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Quick Meals near Gramercy Park

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I've just enrolled in a class at SVA (21st between 2nd and 3rd) that takes place on Thursdays from 6:30-9:30 until mid-December.

Anyone have any suggestions for restaurants in the area that will allow me to be in-and-out in about a half hour?

Any type of food/dining experience (sit down, to-go, etc) is fine. As long as it's quality food. Thanks all!

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  1. Mollys is great for a great burger and brew. They also have a good menu of other traditional Irish pub food. I don't know if you would get in and out in 30 minutes but it would not be much longer. They are on 3rd Avenue between 22nd and 23rd.

    1. I'd suggest the following for inexpensive, good food where you won't feel weird eating alone:
      Pongsri (Thai) on 2nd Ave @ 18th
      Paquitio's (Mexican) 3rd Ave between 16th & 17th
      Sunburst (cafe) 3rd Ave at 18th

      1. Bao Noodles, on 2nd Av., just south of 23rd St., serves very good Vietnamese food. You should be able to have something there within your time constraints.

        http://www.baonoodles.com

        For pasta, there's Lamarca, on the corner of 3rd & 22nd.

        1. nooooooooo just say no to sunburst! i've not had one meal there that was not one of the following: cold, overcooked, undercooked, moldy and/or sour. clearly i've eaten there more times than i should have.

          push cafe on 3rd and 22nd isn't the best but it's a student hangout with a good, cheap and fast hummus plate.

          2 Replies
          1. re: gingersweetiepie

            That's a bummer. I've been there a handful of times but I looking back, I guess I usually get a bagel or scone and a latte..things that are a little tough to mess up and I remember being good...good enough to go back and I like the atmosphere. I suppose the take home message is that Sunburst is okay for snacks but not meals..

            1. re: jona2325

              I've had food there in the past (crepes, sandwiches) and they've been fine.

          2. Jess's Bakery on 23rd btwn 2nd and 3rd for interesting and cheap Japanese pastries, fried ramen noodles and roast pork. Two of my favorite things are the dragon ball and pork dumpling, both of which are encased in a sticky rice dumpling. Also like the ham and cheese bun and the coconut cream bun.

            Burgers - Molly's and Shake shack (at 6pm there should be no line, I went yesterday at that time and walked right up to the counter and was eating my burger in 5 minutes)

            Diner - Sunflower on 26th and 3rd, best in the area and shouldn't be too crowded at that time, service is awful when its crowded.

            I also agree with the reco for Bao Noodles.

            1. I go to SVA as well. I live at the GW dorm.
              I'm a born and raised Manhattaner so I know da spots. Get ready: *TAKES DEEP BREATH* ~~~

              There used to be Chelsea Thai right by the monkey lounge but it is now being replaced by a Japanese joint. (theres another chelsea thai on 9th ave and 14th though) I talked to Jin the owner yesterday when Matt Dillon came to visit and he told me the chefs have 16 years of experience and the food is really good. We'll see.

              Viang Ping across the st from SVA is not as good as chelsea thai and is more expensive too but I guess it's all we got for close by Thai, eh? The counter guy is that young skinny thai guy who's really nice though.
              They make their food for westerners though.. I got tom yum goong once and it was full of bell peppers, lol! I was like WHERE DA THAI PEPPERS AT?! DIS SHIT AIN'T SPICY!!!
              I refuse to say the food is bad though. Just westernized..

              STAY AWAY from Bangkok Express on 2nd ave and 22nd ish or so. They have a sign out front that claims they make the best pad thai in the city but the portion was small, it was too oily, and then I had diherrea. I had a duck meal there too and it looked like a big pile of messy crap. It's the cheapest Thai place around so far but not worth it.

              I miss the China Town place for the decent and cheap food. I miss the two young girls that worked there cause they were not fobby non english speaking old boring people. Personally I like places with young workers. They'll usually talk to you and hold decent conversations. We'll see what they will be replaced with later I guess.. No idea why the hell they ran outta business though cause that place was always packed!

              Asian Express nearby has pretty good food for a fusion joint. The chinese dishes are like 2-3 dollars more than all the meals at the China Town place though but hey- you get what you paid for.
              They make good shanghai eggrolls though. you get like 2 for 1.80.
              I knew a guy from my last dorm at new res who would just buy those shanghai eggrolls and then make his own pasta and use soy sauce/duck sauce packets to flavor the pasta and top it with the egg rolls and he'd have a full cheap dinner.
              As for their sushi, it's good BUT the rice is hot! WTF? Sushi rice is supposed to be cold! Whatever.. Good sushi but hot rice. The new Jap place thats replacing chelsea thai will probably have better sushi.

