sf chowhound visiting on a budget
I will be visiting next month for five days. I'd appreciate some good budget lunch and dinner recommendations anywhere in Manhattan. I'll be staying in the Battery Park area, and tend to hang out in the Village and Lower East Side, but I'm willing to travel for good budget food.
CAFE MOGADOR st. marks place bwn. ave A and 1st ave. Great atmosphere, great hummus and Amazing cous cous! Affordable too!
Financier is the only notable thing in the financial district. It's good for morning pastries but make sure you go to the orginal one on stone st.
Zucco-lower east side 188 orchard st (bwn houston and stanton)
Clinton St. Baking Co-Lower east side, best pancakes and syrup team i've ever had.
What have you thought was very good at Assenzio? I was there once a few months ago and found it underwhelming. I also didn't find it very cheap.
Less than $20 for really good non-Asian food isn't very easy in Manhattan, especially for dinner. I must say, I'm not sure that San Francisco excels in every regional style of Chinese food, but that would be a topic for another board.
I think you should consider going to some of the best pizzerie in Manhattan, such as Patsy's in East Harlem (1st Av. between 117th and 118th Sts.) and Arturo's at the corner of Thompson St. and Houston St. Arturo's has a bunch of things other than pizza. Neither of those places is really cheap, and you should expect to pay at least $20/person for a full meal including drinks, tax, and tip. Arturo's may be more expensive, but their pizza is much thicker and more filling.
Go to Grand Sichuan St. Marks (between 2nd and 3rd Avs.). Really good Sichuan and Hunan food at a good price.
Get a Vietnamese sandwich at Banh Mi Saigon Bakery, Mott St. between Hester and Grand Sts. Really great stuff at a great price.
I'd also recommend the new location of Unique Pastry (or whatever name they're giving it) on 3rd St. and 6th Av. I haven't been to that location yet but was a regular at their Flushing location. They serve bing, which are Fuzhounese sesame buns. Have one or two for breakfast or lunch (two is a sizeable lunch). Cheap, really tasty stuff, and not that much like anything else I've had.
Give us some sense of what the limits of your budget are and whether there are any specific cuisines you're looking for, so we can help you more effectively.
Caracas Arepas Bar in the E Village is a great (and budget sensative) choice.
The weather should be perfect to hang in Madison Sq. Park and sample a burger and frozen custard at the Shake Shake. Then you too can join in on the infernal...ummm..eternal debates over its popularity and comparisons to In 'n Out.
RGR's Lower East Side tour has some great inexpensive options. It's buried in a very long thread that you might also find helpful
have a great visit
I have not seen anyone placing Shake Shack above In 'n Out and I really don't think it is worth a visitor's time especially considering the long line. For under 20 dollars and non-asian, Italian and Pizza places might be your best bet. RGR's LES tour should be quite helpful too.