Best cheap eating around 46th and 6th?
diamond dairy luncheonette, a kosher luncheonette with great blintzes and latkes hidden inside national jewelers exchange on 4 w. 47th st btwn 5th & 6th aves in midtown's diamond district. there's no sign advertising it, so just look for the address and the jewelry shop's sign. not sure if there's waitress service at this time, but it's very low-key and might be just what you're looking for.
An excellent option is Sukhadia's at 17 W. 45th St. Really good Gujarati (vegetarian Indian), especially for fresh-made chaats and sweets. Eat in or take out. A cut above. I also like House of Pita on 48th Street (bet 5th and 6th Aves) for falafel (with Israeli salad and hot sauce). Take out only.
Places I've encountered that don;t have wait service.
Ho Yip between 5th and 6th on 45th street. It has a 5 dollars a lb of food steam table as well as fixed price items.
Kati roll on 46th between 6th and 7th.
Minar on 46th between 6th and 7th. My Indian coworkers recommend the biryani. I got the steam table stuff once and it wasn't too good.
Margon has great cuban sandwiches. Really fatty and good.
Yoshinoya chain outpost between 6th and 5th.
Chipotle on 48th street . i think between 6th and 7th
The kwik meal cart is really good. The chicken on rice is really cheap and really good and around 5 bucks.
Moishe's falafel cart is good.
Daisy may's bbq cart. I like chili and the pulled pork sandwich. It is kind of expensive though for its portion size and the fact that you got it off a truck.
There's a japanese cart on 50th i think between 6th and 7th, that sells terriyaki meat. Its ok.
There's a taco cart in the same location of the japanese cart.
Too bad it's not summer time as there are lots of outdoor seating places in that area.
Yum thai is on 44th between 7th and 6th
If you walk really fast. Cafe zaiya between 5th and madison on 41 street. The giant spicy chicken sandwiches for 3.25 are pretty good and filling. They sell a variety of stuff there. Yagura Supermarket is a couple of stores down and they sell alot of cooked stuff.
If you can walk faster there's a divey looking grocery store by the name of Tehuitzingo on 10th avenue near 47th street where you can get pretty good tacos. There is a small seating area in the back. No wait staff there.
If you walk really really really really fast woorijip on 32nd street between 6th and 5th. Korean steam table stuff and prepackaged stuff. I recommend the freshly prepared noodles soups in the back or the prepackaged beef noodle soup. The seafood stew is not bad too. The braised pork belly in the buffet section is good if they have it. The manhattan mall food court is another option if you can walk that fast.
Not sure if street food meets your qualification, but walking back to my office today I saw a line at a stand at 46th and Park, NE corner. So I say to myself, "I'm game." The line moved pretty quickly.
$3.50 for a cheesesteak. Meat was flavorful, a nice amount of onions, lettuce, tomato and American cheese. Roll not bad. Can't get cheaper than that and it was better than Carl's.
Tomorrow I'm trying the sausage sandwich.
As a long time Tony Luke's fan I have to say the last visit to their Midtown location (a few weeks ago) was a total let down. The roast pork italian was dry, tasteless and badly put together (broccoli rabe bunched near the bottom and very sparse provolone). Didn't bother finishing it, just tossed it once I recovered from the initial shock. Not sure if this is an aberration since I had not been back in months. From now on it's Philly or none at all for me.