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Like Cafe Gitane?

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Sometimes when we go out to dinner, we don't want to go to a "proper" restaurant and shell out ~$100, so we will go to a place like Palacinka or Les Gamin for crepes, or Cafe Gitane for couscous. Can anyone recommend a place in a similar vein - delicious, good atmosphere (downtown), and inexpensive? We like pretty much everything (except not too keen on Italian (heavy) and middle eastern (love it, but not as a a sit-down restaurant food)). Thanks.

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  1. since you like crepes, we like them at LA PALETTE in the west village. it's brazilian-french.

    1. I love eating at the bar at Gitane. Also, if you can deal with the tininess/pretension, Zucco (Le French Diner) is in that neighborhood.

      I think my favorite for casual dinners is Bruschetteria on Rivington. Its Italian, but everything is light and you can order a few plates and salads and share them around.

      1. What about the prix fixe at LaVagna? It's Italian but not heavy. The room is small, cozy, dark and intimate. I had the best sardine app there with an orange vinaigrette/sauce. It's near Le Gamin. Never been to Cafe Gitane . . .so not sure if I'm on the right track.

        1. i recommend brown on hester between ludlow/essex and zuccos on orchard, just south of houston. zuccos is a tiny french cafe and brown reminds me of cafe gitane in it's early days. zucco and brown attract a crowd that is similar to cafe gitane's - creative/euro and those who read about the restaurant in the press. the food and coffee are always good and reasonably priced for the quality.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ebw

            Epistrophy in Nolita and Cafe Coloniel on Houston have similar vibes I think. Cafe Coloniel might be a little more expensive though...

          2. I like Ino and Lovely Day. Both are small and have a good vibes with prices similar to Cafe Gitane.

            1. Thank you, guys. I will check some of these places out.