NYC Restaurant Advice...
I am looking for several opinions about where to eat (Low price), tell me where the locals eat and it could be a hole in the wall, a street place, etc.
I am looking for this food:
Shawarma and Falafel
Pub with happy hour...
Tea House with traditional English afternoon tea.
Good coffee and deserts
Thank You all.
Here's a list of choices that fit your request of good food at a low price:
Chinese: Szechuan Gourmet
Italian: Po, Le Zie
Shawarma and Falafel: Azuri Cafe (hands down), Olympic Pita, or Pick-A-Pita
Gyro: Greek Corner (ask for it well done for nice crispy bits)
Deli: Katz's for pastrami and Salumeria Belliese for Italian
Good coffee and desserts - Cafe Sabarsky
Tea House - Tea and Sympathy
Steaks - the good steakhouses are all very expensive, like Peter Luger, Del Frisco, and the Porter House. Your best bet for a good inexpensive steak is to get a steak frites for brunch at a good French bistro like Les Halles, Le Monde, or Quatorze.
Seafood - Ocean Grill or Atlantic Grill.
Shwarma/Felafel - Steinway Street in Queens near 25th Avenue is a strip of Egyptian restaurants and hookah bars. Along with Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn (Lebanese), it is the best place for authentic, inexpensive Middle Eastern food. Or just buy them off a street cart.
Italian - just avoid Little Italy.
Be sure to tell us where you went and how it went. We're all curious =)
I would also like to recommend looking into Caracas on 7th btw 1st and A, a very popular place to eat Venezuelan Arepas, a Crispy Crepe-like Pita with well crafted fillings. It's cheap (around 6-8 dollars per Arepa), and extremely tasty. Weekends are very busy, Weeknights are fine.
NY-Style pizza - Di Fara. The purested expression of NY Pizza in my mind. It's a trek to brooklyn for it (Q train to Ave. J, a blook from the train station), and the wait may be long (depending how early you get there), but it is the real deal in my opinion. This would be quite an adventure and may take time however, but absolutely wonderful.
Napoli Pizza - Una Pizza Napoletana. It's the pricer pizza option of manhattan ($21 for a personal pizza) but in return you get a perfectionist pizza master making high quality naples-style pizza, true to tradition. On 12th btw 1st and 2nd, easy to get to.
Let us know how it goes! =)
I'm sorry, but I must disagree with the Wo Hop recommendation. Really terrible Chinese food. If you want Cantonese, I like Amazing 66 in Chinatown. If you want Sichuan, there's Szechuan Gourmet in Midtown. Not the largest fan of Shanghainese, but hounds seem to like Shanghai Cuisine in Chinatown.
Deli -- Katz for pastrami
Schwarma and falafel -- agree with Taim. But I don't think they have schwarma. Azuri has both. They have wonderful falafel. Schwarma is on the menu but I've never had it because I love the falafel so much. Olympic Pita and Pick a Pita are also good as well, and they carry both.
For desserts, you may want to try out the Dessert Truck.
It may also be helpful to find out what you mean by low price. Steaks and seafood generally don't come cheap. Are you talking about value? Or is there some sort of absolute figure attached -- eg. finding a steak for under $20?
Falafel: Taïm in West Village - The best falafels and sabich you'll ever find, imo. It's a tiny place but it's part of the charm.
Coffee: Joe (multiple locations in Manhattan), Abraço (a coffee bar literally in the East Village. Great coffee and espresso drinks and you got to try their cured olive cookie), La Combe Torrefaction (in TriBeca/Chinatown), and Ninth Street Espresso.
Falafel/Shawarma: I second Taim. You can't go wrong there. They're absolutely excellent.
Chinese: Joe's Shanghai in chinatown, without a doubt, has been a new york favorite for years. it's on 9 pell street between mott and bowery. It's busy, has communal tables, and has absolutely great Chinese cuisine. I've tried many others mentioned on this board and I always go back to here. Also try their soup dumplings (pork), they're famous for them.
italian: Via Emilia on 21st btw Broadway and Park is primarily known for their pastas at a moderate price. Great stuff. If you feel like spending for italian, Convivio, Insieme, or Babbo if you are able. Babbo being top dog, but the other two being other elite italian choices.
deli: Katz or 2nd Ave Deli. Definitely.
steak: PETER LUGER!!! ABSOLUTELY. Perenial number 1 ranked on zagat and a variety of lists. It's in Brooklyn but it's close to manhattan. If you are serious in wanting the real deal of steak in nyc, go there. Cash only.
Pub: If you are looking for cheap drinks all the time, I'd say The Continental on 3rd Ave between 9th and 8th streets. They have extremely cheap drink specials, including "5 shots of anything, 10 dollars. 24/7" They have similar cheap beer ones, that are 24/7. It isn't a pub, but it gets a mention for having the cheapest drink specials in Manhattan.
For a pub though, I love Corner Bistro in the west village. Also famous for their hamburgers, the beer is cheap and the atmosphere is fun. it gets busy at night for the food, though it's a fun spot. I'd have to say Grassroots on Saint Marks (btw 3rd and 2nd) is a great pub. It's got an old feel to it, and the beer is cheap.
In fact, what type of atmosphere for a pub are you looking for?
Coffee: If you want to buy some and bring it home, go to where new yorkers go: Porto Rico Importing Co. You'll know as soon as you enter by the smell that you're in the right place. For a cup? You'd have to ask someone else, I buy from there.
Desserts: hmm my favorite. You can't go wrong going to Balthazar and sitting only for dessert. Their dessert menu is fantastic and has enough variety to satisfy whatever you're in the mood for: chocolate cake, fruit tarts, creme brulee, etc. If you go during prime dinner times however, It'll be busy and there will be a wait, however during after-supper or afternoon, a wait won't be a problem. Plus the atmosphere is fun.
My favorite upscale option is Blue Hill. like many upscale dining establishments, desserts are considerably cheaper than appetizers and entrees. Blue Hill is an example of that and offers desserts from 9 to 12. Bottom line, pastry chef Alex Grunert is a keeper. Chocolate Bread Pudding with Choolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream. Blackberry Cheesecake when it was in season blew my mind.
For a cheaper option, I'd recommend Clinton Street Bakery Co (Often busy, but is great) and Chikalicious Dessert Club. You can't go wrong with them. The funny thing is cheaper options in comparison to the expensive ones aren't actually that big of a difference. Dessert in new york is surprisingly cheaper than one would think.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Chinesse - our place shanghai tea garden or new yeah shanghai
Italian - da andrea, 'ino
Steaks - keen's pub room
Seafood - cant recommend a cheap seafood place
Deli - ny deli...katz or carnegie...
Shawarma and Falafel - moustache in the west village
Pub - waterfront ale house, tavern on jane, walkers
Good coffee - jacks, joe the art of coffee.
wow - that's a lot of stuff but i'll try to give you a few pointers.
chinese- wo hop in chinatown. dirty hole in wall but great stuff.
italian - frank in Evill, malatesta in w.vill, more upscale babbo, otto, baldoria
steak - freemans, not your typical steakhouse but best reasonable filet in town
seafood- mermaid inn, jack's oyster bar
gyro, shawarma, falafel - jerusalem on uws
pub with happy hour - mcsorleys-oldest pub in nyc, pianos, the magician (not your typical irish pubs but great drink deals in lower east side), phebe's, swift, spring lounge
inn at irving place is the best tea house, i'd say, or try Tsalon
coffee and desserts - serendipity, alice's tea cup