Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jan 3, 2008 10:07 AM

FREE Food in Manhattan and Outer Boroughs

Talk about an attention-getter.

We all here share a passion for eating. I saw a similar thread on another board and it piqued my interest. Has anyone ever gotten FREE food in any way, shape, or form in Manhattan or the Outer Boroughs? I'd love to hear about it. It could be samples, a comped meal, eating and forgetting to pay the check, walking out with someone elses groceries, five-finger-discount ... you name it...let's hear it. Also, while we're on the subject, let us know where we can sample some good eats (period) w/o spending a dime.

Our 2008 resolution -- spend LESS -- but still eat well. ; )

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I sneak into certe every once and a while to get their free samples of pastries. I love them. Partially about not spending the money, I have to admit, the only part is about not eating a whole one because they are way too good to be low fat.

    1. Cheese Boy,
      Not entirely free, but for practically nothing, a local, community group used to hold an annual, "Taste of Bay Ridge" evening at TJ Bentley's. The food was donated by numerous well known Bay Ridge eateries as a way for them to support the community, gain exposure and showcase some of their 'signature' dishes. For a very nominal fee, diners could try one or all of the dishes bieng offered by these restaurants. Offerings included small plates of appetizers, pastas entrees and dessserts and there was no limit on how many 'tastings' a diner could have. I don't know if it's still being done, but it's as close to free food as one is likely to get... At least in Bay Ridge! :-}

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tay

        Tay, this also shares a common thread with what you mentioned (ptp) ...

        $25, $15, or $10 --->

        1. re: Cheese Boy

          cheese boy
          They do , or used to do, a "Taste of Staten Island" as well.

      2. well, im not sure if it qualifys for good eats exactly, but crocodile lounge on 14th st gives you a personal pan pizza with every drink. and theyre not awful....

        3 Replies
        1. re: bastet212

          I went to Suibi, the only Okinawan restaurant in town with my wife who's from Okinawa and a few friends who taught English with me in Okinawa. We got a free bottle of awamori, which is Okinawan sake. We ended up drinking it along with the owner. Not quite top shelf stuff, but at least a $30 value I'd guess.

          1. re: JSHAFT78

            And there's a sushi place, the one next to Sushi Samba but not Sushi Samba, that gives free sake with sushi when you dine in. Not the same $30 value, but a great treat.

            1. re: doona

              Azuki. $15 of sushi for free wine/house sake. Unsure about the quality of either drinks though since the wine is poured out from a pitcher - questionable but pretty fresh sushi! I think the deal is only after a certain time... Make reservations or it's a long wait.

        2. Either last year or a couple of years ago, I attended the Pakistani(?) parade/festival where they were giving out tons of free food -- samosas, soda, water, chana dal, pulao, etc.

          My mom used to tell me that when I was a baby, I imitated my mother shopping by taking food from the shelves and stuffing it in my baby carriage underneath the blankets. She wouldn't discover this until we got home.

          1. When I was in school and really had no money I would go to the food court at Manhattan Mall and make a meal out of samples. Yes I was "that" guy.

            2 Replies
            1. re: JungMann

              I did that at the Bowery Whole Foods on Saturdays. I guess that makes me the yuppie version of "that girl".

              1. re: piccola

                Now that I've realized that you can get free samples of food at Russ & Daughters, Katz's and the other old delis in the LES, I may become "that hipster."