanghainese. I live in the East Village and go to the St. Marks location more often, nowadays, but I recommend the following (taken off the Grand Sichuan Int'l Chelsea menu at menupages.com):

            45. Sichuan Wonton W. Red Oil
            46. Sichuan Cold Noodle
            47. Dan Dan Noodle W. Chili Sauce
            48. Ox Tongue, Tripe W. Hot & Pepper Sauce
            50. Five Spiced Beef
            52. Beef W. Hot & Wild Pepper Sauce
            53. Beef Tendon W. Hot & Pepper Sauce

            Hmmm...Is the Cucumber with Scallion Sauce cold dish now "Cucumber with Garlic"? I've always liked the cold cucumber at this location as well as the Midtown and St. Marks locations.


            68. Kung Bao Chicken (on their American Chinese menu but a genuine Sichuan-style dish - even better with "Not Long Refrigerated" chicken)
            109. Braised Whole Fish W. Hot Bean Sauce
            111. Braised Whole Fish W. Scallion
            113. Smoked Tea Duck
            118. House Bean Curd W. Spicy Sauce and Minced Pork (I believe this is the English name they're giving for Mapo Dofu, unless that was 164. Bean Curd Family Style)
            123. Aui Zhou Spicy Chicken
            124. Crispy Quail
            145. Cellophane Noodle W. Minced Pork
            159. Sauteed and Dry String Beans W. Minced Pork
            171. Sauteed Duck & Bitter Melon
            174. Sour String Beans W. Minced Pork (I had this a few months ago, and it was a knockout!)
            175. Spicy and Sour Squid (another favorite)

            Don't get lunch specials, but do consider dishes from special menus like the Prodigal Daughter's menu (like the excellent spinach and ginger dish) and seasonal specials for Chinese New Year.

            The Midtown location is better, but if you like this kind of spicy, tasty food, you should get lots of enjoyment from the Chelsea location.

          2. The cheap and yummy Cuban hole in the wall is Havana Chelsea, 8th between 19th/20th...

            1. for some really delicious Japanese-style chicken wings, check out Tebaya on 19th and 7th. They also have very tasty, fresh and light tofu and soba salads with homemade dressings. take out, though there are a few stools if you're determined.

              1 Reply
              1. re: eeee

                Are these wings good? I tried them one (I live nearby, love wings!) and my order tasted oily, borderline rancid. Wondering if I got a bad batch, but I haven't been back.

              2. Maroons, Crispo, La Nacional, Suenos.
                For quick bites, City Bakery, Taralluci e Vino.

                1. If you like Thai, try Pongsri on 23rd and 7th.

                  For lunch, believe it or not, Cafe Beyond (in the Bed Bath and Beyond on 6th Avenue) is very good.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: LloydG

                    Sometimes after B,B & B I walk over to Periyali and have a quick glass of retsina and their signature grilled octopus at the bar. I rarely find better grilled octopus than they have at Periyali (though I am a big Pylos fan, but that's a different nieghborhood). Periyali is on the upscale side, but an occasional lunch at the bar can be very reasonable.

                  2. Bright Food Shop (21st and 8th ave) is excellent. Sunday brunch there is especially good. The little shop next door (that shares the kitchen) has excellent black bean soup and jalepeno cornbread for cheap.

                    1. welcome to the neighborhood! I completely agree w/ Lucia and Peter's recs and will try Taralluci! Having lived in the hood for 2 years now we have tried so many of the local places. These are my picks for decent every day type: Lasagna, La Luncheonette, Le Singe Vert, elmo, Spice, Cafeteria, il bastardo (has improved as of recently), Kitchen Market (take out). Chelsea Square is our diner. I used to love Momoya but it's been extremely disappointing the past 2 visits, fish was questionable. Grand sichuan is spotty, we have been both impressed and very disappointed but we do keep going back. I also like cookshop (just added very nice outdoor seating)and the Half King for a pub. Patsy's is pretty good pizza. Many posters recommend Bright Food Shop, I need to try it again. I've enjoyed meals at Nisos but it's just too expensive for what it is. Energy Kitchen is good cheap healthy food. I've only ordered from Negril, but it was enjoyable.

                      I'll also say where I DON'T recommend: Tello, Mare, Cuba Libre, La Belle Vie, Intermezzo. I should have learned when we found out they were all owned by the same group but we were fair in giving each a chance and disappointed w/ each visit.

