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Quick and cheap eats around East Village

Any suggestions for a fast, cheap restaurant/diner/fast food place in the East Village? I like Rai Rai Ken, but I'd like to try something new.


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  1. Try Bennie's on 6th Street and Avenue A for fast, cheap and reasonably flavorful & somewhat healthy Mexican food.

      1. I love mama's on third. Huge portions (enough for two meals. Quite tasty comfort food. Good mac and chs, Minca (on fifth between A/B)is a good ramen alternative to Rai Rai Ken. Cafe Mogador is cheap and basic with decent Middle eastern/American.

        1. Hummus Place on St. Mark's--great hummus
          Momomuku Ssam Bar on 2nd Ave--Korean wraps
          Chickpea on 3rd Ave--falafel, shawarma, and their offspring, the shawafel


          1. Dumpling Man is always great for a cheap fix of dumplings. There's also snack dragon for tacos and for a bit of a walk the chicken sandwich at Cibao on the corner of Rivington and Clinton is outstanding for only $4.

            1. Caracas Arepas for the, what else, arepas.

              1. Otafuku, on East 9th between 2nd and 3rd for okonimiyaki (savory grilled pancake with seafood, Kewpie mayonaise and shaved bonito flakes) and takiyoki (octopus fritters). Pretty much a take-out place, but very quick and incredibly delicious.

                1. Bianca - Bleeker and Elizabeth. Simple delicious Italian, nice setting. Let the "seconding" begin.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: 2slices

                    Inexpensive but not really fast.

                    1. re: jenniebnyc

                      Yep, I think this is the best suggestion. For best value, get a kebab sandwich (I love their doner kebab sandwich), and if you want mezes, get a combination plate of four non-fried mezes of your choice. All of them are delicious!

                      1. re: Pan

                        Thirded. One serving of the tarama alone + their delicious bread is probably enough for (a very salty, wonderfully sea-flavored) lunch or even dinner if you're a light eater like me. Otherwise, the lamb kebabs are outstanding.

                    2. nicky's banh-mi's on east 2nd bet. ave. a and b...limited seating.

                      1. Mamoun's Falafel
                        22 St. Marks (at 2nd Ave.)

                        1. I like 7A, East Village Thai & if you're willing to trek a little, Pio Maya on W 8th near 6th Ave.

                          1. I'll give additional votes for Caracas Arepas, Dumpling Man and Momofuku Ssam Bar. Also, if you want to try something different, you might want to check out Elvie's Turo-Turo on 1st Ave/13th (?), for some cheap, authentic, fast Filipino food.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: luvmangoes

                              I like their chorizos and empanadas. I haven't been to the Philippines, but I used to live in Terengganu, on the East Coast of the Malay Peninsula, and some of the dishes at Elvie's taste like the village cooking I remember from my childhood in the 70s, except that I was living among Muslim Malays who never would consider eating pork.

                              1. re: luvmangoes

                                Elvie's is quick and perhaps authentic, but only if your lola didn't know how to cook. Personally I think that Krystal's on 10th and 1st is better.

                                Other places in EV: Polish/Ukrainian diners on 2nd between 10th and 14th, Veselka's, Crif Dogs (kinda expensive for hotdogs, though they're terrific) and Pommes Frites. There's a terrific falafel place on St. Mark's near 2nd. I believe it's called Ali Baba.

                                1. re: JungMann

                                  I've found the adobo overly salty at Krystal's, but I hear it's supposed to be that way. I find the place fun and should go back soon.

                                  On the other hand, about Veselka...

                                  Ali Baba? Are you thinking of Chickpea or Mamoun's? I think neither of them is great, though I prefer the cheaper felafel at Mamoun's.

                                  1. re: Pan

                                    I didn't have the adobo. I won't pay for something that I make at home and for a fraction of the cost. But the dinuguan was nothing to scoff at. And they have ube rolls and decent lechon kawali.

                                    Definitely not Chickpea and I HATE Mamoun's. My Arab friends and I still don't know how that place ever became popular, it's utterly foul. Unless Mamoun's on St. Mark's is different from the one on Macdougal.

                                    1. re: JungMann

                                      I haven't been to the one on Macdougal for a long time. My attitude toward the one on St. Marks is that it's OK and cheap. I'm just not familiar with Ali Baba. I'll try to find it. You say it's on St. Marks near 2nd Av.? East of 2nd, perhaps?

                              2. Ditto Chickpea and Mamoun's Falafel. Would add Menkuitei on 3rd across from Cooper Union for a change in ramen, and pommes frites on 2nd and 7th for a meal made of fat and potatoes (but oh so worth it!)

                                1. Moustache on E. 10 bet. 1 Av & A has great Middle-Eastern food. Best falafel platter, hummus and pita bread. Very good prices too! Everything's good except for this baked chicken dish wrapped in phyllo dough.

                                  1. I really like Karen's of Astor Place. It is more a take-out than eat in, but they have great veggie chilli, perfect for this whether.