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Great Cheap Eats for Weekend in Manhattan

Hi All,

I love this website and must thank each and every one of you for your contributions!
A buddy and I will be visiting the city for a weekend and were hoping for some good cheap ideas even though I have been to the city many times but feel like I don't know anything about it. For instance, so far my favorite pizza is John's on Bleeker mainly because I haven't tried any of the others. We will have a car so treading out to the boroughs should be possible but considering traffic etc we might not want to do that for every meal since we will be staying in the Theatre District. We are aware of the Babbo's, Per Se's, Le Bernardin's, Daniel's etc etc but they will have to wait til next time (think $5-15 pp meals). Just FYI, we don't eat pork/ham/bacon.
Yeah, the other posters are easy, aren't they? :)

Thanks so much!

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  1. Split an enormous Pastrami sandwich from Katz's Deli, $14.95 plus $1.00 tip to cutter so it comes to $8. each. Delicious, cheap Thai at Wondee Siam lll, I believe on 10th Ave in midtown.

    1. If you're in Nolita; go to cafe habana for some mexican corn on the cob.
      (chili powder, lime, cojita cheese....)

      4 Replies
      1. re: notsochubbychubette

        Just be ready to wait 45 minutes for said corn.

        1. re: notsochubbychubette

          Sounds like something you would find in the streets of India and Pakistan. The street vendors smoke the corn and then dress it with lime and a chilli-based spice rub. Good stuff !!
          BTW bakerboyz and everyone else, is pastrami definitely the way to go at Katz's? What about their brisket??

          1. re: DeprivedinDC

            The brisket is excellent if you get it juicy, and their 2nd-best item.

            Another great sandwich, and a much cheaper one, can be had at Banh Mi Saigon Bakery, on Mott St. between Grand and Hester. Go for the Banh Mi Ga, which is a chicken and not a pork sandwich. It's my standby, and it's great!

            Your best bet for cheap eats is Chinatown. Go to places like Great NY Noodletown, Chao Chow or Bo Ky, East Corner Wonton, Shanghai Cafe.

            In Koreatown, Arirang is quite inexpensive. You can have a sizable dinner by sharing one bowl of noodle soup and eating the banchan of regular and daikon kimchi, which they will keep refilling if you need more.

          2. re: notsochubbychubette

            You could probably get it faster at Pinche Taqueria which is nearby.

          3. My go to cheap eats are Caracas in East Village, Saigon Grill on UWS (new branch on University), and Big Wing Wong in Chinatown.

            1. Sandwiches:

              Lamazou on 26th and 3rd...great sandwiches, plenty of swine-free
              options. DeFontes is further south on 3rd (21st street I think)..they have great eggplant. Both of these places have sandwiches that are $10 and under...DeFontes is a little more expensive I think.

              Banh Mi from Saigon on Broome St...I get the house special vegetarian spicy. They're cheap (around $5) and taste great..a real good bargain.

              1 Reply
              1. re: venezuelan

                We just tried DeFontes. The sandwiches are in the $8-10 range but one is perfect for sharing so the price is not bad. I confess to eating a whole one but, really, normally I'd get two meals out of it. 8>D

              2. One of my fave ways to cut costs is to go to a great place at lunch, and order one to eat and one to go. I love Pukk (veggie Thai on 1st bet 4/5th) and go for lunch and take home dinner (or tomorrows lunch etc...) If you don't have a nuke in the hotel room, just order something you are happy to have warm.

                I have had lunch at Tsampa too -- Tibetan momos yum yum. 212 9th st bet 2/3rd aves. Good tasty reheating. And both places are nice atmospheres -- and completely different! Tsampa is totally close to Astor Place subway, and Pukk is a not very far away as well.

                The whole close to NYU area has some great cheap eats. I'd check this site for precious posts on that subject.

                Have fun!

                4 Replies
                1. re: BratleFoodie

                  I gave Pukk one chance a couple of years ago. Nothing had any spiciness whatsoever or, really, any taste to speak of except excessive saltiness. It wasn't that cheap, and I found the experience miserable. Have they changed drastically since them?

                  1. re: Pan

                    I guess my taste buds (intestines) are different -- I am not in search of blowing the top of my head off with spice. For some reason, I am less able to eat spice than I was. And I guess I haven't found it too salty. But I really do like Pukk, and getting the cheap lunch deal is indeed a cheap eat. Great eats, well, one has to make one's own choice.

                    1. re: BratleFoodie

                      I'm talking about any spiciness at all, not "blowing the top of my head" spiciness.

                      1. re: Pan

                        I love Pukk, but I do ask them to make my curry extra spicy. That usually does it just fine. I do think of it as one of my cheap go-tos for a sit-down meal. A curry is like $8, apps are $5 -- thems cheap eats in my book (unless we're talking Prosperity Dumpling or something). Try their spinach toast, the duck salad and any of the curries (extra spicy) and I really think you can't go wrong.