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Good, inexpensive, lunch near SVA (23rd & 3rd)

I'm looking for a good, inexpensive ($10 max), lunch near the School of Visual Arts, 23rd & 3rd. Eat-in is ok, but I'd prefer take-out. I've tried a couple of places in the nabe and haven't found anything that I'd go back for so I'm looking for new options. I like Molly's but it costs more than I want to spend right now. TIA

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  1. You should check out Baoguette on Lex between 25-26. Great banh mi and other vietnamese things. The standard banh mi will set you back $5, which is pretty wallet friendly considering it's a solid 12" sandwich.

    They also have other things, like a couple of soups and or stews, etc. The menu is not extensive but everything I've had there is very good.

    1. what have you tried that you don't like?

      pita grill is good. lamazou ( i think) has good sandwiches. ziggiz makes a good burrito/quesadilla. i like pick a bagel as well.

      depending on how much time you have head towards union square. you can go to whole foods or pick up falafel at maoz on park.

      5 Replies
      1. re: mch

        Have you been to Maoz recently? I went shortly after it opened & thought it was pretty great. Returned last week and...ish. The toppings bar looked like it had just gotten some bad news. The falafel balls were heavy and not very hot. And the grilled eggplant was limp and greasy. It was edible, but just. Note that this was around 9pm - maybe it's still good earlier in the day?

        1. re: small h

          haven't been to maoz in union square in a while. i live on the uws side now, still need to check out the new one. hopefully your experience is bc it was late.

        2. re: mch

          I tried a couple of diners, a cafe on 18th & 2nd that I don't know the name of, and pick a bagel, that was fine, but confusing. The Italian deli looked permanently closed.

          @mch - what do you recommend at pick a bagel?

          Baoguette, Pita Grill, Lamazou, and Ziggiz sound promising. Thanks, all.

          1. re: efdee

            If you go to Pita Grill, make sure to check out the chicken-rice bowl. It's pretty damn good.


            1. re: LeahBaila

              Thanks. Where is Pita Grill? I found a list of addresses, but none in the Gramercy area.

        3. Lamazou - Third Avenue at 27th.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Turtlejay

            There's also a little italian deli-like shop around the corner on 2nd between 23-22 that makes really good sandwiches. Bruno's Ravioli or something like that (?). They sell cheese, lunchmeats, olives, etc. But they also make really good sandwiches.

          2. there's that Chinese bakery right next to SVA on 23rd, "Jess Bakery". It doesn't look like much but the food is really quite good and very cheap.

            I also like the soup at Landmarc, it's a big bowl.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bolletje

              Will probably try Jess Bakery's roast pork first since I'm really Chinese-food-deprived.

              I think that you mean Lamarca for soup (22nd & 3rd), not Landmarc, and that's another good suggestion. Really glad I asked. Will report back.

              1. re: efdee

                lol, yes. I meant Lamarca. I always get those two confused :)

            2. What is the word out there on the Kalustyan (spelling?) upstairs cafe? They are not on MenuPages, so can't give pricing specifics.

              But MenuPages would be a great resource for at least checking prices and cuisines.

              Keep us posted on what you find for good cheap eats!

              2 Replies
              1. re: BratleFoodie

                Here's the word: Get the mujadara. Other stuff can be fine, but the mujadara is the way to go. Remember, however, what they say about beans: The more you eat, the more you....And it applies to lentils, too.

                The place I'd most recommend in that area is Saravanaas, 26th and Lexington, but it's tough to keep it under $10 there. (You can do under $25 comfortably, though.) saravanaas.com does NOT work, but you can look at their menupages.com menu: http://www.menupages.com/restaurantde...

                1. re: Pan

                  Saravanaas has a lunch special for around $14, but it's sit down.

              2. Watch for the opening of Defonte's, the Manhattan branch of the Brooklyn sandwich shop, which will be located on 3rd, at 21st St.

                1. The Pamplona take out menu is still going strong and I think the most expensive item is still $6.95. Seconding all the mentions of Lamazou. Try also Roomali (if you don't have a huge appetite you could get by on one roti roll) is also good. And there's always Shake Shack.

                  1. Tiffin Wallah has delicious south indian food--their lunch buffet is great and under $10. Its on 28th between Lex and Park, and rightfully gets a ton of love on this board(which is how I discovered it).

                    1. Theres good Filipino food at Grill 21. Its inexpensive and pretty authentic. Your bound to find something you like,, the ponsit is like a chow mai fon in case you never tried Filipino food. They also have spring rolls, bbq pork, oxtails etc etc its good

                      1. Have you tried Posto? Very thin crust pizza, but its pretty good. Its on 18th and 2nd and I know that they have lunch specials that are probably around $10

                        I also co-sign all the Lamazou suggestions.

                        1. Lamazou is going to run you about $9 for a good sandwich on nice bread. They also have a half sandwich half soup lunch special.

                          Picka Bagel isn't so fresh at that location, but a bagel and cream cheese in a pinch can work. Ess a Bagel is on 2nd ave.

                          Lamarca's take out location around the corner from it's pasta place is pretty mediocre. You can get a pint of pasta to go for around $5 and it might be worth a try because I know people who love it, but the one time I tried it something smelled and tasted on the moldy side so I couldn't finish it.

                          Lyric, you must know about. Fine for grilled cheese.Latin Thing, on Lex and 25th. The shredded pork is good. There's a Sophie's for Cuban a Madison and 23rd.
                          You're near Shake Shack. They let you order online and pick up now, I believe.

                          The Globe on 23rd is opening a kitchen if they're not already open. The PAX deli at the corner of 23rd and Park has good soup and a make your own salad thing. New York Burger Company around the corner is quick. Sunshine (I think it's called?) lowerd down on 3rd, around 18th is popular with SVA students. They have omelettes, sandwiches, baked goods.

                          Baoguette is worth a try, but I didn't find it filling. Ziggiz is pretty gross in my experience.
                          Yan Yan for chinese is so-so. You can get a lunch special there, or try Noodles on 29, or Lannan for lunch specials, Dhaba for indian is very good, and they have a buffet or lunch takeout specials. You're not far from 2nd ave deli, and there's a Japanese place across the street which is very good.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: sugartoof

                            A word about 2nd Av. Deli: It's very good, but can be shockingly expensive, especially if you get a tongue sandwich.

                            If you're going that far, there's very cheap very good cracker-crust pizza at Vezzo, 31st and Lexington. I know not every hound likes cracker crust, but I think the place is a great value and a very pleasant lunch. I just checked their online menu - 9" personal pie for $6.50. How can you beat that? Have a look at their website:


                            1. re: Pan

                              Oh I wasn't suggesting 2nd ave. deli, the prices are too steep...but the japanese place across the street (I just don't know the name) is modern, nice, and has a lunch special with a decent amount of food around the $8.50 range.

                              I'm one of those people who doesn't get Vezzo. Make sure you're looking for something on the lighter side, and when they say "cracker-crust", they mean it.