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Soon-to-be-student here- need cheap eats!

  • d

Hello!
After several years working, I'm getting ready to head back to school - and to having no money! Any recs for good, cheap food to keep me going all summer, preferably downtown? Bonus points if it's healthy and/or filling. Willing to travel by subway to different areas - or boroughs- if it's worth it. Thank you!

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  1. I too will be a student again next week . . .Ukrainian National Home in the East Village has comfort food - pierogi, hand grated potato pancakes. I love Casa Adela's (on Avenue C or B? and?) baccalau (+ beans/rice, plaintains). Ambience leaves alot to be desired but delicious and cheap. Brunch/lunch can also be a good value. And many places in Chinatown are both good and cheap.

    1. Mamouns' on MacDougal btw 3rd and Bleecker (and also on St. Marks btw 2nd and 3rd) was my go-to place as a student. They're a middle eastern hole in the wall, and I will totally rock a babaganoush sandwich from there to this day, whether I'm broke, or just hungry and in the neighborhood. You can get a TON of food for under $5. Even though its summertime, if you end up in super-student induced poverty, you can get their great lentil soup for $2 and if you ask nicely and try to look especially underfed they'll give you a pita to go with it for free.

      1 Reply
      1. re: SarahFromTheFuture

        Yep, me, too. I can't begin to fathom how many generations of students Mamoun's has fed. Another good bet in the area is the dosa stand (Thiru's cart) on Washington Square South. He has vada on Tuesdays and samosas every day of the week. You'll need to go at slightly slower times to get a really great, crisp dosa, since at peak times, he tends to undercook them a bit. There are too many places to list in full on MacDougal and Bleeker in general, but a few good ones to try include Kati Roll, Abondaza's, Indian Bread Co., Yummy Village Sushi (at one point this dubiously named place was wonderful and had a $1/piece sushi happy hour, daily, but it may not be so good, nor so open, anymore), Press Bread, Le Basket, Jamaican Flavors on Sullivan, and that crepe stand on W. 4th. GNC on 6th has well-priced (for the area) smoothies. For slightly more expensive cheap food (you know what I mean), try Gray Dog on Carmine, 'Ino on (I think) Bedford, Mama's Food Shop on Sullivan, Galanga on W. 4th, St. Alps Tea Shop, Flor's Kitchen, Joe's Kitchen, and Moustache. Further south, there's Ivo and Lulu and Mooncake Foods (owned by the same folks). A lot of pricier restaurants have decently priced set menus for lunch.

        [This isn't really all that responsive, but if you don't mind cooking just a bit, nuked baked potatoes with toppings are such a great standby, as are smoothies of your own making.]

        How far downtown are you talking about? There are some great cheap eats in Chinatown, of course!

      2. Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (roughly $3.50-$4.00). Best sandwich deal in my opinion. Check out Saigon banh mi on Mott (or the many others in Chinatown) and Nicky's in the East Village.

          1. re: johnnyappleseed

            Agree.
            1 Arepa & 1 natural juice $7.50 lunch special noon-4:30

          2. My daughter (also going back to school) just found this place last week and swears that it is amazing, and amazingly cheap.

            Dojo
            14 W. 4th St., New York, NY 10012
            at Mercer St.
            212-505-8934

            11 Replies
            1. re: BarbaraGale

              Other great places,

              Kati Rolls on Macdougal between West 3rd and Bleecker...so delicious...

              1. re: BarbaraGale

                Dojo's incredibly cheap, but IMHO, it's also amazingly bad.

                1. re: cimui

                  i can't believe dojo is still there especially in such a prime location. it opened over 10 years ago when i was a grad student down there. bleh... bleh... bleh. it was a block from the building where most of my classes were held. we were excited as it looked unique and was cheap but ... did i say bleh? best bet is chinatown. you can find really cheap but great places mentioned in countless CH posts. btw, isn't there a peanut butter place near macdougal and w4. not sure if it's been around as long as dojo but i noticed it just a couple of yrs ago . they may serve cheap pb and j sandwiches. not sure.

                  1. re: nativeNYer

                    PB is fun but pricey. Definitely not student prices if it's the same place.

                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                      ok. thanks. never ventured into the pb place. too bad it's pricey.

                      1. re: nativeNYer

                        Yeah, they are pricey and the PB is not even outstanding.

                  1. re: BarbaraGale

                    I tried to go into Dojo last week, because I read on this board that the tofu burger was outstanding. But it had this really off smell that made me turn around and walk out. Is it always like that, or was it an off day? Or is that smell what it's supposed to smell like?

                    1. re: annaesm

                      Nope, it pretty much smells like that all the time. They have really fallen off. Wouldn't be surprised if that location closes down as well.

                    2. re: BarbaraGale

                      She's right on the "amazingly cheap" front.