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

deeg Jun 11, 2007 07:46 PM

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!

  1. l
    lucybobo Jun 19, 2007 05:57 AM

    Bereket for really good Turkish kebaps on E Houston and Orchard St. They are open 24 hours, too.

    1. soopling Jun 18, 2007 01:41 PM

      I'm really into Ennju, on E. 17th Street off Union Square. I love most of their rolls and their rice bowls and entrees come with soup, too. The food is fresh and prices are reasonable, and at 9 pm they mark all their rolls and prepared foods half off, making it an even better deal. People tend to line up in the place a little before or at 9 pm to take advantage though, so there's not usually much left by say, 9:15 pm. Gotta hustle!

      1 Reply
      1. re: soopling
        Uptownflavor Jun 20, 2007 12:19 PM

        Their lunch time Benti Boxes are enough for lunch and dinner for around $6.50.

      2. s
        Sona0mh Jun 18, 2007 12:36 PM

        You should def visit roomali, thier one rolls are such a fillers.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sona0mh
          kathryn Jun 19, 2007 09:07 AM

          2nding that. I'll eat one for lunch and be perfectly satisfied. Two is stretching it.

        2. foodmonk Jun 16, 2007 01:10 PM

          East Village has a couple of Paquito's locations. Food is not glamorous, but portions are very large and the price is pretty good. Burritos, enchiladas and fajitas are in the $5-7 range. Everything made fresh there for you, etc. Third Ave. at 17th. First Ave. at St. Marks.

          1 Reply
          1. re: foodmonk
            jackieparis Jun 18, 2007 07:12 AM

            Saigon Grill on University Place has great lunch specials and the food is good.

          2. b
            bedford Jun 16, 2007 10:15 AM

            When we lived in the city our very favorite cheap eat was fresh pasta and sauce from Rafetto's on West Houston. It's been there for over a hundred years and is really cool! A pound of delicious pasta, bread, parmesean cheese and a pint of sauce will run you less than 10 dollars. As long as you have a way to boil water you're good to go!

            1. jinet12 Jun 15, 2007 07:19 AM

              Mamouns...whether you have money or not....Delicious, cheap food...

              1. r
                randumbposter Jun 13, 2007 10:01 AM

                Hit chinatown. Most non fancy places will charge you 3 -5 bucks a for a variety of "with rice" dishes and noodle soup ie. roast duck with rice , bitter melon with rice, wonton noodle soup etc... For healthier options you can ask for stir fried vegetable with rice.

                If you wanna go ultra cheap. Hit the chinese bakery and get roast pork buns for 50 -70 cents. Eating 2 or 3 will make a meal. Eat an egg custard for desert. Fancier bakeries like Tai Pan will also offer cheap sandwiches and pasta. Hit the 5 dumplings for a dollar places too.

                Chinatown is also a great source of a variety of instant noodles. I recommend the nong shim neo guri noodles if you like spicy. They are sold cheaper in chinatown than most korean supermarkets. Chinatown also sells frozen dumplings ready to boil at your convienience. Some butcher shops will also sell cooked foods at cheap prices that you can take home and nuke and eat.

                Lots of different asian cuisines (malaysian, vietnamese) in chinatown too, so you can spend a whole summer exploring cheap options.

                Around 48th and 10th there is a deli called tehuitzingo that serves awesome tacos in the back for around 2 -3 bucks. Tulcingo de valle in that location also serves awesome tacos for 2 -3 bucks.

                Woorijip on 32nd sells prepacked korean food cheaply. A large serving of healthy japchae is like 5 bucks. Its not the tastiest korean food but it is cheap.

                Theres always some local pizza place charging pizza for 2 -3 dollars a slice.

                There are a bunch of papaya hot dog places in the city too. 2 hotdogs and drink for around 3 -4 bucks.

                1. j
                  Jules M Jun 12, 2007 08:54 PM

                  The lobster bisque at The Lobster Place in the West Village (252 Bleecker, at Leroy). A small bowl is $3.50, medium is $5.00. This is luxury food at a very low price. They also have a comfortable bench out front -- it seems to taste even better when you eat it outside.

                  1. b
                    BarbaraGale Jun 12, 2007 01:56 PM

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

                    14 W. 4th St., New York, NY 10012
                    at Mercer St.

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: BarbaraGale
                      bussy26 Jun 12, 2007 01:58 PM

                      Other great places,

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

                      1. re: BarbaraGale
                        cimui Jun 12, 2007 09:49 PM

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

                        1. re: cimui
                          nativeNYer Jun 18, 2007 11:18 PM

                          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
                            financialdistrictresident Jun 18, 2007 11:22 PM

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

                            1. re: financialdistrictresident
                              nativeNYer Jun 19, 2007 10:36 AM

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

                              1. re: nativeNYer
                                Uptownflavor Jun 20, 2007 12:18 PM

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

                        2. re: BarbaraGale
                          financialdistrictresident Jun 13, 2007 05:46 AM

                          Dojo used to be really good. I stopped going.

                          1. re: financialdistrictresident
                            Uptownflavor Jun 15, 2007 02:57 PM

                            They did used to be good and inexpensive.

                          2. re: BarbaraGale
                            annaesm Jun 15, 2007 01:57 PM

                            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
                              Uptownflavor Jun 15, 2007 02:58 PM

                              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
                              sing me a bar Jun 18, 2007 07:35 PM

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

                            3. j
                              johnnyappleseed Jun 12, 2007 01:49 PM

                              Caracas Arepa Bar in the EV

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: johnnyappleseed
                                DarthEater Jun 12, 2007 03:30 PM

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

                              2. l
                                lchang Jun 12, 2007 10:28 AM

                                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. s
                                  SarahFromTheFuture Jun 12, 2007 10:16 AM

                                  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
                                    cimui Jun 12, 2007 09:48 PM

                                    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. financialdistrictresident Jun 11, 2007 07:50 PM

                                    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.

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