Coming to NY in late October looking for good but not exp meals
me and my wife will be in Manhattan in late October. Looking for good places to eat but on a budget. Not neccessaryily carts but for NYC inexpensive gems. The last time there got some preety good reccomendations like Becca. Italian, Chinese, pizza, burgers, sushi, etc.
Staying in the Times Square/Broadway area and will be on foot or cabs.
if you don't mind loud and chaotic, Otto (batali/bastianich rest.) has good, inexpensive food and wine list.
In the words of 2 other hounds who have said it better then myself;
"Republic is an glib, bland, awful place and i can't understand why anyone would go there in the first place."
"I think Republic is mediocre. But it is good for noodle freaks who are not focused on authenticity and find themselves hungry in Union Square."
I do not exaggerate when I say there are 100 better places for noodles on the island of Manhattan.
With the caveat that I've been to Red Egg only once so far, I believe you're very likely to have a better meal at Dim Sum Go Go. Red Egg is cheaper, but DSGG is not expensive for lunch (until 4 PM, as I recall); expect to pay under $20 for a large meal (Red Egg could be closer to $10).
As for Thai food, if you want food with real Thai taste, go to Wondee (the original, not Wondee II) on 9th Av. between 52nd and 53rd, tell your waiter/waitress that you want really spicy food like they like it, and order from the "Secret Thai" menu and any Thai-style specials they tell you about only.
Have had good food at all of the following.
In Times Square area:
John's Pizzeria (there's a Times Square location)--good, well, pizza
Ruby Foos--Asian fusion chain, but tasty and inexpensive, on Broadway
Wu Liang Ye--excellent spicy Chinese food
Blue Chili--Asian fusion, very good apps, especially
Burger Joint--inside Le Meridien hotel (w.56th, I think)
Topaz Thai--right near Le Meridien, terrific food and prices
Le Pain Quotidien--several locations, at least a couple near TS, a good European chain for breakfast or lunch, with excellent breads, pastries, soups, salads, sandwiches
Mangia--several locations. Incredible selection, good value cafeteria style or take-out.
A bit farther:
BLT Fish Shack (W. 17th)
Craftbar (Broadway, near Union Square)--excellent food, reasonable if you stick to small plates or a plate of pasta
Cafe Habana (Prince St.)--Cuban, always crowded, but good and cheap
Sapphire Indian--near Lincoln Center (lunch buffet is the bargain here)
Otto (One Fifth Ave.)--fabulous pizza, pasta, salads--nothing over $15; don't miss it.
Fish--Bleecker St., the specials--lobster dinners or oysters, for ex.-- are priced spectacularly; the decor is rustic at best but great french fries, music, village characters
Cabrito (Carmine St.)--wonderful, interesting Mexican
Mercadito (7th Ave. & Grove)--tasty Mexican small plates
Lupa (Thompson)--you can eat a fabulous plate of pasta for $18 or less; daily specials are also very reasonable. The place is always mobbed, for good reasons. Make a res.
Le Pain Quotidien is reliable and good, if you happen to come across one and feel like having a sandwich and a tart, or something like that.
I have found the 44th St. location of John's Pizzeria thoroughly mediocre.
Some good places near Times Square are Uncle Nick's, Wondee Siam (which I already mentioned in this thread), Ariana Afghan Kebab House, and Pam's Real Thai - all on 9th Av. - and Szechuan Gourmet, on 39 St. between 5th and 6th, which is the best Sichuan-style restaurant in Manhattan. For almost anything else that's inexpensive to moderate, I'd go to other parts of the city.
By the way, I like Lupa a lot but have found it really annoying to try to get reservations. They never seem to have anything that isn't really early or really late. Try to get into Lupa, but if you can't, there are several good Italian places in the East Village that are a level down from Lupa but also cost less (not that Lupa is expensive; it isn't), including Supper and Cacio e Vino.
What's your budget? If you are coming from an area that does not have fine dining you might want to consider lunch at one of the upscale restaurants (EMP, etc.). Many have $30 lunch prix fixe. For dinner check out prix fixe. Not sure if downtown is an option but Table Tales Cafe (American) on Water Street near the South Street Seaport, etc. had a 3 course prix fixe. Good and moderately priced.
If you venture downtown Veronica's street cart is also delicious and good on the pocket book. Casa Adela on the LES has excellent bacalau (Puerto Rican style), no ambiance, good for the budget. Other ethnic eats like Ukranian National Home (they still hand grate their potato pancakes) are also easy on the pocketbook.
Marseille is very good and has a prix fixe. It's in the theater district where you will be staying.
Second Lupa rec. Very good food and value priced. Tough to get a reservation on short notice. If you are open to sitting at the bar for dinner that's the way to go.