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Your favorite chow-y East Village spots

I'm sick of Minghala and not into the Frank's scene. What are you favorites spots in the East Village, the closer to 2nd Ave and 4th, the better. We like to hear ourselves talk without having to pay oodles for the privilege.

Mhughu

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  1. How about *exactly* on 2nd Ave and 4th St?...

    Cacio e Vino...cute, charming Sicilian place...huge menu for such a small place, including Sicilian specialities and pastas, and a pizza menu...nice wines...nice staff...

    1. I always end up at Soba-ya on 9th betweeen 2nd and 3rd. Really good, clean Japanese noodles.

      1. soba koh is awesome (better than soba ya), 5th st bet 2nd and 1st...soba is great and generally all the food is good

        i like prune (awesome), supper and nickys as well although there are better options than nickys in ctown

        8 Replies
        1. re: Lau

          I don't agree that Soba Koh is better than Soba-Ya. I rather think the reverse, though I've been to Soba Koh a bunch of times and Soba-Ya only once in recent memory, so if there are consistency problems at Soba-Ya, I wouldn't have had a chance to notice them. I'll not that in my experience, Soba Koh is very consistent and good, but I had things that were more delicious at Soba-Ya, and the selection is much wider there. However, the ambiance is completely different. You can sit and have a relaxed dinner while listening to some sweet modern jazz at Soba Koh (though I already know the entire compilation by ear by now).

          1. re: Pan

            I agree with Lau and prefer Soba Koh.

            1. re: KTinNYC

              May I ask why or what you prefer about Soba Koh? Don't get me wrong, I like Soba Koh quite a bit, but I don't agree that it's better than Soba-Ya.

              1. re: Pan

                the noodles are better prepared at soba koh (i find no comparison here as I dont think soba ya's noodles are that good). I also find the accompanying items fresher and of better quality (i.e. whatever you order with your soba so tempura or uni for example) and I also think the appetizers which are usually specials (b/c they use whatever ingredients that they can get fresh) are substantially better

                soba ya does have more variety, but i think there is zero correlation with that meaning its better (dont mean to disparage you at all when i say that). I also think soba ya is not as good as it once was many years ago

                1. re: Lau

                  I also prefer Soba Koh--the noodles have a much more pronounced flavor, and everything else I've ordered there has been delicious. I've gotten some bland dishes at Soba Ya, which might be the luck of the draw, but it just doesn't feel as special to me.

                  1. re: Lau

                    "soba ya does have more variety, but i think there is zero correlation with that meaning its better"

                    I agree. The variety was an additional point.

                  2. re: Pan

                    Hi Pan,

                    This thread had a short discussion about sobaya and sobakoh, and the consensus is that sobakoh is quite a bit better than sobaya.

                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/505601

                    1. re: kobetobiko

                      I don't mind bucking a consensus.

            2. Prune would be my first choice. After that, I like Pylos for Greek food.

              2 Replies
              1. re: glutton

                agree with pylos as well, i forgot about that

                1. re: glutton

                  Pylos is a very good idea.

                  For Southern Indian vegetarian, there's Madras Cafe, 2nd Av. between 4th and 5th. Consistently good food and well priced. But Pylos is in a different class.

                  I like Cacio e Vino, but it can be a little loud there.

                2. For the best Thai food in Manhattan, try Zabb City on E 13th between 2nd and 3rd. A few doors west of the very overrated, too expensive and always crowded Momfuko Saam Bar, it's a small place with with great service and very reasonable prices. They will make it as hot as you want.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hs70

                    oh yeah, i like zabb city as well although i think you need to know what you're ordering there (it specializes in northern Isaan food)

                    i find the following to be excellent:
                    - pork labb (get it with stick rice)
                    - papaya salad (good on its own, but goes awesome with the pork labb)
                    - duck salad - i love this
                    - calamari appetizer - nothing crazy, just fried calamari with a sweet chili sauce, but its always good (not too breaded and not rubbery)

                    i find some of the curry dishes to be just okay and I've had some of their other apps that i didnt think were great either. Someone told me one of the whole fish dishes is good, but I haven't tried it.