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May 25, 2009 07:30 PM

First time in NY, good cheap eats.

I'm staying at 32nd and 5th avenue, im only there for one day but im looking for great street vendors, like pizza, bagels, hot dogs, chinese etc,etc. Looking to spend $20 max pp.

Thank you for your help.

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  1. You're right in the middle of Koreatown with its wealth of wonderful, inexpensive restaurants, cafes and bakeries. Walk west along 32nd St. and you'll see a LOT of options. Here's one thread to get you started:

    Korean bbq is a little more expensive, but there are probably places where you could, with careful ordering, get out for under $20 / person.

    Han Ah Reum supermarket on 32nd just east of B'way sells decent takeout containers of jap chae, maki zushi (vegetarian, Korean style), mung bean patties and ddeok at lunchtime.

    Mad for Chicken recently replaced Bon Chon Chicken and might be an interesting choice. Bon Chon served some of the city's finest (Korean style) fried chicken at one point. I haven't tried Mad for Chicken, which says it serves exactly the same chicken as it did in its prior incarnation, but I've heard some good reports.

    Tio Pio West is a short walk away should you have a hankering for Peruvian style chicken. Midtown Lunch review here:

    And if you don't mind a longer walk (you'll need one after gorging on all the good K-town eats ;) Piece of Chicken sells southern-style fried chicken for $1 / piece and decent accompaniments, too. It's on 45th between 8th and 9th. Yelp reviews here: . I personally don't think it's the greatest fried chicken on the planet... but the Baptist ladies in my hometown made a fried chicken snob out of me and hey, it's only a dollar. The fried chicken livers are an interesting side.

    Also on 45th St. between 5th and 6th, there's Sukhadia's, which makes Indian chaat and has some sort of good-value steam table buffet at lunchtime. The food is pretty decent and (mostly? or all?) vegetarian. Sukhadia's is actually best known for its Indian sweets, but those might be more of an acquired taste... they're tooth-achingly sweet.

    I know you'll run into a few of those ubiquitous-in-NYC halal chicken and rice carts in the area, but I haven't really sampled enough of these to know which ones are good. Hopefully someone who lives in that neighborhood will be able to give you better street food recs.

    Wow... what a chicken-centric post this was. I hope you don't get the wrong idea. There is, in addition to chicken, other delicious food to eat in NYC. :) Enjoy!


    Edited to add...

    On the non-chicken side of the equation, you are also within walking distance of two NYC institutions:

    1. Ess-a-Bagel, which is often mentioned in heated Chowhound debates about where to find the best bagels in NYC. The closest location to you is in Murray Hill on 1st Ave. at 21st St. This is a longish walk from where you're staying, but on a pleasant day, it's a good way to see the city.

    2. Shake Shack in Madison Square Park at around 24th St. and Madison Ave., one block east of 5th Ave. The waits for burgers and concretes at peak times are legendary / horific, so, if your schedule permits, go at off hours -- i.e. 11 a.m. for lunch or 3 p.m. for a snack.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cimui

      Just went w/ a friend to Mad About Chicken, and who had several times been to its previous incarnation as Bon Chon Chicken. The chicken is just as good (get the hot & spicy, which is kinda spicy), and the $21 large size is enough to feed two.

      1. re: PekoePeony

        good to hear -- i really appreciate you reporting back!! a friend who went last week told me that the staff is mostly all still the same, which is promising.

    2. In addition to what cimui said, if you want Chinese food, consider Szechuan Gourmet, 39 St. between 5th and 6th. Menu available here:

      1. There is the famous halal cart on 53rd and 6th (only after 730 pm i think).

        4 Replies
        1. re: ian9139

          Halal Cart is on the SE corner during the day.

          1. re: KTinNYC

            I actually have not been, but really really want to try it. Is it worth the walk for the op?

            1. re: ian9139

              It's hard to say if the Halal Guys are worth a 30 minute walk if you only have 1 day in Manhattan. I think the chicken or combo platter is phenomenal but if you have limited time you might want to make different choices. At $5 it's a great deal and the hot sauce is the best.

            2. re: KTinNYC

              Yup - southeast corner during the day (including weekends), and southwest corner at night.

          2. If you're looking for a street vendor, Hallo Berlin cart at 5th and 54th is my absolute favorite. Delicious wursts of all kinds, german fried potatoes and cabbage. It's amazing. For non-cart but still cheap good Indian food, check out curry hill, just a couple blocks east and south of where you're staying. Tiffin Wallah at 29th and Lexington and Chennai Garden at 28th and Lexington both have amazing veg lunch buffets for $6.95, all you can eat.


            1 Reply
            1. re: bconniff

              Chennai Garden = brilliant suggestion :) Get the paper dosa.