Top five for $25
What are your top five restaurants where you can get dinner for $25 or less?
I can think of plenty of mediocre places that I don’t think are worth the $25, but only a handful of good ones, and I’d like to expand my horizons. I’m looking for something better than Fanelli’s, Old Town, Coffee Shop, and Blue Moon Café. (Of course, others may disagree.) Also, it would be nice if it were actually possible to get a seat and not feel like you are eating on the 5 train at rush hour, but I realize at these prices you can’t have everything.
($25 should cover entrée, drink, tax, and tip. Places with seating only – no standing at counters or carts to consume the meal.)
Here are my top five:
1. Shake Shack
2. Café Gitane
3. Kuma Inn (LES pan-Asian, BYOB)
4. Nha Trang (Chinatown Vietnamese)
5. Inoteca (a stretch, since you would be limited to one panini and a glass of wine)
Burger Joint and Café Habana are too crowded to make my top five, although they serve excellent food.
Thanks for posting, can't wait to hear your recs!
How about Florent down in the meatpacking district? Steak frites might go over your $25 limit, but not by much. There are plenty of other cheaper options too.
1. Taisho (skewers and japanese style tapas)
2. Max's (east village italian pasta; great when consistent)
3. Kun Jip (best homestyle korean hands down in manhattan)
4. Cafe Gigi (homey cafe, reminds me of college days BYOB)
5. Esperanto (Ave. C trek; entrees are around $15; festive latin boho atmosphere)
I'll cheat (ie, not necessarily the top, and not necessarily in this order)
1. Szechuan Gourmet (E. 39th, 5th/6th)
2. Sapporo East (1st Ave/10th)
3. Spice Cove (E. 6th, 1st/2nd))
4. Pongsri Thai (Chinatown - Bayard, Mulberry/Baxter)
5. Luzzo's (1st Ave, 12th/13th) - cutting it close for $25 all-inclusive
OK, I am totally going to Mole this weekend. Toothpaste-style guacamole! Ha, Oliver, you are cracking me up. (Note for readers: His point was that Mole does NOT have toothpaste-style guacamole.) I'm a California transplant, and have been searching for that elusive "not expensive but good" Mexican. In fact, a less than satisfactory experience at Blockheads Tuesday night when friends cancelled dinner at Diner in Williamsburg is what prompted both of these posts about cheap eats in Manhattan. I am a regular at Barrio Chino, but CalJack, it had not occured to me to drink only ONE margarita -- sounds like a challenge, but I'll give it a try. :) Also, re Chinese, some of the better places can get quite expensive, so as a single person, you might be limited to only one chicken with vegetable dish, but I am not that familiar with Chinatown Chineese and I really appreciate these suggestions and I am looking forward to trying many of these. Also, Barbone sounds amazing too (if I can stick to just one dish). Also, re Williamsburg and its cheaper prices, CalJack, don't I know! (I have posted about that elsewhere and am currently being roasted for it). But, see, that's the whole problem: How do you find a place like that in Manhattan? Please keep posting your suggestions everyone. I'm going to try some of these places and let you know. Thank you!
I finally managed to try Mole last night. Very good, loved the bartender and my waiter, great virgin margaritas, fun atmsophere made even more fun by the BYOB policy. Definitely worth a try. However, for those of you who have not yet been to Barrio Chino, I just have to say the food is a hair better at Barrio Chino. Order the guacamole, chicken enchiladas with green sauce, steak, and flan.