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Starving Student in NYC

Would really appreciate your help! My 17year-old daughter will be attending Parsons this summer on a very limited budget. Meal plan only covers 10 meals or so a week, so she's looking for some inexpensive, but tasty hole-in-the-wall restaurants around Chelsea, where she will be staying. . .any ideas would be wonderful and appreciated!

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  1. Get her a monthly subway pass and have her go to THE dumpling house in Chinatown (Vanessa's) and she can get super full with a drink for less than 5 dollars =)....and it's only slightly unhealthy, or she can hit up and Gray's Papaya, for 3.50, two juicy dogs and a shake, it's legendary.

    I'm not sure Chelsea has "hole-inthe-wall" places for cheap =/, but if anyone knows, I'm all ears as well =)

    3 Replies
    1. re: gibberisimo

      Or the superior Prosperity Dumpling House at 46 Eldridge - 5 pork and chive dumplings for $1, and a $1.50 "sesame pancake with beef", which is actually an extraordinarily delicious beef and veggie sandwich.

      1. re: Al1

        Nearby, Manhattan Heroes on 27th and 7th - she can get an enormous heap of food (rice, beans, chicken) for under 8 dollars which would easily make two meals.

        1. re: Al1

          The sesame pancake with beef is one of the best deals in the city.

      2. HLing's recent find could be just the ticket: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/629918

        Also Grand Sicuan International at 24th and 9th is excellent and not very expensive.

        1. Vanessa's Dunmplings-30 packs range from 7-10 bucks
          14th Street between 2nd and third.

          1. there is an Indian deli on 9th ave around 20th/21st street that has cheap and very good Punjabi food. Stuff like samosa chaat for 4 dollars, entrees for $5, etc. I can personally recommend the samosa chaat but haven't tried their other stuff.

            1. Tip: If she gets chinese for dinner, to save $ have her buy it early off of the lunch menu....

              1. Second Szechuan Gourmet, especially for their lunch specials, which are a lot of food for I think $6.50. (My favorite dishes aren't offered as lunch specials, but there's still plenty of choice.) Stretching the boundaries of Chelsea a little, there's also Supermac on 7th and 30th ($5 recession special) and Dogmatic Gourmet Sausage Systems on 17th just east of 5th ($5 for a good-sized - and delicious - sausage on a baguette.) 2 Bros Pizza at 6th & 18th has $1 slices, which are pretty good for a street slice. $2 will get you an amazing, huge bagel with cream cheese from Murray's on 8th south of 23rd St. Buon Italia in the Chelsea Market (9th ave & 16th St) has some incredible food for not too expensive; my favorite is a slice of their "pizza" (more like topped focaccia) for $2, paired with a $2 cupcake from Eleni's (also in the market). A lot of places around are offering lunch specials today, so walk around and see what's advertised. And don't forget street meat from the halal carts. The smell as you walk by is a pretty good indicator of whether it'll taste good. And of course nothing saves money like cooking for yourself, even if it's just buying bread and deli meat from the corner bodega and putting together a sandwich for lunch.

                1. Parsons is not far removed from the NYU area with all its cheap options, among which Kati Roll (paratha kababs), Yatagan (döner kebab), Grey's Papaya (hot dogs), Taim (falafel) and Baoguette (banh mi). In Chelsea she would get great value for her money at Taza de Oro which serves up enormous quantities of Puerto Rican food for less than $8 or less per meal.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: JungMann

                    For Banh Mi - if she's willing to make her way down to Chinatown, she could also go to Saigon Bakery.

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      That of course would be the better idea. If she's making her way pretty much anywhere out of Chelsea, her options would increase.

                  2. Thanks, Everyone -- great places to start!!!