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Cheap Eats near Theater District / Times Square?

We're going to catch a show midweek on 42nd and are looking for some place cheap nearby to eat afterwards. We've already done our expensive meal for the week so I am talking about as cheap as it can get. I've searched the boards and found a lot of recs for nearby Mexican places, but I'm not to excited about Mexican right now. Some people recommended some nearby barbecue as well; any opinions?

We're aiming to spend ~$30 or so (less preferably), for two.

Thanks!

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  1. pizza and a salad at John's on West 44th Street...It's in a converted church--a very dramatic setting.

    1. There's the much-lauded Szechuan Gourmet on 39th between 5th and 6th.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Miss Needle

        Pam Real Thai on 49th near 9th. I almost never eat out in Manhattan because I am not financially able, but this place I can afford every now and then (many entrees under $10).

        If Thai isn't what you're looking for, I would suggest checking out that stretch of 9th or 10th, as hell's kitchen is full of restaurants much cheaper and better than those 2 avenues away in Times Square.

        1. re: bookmonger

          Second Pam Real Thai. Went to a show last week & PRT pre-theater. Two of us shared an app & each had an entree for $25 including tip. Not outstanding yet passable Thai.

      2. Menchanko Tei could work for you.

        1. Ollie's Noodle House 411 W 42nd St is ALWAYS delicious, reasonable, and no matter how big a line, they make sure you make curtain time! No res. needed.

          1. I'm not sure any of the nearby barbecue spots would be in your budget, but there are plenty of cheap eats in the area. Aside from staying away from mexican, do you have any particular cusinines in mind?

            6 Replies
            1. re: fooodie

              If one orders sandwiches, you can squeak by at Virgil's for less than $30 (before tax, tip and drinks). There is Dallas BBQ where you can definitely eat for less than $30. But I wouldn't recommend that place.

              And I haven't been to the Ollie's at Times Square but have been to the ones in the West 60s, West 80s and near Columbia several times. Best to avoid.

              1. re: Miss Needle

                You're right, I probably should have been more specific and said good barbecue places :) I wouldn't bother with Dallas BBQ and I really don't love Virgil's either. If you really want BBQ, you may want to walk over to 11th and go to Daisy May's, which IMO is the best BBQ in that vicinity. But again it may be tough to stay under budget. I also agree to avoid Ollie's, I've never been a fan.

                There are quite a few cheap Thai places in the neighborhood, I personally prefer Pongsri. Right next door is Saigon 48 for Vietnamese. Sapporo is very inexpensive Japanese - my favorite there is the Ramen. Pizza is always cheap - you can try John's as someone already mentioned or Bella Vita.

                And if none of these work, as many others have already said, just walk up 9th ave. You're bound to find something.

                -----
                Sapporo
                152 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019

                Daisy May's BBQ
                623 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                Pongsri
                244 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036

                John's Pizzeria
                260 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

                Saigon 48
                234 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036

                Bella Vita
                211 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  Another strategy for Virgil's is to order the Pig-Out Platter. You get ribs, chicken, brisket, pulled pork, sausage and two sides. It's under $30 and there is plenty of food for two people. And if you order iced tea or lemonade, refills are free. I like Virgils

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    Actually, the Ollie's at 42nd and 9th ('Ollie's Sichuan') has a more interesting menu than the other Ollie's (or the old TS place) and actually turns out some pretty decent Sichuan dishes - it's not nearly up to the old GSI or Wu Liang Ye on 48th, but it's OK, and certainly within budget.

                    1. re: Striver

                      Still, no reason to settle when arguably the best sichuan in Manhattan is at Szechuan Gourmet so close by.

                  2. re: fooodie

                    Nothing particular; it's just that we just had Mexican, so we're trying to switch it up.