HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Cheap eats in SoHo

I used to live in Hell's Kitchen, but am back home on the west coast these days. Visiting next week, staying in SoHo, need recommendations for cheap but really good food. Where do the locals eat?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Grandaisy (formerly Sullivan Street Bakery) for bread, pizza, and pastries; Alidoro on Sullivan for Italian sandwiches; Fanelli's on Prince for burgers; Snack on Thompson for Greek; the taco truck on Wooster north of Prince (though I'm not sure of the hours beyond weekday lunchtime); pizza at Lombardi's, Arturo's, or DeMarco's.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Katherine H

      Cheapest and best that I've found in SoHo (besides the Calexico mexican food cart at Wooster and Prince which you might not want to bother with, being from the west coast) is the hole-in-the-wall Dominican spot La Conquita, NW corner of Lafayette at Spring. Take it to go or eat at the counter and glare happily at the puzzled outdoor mallrats as they walk by. A huge platter of rice, beans, maduro, bbq chicken or a stew for little more than a fiver. Especially since you can't find this stuff on the left coast.

      So Katherine H, how's Grandaisy (ugh) since the switchover? Still worth being the other SoHo standby after La Conquita?

      1. re: Spoony Bard

        I haven't made a full assessment yet, but I haven't noticed any drop-off in quality at Grandaisy since the name change. I got some ciabatta over the weekend that was excellent, as usual.

        I'll have to try La Conquita - thanks for the tip.

        1. re: Spoony Bard

          Thanks for the tip! La Conquita sounds fantastic! You're right, no Dominican food on the west coast for some reason...

      2. My Soho cheap eats favorites are:

        Cubano Cafe

        Il Corallo Trattoria


        Pepe Rosso

        1. Jerry's is cheap and cheerful.

          Cafe Habana, on Spring and Elizabeth (?) won't break the bank in the evening. The Cubano sandwich there is excellent, as are the prawns.

          Buffa's, tragically, is gone, and with it, a link to the old days of Italian Soho, and the Scorsese tradition east of Broadway.

          Even Gitane, a hipster spot on Elizabeth (I get mixed up) opposite Old St Patrick's, has excellent food, full of value. Like the cous cous, or the chicken sandwich, or the salads. Really good, and very Soho.

          Have fun!

          - Sean

          1. Thank you guys! Can't wait to get there!

            1. There's a Greek take out place that sells spinakopita by the square and dip by the container. Would be a nice match with some fresh bread.

              Don't know the exact adddress, but a SOHO resident might.

              1 Reply
              1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                Do you mean the Yoghurt Place on Sullivan next to Grandaisy? Delicious Greek snacks!

              2. i really like the hampton chutney company on prince between broadway and lafayette. it's the perfect lunch place, to pop into and have one of their ymmy dosas.

                1. The Greek place is on Sullivan b/t Broome and Spring, right next to Sullivan Street Bakery. I would also recommend Broome St. Bar (W. B'way & Broome) for the excellent blue cheeseburger. Everyone else's suggestions are spot on (especially Alidoro, yum!).

                  1. I've eaten at GranDaisy a number of times since the change for lunch and it seems completely unchanged.

                    I also like Ruben's empanadas. Great for a quick lunch to go that's not pizza. I have never liked empanadas before because they are usually fried pastry, but Rubens is more not fried, it's more like a calzone . My fave is the ground turkey, but they have many options to choose from including for breakfast. It's 505 Broome St, between Thompson and West Broadway (closer to W Broadyway).

                    Another great place is Thompson Cafe. Great sandwhiches, especially the paninis. It's between Spring and Broome at 66 Thompson.

                    1. If you really want it as cheap as possible, then just walk down to northern Chinatown. That's what I do. Just ate at Jazzi Wok (formerly Funky Broome) at Broome & Mott for lunch yesterday. Most lunch dishes are about $4. Not huge portions, but enough for us (although we're kinda skinny). Great chicken dishes. A Taiwanese co-worker tells me the pork chops are very good too. It's not crowded at lunch, but I've heard it's pretty popular at dinnertime. Service is a bit spotty though, at least yesterday.

                      Also, for take-out, there's the excellent Vietnamese hoagies from Viet Nam Banh Mi So 1, at 369 Broome, right around the corner from Jazzi Wok. Very friendly and fast, and extremely cheap -- about $3 for a pretty good-sized hoagie. Yum.

                      Many other Chinatown options in this vicinity as well, although you have to walk down another block from Broome for most of them. Check it out. An easy walk from most parts of Soho, unless you're really far over in the western part of Soho.

                      Oh and I see someone recommended the Hampton Chutney Co. Personally I find their dosas pretty bland and inauthentic, but I realize I'm probably in the minority on that one. And the place is always obnoxiously crowded, and it's a little pricey by normal dosa standards. If he's still around, you might do better with the dosa man's cart on the south side of Washington Square Park. He might be displaced by all the movie trucks lately though -- that area has been packed with gigantic amounts of film equipment for a few weeks as of Oct. 2006, as they're shooting a Will Smith movie there. On the other hand, maybe the dosa guy is getting some good business from them.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Ike

                        Did Jazzi Wok close? They actually had very reasonable and cheap lunch specials.

                        1. re: eatfood

                          After some renovations, Jazzi Wok just re-opened yesterday (12/14/06) as "Funky Thai Cafe." My Taiwanese co-worker went there and, unsurprisingly, told me that it still tastes like Chinese food to him. Even though the menu's different, and the decor is different, he thinks the food tastes "exactly the same."

                      2. Sunrise Mart on the west side of Broome for Japanese groceries, cookies, soups, and serviceable to good sushi.

                        1. Mooncake Foods on Broome or Watts is good and reasonable

                          1. Completely agree with La Conquita--it's totally shady looking from the outside but the food is fantastic (it can also serve as 2-3 meals).

                            More great (cheap stuff) - La Esquina (corner of kenmare and lafayette) for tacos, Despana (Broome and Lafayette) for great spanish meats cheeses and bocadillos, Dom's market (lafayette near Kenmare) they make amazing sandwiches at the back counter, Bread for a sit down meal (Spring and Elizabeth) amazing italian food and great atmosphere.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: saritaeatsnyc

                              I've only been to La Conquita once, and since then I've been totally intimidated just looking from the outside. Perhaps I'll give it a try again.

                              1. re: saritaeatsnyc

                                La Nueva Conquista's prices have risen modestly to $8.5 since this thread was created over three years ago, and the quality remains high, I was pleased to discover today. But ordering is a nightmarishly difficult since there's no menu or labels. Does anyone know any key phrases to use? How to specify rices or identify meats?

                                La Nueva Conquista
                                236 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012