                      I also like Veloce and Flatiron Lounge for drinks.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: ellenb

                        Now for my second negative comment in this thread without offering much in return (I must be in a bad mood). Le Singe Vert is not decent fare except maybe for drinks. Much mentioned here is good and worth trying, but stay away from this one.

                        1. re: Picnic

                          Singe Vert is without a doubt one of the best bistros in NYC.
                          I eat there at least 3 times a month.For years.I have NEVER had a bad meal.
                          The service is a bit off sometimes but they are french...
                          Also try Black pearl on 26th off of 6th.Great $1 oysters happy hour and real lobster rolls without all the mayo & celery.

                        2. re: ellenb

                          Sorry to hear you didn't like Tello. Granted, I haven't been in there in the last 3-4 months, but have eaten there many times and have always been extremely satisfied with my meals and the service.

                        3. Sorry, now that i read your original post - I realize that some of my recs were a bit more pricey than "inexpensive" but i still think they are decent for the nabe unless otherwise noted.

                          1. I like Salsa Y Salsa on 22nd (I think) and 7th. Their lunch specials especially are inexpensive and fresh, a good amount of food and a nice atmosphere for the money.

                            I also always enjoy Pepe Giallo on 10th and 25th, though it might not be quite worth the trek over. Decent homemade gnocchi though, and can't beat the price in the neighborhood.

                            And Murray's Bagels on 23rd and 8th are awesome, especially when they're fresh.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Emilyflew

                              I politely, but firmly, disagree. The food at Salsa y Salsa is tasteless and depressing.

                              I do like Murray's Bagels on the off times when I've had them.

                            2. I love Ennju, a Japanese cafeteria type place on 17th between 5th ave and Union Square.
                              Their sushi is very good and reasonably priced--nothing fancy, and all the sushi that's left after 9pm is 1/2 price! (although, usually there is not very much left, to be honest)
                              Their cooked meals are great, large and cheap. Salmon teriyaki w/ rice, veggies and salad is only $8.50

                              1. Blue Ginger on 8th avenue between 15th and 16th is a good neighborhood japanese restaurant.

                                1. i am so excited to try these. as for in expsive, we like to keep entrees/meals under 10 for lunch, and under 15 for dinner (i know, that's crazy in NY but we are still adjusting to prices and have a teenager to support!)any other ideas are always appreciated!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: usagourmet

                                    not crazy at all - there are even loads of good places where you can eat dinner for $10

                                    1. re: usagourmet

                                      For sure try Spice for lunch (8th & 20th), well under $10. Their dinner is good too and in your price range. I must say I enjoyed my meal at Omai, as well (9th btw 19th & 20th). Noodle bowls are around $15, but a fish entree could go as high as $22. The tuna appt. is very good.

                                    2. Rickshaw Dumpling bar is good for fast food. Grab sushi at Mizu (on 20th btw. b'way and park). And if you're going to splurge you must go to Craft!!

                                      1. It's a bit of a walk, but L'Express at Park Avenue South and 20th Street has great Eggs Benedict and a fantastic burger. Also, it's open 24/7.

                                        1. I would not recommend East of 8th for dinner. We went there last night, based in part on the recommendations on this thread. The first tip-off should have been the menu that seems to touch on something from every cuisine -- they just can't do them all well. I ordered the oriental chicken salad, thinking that they couldn't go too wrong with a salad. It was the saltiest thing I have eaten in quite some time. It was as if they boiled the chicken in salt before putting it on the salad. Gross. Avoid.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: rfelicello

                                            i can't agree more with you abt East Of Eighth. i have lived in chelsea for 12 years and i think it may be the worst resaurant in the 'hood, and that's pretty special considering all the bad places to eat around here. (mare, tello, la belle vie etc...) Bright Food Shop is great for breakfast (get the huevos) and we just tried Trestle on 10th which had delicious food. service is still spotty but i am hoping will work itself out in the coming months. Le Zie and Suenos are also best of the bunch.

                                          2. Le Zie - nice lunch specials 3 courses for under 15

                                            Rickshaw dumpling - better than it used to be, still not great

                                            Super Burrito (23 and 6) For take out or delivery of cheap Mexican food. The tortas are the thing to order, esp. the Al Pastor (roast pork) and al lengua (tongue). $5 for quite a lot of food

                                            There's a Latino place on 25th btwn 6 and 7 (south side of street, closer to 7) that is very good and very cheap. Bit of a language problem, but their good cheer makes up for it. Go twice and their giving you nicknames.

