Cheap 20th Birthday Dinner Party!
I am turning 20 and want to have a dinner with about ten friends. The catch is we are all poor college students and I want to be sure that everyone can have plenty of food for a low, low price. I'd really say less that $25 per person would be ideal. We are all good eaters, but some guests are vegetarians, so there should be options for them. I did dinner at Goody's in Chinatown last year and that was fun, delicious and the kind of thing I'd like to repeat this year, but I'd like to switch it up. Suggestions please?
Chinatown was a good place to look last year, and equally good this year. If you want to switch it up, you could always try Chinatown in Flushing, where you'll find overall better food (and atmosphere if you pick the right spot) to go with the adventure.
As an alternative, vegetarians should be fine with pizza. It's an obvious suggestion, but have you considered Lombardi's? I had a great birthday there when I was in college. You'll want to go early to make sure you aren't waiting for hours for a table, but the upside is that when you're done, you'll be in a fun area of town, near a whole bunch of nightlife, and a whole evening to enjoy it.
If you are flexible on days and time for your birthday meal, you can take advantage of some of the deals out there. For instance:
Hill Country is offering a Recession Special with All-You-Can-Eat for $25 on Monday nights and a $20 Combo on Sunday Nights:
On Sunday nights, Fishtail on UES has a three-course dinner deal for $20.09
You can also try Korean BBQ which tends to be cheaper when shared with a lot of people.
Dean's Pizza on the UWS. The location in a former ballroom makes for a festive attmosphere. The entres are pretty good in addition to the pizza, and they can accomodate large groups very well.
Cheap birthday parties at my college were invariably held at Silk Road Palace for free wine and good Chinese-American food. For something a little nicer, I might recommend Jeeb, Red Egg, Kasadela, Caracas Arepas Bar or for an alternative in Chinatown, Yogee's.
Caracas is a great idea, but be sure to call ahead to have them reserve a table if it's a large group. I've been to a few bday dinners there. Also Cafecito is delish, festive and cheap.