              Bao Noodles I haven't tried yet but got good reviews here and there.. and they have that student discount thing for sva students. 15% off which is good compared to chelsea thai and kool blue's 10% off discount.

              There's another Viet place on 27th and 3rd and the cheapest noodles is a big fat bowl of pho soup for 7 bucks. It's pretty good too.

              The Mexican places everywhere suck because they're usually the typical poor cheap crap run by Chinese people- yeaaa you know what im talking about lol. There's a cheap but GOOD place called La Posada on 3rd and 25th-26th ish.. Run by actual Mexicans and the food is authentic, and yes the guacomole is PERFECT unlike those chinese places that just leave a big bucket of guacamole right out in the open (at least the Mexican chinese place on 7th avenue and 23rd does that).

              There's another authentic Mexican place but it's a restaurant with typical big prices: Mexico Lindo on 2nd ave and 27th? you'll find it when you walk uptown from sva on 2nd ave.
              Another Mexican place that seems to specialize in tequila on 2nd ave and 23rd. A big restaurant place. I don't trust it though. Pure NY eye tells me not to. I never even stepped inside but just the damn structure tells me not to trust it. Pricy too. Typical restaurant. Well, these are all the authentic Mexican places in a 10 block radius.

              Ziggys is pretty popular for sva students. It's on 3rd ave and 24th I think? It's good for American food. I got a burrito there once. S'ok.. Whatever. Fuckin SVA kids eat nothin but burgers and fries. Kids these days don't know a thing about food.. it's sad.. and that's why chelsea thai ran outta business cause everyone piled up at stupid burger places..

              There's a Papaya on 14th st and 1st I think. It's around there.
              I haven't been there.. but I've been to the one on 7th ave and 23rd st and they have amazing deals like 5 bucks for a chicken/cheese burger with fries and a big drink. No tax or anything, just 5 bucks for a full dinner without the need to go out and buy that drink to quench your thirst or a snack cause you got your fries!

              For overall places.. just go to 1st avenue and walk all the way downtown to 1st st. There's a TON of places. Once you hit the deep village you'll see more and more middle eastern places. 6 dollar hallah food.
              For that.. I just get hallah at the food carts on the streets. There's a really good one on 5th ave and 23rd by Home Depot. He's not always there though. There's a shittier one at the corner of 5th ave right outside Best Buy and he's an ugly fat guy who doesn't even wear gloves. He sucks. Anyways, the cost is 5 bucks for your average chicken over rice meal. The Hallah joints on 1st ave charge like 6-7 bucks.

              Dunkin donuts w/ baskin robbins on 1st and 23rd.. a nice atmosphere dunkin at 1st ave and 10th st or so.. you'll find it. Another nice big dunkin at madison and 23rd. Yea theres lots of dunkins around.
              Subway on 2nd and 23rd ish, 22nd and 3rd with a blimpies next to it.
              7/11 on 23rd and Park.
              Hot dog and cafe right next to 7/11 and the kabob place across the st from it as well.

              For Korean food, there's a Korea Town at 32nd-35th on Broadway. Cheap on the counter prepared Korean at Woorijip on 32nd. They serve already prepared food you can take and go and they also have a buffet. Prepared foods are like 1-7 dollars. Really cheap.
              As for best Korean restaurant? Won Jo (32nd). Cheapest? there's a place that serves 6 dollar ox tail soup next to Won Jo somewhere..

              St. Marks is like a punk weed town but also a Japan Town with all those Japanese people and restaurants. They recently set up a crazy Japanese cabinet place where you put in quarters for food and you take it out of this hot cabinet thing lol.
              Anyway, St. Marks ftw when it comes to authentic hardcore Japanese food. Cheap too.

              Mikes Pizza on 2nd and 23rd - makes better pizza than the place on Lexington and 23rd near GW.

              Good dollar garlic bread at this gourmet place on 22nd ish and 2nd across the st from the 2nd ave sva building.
              Dollar bagels at that deli run by those indonesian guys across the st from main sva.

              Fuck Pick a Bagel.

              30 min in and out? Don't worry. EVERY place I listed so far are cheap joints that serves your food in like seconds (except the mexican restaurants and that Sahara East place) but I listed the good ones so you don't get bad bootleg food.

              What dorm you at anyway if you live in one? I would know the best nearby places for that dorm so you can just walk out and get a quick eat and come right back instead of schlepping back and foward 10 blocks for food.
              email me at liquidsub@dbcollection.com
              cause i know the whole damn city by heart.
              Hell, I'm merely just warming up.

              1. Man oh man. Thanks everyone for all the recs. It's just a 12-week class, so I've got a lot of work to do.... cheers.