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Hole in the wall authentic ethnic

Looking for authentic ethnic food. Excluding Chinese, Italian or 4/5 star Zagat stuff. Been there, done that. Staying in the theatre district but will go anywhere for good food.

Thanks to all.

Marc from Tampa

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  1. YOU MUST GO TO KATZ DELI!!! Not just for your own namesake, but for the Pastrami. Since 1888 this Lower Eastside Institution has been pumping out the BEST Pastrami sammies money can buy. To die for!

    Another worthwhile place in your Theatre District neck of the woods is Joe Allen's. Not exactly ethnic, in fact it's basically American comfort food, which in NYC is pretty ethnic these days!

    You've told us what you don't want, how about telling us which ethnic cuisines you DO want.

    1 Reply
    1. re: netmover

      What I want? Love Indian, Korean, Middle Eastern, Jamaican. Anything with spices and SPICY HOT.

    2. El Casstillo De Jagua is (to the best of my knowledge) very authentic Dominican. It's on Rivington near Essex on the LES (just across from Economy Candy which is definitely worth a visit). It's nothing at all fancy to look at but the food is fantastic.

      Also, much closer to where you'll be staying is Tulcingo Del Valle, a hole-in-the wall Mexican place on 10th and 47th. Any of the Torta (Mexican sandwiches) are very good. Not fancy at all.


      1 Reply
      1. Agreed, that Dominican joint is good and authentic...definately a "hole in the wall". Have not been to the Mexy place.

        1. Yakitori Totto. Grilled chicken hearts, soft knee bones, livers over small Japanese grills. Not a "hole in the wall" per se but tucked up on the second floor it still feels like a discovery even if its packed with fans most nights. 251 W. 55th St.

          1. Darna is not exactly a hole-in-the-wall (though not very big either), but it is a bit off the proverbial beaten path, on 2nd Av., b/t 34th & 35th Sts. I'd call it a "hidden gem." The Moroccan cuisine served there is very tasty, and the surroundings will have you feeling as though you're somewhere in the Middle East.


              1. For cheap Japanese tapas (cooked) food. Check-out the Izakayas around St. Mark's Place and 3rd Ave. in the East Village. My favorite is Village Yokocho on Stuyvesant St. off 3rd Ave. located on the 2nd floor (on top of Around the Clock Diner). Further North on 9th St. almost 2nd Ave. is a small stall selling yakisoba (Japanese noodles), Japanese pancakes and Octopus balls. On Avenue C between 4th and 5th Sts. is Casa Adela,
                Puerto Rican place which serves one of the best rotisserie chicken in the city. I also like their fried pork chops.

                On 6th St. between 1st and 2nd Ave are the cheap Indian options, not a lot of these places come highly recommended here but, I do like the curries in Bricklane Curry House which serves English style Indian food and has this super spicy curry dish (spicier than the vindaloos) on the menu that you may want to check-out...you get a free beer if you actually manage to finish it.

                1. ^ thats called phaal. ive had it at BL & its good, but lets just say i dont rec a tourist having it unless they plan to spend their visit in bathrooms for the next few days.

                  we just went to BALI NUSAH INDA in hells kitchen last night for the first time in quite awhile. its indonesian, which i'd think would be unusual chow for tampa, and they have many curry based dishes, some of which are pretty spicy.

                  1. Mamouns for excellent falafel/hummus/etc..in Greenwich...

                    1. Madras Cafe on Second between I think 4th and 5th is Madras home cooking, including some of the owner's mother's recipes, all vegetarian (+ all kosher and many vegan), minimally decorated, low prices, delicious food. He has taught his cooks to do the whole menu in a manner indistinguishable from his own. Last time I tried a multi-lentil pancake appetizer that was new to me--very good, and with more protein than most of the dishes. My perennial favorite is the kofta curry. Way better and much less oily than 6th Street.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: wweats

                        Pio Pio on 1st between 90th and 91st for Peruvian chicken, not exactly spicy, but definitely spiced. They serve it with a delicious very spicy avocado sauce, so I guess that counts. Chicken is amazing.

                        Caracas Arepa Bar on 7th and 1st for Venezuelan arepas is another good choice.

                        Both are very cheap eats as well.

                      2. Punjab (or Punjabi). Eat with all the cabbies for less than $5. Vegetarian and spicy. It's on the north side of Houston/1st St and 1st Ave and has a green or yellow awning.

                        For an Indian restaurant you can actually comfortably sit in, try Chola on 232 E 58th St.

                        Azuri cafe on 465 W. 51st St. Israeli street food. (In)famous for its service.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ow77

                          As long as you're in the theatre district, and you didn't rule out Japanese, you might want to check out Sapporo on 49th, just a stone's throw away from the R stop and the Brill Building/Colony Music store.

                          Although some sing the praises of their ramen, I'm partial to their Chahan ( a dome of Japanese style fried rice topped off by rose red strands of ginger) or their Chicken Egg Don (over rice). Knock it all down with a cold mug of beer in one of the more cozy, die-hard diners in town. This joint has done the near impossible: it has stuck it out for decades in an area otherwise paved over with glitz, fakery and exorbitant prices.

                          If you're in the mood for some Cuban, check out Margon on 46th. I haven't been there in ages, but from what I hear, their Cuban Sandwiches, Octopus Salads, stews and coffees are still good, and cheap as well.

                          Enjoy your stay.

                          1. re: Polecat

                            Also in the theater district is KATI ROLL SHOP--indian sandwiches