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$10 - $15 Entree Challenge!

Hi everyone

Still trying to build our 4 day cheap and cheerful NYC food itinerary for February. It's a recession so we're trying to get entrees for between $10-$15 (less is even better) plus the usual drink/tax/tip additions.

No fish or seafood or fancy food. Love big breakfasts that last us all day then in the evening sandwiches, steaks, burgers, ramen, noodles, fried chicken, ribs, wings, pasta, soups, thai.

For breakfast we're pretty confident of trying Clinton St & The Smith and are really looking forward to that.

Dinner, now that's the bit we're struggling with. I think we have our heart set on Dinosaur for one dinner and we'll head to Shake Shack before the Knicks game which leaves two more up for grabs. Possibly Co. but we're open to suggestions. It would be nice to get one asian dish in there - ramen, noodles etc.

Have been to NYC several times when $$ has not been as much of an issue - but what can I say, times are hard!


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  1. I recently had dinner at Republic, which I like, so that's what I thought of when I read your note. As far as I can tell from menupages, the highest price on their menu is $13, which fits in your price range. Between the food, the prices, and the location, the place is pretty popular. Not a problem for getting seated, when I've been there, but part of why it's really loud in there. I mean REALLY LOUD! The two 25-ish girls sitting next to my wife & me seemed perfectly comfortable talking in their parade-ground voices about their recent breakups and what not; for us it was a bit much. (Not to wave you off, just trying for an informed consent kinda situation.)

    37 Union Sq W, New York, NY 10003

    1. Angelo's Pizza on 57th between 6th & 7th or at 55th & 2nd ave. You can get a small pizza (definitely enough for 2) for $15, and one of the small salads, also plenty for 2, for less than $10. The "family size" things easily feed 3 or 4. Here's the menu link: http://www.angelospizzany.com/menus.htm

      1. How about a late lunch? Motorino has a $12 prix fixe lunch - a great pizza, plus a salad or soft serve. I think they stop at 4.

        2 Replies
        1. re: hungrycomposer

          Is the prix fixe just at the Williamsburg location? On the menu online it indicates that they have the special there and not at the one in the EV...I'm interested in trying it, but not interested in trekking to Brooklyn for it!

          1. re: Jess321

            The special is available on weekdays in the EV. I don't know about Brooklyn.

        2. Most Chinese restaurants in Chinatown would be fine for you, in terms of price. Great NY Noodletown comes to mind, in particular. If you want Thai, I particularly recommend the original Wondee. Stick to the "Secret Thai" menu and tell them to make it really spicy and Thai style, if you can handle it. Pam's Real Thai on 49th St. is another good place, at similar prices (within your budget).

          Since you like big breakfasts, you'll want to have a look at the Best Brunch thread:


          I recommend Cafe Mogador, excellent breakfast/lunch/brunch every day.

          1. I didn't think the Smith's brunch was anything special -- Shopsin's however lives up to the hype. Every single bit!

            1. If you have ANY interest in Indian, the buffet lunch at Chola (around $13, 58th 2nd/3rd) is AMAZING. In addition to a great assortment of dishes at the buffet, they bring around the best, moist tandoori chicken, as well as other starters including chat and (I think) dosas, those rolled pancakes with a potato and vegetable filling.

              1. For Italian food I really like Paprika on St Marks St. All of their pastas are under $15 and I particularly like the pappardelle with braised oxtail ragu.

                For something a bit different but certainly hearty, filling and cheap I'd suggest Stage Restaurant (counter seating) or Ukrainian National Home Restaurant for Ukrainian/Polish food.

                I'd skip BBQ food in the city unless you have to have it. It tends to be overpriced and not so great.

                4 Replies
                1. re: ukitali

                  Stage Deli near Times Square? I've always assumed this to be a nasty tourist trap - have I been misguided?

                  1. re: kansel

                    Nope, Stage Restaurant on 2nd ave in the EV. Diner type food but it is run by Polish/Ukrainian people so they have great borsht, varenyky, stuffed cabbage. It is tiny, literally only 10-12 counter seats.

