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Fun, inexpensive restaurant in Park Slope

My boyrfriend and I just moved here from North Carolina, and we are busy looking for all kinds of restaurants. We're having a hard time finding an inexpensive weeknight place with a fun, lively atmosphere. Usually we cook during the week, but sometimes we're tired and want to just get out of the house and get some quick dinner for less than thirty bucks. Does anyone have any recommendations? We live between 7th and 8th on Berkeley.

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  1. Joya is being debated on another thread - but Song is pretty inexpensive and caters to a younger crowd because it has a DJ. I'm not sure about less than 30 bucks, but dinner for two for 40 is probably easily doable.

    Not sure if Bonnie's is a fun atmosphere, but burgers are very good and you can easily eat for under 30 bucks - as long as only one of you gets a beer. :)

    1. I second the rec on Song - the food is good and the prices are definitely inexpensive. They have a very nice garden in the back which still can be taken advantage of with this weird warm weather. Most menu items are in the $7-10 range. I don't know that they necessarily cater to only a "younger crowd" - guess it all depends on what's considered younger. The crowd is definitely a mix of people in their late 20's to 50's.

      Another inexpensive place on 5th and Union is Press 195 for salads and panini. It's not necessarily a lively atmosphere but not completely dead either.

      I always liked the Tacqueria on 7th for burritos and tacos - order from the counter on the right side of the restaurant and sit at one of the tables in the back.

      4 Replies
      1. re: pellegrino31

        I'm not that crazy about Press - but I agree on the Tacqueria spot, although atmosphere is pretty basic.

        Maybe Chip Shop? I'm not all that crazy about their fish and chips either, but going there might be an affordable place to eat out and people like their curry and fish.

        1. re: dark knight

          chip shop in theory should work but i always leave there feeling terribly ill from the fried food.

          bonnies, taqueria, song, kinara, press 195, los pollitos II, taro, tempo presto...all good options on the relative cheap.

        2. re: pellegrino31

          We live right down the street from La Tacqueria, and we're in love with it. It's cheap, filling, decent food with good people-watching opportunities. I think that's mainly what we're looking for. We want a place where groups of friends go, or where people feel comfortable going alone. We keep finding excellent "date places," but casual is fun, sometimes, too.

          1. re: pellegrino31

            Went to Song tonight! SO good! Just a really fun atmosphere, completely reasonable prices, and totally solid food. Thanks so much for the recommendation.

          2. I like all the restaurants mentioned so far (especially Song - mmm... might have to go tonight), just thought I would add in Perch (on 5th Ave, forget the cross street, but somewhere between 2nd and 9th) and also Alchemy (can be a bit pricier, but yummy).

            3 Replies
            1. re: pslopian

              wow, unless the situation has recently changed, I would stay away from perch- last time I was there, they were out of 1/3 of the things on the menu, couldn't get the food made, the waitress was apologizing and giving us free drinks all over the place...

              1. re: mpls brat

                Free drinks all over the place? Yuck!

                1. re: mpls brat

                  I agree, Perch was horrible the one time I tried it. It didn't help that it was open mic night.

              2. How about Olive Vine. You can get a huge meal for under $30 and it's BYOB.

                1 Reply
                1. re: MrsT

                  Is that the place next to Chiles y Chocolate that always smells good? I wondered about it, but kind of forgot about it. Good thought!

                2. There's Lobo on 5th Ave, straight down Berkeley, for Tex Mex action. You can sit in the booth by the window and heckle passersby as you munch free chips and salsa. Or just talk with the friendly waiters if the windows are closed. Music is usually pretty good and the fish tacos and veggie burrito are solid.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: kuchen

                    I have heard nothing but wretched reports about Lobo...

                    1. re: pitu

                      add another wretched report about Lobo from me<shudders as he recalls that evening>...

                      1. re: TBird

                        What was wretched about it? I don't think it's great by any means, but it wasn't dog food either. Maybe it's because I'm from Texas and even crappy Tex-Mex is comforting.

                  2. Surprised no one has mentioned Sheep Station. The relatively short menu is Australian flavored but includes oddities like Poutine. Good tap beer and wine by the glass selections. Casual atmosphere. 4th and Douglass.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: bobjbkln

                      I second that. Prices are great and the food is even better (except the meat pie... which they can't seem to warm up correctly and has a taste of Heinz ketchup...) The burgers, Poutine, and happy hour is more than enough reason to sit back at this low-key place.

                      1. re: bluishgnome

                        Mmmmm, both the lamb and steak sandwiches are top knotch, as are the lamb chops which are the most expensive thing on the menu, a total steal at $19.
                        Also moule frites, and raw oysters.
                        I like the meat and the curry veg pies for the pub food that they are.
                        We had a pretty nice breakfast there when they opened early for World Cup Rugby.
                        The poutine...well, I think you have to already love it. I prefer chili cheese fries at Bonnie's if you're going to go in that direction.

                        Totally recommend Bonnie's (for burgers, catfish burgers, or wings ) as the cheap weekday dinner too. Best fries in the nabe.

                    2. Tempo at 256 Fifth bet. Carroll and Garfield has prix fixe on weekends $35 for 3 couses and $20 something on week nights. The food is top quality.

                      1. Amorina for great pizza (never have ordered other thiings on the menu)
                        Long Tan has very good thai
                        Coco Roco is excellent
                        Taqueria a standby
                        Olive vine in the summers with friends and several bottles of great wine
                        Nana --although we haven't been there in a while...we've liked it in the past.
                        If you don't drink alcohol, you can probably get meals below 30 dollars at AOC bistro on 5th avenue--the food was great and the service was really considerate and attentive.

                        1. Also Sheep Station is one of our new favorites... great place.