                                            There's a SE Asian place on 24th btwn 6 and 5 (closer to 5) that I've been to once, was quite good

                                            Grand sichuan is excellent

                                            Daniele's Piadina (22 and 6) has very tasty psuedo sandwiches, although a bit pricey for what they are

                                            For pizza, I like Maffei's (22 and 6)

                                            Pongsri thai is not bad (23rd, 6 and 7). Lunch specials are quite a good deal. I like the spicy Chicken noodle soup. The Thai style salads are also tasty. Hard to get them to make it really spicy, but they will bring a trio of hot sauces, if you like.

                                            1. Sapa on 24th between 5th and 6th is great, They have a happy hour everyday. Also they have a $15 menu on sundays. Check it out. I believe it is also open for brunch on weekends. The cuisine is french vietnemese.

                                              1. you've covered most of what i would have recommended, I would just add El Cocotero (sp?) at 17th btwn 6th & 7th (might be 18th can't remember)

                                                I second Maroon's & El Quijote & Le Zie (these are pricier)

                                                Maffei's Pizza for a slice, pie or assorted lunch plates

                                                for an old ny bar try Peter McManus on 19th and 7th

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: jth

                                                  Please don't mention El Quijote. Sort of my second home, and I have enough trouble getting a table without it getting publicity here. By the way, it's not pricey imho because the portions are big and you'll want to split your plate or take home tomorrows dinner.

                                                2. Francisco's Centro Vasco. W23rd b/w 6th & 7th. Excellent Spanish seafood, reasonably priced. I've eaten here about 15 times, brought friends, never had a bad meal.

                                                  Lunch menu is an ever better value.


                                                  1. Here's an old list of places I put together some time back:


                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: a_and_w

                                                      Anyone been to "its a dominican thing" on 19th between 7th and 6th? I have walked past it many times and always wondered. also, what about Momoyama on 7th and 18th?

                                                      1. re: Dandel

                                                        how about Parea on 20th just east of 5th? one of the most interesting menus in the city

                                                    2. 10 blocks covers alot of ground, from union square go to 15 for japanese,,,,make it 12 blocks youre at the meat market, everything from pastis to buddakhan. lobster at chelsea market,,,,, the frog cafe,,,,taralucci for sandwiches or cappuccino.

                                                      1. My two favorite places in the area were Sapa, I lived above it so it was really convenient. I loved Sala 19, 19th between 5th and 6th, amazing spanish tapas style food.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: asp529

                                                          I like to order japanese food from Blue Ginger, on 8th avenue and 15th street. Dirty bird has good roasted chicken.
                                                          anyone been to rocking horse?

                                                          1. re: Dandel

                                                            rocking horse is pretty spotty. don't like it anymore at all. suenos is better.

                                                        2. Restivo, a cute little Italian restaurant, has good pastas, as I remember. It's on 7th Ave @ 20th or 21th St. Great linguine with clams.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: pinkylechat

                                                            Jake's Saloon on 23rd and 7th


                                                            Much better than the uptown location. good food...especially the sandwiches.

                                                            oh and there's a new bbq joint open on 26th called Hill Country. Looks really good.

                                                            1. re: pinkylechat

                                                              Anyone been to this restaurant on 7th avenue and around 20th street called Le Singe Vert?

                                                              1. re: Dandel

                                                                Yes, but only for brunch. Food was pleasant. Nothing to write home about, but I go since I'm in the area.

                                                                1. re: Dandel

                                                                  I like the mussels there. And once I think I had a good salad with duck confit.

                                                              2. I've personally have had great meals at Monster sushi? Fresh fish, no fuss

                                                                1. The Mayfair on (I think) 19th & Broadway is good.
                                                                  A bit of a walk, but Pete's Tavern at 19th & Irving Place is a great bar/restaurant.
                                                                  Pricier but fabulous is Novita, at 22nd & Park.

                                                                  1. Surprisingly, nobody's mentioned F&B's yet (hot dogs and such, from a European perspective). It's not destination-worthy, but it's a solid place.

                                                                    I especially like their Beignets - donuts with no holes and powdered sugar. And they're like three for a dollar!!

                                                                    It's between 7th and 8th on 23rd.

                                                                    1. What about the Carriage House in Chelsea? Anyone been there?

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Dandel

                                                                        For great Italian -- Crispo at 14th bet. 7 & 8