                  2. re: ukitali

                    Stage is very informal, honest food - not unbelievably fantastic, but always reliable.

                    I've given up on Ukrainian East Village (in the Ukrainian National Home), however. The quality of the food there just isn't consistent enough for me to tolerate.

                    What do you think of Little Poland, by comparison? Some of their stuff is good.

                    1. re: Pan

                      I've had recent meals at both Ukrainian Natl. Home and Little Poland, after a long break from both, and still found UNH to be far superior. We had potato pancakes, krokety (fried crepes filled w. mushrooms) tripe soup, and Ukrainian borscht at UNH, all were good, hearty, and generous servings. Had a bowl of "country style" soup, cabbage soup, and a combo breakfast at Little Poland, the cabbage soup was good, but everything else was mediocre at best.

                  3. bianca for dinner (italian( is a great deal. it is cash only and no reservations but the food is worth the wait as well as the price.

                    1. Casa Adela - 66 Avenue C - awesome Puerto Rican chicken. As a bonus, its BYO.

                      As stated by others, pizza places and Chinese can accommodate. My faves would be Di Fara (far out in BK - pizza, split a pie among people and its about $15 a person) and Nice Green Bo (chinese, in Chinatown)

                      1. i second bianca. ippudo for ramen.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: mch

                          Well Feb is fast approaching and we now have tickets for Black Eyed Peas at MSG on 02/24 also, so that's two nights in a row we'll need to eat in that area.

                          Any suggestions for cheap-ish chow within walking distance of MSG (20-30 minute walk max) that won't be rammed with other NBA fans / BEP fans? If that's a no-no then we'll probably eat further downtown and catch the subway up. One thing is for sure, I really don't want to eat at MSG!

                          1. re: kansel

                            co. is not far from msg...or even grand sichuan on 9th ave.

                            1. re: kansel

                              I'm not sure how crowded Han Bat would be (it's on 35th St. between 5th and 6th Avs.). I recommend the Hyaemul (mixed seafood) Dolsot (hot stone bowl) Bibimbap there. Prices have crept up, but I think it's around $17.50 and includes a generous and good banchan (selection of complimentary side dishes), which they will give you seconds on if you ask. So yeah, it's not strictly a $15 entree, but if you consider the value of 6 side dishes along with it...

                              1. re: kansel

                                Koreatown is a stones throw from MSG. My favorite spot there is Mandoo Bar. Mandoo are Korean dumplings, but they also have really excellent Bulgugi Dolsot Bi Bim Bap and other entrees. You could easily walk out of there stuffed for $15 a person... and beer/wine is cheap to boot.

                                1. re: heWho

                                  Definitely go for Korean near MSG. Or Szechuan gourmet at 39th/6th is not bad. My favorite Korean is Madangsui, which is a little pricier but better quality. (Could still get away with under $15 if you order carefully) Otherwise I really like the tofu soup at Seoul Garden ($10), or for large variety Kunjip is good too.

                                  btw if you're still planning on going to Dinosaur bbq, not sure what others think but I rank it among one of the worst for bbq I've had...really dry ribs and pulled pork, terrible waits. Much prefer Rack & Soul, Hill Country, or I've heard Fette Sau is good too

                                  1. re: silverlainy

                                    I wouldn't say it's the worst, but unless you live somewhere that you can't find BBQ, I'd avoid BBQ joints in NYC. None of them are particularly good... there's much better food to be found around the city, BBQ is kind of a waste of a meal here imo

                                    1. re: heWho

                                      BBQ is pretty much non existent in the UK sadly. In the past we have enjoyed 'cue at both Wildwood and Blue Smoke.

                                      1. re: kansel

                                        Ah, didn't realize you're from the UK. In that case, I'd recommend Dinosaur more than other spots of been to... but mostly for the chicken wings, which are really excellent. Hill Country has great brisket if you don't want to trek all the way out to Dinosaur.

                            2. mandoo bar is a good option. penelope on 30th & lex is also a good spot. decent walk but doable.