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Aug 20, 2009 08:21 AM

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.

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  1. if you don't mind loud and chaotic, Otto (batali/bastianich rest.) has good, inexpensive food and wine list.

    1. I recently had a great meal at The Redhead in the East Village. I also enjoyed the roast pork sandwich at Porchetta.

      5 Replies
      1. re: bbqdawg

        Cafe Habana has been mentioned to me before
        as has Republic. Might need to try both

        1. re: countgrog

          a cuban sandwich and corn on the cob at habana always hits the spot.

          1. re: countgrog

            Skip Republic - bland and boring pan Asian food that's not as cheap or as good as you could get at more authentic restaurants in Chinatown and Flushing.

          2. cafe habana for a cuban sandwich
            Dim Sum at Red Egg
            Shake Shack for Burger
            bar stuzzichini for italian (small plates)
            Republic for noodles
            SEA for thai

            6 Replies
            1. re: notsochubbychubette

              Also note the half-price drinks and dim sum at Red Egg if working within budget contraints. Incredible bargain!

              1. re: notsochubbychubette

                Republic is crap there are 100 better restaurants in Manhattan for noodles.

                1. re: KTinNYC

                  i completely agree. there are lots of fantastic hand-pulled noodle places in C-town for half the price of Republic.

                    1. re: notsochubbychubette

                      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.

                  1. re: notsochubbychubette

                    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.

                  2. 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
                    Near TS:
                    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)
                    The Village:
                    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.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                      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.

                    2. 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.


                      7 Replies
                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                        Does the Ukranin National Home do Peirogi's?

                        Trying to keep lunch for 2 in the $30-$40 range. Dinners we can do a little more.

                        1. re: countgrog

                          Prix fixe lunches can be your best bet for trying really high end places such as EMP or Jean Georges, and then you can always go cheaper for dinner especially if you go to Caracas Arepas in the East Villege or Chinatown.

                          1. re: countgrog

                            The Ukrainian National Home is a great choice if you are on a budget. They do pierogis but they are called verenyky and they are wonderful! A much better, more authentic experience than better know places nearlby like Veselka.


                            1. re: City Kid

                              UNH makes pierogi. If you have time you may want to ventur eto Greenpoint (search Outer Boroughs Board) for Polish food and even more inexpensive food.

                              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                I think peirogi and varenyky are the same thing except that the former is the Polish word and the latter is the Ukrainian word.

                            2. re: countgrog

                              Yes, but I went to Little Poland (2nd Av. between 12th and 13th) recently and thought the pierogies I got there were better.